Season 1 Episode 21

Split Decision

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 11, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
292 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a body of a murdered marine is found in the forest, the investigation leads to the local militia and a weapon deal gone wrong.

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  • Not a proper writing job

    Really disliked Kate in this episode. It was the fault of the writers who obviously tried to bring in more jokes and pointed remarks. But they often gave Kate bitchy lines, sometimes even lines that are supposed to really hurt someone. Tony couldn't do anything right in this episode, although he, in fact, was just doing his job. Kate does not even noticed that she hurt him when she remembered him about Amanda after he had told her that he was looking for something more complex when it came to women - he was absolutely serious at this point and showed his sensitive facet. To do this you need to trust the other person, and she used it to hurt him. That doesn't suit Kate's basic character at all. I mean, she's a nice lady, and then letting her act like that? It wasn't a real good move of the writers. In fact, it's the main reason why I never liked that character that much, and it's a shame because - when I think about the facets of her character - this is the main point.

    The same with Gibbs. He is supposed to be to have a gut for everything but he shouldn't have noticed that Tony is that kind of person who is trying to attract other people's attention because there's no one in his life who sometimes lauds him, or simply likes him? That's a discrepance in the storyline. Unfortunately, this storyline was kept in many of the following episodes. People stick with "Tony sometimes is annoying", well, when you watch these early episodes carefully - in these he isn't annoying, or immature, or clownesque at all. He likes to flirt, yes, but he's in his early 30's. Show me an unmarried man at that age who wouldn't do it, especially when he's handsome. ;) He's a bit silly sometimes but not exaggerated. That he was annoying at that time was the opinion of the other characters - transferred to the audience. Especially in season 2 the writers corrected their mistake - by making him really silly sometimes. It would have been better if they had corrected the other characters' behaviour ...moreless
  • Kate and DiNozzo

    Its kind off irritating how Kate talks down to DiNozzo sometimes. She doesn't take him seriously. Its true he acts like the proverbial class clown but he is actually pretty smart and resourceful.
  • With a great twist

    So.. Arm dealers.. Fake documents. Fake dealers and in the end, everyone gets played. It was quite surprising ending and the real solution caught me quite off guard. I did not expect her to be involved.

    I liked the whole Abby creating fake documents thing. The way she was adding that personal touch on faking to Gibbs and how Tony get little trouble at first, when he met the arms dealer.. They doing scan on him. That was the moment tension was up and I liked it.

    The whole gun deal in the end.. the way they were scanned and had to put everything away.. including the watch and how she got just so nervous and when they shot Gibbs. I could not even dream it was fake and I was already wondering.. how they explain that.. How they make him deal with it. Maybe little too easy way out again, but it was clever twist.moreless
  • A difficult one to follow, but it was worthwhile to watch.

    I thought this episode was a little bit difficult to understand, so at first, I wasn't a big fan of it. However, as you continue watching it, it is a pretty decent episode, in my opinion.

    When comparing this one to other episodes from the first season, it doesn't do too well, in my opinion. It was entertaining, contained a fairly decent ending, but it wasn't too funny for me, and that was a let down.

    I felt that the episode was a bit too hurried, and this didn't please me, but overall, it was a decent episode and was worth watching.

    Keep it up, NCIS!moreless
  • Another great episode!

    This episode opens with a gang of teenagers doing a stunt and then finding a body of a marine who has a wooden pole sticking out of his side. Ducky discovers that the pole was stuck in his side after death, but he already had the hole when he died which is most likely the cause of death. He was also a boxer. The team believe that the victim was selling firearms etc to someone and so Tony is sent in to try and discover who the buyer was. When a potential suspect is revealed Gibbs goes undercover to try and solve the case. After the deal goes bad, Gibbs is shot in the chest. But it is ok, it was all a set up and Gibbs was really ok. Overall a good episode and very gripping. Well worth watching.moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander

Special Agent Kate Todd

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

Erin LeShawn Wiley

Erin LeShawn Wiley

Corporal Patricia McClain

Guest Star

Laz Alonso

Laz Alonso

S Sgt. Steven Washington

Guest Star

Sam Witwer

Sam Witwer

S Sgt. Rafael

Guest Star

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

Recurring Role

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • TRIVIA: This is the second time in the series that Michael Weatherly's character, Tony has gone undercover with the name "Gus". Another point would be that Michael Weatherly has a son named August, nicknamed "Gus".

