Season 4 Episode 20

Cover Story

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 10, 2007 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (24)

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out of 10
353 votes
  • McGee's book causes a fan to mistake fiction from reality.

    This was a great episode where McGee's new book puts his whole team in danger when a fan is killing people from the book to protect agent McGregor who is McGee I wasn't that surprised to find that the killer was the man from the coffee shop because I remember at the beginning when he was saying that he was a fan of McGee The episode had a really goo ending where McGee told the killer a false ending to save Abby about them getting married and after getting saved all Abby cared about was how the book was going to turn out.
  • McGee Discovers A Link To His Newest / Unfinished Novel During A Murder Investigation. When 2 Bodies Are Found, They Must Find The Killer's Link To McGee.

    Definitely one of the best NCIS episodes to date. This was a fantastic episode with an extremely entertaining storyline. I was hooked from the beginning to the end and my interest never wavered. I have been a fan of McGee from the second season and it was cool that we got a second episode centered to him in this season (the first was "Twisted Sister"). I even think that this was better than the previous episode centered to him. The "Thom. E. Gemcity" storyline has been great and it was so great that it played a big role in this episode. The case was interesting and it had me fooled a couple of times. The conclusion was awesome! Do not miss this episode.
  • Not sure where this episode fit in "The Season Of Secrets".

    Just finished 2nd viewing (on Innertube) and have my regular notes:

    1. Abby bartending skills. Cool, Pauley was able to ues her own skills as a bartender.

    2. Ziva: "You look like you've seen a goat" - now that was funny. Might have to use that myself.

    3. Perhaps it was the camera angle but this was the 1st time that we got a good look at Ducky's liver temp instrument - no blood on it when he pulled it out. Wouldn't there be some?

    4. Another appearance of the orange watch cap.

    5. Ducky, Abby and Palmer were assigned a security detail. Nice that Gibbs remembered to include Palmer.

    6. Gibbs. Man was he ticked off at McGee. I've seen him angry at team members before but this was the worst (best).

    7. Lisa is broken hearted over a love that could never be and keeps a momento from him (Roy). 8. Poor McGee. Even though there was no mention of his friend from "Grace Period", he's now had two newlywed men friends killed.

    9. Publishers Assistant Todd running and screeching - that was hysterical.

    10. Loved the PFOOF that included (almost) everyone - Gibbs, McGee, DiNozzo, David, and Scuito. 11. The team sliding their "campfire" chairs out of the way to let Gibbs pass and then slid them back together again.

    12. Now for a question: Why didn't the security detail assigned to protect Abby know she wasn't at her apartment and was instead staying at the empty convent??? Was the 1st shift just sitting outside her empty apartment all evening?

    Although this was a good episode, there was just something about it that doesn't rate a perfect score.
  • Cover story is my favorite episode of season four!

    Cover story is my favorite episode of season four! It was great to have an episode focusing on McGee’s character. The last scene when Abby tells McGee “McGregor and Amy can't get married, they are too different” was priceless. Loved McGee's and Gibb's faces after Abby spoke. The scene was full of angst and funny. I loved it. Tony threatening McGee about writing third book was also humorous. The episode reinforced how close the team has become. It is always good to see the team bond. I like the relationship between Tony and McGee. They can be supportive and critical of each other. They have a great dynamic in Cover Story.

    You have to watch this episode. It’s a must see episode!
  • An obsessed fan has found a way to McGee's unpublished book and is now killing off people from the book. Spoiler-ish.

    An obsessed fan has found a way to McGee's unpublished book and is now killing off people from the book. McGee soon realizes that this is happening and tells the team, who now has to look into his rough "rough" draft and figure who is going to be killed next, where and any other details. There wasn't any mention of what happened in the episode before this, but Tony was being kind of hostile and mean like he was in Kill Ari. Soon, the team finds out that the killer is going to go after the character Amy, who is, in real life, Abby.
  • Wow, incredible storyline!

    They don't get much better than this episode, in my opinion (except perhaps the previous one and a select few others) but this episode was extremely well planned and thoroughly suspenseful and entertaining.

    I loved 'Thom E. Gemcity's' book becoming more significant in the storyline of NCIS, and they really utilised that to success in this episode.

    The episode is not the best in terms of humour, but it is quite suspenseful, and the ending is terrific!

