Season 8 Episode 19


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 29, 2011 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
258 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a Navy Commander found murdered leaves behind a message written in blood, the NCIS team links it to a manuscript that may hold a threat to the national security.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Very sad that again episode after episode Di Nozo is detroying the pleasure in watching NCIS. In every normal company he would be fired and never would have a job again. Not only that, he also would be put tocourt.moreless

    Very sad that again episode after episode Di Nozo is detroying the pleasure in watching NCIS. In every normal company he would be fired and never would have a job again. Not only that, he also would be put tocourt.

    But not in NCIS there he can do what he wants, stealing things, sexual abuse, etc etc. Everything is possible, but working NO WAY.

    And then they say that he is the best agent??

    It say everything about NCIS.

  • This was a bit of a disappointment for me. Two reasons.

    Firstly, I would like to say that the cast performed their roles in exceptional style, as always. Mark Harmon and Joe Spano are a wonderful duo in this episode. Job well done.

    Now, to the thick of the episode. The writers of this episode, Nicole Mirante and Reed Steiner are clearly fans of Tom Clancy novels, as this episode holds a lot of commonality to the novel 'The Teeth of the Tiger', by Clancy. I'll explain.

    The episode contains a plot about a counter-terrorism operation known as BIRDSONG, involving the elimination of terrorist arms dealers. The leader of the operation was a Marine First Lieutenant - Brian Caruso was a Marine Captain involved in Special Operations in Afghanistan, as per Clancy's novel.

    One of the murder victims in this episode was drugged with the substance Succinylmonocholine. The substance that Domonic and Brian Caruso in Clancy's novel was the same thing. They used it to terminate known or linked terrorists, because it leaves very little trace in the target's body because it metabolises rapidly, giving the look of a myocardial infarction. It is also noted in both the book and the episode that it would take a very persistent and exceptionally thorough medical examiner or forensic scientist to isolate the drug once administered.

    Bottom line, it is appearing that NCIS is beginning to lose originality points.moreless
  • 819

    "Tell-All" is just another season 8 episode of NCIS. I am sure that it will satisfy most of the show's older fanbase, but for a younger viewer like myself I was left a little bit disappointed. I got into NCIS thanks to reruns on USA Network, much like a lot of people I believe. The show used to build on these characters and feature episodes that did not solely focus on the case at hand. That kind of writing has been absent as of late. Just look at today's show. Entirely devoted to the case and maybe one minute at the end about Gibbs feelings for a woman. One or two minutes of him in his basement working. I would have liked to see more of Jethro's take on life and less of the fairly pedestrian case we had this week, but it seems like that it is not the ratio NCIS is moving in as it seems more intent on creating episodes to get more syndication dollars than to expand creatively.moreless
  • A nice return to NCIS basics

    This episode is refreshing after the last two. This is a basic "classical" NCIS. The suspicion that a double murder has been committed resulting from an illegal weapon sales of a prototype turns out to be the traditional jealous husband with a twist of a mistaken identity. The episode is well thought off and exciting to watch and it seemed that every indication leads to the prototype weapon issueand a seemingly loving and worried husband turns out to be the real bad guy. I enjoyed this episode a great deal and hope that the next few episodes this season will be of the same level of entertainment and suspense. As usual Gibbs and the rest of the team are great!moreless
  • Not a bad episoed. The case was a tricky one to solve.

    I really enjoyed this NCIS episode, because the case was a difficult one to solve. THE NCIS team had been looking at the case from a military perspective, regarding Operation Birdsong, but the motive was actually much more simple and typical.

    The motive was a great moment in the episode, as they led us to believe they weere after terrorists. I also enjoyed the interrogation of the 'arms dealer'. THat was really funny!

    There wasn't too much great humour throughout the episode, although Gibbs' and Fornell's ex-wivfes getting married was a funny story! Neither fo them decided to go!

