Season 9 Episode 15


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 14, 2012 on CBS

Episode Recap

A Navy captain enters a smallflower shop and greets the owner, who is finishing up taking orders for Valentine's Day from telephone messages. He urges him to hurry, that he "wants to let off some steam tonight." The florist agrees, and then listens to one last message that begins as an order for funeral flowers, and ends as a threat, warning him that he would find him "when he least expects it." The florist and the captain look at each other in consternation. Suddenly, two gunshots ring out, and the captain and the florist are on the floor, dead.

Ziva storms into the office the next morning, muttering under her breath. "I can't believe it!" she exclaims."Oh, you saw 'The Crying Game'?" inquires Tony. She tells Tony and McGee that she has received a speeding ticket. "You know what this means?" inquires Tony. McGee answers, "Yeah – the system works." McGee examines her ticket, and discovers that she was going 80 mph in a 40 mph zone. "Not the entire time!" Ziva protests. Tony suggests that she should have told the officer she was a Federal agent, because sometimes they will extend 'professional courtesy' and not write a ticket – and "with one notable exception, I haven't gotten a speeding ticket in 17 years." "Or paid for parking, or football games," McGee adds dryly. Tony maintains that it is a grey area, and adds that sometimes he gets his doughnuts and coffee for free. McGee rolls his eyes and walks away, and Ziva tells Tony that she does not think that Gibbs would approve. "What Gibbs doesn't know won't hurt him," Tony maintains just as Gibbs enters the office. "What don't I know, DiNozzo?" inquires Gibbs, and Tony tells him that Ziva has received a speeding ticket . . . and that sometimes he gets coffee for free. "But I tip big," he adds, and then braces himself for the anticipated head-slap, which Gibbs soundly delivers. Ziva winces in sympathy. Gibbs tells them that they have a dead Navy captain, and as they grab their gear, Ziva muses to McGee, "Do you ever get the feeling that he likes getting slapped in the head?" McGee shakes his head. "I'd rather not think about it," he sighs.

At the florist shop, they have witnesses who heard the gunshots, and McGee finds the brass in the street. "No one called the police?" inquires Ziva, surprised. "Gunshots aren't exactly news in this neighborhood," Tony tells her, surveying the wreckage in the shop. He notices that the safe has been picked open, and that there are fingernail clippings in front of the safe, which is collected for evidence. Ducky enters, running late – Palmer was late in returning and Ducky finally left without him. Gibbs asks where Palmer is, and Ducky tells him that Bree called and that the wedding caterer that they had chosen had gone out of business. "The sobs almost woke the dead," he adds. "She was upset?" inquires McGee. "She wasn't the one crying," Ducky deadpans, as the rest of the team grins. The Navy captain is Jack Wallace and the florist is Dexter Murphy. The team is puzzling over what appears to be a routine burglary, with the added evidence of the threatening telephone message. As Ducky is unbuttoning Wallace's uniform to examine the body, he is taken aback – Wallace is wearing a bright silver and yellow superhero costume under his uniform, emblazoned with a seal featuring draftsmen tools.

At the office, McGee reports that Wallace is a "real live super-hero," part of a group that refers to themselves as superheros. "They don't believe they have actual super powers," he explains, to which Tony smirks, "Of course not – that would be weird!" McGee goes on to explain that they are community activists that patrol as community watch, community service and even do fundraising. "Do they do birthday parties?" Tony inquires facetiously. McGee explains that they each had superhero names they went by – Murphy went by Solanum, and Wallace's name was Captain Code, specializing in building code violations. He shows them a website: "", describing other self-proclaimed super-heros, and describes the movement as becoming more and more legitimate. He observes that being a RLSH (Real Life Super Hero) is also dangerous, considering the bad guys they often encounter. Ziva realizes that they are vigilantes. "Nerd vigilantes," adds Tony, and Ziva comments that the person who left the message was obviously seeking revenge. The team splits up to investigate different leads.

