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Recap / NCISS 15 E 22

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A petty theft gives way to a vicious shooting that leaves Abigail Scuito fighting for her life and Clayton Reeves in the morgue. Enraged and hurt by the devastating event, the team rallies to find the shooter, only to discover him dead as well, and evidence of an even bigger plan to assassinate Abby. The search leads to a vicious and calculating old foe who wants to settle a score with Abby. Abby later awakens to a slow recovery and the news of Clay's death, and it wounds her all the way to her core. Angry unlike ever before, Abby finds herself pressed to avenge him and make a life-altering decision that will permanently affect her and her friends.

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  • Absentee Actor: When Abby gets shot, it's obvious that Tony is going to be affected by this even though his character's actor left the show in Season 13 to go star in Bull in the timeslot neighboring NCIS. Tim mentions Tony was talking with him in a phone call after being informed of the incident, but Tony doesn't personally appear.
  • Assassins Are Always Betrayed: The hitman who killed Clay and injured Abby is found dead, courtesy of his handler.
  • Brutal Honesty: After being assured of all the times the team has offered others a chance to find time to live while looking back, Abby balefully replies this doesn't apply to Clay. Abby notes that Clay is gone and no one can fix that.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Team Gibbs go through several of Abby's past cases to see who ordered the hit. Spooner (from way back in Season 3) and Alejandro make encore appearances. There are also numerous Flashbacks thrown in. And for an added bonus, the café where Abby confronts King is the same one where Team Gibbs busted him nine years ago.
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  • I Owe You My Life: Clayton dies saving Abby from the hitman. After Robert King is caught, she decides to leave NCIS and begin the charity that Clayton wanted to begin in honor of his mother to repay him.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Ellie admits that Clay was like a brother to her, and she never told him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Tony calls McGee to see how Abby's doing, and he doesn't even use any "McNicknames".
  • Poison-and-Cure Gambit: Abby pulls this on King, telling him that she spiked his coffee with cyanide. As he starts feeling ill (with a little Sequential Symptom Syndrome thrown in), Abby uses the promise of a cure to make him confess to hiring the hitman. And then it's Subverted when it turns out that Abby didn't use cyanide — just a harmless crushed Caf-POW pill.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Subverted. This is what the circumstances of Clay's murder first appear to be. The team is outraged that Clayton was killed over sixty dollars after having such a rough life and believe he deserved better. It turns out this was only the half of it.
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  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Clay dies after having a hard life as a homeless orphan who lost his mother at three, after claiming he planned to start a charity in her name.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The previews and ads for this episode were very insistent that Abby would be killed off. Instead, the major twist is that this is a total Red Herring: Clayton gets killed off.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The previews for the episode are very guilty of this offense. They painted it as though Abby was going to die, and ran a blipvert during other CBS network programming emblazoned "ABBY'S FINAL GOODBYE", when in the episode proper, it's actually Clayton who dies, and Abby explicitly says, "This isn't good-bye for good, it's just good-bye for now."
  • Wham Shot: After Abby is seen in the hospital in critical condition, half of Team Gibbs is in autopsy, tearfully gathered around a body bag. Ducky and Palmer open the bag...and it's Clay. With all the hype surrounding Abby's departure, it's doubtful that anybody saw this coming.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: When Tony gets informed that Abby had been shot, he starts regularly calling McGee for updates from his new home in Paris. After one call, Tim tells the still unconscious Abby that he could tell how worried DiNozzo was about her by the fact that he hadn't addressed him by a single McNickname.
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