Season 1 Episode 1

Yankee White

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 23, 2003 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (40)

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out of 10
517 votes
  • Promising start

    Time to make some enemies! :D - Although I still like this episode, and also some others of the first two seasons, I never was a fan of Kate. I didn't dislike, or even hate her, but I never was a huge fan of this character. Sasha Alexander is a great actress, and she made the best from what the writers gave her to work with - and that wasn't much. 1) It wasn't a believable character. (Yes, I know Ziva wasn't neither, and Bishop is the worst ever). She was quite believable as an agent of the Secret Service, and everything was fine when it came to stuff like protection, terrorism, and espionage. But that she could be able to turn into a criminal investigator that easily was bad writing. Criminal investigation is a broad field for that you need a lot of knowledge, training, and experience. If it was so easy to become a criminal investigator as it was indicated in Kate's case (and also later in Ziva's, and even worse in Bishop's) everyone of us could be one. Gibbs had been working as a criminal investigator for some years, Tony was a cop before, had worked as a detective in several departments, and then had been working as an agent for two years. These are quite realistic backgrounds - but not Kate's. Besides, she was supposed to be a profiler, but her knowledge of the human nature was so lousy I couldn't buy she would have ever been able to profile someone. 2) It's a very one-dimensional character. While Gibbs and Tony were written as multifaceted characters, Kate was straight, grown-up, catholic, duteous, diligent, neat, decent. So, she was nice - but there wasn't much room for story lines, or a development.

    In the beginning, in the first episodes of season 1 I liked her much more than in the later episodes, especially in season 2. I liked that she and Tony didn't like each other that much because it added some tension. But that she got him wrong from the very first moment they met - he just wanted to be nice when he tried to explain the necessity of measurements, and if he had explained the same with a magazine with a boat on the cover, it would have been the same example but a different result - underlined her disability of reading people, and it was a bad move for Tony's character. In the JAG-episodes and the first few episodes of season 1 Tony showed his real character - much calmer, friendly, good at his job, reliable. (People who were complaining lately that Tony is still childish, or has become so serious now should have a look at these early episodes)! Because of the storyline with Kate he became more and more immature, silly, and clownesque. Unfortunately, THAT stick on him, and not his basic character. It got worse when the writers tried to create something like a love interest between these two characters, although there had never been any sexual tension between them. She was never interested in him, and he would have never chosen her as his partner because she always tried to mother and to educate him, something a man clearly doesn't like. The more she tried to "bring him up", the more he reacted defiant.

    I would have preferred they would have kept the storyline of not liking each other that much without Kate's bitching and Tony's silly reaction to it, and the slight sexual tension between Gibbs and Kate - because they had one in the beginning of season 1 - and it was promising! However, these two things worked fine in this episode, and apart from some other mistakes in the storyline (have a look at the trivia), it was a great beginning, and it's still fun to watch sometimes.
  • A navy commander dies on air force one seconds after having dinner with the president.

    The first NCIS episode and a navy commander dies on air force one and Gibbs believes it was an attempt on the presidents life.In this episode we meet the characters I think there is some good funny characters there and shows that the show can go far.We also see many funny moments in the episode.When more bodies keep coming in the same way as the beginning when Gibbs and Kate get back on the plane Gibbs finds the man responsible and shoots him when he attempts to shoot Gibbs.Agent Todd who is protecting the president resigns at the end but is offered a job from Gibbs.
  • 101-"yankee white"

    While on Air Force One, a Navy Commander tasked with carrying the "football" dies under mysterious circumstances, forcing an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas but while his death is originally thought be to a tragic accident, NCIS eventually uncovers evidence suggesting the Commander was murdered and that it might be connected to a possible assassination attempt on the President.

    My thoughts: Well it was a good pilot but it had a few flaws(as most pilots do) they were: the case wasnt that interesting but i did like the character interaction and dialoge. overall not bad but not perfect.

    written by: Donald Bellisario and Don McGill

    Directed by: Donald Bellisario
  • The NCIS team investigate a murder aboard a presidential aircraft and then uncover a terroist plot.

    This was a great episode. I did not watch the pilot so when i watched this episode i was suprised how the episode plot unfolded. It was clever in a way, how a crew member aboard an presidental aircraft dies and then at the end the terroist shooting. Also it was clever how the characters were introduced. Unlike all the other crime drama pilot's Kate was not a member of NCIS, she joins later on in S1 EP02. Even though this was a great episode it did lack character development and structure. All in all this was the best pilot of CSI,CSI NY and law and order!
  • Great start

    After seeing one episode of later season on tv, I thought.. that looks great and digged up dvd-s of first season and started watching.

    I most say, I was most pleasantly surprised. The show looks really promising. First of all, the story on that episode was great. Maybe it is "only once" but at the moment.. the storywriting seems to be better than expected.. I was comparing it on my mind with other crime solving series like CSI-s or so.. usually they do not have very good story... this one had. Mostly, I think, because of the chars. If they keep it up.. those outstanding chars, that's going to be great. I'm in!
  • A very impressive first episode.