    I also thought that this episode was just as good as 'Twisted Sister', with both episodes centred around Timothy McGee.

    Overall, this episode is just so creative and it is a prime example of the great writing that goes on at NCIS! I highly recommend this episode.
  • McGee's got fans - unfortunately, some of them are rabid.

    McGee will have to stop basing characters on real life people. Very cool episode.

    It was bound to be trouble that McGee's been basing all his characters so strongly on real people. Liked Tony and Ziva dissecting their characters. Very cool how McGee had to play into the delusion, talking about McGregor marrying Amy. McGee's books really are interesting, even if they are written melodramatically. He is obviously taking effort to create believable characters, which is so much easier when they're real people.

    So the bowling nuns are real and Abby's sleeping outfit was scarier than the psycho. And she sleeps with Bert, the farting hippo – he's so cute.

    Great episode. McGee has definitely become an interesting character.
  • McGee's next book gets him into trouble

    This episode opens with a fire crew entering a house. As they do they discover that there is no fire, and blood inside of the house. The house belongs to a petty officer and so NCIS are called in. McGee has writers block. As they find the missing petty officers car, McGee has déjà ve. But is unsure how. The team find a drink in the missing officer's house and Abby tries to re-create it. We then learn that the drink was from McGee's next book. The missing petty officer is one of the characters in his next book.
    They believe that the case is connected o his next book. They go to see his publisher to get a copy of his unfinished next book. The team then discover another character from the book dead, along with the petty officer. They arrest someone whose prints were on the back of a stamp used to send McGee's agent a letter. They struggle to see how anyone got a hold of the book before it was released. They go back to his apartment and try to figure it out. They discover that the ribbon from McGee's typewriter is how the killer discovered what happened in his book. They discover through his writing that Abby is the next target. Since her apartment is flooded Abby is staying with her bowling nuns. When then see Abby asleep and the killer in the same room as her. We then see that the killer is the man from the coffee shop. He stands over her with gun and the team turn up just in the nick of time. McGee manages to talk him down and the team save the day.
  • Did not work for me!

    Having said that, production quality is the high level we should expect! Plotwise, the episode is well constructed and of interest to those disposed - but not for me! Its very predictable - at least it was for me.

    Dialogue is its usual fast, self-deprecating, chirppy & relevant self. Settinglocation were rather bland: The office, a picnic area, MacGeek's residence and a nunnery living area.

    The burden placed on Timbo's shoulders is in keeping with the previous episode, of marking the characters possibly for future episodes - is someone going to get written out?!

    Hopefully, the bookwriting storyline will get written out, its be v good but now its just stretching its usefulness.

    Hopefully it will return to its exciting self for the next episode!

    Great, but not one of the better episodes.
  • great episode

    NCIS investigates the death of a couple of navy personnel. McGee suspects that they are dying according to how he wrote his fictional characters in his upcoming books. Gibbs instructs his team to go through McGee's next book and find clues on how they can find the killer. It's a really interesting episode. The plot is also fun as they kind of go into a hardy boys mode. It's a exciting episode. The writers did a good job with this one. Each scene was so interesting, that the story felt very fluid throughout the episode. I really liked this episode. I can't wait for the next one.
  • Another Mcgee episode, and poor Mcgee…

    I feel so sorry for Mcgee… Gibbs, was really MAD with Mcgee…. Again I sorta guess who it was. Lol, and I'm not surprise. Even though I sorta guess who it was… I was still wondering though out of the film whether I got it right. Lol, Dinozzo on Mcgee's type writer was so funny!!!

    I see what my friend was talking about Ziva's orange hat/beanie, not that I mind. It was so cool of her to still wear that beanie.

    Poor Mcgee at the end… I sorta had a feeling that it was going to come. Though Gibbs expression was funny!!!

    Yay!!! my 100 review too!!! tania ^0^
  • This episode rates as one of my top 3 installments of NCIS. It proves that a good TV show can successfully merge 2 good underlying plot-lines.