    All up, a great case! Hope hthis trend will continue and I can't wait for next week's! Keep it up, NCIS, and I highlly recommend this episode!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

Special Agent Ziva David

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Navy Rear Admiral Beau Hindley

Guest Star

Troy Winbush

Troy Winbush

Former Marine 1st Lieutenant Sam Keeler

Guest Star

John Lavelle

John Lavelle

Derrick Archer

Guest Star

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Joe Spano

Joe Spano

FBI Agent T.C. Fornell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • GOOF: When the NCIS team is making the arrest at the end of the episode, the word 'AMBULANCE' is seen so that you can read it facing the ambulance. It should be mirror imaged so that you can read in while looking in your rear-view mirror.

    • NITPICK: When McGee uses Google to search for "Capitol Crossroads Press", the location in the sidebar is set to "Los Angeles, CA" when it should be set to "Washington D.C." NCIS is actually filmed in Los Angeles.

    • TRIVIA: Gibbs' second ex-wife, Diane, is now getting married to a Homeland Security agent.

    • TRIVIA: The envelope containing Gibbs' invitation reads:
      Leroy Jethro Gibbs
      Washington Navy Yard
      Building 375, Room 115
      Washington D.C.
      2 0 3 7 4 - 5 0 9 0

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Gibbs: Marine First Lieutenant Sam Keeler, recently discharged. Did you write a book...Operation Birdsong?
      Keeler: Maybe.
      Gibbs: You certainly picked the right publisher. She sang like a canary.
      Keeler: She promised me anonymity.
      Gibbs: Yeah, well she probably saved your life. Who you hiding from? (Keeler remains silent) Hey, you know what, Keeler? You can leave, I don't care!
      Keeler: Miss Dumont called after DIA confiscated the manuscript. Now, look, I don't does NCIS fit in?
      Fornell: FBI as well.
      Keeler: It's an alphabet party.

    • (As Gibbs arrests Derrick Archer)
      Derrick: I gave her a chance to come clean, but she denied it. Said it was just a coincidence. She lied to me, just like she was always lying to me. About the job, about the travelling.
      Gibbs: So you followed her. Saw she was having dinner with Patrick Casey.
      Fornell: We picked up your ambulance on a traffic cam half a block away, same time they were eating.
      Derrick: He got what he deserved. So did she.
      Gibbs: Yeah, well you got the wrong guy. Because Casey didn't write the book, and he didn't have an affair with your wife.
      Fornell: They were just tracking down some missing guns. She found one, brought it home. A rifle. One of a kind. My agents just found it in your garage, with your prints all over it.
      Gibbs: You want a tip? You got a problem with your wife? Get a divorce!

    • Tony: Diane. What number wife was she?
      Ziva: I think she was number two.
      Tony: She's three, or is she four?
      Ziva: She's the redhead.
      Tony: They're all redheads.
      McGee: This is why I'm getting married only once.
      Tony: I think McHeffner here goes at least two rounds, maybe three.
      Ziva: I'm sure McGee will find the right woman, unlike some people.
      Tony: Nothing wrong with playing the field, David.
      Ziva: (Laughing) That depends on what field you're playing, Tony.

    • (EMTs Derrick and Jonny are responding to a call-out)
      Derrick: Is this is the wrong address, Jay?
      Jonny: No. Man in distress. This is it.
      (Gibbs and Fornell approach the two of them)
      Fornell: That's me. I'm in distress. (Turning to Gibbs) Or maybe I'm just hungry? I dunno, it's hard to tell.

    • (In the cafeteria)
      Gibbs: (Gesturing to a candy machine) I think that's probably the same cinnamon roll that's been here ever since I first started.
      Keeler: It's looking pretty good to me right now.
      (Gibbs puts some money in the machine and hands him the cinnamon roll)
      Gibbs: First one in, last one out.
      Keeler: Hoo-rah.

    • (Tony and Ziva are Abby's lab attempting to piece together the burnt pages of the book)
      Ziva: Tony, you're hogging the end pieces!
      Tony: That's because I start with the end pieces. Haven't you ever done a puzzle before? You go out to in.
      Ziva: Have you ever done a puzzle before? Because you work in to out!
      Abby: (Laughing at their bickering) Will you guys stop? I'm trying to read here.

