NCIS

Season 2 Episode 22

SWAK

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 10, 2005 on CBS

Episode Recap

As they enter the office, Tony is teasing Kate about having a cold and trying to give her remedies. He tells her about sake bombing and then is appalled that she's never heard of it. McGee chimes in that he hasn't either. Tony laments that he works with a pair of "wankers" just as Gibbs walks in and says, "And you make three, DiNozzo." Gibbs asks Kate about her cold and tells everyone he's never had a cold or the flu. Tony remarks to Kate, "If you were a bug, would attack Gibbs?"

McGee's handing out the mail and holds up an envelope with a kiss on the seal. Tony snatches it from his hand, saying that he recognizes the lips and the scent. He slits open the end, blows on the envelope to open it, and white powder erupts in his face. Gibbs climbs onto his desk and orders everyone to evacuate. Kate notifies security, and McGee reminds everyone of what to do as Tony rinses off his hands and head. After everyone has evacuated, Kate calls out, "Let's hit the showers, Tony!" Tony looks up and replies, "I thought you'd never ask!"

As the team showers, Tony wonders who would send him Anthrax, to which Kate replies, "Pick a girl, Tony!" Tony laments the burning of all his name brand clothing. McGee tries to cheer Tony up by saying that the powder might not be Anthrax, it could be small pox, bubonic plague, cholera. Tony interrupts him before he can go any further, and McGee switches to other less-harmful powders-foot powder, face powder, talcum powder. Suddenly, Tony remembers honey dust, a gift he gives to women at Christmas time. Gibbs chimes in that "it makes a woman's skin feel silky smooth" and when kissed tastes like honey. He received a box of it last Christmas with no card. Tony winces, and admits that the post office must have screwed up, giving Gibbs honey dust instead of a bottle of Jack Daniels. Kate suddenly remembers that the post office irradiates their mail, and if it has DNA, it dies. Tony thinks he's off the hook, but Gibbs brings him back to reality by saying, "Unless the post office screwed up again!"

In the autopsy lab, the team is getting their blood drawn while Gibbs is chastising McGee for not giving him the letter. Kate reminds him that Tony snatched it from McGee's hand. Gibbs tries to leave autopsy, but Ducky won't let him. Gibbs hollers that he's been scrubbed, sanitized, and maybe even sterilized, but Ducky is adamant. The medical team comes in to collect Tony, and Gibbs insists that Kate go along as well, since she's fighting a cold. Kate and Tony leave, arguing as they go.

In her lab, Abby gives a sample of the powder to the CDC, then puts a sample through one of her machines. She cartwheels around her lab while waiting for the results, which Gibbs sees via the monitor in autopsy. Abby tells Gibbs it'll be a couple of hours before she's able to determine the identity of the powder.

At the naval hospital, Tony remarks to Kate that her urine is too dark, which completely disgusts Kate. A Dr. Brad Pitt introduces himself and makes a joke about his name, which makes Kate laugh. As they follow the doctor to the isolation room, Tony remarks that Kate would have elbowed him for a joke like that, and Kate obliges him with an elbow to the stomach. In the isolation room, Tony and Kate are introduced to Nurse Emma, with whom Tony immediately starts to flirt. The doctor informs them he's starting them on prophylaxis, which causes Tony to snicker. Annoyed, Kate tells him that it's for the prevention of disease, and Tony replies, "That's why I use 'em!" Nurse Emma begins to laugh, and Kate admonishes, "Don't encourage him." Tony follows Kate to the bed next to hers in order to annoy her, but the doctor suggests that they maintain some distance.

Back at NCIS, Abby is discussing the letter with Gibbs, telling him it's SWAK-Sealed With A Kiss. She asks Gibbs if he ever got a love letter, and Gibbs returns with the question, "Does a 'Dear John' letter count?" Abby replies that she feels sorry for Gibbs. She discovers that the letter has a return address. Gibbs tells McGee to use Ducky's PDA to make a note of the address and sends Palmer to get replacement weapons and cell phones. Palmer asks, "Pistols?" Annoyed, Gibbs yells, "No, Palmer! Crossbows if you think they'll work better!" Gibbs orders Abby to open the letter, and she discovers a very unique, traceable paper with calligraphy writing on it. Meanwhile, McGee exclaims to Gibbs that he can't find Ducky's PDA, to which Gibbs yells, "It's a pad and pencil, McGee!" Gibbs asks Ducky to read the letter. As he does, they learn that the powder was a genetically altered strain of Y. pestis, which in Latin means plague. This particular strain would cause pneumonic plague since it was breathed into the lungs. Abby counters that it might not be alive since it needs constant moisture, and McGee remarks that it also would have been irradiated by the post office. Gibbs reminds McGee that he received honey dust!

By reading the letter further, Ducky discovers that the Y. pestis has been altered to be antibiotic-resistant. He also discovers that an antidote will be made available if NCIS will make public the results of a certain case. Suddenly, Abby exclaims, "Uh oh." She found a moisture strip inside the envelope. Ducky remarks that the incubation period is less than a day, and that it usually kills in 12 hours. McGee discovers that he can't access the case file they need, so he and Gibbs leave autopsy, despite Ducky's objections.

At the naval hospital, Tony remarks that he feels like the king of cool, and Kate groans, knowing that he's thinking of a movie. Tony explains that Travolta is the king of cool, and he starred in the movie "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble." Kate pleads with Tony not to tell her about any more movies. Tony agrees, then proceeds to talk to Nurse Emma in the observation room about the movie.

