Season 1 Episode 7

Sub Rosa

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 18, 2003 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • TRIVIA: Whilst interviewing the first Petty Officer, Gibbs and Todd note that he was lying because his eyes looked to his left. This is a famous part of Neuro-Linguisting Programming, but they get it wrong. NLP is based on looking at a person - if their eyes go to their left the observer would see them going to the right, which would mean a truth rather than a lie.

    • TRIVIA: Michael Weatherly, in an interview said that while throwing a rock through the window was scripted, the running and football commentary was just improvising on his part. He claims this was the start of his ad-libbing in the series.

    • TRIVIA: Note McGee's tie. He wears the same tie in every season 1 episode until he gets his 'stripes' in season 2. Also, McGee holds his gun in his right hand this episode, all other episodes, he uses his left.

    • GOOF: McGee asks Tony about what Abby looks like. McGee had seen Abby in the video conference that Abby & Ducky had with Gibbs. He was standing beside Gibbs and had to have seen her.

  • Quotes

    • Tony: Yeah... Listen, kid... uh, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but you're not exactly Abby's type.
      McGee: I've taken care of that. Remember that urge you were talking about? (pause) I went with 'Mom'. (McGee enters elevator as Tony is frozen in disbelief)

    • Tony: I've never experienced Gibbs without his morning coffee. We're in uncharted waters here, Kate.

    • Tony: Worst case of acid indigestion I ever saw.
      Gibbs: Hey... better get Michael Jackson out of here... before he ralphs.

    • Kate: replace me because I shave my legs and not my face is unconscionable and certainly not in the best interests of the case.
      Gibbs: You claustrophobic?
      Kate: No.
      Gibbs: Good. (walks away)
      Kate: I'm going?!
      Tony: Don't forget to wax.

    • Abby: There's good news and bad news...
      Ducky: (sighs) I hate it when you play this game, Abby.
      Abby: His last meal was a Big Mac and fries.
      Ducky: Probably half the base had that for lunch. I was hoping you'd come up with something a little more exotic. Tandoori perhaps. And the good news?
      Abby: I know what's in the special sauce.

    • Ducky: I have good news and bad news.
      Abby: I hate payback.

    • (Tony throws a rock through the window.)
      McGee: That's breaking and entering.
      Tony: No. That was breaking... (reaches through window and opens door from inside) ... and this is entering.

    • Kate: Wow!
      Gibbs: That's what they all tell me.

    • Tony: Can a guy be cute to you without body art?
      Abby: Sure. I'm not a snob.

    • Abby: So what's Agent McGee like?
      Tony: Ah, like most newbies. Quiet, green, gullible.
      Abby: Bi?
      Tony: ... I don't think so.

    • McGee: I've heard stories about Special Agent Gibbs.
      Tony: Only half of 'em are true. Trick is, figuring out which half.

    • Tony: You look like hell.
      Kate: A woman loves to hear that, Tony.

    • Kate: Do people react that way because we're NCIS, or do you just have that effect on them?
      Gibbs: I'd like to think it's me.

    • McGee: What's she look like?
      Tony: Who?
      McGee: Abby. Sounds cute.
      Tony: Not your type.
      McGee: Well, how do you know that?
      Tony: Have you ever had the slightest urge to tattoo your buttocks, McGee?
      McGee: I don't...think so.
      Tony: Then we need never speak of her again.

    • McGee: You'll wanna avoid Captain Veech...
      Gibbs: What?
      McGee: Um. Well. I met him once. Before. He can be very...difficult.
      Gibbs: And you don't think that I can be difficult?
      McGee: Ah. I'm sure you can, sir.

    • Kate: Why are you making him stay here?
      Tony: Because I can?
      Kate: That is complete abuse of authority.
      Tony: Lighten up, he's new, he expects to be abused. It goes with the territory.
      Kate: This isn't pledge week at Sigma Chi, Tony.
      Tony: Bet you were a lot of fun in college.
      Kate: I was a lot of fun in college.
      Tony: Really.

    • Kate: Do you think we have enough, steward?
      Steward: Well, there's about forty gallons more in the galley, ma'am. Might as well eat it before it melts.
      Kate: I don't get it.
      Gibbs: They had to make room in the freezer for the body.
      Kate: Nice.

    • Kate: I wonder what he said to make Tony speechless.
      Gibbs: He told him he got a tat on his ass. (Walks away, Kate looks confused.)

    • Gibbs: COB, I don't have to tell you what the next most important thing is?
      COB: Put the ice cream back in the freezer.

    • Gibbs: Drink.
      Kate: What's with all the water?
      Gibbs: Oh, you gotta hydrate on a submarine.
      Kate: All you've had me doing is hydrating...
      Gibbs: Drink it. (Pause) So how's your bladder?
      Kate: What?
      Gibbs: The COB's at the end of the passageway trying to keep an eye on us. You gotta distract him. (Pause) You're gonna need help working the toilet.
      Kate: Gibbs...
      Gibbs: Trust me, Kate, on a submarine it's a very complicated mechanism.
      Kate: Is that why you've been shoving water down my throat for the past hour?
      Gibbs: I want to check out PO Thompson.
      Kate: All right. Well, you didn't have to drown me, all you had to do was ask.
      Gibbs: Come on. Hydrating is good for you. Go on... unhydrate.
      Kate: Never heard it called that before.
      Gibbs: Go on...

    • Tony: If you're coming down with something, don't sit next to me in the truck.
      Kate: There's an upside to getting a cold?
      Tony: Wanna tell the doctor about it? (straightens his tie and grins)

  • Notes

    • Original International Airdates:
      Croatia: August 09, 2005 on NOVA TV
      Finland: October 14, 2006 on Nelonen
      France: March 24, 2004 on M6
      Germany: May 05, 2005 on SAT.1
      Hungary: November 28, 2005 on TV 2
      Sweden: August 01, 2004 on TV3
      Denmark: November 25, 2003 on TV3

    • The song playing while Abby is telling Tony about the canister is "Euphoria" by Collide.

    • First appearance of Tim McGee, played by Sean Murray, who will become the official cast member in season 2. Previously, Sean had a guest starring role as well as a second recurring role on JAG, but as a totally different character. Sean Murray is the creator Donald P. Bellisario's step son.

  • Allusions

    • Tony: I guess "Flying Toasters" was too much to ask for.

      When McGee was hacking into the eco-terrorists PC, Tony made mention of a famous screen saver on the Macintosh operating system.

    • Episode Title: "Sub Rosa"
      The episode title is actually a phrase that had its origins in the story of the Greek god Eros' (better known by his Roman name Cupid) bribing the God of Silence, Harpocrates, with a rose to keep the confidence of Eros' mother Aphrodite (also known as Venus). Roman banquet halls would have their ceilings adorned with roses to indicate that whatever is said under wine is under the rose (sub vino, sub rosa).

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