Season 8 Episode 3

Short Fuse

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 05, 2010 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
284 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The NCIS team has to work with the FBI when they learn that a female bomb tech is linked to a murder.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
  • Gibbs and Fornell - Theyre Like a Married Couple

    The plot of the episode sucked - But I loved the Gibbs and Fornell relationship. Poor guys XD Loved it though
  • Fair; but why would NCIS investigate this case in the first place?

    The good:

    ¶ interesting, mysterious, complex crime-detective case. Not great, but OK. Female Marine kills "burglar" who broke into her house about 2 AM. We are led on an investigation of who the "burglar" was and what he was after.

    ¶ lots of good humor about an advertising crew photographing Tony for a Marine recruitment brochure.

    ¶ I like how Tony shines in this and most of the episodes -- he is always contributing savvy things to the investigation. I don't why many fans complain that he is virtually always shown as a buffoon. .


    The bad:

    ¶ My main gripe: I like to "suspend disbelief" in order to enjoy an episode, but I can only go so far. In real life would a law enforcement/investigative agency have the time and money to investigate further the incident that started this episode? -- a Marine person shoots dead an armed criminal who broke into her home. There is some suspicion that that she had a guest there at the time, and she lies about anyone else being present. Is that such a big deal that it would warrant an investigation?

    ¶ more flimsy, "lucky" detective work after NCIS figures out the marine was the target of a killing, not a break-in: they call her by cellphone which doesn't answer, so they go to the trouble to travel to the location of the cellphone, a hospital; find by luck that she visits her brother, a gunshot patient; they delve into the brother's criminal case and happened to discover that the FBI guy (who was at her apartment) recommended immunity (for info on other crimes) for the shooter of the brother, and so on.....

    ¶ In real life could McGee eliminate all the cell users in the area at the time of the shooting to narrow it down to one person? Other improbabilities too. Why didn't the bad guy try killing her himself rather than hire a hit man?

    ¶ Here, as in many, many NCIS episodes, the team --improbably-- swoops down on the villains at the end of the episode right at the key moment when they are about to kill someone or do some other dastardly deed. Too coincidental.moreless
  • Great episode. The case plot was interesting and engaging, but wasn't so important it took over everything. Gibbs and Fornell were funny, and the Tony as the face of NCIS subplot was great, though once in a while it would be nicemoreless

    Great episode. The case plot was interesting and engaging, but wasn't so important it took over everything. Gibbs and Fornell were funny, and the Tony as the face of NCIS subplot was great, though once in a while it would be nice if Tony actually got the happy ending for once. Whenever something happens to Tony like this, something always screws with it. For example, when Gibbs calls Tony "irreplaceable" then negates it in "Missing", or when Ziva invites Tony to dinner in "Boxed in" then he finds out that the rest of the team already went, or when he thinks he's up to inherit a lot of money, it turns out he's in a lot of debt. It's become almost part of NCIS's recipe, that it could be predicted that something would go wrong, which just made the whole subplot disappointing in my opinion.

    But overall, the case was good, everyone got their moment, Gibbs called McGee "Tim." Abby and Ducky weren't in much, but were still instrumental in solving the case. I'm pleased.moreless
  • Such an intricately intertwined web of detail and excitement!

    This was another top-ranged, and, in my opinion, highly underrated episode of NCIS! This episode was so good because it had so much detail, and one thing kept leading onto another, seemingly in a endless fashion.

    I really thought that someone was after the FBI Representative, but NCIS surprised us when the real target was revealed. The amount of detail that was put into this episode, so that everything just fell into place was phenomenal, and I have to commend the writers for this amazing episode!

    Please keep it pu guys! I feel that Season 8 has started off amazingly well, and I hope that that is to continue! Great job and great work guys!moreless
  • Short Fuse

    Another very good episode of this show; especially the friendship between Fornell and Gibbs that obviously needs only short one-liner questions and answers; and they reminded me of an old couple. When Gibbs asked whether his wife has mentioned his name and Fornell answered: "Not for years." The food Fornell brought for dinner and Gibbs threw it in the bin after one bite and came back with a bowl, milk and cereal and Fornell asked after he was having the first bite of the food whether Gibbs has another cereal bowl. I was really laughing out loud. Rather disturbing was the sight of Gibbs ironing while watching Western on his old B&W TV.

