Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Season 15 finale of . Do not read until you’ve caught up!
You would think that those behind would figure the characters had experienced enough trauma in the past few weeks, what with Abby getting shot and then quitting her job and poor Reeves getting shot in the chest and dying. Well, the finale certainly didn’t show it. A major character was in a huge amount of danger by the end of the hour, and it’s got us really worried. Everyone’s favorite NCIS Director, Leon Vance, was kidnapped by a terrorist at the end of show and on an airplane bound for…well, we don’t know where. And he’ll clearly be in a lot of trouble when Season 16 rolls around. Here’s what happened.
Early in the episode, we see Jack on a date, with a friend of McGee’s named Ray, and it’s actually going quite well. So well, in fact, that they decide to leave the restaurant and go someplace a bit more private. Ray leaves the bar to get their coats while Jack takes the “bail out” call that Bishop had promised her in case she needed an excuse to leave the date. When Jack and Bishop are on the phone, a man comes up to the bar and orders drinks, and this is when the shit hits the fan. Jack goes stark still as she listens to the man’s voice with her back turned to him, and a horrified look passes over her face. She gets off the phone, wheels on the man, who says he doesn’t know her, and Jack proceeds to beat the hell out of him across the restaurant until he can run away as she’s subdued by staff. Ray comes back into the room to see Jack screaming and fighting in an effort to go after the man. So, yeah, that relationship is probably over.
Of course, Jack got arrested. She’s in the back of a squad car and Leon is there, trying to get the details out of her so he can get her released and help. That’s when Jack tells him that she’s sure the man in the restaurant was one she knew as The Monster during her time in Afghanistan. The terrorist and his men had taken her and her entire squadron, and held then for nine months, torturing them the entire time. Leon, as it turns out, is the one who rescued her and the one other prisoner who was still alive. The big problem is that everyone thought The Monster had been killed in a drone strike, and no one who was left alive had ever seen his face. After Leon confirmed with Jack that she’d only had a few drinks, he tells her he’ll help her figure out who the man is, but they have to wait until the morning when cooler heads will prevail.
Leon sets McGee and Kasie to the task of putting a name to the face Jack tried to beat to death, and they find out he’s a humanitarian named Nigel Hakim, working out of the British embassy and therefore protected. But, he’s able to arrange a meeting so that Jack can hear his voice again. As you might imagine, this does not go well, but Jack comes away even more sure that Hakim is The Monster. When Leon does some digging afterwards, he finds out that no DNA tests were ever done on the bodies found in that drone strike, so The Monster could, indeed, still be alive.
To try to get some outside confirmation that this is really The Monster, Leon goes to see the other person they rescued from him, who’s currently in a VA hospital with early onset Alzheimer’s. Leon had taped part of the conversation they had with Hakim, and when he plays it for the vet, the man reacts violently and starts yelling “No, it’s The Monster!” over and over. This was all the confirmation Leon needed; he goes to the embassy, but Hakim has gotten spooked and booked a charter flight to London that night. Gibbs has the plane held and tells Leon that they can’t find Jack, and she’s taken her gun.
When Jack gets to the airfield, Gibbs, Torres and McGee arrive in time to try to help her arrest Hakim. Upon talking to the pilot, though, they realize that he canceled this flight and actually took an earlier one and is already in the air. On his flight, Hakim walks to a closed off section of the plane where someone is sitting with a very serious black bag over their head. He removes it to reveal Leon, who’s been roughed up a bit. Hakim tells him that he couldn’t believe his luck at finding “the hero” after all these years, especially since he killed so many of his brothers. Hakim then gets in real close and calls Leon “infidel,” which Jack had wanted him to say in their meeting to try proving it was him.
As you can see, this leaves Leon in a real bad spot. The team knows that Hakim is on a flight somewhere, but they don’t yet know he has Leon. And, it’s probably going to take a good, long while to find out where Hakim is taking him. In the meantime, he’ll likely torture Leon to the point where, even if (when?) the team finds him alive, he might never quite be the same again.
You can see how the team mounts a rescue effort for Leon when the show returns to CBS in the fall. For more on what to watch in the coming weeks, check out our summer premiere guide.