Season 5 Episode 13

Dog Tags

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 15, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
289 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a Navy dog handler is found murdered, the NCIS team must determine if his dog is responsible; and Abby decides to fight for the dog's life by trusting her instinct about the dog's innocence.

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  • This episode wasn't bad per se, but I wouldn't say it was more than average. It felt like a filler episode of a more serialized TV show...

    I loved Abby's car! Though her childish behavior irritated me a bit. Usually, I like her enthusiasm but the fact that she completely disregarded the dog's attack on McGee was quite out of character and it did irk me a bit.

    I don't mind Tony making fun of McGee, but in this episode, I think that it was over the top. It wasn't funny, it was annoying.

    And as I said, it rather surprised me how blase everybody was about McGee getting hurt. That kinda ruined the episode for me.

    Jenny and her secrets... I kinda, sorta don't care, really. The whole thing with the Frog, her obsession with that arms dealer cured me of any interest in her background.

    And not even the case caught my interest. It felt like the case was just there to provide background for the dog, like the writers came up with the dog first and then patched some case together to fit it in.moreless
  • Wow, Abby totally went dog crazy on McGee!!!

    This episode was defiently not the best episode of NCIS but it defiently had a lot of funny scenes and great moments between Abby and McGee. The whole thing was Abby proving that a dog was not a killer. It was kinda unrealisitic because I don't think that Abby could have kept the dog for that long without getting in trouble. It was hilarious when McGee was getting attention from Abby and sympathy and everything until she found out that the dog (who, by the way, had attacked McGee) had been shot. All of a sudden her sympathy for McGee vanished and she was mad at him because he had shot the dog. When DiNozzo put the attack dogs CD in McGee's computer: all of a sudden angrey dog barking fills the room and McGee freaks out! That was awesome. I love Abby, she always uses the whole, "I'm a forensic scientist and could boil you from the inside out and not leave a trace" thing to get McGee to do what she wants. McGee can never say no to Abby, it's really funny.moreless
  • Dog Tags

    A good episode that centered around Abby? I did not think it was possible, but I was proven wrong here tonight. Abby risked her career with NCIS to protect a dog she believed to be innocent, leading to a massive conspiracy being unraveling. We all knew that the dog would be exonerated (did I really just write that?) but Abby made us pull for her the entire time and really showed how passionate dog lovers can be toward man's best friend.

    A good season five episode, and a good return from the writer's strike that crippled most of the 2007-2008 season for NCIS.moreless
  • Awesome episode, and it is really funny!

    I absolutely loved this episode, and it is definitely one of my favorites for this season and perhaps overall, as well.

    I found the case to be delightfully fresh and innovative and the episode was really interesting, because the storyline was so well written.

    I also found the episode to be extremely funny, and there are several amazing moments and hilarious quotes from this episode, and that really doubled the awesomeness, in my opinion.

    I also love to have many different varieties of cases, and this episode certainly does provide that. Abby's car is just awesome, as well as her number plate!

    I would highly recommend this episode as it is extremely funny, highly enjoyable, extremely interesting and contains all the features of a great episode, in my opinion. A great job by NCIS!moreless
  • Abby has a new best friend....a dog

    In this episode we open with the team going to arrest a suspect. When they get there they find him dead, murdered, and his dog attacks McGee. Ducky patches up McGee but he still has to go to the hospital. The victim was a dog handler. Throughout the episode Abby because attached to the dog. At first glance everyone believes that he died due to a do attack. He was wanted for questioned due to drug smuggling. They find cocaine hidden under his bed. We discover at the end of the episode that he did not die due to a dog attack, but was in fact killed by a knife carried by Navy personnel. They discover who recently ordered a new knife and go and arrest her. The cocaine was planned in his house. When they try to get her dog to sniff cocaine it doesn't. She killed the drug sniffing dog and replaced it with an attack dog. Abby is trying to find the dog a new home and asks McGee to take him.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

Rachel Kimsey

Rachel Kimsey

Petty Officer Erica Perelli

Guest Star

Roger R. Cross

Roger R. Cross

Lt. Cmdr. David Warfield

Guest Star

Jorge-Luis Pallo

Jorge-Luis Pallo

Lt. Matthew Sanchez

Guest Star

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • GOOF: We see the camera view over McGee's shoulder while Abby says "How can you shoot an innocent animal McGee?". When he responds to her his first word in the sentence "Abby" is "spoken", but his cheek does not move at all to speak the word. He starts to speak on the second word of the sentence "That" in the same shot. In the next shot the camera is on McGee and the rest of the sentence is in sync.

