Season 1 Episode 17

The Truth Is Out There

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 16, 2004 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
295 votes
  • Mediocre episode, no strengths and poor detective resolution of crime.

    This is a poor episode, at least by NCIS standards. The biggest strength of the series is the camaraderie, characters and jokes amongst the team, but nothing stands out here. The crime-detective aspects are usually convoluted, but here they are particularly unconvincing/contrived.

    The biggest cop-out, for me, concerns the solving of the crime. ***spoilers *** In a nut shell: Gordon, with the help of a few friends and a hired hooker, plan a prank to scare their friend Wong. (Wong happens to know/think that Gordon has $40,000 in cash hidden somewhere [but not precisely where] in his apartment -- the motive for the murder.) The prank is for the hooker to lead an unsuspecting Wong to his car, where Gordon, dressed as a monster, is to frighten Wong. But Wong somehow knows of the prank in advance, and pretends to be frightened and panicky, and deliberately drives into Gordon, killing him. Everything was ruined (for Wong and for me) by the way the writers solved the case. I think the writers --who are far smarter than me-- realize this and deliberately leave out some (unconvincing) explanations, hoping that the viewer's will do it for them or will just give up and vaguely assume that it all makes sense.

    In this case, Wong's downfall came about because he told the hooker that he knew all along the whole thing was a prank (thus he couldn't have driven down Gordon in a panicky accident). How NCIS could track her down is never explained. It's a mystery since all the "friends" kept a united front and never let on that there was a prank, and we never saw NCIS question them separately. It's also strange that with 537 customers, no one saw the 1 AM "accident" in the rave parking lot. It would also be nice to know how Wong learned about the prank in advance, yet his friends still thought the killing was an accident. Whatever. But let's get back to the crucial hooker. If Wong PLANNED the lethal driving "accident" IN ADVANCE, he would never let on to the hooker that he was aware of the prank, unless he was out of his mind. So that leaves us with this: Wong knew there would be the prank. He confided to the hooker that the whole thing is a prank (I don't know if this is logical -- you'd think he'd have a better time pretending that the girl was really hot for Wong, but whatever). Then at the LAST SECOND he seizes on the opportunity to pretend to be frightened and to run Gordon down and to pay the hooker $1000 to shut up about murder! I leave it to you as to how believable that is.

    Fans of the series will be rewarded by watching the episode. Worth a look for them.