Season 6 Episode 17

South by Southwest

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 24, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
310 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a fellow agent is murdered, the NCIS teams heads into the desert to locate a woman who might hold the answer to the mystery murder.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Gibbs and Dinozzo go to Arizona.

    This was a bit of a different episode when Dinozzo and Gibbs get away from DC and go to Arizona while Ziva and McGee stay in DC because of the murder of an NCIS agent who was going to meet Abby before his death and Abby must decipher the clue that was left by the victim Dinozzo was particularly happy in this episode because he thought he was going to inherit a lot of money off his uncle but Dinozzo couldn't believe what happened when he got the phone call I liked the scene where Gibbs and Dinozzo are on the horses and are under attack by a helicopter but we see what Gibbs is all about when he takes it down in one shot.moreless
  • The Murder Of An NCIS Agent Leads Gibbs And Tony To The Deserts Of Arizona. Meanwhile, Tony Gets Good News From London.

    "South By Southwest" is a very good episode. This episode works on just about every level. A well written script, gripping suspense, and top rate acting by all involved. The case was entertaining but Tony's side story was even better. I laughed all the way through and the comedy never stopped. That was the highlight of this episode. Abby played a big part of this episode and it was good.The scenes in Arizona are another highlight too. The action scene at the desert was awesome and very suspenseful. The conclusion was superb. Tony's final scene with the team was awesome! Haha! Go see this great episode. "It's only money!"moreless
  • a very enjoyable episode

    wow, i'm finally not going to get 15 thumbs down this time! i really liked this episode! the whole thing from the begining where they wouldnt let abbey in because they what they thought of her looks, to McGee seeming angry, to Tony makeing love to a horse, gibbs takeing on a helecopter and snipper with nothing but a shotgun. it was great, though there could've been ,ore ziva and duckey parts, they really missed out on that. but i loved the parts where tony and gibbs wher in Arizona, i remember somthng in a ear;yier episode the Tony had mentioned an adventure of his in Arizona once. but anywasy it was great.moreless
  • Adventurous pretty much sums it up:)

    I loved this episode! Very funny from beginning to end! Tony was especially funny during this episode and Mcgee was unusually aggitated, Abby was sad and Ducky was a sweet gramps for the couple of minutes he was there for, Gibbs was boss as usual and Ziva was there :) So i thought there would be some huge reason why Mcgee was so mad but it wasnt to huge,he just lost all of his money from putting it in stocks that went under! Abby was sad cause a guy died cause she didnt go out to dinner with him, Tony was Tony... Very Tony, Gibbs was Gibbs (isnt he always?) Ducky wasnt in much of the episode and Ziva was just around, nothing huge on her part but you still see her around! Lots of great Tony,Tony and Mcgee,and Tonyh and Gibbs moments!moreless
  • Intresting twists....

    One of the things I liked about this episode was that it despite how close Gibbs and Abby this was the first time Abby kept a secret from him. The other thing that was interesting was our usual easy going Timothy McGee was definitely out of sorts and keeping his own secret. A situation that had Gibbs visibly frustrated, which for Gibbs was unusual to see. I thought the painting was an interesting little puzzle piece to try and fit in to the case. Especially when the basis of the case was link to the paint, not the picture. The revelation that they were dealing with an imposter was a great twist.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

Mossad Agent Ziva David

Lance Henriksen

Lance Henriksen

Sheriff Clay Boyd

Guest Star

Tim Guinee

Tim Guinee

Bart Lemming

Guest Star

Mira Furlan

Mira Furlan

Dina Risi

Guest Star

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • GOOF: In standard viewing, Zell swings his right elbow and it appears to have hit Tony. However, if you watch it frame by frame, Zell's right elbow passes the contact point without Tony's face even moving a muscle.

    • TRIVIA: The Commander punches in a five number code to the Dry Storage Bay, with the last few numbers of the code being "4-5-2". Later in the show when Tony goes down to punch in the code we see him press "9-3-5-6". Later, the third time in the show when Tony and McGee are pretending to be painters, Zell punches in a four digit code, though we only see the last two numbers "5-6." This might mean that the Commander gave Tony a sub-code to the door, especially since most 9-digit touchpad door locks have a master code (for the boss/owner or in this case, Commander), and several sub-codes for certain employees.

    • GOOF: When Abby pulls the credit receipt out and flips it over, it's in a vertical position. In the next shot, the closeup shows it's being held horizontal.

    • GOOF: At the beginning of the show prior to the theme song, the killer tucks the gun under the midway point of the helix. After the intro during the camera flashes, it shows the gunshot by the earlobe.

