Season 7 Episode 5

Code of Conduct

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 20, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
340 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a Marine known for his love of practical jokes is found dead on Halloween, the NCIS team is called in to investigate, and they soon learn that his jokes may have been the reason why someone killed him.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Twist endings not so twisty... (SPOILER)

    Don't get me wrong, this was a great episode: Ziva as a Probie and getting the treatment from Tony, lots of Palmer, plenty of great dialogue; and I loves me a Halloween episode :)

    Problem was, the SHOCKING TWIST you could see a mile off! The moment it was revealed that neither 2 were the girls biological parents, it had to be her. True, I thought it was either going to be because of daddy issues (killing stepdaddy cos you ain't my real daddy, or setting up stepmommy cos you made my real daddy go away) but in the end they went with the good old fashioned cash grab.

    Also, no Halloween costume for Abby!!! I was seriously disappointed :(moreless
  • Halloween, liquid nitrogen, what more could they possible squeeze into an episode of NCIS!

    In the past, Hallowween episodes have been truly stellar for NCIS. And while 'Code of Conduct' was not nearly as good as, say, 'Chimera' or 'Murder 2.0e', it definitely was a very interesting episode.

    I thought that the storyline was quite unusual, what with the liquid nitrogen playing a role in the mna's death, but the storyline was so interesting, and I did not guess the culprti or the motives right until it was revealed to us at the end, which is something I love to see!

    Would definitely have to recommend this episode! I was thoroughly impressed, and I hope NCIS is able to continue this long tradition of epic Halloween episodes!moreless
  • Code of Conduct

    After the season started with some very serious and melodramatic episodes, we got a nice light-hearted one here. Tony DiNozzo was back on top of his game, and in a great recurring gag he called Ziva by that special name he usually refers to McGee by. We also had a few pranks, and in poetic justice, Tony ended up being the last one to suffer.

    The case was easy to follow, and again featured someone you did not see coming (as opposed to the wife, like Tony claims it always is.) Very good NCIS in what has been a very good season thus far.moreless
  • A Lance Corporal Marine is found dead in his car the night before Halloween and even the death circumstances are spooky for this time of year. He was obviously murdered and there are a whole hosts of suspects and it's up to the team to figure it out.moreless

    An entertaining an well written episode on NCIS. This episode leads you through a list of possible suspects that range from the mans wife or step-daughter, to the Marines that served in his unit to his immediate supervisor, his Sergeant.

    The method of the killing was gruesome enough that even though I found it interesting I would still doubt the final outcome of something like this. One would have to consider a number of things such as the position of the body in the car and why the seat was so far forward, where did the person come up with the method, and why there had been so many attempts to harm this individual in the past. So many coincidences and so many suspects.

    I did not find the wife to be a viable suspect so I was pretty sure it wasn't her. The most viable was one of the other Marines from his unit.

    ***** Spoiler *****

    I think it was sort of a cop out at the end to introduce all the new information to the viewers about the trust and her relationship with her parents as other than the supposed introduction earlier as the step-daughter (like that has some negative connotation) there was no reason to suspect her in the least. From a viability standpoint she did make a good suspect as she could have had opportunity to perpetrate the crime. Based on some of my earlier statements though I still don't see this as a clear cut case. Was the man sitting in the car with seat that far forward when he drank from the thermos? Did she kill him, move the car into the driveway, and then put him in the car? No way that was happening! Anyways, overall a great story and I give a 9.5 to episode dropping half a point based on how they revealed who the murderer was and the questions that went unanswered. It was still very entertaining and the characters a joy to watch. Especially the blue teeth at the end! Thanks for reading...moreless
  • A good episode where we see Palmer in action again and Ziva an official Agent, but for all the perks, this episode lost some points with me

    If an episode lacks character growth in lieu of doing a good episode that is fun, lighthearted and has a good case then I am all for it and will sit back and enjoy; however, when it, in it's efforts to seem back to normal, contradicts previous character development, I get a little annoyed. For example, Tony and Ziva harassing each other – great, all for it. Loved Ziva getting in Tony's space and taking over the reading of the report Gibbs handed him – classic. And it really annoyed Tony – perfect. But having Ziva harass Tony on a topic as sensitive as him perusing a suspect based on his gut was not the best move in my opinion. Had this taken place last year, then I would have no issue with it, but it didn't. It took place early on in the season that began with Ziva telling Tony she was wrong not to trust his instincts and confirming that they were good instincts. Then two episodes later a giant reversal!? That just doesn't fly with me. It may have been in fun, but the timing couldn't have been worse. That "gut instinct" is why she is standing there free from a terrorist camp. I think that to use this topic as one for harassment was ill chosen on the writers' part – there is plenty to choose from when it comes to these two and this choice was just bad.

