NCIS: Hawai’i Episode 1 aired on Monday night and introduced some new characters to the franchise.
Based on Hawai’i, this is another spin-off of the very successful NCIS. It’s not a coincidence that the Season 1 episodes will follow Season 19 of NCIS on Monday nights.
The first episode was pretty self-contained, with the intent to introduce the NCIS: Hawai’i cast, show what they can do, and get the CBS audience interested in tuning in for more episodes.
It was time for NCIS fans to meet Vanessa Lachey, Alex Tarrant, Noah Mills, Yasmine Al-Bustami, Jason Antoon, Tori Anderson, Kian Talan, and the rest of the NCIS: Hawai’i cast.
NCIS: Hawai’i Season 1, Episode 1 recap
The episode began with an experimental Naval aircraft crashing on Oahu. NCIS Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant (played by Vanessa Lachey), coaching a soccer game that her daughter was in, was then whisked away by helicopter to begin an investigation into what happened.
When she got to the scene, there was some brushback from the military (specifically Captain Milius) about her investigating a scene involving a top-secret plane, but she lets them know the pilot contacted her office 12 hours prior. He did not leave a lot of information, but it led Tennant to worry that it may be a murder investigation.
The rest of the NCIS: Hawai’i cast was slowly introduced as we met Lucy Tara (played by Yasmine Al-Bustami) bringing coffee into the office for her boss (Tennant), Jesse Boone (played by Noah Mills) presenting some humor as he came into the office, and Ernie Malik (played by Jason Antoon) showing off his quirks. Ernie is the tech guy for this outfit.
We also got to see new agent Kai Holman (Alex Tarrant) getting arrested for telling a cop how to do his job at a bar fight. He wasn’t in the fight but wanted to step in for the woman getting harassed. Tennant was not happy her guy got arrested and didn’t call her about it, but she seemed to understand him stepping in.
When Lucy went to find out more information about the body, she found that a CIA officer named Kate Whistler (played by Tori Anderson) was also involved in the case. That officer kept her from seeing the autopsy results of the pilot. Lucy can read upside down, though, so she was able to get some information from it as the CIA Agent read it.
Later in the episode, it was revealed that Lucy and Kate had a prior relationship, which is where some of the animosity from Kate was coming.
Getting to know the NCIS: Hawai’i team in action
As the case continued, we learned that Tennant had fired an agent named Jim Carter, who Jesse said had put himself over the team in a conversation with Lucy. This seems like something that will be revisited later.
We also learned that Tennant was pretty new to the job, that Kai had been in the military and he was returning home to the island when he took the job, and that Tennant has two kids, who are named Alex and Julie.
Through the investigation, the team learned that the girlfriend of the pilot had been murdered, raising the stakes on the investigation. Only it didn’t end up being his girlfriend, but rather a woman using him for information. Tennant continued to get pushback from Milius, who was preparing to release the pilot’s body to his family while the investigation was still ongoing.
Eventually, the team figured out that someone was using locals to steal military secrets and espionage became the name of the game. In particular, the spy ring was trying to steal information on the plane that had crashed. They had attempted to drug the pilot, who then crashed his aircraft as a result of that effort.
When Tennant and her team solved the case by discovering the spy ring and linking it back to China — which cleared the name of the pilot — Captain Milius (played by Enver Gjokaj) apologized and complimented Tennent on a job well done. It appears that their paths are likely to cross again in the future.
NCIS: Hawai’i airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.