Season 7 Episode 8

Power Down

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 17, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
383 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The team needs to use other resources when an attempted robbery leads to the death of a Lieutenant and the entire city suffers a major blackout.

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  • NCIS use old school methods when the city has a blackout.

    This episode was just brilliant I loved the idea of the blackout and how it was shown on the opening credits This episode was very funny, especially Gibbs who was everywhere in this episode showing the blackout won't stop the investigation as he had the team covered with his cameras I also loved the end when the power came back on and everyone was happy to start working on the computers but not Gibbs who just turns off his computer because he doesn't need it.moreless
  • Power Down

    The power is out at NCIS and in Washington D.C. in general, and some great comedy scenes emerged. I loved when Ziva, Tony and McGee failed to figure out how to use the old copy machine only for Gibbs to walk right up and do it without hesitation. I also liked the guy playing video games in his parent's basement, well into his adulthood. Hopefully that doesn't happen to me!

    And then DiNozzo making all those TV and movie references (Who loves ya baby?). Very enjoyable episode of NCIS. My only concern is that it was a bit all over the place at times. The case seemed to shift between subjects too quickly and it was a little too much for the viewer to handle.moreless
  • A Navy Lieutenant is killed while trying to infiltrate a high security ISP server farm and NCIS is called in. A simultaneous power failure for the whole Washington DC area happens in sync and the team has to use old tried and true methods for detection.moreless

    Very entertaining episode with both a good suspenseful case and some great machinations with the crew needing to do things without power. It really makes you think of where we would be without the current tools we are so use too.

    I especially loved Abby and her gyrations around not being able to use her baby's to get the information she usually uncovers so quickly. I mean it was going to take a hour to find the info on the car tires!?! She went out of her way to explain that to Gibbs. Gibbs little bag of older equipment was great. All the Polaroids and hand torches. Great stuff.

    Everything seemed pretty cut and dried until they met Navy Commander Sarah Resnik played by Cara Buono on scene at one of the investigations. Things did start to fall into place.

    The semi-surprising ending was pretty clever and not necessarily expected until right before they sprung it. Nice work by the writers in keeping things suspenseful.

    All in all an entertaining and well written example of NCIS. The acting was good and all the references to Kojak, Hawaii Five-O, etc. were great. Book'em Donozzo! Thanks for reading...moreless
  • A classic, very memorable!

    If you love variety and innovative episodes, then this is the one for you. I thought the entire concept was fresh and interesting and I couldn't wait to see how everything worked itself out.

    I loved the start. Ziva and McGee trapped in an elevator was a very innovative touch and it was extremely well executed.

    I also thought that the case was extremely interesting, and having the blackout only amplified that, in my opinion.

    I thought there were quite a few humorous moments from the episode, which was an added bonus.

    Overall, I highly recommend this one as it is extremely well planned. It is unprecedented and unique, and that really is amazing!moreless
  • Filler episode that hit all the right notes and gave us a sweet treat I had come to forget

    Episodes that don't involve character development usually rank a little lower for me, so when the show began and the elevator scene proved to be anything momentous, I was prepared for just a regular episode. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

    This was just an all around FUN episode. This season has had other "fillers," but they just lacked that "team" feeling for me. In my opinion, this is the first episode where it seems like everyone is finally geling and getting back to the togtherness and comraderie we have come to associate with this show. So maybe we got a little character development after all ...

    Gibbs was in his element and it showed in his lack of dialog -- it seems when Gibbs is at his best and feeling good, he just does not have a lot to say. The end shot of a smug Gibbs was classic.

    I also liked that much of this episode involved Gibbs and McGee working together, a McGee - might I add - who seems to be taking a stand against Tony more and more. Hmmm

    I loved the trip down memory lane with Dinozzo and his classic cop references. It is true though, they never showed the cops sitting around digging through heaps of files and finger print cards. Interesting that it takes a black out in current day for us to see what classic cop shows never showed.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

David McCallum

David McCallum

Chief M.E. Ducky Mallard

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo

Special Agent Ziva David

Cara Buono

Cara Buono

Navy Commander Sarah Resnik

Guest Star

Corey Sorenson

Corey Sorenson

Anthony Paxton

Guest Star

Ryan Honey

Ryan Honey

Colin Stone

Guest Star

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • TRIVIA: The credits sequence ends with the usual Washington view and a car, but with a difference, we see the power supply cut in the credits (hinting what is going to happen in the episode).

