Season 1 Episode 16

Bête Noire

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 02, 2004 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (31)

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out of 10
431 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • What an episode

    Ok.. I loved the unusual way it started and on the moment we saw Doki's assistance face.. we were all wondering, what is in the bag. But you do not expect alive person from body bag. So.. That was just the start of brilliant episode.

    I love those nightmares everyone were facing and how the tension was build. How long will it take for them to realize that there is hostage situation and how the solve it. And Kate getting involved. That was.. and the way it seemed to influence her. I think maybe that will come back later (not that this show does not look to bring things back but..) And the way they solved it. Gibbs taking the game into his own hands and trying to solve it. That moment he went there.. it was really fast sequence but brilliant to watch
  • Great character episode with the introduction of an intriguing new foe. Best episode of season 1.

    A great character episode (though it doesn't show Kate in a good light at all) and since Tony is one of my favourites, I enjoyed seeing the serious side of him. It's times like this that you know why Gibbs hired Tony. Got a feeling we're not gong to see Gerald again – pity, I've gotten used to him.

    Kate's not the sharpest knife in the drawer – Ducky practically warns Kate and Kate actually goes down there without telling Gibbs and not only has her gun on her (inside the office (?))but then is so blatant outside autopsy it was embarrassing. Then she doesn't stab him.

    Ari is such a great character – handsome, charismatic, dangerous, obviously educated. Getting in was easy but then he got out too.

    An excellent episode.
  • This episode is sensational in so many ways.

    This episode, Bete Noire, is a huge turning point in this show. It is an incredible episode, in my opinion, with a load of suspense and an incredible plot.

    This episode also introduces the series' first major antagonist, Ari Haswari.

    I was very nervious while watching this episode, and I really enjoyed this one a lot.

    The episode was incredibly well written and planned very well. It was extremely suspenseful, and thoroughly interesting and enjoyable.

    This episode is really a must-see for so many reasons. Besides Ari being introduced, the episode is also very entertaining, and I for NCIS fans, this episode, at least in my opinion, is umissable.

    I also want to add that the episode was unpredictable from the first moment to the last, and that added another dimension for me.

    Keep up the sensational work, NCIS!
  • I didn't care too much for this episode. (Review has a spoiler)

    Cait knows something is wrong when Ducky calls her Abby, yet instead of alerting other people, or at least leaving Gibbs a note, she walks down with the evidence herself. Yes, she's smart enough to not take the real evidence, neverthless she is still foolish in not alerting everyone as to what was going on, so that a concerted effort could be made to find out what was going on.

    Admittedly, it had to be done this way to drive future episodes, nevertheless I find it annoying when writers make people do silly things just to advance the plot. I hope people watching it actually realize that in real life, that's not the way a competent agent would have acted!
  • Ducky and Gerald find a live terrorist in a body bag.

    This episode is one of my favourite so far in the NCIS series. It involves a lot of investigation by the viewer as well as the agents of NCIS. The acting of the terrorist is superb, and the mood of the autopsy room is entrancing. At some points i found myself pausing the episode to have a think about what happened before. The action end of the episode is awesome and the investigation of Gibbs is yet again uncanny. The NCIS team springs into actions like a well-oiled machine. I would recommend this to any fan of the series for a different taste of NCIS.
  • A truly brilliant episode, that leads to future events.

    This episode opens with a body being delivered to NCIS. When Gerald unzips the body bag, he has a shock when he sees that the "body" is alive and pointing a gun at him. Gerald & Ducky are both being held hostage by the mystery man. He wants everything from a victim back in the morgue, so that he can take it all with him when he leaves. So Abby has to confront her fears of the morgue (and autopsy's) and take everything down to the morgue. But ends up talking Kate into go down for her. When Gibbs realises that something is going on in Autopsy, he tells Tony to put the Autopsy cameras on scene and when he does there is nothing there except for snow. As Kate takes down the box of stuff Ducky asked for, Ari (the terrorists from inside of the bag) realises that Kate isn't Abby and takes her into the lab. After Ducky explains the rules to Kate, Ari shots Gerald in the shoulder. Gibbs makes a hole in the floor of Abby's lab and puts a camera in through it, which Ari quickly discovers and removes. The whole NCIS building is evacuated. Gibbs goes into the Morgue to deliver the evidence to Ari. They shoot each other and Ari escapes posing as an agent. Ducky & Kate are found safe and well in a cooler.
  • The beginning of major events

