Obviously, the NCIS: Sydney unit got thrown together without much forethought by its political creators.
But that didn’t stop the team from solving a bizarre murder on NCIS: Sydney Season 1 Episode 2.
Along the way, the “fish out of water” storyline got used for all it was worth, and then some as Mackey and DeShawn struggled to adjust to their unexpected new life in Australia.
This episode must have occurred relatively soon after the temporary squad became more permanent on NCIS: Sydney Season 1 Episode 1.
Otherwise, why would everyone be bringing in coffee in large quantities? Shouldn’t someone visit the housey stuff store for a coffee maker?
It’s clear that no daily office routine has yet been implemented. And what’s with the big bags of boba that Blue naturally supplied?
At least everyone was trying, to various degrees, to make this new arrangement work as envisioned. It’s just that sufficient planning hadn’t gone into it.
Australia isn’t the United States, where there are 120 guns for every 100 people.
But, still, you can’t have law-enforcement personnel armed with flashlights, a point that D correctly made.
The climactic showdown with the heavily armed smuggler revealed why that is indeed the case. And Mackey found a piece when she needed it, didn’t she?
Everyone seemed to be attempting to adjust to their new roles, except Mackey, of course. She’s expecting everyone else to change to her.
That’s especially the case for poor J.D., who seems less the team’s co-leader and more its Aussie tour guide and translator.
Still, J.D., despite his initial resistance to the concept of NCIS: Sydney, has been a team player, even wearing the NCIS cap that Mackey gave him, even in the face of Evie’s razzing.
Let’s face it: the establishment of NCIS: Sydney came with an underlying message of “accept it or else” to J.D. and Mackey, so how much choice do they genuinely have? They’re both trying to make the best of it.
Evie seemed content to roll with her new station in life. She had a new partner to torment, taking it upon herself to caution D about the hidden dangers of Australia. He’s gullible enough to fall for that.
The new of his assignment hasn’t worn off for the enthusiastic D. He’s got a new country to explore, he gets to be part of a new team, and he actually understands and likes Mackey, unlike everyone else.
Evie and D make a good team and genuinely seem to like each other, even though she often plays big sister to his little brother. They’re okay with doing legwork out in the field and letting Mackey and J.D. deal with the politics and optics involved with their unit.
That leaves that winning combination of young and old: Blue and Rosie.
Rosie, the pathologist, is the very definition of world-weary. He’s seen it all and is just putting in his time to get to retirement. But he’s also very good at his job. This new squad might be just what he needs to spice up his life.
The best of the characters is the youngest, Blue, the wunderkind who can do a little bit of everything forensically speaking. But what she lacks is the confidence to match her abilities.
Understandably, Mackey and Blue don’t jibe since they’re polar opposites: the young genius who depends on data and the veteran agent who works from her gut.
It was hilarious when the stolen kookaburra that Blue adopted chose to ape the phrase, “Mackey dumbass.” At least Mackey was able to laugh along in the end.
It’s good that Blue has Grandpa Rosie to explain how to bond with Mackey. Blue has to fake confidence even though she lacks it since, if nothing else, Mackey chooses her actions and then deals with the consequences. She’s the ultimate person who asks for forgiveness rather than permission.
Team dynamics on NCIS: Sydney is coming along as well as expected, considering how the squad came together out of the blue. Solving this case of the murdered Navy compliance officer showed that they could jel.
It was great to see that it didn’t take long for the unit to leave Sydney, traveling an hour to Cowan Creek, where Mitchell’s body was discovered. They aren’t wasting the continent’s beautiful scenery.
Australia’s exotic animals were thankfully brought front and center as well, with a poisonous snake used as a murder weapon and other rare creatures were stolen from a nature park, which was also the site of the showdown.
And let’s not forget Blue’s unnamed kookaburra, a scene stealer which would be great to see again in future episodes. After all, with Natureland’s manager an accomplice in the theft, it’s unlikely that the bird would return to that shot-up theme park.
The case took some enjoyable twists and turns, with the victim evolving from a despicable smuggler to a well-meaning, if unlucky, investigator who died attempting to protect the animals which he appreciated.
It did seem unlikely that a system put in to protect supplies could be so easily circumvented. The man in charge had to be in on it for that to work.
To revisit its development, watch NCIS: Sydney online.
Are you satisfied with how this series is progressing?
What parts of Australia do you want to see explored?
What are your feelings about Mackey?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.