NCIS Season 17 Episode 18 Review: Schooled


We finally found out more about why Jack gave up her biological daughter Faith, who recently came back into her life.

School was a part of all three storylines on NCIS Season 17 Episode 18.

It was mostly tangential to Jack’s storyline, though.

Faith put Jack in a corner without really meaning to.

Fortunately, Faith’s interest in Jack’s medical history had nothing to do with her needing an organ of some type.

Instead, she and her fiance were trying to have a baby but were running into complications.

Hence Jack’s medical history. But now, to make things stickier, Faith needed to know who her father was so she could get his medical history as well.

Faith couldn’t have known that she was asking for information about which only Vance knew.

Everyone recognized, however, that something was bothering Jack.

Gibbs, of course, couldn’t be bothered with respecting privacy. He’s just a linear kind of guy.

So he confronted Jack, just his direct way of getting to the truth.

And because she knew there’s no way around Gibbs, she spilled everything about how a friend raped her on one drunken night during college, resulting in Faith.

Gibbs’ immediate reaction was to go after him, but he respected her wishes not to do that.

Based on gossip from Torres, McGee and Bishop concluded that Gibbs and Jack had ended their nonexistent relationship.

Jack instead visited her rapist and commanded that he give Faith the information she needed then forget he ever met her.

Faith saw through his subterfuge and finally understood why Jack gave her up for adoption, hoping that her new parents would give her a better life than she could have at that point.

It was appropriate that the series used Jack’s pain as a teachable moment, complete with a PSA on sexual violence at the end.

Now that Jack has dealt somewhat with this trauma from her past, and now that Faith knows the truth, maybe Gibbs and Jack might have a future together.

Plus adding to Jack’s back story is always a good thing to do.

The case of the week ended up being set at one of those for-profit colleges that keep popping up.

Aspire University. Why would anyone trust a school that sounds like a fragrance name?

Once again, if a place sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

It turned out that that went for the victim as well. He seemed like an all-around good guy but was also a hacker with an international reputation.

Talk about your expanding suspect pool, with all the victims Whistler had ripped off.

About the only two in the clear were his wife, who covered up his crimes, and his young daughter. His stealing to pay his daughter’s medical bills seemed somewhat legitimate, or at least understandable.

Something about Aspire stunk from the beginning, including the dean pitching the place like, well, a used-car salesman, coming on far too strong for an academic.

The student who shared a computer with Whistler appeared equally shady. If she knew he was a hacker who was breaking into the school’s financial records, why didn’t she tell someone before NCIS showed up?

His best friend and former partner, who had stabbed him for cleaning out their offshore account, sure seemed like a sure thing as the murderer except he had, as Torres put in, “the world’s most pathetic alibi,” an out-of-state laser-tag tournament.

As things unraveled, it became apparent that Whistler was neither as good nor as bad as advertised, stealing from some to help others. His decision to blackmail a con man was what ultimately got him killed, however.

We should have gone with the Elementary formula of selecting the least likely suspect, who had been dismissed early on. The stoner in the computer lab was, in fact, the brains behind the scam school and the murderer.

The final storyline focused on McGee choosing to blow off his 20th college reunion.

McGee came up with all kinds of the excuses, such as the timing not being right and that Delilah wouldn’t be comfortable there.

But Torres got the truth out of him. McGee graduated from Johns Hopkins, a very prestigious university, with a degree in biomedical engineering.

His classmates became innovators and CEOs of their own companies while he became a lowly cop.

Wait, don’t forget author with a cult following, thanks to his Deep Six mysteries, in part based on his adventures with NCIS. 

At least he knew enough to leave the tap-dancing behind.

Torres got him to see things more clearly, pointing out how he’s helped to take down the rich and the powerful through the years.

He’s also risen to a position of authority as senior field agent at NCIS.

So McGee had nothing to be ashamed of and decided to attend the reunion.

You would think someone with all those smarts and all those devices could keep his calendars straight. But no. McGee missed the reunion as a result.

But at least McGee got something of a handle on his inferiority complex.

To following the histories of Jack and McGee, watch NCIS online.

Did Jack handle Faith’s request well?

Was Whistler a good guy or a bad guy?

Was McGee wrong about his accomplishments?

Comment below.

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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