    • GOOF: Artist Dina Risi is said to have a secluded cabin somewhere on Mt Piños near Yuma, Az. But the terrain near Yuma is mostly flat, and there is definitely no Mt Piños in Arizona, though there is one in California. Mt Piños is also not located in the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Parks where the episode was actually shot, but rather in the Los Padres National Forest.

    • TRIVIA: It seems strange that Gibbs says that he notified Director Vance about Agent's Patterson's death, but that he didn't reach him personally because it was after midnight in Singapore, where the Director presumably was. The time difference between the eastern United States and Singapore is twelve hours, which would mean that it was early afternoon while they are at the scene of the assassination. But they were called to the scene just after McGee arrives at work. Even though he was said to be late due to traffic problems, it would still seem that it should be morning there.

    • TRIVIA: The location standing in for the Arizona desert in the final scenes is actually Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in northern Los Angeles County. Named for bandit Tiburon Vasquez, the park has been used for countless tv and movie productions, one of the most notable is the battle between Captain James T. Kirk and the Gorn in the Star Trek episode "Arena."

    • GOOF: When Agent Patterson was shot at the beginning of the episode we can clearly see that the four shots that he received in his chest were in very close small pattern, all four on the left side of his chest, approximately where the heart is. Later when his body was lying on Ducky's table we can see that he received 2 bullets in his right chest and 2 in his left in very symmetrical and equal spread pattern.

    • GOOF: At the beginning of the episode, when DiNozzo is on the phone trying to reach Mr. Hubbard (his great-uncle's solicitor), the phone he is holding switches between his cell and his desk phone between shots.

    • TRIVIA: The helicopter that was used at the end of the episode was a Eurocopter AStar 350 B2 (N67TV) and is currently used by Helinet Aviation.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Tony: A law firm in London wants me to call them. Says it's important.
      Ziva: What could they want?
      Tony: I don't know. Maybe it's about my Uncle Clive. You remember that funeral I went to last month?
      Ziva: Your uncle really died? I thought you were making that up to get some time off.

    • Sheriff Boyd: You know, you might want to let go of that horn, junior. Riding a horse is like making love, you got to relax and enjoy it.
      Tony: Sheriff, I have a strong feeling that you and I enjoy both of those activities in really different ways. No disrespect.

    • Tony: (after riding a horse all day) Ohhh, can you get nerve damage in your buttocks?
      Gibbs: You're gonna feel worse in the morning.

    • Gibbs: Any word on Dina Risi?
      Sheriff Boyd: No. We tried all our sources. No one seems to know where she went.
      Gibbs: You know her?
      Sheriff Boyd: Well, I met her. She was chained to a tree, I was the one with the bolt cutters and handcuffs.

    • Ziva: You're counting your eggs before they're laid.
      Tony: Operative word is 'laid'.

    • (Tony has trouble controlling his horse; it's turning in circles)
      Tony: Uh oh, sheriff, I think he lost a contact.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Rocky Carroll is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Denmark: March 8, 2009 on TV3
      Australia: March 31, 2009 on Channel Ten
      Norway: August 4, 2009 on TV3
      Sweden: August 25, 2009 on TV3
      Spain: September 3, 2009 on La Sexta
      Germany: September 20, 2009 on SAT 1
      The Netherlands: September 29, 2009 on SBS6
      Slovakia: March 18, 2010 on Markiza
      Finland: May 11, 2010 on Nelonen
      Czech Republic: September 13, 2010 on TV Nova

    • Featured Music:
      "Tomorrow Still Comes" by Will Dailey (when Tony and Gibbs arrive in Arizona)


    • McGee's comment that Dina Risi is the "woman who knew too much" is a reference to The Man Who Knew Too Much, a film originally directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1934 and then remade by the Master of Suspense in 1956 with a difference cast. The comment, like the title of the episode, "South by Southwest," is a takeoff on Hitchcock's movies.

    • Tony: Kinda like Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell in Scent of a Woman.

      Scent of a Woman is a 1992 remake of a 1974 film of the same name that stars Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell. Chris O'Donnell will soon guest star as G. Callen in this season's "Legend" two-parter and this show's spinoff, NCIS: Los Angeles.

    • The title to this episode, South by Southwest, is a play on the title of the Alfred Hitchcock film North by Northwest that starred Cary Grant.

      It also shares the same name as the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) music/interactive/film festival that is held in in Austin, Texas each year. The festival began in 1987 and is held in downtown Austin, at the Austin Convention Center.