[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for NCIS Season 19, Episode 9 “Collective Memory.”]
As NCIS closes out 2021, it does so with a case about mothers and daughters — and one that hits a nerve for Special Agent Jessica Knight (Katrina Law).
After a hotshot financial advisor, Sandra Holden (Stepfanie Kramer), is killed, the team learns that she and her daughter, Ruby (Holly Curran), haven’t spoken in years after a big falling out. That’s why Sandra was apparently watching her grandson’s soccer games through the fence, which is where her body is found. Sandra’s assistant, Jeffrey, doesn’t know what caused the rift because she didn’t like to talk about it. Knight says she understands, in such a way that we know there’s something to her and her mother’s relationship.
When Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) checks on his teammate, Knight admits that the disconnect between Sandra and Ruby hits a little close to home. She and her mother don’t fight a lot, “not anymore,” Knight shares, because they haven’t spoken in months. She doesn’t say anything else, but “my mom and I, it’s complicated.” As Torres sees it, however, if they love each other, it’s not as complicated as she thinks. And so after the case wraps up, Knight reaches out to her mother.
As for the case, as the team uncovers, thanks to some help from Sandra herself (via her hologram, created after a tech company interviewed her extensively), her murder plays a role in that rift with her daughter. After ruling out her assistant, Geoffrey (Matthew Hancock), as her killer — she may have been taking him out of her will, but he has an alibi for her murder — they turn their attention to the $50,000 paid to him to send Sandra a threatening note. That money leads them to a Jamie Two-Shoes, which turns out to be the nickname of Sandra’s lawyer, Albert Beck (Todd Waring).
Albert had helped Sandra after she’d been caught embezzling from her clients. But, as they learn, she covered for her son, thinking he’d embezzled millions from her clients; the same day of her arrest, he died in a single car accident by going off a bridge. Sandra’s lawyer got her probation — because he’d been the one to embezzle, using her son. Sandra let her daughter think she’d done it because she didn’t want to ruin the image Ruby had of her brother. And her lawyer killed her because she wouldn’t stop investigating.
NCIS, Mondays, 9/8c, CBS