    • GOOF: The "'99 Impala" the team finds after hearing about it on police band is really a '95-'96.

    • GOOF: The abdomen of the filleted body on the autopsy table is moving up and down, as the body was breathing. It was a bit unnerving considering Ducky had her heart in his hand. It airs about 17 minutes into the episode.

    • Nitpick: When Gibbs shows them how to use the old mimeograph machine that had been found in storage, the machine works perfectly the first time in spite of no maintenance or fluids added for countless years, which is extremely unlikely. However, this was in storage for presumably this very purpose, and it stands to reason there would be an unopened can of fluids with it. Whether someone other than Gibbs would know to grab the can, is up for debate.

    • GOOF: It was established that the time elapsed from the shooting was well over nine hours by the amount of time McGee and David were stuck in the elevator to when they arrived at the crime scene. And yet the EMT was first tending to the shot guard, bandaging his wound. It is inconceivable that a gunshot victim would have to wait that long to be treated.

    • GOOF: In the opening scene the power to the White House and many other federal buildings is seen going out, however the White House and other essential buildings work off their own power supplies.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (Ziva and McGee are stuck in the elevator)
      McGee: Do you see this? Nine hours, 21 minutes! (shoves his watch in Ziva's face)
      Ziva: Has it been that long? (takes the watch away and breaks it)
      McGee: Why did you do that?
      Ziva: Because it was either you or the watch!
      McGee: It's just, what's taking so long, you know?
      Ziva: Look, I'm sure we're not the only ones that need to be rescued. Plus, things could be a lot worse.
      McGee: Yeah, how's that?
      Ziva: We could be stuck here with Tony.
      Tony: (from outside the elevator) I heard that! I find it very interesting that the two of you left together late last night!
      Ziva: Just ignore him. He's like an annoying bug. Eventually he'll just go away.
      McGee: Ziva, it's been five years. Trust me, he's not going anywhere.

    • Gibbs: (talking about the case) So, basically we got nothing?
      Tony: Do blisters count?
      Ziva: Then we have nothing.

    • Tony: Is it possible for feet to actually die when they're still connected to your body?

    • Abby: I don't understand! Why does autopsy get back up power and I don't? MTAC I get that, but what does Ducky have that I don't?
      Gibbs: Corpses.
      Abby: I'll get some corpses!

    • Tony: High-tech case - low-tech ass-kickin'...

    • Gibbs: Book 'em, Dan-nozzo.
      Tony: Nice Hawaii-Five-O reference, Boss.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Rocky Carroll is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Original International Airdates:
      Norway: December 22, 2009 on TV3
      Sweden: February 2, 2010 on TV3
      Australia: February 9, 2010 on Ten
      Germany: April 18, 2010 on SAT 1
      Spain: April 30, 2010 on LaSexta
      Slovakia: July 15, 2010 on Markiza
      Finland: November 2, 2010 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic: January 10, 2011 on TV Nova


    • Tony: Husband's not gonna like hearing he was married to Mata Hari.

      This is a reference to a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan Mata Hari (Stage name of Margaretha Geertruida "Grietje" Zelle). In the midst of While World War I, she was executed by a firing squad for espionage.

    • References are made to several old school police shows during this episode, but the most references are made to Dragnet. This is most likely due to the fact that Jack Webb, the creator of Dragnet, Adam-12 and Emergency, gave a young Mark Harmon his start by having him guest star in episodes of Emergency and Adam-12, then headlining him the 1978 television series, Sam.

    • When the USO girl Tony is interviewing gets off on a tangent he replies "just the facts Ma'am" referring to a line often used by Sgt. Joe Friday in the TV show Dragnet, played by Jack Webb.

    • Tony: That's a regular Jason Bourne identa-kit.

      Jason Bourne is a fictional character in the Bourne trilogy of books. There are also three films starring Matt Damon as Bourne.

    • McGee: Wow, this is like the TARDIS.

      The TARDIS, standing for Time and Relative Dimensions In Space, is the time and space travel device used by the main character on the BBC show Doctor Who.