Season 8 Episode 20


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Apr 05, 2011 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
316 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Much to Gibbs' displeasure, the NCIS team has to investigate a death of a seaman with a lead from Agent E.J. Barrett, leaving the rest of the team concerned that Gibbs may be leaving NCIS yet again. Meanwhile, Ziva introduces her new boyfriend to the team.

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  • The episode is so-so but agent B is unpleasant

    The creators of this show is pushing agent B . All agebts of NCIS-LA and all agents past and present are more suitable for the role she plays. The talrnt of Gibbs is second to none and presenting B as near-equal is a very unpleasant for me. Her character reminds me of all the rejected agents in the episode "Truth or Consequence" and I might say that most of them were better actresses than agent B. Gibbs intolerance of romance on the job is very refreshing.

    The subplots are vague, incomplete and the episode is totally disappointing. I hope that the Mexicans, Somalis, Israelis, British and Arabs will be coming back soon to make the show as exciting as it has beenmoreless
  • This was one of the worst NCIS episodes ever. Characters acting out of character; plot elements which make no sense. Did CBS decide to outsource the scriptwriting?

    Normally, NCIS is one of my favorite shows but if they start putting out episodes like this one with any frequency, I'm going to be forced to reconsider. This episode was a complete mess.

    The whole Port-to-Port killer plot could have been very promising had it been made the least bit believable, but it didn't come close. To start with, though the killer presumably picks his victims with some care, as the episode begins we see him lure his victim into an alley using a technique he couldn't possibly know that the victim would fall for, in a place he couldn't possibly know that the victim would go, at a time he couldn't possibly know that the victim would be available. And since the victim was originally with another sailor (who offered to drive him back) even if it was somehow inevitable that he would pass by that alley, there is no way the killer would know that he was alone (unless, I suppose, the killer turns out to be the guy he went with to the bar). The only way it would make sense is if the killer were trying to randomly trap anyone walking by, but that contradicts everything revealed about the killer and this incident.

    Later the killer arranges to be at the same bar as Tony and Ziva and surprises them by buying them drinks, delivered by the bartender. The drinks happen to contain body parts from the victim. So how exactly did the killer know that they would be going to a bar, and how did he transport his special ice-cubes there (obviously, there are ways to do it, if, he happens to know where they are going and has planned the bit with the drinks), and how did he get the cubes into the glasses since it was the bartender who prepared and delivered the drinks?

    Then there is the red-herring suspect who happens to have been in every port the killer was in at the same time as the killer, but just happens to not be the killer as he just happens to have been under the surveillance of the CIA all that time. Perhaps by the time they resolve this they will have an explanation of a connection between the two men which makes this plausible but given the other plot-holes, I doubt that will happen.

    As if the plot-holes involving the killer weren't bad enough, the script had the regular characters acting in ways which are not at all consistent with those characters. Gibbs' animosity and disrespect towards Barrett is rather unprecedented. Certainly, Gibbs has been established as someone who likes to run the show, and he does not tolerate incompetence well, but his actions towards Barrett were quite unprofessional, mean-spirited, and seemingly-petty. Ziva's reaction to learning Ray had not informed her of confidential information was mind-boggling and arbitrary, and did not seem to fit her character. Director Vance's actions were somewhat consistent with the last few episodes but, overall, his apparent animosity and distrust of Gibbs has never made that much sense.

    While it is not a problem, per se, the character, Barrett, is rather annoying -- I hope they aren't proposing making her a regular.

    Very disappointing, overall.moreless
  • Do Not Need the new agent.

    Would be a much better show within the new female agent. not needed. And I Do Pray this does NOT mean she will still be in the show next season. - May cause me to just stop watching and concentrate on the NCIS-LA series. Would miss Gibbs and his team... but so discouraging with that female - messes up the entire show. or was she added too make the show longer. - Please writers - you can do soooo much better than this. Show would have neen soo much better without her being added. I just about dread the next show. If not for Gibbs and his team - I would NOT watch it.

    - Writers, you are trying to change a very good series - better watch it or you won't have much of one.

    - Of course, maybe she's the killer.......moreless
  • Too many subplots - this episode is annoying. The writer has loaded the show with confusing, non-linear story lines..and ran out of time to bring them to an end.

    There are at least 5 subplots - and we cling to the hope that Gibbs will kick butt and solve them all. DiNozo is hitting on the new special agent. Ziva has a boyfriend who is not who he seems. There is an international killer. The Director is more involved than necessary. Abby is frightened with the new addition to the team. The action jumps from subplot to subplot with little continuity. Rather than raising the interest level, these story lines are just irritating.

