Season 1 Episode 17

The Truth Is Out There

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 16, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
291 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When the body of a marine is found after a party in an illegal night club, the team investigates a number of possible leads - including blackmail and accidental death.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
  • Mediocre episode, no strengths and poor detective resolution of crime.

    This is a poor episode, at least by NCIS standards. The biggest strength of the series is the camaraderie, characters and jokes amongst the team, but nothing stands out here. The crime-detective aspects are usually convoluted, but here they are particularly unconvincing/contrived.

    The biggest cop-out, for me, concerns the solving of the crime. ***spoilers *** In a nut shell: Gordon, with the help of a few friends and a hired hooker, plan a prank to scare their friend Wong. (Wong happens to know/think that Gordon has $40,000 in cash hidden somewhere [but not precisely where] in his apartment -- the motive for the murder.) The prank is for the hooker to lead an unsuspecting Wong to his car, where Gordon, dressed as a monster, is to frighten Wong. But Wong somehow knows of the prank in advance, and pretends to be frightened and panicky, and deliberately drives into Gordon, killing him. Everything was ruined (for Wong and for me) by the way the writers solved the case. I think the writers --who are far smarter than me-- realize this and deliberately leave out some (unconvincing) explanations, hoping that the viewer's will do it for them or will just give up and vaguely assume that it all makes sense.

    In this case, Wong's downfall came about because he told the hooker that he knew all along the whole thing was a prank (thus he couldn't have driven down Gordon in a panicky accident). How NCIS could track her down is never explained. It's a mystery since all the "friends" kept a united front and never let on that there was a prank, and we never saw NCIS question them separately. It's also strange that with 537 customers, no one saw the 1 AM "accident" in the rave parking lot. It would also be nice to know how Wong learned about the prank in advance, yet his friends still thought the killing was an accident. Whatever. But let's get back to the crucial hooker. If Wong PLANNED the lethal driving "accident" IN ADVANCE, he would never let on to the hooker that he was aware of the prank, unless he was out of his mind. So that leaves us with this: Wong knew there would be the prank. He confided to the hooker that the whole thing is a prank (I don't know if this is logical -- you'd think he'd have a better time pretending that the girl was really hot for Wong, but whatever). Then at the LAST SECOND he seizes on the opportunity to pretend to be frightened and to run Gordon down and to pay the hooker $1000 to shut up about murder! I leave it to you as to how believable that is.

    Fans of the series will be rewarded by watching the episode. Worth a look for them.moreless
  • Not so tense as couple of last episodes

    Not very good episode. I mean, it was tragic one and all that, but the episode did not caught me. The case was little dull. But I did liked that quite a big empathy was put on last episode action how both Kate and Gibbs took it. And by the way episode ended, it looks like Gibbs now has serious crunch towards that man and he will not let it go.

    But back to the case. I mean.. there was only two possible options from the start who might be behind that and even if those were the men.. his friends and it was all joke gone bad, it was still.. weird and I do not know.. it was ok to watch, but nothing too special. But hey.. cannot have perfect episode every week. Last two have been amazing.. so.. there needs to be some "lowtime" that good episode would feel even better.moreless
  • Misses in the X-Files!

    This mixes in the X-Files as the team investigates not just another murder but a conspiracy in which the own US Government doesn't want the agents to find the truth. As someone from Gibbs past comes and tries to prevent him "not to go there" or else there will be consequences. Over the top I will admit!
  • Petty Officer Chris Gordon found dead, after the ceiling collaspes in the men's room at an illegal nightclub.

    Gibbs and Kate have been beating themselves up since the terrorist (from the last episode, "Bete Noire") escaped. Gibbs is continuously running his picture through the system, but still do not know who he is. Gerald will be in rehab for six months.

    Gordon liked to play practical jokes on Petty Officer Wong. All the men involved in the murder honestly, thought it was a prank gone wrong.

    However, Wong knew more than he let on. He knew that Gordon was cashing phony inheritance checks and he knew who was infront of his car, he paid the hooker not to say anything.

    Gibbs was not going to let another one get away from him.moreless
  • It really proves the saying that you can never really know anyone, not even your friends.

    I've got some experience with practical jokes gone wrong so I could have sympathized with Wong if his freak-out had been genuine. It's a very ugly story – you want his inheritance so when you realize your best friend is playing a joke, decide to kill him. What the jury will get caught up on is when he decided to kill – if it was an impulsive thing as it happened, the jury will be less harsh. It really proves the saying that you can never really know anyone, not even your friends.

    A very interesting case and a believable explanation, people are unpredictable when scared.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

James Huang

James Huang

P.O. Wong

Guest Star

Ryan Tasz

Ryan Tasz

P.O. David Bowman

Guest Star

Chris J. Johnson

Chris J. Johnson

P.O. James Morgan

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • GOOF: When Ducky is describing the injuries of the man run over to Gibbs, he says that he has a broken "tibia and fibia", however the correct name for the second bone is "fibula".

    • GOOF: When Gibbs turns the car around suddenly, you hear a car horn, but the road is empty.

    • GOOF: When the browser returns the hits from Google, the address bar is empty. As of now, there no known browser that deletes the URL from the address bar after you click on the Google Search button, nor would that be logical.