Gibbs enters Vance's office as he is concluding a talk with a young woman. "Do we have a deal or not, Ms. Miller?" he inquries. "That depends on your agent," she replies, to which Gibbs observes, "that doesn't sound good." He glances at Ms. Miller. "Still working for the Evening Tribune?" he asks her. "The Globe," she corrects him. Vance rolls his eyes. "Oh, puh-leeze tell me you weren't married," he pleads. "No – but we go back," Gibbs tells Vance, with a side glance at Ms. Miller. She tells them that Wallace had called her two days before to set up a meeting, but didn't say what it was about. "But that superhero costume sure says something," she adds speculatively. Gibbs looks at Vance accusingly. "I didn't tell her," Vance assures him, and Ms. Miller adds, "I am a reporter, after all." It turns out that Wallace ran a classified program at the Department of Energy, securing rogue nuclear material. He hands Gibbs a file. Gibbs is displeased. "This file is classified," he reminds Vance. Vance nods towards Ms. Miller: "The file is hers, not mine," he corrects Gibbs. Gibbs raises an eyebrow as Miller shrugs. "Reporter," she chirps. Vance tells Gibbs that Miller has agreed to hold off publishing the story until NCIS has completed their investigation into Wallace's death, in return for first crack at the story and working with an NCIS liaison. "And you're that liaison, Gibbs," Vance tells him, adding that he hopes he will handle it professionally.

McGee is driving Tony crazy with superhero stories, so Tony retreats to Abby's lab. Unfortunately, Abby is also carried away with the superhero stories, and appears, hissing, and wearing a mask of a cat's nose, a small cape and 8" long fingernails. In consternation, Tony asks, "What's new, pussycat?" Abby tells him that she has been trying to meet a superhero named Catatonic for months – he rescues animals, mostly cats, and "he's a rockstar in the shelter community!" "Well, right now, we need a rockstar in the forensic community," Tony tells her. She tells him that the DNA on the fingerprints isn't finished, yet, but she recognized the yellow seal on Wallace's costume -- she had seen it in an on-line video of a bar fight that had been uploaded six months ago, where Wallace and Murphy stopped a drunken fight outside a bar. The video shows them rushing in, in costume, to break up a fight and using mace/pepper spray to disable the drunks. The video went viral, and Tony wonders if the drunk idiot in the video may have been holding a grudge. Abby is attempting to use facial recognition to identify him, but the film is poor quality. She is also having trouble tracking down the person who used the name ICU to post the video.

As Tony leaves, he meets an agent escorting Miller in the hall. As he spies Miller, he freezes in disbelief. "There you are!" she says. Taken aback, he stutters, "Well . . . yeah . . . there you are. What are you doing there?" Miller tells him that Gibbs has assigned Tony to be her liaison on Wallace's murder. Shooing away the agent, he tells her that they do not liaise with reporters. "You do now," she tells him sweetly. As Tony protests that Gibbs hasn't mentioned it, Abby comes following him, with a message from Gibbs. She stops short, sensing the tension between Miller and Tony. "Oh . . . hello?" she tells Miller with a tentative smile, who glances at Abby's costume in surprise. "So," Tony says, with a patently false smile, "What do we do now?" Miller tells him that she's not any happier than he is, but she expects him to act professionally. "Always – it's not like we're enemies," he says. "Exactly," she agrees. "After all, I did invite you to Christmas brunch, and at one point in our lives, we were engaged to be married." Abby gasps. "Oh, meee-ow!," she says in breathless anticipation. "Hi, again – I'm Abby," she introduces herself again. "I'm Wendy," responds Miller. "Wendy . . .Wendy, the ex-fiancee'?" Tony gives Abby a tight smile, as Abby whips out her camera and takes a quick picture of a startled Wendy, and dashes off.

