'NCIS' Season 13, Episode 11 recap: Ducky has a long-lost brother (Spoiler alert)

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NCIS Cast Members
Actors Pauley Perrette (L), Sean Murray (C) and Emily Wickersham (R), from the television show "NCIS" pose at the CBS Studios rooftop summer soiree in West Hollywood, California May 18, 2015. Reuters/Danny Moloshok

In this week’s episode of “NCIS’ Season 13, Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) makes a decision about her broken marriage. Meanwhile, Ducky (David McCallum) gets attacked by someone who is looking for his half brother, Nicholas, who is long believed to have passed away.

Spoiler alert: This recap contains "NCIS" Season 13 spoilers. Read on at your own risk if you have not watched this week's new episode.

“NCIS’ Season 13, Episode 11 is titled “Spinning Wheel.” Dr. Ducky Mallard gets a call from someone who claims to have some information about his brother. Ducky agrees to meet the man, but he ends up getting abducted. The NCIS team finds him tied up in a van, when they investigate the death of a Marine in the same location where the van is parked. 

Ducky tells the team about the incident and he is forced to tell them everything about his brother. Nicholas is 20 years younger. He is Ducky's father’s son from his second wife. Lorraine Mallard as well as Ducky’s father were both very busy, and not entirely interested in raising a young boy. This is why Ducky became very close to Nicholas. They bonded over stamps that Nicholas collects from Ducky’s overseas assignments as a military doctor.

One Christmas eve, Ducky was forced to take Nicholas to work with him at the hospital. There was an emergency with a Field Marshall who needed an operation, and no one was around to take care of Nicholas. Ducky saved the man’s life, and the Marshall ended up going Nicholas some stamps as a Christmas present. 

Shortly after that, Ducky learned that Lorraine intended to divorce his father. She also intends to move away with Nicholas. Ducky was devastated and did everything in his power to stop her. Unfortunately, she was able to use her rights as his mother. She left England and disappeared with Ducky’s brother.

Ducky spent nearly his entire life following leads about the whereabouts of Nicholas and his mother. Unfortunately, several decades ago, he tracked down one of Lorraine’s relatives. Ducky was told that Lorraine and Nicholas were both killed in a tragic car crash in Prague. Ducky was devastated and he has been mourning the loss ever since.

Back to the present, the team finds a connection between Ducky’s brother and his assailant. They find a letter addressed to Ducky, in very old paper. The letter is signed by Nicholas, and it’s addressed to Ducky’s London flat from 40 years ago. The odd part is that Abby’s (Pauley Perrette) analysis of the letter leads her to believe that it was only written three weeks ago on very old paper. She also finds DNA evidence linking the author to Nicholas.

Ducky is completely floored by the findings. He can’t understand how his brother could be alive, and why he would be writing in a child’s handwriting, to a 40 year-old-address. The team decides to pursue the investigation, thinking that Nicholas may have been using some code to communicate with his brother.

The NCIS team finds out that Ducky’s attacker is interested in a very valuable stamp that was used to mail the letter. The stamp is part of a pair and they figure out that the attacker is looking for Nicholas so that he could find the other stamp. The team catches up with the man, who they learn is a private investigator called Viggo Trellis. He has found someone called Nicholas Mallard, but Ducky is devastated to see that it is a case of mistaken identity. The guy that Trellis tracked down, is a different man named Nicholas Mallard.

Ducky is disappouinted to learn that he has not found his brother after all. Even though Abby found evidence that the letter was written by someone with Nicholas' DNA, Ducky is too devastated to keep pursuing the lead. Luckily for him, the team decides to do it for him. As their Christmas present, McGee (Sean Murray), DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Bishop all give him pieces of information about what happened to Nicholas.

They find his plane tickets to Albania, evidence of his return to the United States, and finally, his current whereabouts. They find him in a nursing home nearby, where he is healthy but suffering from Alzheimer's. It turns out that he snuck out for the home, and managed to find a post office to mail his letter. His disease explains why he wrote like a child, and why he was speaking to Ducky as if it was 40 years ago. The brothers are reunited, and Ducky is thrilled to have finally fulfilled his promise to find Nicholas no matter where he may be. .

Elsewhere, Bishop is also able to find closure. Her husband, Jake, comes to speak to her. He tries to explain and downplay his affair. He also vows to do everything to fight for their marriage. Bishop has a different idea, and she decides that it’s really over between them.

“NCIS” Season 13 returns for Episode 12 on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS in the U.S. Season 12 is currently airing every Sunday at 9:00 p.m. AEST on Channel Ten in Australia. 

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