Gibbs and McGee enter Abby's lab in bubble suits, so as not to contaminate anyone or anything. McGee uses Abby's computer to look up the case and discovers that it was a rape case. Gibbs wants to talk to the investigating officer, but they can't because it was Agent Pacci, who's now dead. Gibbs reads that the case involved a senior college student who was raped at a hotel where a crew of midshipmen was staying. However, DNA evidence cleared all of them. The case was never solved. Ducky calls up Cassie to help them since she was Pacci's probie.

As Gibbs and Abby study the office surveillance video, they realize that Tony came back late. Gibbs remarks that Tony always does his best work at night. Abby continues to examine the letter and discovers that there's a SWAK on the inside of the letter as well. Gibbs orders her to irradiate the letter and pull it out for a closer look.

Tony ponders whether the UV lights in the isolation room are actually helping. Kate argues with him, and he eventually relents. Kate then asks Tony if he's afraid. Tony scoffs, asking if she's ever seen him act afraid. Kate admits that she hasn't, but they're used to dangers that they can confront. She comments that anyone with half a brain, then stops and says, "Never mind. You're not afraid." Meanwhile, the doctor comes into the observation room to inform Nurse Emma that Tony's blood is infected with Y. pestis.

In the lab, Abby runs a test on the lipstick and discovers that the predominant ingredient was lead, which explains why the bacteria was protected from the post office's irradiation. As the examine the letter, Cassie arrives, and Ducky informs them that everyone's blood is fine except Tony's, and he doesn't have much time. Cassie catches up on the investigation and she says she knows who they're supposed to think sent the letter.

As the doctor examines Tony, they realized they played each other in basketball-Michigan vs. OSU. Nurse Emma informs Kate that Tony's been infected, and the doctor breaks the news to Tony that he has the plague. Kate yells at Tony that only he would get a disease from the Dark Ages. Tony asks why she's so upset, and Kate confirms that she's infected, too. Tony is deeply sorry. Kate promises to make his life hell for this. Tony comes back by bringing up some movies having to do with plague, and Kate returns an insult by informing Emma that Tony thinks speaking Italian turns women on. She walks away, sneezing, and Tony yells, "If I catch your cold, I'll be very pissed!" Tony asks the doctor if Kate will be okay.

Back at NCIS, Cassie rehashes the details of the case. She was permitted to interview the victim, but the woman had traumatic amnesia. It was the woman's mother that accused the sailors; the mother was and still is the head of a pharmaceutical company with the best microbiologists working for her. Gibbs sends Ducky to Bethesda to check on Kate and Tony and leaves with Cassie to find the mother.

The doctor questions what Kate is doing staying with Tony; after all, she might get infected. Kate insists that Tony needs hope. Tony hollers out, "Did you tell Dr. Brad about the wet t-shirt contest?" Kate counters with "Did you tell Nurse Emma about the transsexual you tongued?" Embarrassed, Tony argues, "Never happened." He begins coughing up blood and his breathing becomes labored.

As Gibbs and Cassie enter the pharmaceutical company, Gibbs instructs Cassie to serve the warrant while he shoves his Sig in her face. They make their way into the mother's office where she is waiting for them. She remarks that it's about time and insists that they re-open her daughter's case and admit that a midshipman raped her daughter. Gibbs warns her that this dramatic act will send her to prison for the rest of her life. When he sees that she doesn't care, he realizes that she's dying. She wants the truth to help her daughter heal, or she won't give the antidote. Gibbs lies and says they don't need the antidote because the post office destroyed the bacteria. He arrests the mother, and she gives up the name of the doctor who made the bacteria. Gibbs races to his lab.

At the hospital, Tony is getting worse, but he's still making jokes. Kate remarks to Emma that his humor's always been sexist, juvenile, raunchy. Emma interjects, "Funny!"

The microbiologist tells Gibbs that there's no antidote, but once a person's infected, the bacterium dies after 32 hours. However, the damage is done, and the person has only a 15% chance of survival.

Tony has developed full-blown pneumonia and is becoming cyanotic. He apologizes for torturing Kate and asks why she's not sick. She remarks that she's stronger than him, and he argues with her that she is not until he begins coughing uncontrollably. The doctor orders Kate to leave. Kate leaves, crying, and sobs in Ducky's arms that Tony is dying. Gibbs comes in to tell everyone that the bacteria is dead and orders Tony to listen; he will not die. Gibbs lightly taps Tony on his forehead and repeats the order, to which Tony agrees. Gibbs leaves, giving Tony his new cell phone, and suggests that he change the number since women keep calling for 'Spanky.'

Gibbs meets Cassie and the victim, Sarah, at another hospital, where he discovers that the mother went berserk in the car, so Cassie took her straight to the hospital. Apparently, the tumor in her brain is making her crazy. Sarah apologizes and says she tried to tell her mom that it wasn't a midshipman because they were all cleared. She insists that she still doesn't remember. Gibbs gives her a penetrating stare and asks, "Are you sure?" In a very unsure voice, Sarah replies, "Yes…" Cassie looks at her and states, "You know, don't you?" Sarah breaks down and confesses that she wasn't raped at all. She was at the hotel with her boyfriend, and he tied her, naked, to the bed, then left to get food. He never came back because he was killed in a hit and run. When she was discovered, she made up the story to save herself and her family from embarrassment.

At the naval hospital, Kate asks to sleep in the isolation room with Tony. She thinks Tony's asleep, but Tony mumbles something about how this reminds of the end of the movie "Alien." Kate laughs.