Season 3 Episode 3

Mind Games

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 04, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
421 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Gibbs is ordered to talk to a convict that is about to be executed, in order to discover information about the place where he hid his victims, but when the plan doesn't work, the team must solve the case in their own way.

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  • Creepy

    That was one really creepy episode.. I mean.. someone who managed to get to Gibbs and really drow him off guard and as it seems, that is not the first time.. It was great too see Ducky to worry about him.. and the whole tension that criminal and Gibbs had.. playing those game like with the sketchbook and lighter..

    But the whole case.. the way they got the sketchbook.. they were trying to find the dumping ground and when they did.. they realized they have missed something important.. I thought the new kills were clever trick to get them to postpone to execution but no.. it was another part of the storyline.. quite unexpected one, to be honest..moreless
  • A remarkably interesting storyline!

    Another episode of NCIS brought another really interesting case, in which Gibbs had to find the dumping ground of a serial killer who was days away away from execution.

    I thought that this episode was really well written and I loved the mind games played by Gibbs and the convict, and this culminated into a great episode.

    The team discovers that the last few victims have been the work of a copycat, who now abducts Special Agent Paula Cassidy.

    I really enjoyed the last scene of the episode, and it was awesome to see the killer's plans thwarted at last.

    I highly recommend this episode because it is innovative and interesting. Great episode, NCIS!moreless
  • One of my favorites!

    This one ranks among my NCIS favs! We get a peek into one of the few cases that truly unnerved Gibbs, and for good reason. Boone is wonderfully creepy - he made my skin crawl, and the actor who played him is just a little *too* good at it! It was fun to see Paula Cassidy - I've always liked the banter between her and Tony, and Tony really needed that here after the trauma of Kate's death. Their dynamic worked particularly well. The episode itself was great filler between the high drama of Twilight and Kill Ari, and the rest of season three.moreless
  • A cop's worst nightmare – a serial killer with a protégé.

    Cassidy's certainly warmed to Tony, very cute. She's quite funny here. I like that no-one's allowed near Kate's desk. "They've suffered enough." Cassidy's obviously here to fill the female space between Kate and Ziva's arrival. As fond as I am of Ziva, I could definitely have gotten used to Cassidy long-term.

    Boone enjoys his mind games, not many people can shake Gibbs. The scrapbook is horrific and it's so Gibbs to refuse Boone access to it. Boone only has three days left so not only does he get to amuse himself but gets to play head games with Gibbs too, what more can a serial killer ask for? An accomplice which will amuse Boone, continue his work and possibly a reason to stay the execution. Boone said his biographer was trying to understand him. It's what every serial killer wants – immortality. To be robbed of that is the greatest punishment Gibbs could ever devise.

    Ducky certainly made an intriguing comment – that ten years ago, Gibbs was like Tony. Implied is that Gibbs' obsession chased off 'a wonderful girl'.

    Very interesting Gibbs episode and the case is great.moreless
  • One of the best episode of NCIS ever

    Opens with tony and Agent Cassidy talking about an old case. They discuss their old relationship. The murderer wants to talk to Gibbs before his execution on Saturday. Gibbs enters the room and tells everyone that he won't talk to him. We learn that if Gibbs talks to him, the killer will tell him where the bodies are hidden and that he killed 22 women one of which was a petty officer. Agent Cassidy tells Tony that she is there for him, if he needs to talk about Kate. Gibbs is forced to go and see him, and reluctantly he goes. As he visits the killer tells him that there are a lot more than 22 victims. Gibbs phones the team and has them go to the family farm of the murderer. They search the chimney and discover a book, filled with his victim's pictures. Gibbs goes back to the prison and Gibbs has the prisoner escorted to NCIS headquarters. When Abby runs the photos she discovers that his mother didn't abandon Boone, she was his first victim. They discover the location of where the photos were taken and so the team go there. Once there McGee starts searching and discovers a skeleton hidden under the ground. The team then discovers a body, which was killed the same way as the other victims, which had only been dead for a few days and had Boone's mark on her. Cassidy goes to call Gibbs (to inform him of the copycat killer) and its then that we see that someone is watching her. When McGee looks closer at the body, he realises that it is Boone's last victim. She notices someone is following her and she pulls her gun. She is then hit over the head, tied up and placed inside of car. When McGee & Tony go back to the van they can't see her, Tony presumes she is lost and McGee finds a photo of her tie up. Abby realises that the last 4 victims were killed within the last 3 years. They go through Boone's visitor list and their prime suspect is the autobiography of Boone's book. They track him through his GPS locator in his phone. They find him and when they open the boot of his car, they discover it is empty. We then see Cassidy with the real killer. She is in a barn. We learn that his Lawyer is the killer. From the lawyer/killer we learn that Boone wants Cassidy dead so that Gibbs will remember him for a very long time. Gibbs takes Boones photo album to him and threatens to burn it. Boone knows he can't destroy evidence and so Gibbs pulls a gun on him. As Boone is being taken back to death row he asks Gibbs if he thinks she is screaming and it then that Cassidy walks into view. Boone is taken screaming back to death row.moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

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

Christopher Shyer

Christopher Shyer

Kyle Boone

Guest Star

Chad Donella

Chad Donella

John Briggs

Guest Star

Tom Wright

Tom Wright

Warden Sam Kelleher

Guest Star

Jessica Steen

Jessica Steen

NCIS Special Agent Paula Cassidy

Recurring Role

Stephanie Mello

Stephanie Mello

NCIS Tech Cynthia Sumner

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • TRIVIA: The serial killer's file number on the file reads "H1 J3551CA" or "Hi Jessica," which was referring to SA Paula who was played by Jessica Steen.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Paula: A whole week of TAD with Gibbs, I can smell the fun already.
      McGee: Well, it's been a tough month.
      Tony: Right now he pretty much hates everyone, Paula. Including himself.

