Season 2 Episode 8

Heart Break

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 30, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
286 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A Navy Commander dies after a successful surgery. While researching the commander's past, the team finds out that he earned a lot of enemies lately and tracks down a ensign, making him the prime suspect. Soon Abby realizes that they've got the wrong man.

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  • Really interesting, and thoroughly enjoyable.

    'Heart Break' was a very interesting episode, and once again, I could not see the ending coming, so that was a huge up side, for me.

    The death appeared to be an accident, but it was discovered as murder, and the suspect was hugely unpredictable.

    The episode did have some funny moments, which was good, but that was mainly with Abby. The comedy element though wasn't 100% for me, however, the episode was still great.

    Overall, this episode is one that I recommend watching. It is very interesting and somewhat suspenseful, which is a great combination for me. Might not be the funniest, but regardless, it is still an awesome addition!moreless
  • Breaking a heart or two..

    Ok.. I loved the little more focus on Ducky and the way he was just.. little bit different than usual. Explaining the whole talking thing and then having that dinner on the museum. That was great but sadly it did not worked out for him.. I mean.. we had two great sentences from Gibbs about Ducky..

    And the case.. I mean.. that had a twist and the whole thing with that young man and how Kate took it. I think that emotional side of her is just great. But to make that all just to cover up mess in operation.. oh..moreless
  • An excellent Ducky episode.

    Ducky is so cute at the best of times, but his little crush on Byers is adorable. He's a very unusual man and his choice of date was both interesting and illuminating, what woman wouldn't be intrigued? I liked Ducky's explanation to Jimmy about why he talks to his 'patients'.

    Cassidy has been reassigned to the Kennedy, Tony actually hooked up with her? She's a vast improvement over his usual type, maybe Tony's actually growing up. Then again, she's like him – think he's met his match, she has the potential to break his heart.

    The guy at the reception desk at the hotel gives Gibbs grief about a warrant but lets a group of teenagers pay with a credit card without checking I.D.?!

    Gibbs wasn't kidding in 'Terminal Leave' when he said his people shoot to kill – the kid was suicidal so Kate kills him?! She couldn't just shoot him in the shoulder?! Kate should be up for a suspect shooting review.

    The mysterious redhead again – sleeping over no less so it's not a platonic relationship.moreless
  • What looks like an accident turns out to be murder

    This episode opens with a hospital and an explosion happening in one of the rooms. As they rush in they see the patient is on fire in the bed. NCIS are called in. Abby runs some tests and discovers that it was no accident, it was murder. Agent Cassidy is called back on the case, but the team. The marine was in the hospital having a simple procedure done. The team have a suspect and got to his hotel room to arrest him. When they enter the room they find a small party going on. The suspect they are looking for is not there. They find that one of the kids had a credit card given to him and they booked the room using it. The kids tell them that they last saw the suspect at their school's swimming pool, and so Gibbs and Kate go to investigate. As they find him he pulls a gun on himself and puts it to his head. He then pulls the gun on Gibbs and Kate kills him. When they question one of their friends, they learn that he did not kill his superior. Ducky discovers that he died due to a side effect of his operation. And that the doctor that performed the operation and set up the fire, using a cigarette and a pack of matches.moreless
  • Good episode.

    Very original episode. I like the fact that with NCIS you never know what to expect, cause the cases are always very different. And well let's just say that this episode was one of those. The case was very interesting and it kept me guessing throughout the whole episode, and I can always admire that fact. I really liked the fact that we see that Ducky still got a romantic side to him. Just too bad that the one he went on a date with turned out to be the one that set a Navy Commander on fire, even though he was already dead. I do agree with her on one thing though, she did kind of killed that man.moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander

Special Agent Kate Todd

Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Special Agent Tony DiNozzo

Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette

Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

David McCallum

David McCallum

Chief M.E. Ducky Mallard

Nathan Wetherington

Nathan Wetherington

Ensign Evan Hayes

Guest Star

Matthew Ness

Matthew Ness


Guest Star

Derrex Brady

Derrex Brady

Navy Corpsman

Guest Star

Jessica Steen

Jessica Steen

NCIS Special Agent Paula Cassidy

Recurring Role

Vivienne Bellisario

Vivienne Bellisario

Mysterious Redhead

Recurring Role

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • GOOF: In autopsy when Ducky and Gibbs are standing over Commander Dornan's body, if you look closely at Ducky you will notice that he is not wearing his glasses but later in the scene when Dr. Byers arrives Ducky has them on and in no way could he have put them on since they were not in his hands in the previous shot.

