Did the NCIS Season 18 Finale Live Up to the 'Explosive, Emotional' Hype?

The following contains spoilers from the NCIS Season 18 finale.

It wasn’t long ago that NCIS cast member Wilmer Valderrama alerted TVLine readers that the Season 18 finale would be worthy of “major, major, major, major spoiler alerts,” adding that rather than DVR and watch later, “This is an episode you want to show up for.”

Torres’ portrayer went on to say that to make up for last year’s start-of-pandemic non-finale, this season would end with “a real, explosive finale” that is “unpredictable,” “badass” and a “really emotional, controversial type of episode.”

“There are things going on that the fans have been dying to see, and there are some answers they’ve been seeking,” he said in conclusion. “People are going to get answers to many of the questions.”

So, how true was all of the above? I’d say… quite?

Much of the finale revolved around the hunt for some arms dealers, two of whom Bishop picked off with an oddly nifty slide-across-the-floor move and precision aim. The search for the group’s leader, Flori, led Mcgee, Bishop and Torres to an abandoned house where they found, yes, guns, but also a classified NSA file.

Not long after, the NSA reported back to Vance that the leaker of said file was… Bishop, some 10 years ago. And while the accusation had the entire team up in arms, Ellie eventually confessed to Vance that she did leak the intel, opposed as she was to how the NSA was using innocent Syrian refugees to capture warlords. Or something.

Bishop attempted a vanishing act, her career in tatters, but we soon realized that she was readying for an undercover op, on behalf of Ziva’s cohort Odette. Odette revealed that Nick beat her to the shed, and he grilled Ellie about her secrecy. As he had gleaned, she planted the NSA file, so as to blow up her career and go undercover, for what she expects to be “too long” a time, as a disgraced NCIS agent. When Nick asked how she could leave without saying a word, she countered, “Sometimes nothing to be said.” “This is not one of those times,” Nick barked back. Ellie shared, “I didn’t mean for us to happen” before pulling Nick into a  “goodbye” kiss and walking away.

Elsewhere in the finale, Gibbs came to suspect that the serial killer that he and Marc ie had been tracking was onto them, bugging their homes. A bit of detective work by Gibbs revealed that with the latest murdered woman, the cops never searched for clues in the ght area. So Gibbs, motoring along in his finally completed and somehow removed-from-the-basement boat (named “Rule 91”) and with Tom Petty blaring, heads out to the remote area… but the boat suddenly is blown to bits! We saw Gibbs’ seemingly lifeless body bob atop the water a bit in the aftermath… but only for a few seconds, before he discreetly swam away.

What did you think of Bishop’s vanishing act/lies, and Gibbs’ own bit of subterfuge?

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