    Bete Noir is from begin until the end superb. Ari is the kind of terrorist you could actually like: he is friendly, smart, and can be very charming. But still - he is deadly. One of the things that makes this episode so great, is that it is the beginning of major adventures yet to come. If you wouldn't know better, you can watch it as a season finale. There is a lot suspense, an ending that will leave you shocked and it's a story on itself that is very important for coming episodes. This episode is the starting of things, that will be felt through for a lot of seasons.
  • How does the terroist get away in bete noire?? does he dress up as a sniper with the FBI and go up the lift and nods at abby when she says she needs to get down to the basement?

    How does the terroist get away in bete noire??
    does he dress up as a sniper with the FBI and go up the lift and nods at abby when she says she needs to get down to the basement? answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer answer .
  • Ducky and Gerald find a live man in a body bag.

    I recognized Rudolf Martin who played the terrorist from the movie Dracula. He has a beautiful, deep voice.

    What was fun about this episode was that the terrorist kind of bonded with Ducky. When Ducky gets to rambling most just tune him out or cut him off. However, the terrorist knew information to such as medicine, he also knew what "Mallard" meant.

    I did learn what "Bete Noire" meant- "Nightmare." And who says you can not learn anything watching t.v.? The only thing that confuses me is, how we started talking aobut nightmares and go to having a terrorist in autospy? Unless, having a hostage situation in your office building is the Director of Gibbs' nightmare. I am glad Abby conquered her phobia.

    Why was Kate so emotionally angry at the end? I mean, I know he got away, but there seemed to be something else going on for her.
  • the first episode with ari oh how we love the evil one pity gibbs is going to kill him

    a terrorist arrives in a body bag only thing is hes not dead and he takes ducky and gerrald hostage demanding to be given the body of another dead guy and all evidence linked to the dead guy ducky desides to ask abby to bring all evidence and blood samples back to the morgue but abby cant she has a phobia if the morgue so kate goes instead with replicas of the real evidence, ari has told ducky that if he lies or tries to trick him he will shoot gerald so when kate turns up pretending to be abby gerald takes a bullet to the shoulder ducky rushes to save him while kate considers stabbing ari with a scalpel meanwhile gibbs and the team realise something isnt right and try to check the cameras but they are off line so they go to abbys lab and drill throught the floor to get a camera into the morgue but ari notices and shoots it out, abby has now check all real evidence and found a bottle of manufactured smallpox nasty stuff, by this time gibbs is gettin annoyed and angry they decide to make there move gibbs goes to the morgue and confronts ari he tells him he would love to shoot him so ari gives him a gun they face off then shoot each other gibbs gets ari in the shoulder pay back for gerald i think, when the swat team arrives in the confusion and teargas ari somehow manages to gets away
  • my personnal favorite

    Bete Noire is an amazing episode. A terrorist acquires access to autopsy and takes Ducky and Gerald hostage. Soon, Kate is also taken hostage and Gibbs and the team quickly find out there is something wrong. Aris is very well-educated and British and the Stockholm syndrome comes over Kate and she is unable to hurt him. In the end, Aris asks Gibbs to go down to autospy to give him the evidence and Gibbs goes through with it, unarmed. Aris gives Gibbs a gun and tells him to shoot him. Gibbs shoots, and Aris shoots back, hitting Gibbs in the shoulder. Finally, once the smoke is cleared and the agents have cleared the room they see that Aris escaped and it leaves Gibbs with an unselted score. Overall, amazing episode. It had everything: good characters, good plot, good writing.
  • One of season 1's most on edge episodes!

