NCIS Recap 01/09/23: Season 20 Episode 10 “Too Many Cooks”

NCIS Recap 01/09/23: Season 20 Episode 10 "Too Many Cooks"

Tonight on CBS NCIS returns with an all-new Monday, January 9, 2023, season 20 episode 10 called, “Too Many Cooks,” and we have your weekly NCIS recap below. In tonight’s NCIS season 20 episode 10, “Too Many Cooks” as per the CBS synopsis, “NCIS agents from Washington, D.C., L.A. and Hawai’i, all in D.C. to attend the retirement party of a beloved Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) professor, find themselves investigating his shocking suicide.” 

So make sure to bookmark this spot and come back between 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET for our NCIS recap. While you wait for the recap make sure to check out all our NCIS recaps, spoilers, news & more, right here!

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In tonight’s NCIS episode, Professor Dale Harding has trained several NCIS Special Agents in his long career at FLET-C. He was known as tough but fair and most of his students walked away with a lot of respect for him. All except for Torres that is. Torres didn’t really care for the guy.

He still got things for Harding retirement party. Only he complained about it the whole way. He was still complaining when the news came in. Professor Harding died of an apparent suicide. Director Vance didn’t want to believe it of the man because he had a great deal of respect for Harding and so he assigned NCIS to investigate Harding’s death.

Special Agent in Charge in Tenant was visiting from Hawaii with one of her agents when she appointed herself to the case. Which was a problem because Parker and his team were also working the case although Parker was willing to work with Tennant and Boone. He recognized the chain of command.

Tennant was his superior and so he agreed to work with her. He felt much differently about Special Agents Callen and Hana. Those two also came for the professor’s retirement party. They heard about his suicide and raced to the scene where they were the first to arrive and they appointed themselves in charge.

They even cleared the scene before Parker could arrive. Jimmy was wheeling out the body when everyone else finally arrived on the scene and so Parker agreed to work with Callen and Hana as a means of moving the ball in the investigation. Only Callen and Hana ruled it a suicide. Everyone later agreed that Harding killed himself.

They got the autopsy. The autopsy prove the theory. He really did kill himself. They just didn’t know why he killed himself. He was retiring from FLET-C. He was cheerful and happy mere moments before he killed himself and he had a ticket to Mexico. It simply didn’t make sense why a man with everything to live for will kill himself now.

Harding was with his neighbor a couple of minutes before he did it. She said he was in a good mood. She also said that he got a call on his cell phone and that was odd because none of the NCIS teams could find Harding’s cell phone. It vanished after he killed himself. Harding also did his best to delete files from his computer before he died. These deletes files were in fact classified files that were stolen off a Pentagon server.

The Pentagon didn’t even know they were missing until Kasie began asking about them once she saw them deleted from Harding’s computer. The Pentagon was now in overdrive to deny NCIS the access they need to read those files, but those files could very well help with the case.

Harding did a lot of suspicious things before he died. He changed his tickets from Mexico to Hawaii. He didn’t go into work on his last day. He even was going to skip his own retirement party without telling a soul where he was. There were some burn marks and gunshot wounds on his body that also didn’t make sense. He was never injured when he was a Marine. It was not in his official file. He must have gotten those wounds doing something off the books. This coupled with those stolen files made everyone question if they really knew him. Was he a good guy? The sever theft was traced back to McGee’s credentials and so Callen and Hana interrogated him.

It was them or let DOD interrogate him. Director Vance chose to keep this in house. Callen and Hana interrogated McGee and they learned that he left his phone unlocked when he had lunch with Harding a week ago. Harding was looking at photos of his kids. McGee excused himself to use the bathroom. He was gone only a couple of minutes and in that time his professor stole his login information. Neither McGee nor the rest of them knew why Harding wanted access to those files. He just did. He took them. And with the Pentagon being a problem, the team had to find a way around them in order to read those files.

One of the things they did was visit Harding’s office at FLET-C. They found out that Harding usually used floppy disks for work and so hacking the Pentagon seemed a little bit beyond his reach. Harding hid a picture of Gibbs’s cabin inside one of those floppy disks. There was also a message on there that send “read the files”. It was Hana that was the first to wondered if Harding had hidden a set of those files at the cabin. NCIS Agents went to the cabin. They spotted a man escaping the cabin on a motorcycle and they shot at him and they hit his cell phone which fell out of his pocket. But it wasn’t his cell phone. It was Harding’s cell phone.

Harding put an app on his phone to record every conversation. So, it caught the last conversation he had before he died. Harding was contacted by a known terrorist by the name of Simon Williams and Williams said Harding’s plan to hide the files from him weren’t going to work. He was going to come and take them personally. And so Harding killed himself to keep these classified files out of the hands of a terrorist.

And when the agents finally caught the man on the motorcycle, he claimed he was Simon Williams when he wasn’t. He was too young to be him. He also said “We’re all Simon Williams”. It turns out Simon Williams really wanted those files and he sent someone after them. The guy later died, but it turns out Harding had history with the real Simon Williams. Williams was a trainee at FLET-C when Harding cut him from the program because he said he had lone wolf tendencies. Kind of like what he told Torres a week before he was supposed to graduate. And that’s why Torres didn’t like Harding.

And everyone was supposed to have grabbed dinner after a short break, but Jimmy and Tenant were abducted before that could happen.