    • GOOF: The bandage on McGee's neck comes and goes throughout the episode.

    • GOOF: When Abby says she found a flea on the victim and none on Jethro she thought it was evidence. Gibbs thought that it came from the dog. But a dog never has just one flea. There are always more.

    • TRIVIA: This is the second time a dog is named for one of the NCIS Agents after being taken into custody. Kate named a dog "Tony" in the second season episode "Caught On Tape."

    • GOOF: When Abby comes to ask McGee for a donation for Jethro, a hundred dollar bill is recognizable through the plastic of the pink tupperware Abby uses for the collection.

    • TRIVIA: Abby names the dog "Jethro."

    • TRIVIA: When Abby said, "Dogs don't kill people. People kill people," this is a reference to a well known phrase: Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

    • TRIVIA: Abby's license plate reads 4NS CHIK.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • Abby: (as Ducky prepares to operate on Jethro the dog) Ducky, you know what you're doing, right?!
      Ducky: Well, the fact that he's breathing does put me somewhat out of my element, but we don't have a choice now, do we?

    • (Abby chases after the dog she's named Jethro, who is running away on a Marine base)
      Abby: Jethro, Jethro!
      Marine Jogger: (as Abby runs past him) Whoa! (takes a good look at Abby) I'm Jethro!

    • (Tony and Gibbs enter the room Ziva is in and she is on her knees looking under the bed giving them a clear view of her butt)
      Tony: Room with a view. (Takes a photo of Ziva's butt)
      Gibbs: (Gives Tony a head slap) Hey!

    • Abby (To the dog): Who's a good Jethro?
      Gibbs (enters): I'm a good Jethro.

    • Jenny: Sometimes, things aren't so simple, Abby, sometimes you can't control the outcome. Sometimes you have to look at the reality... and accept it.
      Abby: I can't... I won't.

    • Jenny: He doesn't look very good, does he?
      (indicates the dog)
      Abby: I think it's because he knows he's on death row. That would put a damper on anyone's spirits.

    • Abby: So what?! So what, if I am? You have to stand up for what you believe in. You have to stick to your guns, until you make a wrong right.

    • Abby: Jethro is fine. I'm taking up a collection for flowers.
      McGee: Why would I give flowers to a dog that attacked me?
      Abby: Maybe because dog is man's best friend or maybe because I am a forensic scientist, and I could boil you from the inside out and never leave a trace.

    • (after scaring McGee with a dog attack video)
      Ziva: Finding inspiration?
      Tony: Whenever I can. It's my personal McMuse.
      McGee: "When Dogs Attack"...very funny.
      Gibbs: All bark, no bite, like the rest of my team.

    • Ducky: When did you last have a tetanus shot?
      McGee: Probably after that time Dicky Newsome and I were fighting over the galactic hunt Obi-Wan Kenobi.
      Tony: So... last year some time?

    • Tony: We gotta stop serving warrants after lunch. Ten bucks says McGee spills it on this one.

    • McGee: That dog should have a muzzle on it, Abby.
      Abby: Put a muzzle on yourself, McGee. It's not like he shot you.

    • Tony: If by bull crap you mean your worst freakin' nightmare, then yeah, this is bull crap.

    • McGee: I've been bitten harder... by dogs... I love dogs. I'm a dog person, really.
      Erica: What kind of dog do you have?
      McGee: Uh... I don't, yet, but I might... will... soon, very soon. I just need to find the right girl... dog... girl dog. I want a girl dog. I do like boys, though.
      Gibbs: Don't ask, don't tell, McGee.

    • Gibbs: What do we got?
      Tony: (watching a tape of a guy eating Funyuns) A sudden urge to hit the vending machines.