    Finally, the episode closes, leaving everything hanging and hanging. This is very disappointing and suggests a novice writier. What a be continued.moreless
  • I rate it ! (ONE) since it is the lowest score

    A J Burnett , if kept, I believe will cause the great show of NCIS to disappear. It is clear that somebody with a bar or "gentlemen club" hostess mentality and attitude might revive the lowest rated season. This is a mistake. The 20-million followers of NCIS do not wish to see that type of acting from an agent. The flikker of hope I have in Gibbs saying that he will not tolerate it in his team. I hope it means she is out and out for good. Many occasional guest agents have been colorful and added a good contribution to the show, suchh as Abbi of the coast guard, agent cassidy etc. In contrast, NCIS-LA is getting better by the week and might even take over NCIS in popularity if the current trend continues. Last but not least , had NCIS as one of the top 1-3 throughout last season and it is now hovering around 9-12, meaning that many fans are noticing the decline. Please bring back the Mexicans, British, Israelis, Arabs, Koreans, Somalis etc. to regain the great international flavor of this showmoreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette

Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto

Rocky Carroll

Rocky Carroll

Director Leon Vance

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo

Special Agent Ziva David

David McCallum

David McCallum

Chief M.E. Ducky Mallard

Enrique Murciano

Enrique Murciano

Ray Cruz

Guest Star

Ryan Carnes

Ryan Carnes

Bryce Leitner

Guest Star

Marque Richardson

Marque Richardson

Navy Seaman Joey Elson

Guest Star

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Sarah Jane Morris

Sarah Jane Morris

Special Agent EJ Barrett

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Agent Barrett: Suspect is a white male anywhere from 25 to 55, never married, no children. Born into money, he is charming, charismatic and very entitled.
      Ziva: Are you sure we're not looking for Tony?

    • Tony: Bar-keep! Anything old and gold. I might be getting a cold. (The bartender gives him a strange look) Sorry. Scotch on the rocks. Thank you.

    • Gibbs: Are you sleeping with DiNozzo?
      Barrett: It's not against NCIS policy to date co-workers.
      Gibbs: It's against my policy. This team operates on respect.
      Barrett: You don't respect me.
      Gibbs: No...I don't trust you.
      Barrett: Really?
      Gibbs: Really. Except to work the case. Leave my team alone. We clear?

    • (Upon finding Nathan Finnie's body)
      Tony: Nathan Finnie. With a bad case of freezer burn.

    • Ziva: Gibbs, I gotta talk to you. (She pulls him to one side) I need to tell you something. I cannot tell you how I know this and you cannot ask.
      Gibbs: Yeah, alright. Tell me what?
      Ziva: Bryce Leitner is not the Port-to-Port Killer.
      Gibbs: How sure are you?
      Ziva: Very.
      Gibbs: OK.

    • (Tony and Barrett are in the elevator. No-one is talking. Tony hits the emergency stop.)
      Tony: I'm telling ya. You mess with the great white, ya gonna get eaten.
      Barrett: I'm not afraid of him.
      Tony: That's your first mistake.
      Barrett: Look, there's a pretty good chance I just caught the Port-to-Port Killer. Besides, Gibbs isn't exactly in Vance's good graces these days.
      Tony: There's your second mistake.
      Barrett: I get the feeling they're not on the best of terms, and Vance outranks him.
      Tony: (Laughs) OK...I've seen a few directors come and go, and there's only been one Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Do the math.
      Barrett: (Moving closer to DiNozzo) Yeah, and there's only one Anthony DiNozzo.
      Tony: Actually, there are two.

    • Barrett: Are you questioning whether I know what I'm doing, Agent Gibbs?
      Gibbs: No, ma'am. I'm questioning the way you do it!

    • (After interrogating Bryce Leitner)
      Gibbs: There are standards in there. Rules.
      Barrett: I can interrogate him however I want. Different strokes, Gibbs. You weren't getting anywhere with him and he's my suspect.
      Gibbs: That's my room.
      Barrett: Vance put me in charge.
      Gibbs: Vance isn't here.
      Barrett: I'm trying to establish that he was in all four cities at the same time of the murders.
      Gibbs: Focus on Balfour. That's our body. That's our evidence. That's our case.
      Barrett: This is a multiple murder case!
      Gibbs: Start by pinning one murder on him and then connect the others. That's how it's done.
      Barrett: Maybe that's the old school way.
      Gibbs: It's my way.

    • (Agent Barrett is interrogating Bryce Leitner when Gibbs walks in)
      Gibbs: Starting without me, Special Agent Barrett?
      Barrett: Oh, we're just getting settled in.
      (Gibbs leans in close to Barrett)
      Gibbs: You're in my chair.

    • Gibbs: you need a doctor?
      Abby:'s just...change, Gibbs. Change makes me...itch. It always has. It''s Agent Barrett. I'm...not a fan. Er...I mean of change. Her...I don't mind. She's feisty for someone so...small. Erm...and I like that...not that I like her, because I...I don't really.
      Gibbs: Abby.
      Abby: Not that I like you.
      Gibbs: Abbs.
      Abby: I just, I like our family just the way it is.
      Gibbs: Abbs. (Hugs Abby) Nothing's gonna change.