    • (in the woods at the body dump site)
      Paula: (looking at her phone) I can't get any reception out here.
      Tony: That's not surprising, the middle of nowhere isn't part of our coverage plan.

    • Paula: Why couldn't I sit at Kate's desk?
      Tony: Mostly because it's still Kate's desk.
      Paula: She was a great agent.
      Tony: Yep.
      Paula: How are you handling it?
      Tony: Same way I handle everything. I try not to think about it.
      Paula: And when that doesn't work?
      Tony: There's always junk food.

    • (holding Tony pinned to his desk and groaning, when behind them McGee clears his throat)
      McGee: Got that coffee.
      Paula: (turns around, embarrassed) Have you been there long?
      McGee: Long enough to say no, ma'am, Agent Cassidy.
      Paula: Okay, good answer.
      (Paula lets Tony go, and he gets up off his desk)
      Tony: I let her do that.

    • Kyle Boone: Do you think she screamed when he cut out her tongue, Jethro?
      Gibbs: I don't know. Why don't you ask her yourself?
      (Paula comes around the corner, Boone is shocked)
      Paula: I'm afraid your lawyer's gonna miss your execution tomorrow.
      Tony: He's kinda dead.
      Gibbs: Enjoy hell.

    • McGee: Do we actually have knee pads Tony?
      DiNozzo: I don't know Probie. Inventory is Kate's responsibility. Why don't you ask...

    • Tony (after Gibbs was mean with Cassidy): Look on the bright side.
      Cassidy: Which bright side?
      Tony: You're here only a week.

    • Gibbs: Next time you see Boone, he'll have a thunder bolt shooting out of his ass.

    • Ducky: Do you know the difference between good and bad cholesterol Tony?
      Tony: No, but I'm guessing it has something to do with taste.

    • Abby: You're not listening to a word I'm saying. (pauses) I'm pregnant, McGee. Twins. Haven't told the father yet. It's Gibbs. I know it's wrong, but something about his silver hair just gets me all tingly inside.
      (Tony comes in the room, just catching the last bit of Abby's statement.)
      Tony: Excuse me for a sec, I think I'm going to vomit.
      Abby: I'm joking, Tony! Except the part about Gibbs' hair. That really is hot. McGee's ignoring me again.
      Tony: Easily fixable.
      (Tony walks up behind McGee and slaps him upside the head.)
      McGee: What? What'd I do?
      Tony: Stop ignoring Abby. She's sensitive.

    • Tony: Let me ask you something.
      Cassidy: Okay.
      Tony: How was Bobby in the bed?
      Cassidy: Kate had it right. You're pathetic!

    • Tony: The difference between ten years ago and today, Ducky ? We have Gibbs' back.
      Ducky: There's another difference, Tony. Ten years ago, Gibbs was a very different man.
      Tony: You mean he was actually meaner?
      Ducky: No, quite the opposite. (grabs Tony's arm) He was ... (reflexion pause) He was a lot like you.

    • McGee: Now all we have to do is scan three hundred and eight thousand miles of satellite imagery and pray we get lucky.
      Abby: I am a scientist, McGee... luck has nothing to do with it and/or us.
      McGee: Okay, so how do you explain something like Gibbs' gut?
      Abby: Well.. that's easy, Gibbs is lucky.
      McGee: But, but... you just said that...
      Abby: He's not a scientist.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Airdates:
      Denmark: October 18, 2005 on TV3
      Sweden: Januaray 1, 2006 on TV3
      Australia: February 22, 2006 on Channel 10
      Germany: March 30, 2006 on SAT 1
      France: September 8, 2006 on M6
      Croatia: October 2, 2006 on NOVA TV
      Italy: November 5, 2006 on RAI 2
      Brazil: February 23, 2007 on AXN
      Finland: October 13, 2007 on Nelonen
      Slovakia: April 22, 2009 on Markiza

    • This is the only episode this season that Cote de Pablo (Mossad Agent Ziva David) does not appear in.

    • This was actually the first episode filmed for this season even though it was not intended to be the premiere episode.


    • It is likely that this serial killers story is loosely based on the story of Ted Bundy. Bundy was a serial killer convicted in the 1970's. The name Boone could possibly be taken from the unknown child of Ten Bundy to his wife, who bore the surname Boone. Like the Boone of this story Bundy tried many different ploys to put off execution, including last minute claims of further murders and the need to keep him alive so that he could tell them where the bodies were and who were the victims. He failed and was executed on schedule. Boone's lawyer would also try and appeal the execution of Boone under the grounds of wanting to postpone the death so that the families of missing daughters could find some peace when Boone revealed their location. The families refused.

    • The car chase scene after Briggs, intercut with footage of the kidnapped Agent Cassidy only to be revealed as two completely separate locations, is the same technique used in the serial killer movie The Silence of the Lambs.

    • Paula Cassidy: He drives a Ferrari. It's Red.
      Tony DiNozzo: Like Magnum.

      This is reference to the long-running series Magnum, P.I. about Hawaii-based private detective Thomas Magnum. The Ferrari in question belonged to his employer, Robin Masters, but he was allowed to use it the majority of the time, provided Higgins hadn't taken the keys for some transgression Magnum had committed. The show was another Bellisario production.