Season 1 Episode 16

Bête Noire

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 02, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
425 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


A terrorist holds Ducky, Gerald and Kate hostage while the rest of the NCIS team tries to figure out how the terrorist got inside and how to get their people out safely.

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  • Ducky,Gerald and Kate held hostage by a terrorist

    A true NCIS episode when Gibbs has got to find out a way to save Ducky,Gerald and Kate.With Gerald getting shot in the shoulder because Kate tried to trick the terrorist it came to the point where Gibbs and the terrorist both shot each other and a smoke grenade went off and the terrorist escaped.With also Gibbs not happy with Kate for not killing him when she had the chance.
  • A Terrorist Infiltrates The NCIS Headquarters And Takes Hostages At The Morgue. Gibbs Must Find A Way To Rescue His Comrades.

    There is no doubt that this episode is the season's best. I was surprised that the writers can bring us such an amazing episode. The different opening scene completely blew me away. I loved it! The character of the terrorist is mysterious and that is why he is my favorite NCIS foe of all times. The balance between the hostage situation and Gibbs' rescue plan is another high point. The cast is at the top-form here once again. David McCallum and Sasha Alexander were excellent here. The only negative thing about this episode is that it was NOT clearly explained how the terrorist got away. That is a minor flaw in otherwise a superb episode. The terrorist saga will continue in the season finale. Excellent episode.moreless
  • Did the terrorest die or not, caz they keep fussing over him for a while. Any one know whats happening?

    I think that this episode was very good, bt the ending i thoght was confusing. What i dont understandee is if the terrorist died and why Gibbs fuss over him so much.

    Mind you im am watching the season 1 and 2, i might of missed something.

    I think that th terrorest should have been armed with a bigger better weapon then just a handgun, which would of made it better.

    Just watching "split decision" Kate just said the terrorist got away, but i still cnt understande how and so someone would be king anougth to share the story with me i would be very gratefull.


  • Great episode, lots of suspense, best episode of season 1 I've seen yet

    (Spoilers!) When I saw the look on Gerald's face when he opened the body bag, and knowing the main plot of the episode (Ducky, Gerald, and Kate are held hostage), I figured someone had snuck into the Autopsy room. The first scene was much different than it usually was because of it's differing plot. This time, they weren't solving some crime, they were trying to save Ducky, Gerald, and Kate as well as try to get the terrorist as well.

    I really loved this episode. My friend introduced me to this show a couple weeks ago, and I've been watching season 1 in order (even though you don't really have to for NCIS). This is, by far, the best episode I've watched of season 1 yet. I usually don't review episodes, but right when the episode finished, I knew that I had to share what I thought.

    I didn't see many faults with this episode. It was very carefully thought out, and the actor that played Ari, the terrorist, was magnificent. He had this kindness about him that almost made you want to like him, even though you knew he was a terrorist. And a smart one at that: it's one thing to get into the autopsy room through body bag, but to escape like like he did? Amazing.

    The only thing I didn't like it how uncharacteristically incompetent Kate was! It was pretty obvious that something was wrong when Ducky called her Abby on the phone. I just wonder if she realized something was wrong. She must have, since she brought down fake evidence instead of the real evidence, but you'd think she would have at least told somebody, left a note even, to let people know what she was doing.

    I was nervous throughout this entire episode! I really loved it.

    I particularly loved the ending! Gibbs went down, unarmed like Ari asked him, and, given Kate's gun, they both shoot at each other. Gibbs gets shot in the shoulder I believe, possibly the upper arm. He passes out, and when he wakes up, he goes over to look at Ari, laying on the ground face-down. But when he rolls him over, it's not Ari, it's the dead terrorist that Ducky and Gerald had been looking at before. The smoke that Ari caused allowed him to put the dead terrorist in his place and escape. Ari is a genius, really. Kate reveals that, when she almost stabbed Ari, she could feel the bullet proof vest underneath his shirt, which allowed him to escape without being shot.

    This was an excellent episode. I feel like I will probably come back to this episode when I'm in the mood for a thrilling episode. Because, even though I know what happens, I'll still feel suspense for two reasons: 1. the suspense was so evident in Abby (who knew she was supposed to have been captured instead of Kate because it was Abby that was asked to bring the evidence down, not Kate), and 2. because the ending is such a cliff hanger that I know I'll be dying to know what happens to Ari.

    I think Ari will definitely show up in a future episode.moreless
  • NOW we're really cooking!!