Tony and Wendy enter the office, amid the hushed hisses Ziva and McGee's amused "Here they come!!" -- Abby has worked fast spreading the news. Tony sends Wendy to the conference room, and then grabs Gibbs and asks him frantically. "I'M Wendy's liaison? What were you thinking? You were there when it went south, I can't . . . ." Gibbs glances down meaningfully at Tony's hand clutching his jacket, and Tony backs off with a mumbled "Sorry," earning a glare from Gibbs as he thrusts the file at Tony and walks away. Tony follows Wendy to the conference room, followed closely by a curious Ziva and McGee. In the conference room, Tony and Wendy "question" each other. He asks her if she has ever spoken with Wallace before. "No," she answers. "Any idea what his call was about?" "No." "Why did you invite me to Christmas brunch?" he asks. "I thought it would be nice to see you – I may have been wrong," she tells him calmly. Then it's her turn, and she asks if Wallace had a history of mental illness (no), and was the Navy aware he was moonlighting as a superhero (no.) Her final question: "Since when did you start wearing thousand-dollar suits?" she asks him. "Since when did you stop teaching four year olds how to sing 'Puff the Magic Dragon' and started channeling Lois Lane?" he asks in return. "People change," she tells him. "Yes, they do," he says meaningfully. She smiles a little more warmly. "I wasn't wrong – it is nice to see you," she tells him. He relaxes a notch. "It's nice to see you, too," he responds. Suddenly, they hear a muted whisper at the door. Tony charges to the door and flings it open, revealing an obviously eavesdropping Ziva and McGee. "C'mon, I invented that!?" he chides them. Ziva offers a lame excuse that Abby hasn't been able to identify who uploaded the video, and McGee shows Tony a picture of the suspect, adding that Gibbs wants them to canvas the neighborhood with the picture. Interested, Wendy peers over Tony's shoulder, and casually tells them that she doesn't know the man in the picture, but she does know that it was uploaded by someone named Clarence Tobett, "the Global trustfund baby, runs an anti-gang outreach program." They look at her in astonishment. "Reporter," she shrugs. "He's always calling the paper, trying to drum up publicity." McGee thanks her, and she tells him to let her know what he finds, and brushes by him on the way out. McGee turns to Tony: "She's CUTE!" he says. "STUFF IT," Tony tells him.

At the Tobett mansion, Ziva teases Tony, telling him that his ex-fiance' is very attractive, and that "it must be strange seeing her after all these years . . . especially now that she's divorced . . ." Tony cuts her off as they find Clarence in a large exercise room, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with an "ICU" logo, working out with a punching bag held by an assistant. He admits that he made the video, and went to a great deal of trouble to keep his identity a secret. "Oh, snap – you're one of them!" exclaims Tony, to which Clarence replies, seriously, "If by that you mean I'm a real life superhero – yes. ICU – that's where you go if you mess with me!" He tells them that he shot the video while on "bait patrol" – acting as bait, and waiting for someone to cause trouble. "When they do – we give it to them!" He is interrupted by his father, who harangues him for borrowing "Tom" and demands to know what he's done now. Clarence loftily tells him that NCIS is there "on business", but his father is skeptical. "No, business is what I do – I buy real estate, you just take it up! Acting like you're 5 instead of 25!" he sneers. Clarence provides them with a partial license plate of the suspect in the video. His father leads Tom away, reminding Clarence that Tom has a Bronze Star and is "a real hero." Clarence is miffed, and explains that his father is annoyed because he won't join the family business. Ziva hides a smile: "I can relate," she tells him. He adds that Captain Code was on to something that he was worried about.

Ducky tells Gibbs that Wallace shows signs of several previous injuries – jaw broken twice, knife wound, grazed by a bullet. Gibbs sighs and comments that they shouldn't have taken their role as vigilantes so seriously, "they could get hurt," but Ducky points out that most of them were vigilantes because they had already been hurt. For example, Wallace was Captain Code because his wife died in childbirth, and his daughter died when a balcony in a shopping mall collapsed. Ducky tells Gibbs that the vigilantes have channeled their angst into something positive. "Who's to judge?" he asks, and then adds, "The one thing I might judge you on is your choice of Tony as liaison to the press . . . what are you up to, Jethro?" Ducky inquires, as Gibbs looks away. At that moment, Abby enters, excited – she has a hit on the DNA.