    • (Gibbs walks into Abby's lab with a scorched book from the crime scene)
      Gibbs: Hey Abbs, brought you a book.
      Abby: know, it's supposed to be burnt after reading, not before?

    • (Tony is hiding in a shower cubicle in a secret attempt to read Gibbs' invitation. Ziva realizes this and pulls the curtain back on him.)
      Ziva: Tony.
      Tony: Ziva.
      Ziva: You're in the women's shower fully clothed and you are holding Gibbs' mail.
      Tony: What's your point?
      Ziva: That letter's not for you to read.
      Tony: I know, but there's so many questions to be answered. The happiest day in someone's life and they need Leroy Jethro Gibbs there to seal the deal? Doesn't make any sense.
      Ziva: Right, so be honest. Surely you would want Gibbs there at your wedding?
      Tony: I don't know if a head slap coming down the aisle is the ideal Kodak moment.

    • (Gibbs is discussing Lieutenant Commander Casey's murder over video feed with Admiral Hindley)
      Gibbs: I thought you wanted to help?
      Hindley: Of course.
      Gibbs: I'm ready when you are.
      Hindley: What are you suggesting, Agent Gibbs?
      Gibbs: I don't know, sir. You're the one with all those 'I was there' ribbons.
      Hindley: (Sighs) You'll be in touch?
      (Gibbs gestures to the technician to end the call)

    • (On the subject of marriage)
      Tony: So... what does your ray of sunshine think?
      Ziva: We have not discussed it.
      Tony: I see. 'Raymundo' plays his cards close to the vest?
      Ziva: 'Raymundo' and I have not discussed the future. We are taking it...slow.
      McGee: I think that's a very smart idea, Ziva.
      Ziva: Thank you very much, McGee.
      Tony: Now you're taking love advice from Agent 'Hotbreaches' over there? The man who makes Belgravian princesses swoon blond gamers overload. (To McGee) How's that going by the way?
      (McGee just smiles)
      Ziva: How about you, Tony? Seems like your libido has been very satisfied lately. Are you taking it...slow...with anyone?
      Tony: Nothing a... cold shower in the agents locker room wouldn't cure.
      (Just then, Gibbs walks into the squad room)
      Gibbs: More information than I want to know. Grab your gear.

    • (Tony is sniffing Gibbs' envelope when Ziva and McGee walk in)
      Ziva: McGee, tampering with someone else's mail is a federal offense, is it not?
      McGee: I believe it is, Ziva.
      Ziva: And we are federal agents.
      McGee: So it would seem, it is our duty to arrest him.
      Tony: How do you know it's not mine?
      McGee: Because it's addressed to Gibbs.
      Tony: Eagle eye, McGee. What else do you see?
      Ziva: Tony, why are you trying to look at Gibbs' mail?
      Tony: Oh come on, isn't it obvious? The raised caligraphy...the paper that's made from a fabric more expenses than Timmy's shirt. (Rubbs McGee's shirt)...sorry. He got the same wedding invitation last week.

    • Fornell: I was just thinking about the day I married Diane.
      Gibbs: Why?
      Fornell: Eh – it stirs up memories.
      Gibbs: Yeah, bad ones.
      Fornell: Not really – our heads were in the clouds, we were giddy kids - we were in love!
      Gibbs: Aw, you probably had the flu.
      Fornell: Oh, c'mon Gibbs, before it got bad, there must have been some good times?
      Gibbs: (thinking) She caught her finger in a car door, once.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Featured Music:
      "Big Bright Sun" by Will Dailey (Opening scene of episode)

    • Rocky Carroll is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: March 30, 2011 on Global
      Australia: April 12, 2011 on Channel Ten
      United Kingdom
      : May 6, 2011 on FX/FX HD
      The Netherlands
      : May 17, 2011 on SBS 6
      : September 5, 2011 on TV3
      Spain: September 23, 2011 on LaSexta
      Finland: September 27, 2011 on Nelonen
      Germany: October 9, 2011 on SAT 1
      Slovakia: December 8, 2011 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: June 4, 2012 on TV Nova

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Tony: (Referring to Gibbs) The man has worse wedding juju than Billy Bob Thornton and Larry King combined!

