NCIS Sneak Peek: Murder Most Messy

After spending the better part of an evening researching why the Navy uses the term “tiger cruise” to define the program that allows certain family members and close friends aboard a ship to learn about sailors’ duties, I have found no definitive answer as to why that term is used. (Keep reading. I may have found one.)

The program, which encourages sailors to explain their jobs to guests who join them on a short cruise, has the potential to strengthen a bond and lessen stress on both sides when a ship is deployed.

Unfortunately, stress abounds on NCIS tonight when the body of a Navy lieutenant is discovered aboard a destroyer during a tiger cruise.

Gibbs (Mark Harmon), Quinn (Jennifer Esposito) and Palmer (Brian Dietzen) travel out to sea to investigate the death aboard the USS Hoover. The Hoover, which is sailing between Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville and the naval base in Norfolk, is carrying a full crew and 63 civilian “tigers” when the body is found.

Not only are the crew and families stressed, but so is Palmer who is subbing for Ducky (David McCallum) while gulping down seasick remedies.

Quinn also has concerns about her past as “the heartbreaker” coming to light when it is revealed that she once was the Agent-Afloat, at the same time as Navy Commander Eleadora Rey (guest star Andrea Grano). NCIS needs to solve the murder before the crew and civilians disembark and things get “messy” to quote Quinn.

Back at NCIS, McGee (Sean Murray) is stressed, trying to pick the perfect time and place to ask Delilah (guest star Margo Harshman) to marry him, bouncing ideas off of Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama).

Will the USS Hoover become the “Love Boat” for McGee’s proposal?

So, is there a fun reason that the adventure at sea is called a “tiger cruise” or is it as Commander Rey says “The real answer would bore you.”

The best answer I have found for the “bring your family to work day” for sailors is the film OPERATION PETTICOAT. Yes, there is a possibility that the Navy named the cruise for the fictional USS Sea Tiger, which carried refugees, Navy nurses, Cary Grant and Tony Curtis across the South Pacific in World War II.

Perhaps the reason will be explained tonight, but I am sure that DiNozzo would have figured out the movie reference much faster than I did.

NCIS also stars Pauley Perrette and Rocky Carroll. Other guest stars on this week’s episode, “Love Boat,” include Andrew Bowen, Wilmer Calderon, Michael McMillian, Madalyn Horcher, Mike Wade, Darin Toonder, Mary Gallagher, Taj Speights, Michele Panu and Jason David.

GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Hayley Erin who recently showed off her singing prowess on the soap, guests as pop star, Kasey Powers. “Love Boat” was written by Christopher J. Waild and directed by Terrence O’Hara.

NCIS airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS in the U.S. and Global TV in Canada.

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