In the office, the team examines the record of Felix Quintero, who matches the DNA they found – a small-time hood who appears to have cleaned up his act and is currently a locksmith, with a car whose license matches the partial supplied by Clarence. "Looks like he's our drunk idiot," conclude McGee, and Gibbs orders Ziva and Tony to pick him up. Tony, driving, suddenly executes a U-turn in the middle of the road – sure enough, the car that had been following him executes the same turn. Ziva observes that the case may be wrapping up soon, and Tony will be free of his angst. "I'm fine, Ziva," he grits through his teeth, glancing at the rear-view mirror. Ziva tells him that he seems "pensive," and asks how it ended between him and Wendy. Suddenly, he slams on the brakes. "OK! Forget I asked!" exclaims an exasperated Ziva, but Tony points out that they are being followed. "I had a feeling – a pensive one," he tells her. They jump out of the car, and are greeting by the other driver, Wendy Miller. As Tony is remonstrating with her about following them, she insists that she wanted to stay in the loop. "I told you I would let you know!" he tells her. "Well, let's just say you don't have the best track record of doing the things you say you are going to do," she snaps. "ME!" Tony exclaims, and they begin to bicker, to Ziva's intense interest. Suddenly, Wendy's car bursts into flames. As he drags Wendy away from the burning vehicle, he snaps, "Even your car doesn't like you!" "I just bought that car – it hasn't had a chance not to like me!" she protests.

Abby finds that Wendy's car was the victim of a cheap, quick fuel bomb. As they are examining the car, they find her notes, which reveal that she had worked with Wallace several times in the past. "She lied to us," Gibbs states angrily.

Being questioned by both Gibbs and Vance, Miller claims journalistic privilege in not revealing her sources, and is angry that they have looked through her notes. "Your notes are evidence in an attempted murder, Wendy – yours," Tony reminds her. After a moment's consideration, she admits that she was doing an expose on wasteful government spending, with Wallace as a source. Vance glances at Tony: "Is she telling the truth, Agent Dinozzo?" Tony, gazing at Wendy, doesn't respond until he realizes they are all staring at him. "I'm sorry – what?" he asks. Vance tells him that he just discovered the relationship between Tony and Wendy, ("and we'll talk about that later," he tells Gibbs in a stern aside), and wondered if Tony had any insight. "Yeah – she's telling the truth," he tells Vance, with another glance at Wendy. Vance decides to take Wendy into protective custody, and offers to have Ziva escort her, in view of Tony's relationship with Wendy. "No way in hell!" exclaims Tony, taken aback at the thought of Ziva and Wendy together. "It's ok -- I've got it," he adds, more calmly.

At Wendy's house, she offers him a drink or food, which he turns down. "Since when are you not hungry?" she inquires. He responds, testily, that "people get 'not hungry' – it happens." "Not to you, it doesn't," she says as she quickly, nervously, moves about the room. She then asks if he is still pissed because she followed him. He tells her that since she was doing a story on a Navy contractor, he wonders if she had invited him to Christmas brunch as only a potential source of information. "You didn't want to see me, you wanted to use me," he tells her. "You really believe that?" she asks. "Tell me I'm wrong," he tells her. A deep breath, and she tells him, "You're not wrong." "That's not cool," says Tony, shaking his head. "Well, you blew me off, anyway – that's not cool!" she says airily. He tells her that he hadn't seen her in nine years, "we haven't spoken since the night our engagement ended." "All the more reason to catch up," she says brightly. "You didn't want to catch up – you were after a story, like some hard-boiled word-slinger from a Howard Hawkes movie," he says, walking up to her and confronting her. "I had a job to do," she says. "What happened to you – you used to be such a sweet, innocent kid?" "Me? What about you? You used to be a hopeless romantic, and now you're like George Clooney from 'Oceans 11'!" she challenges him. A step closer. "You like George Clooney?" Tony asks. "I think he's a bit of a cliché'," she answers breathlessly, looking up at him. Suddenly, Tony swoops down, kissing her hard. "Mmph!" she says in surprise, but throwing herself into a passionate kiss. Tony breaks off for a moment, taking a deep breath. "Golden Flower . . . I love when you wear that," he whispers. "I know," she whispers back. As they sink to the couch in a renewed frenzy of kissing, the front door opens, and her eight-year-old son and the babysitter appear in the living room, open-mouthed. Awkwardly, Wendy introduces Tony to her son, Fred, and then dashes out to finish packing, leaving Tony standing, uncertain, in front of a frowning Fred. He attempts to make stilted conversation, asking him about Harry Potter. "If you had to pick, which would you say is your favorite Harry Potter?" he asks Fred. "The one where Harry wasn't kissing my mom," Fred tells him grimly. "You saw that?" Tony asks. "Don't let it happen again," Fred warns Tony.

