‘NCIS: Sydney’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Why Were O’leary And Flynn Murdered?

The new show NCIS: Sydney is now streaming, and it looks like we have another murder case to solve. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, or NCIS, seems like a niche branch, but boy, oh boy, do they have truckloads of cases! The original series NCIS aired in 2003, and since then, the saga has been ongoing, spawning various spin-offs where special agents from NCIS get together, often aided by law enforcement agencies of a specific region, to solve criminal cases related to the navy. As the name suggests, the NCIS: Sydney spin-off series is set in Australia, where NCIS officers find themselves in a spot of bother, not able to find the right footing with the Australian Federal Police. They have a case to solve, and the ‘radioactive’ part of the investigation raises the stakes to exciting levels.


Spoilers Ahead

In Whose Lap Did The Case Fall?

While Australia’s Foreign Minister Susan Quinn was giving a passionate speech about US-Australia relations and how the nation should welcome the presence of the nuclear submarine at the Sydney Harbour, Petty Officer Flynn started to feel uneasy, and soon after a protestor raised the banner vehemently suggesting the ‘Yanks’ to go back with their ‘nuke’, Flynn collapsed and fell from US Aircraft Carrier ‘Navajo’ into the Sydney Harbor, dead. The shocking death was more of a political concern as Australia-US relations were now being looked at from a very different angle by the public. The protestors wanted the nuclear weapons to not be present near Australian waters, but Susan Quinn had to sort things out fast. NCIS special agent Michelle Mackey arrived with agent DeShawn Jackson to look into the death of Officer Flynn. The case was contested as to who was truly in charge of it. NCIS claimed the Navajo was sovereign US territory, and hence the case fell in their lap, but as the body fell into Sydney Harbor, Sergeant Jim Dempsey of the AFP wanted to claim the case himself. The confusion was solved by Susan Quinn herself, who, keeping the optics in mind, let NCIS take the lead and commanded Jim to offer whatever support Mackey needed. Jim wanted an upper hand anyhow, so he tried to be the one in charge. Mackey couldn’t do any police work on Australian land, and hence Jim gave her a heads-up about the future proceedings on the case, but Mackey had her own way of approaching the case. The first thing to find was the cause of death.


How Did Petty Officer Flynn Die?

In the forensic lab, Dr. Roy Penrose, the forensic pathologist, had been given Flynn’s corpse to study and find out the cause of death. The mini-battle for the jurisdiction of the case meant that a little time passed, but Roy, along with brainy intern Blue, found out that although there were bruises on Flynn’s body, he actually died of radiation. Flynn had visited a bar the previous night and had injured himself in a bar fight. He was single and had a date for the evening, but something seemed odd. Flynn had found his date on a dating app, but the address mentioned had a completely different person living there. Could the woman who was with Flynn at the bar have something to do with his death? Jim was worried about the nuclear carrier and wanted to know if it was leaking and could have perhaps affected Flynn. But the reactor would have leaked radium, and Flynn should have died from too much radium in his system, but it turned out to be polonium-210 poisoning.

What Did Mackey And Jim Figure Out From O’leary’s Death?

Before the polonium came into the picture, the working theory was that Flynn died from radium poisoning. This was communicated to the Navy, and the people aboard the nuclear submarine were made to undergo tests to check for radioactivity. One guy, Lt. O’Leary, didn’t show up. The suspicion went straight toward him. Could he have fled the scene because he was radioactive or had something to do with Flynn’s death? Colonel Rankin from the U.S. The Department of Defense had overridden all authority and taken away Flynn’s body as if to cover up some evidence. Now there was further trouble with O’Leary on the loose. The only hope was to find Flynn’s date, Xena, who was also seen with O’Leary. It was odd that the woman was seen with two US Navy officers at different times. DeShawn and Jim’s partner, Evie Cooper, were busy tracking this mystery woman, Xena, but soon O’Leary was found dead in a motel. Jim and Mackey discovered his body, and Blue found out that there was a high amount of sodium pentothal, also known as ‘truth serum,’ in his body. Someone had drugged O’Leary and possibly tried to make it look like he had committed suicide. When Jim and Mackey confronted Rankin, accusing him of tampering with the case, he dismissed all allegations by pointing out the theory that there was a minor leak at the radioactive core that killed Flynn, and O’Leary was the person responsible, and hence he committed suicide.


Why Were O’leary And Flynn Murdered?

If Blue hadn’t found that strand of Flynn’s hair on the floor after Rankin had moved Flynn’s body from the autopsy room, Jim and Mackey would never have had anything concrete against Rankin. He said that there was a leak and Flynn died from radium poisoning, but in fact, he had died from polonium poisoning. This proved that Rankin didn’t want anyone to discover the cause of death, so he could propagate his own theories on the case.

It turns out that the Navy team that had come from America was compromised. The members had been replaced by a sleeper cell, and Xena was a member of that group. They wanted secret information about the nuclear submarine, and hence she had been sent to honeytrap members of the submarine. Jim and Mackey followed the NAVSEA TEAM to find out the truth, and as soon as they saw Xena, they figured that the NAVSEA TEAM was fake and they were in trouble. Rankin behaved as if he too had been duped by the fake NAVSEA team, who had given him the theory about the radium leak. But that all seemed to be a cover-up, as the boat that the fake NAVSEA team took to escape was rigged to explode. Perhaps Rankin had rigged the boat. During the end, Jim and Mackey were ordered to work together as Xena was still absconding. She was the only one who knew the truth and who she was working for. Jim and Mackey are now beginning to trust each other, and it looks like they will not stop until they solve this case, which can affect US-Australia relations.


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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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