[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for NCIS: Sydney Season 1 Episode 3, “Brothers in Arms.”]
But first, Blue’s planning her own farewell party after taking a call from the forensic scientist she’s been filling in for; sadly, no one bites during her initial request. NCIS Special Agent Michelle Mackey (Olivia Swann) remarks to AFP Sergeant Jim “JD” Dempsey (Todd Lasance) that she loves Blue’s initiative and quirkiness, but her people skills aren’t the best. “This is NCIS, not a refuge for misfits with personality disorders,” she argues, but as JD asks, “You sure about that?” (And let’s be fair: The franchise has shown before that it is a “refuge for misfits.”)
Blue tries to talk to AFP Forensic Pathologist Dr. Roy Penrose (William McInnes) about her farewell party — “You’re leaving?” he asks — and while Mackey, the first time, focuses on the case, she does later tell her she’s impressed and is the one to get on JD’s case as Blue’s packing her stuff: “You didn’t tell her, did you?”
NCIS Special Agent DeShawn Jackson (Sean Sagar) is the one who finally has enough. “I can’t do this anymore. You Aussies, you’re cruel,” he says and wheels out a Welcome Aboard cake for her. “As Supervisory Special Agent of NCIS Sydney, having discussed it with the Indo-Pacific chain of command —” Mackey begins before handing over the NCIS hat. (“With a great cap comes great responsibility,” she says.) The others want Blue to be a permanent team member; JD had left the other forensic scientist a message that the position had been filled. With that, they take a team selfie.
“We had a lot of fun writing that episode, and Blue was so great,” showrunner Morgan O’Neill tells TV Insider. “I’m biased, totally, but I find she’s so watchable on screen, and I love her character from the moment she walks in. But Episode 3 is that classic case of office miscommunication, and she’s not confident enough to actually put her foot down and say, ‘Hey, guys, I’m going away. I know I’m going away. I’m having a party. I’m having to organize it myself. Can you just tell me if you’re coming or not?’ And everyone’s so busy that they don’t really get the chance to explain exactly what has happened, which is that they’ve all decided that she’s amazing and that they want her on the team. They’ve just never got around to talk. And maybe the Australians have had a little bit of fun by not telling her as promptly as they should have.”
He continues that the response he got from someone else who watched the episode was “kind of telling and pretty exciting. They were really moved by the fact that the team had embraced Blue in this way, and they were surprised at how we were able to garner that level of emotional connection from an audience’s perspective in such a short period of time. And that’s a testimony to how great Blue is, but it really made me excited because part of the thrill of this show is that you come for the crime, but you stay for the characters. And if people are already rooting for this team to get together and stay together by the end of Episode 3, then we’re on a good trajectory there.”
Something else worth noting from this episode is that fans should keep the case — the discovery of a severed arm with a US Navy dive computer on it leads them to investigate a group of former Navy divers — in mind. “It’s not entirely wrapped up with a neat bow,” O’Neill notes. “We get the guys that we think have perpetrated the crime, but there seems to be more to it than what we wrap up, and we will work out exactly what the relationship is between the mystery of Episode 1 and the mystery of Episode 3, and then the second half of the first season will kind of bring those two strands together in a way that hopefully is surprising, but should definitely be climactic.”
In the series premiere, a boat was rigged to explode so the guys couldn’t be interrogated, and there was a woman still in the wind. “We will be trying to unpack exactly what happened at the end of Episode 1 across multiple episodes in the first season, and it will actually culminate in the climax to the first season,” O’Neill explained. “It’s an absolutely cracking climax to the first season. And it definitely involves unpacking what happened in that first episode, where that blonde woman ended up, who she is, maybe who she’s working for.”
So keep paying attention to cases: Even ones you don’t realize are connected very well might be!
NCIS: Sydney, Tuesdays, 8/7c, CBS