    I got into NCIS around season three and I'm just now going back and watching the episodes in order. THIS is the episode that makes it the POWERHOUSE prime time show it is now. Suspense, intrigue, infilteration, a battle with a smart, a very smart baddie on their own turf. It's what the best stories are made of and with everyone involved the personal investment of each character in the situation and the desired revenge after is realistic and a strong storyline that will no doubt be loads of fun to follow. I know this to be true because even coming into the story part way through, I was hooked. Anyone who sees it from the beginning is already at an advantage.

    A great ep on a GREAT show.moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander

Special Agent Kate Todd

Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Special Agent Tony DiNozzo

Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette

Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto

David McCallum

David McCallum

Chief M.E. Ducky Mallard

Constance L. McCrory

Constance L. McCrory

Evidence Clerk

Guest Star

Robert Cicchini

Robert Cicchini

NCIS Special Agent Daniel Snyder

Guest Star

Jennifer Gatti

Jennifer Gatti

Negotiator Arkin

Guest Star

Alan Dale

Alan Dale

NCIS Director Tom Morrow

Recurring Role

Pancho Demmings

Pancho Demmings

Asst. M.E. Gerald Jackson

Recurring Role

Rudolf Martin

Rudolf Martin


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • GOOF: When Gibbs comes down in the elevator to deliver the evidence the FBI guy put a block in the doors to stop them closing all the way but on other episodes (and in real life) if anything got in the way of the elevator door it would reopen fully.

    • GOOF: When Gibbs came down the elevator to deliver the evidence to Ari, the elevator beeped when the doors opened. Earlier in the episode, he asked to have the bells on them disabled.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first appearance of Tim Kelleher as Agent Pacci. He is one of the agents sent to the garage (Autopsy Receiving). The other eps were "UnSEALed" and "Dead Man Talking."

    • TRIVIA: When DiNozzo returns from the store, he mentions he has Darjeeling tea from northwest Kashmir. Darjeeling tea is grown in Darjeeling, India, which is in the West Bengal state east of Nepal. Jammu-Kashmir is in the extreme north of India, 1,000 kilometres away to the west.

    • GOOF: The terrorist said he would shoot Gerald in his ball and socket joints if Ducky lied. After he shot Gerald in the shoulder, he threatened to shoot Gerald in the knee. The knee is a hinge joint, not a ball and socket joint.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Ducky: What is it you want?
      Ari: In due time... Doctor?
      Ducky: Mallard.
      Ari: Like the famous English A4 steam locomotive.
      Ducky: Most people think of water fowl.
      Ari: Ah, the Mallard ran from London to Edinburgh for decades. In 1938... it attained a speed of over 200 kilometers an hour.
      Ducky: 202.
      Ari: A world record, although the Germans claimed it was set on a slight downgrade. Typical.

    • Ari: (figuring out that Kate is not "Abby") When did lab rats start carrying SIG Sauers?

    • Ari: You're a very good shot.
      Gibbs: Would you like me to demonstrate?
      Ari: Funny, Agent Todd said the same thing.

    • Ari: You omitted one condition doctor.
      Ducky: Did I? Oh yes. We've not to try and trick him.
      Ari: Which you did Caitlin, by saying you beat your phobia.
      Ducky: But she didn't know the rules.
      Ari: But you did doctor, and you joined the ruse by calling her Abby. (Shoots Gerald)

    • Abby: (talking to Ducky) Wow, did you wake up on the wrong side of autopsy table?

    • Terrorist: You tried to trick me Dr. Mallard.
      Ducky: That wasn't a condition.
      Terrorist: It is now.

    • Gerald: I never figured anyone who could sleep in a coffin could have a phobia but it's the kind of kinky thing Abby would get.
      Terrorist: She slept in a coffin?
      Ducky: She's goth.

    • Tony: What's up Abbs?
      Abby: Something's...
      Tony: Hinky?

    • Terrorist: How do you alert visitors when conducting an infectious autopsy?
      Ducky: We hang a decomposing body in the corridor.

    • Tony: I need all the evidence I signed in this morning, Charlene.
      Charlene: What?
      Tony: The evidence I signed in. NOW!

    • Ari: Butterflies.
      Ducky: Sorry?
      Ari: I fear butterflies.

    • Ducky: (to terrorist) I can't wait to weigh your liver.

