When you’ve been on TV for two decades, you’re bound to develop a few traditions. NCIS will be embarking on its 21st season in 2024, and one of the traditions the naval procedural has going is the Halloween episode. There have been so many stories set during All Hallow’s Eve, in fact, that it can be difficult to determine which ones are better than others!
That’s where this post comes into play. Since there’s so much to watch during the spooky season, we decided to whittle down the list of NCIS episodes set during Halloween to the absolute best, so that you can fold them into your schedule! Here goes…
“Witch Hunt” (Season 4, Episode 6)
The earliest entry on this list has perhaps the most iconic Halloween moment in the entire show: Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) revealing that she dressed up like Marilyn Monroe from The Seven Year Itch (1955). It’s a hilarious moment, and one so perfectly staged and executed that it nearly overshadows the rest of the episode.
Fortunately, the rest of “Witch Hunt” has an engaging case about a marine’s daughter being kidnapped, and the twists and turns that the NCIS team uncover when they start looking into the marine’s personal history. Look no further if you want evidence as to why NCIS does Halloween better than any other procedural show.
“Parental Guidance Suggested” (Season 12, Episode 6)
More costume hi-jinx. The fun here is not just relegated to Abby throwing a Halloween party, it’s the ire that Bishop (Emily Wickersham) draws when she decides that he’s not going to dress up for said party. The debate over who’s right and wrong rages on throughout the entirety of “Parental Guidance Suggested”, leading to some genuinely funny and insightful observations being made.
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There’s a very tense investigation to balance things out, as Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and company look into the murder of a Navy Commander’s wife, and whether or not it was tied to a jihadist group who was targeting said commander. Perfectly executed, and one of the absolute best episodes of season 12.
“Viral” (Season 13, Episode 6)
NCIS decided to run Halloween episodes back in consecutive seasons, and boy are we happy they did. “Viral” is another standout spookfest in which a murder takes place at a children’s Halloween party, and the team have to determine whether or not the crime was committed by a serial killer or a deranged copycat.
There are, of course, plenty of fun costumes (Abby once again steals the show with hers), but the setting of “Viral” is what helps it to stand out. Getting to see the characters tackle very serious subject matter in such a child friendly setting is both jarring and darkly funny. What more could you want from a Halloween episode?
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