    • Barrett: I don't think this is gonna work out. Not with us on the same case. We should stop.
      Tony: OK.
      Barrett: OK. Best we end it. (The two of them look at each other) Or...not.
      Tony: Dinner, my place?
      Barrett: (Smiling) I'll bring wine.

    • Tony: So it's not "Renaissance Ray", it's "CIA-Ray." He's "CI-Ray!"
      McGee: You really should get that checked out. It's like a bad tick or something.
      Tony: (To Gibbs) There's something about this guy, Boss. His smile is disturbing. Haven't seen a smile like that since Christian Bale's barely audible Batman in the Dark Knight.
      Gibbs: DiNozzo.
      Tony: Right, right. Back to work.

    • (After Ziva has introduced Ray to the team.)
      Tony: Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo. It's a pleasure.
      Ray: Special Agent, heard good things.
      Gibbs: Yeah, likewise. Tony: A friend of Ziva's is a friend of ours. Of course, the last time she had an out of town visitor, our director ended up in the hospital.
      Ray: Well, I come in peace. Promise. And despite the injuries your director sustained, the Agency thinks that you navigated that situation very well.
      Gibbs: You CIA?
      Ray: Just celebrated my thirteenth year, sir.
      Tony: It's funny. Ziva failed to mention your line of work.
      Ray: Well, it's what I do. It's not what I am.
      Tony: That's a very Zen-new agey kind of attitude for someone who installs puppet regimes for a living.

    • (At the first crime scene)
      Palmer: I had a pet gerbil when I was a kid. I, er, buried him in my mother's vegetable garden after he died. That year, her plum tomatoes were better than ever. I used to think of them every time I bit into one and...(Gibbs looks at him)...he, he was talking about the fertilizer,'re right, I'm sorry. Sorry.

    • (At the first crime scene)
      Tony: Might wanna move a little faster. Looks like the locals wanna get back to work.
      Ducky: Well, they probably didn't expect him to be part of their spring crop. Although, human remains would make a...excellent fertilizer.
      Palmer: (Holding his nose) Oh, that is stinky!
      Tony: Oh... yeah, just a little!

    • (At the first crime scene)
      Gibbs: Hey Duck, think we can get a better look at this?
      Ducky: Hmm... he's wrapped up tighter than a Thanksgiving turkey.

    • Tony: (As Gibbs enters the squad room) I'm not the one you should be worried about, right? I've seen men of steel melt from a mere glance from Leroy Jethro Gibbs. That flinty steel-eyed stare, that makes those men turn into sniveling little girls. Oh! I'm so scared...(Realizes Gibbs is standing behind him)... Morning, Boss!
      Gibbs: Grab you gear. We got a dead naval officer in Virginia.

    • Ziva: Ha... well someone's keeping secrets.
      Tony: (Laughs) That's pretty classic coming from the woman who's kept her "boyfriend" hidden from us for months.
      Ziva: I'm not hiding anything. Ray knows all about you.
      Tony: Again, why haven't we met him?
      Ziva: Because Ray knows all about you.

    • (Ziva has just been speaking on the phone to Ray)
      McGee: Sounds like you're getting pretty serious?
      Ziva: I am happy, Ray is happy. We are meeting in New York next weekend. He is taking me to the opera.
      Tony: (with slight sarcasm) The opera! Wow! Does his boyfriend know about you?
      Ziva: No, but his mom does.

  • NOTES (2)

    • David McCallum (Ducky) provided the high-pitched voice for the doll, "Play With Me!" in the opening sequences.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: April 5, 2011 on Global
      : May 3, 2011 on Channel Ten
      United Kingdom: May 13, 2011 on FX/FX HD
      The Netherlands
      : May 24, 2011 on SBS 6
      : September 12, 2011 on TV3
      : September 30, 2011 on LaSexta
      Finland: October 4, 2011 on Nelonen
      Germany: October 16, 2011 on SAT 1
      Slovakia: December 15, 2011 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: June 11, 2012 on TV Nova


    • Barrett: A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in an enigma.
      Tony: Joe Pesci. Oliver Stone's JFK. Nice.
      Barrett: Winston Churchill, Russia, nineteen thirty nine.

      JFK (1991) is an American film examining the events leading up to the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film stars Joe Pesci as David Ferrie alongside Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones.

      Barrett paraphrases a statement made by Winston Churchill on the Russians, during a 1939 radio broadcast; "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."

    • Tony: Haven't seen a smile like that since Christian Bale's barely audible Batman in The Dark Knight.

      The Dark Knight (2008) is the second film of the re-imagined Batman series. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film starred Christian Bale as the titular character, alongside Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and the late Heath Ledger.

    • Tony: Of course, the last time she had an out of town visitor, our director ended up in the hospital.

      Tony is referring to the events of the season eight two-part episodes, "Enemies Foreign" and "Enemies Domestic", in which Vance is injured in an attempt to kill him and Eli David.