Season 6 Episode 4


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 14, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
542 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Secrets from Gibbs' past are revealed when the NCIS team has to travel back to his hometown to resolve a murder investigation.

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  • An interesting one.

    I enjoyed everything about this episode, I liked how the 'kids' were acting when meeting 'dads' dad, etc etc. I just disliked Gibbs Senior and people that are like that... "oh you don't need to do that" "oh do your job this way instead" "oh get DNA evidence before you do anything" .. that's what getting their blood was for!! DNA to either rule them in or out. And what do you know, case was over once they got the DNA...

    Here's an idea, when you're not a cop/agent, you do what they say when it's in the limits of the law.

    And who bombed the car? I may have missed it so don't downvote me for it, but I swear they never got a confession for blowing the car. That's reckless endangerment, damaging federal property etc at a minimum. Attempted murder at a max.

    Glad the two douchebags from the hometown got shut down eventually. And it was still a good ending.moreless
  • The Team's Next Murder Case Leads Them To Gibbs's Hometown And Secrets From His Past Are Revealed.

    To date this is my favorite episode of the sixth season of "NCIS". With this episode the show continues its streak of well written scripts and cleverly plotted episodes. The reason why I liked "Heartland" so much, is that we learned more about Gibbs. Mark Harmon is always in top form as L.J. Gibbs and with this episode he doesn't miss a beat. He is my favorite character. His father was also interesting. It was a good idea to cast Ralph Waite as Jackson Gibbs. He looks exactly like Leroy. The murder case was also interesting and I surely was hooked all the way through. I also liked the twist in the case, mainly because it seemed plausible and it worked well. Another reason why "Heartland" works well is the end. We learned how Jethro met Shannon and we also learned the origin of the "rules". Overall, this episode was fantastic and it is not to be missed. One of the best episodes of the shoe.moreless
  • The end of a good show...

    NCIS is turning into a soap opera. Gone are the days where the script stuck to the true character: Gibbs turns into a little boy when he sees his dad, Abby has now regressed to a little schoolgirl, back are the bad jokes with Ziva's communication problems dropped two seasons ago, and Tony is the jerk he was in season one. Bellisario kept a close eye on the script for a reason, lest not forget that Harmon's career was on the down before NCIS came along - now we have a second grade actor dictating the script and bring in 'character development and depth' rather than concentrating on what made NCIS the success it was in the first place...

    Censor me if you must, you cannot deny the truth though...moreless
  • I love the episodes that delve into the team's past, and this one was no exception to that rule!

    I thought this episode had a lot of great aspects to it, and when you combine all of them, it adds up to a pretty remarkable episode, if you ask me.

    The case wasn't exaclty the most interesting, but it was still well thought out, and the little clips into Giibb's past were very interesting.

    I also didn't find the episode to be particularly funny, but Jackson Gibbs was so cute and great to see!

    I loved the last scene, and I thought it was very touching and well thought out. Very good job in that department, and this season is looking spot on for me.

    A great episode, and please keep it up, as I am enjoying this season quite a lot!moreless
  • one of my favorites...ever!

    this episode was amazing. it was a tearjerker, mysterious, humorus, an overall package. i just have to say wow. i loved gibbs father, hes funny, and a very cute old person. and i loved the teams discusion on how gibbs didn't just come out of nowhere. but anyways, they're trying to solve a case about this dude from gibbs home town. it turns out the dead guys ex girlfriends father had him killed by the dead guys ex girlfriends husband. but yea just loved gibbs and his dad. one of my favorite parts was when gibbs got his car his dad kept for him after all those years.....anyways, i loved it!moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Special Agent Tony DiNozzo

David McCallum

David McCallum

Chief M.E. Ducky Mallard

Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette

Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo

Mossad Agent Ziva David

Geno Monteiro

Geno Monteiro

Sergeant Seth Welch

Guest Star

Richard Lineback

Richard Lineback

Chuck Winslow

Guest Star

Kayla Mae Maloney

Kayla Mae Maloney

Emily Kingston

Guest Star

Ralph Waite

Ralph Waite

Jackson Gibbs

Recurring Role

Sean Harmon

Sean Harmon

Young Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • TRIVIA: Gibbs says he left his hometown Stillwater in '76. He met his future wife Shannon that same day. In episode 3X24 ""Hiatus 2" we learn they were married in '82 and that she died in '92. that means they dated for 6 years and were married for 10.

