Season 5 Episode 8

Designated Target

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 13, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
312 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A murder investigation of a Navy Rear Admiral takes a shocking turn when a woman, a political refugee, returns home to search for her husband.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Although this episode has been aired long time ago in USA...

    ...I would like to say, only today on june 22nd, some words about it.. not about the episode but about this season as a whole, so far.

    I don't live in USA, so only now I'm watching NCIS season 5 and I would just like to say "I'm watching the best season so far".

    I didn't enjoy much the last season but this one is being really great. I can hardly wait to get to the end.

    BTW, hope Tony does not get along with Ziva. Would rather each one finds their "soulmates" elsewhere. They are not made for one another.

    Really great job, guys.moreless
  • How do you tell someone you no longer want to see him?

    This episode is a well written mix between the usual banter attitude of the main characters and a look into their deepest feeling.

    The whole thing about "soulmates" seems to affects Ziva's thoughts; particularly when Tony is around her.

    The episode develops its plot cleverly through the time, the team's efforts to find the killers soon become a fight to find a political refugee and save him from death. Add to this love implications and you get this episode.

    I personally liked the character development of Ziva, after this ep is absolutely clear that she has feelings for Tony and that he's avoiding the subject with her; probably because of his fear of commitment?moreless
  • Turned out much better than I thought it would!

    In yet another amazing episode, this time, when a taxi is shot down, the passenger is expected to be the target, not the driver, right? Wrong, at least this time!

    The storyline was gripping and addictive and the whole episode, which I thought lakced potential at first, became more and more interesting and extremely enjoyable to watch.

    I didn't like the ending, which I felt was really sad, and I felt really sorry for the lady, but other than that, there really isn't anything I could criticise, because it was incredibly well-planned.

    I would highly recommend this episode, because it is quite original and it exceeded my expectations. But then again, NCIS has a habit of doing just that!moreless
  • A somewhat gripping episode, with a political theme. Good amount of action, emotional drama and intrigue slightly devoid of the usual team highjinks.

    A violent first scene certainly sets things going for this politically themed story. The plot is very cleverly layered, like an onion, with each scene peeling away those dead-ends, false leads and red herrings. Until only the truth remains. I was in two minds as whether I prefer the focus to be on the story or split equaly with the usual great interactions between Gibbs, Tony, MacGee and Ziva - as in past episodes. Perhaps we are seeing the team going through a transitional phase?! Are the writers looking to get a bit more serious to reflect the socio-political climate change?!

    Once the initial misdirection is squared away, the screenplay plays out to the usual high standards for this show. It is not as slick as some of the excellent episodes, but it is busy and relevant. There are loads of lying, potential scumbags to keep us guessing as to the true nature of the crime and the culprit. However, the pace levels off, which is a shame. Though the detail of the story and the subject matter proved to be of great interest to me and kept me watching.

    Momentum does pick up towards the 3rd act when the cab controller is fingered as a subject of interest. From that point on, it a one way rollercoaster to a what I found to be a very poignant ending - with Ziva. Fingerscrossed the writers incorporate her more in the upcoming episodes. I have a feeling that this is almost a cert, with the excellent sub-plot that is touched upon at the beginning and gathers paces when the real target's wife appears on the sceen. This element of the episode and the notion of soulmates, is something the writers have been agonsingly been hinting at, without ever reaching. I hope so because her lack of presence has been disappointing this season. MacGee's brush with the bunny boiler though was highly amusing. Adding some comic relief to what is otherwise a very serious episode.

    A first class poignant ending does wonders for this episode and leaves us with a massive hook into a possible future plotline for Ziva. However, I just felt this falls a tad below its usual high production for me. Just a tad, but still, compared to other shows this has more to live up to. A worthy episode that should not be missed.moreless
  • Another good one

    This episode opens with an Admiral of the Navy taking a cab to an event after his car broke down. Two guys on a motorbike drive passed and kill both the driver and the passenger. They pull them both out and then shot them both once more in the head for good luck. NCIS are called in to investigate. The team learn that the intended target was the driver and not the Admiral. They learn from the taxi company that he was working as a gypsy cabbie. Tony & Ziva head to a cafe where he used to go. They learn that his wife is in the United States and she goes to NCIS to claim her husband's body.

    When she goes to ID him, she claims a mistake has been made and that the made on the slab is not her husband. They learn that four other men have been attacked and killed in the same way. All of them were gypsy cabbies. They are looking for a pacific man, who left his homeland many years ago to escape.