    • GOOF: Dr. Byers said that Commander Dornan went into cardiac arrest while she was seeing him on the night that he'd died. If so, why weren't the duty nurses aware of that fact? After having had major heart surgery he was on a heart monitor, and it would have signaled his critical condition immediately. Even if she put the EKG leads on herself, there would have been a short time before the transfer was made and would have alerted the nurses to his distress.

    • TRIVIA: The hotel room where the team finds the teenagers at about halfway in the episode looks really similar to the room used for "Under Covers" (3X08) episode. It is almost certainly the same room with just a few stuff moved to make it less recognizable.

    • GOOF: When Kate shoots Evan, she hits him in the right chest. However, when Evan's body is on the autopsy table, he has a bullet wound in his left chest.

    • GOOF: When Gibbs and Todd are asking for the room key, the guy eventually gives it up. But all he does is reach down for a keycard from a drawer. It would have to be put through a reader and the room number programmed in to be any good, but this never happens, as Gibbs grabs it from him.

    • GOOF: If you look really close, you can see the camera men reflected in the silver autopsy room doors (where the dead bodies are kept) when you see Gibbs and Ducky talking. This is right before the doctor comes in and Ducky asks Gibbs if they are done to get Gibbs out.

    • TRIVIA: The ring tone on Kate's cell phone is also the show's theme song, originally performed by numeriklab.

    • GOOF: In the NCIS office on the carrier, the Chief Petty Officer says he served with Captain Dornan - but everyone else in the episode referred to him as Commander Dornan.

  • QUOTES (29)

    • Palmer: (talking to the dead Commander Dornan) I'm going to have to lock you up for the night, Commander.
      Abby: (in a deep voice, as if it was the Commander talking) No! Don't put me back in the dark!
      Palmer: (jumping, then realizing he's been had) Abby! You made me almost...
      Abby: Almost what? Jimmy...
      Palmer: You know what!

    • Palmer: (after Ducky talks to the man he's autopsying) Uh, Doctor?
      Ducky: Hm?
      Palmer: Does it help you to talk to them?
      Ducky: Well, they're still human. What we do is very invasive and impersonal. It helps me to establish a relationship.

    • Abby: (Referring to Commander Dornan) Barbeque boy was murdered.

    • Abby: When he's finished slicing and dicing, we'll bang heads.
      Gibbs: Don't cause any sparks.

    • McGee: Matches.
      Abby: Light my fire McGee!

    • Tony: Too bad you didn't get to bed at a sensible hour. I mean, to sleep, 'cause obviously, you were in bed.
      Kate: I get it, Tony.

    • Tony: Looks like you and I were the only ones flying solo last night, McGee.
      McGee: Speak for yourself.

    • Cassidy: Commander Dornan really blew up?
      Tony: Literally.

    • Kate: Why are you being so tough on Agent Cassidy?
      Gibbs: I haven't done anything to her yet.
      Kate: You made her spend the day, alone, with DiNozzo.

    • McGee: Sometimes, you've just got to know when to let go, Tony.
      Tony: You don't really expect me to take advice about women from you, do you?
      McGee: I could stay here and argue the point, but I have a date.

    • Cassidy: We would drive each other crazy.
      Tony: Crazy's good.
      Cassidy: Yeah.

    • Gibbs: You a law student?
      Clerk: Second year at Georgetown.
      Gibbs: Gonna give you a lesson tonight in practical law. I'm going to ask for Hayes's room key, politely, and you're going to hand it over.
      Clerk: Key? Hotels haven't used keys in years.

    • Ducky: Kate, how are you?
      Kate: Well, I shot an innocent man, that give you any ideas?

    • Abby: Hey, Gibbs. I hear you're not a fan of SHC.
      Gibbs: That a band?
      Abby: No. Spontaneous human combustion.