Later, Tony and McGee are on stakeout. Tony brings McGee a sandwich, but then McGee realizes that Tony isn't eating. "Not hungry," Tony says. "Since when are you not hungry?" asks McGee, puzzled. "People get 'not hungry'! Geez!" Tony replies, irritated. McGee says nothing, and Tony offers an apology. "Sorry, I'm just really . . ." "Pensive?" offers McGee. "Why? Because you made out with your ex-fiancee' today?" Tony laughs dismissively, "What?! What are you talking about?" McGee points out the lipstick on Tony's collar, to Tony's chagrin. "Eagle eye, McGee," he admits. "What's the problem?" asks McGee. "She divorced, you're single . . ." Tony tells him, "The problem is 'been there, done that.' Crash. Burn." "That bad?" "The NTSB is still looking for bodies," Tony admits wryly. "What happened?" asks McGee. "That's a good question, McGee . . . you always ask the good questions . . ." Tony tells him, but doesn't answer. After a moment, McGee asks him, "OK – so what do you want to happen?" Tony stares out the window. "Cue the subject change," mutters McGee, but Tony points out that a woman has been standing on the curb for a while. He decides to question her, but as he approaches her, she dashes off. Tony gives chase, followed closely by McGee. Tony calls to her that he's with NCIS, but she dashes into an alley, and trips. He stops, and tries to talk to her as McGee joins him. Suddenly, she rolls over and attacks them with pepper spray. Under her trench coat, she is wearing a skin-tight black and gold superhero costume, and is quickly joined by three more superheroes. McGee and Tony are gasping, "NCIS! I guess you never heard of NCIS?!" as they show their badge. "Cops!?" exclaims one of the men, and begins to explain, "Look, we were just . . ." "Yeah, I know . . . bait patrol, I know" snarls Tony. "I ought to arrest all of you!" The woman protests that they are co-workers, but McGee and Tony have recognized Quintero. "Hey – I have a secret identity!" Quintero protests," but Tony has lost patience. "What are you, in the third grade?" He glances at the woman, and adds, "THAT is a great costume," he tells her appreciatively.

Back at the evidence garage, Tony emerges from the van, using one of the superheroes microphones, and introduces each superhero as they emerge: Whipcord, Spandexia, BoltCutter. He's enjoying using the siren buzzer on the microphone, earning a stern "That's not a toy!' from Bolts, "It's a sonic diversionary weapon!" Spandexia tells Tony that they are there to help "and we'd appreciate a little professional courtesy!" Grabbing the mic, Tony intones "YOU ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS!" Gibbs enters the garage, silently surveying the motley bunch. Tony offers, "Before you judge – if things had gone differently, this could have been McGee." Another agent, Dorneget, has taken Quintero to Interrogation, and they will be debriefing the rest of them in the conference room. They introduce themselves proudly to Gibbs, who is unimpressed. "Remarkable straight face, Boss!" compliments Tony. Spandexia tells Gibbs that the police only investigate after a crime is committed, but since they started patroling, crime in their neighborhood has gone down by 50%. "We make your job easier," she tells Tony. "Actually, Ziva would make our job easier – where is she, Boss?" he asks Gibbs. Gibbs tells him that Ziva has brought in "the reporter" to see if she could identify Quintero. Tony is aghast: "Ziva is alone with Wendy? That's not good!" Quickly, he throws the mic jacket at Gibbs and dashes off, just as Abby appears to meet the superheroes. She asks for a picture together, and as they are posing, Spandexia complements Abby on her costume and Gibbs walks away in disgust. "This isn't a costume," says Abby, a bit crestfallen, "These are just my clothes . . ." as she glances down at her black shirt with a large red star in the middle, paired with a short red skirt, a dog collar and thigh-high high-heeled boots.