    NCIS track him down and manage to get to him just as he is about to be killed. At the end Husband and Wife are back together. Until she sees that he has moved on with his life after he believed she had died and even has a child.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

Lauren Holly

Lauren Holly

Director Jenny Shepard

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • GOOF: When Ziva and Tony are walking out of the cab company, Tony berates Ziva by saying: "You don't use contractions." Clearly he must have forgotten the following events:
      - episode "Witch Hunt" - When they find the little girl, Ziva tells her "We're here." and "We're friends of your mother."
      - episode "Silver War" - After Ziva and McGee are pushed into the fountain, she tells McGee "At least I'm clean again."
      - episode "Family" - At the opening of the episode, Ziva asks "What's wrong with this picture?"

    • GOOF: In the teaser when the assassins are checking the bodies of the cab driver and his fare, they are shown wearing black leather gloves in some shots, and bare handed in others. Surely no professional assassin would forgo gloves for that task, since they would risk leaving fingerprints for investigators to find.

    • TRIVIA: iPhones can not be plugged into a cab's onboard camera. The scene rated a special mention as "blatant iphone abuse" in an article entitled "NCIS features an oddly full-featured iPhone".

    • GOOF: When the team realizes that the cab dispatcher Bayless may be connected to the murders, Ziva supposedly phones the cab company and finds out that he hadn't shown up to work that day. But only eight seconds elapses between the time that Ziva begins dialing, and her report of his absence- too short a time to dial, ask her question, and get an answer. Also, Ziva cannot be heard speaking on the phone, in spite of the fact that all her previous comments were easily audible to the others.

    • TRIVIA: The taxi in the opening scene of this episode, is the same taxi as the one used in the Season 4 episode, "Trojan Horse."

    • TRIVIA: At the Burundi coffee place where Tony and Ziva meet Delphin Abaka the first time, on the wall behind Abaka there's a photo of Nelson Mandela, a former president of South Africa who has no connection to Burundi at all.

    • TRIVIA: McGee's pet name for his girlfriend is "Brumby": a wild Australian horse. The noise he makes just before hanging up is more like a horse noise than a kiss.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • Ziva: Do you ever think about soulmates?
      Tony: They were on Decker, right? Big hit, mid-seventies, sort of a disco thing? Sing a few bars, I'll get it.
      Ziva: You'll never get it.

    • Tony: (eating candy) Is this stuck on my teeth?
      Ziva: Nothing sticks to you.

    • Ziva: Why don't you like immigrants?
      Tony: What? My great-grandparents came through Ellis Island. Not the first class lounge at El Al.
      Ziva: I came here in the jump seat of a C130 with turbulence.
      Tony: Whatever. My point is, you're here on a weekend fun pass, I'm the immigrant.

    • Abby: (looking longingly at Gibbs' coffee, after she switches to decaf) Okay, can I have one little, teeny, tiny, baby booster sip, please?
      Gibbs: No.
      Abby: Thank you, sir.
      Gibbs: Welcome.

    • Abby: McGee...
      McGee: Yeah?
      Abby: Do you know it's 365 steps from my lab to your desk? (she sighs) I'm trying to get my blood pumping... what's wrong with you?

    • Tony: (pointing to his head) Is this side of my head bigger?
      Ziva: Yes, but so is the other side.

    • McGee: Abby, what do I do? It's like I'm nuts for this girl you know, and she's just... nuts.
      Abby: She stole your heart but she stole your money. Arrest her.

    • McGee: Do you want me to tell you how...?
      Gibbs: No.
      McGee: Because I could give you the short... (Gibbs stare) Forget I asked.

    • Tony: Look at that. It's incredible. Probie's lips are still moving while he's working. He's like one of those Romanian orphans who can't stop rocking.
      Ziva: You are so prejudiced.
      Tony: I am not. I'm not. By the way, that's a contraction - I'm - you should try it some time.

    • Tony: This guy is a regular cab coyote.
      Ziva: Is that like a wolf in sheep's clothing?
      McGee: A coyote is a person that exploits people who come to this country illegally.
      Tony (to Ziva): As opposed to outsourcing, which is what you are.

    • Ziva: What's curb cash?
      Tony: Fares: Small denominations, street money.
      McGee: Kickbacks.
      Tony: Lollipop for McLover boy.

    • Gibbs: Something wrong McGee?
      McGee: Computer glitch.
      Gibbs (Hits McGee's monitor): Better?
      McGee: Much.

    • Tony: How long have you been in this country?
      Ziva: Why?
      Tony: Well, you never heard of gypsy cabs. You don't use contractions. Assimilate already!
      Ziva: What are contraptions?
      Tony Ah! Never mind.

    • McGee: No motive.
      Ziva: Every murder has a motive McGee.
      Tony: Not this one.