    • Terrorist: You won't leave here at all unless you put the box on the floor, your hands on your head, turn around, and walk back toward the door.
      Gibbs: (recites along with the terrorist) ...your hands on your head, turn around, and walk back toward the door. Older doesn't mean deaf.

    • Kate: I don't know how you came in.
      Terrorist: In a body bag.
      Kate: Same way you're going out.

    • (on speakerphones)
      Ducky: Abby, turn down the babble.
      Abby: Babble? You love Android Lust.
      Ducky: Not distorted by a speaker phone.
      Abby: Ugh (picks up phone) Ducky you're such a purist.

    • Tony: You've never had a nightmare?
      Kate: Uh uh.
      Tony: Not even as a kid?
      Kate: No fear of the dark or a boogey man in my closet.
      Tony: Me either but the vampire in the canopy of my bed freaked me.
      Kate: You had a canopy bed?
      Tony: I was five. My mother was into Louis XV. It wasn't my call, Kate.
      Kate: Does she still frighten you?
      Tony: My mother?

    • Kate: Vampires are seducers. Knowing you it had to be female.
      Tony: Well, she was after my blood. Not the pride of my childhood.
      Kate: You were proud at five?
      Tony: My mother thought that candlelight enhanced the trompe l'oeil.
      Kate: Canopy beds, trompe l'oeil, flickering candles. No wonder your bête noire was a vampire.

    • Gibbs: Did your father teach you how to report?
      Tony: Oh yeah. During cocktail hour, I was pouring his Macallan 18, three fingers, one ice cube. You know, I had to report in about my day at school, give him a brief review, sort of...
      (Gibbs looks at Tony)
      Tony: ...We bagged and tagged everything in Hasam's room.

    • Tony: You're more Smurf than alpha geek.
      (Gibbs looks at Tony)
      Tony: ...So am I, according to Agent McGee.
      Gibbs: You're right, DiNozzo.
      Tony: I am?
      Gibbs: Hell, I still use a notebook and a pencil, instead of a PDQ.
      Tony: (laughs) It's a PDA. You can call it a Palm Pilot.
      Gibbs: It desn't matter what I call it if I can't use it!
      Tony: I'll teach you.
      Gibbs: You'll teach me? McGee teaches you! You teach me! It's backwards! God I need coffee.
      Kate: What was that all about?
      Tony: Gibbs' bête noire.

    • Charlene: One of you has to sign for that.
      Tony: (grabs her hand and writes on it) Don't wash.

    • Tony: Aspirin, nasal spray, breath freshener, tea. Hasam drank a wimpy Darjeeling from northern Kashmir. I prefer the darker more robust flavor of tea from the Brama Kutra area in northeast India where they actually take the leaf and they rake it...
      Gibbs: Tony.
      Tony: ...with a small... Yeah boss?
      Gibbs: You nervous?

    • Gibbs: I want someone I know there.
      Tony: That's the same as saying someone you trust.
      (Gibbs smiles to Tony)
      Tony: Someone you depend on...your best man? (following Gibbs to elevator, Gibbs smiles again as elevator door closes) I don't think best man was the right thing to say to someone who's been married thrice.
      Abby: You worried?
      Tony: Oh... nah.
      Abby: Yeah me too.

    • Abby: Up your nose had special meaning for this guy.

    • Ari: Any good with this gun, Caitlin?
      Kate: Give it back and I'll demonstrate.
      Ari: Ever fire it in anger?
      Kate: I'd love to right now.

    • Tony: His way of escape was always his backup plan. Gibbs thinks he was wearing a vest the whole time.
      Kate: He was. I...I felt it.
      Tony (walks over to Kate): You felt it? Well, how close did you get to feel it? Close enough to touch him, did you touch him with your hand or-
      Kate (interrupts): Close enough to stab him with a knife in my hand.
      Tony: And you didn't?
      Kate: No.
      Tony: Stockholm Syndrome?
      Kate: Tony, you can't bond with your captor in a couple of hours.
      Tony: I don't know, maybe it's like falling in love. It can happen (snaps fingers) like that.
      (Scene ends with Kate and Tony just staring at each other)

  • NOTES (4)


    • Episode Title: "Bête Noire"
      Bête Noire is an album by British singer Bryan Ferry, released on Virgin Records in November 1987; it's most commonly definition is "a nightmare". Literally translated, this French expression means "black beast". Correction from a French: as DiNozzo was about to say, the actual french for "a nightmare" (as in, a horrible dream), is "un cauchemar". Your "bête noire" would actually be your "pet peeve".