    • GOOF: When Tony is talking to ATF Agent Stone, the camera pans around his head. On the first pan, there is no earring. On the second, there is an earring in his left ear.

    • TRIVIA: Very few UK universities or schools (if any), produce a US style year book, let alone have an electronic record of year book style photographs.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Stone: Are you always this subtle when you're leering at women?
      Tony: Well, leering by definition isn't supposed to be subtle.
      Stone: Do you always move this fast?
      Tony: Only when there's nothing to slow me down.

    • (Abby is making a fake ID for Gibbs)
      Gibbs: Abbs, leave a few gaps, don't make it so neat.
      Abby: Please Gibbs, I've been making fake IDs since I was 15.

    • Tony: He said you could use his computer?
      McGee: Uh huh.
      Tony: Really? You know, when mine fried, he wouldn't let me touch his.
      Gibbs: 'Cause your fingers are always greasy from fried chicken and pizza.

    • Kate: McGee, I can't worry about your ass right now, okay?

    • Abby: Don't be silly, ATF lady.

    • Tony: You weren't going to let her shoot me were you?
      Gibbs: Nah.
      Tony: You had a plan, right?
      Gibbs: (unconvincingly) Yeah.

    • (Abby developing an undercover ID for Tony)
      Tony: How about some time in Leavenworth?
      Abby: What's the crime?
      Tony: Something that fits my persona.
      Abby: How about violation of federal obscenity laws?
      Tony: That's funny.

    • S Sgt. Washington: (to two Marines in boxing ring) Alright, if you two are going to dance, join the Air Force!

    • Gibbs: Yeah, but?
      Ducky: Why should you think there's a but?
      Gibbs: With you there always is.
      Ducky: Yes, that's right, isn't it? Well as they say in the high country markets of Sri Lanka, there's more than one way to skin a mongoose. Actually, there are three...
      Gibbs: Ducky!

    • (Tony is trying to convince Gibbs to let him go undercover)
      Tony: Complete and total sleaze. Pure pawn-shop material. And let's face it, I'm a more believable scumbag than you.
      Kate: (raises her hand) No argument here.
      Tony: Me disheveled, you high and tight, me flaky, you solid citizen.

    • Tony: How old am I?
      Kate: Based on chronology or maturity?

    • (Following Tony's explanation to Kate of explosives that could cause the crater they are standing next to)
      Kate (to Tony): Wow, you really do keep something besides comic books in your bathroom.
      Tony: Hard to believe, huh?
      Kate: Impressive.
      Tony: Thanks a lot.
      Kate: I mean about the crater.

    • Militia leader: (to Gibbs, who he shot shortly beforehand) Time for NCIS to stop laying down on the job.

    • Tony: Who said our terrorist was British?
      Gibbs: Ducky. Said his syntax suggested higher education in the British Isles.
      Tony: Well, maybe he just grew up watching tons of Cary Grant movies.

    • Gibbs: Looks like a serial number.
      Abby: It's part of one.
      Gibbs: The good part?
      Abby: You can't go straight for dessert, Gibbs. You have to eat your peas first.
      Gibbs: I hate peas.

    • Tony: McGee! Are you nuts?
      McGee: What?
      Tony: You're at Gibbs' desk using his computer, that's like touching...the Ark of the Covenant.
      (a few minutes later)
      Gibbs(pats McGee): Good job, McGee!
      Tony: He got a pat on his back, I get a smack on my head.

    • Gibbs: You guys have a website? A lot of these militia groups have websites. All kinds of links to buy merchandise. You can buy coffee cups, sweatshirts, of 'em even has a militia babe calendar. It's amazing.
      Militia Leader: (pointing a gun at Gibbs' head) Only calendar we have is the one that marks the days until the US government takes away our last constitutional freedom. When that day comes, and some federal cops puts a Glock to your head 'cause he doesn't like your jokes - think about us.
      Gibbs: Thinking about you now.