    • According to episode 2x05 "The Bone Yard," Gibbs' father is dead - he told Jimmy Napolitano that his "father passed years ago", after Napolitano threatened to kill his father in that episode.

    • TRIVIA: We learn that Gibbs was named after his father's business partner, L.J.

    • TRIVIA: We learn that Gibbs left his home town in 1976, and that he hasn't been back since. If we assume he joined the Marines right out of high school and graduated at 18 as is usual, that would make Gibbs about 51 years old.

    • TRIVIA: The role of Young Gibbs in the flashbacks is played by Mark Harmon's son Sean Harmon.

    • TRIVIA: The rules that Gibbs makes is in homage of his late wife Shannon, who whilst being acquainted with Gibbs said that "Either it was Rule number one or Rule number three is never date a lumberjack" and that she tries to have a rule for everything.

    • TRIVIA: Gibbs' late wife, Shannon, lived in Stillwater, Gibb's home town. They met each other on the platform of the train station.

    • TRIVIA: The orientation between people calling Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs "Gibbs" is from his late wife, Shannon.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • (Ziva and McGee are sifting through garbage when Ziva suddenly stops)
      Ziva: You feel that?
      McGee: What? Week-old bananas?
      Ziva: No, we are being watched. (Emily is shown in the background and Ziva turns and walks up to her)
      McGee: Huh, how do you do that?

    • (Early in episode, Jackson brings Gibbs a bottle of bourbon.)
      Jackson: If you're dead set on going another round with Chuck Winslow, this is the least you can do. You'd be amazed what you can get done with a kind word. I'll show you.
      (Later, the team's car is blown up outside Jackson's store.)
      Jackson: All right, let's do it your way.

    • Ducky: (when Ducky appears at the crime scene, he is wearing a tuxedo and humming a tune) Mozart and mayhem.
      Ziva: A little early for formal attire?
      Ducky: Oh, really?
      Tony: I'd say late. Looks like Ducky got lucky.
      Ducky: Never heard of a night at the opera?
      Tony: Sure, Groucho as Otis B. Driftwood, Marx Brothers at their most hilarious. I love the part where they rip up the contract.
      Ducky (quoting): 'That's no good-a for you, it's no good-a for me.' (makes the motion of ripping up a contract)

    • McGee: So... when was the last time you went home?
      Gibbs: I make it a point to go home every night.

    • Tony: Hey Jack I just gotta learn some things, I have a lot of questions...
      Gibbs: You can have two, DiNozzo.
      (Tony thinks out loud)
      Tony: Hmmm... where do I start...?
      Gibbs: You got one left.
      Tony: Well, that doesn't count cause... okay. The rules. Did he learn them from you? Did you teach him all the rules?
      Jack: I'm sorry, son. I didn't teach him much of anything.

    • (Flashback)
      Shannon: What's your name?
      Gibbs: Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
      Shannon: I'm just gonna call you Gibbs.
      Gibbs: You can call me anything you want!

    • (Flashback)
      Gibbs: Are you waiting for the train too? We could sit together.
      Shannon: I don't know, it's a long ride... But I guess you're not a lumberjack.
      Gibbs: No.
      Shannon: I have a rule, it's either rule number one or number three. Never date a lumberjack.
      Gibbs: You got a rule for everything?
      Shannon: Workin' on it! Everyone needs a code they can live by.

    • Jackson: I know you hate it when I use a hundred words when just a couple will do, but give us a call sometime.
      Gibbs: It's the least I can do.
      Jackson: Goodbye son.
      Gibbs: Bye Dad.

    • McGee: I'm impressed with your internet savvy Tony, where'd you find it?
      Tony: I googled it!
      McGee: Not so impressed... Gibbs could've done that.

    • (McGee and Ziva are telling Tony and Abby about Gibbs in his hometown)
      Ziva: Gibbs is very different around him [Jackson].
      Abby: Different how? Different bad, different good?
      McGee: He's like a teenager, sort of.
      Tony: Okay, I'm coming! (to Abby) I'm going. I'm leaving!
      Abby: Me too!

    • (via a video phonecall)
      McGee and Ziva: Gibbs has a father!
      Tony and Abby: Tell me everything!

    • Jackson: (about Gibbs) Tell a kid he can't touch a rifle; and he grows up to be a sniper.