    40 minutes of intrigue and delight... I say, it'd be pretty freaky when the fictional story you haven't even finished writing starts coming true. This episode put a neat little suit and tie on McGee's second life and showed it to the audience in the best possible manner. Along with the search for evidence in the tangible realm, McGee the investigator was to seek the guidance of McGee the author to help solve a mystery which he himself had created. The answer to this problem was not under his nose but rather slightly behind it and up a little. McGee was finally forced to admit that his fictional characters, which had put his real life colleagues in very non-fictional danger, were based upon the real people around him. He felt he had to take responsibility for the impact his creation could have on those he cared about.

    I guess this proves that absolutely anything one does can harbour dangerous consequences.
  • i loved it !

    wow wow wow! finally, another MCGEE episode ! i think this episode was definitely well written, it had a good balance of humour and character and the case. i loved it because (A) well, it wasw a mcgee episode. we got to see mcgee at his writing best, mcgee vunerable and of course, mcgee as he finally, though in a little bit of code, tell abby how he felt about her. (B) got to hear more of mcgee's up and coming sequel and more on his "purely fictional" characters (C) we got to see abby in another setting away from the lab... and the bowling nuns reference once again, definitely points for that (D) saw NOTHING of ms jeanne benoit ! :D

    my little nitpick would be the originality of the story line... BONES much?
  • It was ok, nothing special.

    Characters in McGee's book start dying and the team tries to figure out who is responsible. It turns out the whole team, which was obvious the whole time, was depicted in Gemcity's (McGee) book. The investigation led them to the publisher which wrote stalker-like obsession letters to get higher book sales, but it ended up to be McGee's friend which they caught when he was about to shoot Abby. McGee had to convince him that Abby and him were going to be married and so he put down his gun. The episode really was not too good, but it was alright and I hope they pick it up.
  • My favourite episode!

    This has to be one of the best episodes I have seen. Well, besides the one where Abbie had a stalker. It was very very good. I thought it was very well-written and acted extrememly well too. I liked how we saw some different sides of McGee and a lot more of his personal life. I also thought it was nice how it wasn't all about DeNozzo and his new girlfriend. There has been a bit too much of that, it was starting to bore me a bit. This added a bit of suspense and spice to it. It was neat the way Ducky was able to determine the letters were from the saem person and able to see the escalation of the person. I was shocked at that. I did not know Ducky could do that. I guess there is a lot I do not know about Ducky. All in all, it was a very very very good episode!!
  • Good episode...

    This episode may not have fit into the season's main story but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good one. McGee is pressered by everybody because of his new book people are dying in real life just like in his book. Just a few weeks ago I watched a show I don't usually watch, it was Bones and they did a story similar to this like the whole people being killed like in book it is a very interesting when they do this though. It was kinda obvious who the killer was because I don't think they would have showed Landon at the first part of the episode for as long as he was in it. Mcgee's characters in his book are based off his friends and co-workers but to make it a little less obvious he shouldn't have used names similar to theirs. Later...
  • Someone's taken fiction to be reality, and people are dying as a result.

    Because of where I live, I get to watch NCIS twice in an evening, so I see the same episode over again. Last night, I only watched the episode once. Why? It didn't grab me like it usually does. Mind you, after the exhilaration that was last week's episode, almost anything would be anti-climatic. The storyline was whimsical but it edged towards unbelieveable. I find it hard to believe that a federal agent would be able to write a fiction book based on his work without running into serious conflict of interest problems; and why the penname if his face is plastered on the book's jacket?
    There was a part of me that was expecting some sort of reference to last week's events, but beyond Ziva's watch-cap (and the hilarious reference to 'L.J Tibbs's love life) this was an episode encapsulated. Gibbs did appear to be a little more tightly wound than usual, and another reviewer has commented on his anger at McGee. That may lead somewhere in future episodes.
    On reflection, perhaps this episode wasn't so much a filler as it was a bit of a breather, the lull before the storm, as it were, of the last episodes of the season. Last week was, as many others have also commented, pretty well perfect. You can't maintain a constant top-of-the-mark performance indefinitely, and a dip in excitement helps to ramp it up again.
    The good news was there was no Director Shepherd, who irks me beyond belief of late. Until last week's amazing episode, I was sort of hoping that she'd be written out by being killed in a showdown with La Grenouille, but I don't anticipate that happening now. Since DPB has now killed off two female characters, one major, one recurring, to eliminate a third one would be over the top. Guess she'll have to transfer to another agency.
    The two love interest characters, Jeanne and Hollis, I like, but they're like salt--a little occasionally livens the menu, too much is overwhelming, so I feel Bellisario's light touch with them works well. Where are we going next week? The teasers given on various websites don't reveal much; could be another filler type episode, or a wild rollercoaster like last week. I'll hang onto my hat and wait to see.
  • Oh, Abby! Isn't she just the best?

