Season 5 Episode 17

About Face

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 13, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
287 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Palmer is put in grave danger after he gets shot at while at a crime scene. However, while he's the only one to have seen the shooter, a mental block prevents him from being able to describe the shooter's face, leaving Tim and Abby to try to help him work through it.moreless

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  • A Mysterious Killer Is After The Only One Who Can Recognize Him, Ducky's Assistant Jimmy Palmer.

    We finally got an episode that was centered to Palmer, and it was fantastic. "About Face" was an excellent episode from start to finish. I have been a big fan of Jimmy Palmer since his first appereance and with this episode he doesn't miss a beat. The humor played a big part in this episode and I never stopped laughing. I must not forget the great cast of NCIS. Well written and well developed characters who all make a strong contribution to the show. Gibbs may be the leader of the team but everybody plays a key role in the search for their fellow team member's shooter throughout the episode. The best scene was the ending. Haha! I could not stop laughing. Perfect episode. Don't miss it! Definitely one of the show's bests to date in the series.moreless
  • A Palmer-centered episode, where all but one character proved they are a great bunch of people...

    I liked this episode a lot. It had it all, the scary and dangerous moments, the humorist moments, the great interaction between the actors, the "oh no" and "yes" moments. Everything I like about NCIS was right there. Abby was back to her normal, loving self and even received a Gibbs-kiss for it. McGee was acting mature, showing he has developed as a character. Ziva was herself again (fortunately) and Gibbs and Ducky were great. The scenes between Gibbs and Palmer were just the way I want to see them every week. The only one out of character here was Tony. I really didn't like his smart-ass way in this episode. Nagging McGee and Palmer, not really contributing anything to the case. No I was really disappointed about him. Maybe the writer of this episode doesn't like him very much. As for Leon, I just want Tom Morrow back. And last but not least, Jimmy. I liked him a lot. His struggle with himself (I'm no good) and the way he finally overcame his fears and just drove into the bad guy's car.... great. Made me laugh out loud!moreless
  • A good episode, and we see more of Palmer!

    I thought that this was an above average episode for NCIS, which isn't saying much, as most episodes are above average.

    I thought that it was great that we got to see more of Palmer, as his character hasn't been explored in depth in the past, so I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of the episode.

    I thought that the case did get a little boring at one point, but overall, it was still highly enjoyable and extremely worthwhile.

    I thought the ending was perfect, especially Palmer in the car, and they made that portion of the episode impeccable.

    I would highly recommend this episode, although it isn't the most exciting. It is quite funny, and extremely enjoyable to watch. Great episode, NCIS!moreless
  • Palmer's life is put in danger

    This episode of NCIS opens with a body being discovered on a building site. NCIS are called in. When moving the body a passport is discovered. Jimmy sees a suspect and chases after him. The suspect pulls a gun on him and luckily he wasn't shot. Jimmy is called in by the Acting Director and is being asked questions about the man who he chased. Since he can't really remember anything useful, Abby puts him into a trans to get a sketch out of him. But unfortunately the sketch he provides them with his of the man who he gets his coffee from every morning. When the team go back to the crime scene they discover a drill, which was used by the victim. The team then discover a body hidden inside of one of the newly built walls. They get a confession from a man who killed Baxton, but it isn't the man who attacked Jimmy. The man they found in the wall is the real Baxtor. They track down the victim's brother and go to his place to arrest him. But he isn't there. Just then he turns up and spots Jimmy and sees the team inside his trailer home. We then see Jimmy stop him using is car. As he crashes into him, the other man pulls a gun on Jimmy again. Luckily the team show up just in time.moreless
  • Jimmy Palmer's life is in danger when he is the only person who can identify the man who stole a key piece of evidence.

    Good episode. I'm glad to be seeing more of Jimmy. His feelings of shame at not "manning up" and his ultimate redemption were wonderful. However, I would have liked to see another secret of Jimmy's revealed during the hypnosis sessions. Presumbably, he is still seeing agent Michelle Lee since in the episode In The Dark he spoke to her on the phone and had to search for her lost underwear. It would have been fun for that secret to be revealed, especially since Liza Lapira apparently isn't actually on the show anymore. If Jimmy has stopped seeing her, it would be good for that storyline to get some closure.moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Special Agent Tony DiNozzo

Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo

Mossad Agent Ziva David

Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette

Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

David McCallum

David McCallum

Chief M.E. Ducky Mallard

John Hughes

John Hughes

Enis Watley Frank

Guest Star

Christopher Darga

Christopher Darga

Skip Harris

Guest Star

Adam O'Byrne

Adam O'Byrne

Mike Norman

Guest Star

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Rocky Carroll

Rocky Carroll

NCIS Asst. Director Leon Vance

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • GOOF: When Palmer opens the passport; it has all the dates in Middle Endian format (date of birth 11.14.1974) only used in America (and a few other countries) instead of the correct (14.11.1974) that is used in the country of its issue.