    This was definatley a nerve wracking episode! The episode had you hooked even from the very beginning. I was so scared when I saw that somebody was holding a gun up to Ducky! I thought Kate played a very brave role, even though at times I was worried that she was going to get shot. Some of her lines during this episode had me rolling my eyes though. Like when she was talking to Ari, you could tell that some of her lines were a bit forced and overacted. She still did an excellent job though. I think the thing that had me scared the most though was when Gibbs faced off with Ari. Also, I definately bow to Tony's concern and loyalty that he showed Gibbs.
  • When a terrorist takes Ducky, Gerald and Kate hostage, the team is thrown into turmoil. Incredible episode.

    Wow. That just about sums it up. Bete Noire, while there isn't much humour, there is a lot of entertainment. The creepy factor is completely off the charts.

    When an Israeli terrorist takes three of our favourite characters hostage, it's up to Gibbs and Tony to be the heroes. Abby is brilliant in this episode as always. her phobia of autopsy shows that even the strongest people are afraid of something. Ari (the terrorist) seems to be especially drawn to Kate and it leads to her feeling a little bit unnerved.

    The creepiest part of the episode has to be when Ari says "Shut off the lights" at the beginning. God, that freaked me out so much. I was in a very dark house when he said that. Not a good idea.

    Bete Moire is a truly brilliant episode with a lot of action and character depth. 10/10
  • Nice episode

    It's another exciting episode. A terrorist holds Ducky and Gerald hostage while the rest of the NCIS building is totally unaware that it is taking place. Gibbs and his team are busy finding out about a terrorist who Gibbs gunned down. This is an exciting episode. When NCIS goes into action, the excitement always goes on overdrive. The pacing is done really well. The plot and the characters are well written. The main characters are always interesting. Agent Gibbs really holds the whole plot together. This is one exciting series. This JAG spin off is a real winner, I expect this to be on for a long time.

    It was a wonderful epiosde.We saw a different side of all the characters .My favorite line was Ducky to the bad guy. "I can't wait to weigh your liver."Also liked how Kate & Gibbs were of the same mind- first response was to want to demonstrate their ability to the terrorist!Kate found out what her nightmare is.And Kate /Ari interaction was sooooo HOT!
  • Very great show!

    This show was very good and probably one of the best episodes of NCIS with terrorists holding Kate, Ducky, and Gerald hostage as Gibbs and the team must try to find out how to take down the terrorists and rescue the three. Ducky & Kate remain cool, calm, and collected as they know what is is like perhaps to have a gun in their head. Poor Gerald as he is being shot!
  • An absoutely fabulous, wonderful, creative, original, prefect, fantastic, exciting, clever, well written, amazing, and a whole bunch of words that I can't think of right now, episode.

    Ducky, Gerald, and Kate are held hostage in the autopsy room by a terrorist (Ari) who sneaked in. The rest of the team must work hard and craftily beat the terroist at his own game before it results in the death of a team member.

    I personally loved this episode. Definatly one of my favourites! It has everything an episode should have and so much more. It kept me on the edge of my seat and intigues me everytime I watch it, whether it's the first of fiftieth!
  • A live terrorist smuggles into autopsy in a body bag and wreaks havoc on NCIS...

    This episode was very pivotal for the first season of NCIS, and the show as a whole. It marks a turning point for Gibbs, from having a sense of humor to being completely consumed with catching the man that terrorizes Ducky, Gerald, and Kate. A man sneaks into autopsy to recover evidence from a recent crime scene. After nearly killing Gerald, the team is able to trick the man into believing they've given him the evidence, but the man provokes a showdown with Gibbs. In the end, the terrorist gets away, and Gibbs becomes obsessed with finding him. This episode was very intense and enjoyable to watch. I always like the episodes where the team has to save one of their own. The one thing I'm sad about is the change that takes place in Gibbs following this ep. I don't dislike his character, but I like the humor and sarcasm he expresses prior to this episode. Favorite lines: "Any good with this gun, Caitlin?" "Give it back and I'll demonstrate." "Ever fire it in anger?" "I'd love to right now."