    Other than that the episode was another good one. I loved the exaggerated use of the "AGENT David" that we got from Gibbs and Ducky. I loved that Gibbs picked up on Tony's "mobile campfire" and that it was Gibbs that walked out of the men's restroom when Ziva was ranting.

    The ending was superb! How could Tony NOT suspect that Ziva was up to something? But he didn't and she pulled of a great piece of revenge. This ranks up there with the binoculars, but the binoculars is still #1.

    I like what is being done with the final "phoof" in the show so as to not "give it all away." The "phoof" at the beginning of the last segment was Ziva smiling big, the actual last "phoof" was the reason she was smiling, the subject of her prank/revenge – Tony with blue teeth.

    "So Mister Rogers, did you kill your neighbor?"moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

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

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo

Special Agent Ziva David

Stefanie von Pfetten

Stefanie von Pfetten

Sara Korby

Guest Star

Brooke Nevin

Brooke Nevin

Rachael Sparks

Guest Star

McKinley Freeman

McKinley Freeman

Marine Sergeant Ross Barnes

Guest Star

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • GOOF: When Abby and Gibbs are discussing the victim's stomach contents, benzine is pronounced "benzene." The chemical should be pronounced "benzin." Furthermore, the peak is sub-labeled "C6H6," which is benzene, not benzine. Benzine is actually a mixture of hydrocarbons.

    • GOOF: When Ducky pulls part of the victim's throat out, he says it was frozen because of liquid nitrogen, yet he drops it into the specimen jar. Ducky of all people should know that anything that is frozen in liquid nitrogen would shatter with the slightest pressure, and would most definitely shatter into tiny pieces if dropped into a specimen jar. This is easily seen later when Palmer drops the pumpkin that was frozen with liquid nitrogen.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Ziva: Does your gut ever give you stomachache, Tony?
      Tony: Keep snickering while I'm over here breaking the case.

    • Tony: Energy drinks, just what this holiday needed. Their parents are going to love you.

    • Tony: Your porch light's on. Means you have candy, it's standard Halloween etiquette.

    • (Ziva knocks on door)
      Mr. Rogers: There's no candy here.
      Ziva: NCIS. We don't want candy.
      Tony: Speak for yourself David. Open up, or we'll send the kids in.

    • Gibbs: No costume this year, Abbs?
      Abby: Oh, after last year's Jonas Brothers debacle, Vance banned costumes. (grimacing) McGee -- skinny jeans -- didn't work.

    • Tony: Probies, stop! Talk louder, I can hear you in there. (Enters the mens room.)
      Ziva: (Shouting at mens room door) Tony, McGee has been here for six years. I have been here for four. I know you are enjoying this, but we are Agents, so could you please stop calling us...
      (Gibbs strolls out of the mens room and addresses Ziva)
      Gibbs: Problem, Probie? You've been an agent for all of one week. Your Mossad Liaison days are over.

    • Ziva: You know, Tony, I have been thinking and I would like to acknowledge my place as a new agent, and your place as....
      Tony: Your superior in every way.
      Ziva: Yes. But for my sanity, could you not call me Probie?
      Tony: I say it with love. (Ziva narrows her eyes at Tony, and he continues) And if I refuse?
      Ziva: You are Senior Field Agent, and I am – entirely – at your mercy.
      Tony: Oh. As you should be. (Tony takes the beverage Ziva has for him and smiles only to reveal a set of blue teeth)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Rocky Carroll is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Featured Music:
      "Move Slow" by Saosin (when they discover the dead body in the beginning of the episode)

    • Original International Airdates:
      Australia: October 27, 2009 on Channel Ten
      Norway: December 1, 2009 on TV3
      Sweden: December 8, 2009 on TV3
      Latin America: March 5, 2010 on AXN
      Germany: March 28, 2010 on SAT 1
      Spain: April 9, 2010 on LaSexta
      Slovakia: June 24, 2010 on Markiza
      Finland: October 12, 2010 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic: December 13, 2010 on TV Nova


    • Abby: I discovered turpentine, acetone, and benzene in his stomach.

      The substances in the dead marine's stomach are the same ingredients of Dip, the substance that killed Toons, from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

    • Tony: I don't trust a guy who doesn't give candy to kids.

      This is a play on the common phrase "Don't take candy from strangers" propagated at every point in the year except Halloween. Children are told not to take candy from strangers because you can't trust their intentions.

    • Tony: I didn't keep the money, McNopoly. I gave it to charity -- an urban youth group.

      This is a reference to a popular Parker Brothers board game, Monopoly, where the goal is to bankrupt your competitors and be the last man standing.

    • Tony: Well, it sounds like you've got a problem in your neighborhood, Mr. Rogers. Nice sweater, by the way.

      This is a reference to the PBS children's program, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, in which the star, Fred Rogers, always wore a sweater. The show was produced, on and off, between 1968 and 2001.