    • TRIVIA: At the beginning where they show the Scrabble board, every letter of the alphabet but "Q" are represented on the board. However, the letter "Q" is shown on the rack.

    • GOOF: When the passport drops, it lands face down, with no insignia visible, but when Palmer picks it up, it's facing upwards, with the insignia showing.

    • TRIVIA: McGee still hasn't gotten over his fear of heights.

    • TRIVIA: Palmer's mother is named Eunice.

    • TRIVIA: Before Ducky decided on medical school, he used to volunteer summers at a Tanzanian dig site. He planned on becoming an archaeologist, but it was not "in his bones".

    • TRIVIA: Palmer has a shoe fetish, as he was able to vividly recall Ziva and Abby's shoes during hypnosis.

    • GOOF: Tony credits Ducky with seeing the passport, but only Palmer saw it, not Ducky.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Jimmy: I took a wilderness survival course, spent two weeks alone, even encountered a bear. A ten second encounter with a bad guy and I go blank. I do not understand.
      McGee: Well, was that bear in the woods packing heat?
      Jimmy: (laughing a little) No.
      McGee: There you go.

    • Tony: Got to figure out what he was doing here.
      Ziva: And with whom he was doing it.
      Tony: Doing what with?
      Ziva: Whatever it was he was doing when he was undone.
      Tony: Done, what?
      Ziva: Done.
      Ducky: In, my dear fellow. Done in. Don't you understand the Queen's English?
      Tony: Not this Queen.

    • Abby: (to Jimmy) You chased a crazy guy with a gun! You're a studmuffin! You're an iron fist with a velvet glove... you're baby Gibbs!

    • Leon: Sounds like he's got a serious case of brain freeze.
      Gibbs: Well, freeze can always thaw, Leon.

    • Tony: (referring to an empty parking space previously occupied by a camping-car) Looks like we missed the twister.

    • (referring to her facial recognition software)
      Abby: It didn't ding. My dinger didn't ding. My dinger must be broken again.

    • Palmer: How do you do it? Block out fear?
      Gibbs: You don't. It's what you do with it.

    • Abby: One time I got my lip stuck in a vacuum cleaner display at the department store. I lost like a quart of saliva before my cousin pulled the plug. Still have nightmares about it. Can't be alone with a HEPA filter.
      Palmer: How old were you?
      Abby: Twenty-two. It was like Fat Tuesday or Arbor Day.

    • McGee: It's funny until someone plunges to their death.
      Tony: Oh, c'mon. Still with the height thing. You gotta get over that, man.
      McGee: You don't just get over irrational fears, Tony. They're irrational!

    • Tony: I hope there's no tornadoes. You know what they say about tornadoes and trailer...
      Gibbs: (slapping Tony on the head) Gear, go, get back!
      Tony: (shaking his head) Wow, should have seen that coming!

    • Tony: Maybe mini-Mallard made a mistake.

    • McGee: That was a language exercise, Boss. We weren't actually playing.
      Tony: So McGee didn't actually lose.
      McGee: Correct.
      Gibbs: So he's not actually humiliated.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Airdates:
      Denmark: May 20, 2008 on TV3
      Sweden: July 13, 2008 on TV3
      United Kingdom: September 7, 2008 on FX UK
      Germany: October 5, 2008 on SAT 1
      Italy: December 14, 2008 on RAI 2
      Spain: January 9, 2009 on La Sexta
      Norway: January 20, 2009 on TV3
      The Netherlands: March 3, 2009 on SBS 6
      Slovakia: October 22, 2009 on Markiza
      Finland: December 22, 2009 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic: April 26, 2010 on TV Nova

    • Lauren Holly is credited but doesn't appear.

    • The episode was previously titled Demolition.


    • McGee: These boots are made for walkin'.

      These boots are made for walkin' is the title of an old and famous song by Nancy Sinatra released in 1966 and recently brought back into the charts thanks to Jessica Simpson's remake in 2005. The original version was previously chosen as a soundtrack in the film Full Metal Jacket.

    • Tony's "mini-Mallard" comment refers to the Austin Powers character Mini-Me, who was a clone of Dr. Evil in the two sequels.

    • Tony: So real driver's license, phony address and fake passport - it's like Jason Bourne. Shall we put out a BOLO for Matt Damon?!

      Jason Bourne is the main character in several of Robert Ludlum's novels, and subsequent films. Matt Damon is most noted for playing him in the Bourne Trilogy of films, the first of which was released in 2002.

    • Tony: You should have seen that one coming, Probie-Wan Kenobi.

      Obi-Wan Kenobi is a character in the Star Wars films, created by George Lucas. Tony used the same nick-name in episode "Dog Tags."