    "I can't wait to weigh your liver."
  • Ducky, Gerald, and Kate are helf hostage in the autopsy room by a terrorist who cleverly sneaked in. the rest of the team must find a way to dissolve the situation before it escalades into the death of a team member.

    this episode was fantastic. a fine example of why NCIS is a great show. the terrorist who entered the building is on a mission to recover something. things get a little out of hand has the terrorist plays a game with Ducky, Gerald, and Kate about not lying to him. the terrorist seems to be rather cocky about himself. throughout the entire episode you're hoping nobody on the team gets killed. though you're definitely hoping and wondering if the terrorist will get what's coming to him.
  • This is a good suspenseful episode. I love it.

    A terrorist has come to NCIS in a body bag. He holds Ducky, Gerald and Kate hostage while Ari (the terrorist) tries to get the infected terrorist's body out of autopsy. Also in this episode, you hear Tony and Abby's Bete Noire. This is a way suspenseful episode. Ducky is so nice in it to, to Gerald and Kate. I feel so bad for Gerald in this episode!!
  • Ari comes for the first time to the NCIS and holdes Kate, Ducky and Gerald hostige down in the otoupsy:/

    It was a great episode!
    I think that it´s very well-written and you get very nervous when you can see them and Ari! He is so cold, but hot at the same time...
    When Kate couldnt stab him and they stod very close did it almost looked like they were going to make out or something..

    But in all this seriously stuff is Abby very funny, she has ahde a nightmare about the otoupsy and now can´t she enter down there, specially when she is holding her "internal debate";)

    A very good episode! A must-see!!:)
  • One of the best episodes of anything ever aired on television.

    I cannot express enough how much this episode enthralled me and kept me watching. Honestly this was the episode that determined whether or not i was going to watch NCIS ever again and i am now proud to say that i am an obsessed fan. From the first several minutes the plot was exciting, unique and funny at the same time. I also loved that Abby's character was developed during this ep and i fell in love with her in this episode. The characters shone and the writing was incredible. i watch this episode as often as i can.(my tape is probably gonna wear out soon). Five outta five, 100%. An amazing episode for an amazing series.

  • Really makes you think...

    My favourite episode from season one. Provided viewers with suspense, drama and the rare occassion of the bad guy, getting away. Very rarely do you ever see the bad guy in a movie or on TV get off scott free. This unfinished ending provided a greater sense of reality and opened up the door to tension filled future story lines.

    And in a time of conflict and terrorism where the news is presented through biased eyes, the episode gave light to the inner workings of the terroist mind.

    Excellent episode, one to go down in the history of pivotal episodes.
  • Absolutely incredible. Edge-of-your-seat suspense until the credits. Leaves you wondering how NCIS could ever finish.

    Recently, while watching the episode 'Bête Noir', I was caught dumbfounded. The only other time that has ever happened, incidentally, is when I found out about Kate's death. I had already seen this particular episode, although clearly I had forgotten just how suspenseful and dramatic it was!

    It was terrifying, watching this man invade NCIS headquarters and start making demands, along with horrible threats, to our beloved team. And taking them hostage! Scared the socks off me. Even when I reminded myself that everyone got out OK, I still feared for their safety. I couldn't understand how an episode of a show solely based on the outside world could be so thrilling, while contained fully in the NCIS headquarters, and mainly in the autopsy room! Incredible.

    You know this is a serious episode when Ari escapes from Gibbs. His escape hangs over Gibbs' head for the entire season, and even when it starts to lift, Gibbs has never been more motivated to catch someone. I believe I could watch this episode over and over, and still it wouldn't lose its impact. The dramatic storyline, the setting, and of course the amazing twist made for one hell of an episode! This, in my opinion, is one of the best episodes of NCIS. Major fan or not, this is a must see.
  • Ari a ruthless terrorist comes head to head with the NCIS agents as he stows away into a body bag planning to stell evidence. He ends up face to face with Ducky and Gerald. As the trapped agent struggle to survive no one can imagine what will happen next.

    This episode kept me on the seat of my chair the whole time. I clung on to every moment of action fearing for each of the characters lives. Kate showed great courage and stood firm in the face of danger. Now all we can do is sit back and wait for the preciouse momment that Gibbs will find Ari and mercilessly kick his ass.
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