Quinn's (Jennifer Esposito) mother Marie (Mercedes Ruehl) drops by in the orange room in “NCIS” Season 14, episode 20. CBS

NCIS” returned with a fun episode this week that also revealed agent Alex Quinn’s (Jennifer Esposito) family secret. The CBS series kicked off Season 14, episode 20 with Vice Admiral C. Clifford Chase (Bruce Boxleitner) clicking on an email and unleashing a virus known as the Elliott Virus.

Although McGee (Sean Murray) tries to fix the Admiral’s problem, it isn’t long before all of the agents’ mobile phones get infected. What turned out to be a simple case of malware soon becomes a full-fledged case that Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) team is keen to solve.

The person who infected the Admiral’s computer demands a $500 ransom which seems incredibly cheap to make this problem go away. But the Admiral isn’t backing down.

READ: Details of Torres’ past revealed in episode 18.

The team reaches out to a cyberterrorism expert in the CIA named Clint Asher. He behaves suspiciously and soon the team finds out that he created a virus in college in his senior year. Hmm. They track Asher down and find him frozen in the trunk of his own car. So the NCIS’ first lead on the Elliott Virus case is a bust.

While the team is busy finding the perpetrator, Quinn is dealing with her mom Marie (Mercedes Ruehl). First, Marie texts Quinn “911.” When she arrives at her mother’s house, it’s because she’s worried about getting the house ready for her father’s birthday. Quinn even misses the team’s mandatory target shooting session. What is she hiding?

Then, Quinn’s mom arrives at the NCIS headquarters because she’s had another emergency: She lost her crock pot and she needs it to make ribs for dinner. While in the big orange room, Marie bonds with Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) who quotes “A Streetcar Named Desire” and impresses Quinn’s momma. She invites him to dinner which he politely declines.

Moreover, since every agents’ phone is infected with the virus, they have to rely on flip phones of the late 90s to get by. “NCIS” Season 14 adds a few laughs in this episode in which the team struggles to use old-age technology. They can’t take photos, Abby (Pauley Perrette) can’t send them the coordinates to a location and they use a paper map (and not GPS) to locate a place. It’s as good as a horror film!


Back to the case: Things get murkier when Gibbs and Torres check out a self-storage unit which Asher went to along with a mysterious man named David Yates.

Back in the lab, Palmer (Brian Dietzen) and Ducky (David McCallum) realize that Asher’s corpse was frozen with liquid nitrogen and this type of substance is often used for attaining cryogenic sleep.

The team finds more frozen bodies. It’s clear that they have a serial killer in their hands. Fortunately, the investigation reveals that Asher had a college friend who also created the virus with him. This friend, whose real name isn’t David Yates but Carlo Hackett, used the virus so that he could infect computers and ask people to pay him money that he then used to buy liquid nitrogen.

With the case wrapped up, Quinn heads to her mother’s house for dinner. Unfortunately, “NCIS” reveals to its audiences that her mother has dementia and her father died years ago. Fortunately, it skips a generation in their family so Quinn won’t have it. Esposito’s character decides to move in with her mother and take care of her instead of putting her in a nursing home. Aw.

“NCIS” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EDT on CBS.