    • Gibbs: Everything in this room goes back to Abby.
      Kate: Everything? Right.
      Gibbs: Hey. Background the victim.
      Kate: This is the beginning of a very long day.
      Tony: Yeah. Too bad you had such a short night.

    • Tony: I was thinking of becoming a doctor.
      Kate: You. A doctor.
      Tony: Anthony DiNozzo, comma...M.D.
      Kate: Let me guess: a gynecologist.
      Tony: Ooh, no, I was thinking more dermatologist. Normal hours. Big bucks. Never an emergency. I mean, nobody ever died from a zit.

    • Tony: Ho. You got here quick. Where were you?
      Kate: Home asleep.
      Tony: Asleep, maybe, but not at home. I got you on your cell.

    • Tony: Probie, what are you thinking? Spontaneous human combustion?! It's an urban myth.
      Ducky: Actually, Tony, we shouldn't disregard the notion. Stories of the phenomenon go way back-- to the Bible, in fact. Although it wasn't popularized until Dickens.
      Palmer: Charles Dickens?
      Ducky: Yes. He used spontaneous combustion to kill off one of his characters, Mr. Krook, in the novel Bleak House. It caused a minor uproar. Dickens was accused of perpetuating the age-old superstition.
      Tony: I saw that movie.
      Ducky: The silent version or the British mini-series?
      Tony: They were talking.

    • Kate: Last time we were on a carrier, you were the one who got lost. Not me.
      Tony: I wasn't lost. I was momentarily disoriented.
      Kate: Like you were with Paula in Gitmo?
      Tony: I'm not the type to kiss-and-tell, Kate.
      Kate: It's not like you to be discreet, Tony. She's something special, isn't she?
      Tony: Is he something special?
      Kate: Who?
      Tony: Mr. Short Night Harrison.

    • Tony: Was he having trouble with anyone aboard the ship?
      Cassidy: Safety officers are generally disliked. They have the authority to stick their nose in anyone's department; no one can say a word.
      Tony: That sounds like Gibbs. So Commander Dornan made enemies.
      Cassidy: Made an art of it.
      Tony: Definitely sounds like Gibbs.

    • Kate: Is that Dornan's surgeon with Ducky?
      Gibbs: Ducky's older, Kate. He's not dead.

    • Abby: You're the man, Ducky. Why can't I find someone like you?
      Ducky: Well, if this doesn't work out, I am available.

    • Gibbs: She still could have murdered him.
      Ducky: Well, not intentionally.
      Gibbs: Ducky...
      Ducky: You trust my gut on this one.

    • Tony: You need anything from your sleeping quarters?
      Cassidy: What you're thinking... that's against regs.
      Tony: Great. You can handcuff me.

    • Evan: I've been trying to pull this trigger all night... but I can't... 'cause I'm a coward.
      Gibbs: You're not a coward. You just don't want to die.

    • Abby: Stop playing with my equipment.
      Tony: Well, I haven't had a woman say that to me in a long time. Sorry.

    • Abby: If you read my Master's thesis, you may become a believer.
      Gibbs: Doubt it.
      Abby: I can show you photos of what was left of a 240-pound woman.
      Gibbs: Yeah, but you won't.

    • Tony: We have to check in with the XO. Why don't you take care of that?
      Kate: Why don't you?
      Tony: Because I outrank you. That'll be six up and three to the left.
      Kate: She is something special.

    • Cassidy: Enter. I was expecting Gibbs.
      Tony: Disappointed? Hi. You've been back a week. You didn't call.
      Cassidy: Oh... I've been gone months. I didn't get any e-mails.
      Tony: Well, I figured you'd be too busy to reply. You were at sea with 5,000 men.
      Cassidy: I had trouble choosing.
      Tony: Guess I'm a hard act to follow.
      Cassidy: Actually, I was afraid of making the same mistake.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Near the end in Abby's lab Abby calls Tony Cecil B. Dinozzo after he makes a reference to the matchbook time bomb from Stalag 17.

      Other than the reference to the movie Stalag 17, this is also an allusion to Cecil B. DeMille, a famous old time producer.