NCIS Sister City
Luca Sciuto (Tyler Ritter) and Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) are seen in a scene from "NCIS" Season 13, Episode 12, titled "Sister City" Twitter/NCIS

This week, CBS welcomes the New Year with a back to back crossover of their hit shows “NCIS” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” The teams from both cities work together to solve the mystery behind the deaths of passengers aboard a plane that was flying from New Orleans to Washington DC. Things take an interesting turn when it is discovered that Abby Sciuto’s (Pauley Perrette) brother Luca (Tyler Ritter) is involved.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for “NCIS” Season 13, Episode 12, “Sister City” and “NCIS: New Orleans” Season 2, Episode 12, “Sister City 2.”

A privately owned jet breaks radio contact while in the air from New Orleans. Fighter jets fly out to investigate, and they see no signs of life in the aircraft. Abby hacks the satellite navigation system, to trick the autopilot into crashing the plane in an unpopulated area.

With no one expected to be left alive onboard, Special Agent Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) seeks information about the passenger manifest. He gets a personal call from Special Agent Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula), his New Orleans counterpart. Unfortunately, Pride brings grim news, stating that Abby’s brother Luca, is listed as one of the five people who was on the plane.

Abby knows that her brother works for the company that owns the aircraft, but does not believe that he was on the flight. Blye Enterprises is a military tech development company that specialises in the creation of high-tech weaponry and transportation for the United States. However, being a private chef, she finds it unusual that he should be on a flight with the company’s senior vice president.

She is convinced that her brother isn’t dead, and her gut feelings are validated, when the bodies are recovered from the crash site. Someone wearing Chef Luca’s uniform is onboard, but Abby immediately sees that the dead man isn’t her brother. The autopsies also reveal that none of the bodies suffered from hypoxia, caused by a loss of cabin pressure. All signs point to poisoning from a powerful neurotoxin.

The toxin appears to have been delivered through the utensils that accompanied the in-flight meals, and Luca is the last person to have had access. He is now a wanted man, but Abby is also concerned that he might be in grave danger. When he texts her a cryptic message, her fears are confirmed, and she sets out to find and possibly rescue him.

Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) joins Abby, in her search for Luca. It takes them to Redbird Bolt in North Carolina. After following Luca’s clues, they find him in an amusement park. DiNozzo promptly arrests Luca, and brings him in for questioning.

He says that he had been scheduled to be on the doomed plane, but he woke up on the morning of the flight feeling disoriented in a motel room. He remembers nothing from the night before, and he says he is just as surprised as everyone else, when he heard about the crash. Gibbs senses that he isn’t saying everything, but he’s unable to squeeze out more information. Abby steps in and forces her brother to speak. She manages to find out that Luca is trying to protect a girl named Eva, who he says he met at church. After the team gathers as much information as they can, they figure out that his girlfriend is a woman called Eva Azarova (Cassidy Freeman), a suspected Russian sleeper agent and assassin.

Luca refuses to believe that she is a bad person, believing all the desperate housewife tales that she told him. She has apparently been staying at his apartment, where the New Orleans team manage to find a big stash of cash, surveillance equipment and guns.

Eva is a known associate of Russian Counselor Anton Pavlenko, and Gibbs pays him a visit in an attempt to learn more. He tells Gibbs that he discovered that the Russian government has plans to steal valuable military information from Blye Industries, and he has been working hard to get to the bottom of the situation. He insistes that he has been trying to prevent a war between their two goveernments. Pavlenko was only able to reveal that the project is called Manta Ray, before he is also killed by neurotoxin planted in his vodka.

Meanwhile, the plot thickens when Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) find out that the President of Blye Industries is also missing. Jenner Blye’s car has been found dumped underwater, and they suspect that he might also have been targeted. Upon further investigation, they also learn that the passengers on the plane were headed to an urgent meeting with the Secretary of Defense.

Unfortunately, nearly everyone who had knowledge of what was to be discussed, was either on the flight or dead. Only Jenner Blye, if found alive, or Eva could provide some answers. The hunt continues in “NCIS: New Orleans” Season 2, Episode 12, titled “Sister City Part 2.”