    • Abby: (About de-caf) I sleep at night! I actually eat food! It is so weird. You've gotta try it!

    • Abby: Abby-ka da brah!

    • Abby: Would I have you down here to watch me fail?

    • Gibbs: Does anyone have any answers?!
      Tony: Ziva!?
      Ziva: No.
      Tony: Ziva doesn't have any answers, boss!

    • Gibbs: Is that lipstick on your collar, McGee?
      McGee: Well-
      Gibbs: Good for you, Tim. Good for you! Just don't ever get married.

    • (McGee walks in wearing sunglasses)
      Tony: Wait a second. I know that look. You had sex, and I am guessing it was with a girl.
      McGee: No..
      Tony: No it wasn't a girl?
      McGee: No- it's none of your business.
      Tony: If the Probie was probing last night, I demand details.

    • McGee: Just push the buttons I tell you to push monkey.
      Tony: Love is not treating you well my friend.
      McGee: Yeah, no kidding.

    • Ziva: You're xenophobic!
      Tony: I am not xenophobic, that's one of my favorite shows! Leather skirts, lesbian sword fighting, female empowerment. Maybe I am little Ziva-phobic.
      Ziva: Do you see what I see?
      Tony: Crazy Israeli chick with impulse issues?

    • Gibbs: DiNozzo, check out the cab company.
      Tony: Go to, Boss. (Gibbs stares) Go to, it's the new on it. New catch phrase just came up with it. You like it?
      Gibbs: No. Cab company?
      Tony: On it, Boss.
      Gibbs: (to Ziva) Go too!

    • Tony: You know repeated head trauma causes brain damage.
      McGee: Explains a lot.

    • Ziva: (talking on her cell phone) No, no, no, it's not you, it's just... Well, you know, these things run their course, and well, ah, you, you must accept...
      Tony: Personal call, David?
      Ziva: (covering the phone) Yes! Go away!
      Tony: Somebody being dumped?
      Ziva: Oh. How do you tell someone you no longer want to see them?
      Tony: Easy. (grabs her cell phone) Listen dirt bag, this is Ziva's husband. I have your phone number now, I can find your address. If you ever try to contact her again I will reach down your throat, grab your intestines, rip them out and drive over your head! Lose this number or lose your life! (snaps the phone shut and hands it back to Ziva) You're welcome.
      Ziva:That was my Aunt Neddi, from Tel Aviv. She was trying to stop seeing her 86 year old mahjongg partner.
      Tony: Why didn't you stop me?
      Ziva: Too stunned!
      Tony: Where do I send flowers?
      Ziva: If you communicate with her again, I will kill you!

    • Abby: Love is never having to read her her Miranda rights, but she's going to do this to someone else. Throw her psycho ass in the brig. I love you McGee, that should be enough.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Denmark: January 29, 2008 on TV3
      Germany: April 20, 2008 on SAT 1
      The Netherlands: April 30, 2008 on Veronica
      Sweden: May 4, 2008 on TV3
      Australia: May 13, 2008 on Ten
      United Kingdom: June 6, 2008 on FX UK
      Italy: October 12, 2008 on RAI 2
      Spain: November 7, 2008 on La Sexta
      Hungary: February 16, 2009 on TV2
      Slovakia: August 20, 2009 on Markiza
      Finland: October 20, 2009 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic: February 22, 2010 on TV Nova


    • Tony's comment about "Romanian orphans who can't stop rocking" refers to the behavior problem observed by Canadian adopters of Romanian children in the 1990's. In Romania the children were subjected to severe deprivation and neglect which led to disorders of eating, sleeping, social behavior.

    • When Ziva accuses Tony of being xenophobic, a fear or contempt of foreigners or strangers and people, he makes a joke and says that it's one of his favorite shows. Tony of course means Xena: The Warrior Princess, a TV show which aired from 1995 to 2001 starring Lucy Lawless as Xena.

    • Bonnie and Clyde is a movie made in 1967 about a bank robbing couple and their gang. It stars Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow and Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker.

    • Tony: Thank you Obi-Wan.

      Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fictional character from the six Star Wars films. He becomes a Jedi Master. The character is played in the original trilogy by Sir Alec Guinness and in the prequel trilogy by Ewan McGregor.

    • Taxi, airing from 1978 to 1983, is a television series starring Danny DeVito as Louie De Palma, a New York City cab dispatcher who bullies the taxi drivers that work for him.

    • Taxi Driver, from 1976, is a movie starring Robert De Niro as Vietnam vet, New York cab driver, Travis Bickle who becomes alienated by society.