    Also the subplot that Tony is supposed to become the face of the new recruitment brochure. I guessed already that he would not end up on the cover, but Gibbs. Tony just tries sometimes too hard.

    What was really kind of weird was Abby and her usually very sweet relationship with Gibbs, there was no real interaction between the two. I always like the way he talks to her and that she is the only one who gets a "reward" for her work. The agents get a slap on the back of the head, but with Abby is Gibbs very gentle.

    The plot itself was gripping, you did not know what the characters where up to and who was the target and why. I am actually good in figuring that out, but not in this episode. Well done!moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo

Special Agent Ziva David

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

Abby Brammell

Abby Brammell

Marine Sergeant Heather Dempsey

Guest Star

Robert Curtis Brown

Robert Curtis Brown

Gary Tolin

Guest Star

Benjamin King

Benjamin King

Public Affairs Office Ron Sands

Guest Star

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Joe Spano

Joe Spano

FBI Agent T.C. Fornell

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • GOOF: The lense cap is on in the beginning of the episode when the lady is taking pictures of Tony.

    • GOOF: Ducky tells Palmer that pineapple contains an acid called pectin that can remove fingerprints. There are a number of errors in his statement: First, the enzyme in pineapple that allegedly has this effect is bromelain, not pectin, and its effect on fingerprints are far from generally accepted. Second, unlike many fruits, pineapples actually contain little to no pectin which means that in order to make pineapple jam, pectin has to be added for the jam to set. Finally, neither pectin nor bromelain is an acid (at least not in the sense of their action of fingerprints). Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme (i.e. it breaks down proteins), and that property is said to be the cause of its effects on fingerprints. It's possible that Ducky has confused Pectin with Papain, a protease similar to bromelain that is found in papaya.

    • GOOF/NITPICK: Gibbs took the time to move a plastic bottle from the garbage can into the recycling bin. Why he doesn't have an environmentally friendly thermos coffee cup?

    • GOOF: In autopsy, Ducky asks Palmer to scratch his nose and uses a cotton tip to scratch the right side of the nose (Ducky's left). In the next shot when Gibbs walks in, the cotton tip is on the other side (Ducky's right side).

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Gibbs: You were supposed to be here one hour ago.
      Fornell: My daughter had a performance at school. I told you. Be nice to me. I've just spend two hours with our ex-wife.
      Gibbs: Yeah, did she mention my name?
      Fornell: Not for years.
      Gibbs: Hey you shaved your beard.
      Fornell: That's very observant.
      Gibbs: What is that?
      Fornell: It's rice.
      Gibbs: I thought you were picking up cheeseburgers.
      Fornell: It's lamb curry from the Punjab Express.
      Gibbs: We both agreed we hate that place.
      Fornell: We did, but I got a two for coupon on the meal.
      Gibbs: Well, did you order it spicy or mild?
      Fornell: Atomic!

    • Abby: Guns usually speak to me. They tell me what I need to know. (to the gun) You, sir, are not cooperating.
      Palmer: This is getting scary. Dr. Mallard talks to the dead, and now you're talking to evidence.

    • Ron Sands: All right, Tony, just pretend like you're working at your computer.
      McGee: Yeah, that should look very natural. He does that all the time.
      Tony: Like working for real?

  • NOTES (3)

    • Rocky Carroll is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Featured Music:
      "Every Time I Turn Around" by Joss Stone

    • Original International Airdates:
      Canada: October 6, 2010 on Global
      Australia: November 2, 2010 on Channel Ten
      United Kingdom
      : November 5, 2010 on FX/FX HD
      Sweden: November 30, 2010 on TV3
      Norway: December 21, 2010 on TV3
      Spain: January 28, 2011 on LaSexta
      Germany: February 27, 2011 on SAT 1
      Finland: March 22, 2011 on Nelonen
      Slovakia: August 10, 2011 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: January 16, 2012 on TV Nova