'NCIS' Tackles Homeless Veteran Case Amid Ziva Return Drama

The NCIS crew continued to deal with consequences of Ziva's return in Tuesday's new episode, with fans wondering when Cote de Pablo will return to finish Ziva's storyline. This week's episode saw as the team worked on a case involving a mysterious connection between attacks on homeless veterans and a crime scene at the Arlington National Cemetery. The episode also saw as McGee (Sean Murray), Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) faced punishment for hiding information when Ziva returned.

Spoilers ahead for NCIS Season 17, Episode 4: "Someone Else's Shoes"

After a shocking start involving a human foot, the team members were in anguish as they were tasked with cataloguing evidence. They will have to stay in the evidence garage doing busy work for six days, under the watchful eye of a strange man.

Thankfully for them, they are reduced by Gibbs (Mark Harmon) with the call of the new case. The case involves the appearance of a severed foot along with a riderless horse in the cemetery, the strange circumstances surrounding the crime scene capture the attention of press.

The video of the horse starts to go viral on social media as the team finds the identity of the man in the severed foot. The investigation takes an unexpected turn as veteran files don't reveal if the man is alive or not.

A doctor tells Bishop and Torres that the sergeant's information is not complete as a symptom of a failed system that leaves homeless veterans behind.

At one of the encampments, a homeless man takes Gibbs and McGee the sergeant's tent. They find the sergeant's body in a pile of trash, along with the body of a woman who is missing her hands.

In the middle of the case, Vance (Rocky Carroll) calls out Gibbs for letting his team participate amid their punishment. Gibbs thinks it's a ridiculous punishment, but Vance says they have to learn from their actions so they don't happen again.

Sloane (Maria Bello) talks with the man, who turns out to be a former marine, not wanting to be seen as a veteran like the victims. The team continue their evidence punishment until Kasie (Diona Reasonover) finds the owner of the horse who was found in the graveyard. She also says the the Office of Veteran's Affairs has been dodging her calls, so Torres and McGee go to figure out what's going on.

They arrive and find out the VA has been getting death threats and when they check the box with ashes of homeless veterans, they find the missing hand pointing toward them. The twist leads them to believe the murderer might be raising awareness to the government's treatment of veterans.

They suspect the man who helped them might be involved in the crimes, but when they arrive at the encampment they find the man was attacked, and his attacker took his journal. Gibbs decides to stay with him for protection and the pair bond after he opens up about leaving his mission to care for his mother. He believes he should have died with his team, since he couldn't save his mother from her disease anyway.

The team alter celebrates the passing of a new bill to increase funding for Veteran's Affairs, which had been stalled for a long time in congress but was approved after the murders caught the media's attention. The passing of he bill also points to a private company that will make a lot of money after this.

They realize one of the volunteers at the encampment owns the company. Gibbs and the veterans at the camp all work together to capture and get justice, also releasing his confession on social media for the world to see.

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At the end of the episode, the team bonds with Terry about the viral video in the evidence garage. The prepaid cellphones that Ziva and Gibbs previously stole seemingly went missing. It is revealed Gibbs took them to the encampment to give the veterans a way to communicate with the team in the future.

What did you think of the new episode? NCIS airs Tuesdays 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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