Tony bursts into the Observation room and comes upon Wendy and Ziva laughing together. Seeing him, they both stop laughing, but continue smiling. "See – this I could do without," he says, but Ziva is undeterred: "I did not know that Tony got motion-sick!" she tells Wendy. "Well, he would – if he wasn't on his meds," Wendy adds. Seeing Tony standing between them, Wendy looks up at him. "Hi!" she greets him. "Hi . . . ?" he answers. From his other side, Ziva chirps, "Hi!" Uncomfortably, he turns and tells her "hi". "So . . ." he fishes, "how's things?" "Good," answers Wendy. Tony sniffs meaningfully, and suddenly, Ziva chimes in that she needs to go, but Wendy stops her, saying that she has to pick up Fred, "who says hello, by the way – I think he likes you?" Wendy slips out the door, leaving a grinning Ziva and a chagrined Tony. Sighing, he says, "OK, let's hear it." "Hear what?" "I'm sure she said something." "Is there something to tell?" Ziva asks provocatively. They watch at Gibbs begins Quintero's interrogation. Quintero is watching the video as Ziva tells Tony that Wendy told her that Tony was one of the most honest people she knew. "Really?" asks Tony, expressionless. "To others," adds Ziva. "She said that the only person you lied to was yourself—which she says you do a lot." Tony gives her a narrow look. Quintero tells Gibbs that Wallace had staged that attack for publicity, but had never paid him for the video, so he tracked them down, left the message, and came by later to get his money. He admits that he took the money, "but technically it was already mine." He has an alibi for the time of the murder – he's not the killer.

In the office, the team examines the case in terms of Wallace's link with Wendy. McGee begins to assemble a file of her stories, Ziva call his CO to find out what he was working on that might have given him cause for concern – which leaves Tony to check cell phone records, "and talk to every guy she's talked to in the last six months," he sighs. "No – I've got that," Gibbs says, giving him a break, and sends him down to talk to Ducky.

In Autopsy, as Ducky searches for some notes, Tony gazes at Wallace's heart, which is lying on a tray. "It looks so small, sometimes," he muses. Ducky, hearing a note in Tony's voice, asks him what's wrong, "you seem pensive." "I'M NOT PENSIVE!" says Tony, exasperated. "WHAT IS IT WITH EVERYONE AND THAT WORD?!" He apologizes, and Ducky invites him to talk about it. "Did you ever have something terrible happen, and you thought you put it all behind you, but then terrible comes back, and it's more terrible than it was before?" Ducky gazes at him, puzzled. "I'm confused," he murmurs. "So am I," sighs Tony. Ducky tells him that it was clear, from the first day he met Tony, that he was a man in pain. Tony objects, but Ducky persists. "Your pain was as clear to me as Jethro's. He lost Shannon, the love of his life, and you lost faith in yourself for so many reasons. Jethro coped with his pain by repeatedly marrying the wrong women, thus insuring ultimately that he would always be alone and safe from heartbreak. You repeatedly chased the wrong women. You're alone because you never did, as you say, 'put it all behind you.'" Tony says nothing for a moment, and then, rubbing his ring finger meditatively, he tells Ducky, "When Wendy told me the night before we were supposed to get married that she was calling it off, I didn't take it . . . very well. We hadn't spoken in nine years until yesterday." "Well, then, perhaps Fate has given you another chance at closure—or something else," offers Ducky. Suddenly, Tony grins. "It's not Fate – it's Gibbs. Dude set me up," he adds, as Ducky chuckles, and then finds his notes. Two other superheroes have been murdered in other parts of town. "Either these are the result of a very dangerous line of work. . ." ". . . or somebody is killing superheroes," finishes Tony.

After analyzing the placement of the previous murders, Abby and McGee have identified a pattern – the same cell phone was in use at the site of all four murders. The cell phone belongs to Clarence Tobett. McGee wonders if Tobett has been killing the competition, but Gibbs isn't convinced.

