Torres in Accounting and McGee in the Motor Pool? 'NCIS' Shakes Up the Team

Wilmer Valderrama, Sean Murray

It’s musical chairs on NCIS on tonight’s episode when the team engages in Walk-a-Mile day to gain new perspectives on how the different agency departments function—and add a little humor to the show, but the action really starts when Kasie (Diona Reasonover) receives a distress call from an unknown male, who turns out to be a former NCIS agent.

“Kasie gets a chance to Walk-A-Mile in one of the NCIS phone operator shoes,” Reasonover tells Parade at the celebration for the NCIS 1000th episode. “There she actually ends up making a connection with a caller, someone who she’s never met but she instantly forms this bond with. We realize that this person needs Kasie’s help, and she is uniquely posed to help them, so she does.”

“I think I just heard a murder,” she tells McGee (Sean Murray) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), who are also handling unfamiliar jobs. “I was helping out in dispatch when this guy called in. He said there were people after him and then there were gunshots. We got cut off. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead but you’ve got to do something.”

Diona Reasonover<p>Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS</p>
Diona Reasonover

Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS

McGee does but when he tries to do a search for the man, it turns out his identity is restricted.

“McGee’s put where he is probably the least effective, which is in the motor pool,” Murray says. “So, he’s with the mechanics working on the cars, working on the transportation situation. But he makes friends in there and it’s good.”

Of course, McGee isn't completely helpless in the motor pool since a major portion of cars today is computers.

“That’s true, and we touch upon that in the episode because McGee is not so great about the engines and the mechanical aspects, that sort of stuff, but when it comes to the tech of cars he absolutely knows what he’s doing,” Murray adds.

Related: Wilmer Valderrama on Who Nick Torres Is Willing to Die for in the NCIS Season 21 Premiere

Possibly the funniest job change is for Torres, when the man-of-action is totally a fish-out-of-water in the accounting department, where he says, “Where is the nearest roof so I can jump off.”

“I guess we’ll find out if he’s good or bad at math,” Valderrama says. “Every single one of us has a job you would never expect us to actually be doing. The fun part about it is us dealing with the whole thing. But it’s really well written, it’s so funny, it’s so fun. After all these episodes, I think you want to live it up a little bit, too, and give a variety of feelings in every episode. This one definitely delivers laughs.”

Of course, if you remember Season 15’s “Trapped” episode where Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) was collecting for his children’s charity and Torres accidentally donated $5,000 instead of the $50 everyone else was giving, you already know he has issues with decimal points.

“That was a fatal mistake,” Valderrama agrees. “That was my argument when I read it and they’re like, ‘Well, we’ll see where we go and let’s see what happens.’ What they wrote is pretty great.”

Brian Dietzen, Katrina Law<p>Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS</p>
Brian Dietzen, Katrina Law

Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS

As for Palmer, since he is the medical examiner rather than an agent, he isn’t scheduled as part of the Walk-A-Mile program, so he decides to do something on his own.

Related: NCIS Brian Dietzen Teases What’s in the Tribute to David McCallum and His Alter Ego Ducky Mallard

“He actually volunteers in a place that you wouldn’t think Jimmy would volunteer to walk someone else’s mile, and that’s the gun range,” Dietzen says. “So, there’s a little bit of humor that’s involved with Jimmy being involved. He’s not very good with guns or anything so he doesn’t really know what he’s doing. The episode itself, I’m really proud of our writers this season. It seems like everybody kind of gets one at bat this year because we only have 10 episodes, so they’re really swinging for the fences.”

Rocky Carroll<p> Photo: Greg Gayne/CBS</p>
Rocky Carroll

Photo: Greg Gayne/CBS

And don't think that Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) doesn't do his part. The episode is actually directed by Carroll, who admits that also being a cast member doesn’t necessarily make directing your fellow actors easier.

Sometimes familiarity can be a blessing and it can also be a curse,” he tells Parade. “Sometimes I have to use much more diplomacy. It’s kind of like when you want something from somebody that’s close to you, you’ve got to find creative ways to do it. I think they appreciate that.”

The “Lifeline” episode of NCIS airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Next, Everything You Need to Know as NCIS Heads Into Its 21st Season