    • Tony: Dog handling... must be a pretty "rough" job. I don't want to "dog" you with a lot more questions, but if I need to sniff around some more, is there a number that I can call?

    • Gibbs: Go back to Pax River and talk to the other handlers.
      Tony: And see if one of them barks... I know.

    • Ziva: You do not have rabies! You're getting him all worried for no good reason.
      Tony: She's right, McGruff.

    • Jenny: I can sympathize with the Commander's impatience.
      Gibbs: Well, you sympathize. I'll keep investigating.

    • Abby: Good dog. Bad McGee!

    • Abby: If you think that I can't distinguish the fibers on your stupid jacket from the evidence on the dog, you don't know me, McGee. And right now, I don't want to know you.

    • Abby: Dogs don't kill people. People kill people.
      McGee: People with dogs that kill people kill people!

    • Abby: Who would shoot this cute little dog? (realizes it was McGee and turns to confront him)
      McGee: It was self-defense. It was self-defense!
      Abby: You shot that cute little dog??
      McGee: He's not cute and little! He's vicious and large!

    • Tony: Unfortunately, thanks to Semper Fido, he's never gonna roll over. Sorry, Boss.
      Gibbs: Play dead.

    • Ducky: Given the prevalence of bite marks, torn flesh, puncture wounds, I'd postulate that petty officer Hanson was the victim of a dog attack.
      Gibbs: Really going out on a limb there, Duck.
      Ducky: That assumption is further substantiated by the presence of a dog at the scene of the crime.
      Tony: By cracky, Dr. Mallard, I believe you've solved the case!
      (team looks at Tony)
      Ziva: Did you wake up in the wrong bed this morning?
      Tony: If your question is did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, the answer is no, but my mood did sour somewhat when I walked in and found that our chief suspect is dead.

    • Ziva: (referring to Erica) I guess she prefers McGee's scent.
      Tony: Ha! She'll eat him alive.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The song that is playing while Abby is dancing with the dog in her lab is "The Dog Song" by Nellie McKay. And the song that's playing when Abby locks McGee out of her lab is "Love Cats" by The Cure.

    • Original International Airdates:
      Denmark: April 22, 2008 on TV3
      Sweden: June 15, 2008 on TV3
      Australia: June 17, 2008 on TEN
      United Kingdom: August 10, 2008 on FX UK
      New Zealand: September 7, 2008 on TV 3
      Germany: September 7, 2008 on SAT 1
      Italy: November 16, 2008 on RAI 2
      Spain: December 12, 2008 on La Sexta
      Norway: January 6, 2009 on TV3
      The Netherlands: February 3, 2009 on SBS 6
      Hungary: March 23, 2009 on TV2
      Slovakia: September 24, 2009 on Markiza
      Finland: November 24, 2009 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic: March 29, 2010 on TV Nova


    • Tony: By cracky, Dr. Mallard, I believe you've solved the case!

      Tony (who is always referencing old movies) says this while mimicking Sherlock Holmes whose companion was a Dr. Watson.

    • McGee: Don't ask, don't tell.

      The don't ask, don't tell rule is a rule that allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they don't share their sexual orientation.

    • McGee is worried he may have contracted rabies from a dog bite. Tony calls him "McGruff," referring to McGruff the Crime Dog, an anthropomorphic cartoon bloodhound created for the National Crime Prevention Council, whose famous motto is, "Take a Bite out of Crime."

    • Tony: Unfortunately, thanks to Semper Fido, he's never gonna roll over.

      Semper Fido refers to the Latin motto of the United States Marine Corps Semper Fi meaning "Always Faithful."

    • Tony: Take it, Probie-Wan-Kenobi.

      This is an allusion to Star Wars character Obi-Wan-Kenobi.

    • Tony: Would explain why the dog went all Hannibal Lecter.

      Hannibal Lecter is a cannibalistic serial killer from several movies, including Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon, in which the character was played by Sir Anthony Hopkins. The movies are based on the works of Thomas Harris.

    • Tony: McGee's watched 100 hours of Petty Officer Junction.

      This is an reference to the long-running TV series Petticoat Junction.