    • TRIVIA: In one scene the car door to the Dodge that Gibbs was just driving is open then closed in the next angle. This takes place at the warehouse where the party was.

    • GOOF: When Tony searches Google for "Bartex Corporation", he enters that phrase directly into the search line. However, upon termination of the search, we see apparently Tony searched "Bartex", not "Bartex Corporation". Google wouldn't filter out the word Corporation.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Kate: Tony, are you a GS-9 or a G-11?
      Tony: I can't tell you.
      Kate: Why not?
      Tony: Because if I do, you'll know how much money I make.
      Kate: So?
      Tony: That's personal and confidential.
      Kate: I'm sorry, um, you give me every single detail about your dates, you leave out nothing!
      Tony: That's bragging. Money's personal.

    • Tony: 40-mile zone ended 2 miles back, Boss. Limit's 65... I only mention it because you usually drive slightly faster than Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    • Abby: Not unless he grew up in Dorkville.
      Gibbs: Grew up just west of there.

    • Tony: It's kinda ironic.
      Antwane: What?
      Tony: You run a hair salon and you're bald.
      Antwane: I'm not bald.
      Tony: Well then you're taller than your hair.

    • Gibbs: Still waiting for the odd part.
      Ducky: Someone dressed him after he was killed.
      Gibbs: That's odd.

    • Tony: I should have majored in business.

    • Abby: I dated this guy once who just wanted me to bounce up and down on a balloon.
      Gibbs: OK, stop.

    • Abby: Oh come on Gibbs. You know you love it when I talk tech.

    • Tony: You got plans tonight?
      Kate: Not really.
      Tony: Good, cause the last time Gibbs got like this, I didn't go home for a week.

    • Kate: Never put anything on tape that you don't want to be seen.
      Tony: Just ask Paris Hilton.

    • Gibbs: Abbs, it's apples and oranges.
      Abby: There's a fetish for that, too.

    • Tony: I wonder what they were looking for.
      Kate: I wonder if they found it.
      Gibbs: I wonder if you two are going to stop yakking and get to work.

    • Kate: Look at Gibbs. OK, he's been growling like a wounded bear since that night.
      Tony: Well, he is wounded. And he always growls like a bear. It's his way of never letting anyone know when he's hurting. Yours is to be moody.
      Kate: I'm not moody.
      Tony: Well, what do you call it? I feel sorry for whatever his name is.
      Kate: Sorry?!
      Tony: Yeah, I wouldn't want Gibbs on my ass.
      Kate: We're never going to see that guy again.
      Tony: Maybe not, but Gibbs is.

    • Tony: Do you have any idea what this stuff is?
      Kate: Course I do.
      Tony: What?
      Kate: Evidence.
      Tony: That's a good one Kate.

    • Abby: I don't know. Guys have all sorts of strange rituals before they go out. This one guy, he does a full upper body workout just seconds before his date just so he can be pumped.
      Gibbs: Does Tony know that you know?
      Abby: Does Tony know that you know?

    • Gibbs: Like Candid Camera. (referring to Punk'd)
      Tony: What's Candid Camera?

    • Abby: Hey Gibbs. Do you have any fetishes?
      Gibbs: I've got three ex wives. I can't afford to have any fetishes.

    • Tony: Have you ever been in a men's bathroom before?
      Kate: No. Have you?

    • Tony: Looks like the guy was burning DVDs... that reminds me, I have to return Gigli... it's a week over-due.

    • Gibbs: How is he? (Gerald)
      Ducky: He's going to be in rehab for months. I want that terrorist on my table Jethro.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Original International Airdates:
      Croatia: August 24, 2005 on NOVA TV
      Finland: December 23, 2006 on Nelonen
      France: September 24, 2004 on M6
      Germany: July 14, 2005 on SAT.1
      Hungary: February 27, 2006 on TV 2
      Sweden: October 10, 2004 on TV3
      Denmark: March 16, 2004 on TV3


    • Gibbs: Like Candid Camera.

      Candid Camera was a television programme (originally a radio one) that ran for many years, in which unsuspecting members of the public were faced with odd situations and secretly filmed. It was started by Alan Funt in 1948 and went through many series, both in the US and elsewhere. The format has been copied or adapted many times, including such shows as Punk'd which DiNozzo mentions at first.

    • Kate: Never put anything on tape that you don't want to be seen.
      Tony: Just ask Paris Hilton.

      Paris Hilton filmed a porn video with her boyfriend, which got leaked out and sold.

    • Almost all of the guest characters in this episode were named for executive producers or top writers of The X-Files. Chris Gordon is an amalgamation of Chris Carter and Howard Gordon. Darin Spotnitz combines Darin Morgan and Frank Spotnitz. The four petty officers are (Rob) Bowman, (Glen) Morgan, (Chris) Carter, and (James) Wong. The master chief is (David) Nutter. Antwane Mann may also be a reference to Kim Manners. Also, Brian Thompson, who plays Master Chief P.O. Vince Nutter, also plays The Bounty Hunter in The X-Files. The Bounty Hunter is an important role in the X-Files mythology.

    • Episode title: "The Truth Is Out There"
      The episode title is also the slogan for the paranormal and conspiracy FBI series The X-Files. This episode features both a conspiracy (the word is said repeatedly by different characters) and a faked alien encounter.