    • Ducky: Abby. I'm surprised. I had you pegged for more the anarchist type.
      Abby: Actually, I used to be an anarchist.
      Ducky: What happened?
      Abby: Too many rules.

    • Gibbs: So we have nothing.
      Abby: Actually, no. When you write data onto a hard drive, it's triggered electronically and magnetically onto a hard drive plate.
      Tony: What would that mean as something Kate would understand?
      Abby: That even though the drive was reformatted, all the information that was contained is still here. It's just a matter of Humpty Dumptying it.
      Tony: I thought they couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
      Kate: That's because the king only had horses and men.

    • Tony: Staff Sergeant Grimm could've used a little help from the boys on Queer Eye.
      Kate: I doubt that rug would've made the cut.
      Tony: Actually this was the only thing I kinda liked.
      Kate: I'll add that to the list of reasons I never want to see your apartment.

    • Tony: I really liked her.
      Kate: ATF agent involved in illegal weapons and murder. What's not to like?
      Tony: So quick to judge, Kate. Sure, she has flaws, sure she's going to prison, but my instincts tell me she has good qualities as well.
      Kate: Two of them wouldn't happen to live under her shirt, would they?
      Tony: You're not gonna believe this, but, ah, when it comes to women? I actually look for more complex things under the surface.
      Kate: Really?
      Tony: Really.
      Kate: Like when you were tonguing that he/she a week ago? Lots of complex issues under that surface.
      Tony: I gotta go.

    • Kate: Staff Sergeant Rafael's holding out, I can feel it in my gut.
      Gibbs: Guts are good.
      Kate: He's having a little time out in the interrogation room, so when you're ready I'll go over all my notes with you.
      Gibbs: I gotta work up an ID with Abby. I'm afraid Staff Sergeant Rafael is all yours.
      Kate: You always do the interrogations, Gibbs!
      Gibbs: Not this one.

    • Tony: I like a girl with spunk.
      Stone: That right?
      Tony: The first girl I ever kissed, kicked me right in the...
      Stone: Way above the shins?
      Tony: Painfully above.
      Stone: Hm. I hope you learned your lesson.
      Tony: I did. Next time, I waited till after she swallowed her gummy bear.

    • Ducky: Did you know that militias were once a legitimate and necessary source of defense for this country?
      Abby: Well, according to these guys, they still are. But it's not like they have any new ideas, it's all so...
      Ducky: The song remains the same?
      Abby: Exactly. And bonus points for the gratuitous rock reference.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The song played while the boys are taping their Jackass stunt is called 'Nightmare' and is performed by Eve 6.

    • Original International Airdates:
      Croatia: August 30, 2005 on NOVA TV
      Finland: January 20 on Nelonen
      France: October 08, 2004 on M6
      Germany: August 11, 2005 on SAT.1
      Hungary: April 10, 2006 on TV 2
      Sweden: November 07, 2004 on TV3
      Denmark: May 18, 2004 on TV3

    • This episode features the first appearance of Brian Dietzen as Ducky's assistant Jimmy Palmer, a recurring character.


    • Abby: We can rebuild it. We have the technology.

      A very obvious allusion to the line what was said during the credits of the original Six Million Dollar Man series: "We can rebuild him, we have the technology."

    • Ducky: The song remains the same?
      Abby: Exactly. And bonus points for the gratuitous rock reference.

      "The Song Remains the Same" is a song by the English rock group Led Zeppelin. It is the opening track from their 1973 album, Houses of the Holy.

    • Kid: We pull this off and Johnny Knoxville's going to be asking us for a job.

      This is referring to Johnny Knoxville's role on MTV's series Jackass, where a number of people do dangerous stunts.

    • Kate; Is that your final answer?

      Who Wants to be a Millionaire is a quiz show made famous by host Regis Philbin whose catch phrase was "Is that your final answer?"

    • Tony: Looks like Staff Sgt. Grimm could have used a little help from the Queer Eye guys.

      Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is a television show where five homosexual men give a home/fashion/personality makeover to a straight man.