    • Jackson: Me and LJ opened it, after too many close calls in the mines.
      McGee: LJ?
      Jackson: Leroy Jethro!

    • Jackson: Does he ever talk about me? My boy?
      McGee: I think I heard him refer to you once as dead.
      Ziva: Uh, you probably misheard him, McGee.
      McGee: Think she's right... I think he probably said Dad.

    • Gibbs: Word travels fast.
      Jackson: That it does! When people actually open their mouths and speak with one another. You don't call, you don't write, were you going to come by and say hi?
      Gibbs: Hi, Jack.
      Jackson: Hi, Leroy.
      Gibbs: Ziva, McGee; Jackson Gibbs. My father.

    • Jackson Gibbs: (to Ziva) Listen I bet back in uh, Israel you were considered a pretty girl. You step one foot into my country, and instantly; you're an exotic beauty.

    • Sheriff: (to Gibbs) You know, if you had a little tennis ball buzz cut, instead of that salt and pepper, you'd remind me of this skinny little wise-ass I used to know.

    • Tony: So many questions! My mind is spinning with questions! I mean, have you ever thought about it? He actually came from somewhere! He didn't just appear, y'know; he didn't just start Gibbs, he was a boy, and then he grew!
      Ziva: I thought he was molded from clay, had life breathed into him by a group of mystics!
      McGee: That's funny, I thought he fell to Earth in a capsule, after his home planet exploded!
      Ziva: (laughs) No, he burst forth- full grown, from the mind of Zeus!
      McGee: Nice.
      Tony: He is the avatar of Vishnu. He was sent to be the left hand of Yahweh! He was grown in a cabbage patch. I'm trying to pose a serious metaphysical question here!

    • Tony: (looking at the Corporal's class ring) Stillwater High School!
      McGee: That supposed to mean something to us?
      Tony: Stillwater High School! In all the time you two spend staring at computer screens you never once peeked in the man's file? C'mon!
      Abby: Whose file?
      Tony: Stillwater is a small town in Pennsylvania, coal country. Primarily known for the mine, but only slightly less well know as the birth place of one Leroy Jethro Gibbs!

    • Tony: You want to be clever; I can be clever.
      Gibbs: Just a matter of time, DiNozzo.

  • NOTES (4)

    • According to the call sheets, the Stillwater scenes were filmed in Piru, California.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: October 21, 2008 on Channel 10
      Denmark: November 4, 2008 on TV3
      Norway: February 24, 2009 on TV3
      Sweden: March 10, 2009 on TV3
      Germany: March 22, 2009 on SAT 1
      Spain: June 25, 2009 on La Sexta
      Brazil: August 7, 2009 on AXN
      Slovakia: December 3, 2009 on Markiza
      Finland: February 2, 2010 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic: June 7, 2010 on TV Nova

    • Featured Music: "Lost" by Michael Buble

    • Rocky Carroll is credited but doesn't appear.


    • Tony makes several references to the TV show, The Dukes of Hazzard. The series takes place in fictional Hazzard County in the state of Georgia, a small country town where everyone knows everyone, very similar to the town of Stillwater.

    • Ziva: No, he burst forth full grown from the mind of Zeus...

      Ziva is describing the story of the birth of the Greek Goddess Athena. One day Zeus, King of the Gods, had a terrible headache, so he asked Hephaestus to hit him, and when he did, Athena leaped out of his skull fully grown, wearing armor and carrying her spear. Athena is the Goddess of Wisdom and War, which makes the allusion particularly apt.

    • McGee: That's funny, I thought he fell to earth in a capsule, after his home planet exploded!

      A reference to Superman.

    • McGee: I think I heard him refer to you once as dead.
      In episode 2x05, "The Bone Yard", Gibbs tells Jimmy Napalitano that his father died a few years ago.

    • (Team talking about origin of Gibbs)
      Ziva: I thought he was molded from clay, had life breathed into him by a group of mystics.

      Ziva is talking about Golem from Jewish folklore. An animated being created entirely from inanimate matter. In order to bring it to life one must write on its hand the Hebrew word for "truth" and to shut it down one just needs to erase the first letter from that word and thus to create a new word which means "dead."

    • Home is the sailor, home from the sea.

      This line is from a poem called "Requiem" by Robert Lewis Stevenson.