This episode was powerful from the get-go, with Gibbs' appearing to drown.
After the credits, the scene is set 24 hour earlier, and Gibbs is faced with reaquainting himself with his daughter, Kelly's best friend, Maddie, who has fast grown up, approaching Gibbs with a personal problem - a recently returned-from-service Marine Sergeant is stalking her, and had assaulted her.
In true Gibbs fashion, he dealt with the problem, letting the Sergeant know exactly where he stands and where he shouldn't go in life, and Maddie is grateful for Gibb's effort, and invites him in for a coffee, where he looks at a photo of Kelly and Maddie in the Gibbs family backyard sandbox. Gibbs comments that he never found out why they were laughing when he took the photo of them both, and Maddie divulges that Kelly and her placed a "time capsule" in the sandbox and buried it.
Gibbs returns home, where he discovers the time capsule. He is torn between opening it and finding more of Kelly's trinkets, and leaving it alone, to return to the former sandbox. It is ever so evident that Gibbs misses his family so much by the raw emotion that Mark Harmon portrays in his character, and the flashbacks that are played in this episode.
Maddie calls Gibbs again to inform him that the good Sergeant has returned, and she was under threat in her own home. Gibbs rushes to her house in his Chrysler 300C in again, true Gibbs fashion, only to find the house ransacked and looking out the window and hearing Maddie scream, Gibbs headed to get her, but failed to get to the vehicle to stop it in time, and not risking the shot and potentially injuring or killing Maddie.
After tracking down the whereabouts of the Marine Sergeant, he was found brutally tortured and murdered, and being dead before the abduction of Maddie took place, removing him from suspicion. The hunt was on to find the real perps, and locating a GPS Tracking device, it was easy to expand that lead, evidently ending up in providing two very real suspects.
Gibbs, again, in true fashion, disappears out of sight with his weapon, but without his badge and identification, and sets up a deal with the abductors to free Maddie. A fight ensures, shots are fired, Maddie and Gibbs make it to the abductor's car, and Gibbs reverses it off a dock, and it cuts to the entrance scene, where DiNozo, using his detective skills to track Gibbs, sees and hears Gibbs roll off the dock and into the harbour, and runs to save him and Maddie. On racing towards the rapidly sinking car, DiNozo shoots both abductors and races full-force and jumps into the harbour.
The doors were jammed, and so DiNozo began ripping at the windscreen successfully. He helped Maddie out and raced her to the surface, while Gibbs tried to fend for himself, only to be caught by the steering column of the car, and preventing his escape. DiNozo went back down to rescue his boss, finding him appearing to be drowned. DiNozo got him out, swam him to shore and began CPR on him, only to appear to fail. DiNozo then went to work on Maddie, and she came through. Another flashback scene of Kelly telling her dad that it was okay to go back appears, and Maddie reaches over to clutch Jethro's hand, and it appears tha Gibbs is alive, turning his head to look at Maddie.
On return home, Gibbs takes the "time capsule", contemplates one last time in opening it, but dismisses it, returning it to its resting place.
Throughout the episode, it is noteworthy that Gibbs shows a family-like attachment to Maddie, as he is deeply reminded of Kelly by her. When Maddie has Jethro for coffee, Maddie tells Gibbs that she often wonders what Kelly would have been like now. Twice during the episode, Gibbs says that, "She'd be a lot like you." He now brandishes the photo of Kelly and Maddie together, and in the final cut-scene, you can see that Gibbs leaves the photo of him, Kelly and Maddie intricately placed to show them in a family-like pose.
I will as always, continue to be a proud and loyal fan of NCIS, simply because the episodes keep getting better and better.