    Abby Abby Abby! Amy? yes McGee's new book is full of everything expect a plot that he understands, but that ending was just clasic Abby. After staring down the barrel of a pistol aimed at her pretty little goth head, she turns to McGee and says "we have to talk". McGee apologises profusely, but Abby, dear Abby, interupts him with " Amy and (What's his face) can't get married in the end! they aren't ment for each other!"

    How classic Abby is that?

    Typewritters are awesome, btw.

    I didn't not like, however, that Ziva has turned into the comic relief in this episode. Perhaps the writers should look into letting Tony lighten up a little. Falling in love has made him a little too...not Tony.

    Love doesn't have to be serious, let Tony be alittle more Dinozo and a little less jerk please?
  • Writing IS Murder

    What a great episode! I love that McGee is still writing. I knew his first book was successful, but I was not sure if was continuing to write novels in his spare time. It was more interesting to me than Tony's dysfunctional love life;)Although I have some theories on how his girlfriend will be a major part of an investigation later on, but back to this episode.

    I thought it was inteeresting to see how McGee reaced to the fact that the murders were bassed on his novel. The way Ducky helped him in the Autopsy room was sweet. Can't wait for next weeks episode
  • an obsessive fan of timothy mcgee's (thom e. gemcity's) books.

    i thought that this was a really good episode because it had that element of guessing who would be next to be killed, especially since McGee hadn't finished the book at that point. I have to say that it was funny to think that McGee would have his charecter and Abby's character (Amy) hook up at the end cuz they are like totally opposites. unless he wasn't serious about it and was just saying that because the dude was about to kill Abby in all of his obsessive and psychotic rage because he thought that Amy was going to kill McGee's character.
  • Woo what an episode!!

    Aw man, I totally digged this episode. My only stickler was who the killer was, but that's besides the point! I like how they progressed through the first twenty minutes to when we find out the first crime scene was based off McGee's book. Using an alcoholic beverage as the link was cool!

    I can't decide which was the best scene: Abby showing off her Coyote Ugly bartending skills or Tony and Ziva in the elevator. I saw previews for this episode (like any good OCNCISD person would do, not that i am ;) ) and just knew Abby was the third potential victim. You what would have made this episode great is if creepy Landon actually shot Abby, however, missed and just grazed her arm. But this ending was good too. I knew it was Landon, and I was kind of disappointed it was. The stalker letters that that publisher sent to herself sounded like a very typical business thing to do.
  • Life imitating art

    A McGee like story as he has emerged as the fan favorite of the show. He is writing his novel, his third, under another name so that he can hide his true identity. Saying as he was getting coffee that he has "two jobs!" But life imitates art as the killer is killing off people from Tim's books as Tim must stop the killer along with the rest of the team before the killer makes a sad ending on his own.
  • A obsessed killer turns the characters of McGee's yet to be released book into a reality and starts killing them off. McGee and team must stop the killer before he kills the third and final victim and writes his own ending to the unfinished book.

    The episode was absolutely amazing! I had no idea who the killer was and was extremely suprised to find out it was Landon. I also loved the ending. It leaves me wondering: was McGee just going into character to save Abby? or was he shedding light onto some feelings he's kept hidden?
  • this episode showed mcgee at his geekiest! he killed 2,almost 3 people. one of those people was someone close to him. mcgee might seem smart, but he needs to learn not to reveal his stories.

    i almost threw up after watching this because i was so nervus. if abby leaves i might highly consider leaving my stand in front of the tv on tuesday nights. i only get that nervus when abby might die. i also got that way when kate died and tony almost died. this episode had some funny moments also. exspeacialy when tony went to mcgee's house. the best charactors in this episode to me were abby and tony. i was really really really mad at mcgee when i saw the sences for the next episode. my friends and i all were going to wear black and make a wall of pictures for the one who died. i love abby and ncis!!!!!!! im ncis number 1 fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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