Arriving at the Tobett house, Gibbs, Tony and Ziva find Clarence's father shouting at him again, with Tom in attendance. They tell him that the cell phone has been found at the site of all the murders, and while Clarence is insulted, his father tells him to shut up and instructs Tom to call their attorney. Ziva takes out her phone and dials a number. The phone in Tom's pocket rings. As he takes it out, looking at it curious, Ziva says brightly, "Oops, I seem to have called the wrong number." "What number did you call?" asks Mr. Tobett. "The murderer's," says Ziva, smiling coldly. Gibbs continues: "Let me guess – company phone? A company that you keep in your son's name for tax purposes?" he asks Mr. Tobett. As they move to arrest Tom and Mr. Tobett, Tom tries to make a dash for it, but is foiled by Clarence with a sharp cry and decisive strike that knocks him cold, to the team's surprise and amusement.

The end of the story: Mr. Tobett was a slum lord who bought buildings in depressed areas at reduced prices. As the crime rates in the areas went down, the prices of the real estate went up, which affected his ability to buy cheap real estate. The plan was to kill off superheroes so that crime would go up and prices would go down. "They were making a difference," comments Gibbs. "Sounds like you've had a chance of heart?" Vance asks in surprise. "Good guys are good guys, Leo," shrugs Gibbs. "And bad guys are bad," Vance concludes. Wendy became involved when she did a piece on real estate values in the metro area. The areas that she concentrated on happened to match the areas where the superheroes were killed, and Tobett was afraid that Wendy would start making the same connection that NCIS did. "Nice work," compliments Vance. "Especially you, Agent Gibbs . . . or should I say, Cupid? It is Valentine's Day, after all." He turns away, leaving a puzzled McGee. "Boss? What is he talking about?" he whispers to Gibbs. Gibbs doesn't answer, but glances at Vance and starts to laugh.

At the flower shop, Wendy is taking photos for her story, accompanied by an NCIS agent. Tony enters, and tells her that when Director Vance said he was allowing her to take pictures of the crime scene, "I had to see it to believe it." "Well, when he heard I changed my story from 'Crazy Naval Officer' to 'Evil Slum Lord That Killed A Dedicated Community Activist', he got very agreeable," she tells him, smiling. Tony looks her over, and tells her, "I really like those boots." "Thank you very much!" she tells him, and he shoos the other agent out of the shop. They both start talking at once, and then Tony allows her to go first. "I lied to you Tony, about why I invited you to brunch. You were wrong – I was not trying to get information for a story. I invited you because – I wanted to see you." A moment of silence passes as Tony gazes at her, searchingly. "It's your turn," she prompts him. "Why?" Tony asks, surprised. "Ah – because we're taking turns? And now – it's your turn?" she explains. He takes a step in her direction, as she eases away, keeping some distance between them. "That's not what I meant, and you know it." "You want to know why I left?" she asks. Tony shakes his head slightly and advances. "I want to know – why you said 'yes' to me when the answer was really 'no.' I want to know why you waited until the very last minute to tell me the truth. And most of all, my runaway bride . . . I would like to know why." "Would it make a difference, now?" she asks, somewhat breathlessly. "I mean, if you weren't so sad and so lonely . . . you wouldn't even be wondering." Tony laughs off her observation. "Sad and lonely? You have me confused with Bosco," he says, referring to the NCIS agent who has just left. "Would you like to see my little black e-book?" "Show me anything you like," she says, her chin raised, "but it's not going to change what I see with my own eyes." She turns aside, and surprisingly, tells him, "You should tell her how you feel – whoever she is." Tony is speechless for a moment, but recovers quickly. "A, that's not going to happen, and B, get out of my head and C – answer the question." She considers for a moment, and then tells him, "I left because I wasn't ready to meet The One, ok? And you were The One." "That doesn't make any sense," he objects. "Are you sure? Because, from what I see, you've spent the last nine-and-a-half years avoiding relationships. I just avoided it first. Which is why I left my Hero Cop and married a stockbroker who cared more about money than people. I wasn't ready to meet The One when we met, Tony. But I sent you that invitation because . . . I am, now." She smiles at him gently, and then, gathering her briefcase and coat, she quietly eases out the door, leaving Tony standing alone in the middle of shop – thinking.