      Billy Bob Thornton is an American actor, director and musician who has been married five times with each one ending in divorce. Since 2003, he has been in a relationship with Connie Angland, though the two are not married.

      Larry King is an American television and radio host who has been married eight times to seven different women.

    • Tony: I think McHefner here goes at least two rounds, maybe three.

      Tony refers to Hugh Hefner, most notable for the founding of Playboy magazine. He has been married twice, to Mildred Williams and Kimberley Conrad respectively, and became engaged to his third partner, Crystal Harris, in 2009. In his early years, Hefner was known for his promiscuity, though this stopped after his second marriage.

    • Tony: She's sort of a combo platter of Reese Witherspoon from Legally Blonde and Russel Crowe from The Insider.

      Legally Blonde (2001) is an American comedy film starring Reese Witherspoon as a sorority girl who struggles to win back her ex-boyfriend by earning a law degree.

      The Insider (1999) is a film that tells the controversial true story of a 60 Minutes television series segment, as seen through the eyes of a real tobacco executive, Jeffrey Wigand, played by Russel Crowe.

    • Tony: Mark Zuckerberg created a social network. Why can't Alexis Ross organize a hundred million dollar arms trade from her college dorm room?

      Mark Zuckerberg is an American software developer and co-founder of the social networking site Facebook. Originally created in 2004 for just Harvard University students, the site quickly spread to other schools and colleges before expanding worldwide, allowing anyone the ability to create a user account.

    • Tony: I don't know if a head slap coming down the aisle is the ideal Kodak moment.

      Eastman Kodak is a company which produces imaging and photographic materials and equipment, and was founded in 1892 by George Eastman. The phrase "Kodak moment" became popular to describe a memorable moment in time.

    • Palmer: Like the little yellow canary and the puddy cat. I used to love that cartoon...

      Palmer refers to the Looney Tunes characters "Tweety Bird" and "Sylvester" respectively, who have appeared in numerous cartoons since their creation in the 1940s.

    • Ducky: Cellular communication, text messaging, squeaking...
      Palmer: Tweeting, Doctor.

      Ducky (incorrectly) refers to the social networking site Twitter, which allows its users to send and read messages called tweets. It was launched on July 15, 2006 and has since gained popularity worldwide.

    • Ducky: Henry David Thoreau said that Spring was a natural resurrection, an expression of immortality.

      Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American author and poet best known for his book entitled Walden, about the simple life and self-sufficiency, from which Ducky quotes.

    • Tony: The man who makes Belgravian princesses swoon and hot blond gamers overload. How's that going, by the way?

      Tony refers to the events of "Defiance", in which McGee falls the daughter of the Belgravian prime minister, only to learn that she later becomes involved in her own kidnapping; and "Kill Screen", in which he falls for a like-minded gamer named Maxine.

    • Abby: She's like Lisbeth Salander meets scary Katy Perry.

      Lisbeth Salander is the primary character in Stieg Larsson's Millenium series, a young woman who endured a traumatic childhood and became a proficient computer hacker. (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2005), and others). Katy Perry is a popular singer/songwriter that began as a gospel singer and moved on to popular hits such as "Hot n Cold" and "I Kissed A Girl".

    • Tony: Read a book, die mysteriously? I'm not buying it. It only happens with cursed video tapes, you know, like that movie The Ring, or the original Ringu.

      The Ring was a horror film from 2002, in which people who watch a videotape of random images end up dying within seven days. It was based on a 1998 Japanese movie called Ringu ("Ring"), which is considered to be that country's most frightening horror film.