    A good intro to the characters - each of them made distinctive and interesting – while the story is still smart and witty.

    No wonder Fornell hates Gibbs. What a first impression! Hijacking Air Force One was very cool. Gibbs handles Kate very well, giving her rope while still maintaining control. He is obviously thinking about recruiting from early on, even walking through NCIS procedures.

    Ducky was right – Tony's picture vs sketches comparison was brilliant.

    The plan to kill the president was long term but brilliant – create a scare which forced the secret service to switch planes, exploit the differences in the planes. Carrying the 'football' is dangerous in more ways than one.

    A very solid first episode.
  • An incredible start to NCIS!

    The first episode of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was one of my favorites. We were introducewd to all the lovely characters in this episode, and at the end, Caitlin Todd became an NCIS Agent.

    I really enjoyed the case that had to be cracked on Air Force One. The work of the NCIS was amazing, and it is a sign for great things to come for this show.

    This episode was quite suspenseful and it was very well written. The story was great and the plot was awesome. It might've only been the first episode, but this episode remains as one of my favorites!

    Great job, NCIS!
  • A Naval Commander carrying the ball (Nuclear Arming Device) on Air Force One keels over and dies of what looks like a unfortunate natural death. NCIS is called in and working around Secret Service and The FBI investigates what they think is murder.

    This was an excellent introduction and start to this fine series. We meet Secret Service Agent Todd Sasha Alexander) who is on the Presidents detail. She is standing there when Commander Trapp falls over dead. When NCIS arrives on the scene she and the FBI are arguing over who has jurisdiction. Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon) through some slight of bodies get the Commander back to the NCIS labs.

    Doctor Ducky Mallard (David McCallum) can't find anything suspicious but there is some concern that something is amiss and he tells Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) to look for a "force of nature". Of course she eventually finds the toxin that was causing the deaths.

    Gibbs thinks there is something going on with the second plane and keeps speaking about the movie Air Force One. He is suspicious that someone is trying to pull a fast one on everyone on Air Force One. Special Agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) is brought in on the death of a Major Tim Kelly who is the regular officer that is on the plane carrying the ball. When he gets the word he alerts Agent Todd and one of the passengers falls over dead on the plane.

    In the end Gibbs stops the perpetrator and saves the day. Also Agent Todd gets fired from the Secret Service because she had an affair with Major Kelly which came out in the investigation. So Gibbs hires her on at NCIS.

    Very enjoyable and the action was great in this episode. Great start to the series. Thanks for reading...
  • i love this episode

    hi i love this episode i love kate i love when she said that she wants to shot gibbs and it is funny when tony is sitting on the prime minister chair and it is funny when tony and ducky are taking photos and they think gibbs did not know but he did and i love when gibbs trick Fornell and when fornell find out that tony was in the body bag and i love how kate hits gibbs when gibbs thinks that kates is the killer i love kate and abby toegther they are funny
    i love this episode
  • This was a great episode that introduced us to the characters and some of the interactions that NCIS continues to build on.

    Love, love, love the interactions with Fornell and that Kate was offered a job with NCIS in the end. The writers really started things with a bang with this one, introducing the characters interactions with each other and their interactions with members outside the team as well. I particularly enjoyed the scene in the airport where Ducky gets to play boss and gets Tony and Gibbs through security.
    Fornell being locked out of the plane was a hoot and Tony's cell phone going off in the car while the FBI thinks they are carrying a dead body is priceless.
    Could have done without the hokey Bush impersonator though. Sometimes less is more.
  • Iloved this episode. It was really good. The guy that played the president was realy good, believable even. But when NCIS finally got there and was watching the enteractions between kate and gibbs I had a feeling we would be seeing her again.

    When the coroner was holding off the FBI for Ducky to get there it was kinda funny cause he was not actually giving any real direct answers you would think that they would know this. It was so funny how Gibbs kept talking about the movie Air Force One. He knew the plane frontwards and backwards. When Gibbs was in the head and Tony and Ducky were taking pictures of each other sitting at the president's desk before he came out he mentioned them finishing taking the pictures so they could finish the investegation. I felt like the whole show was so entertaining. Funny even, I loved it when they took the body from the plane and they had put Tony in the body bag, I couldn't believe Gibbs called him while he was in the back of the van. This show is such a good show. I was hooked the first time I saw it. Kate was a great character, kinda the straight perosn to rest of the crazies. She knew she was putting her job in jepordy by not following orders, it kinda makes you tink that Gibbs knew that this would happen so he couldget her to work on his team, pretty sure of it. I couldn't believe that she acted surprised at the job offer, she had went out of her way to help find out the truth and was very capable. This show set the pace for the following shows and they did a good job at keeping up the pace up to today.

  • This is the pilot episode of NCIS, which stars basically the same cast (except for one character) from the episodes which were done through a JAG crossover and this episode introduces us to the character of Agent Kate Todd.

    This is the pilot episode of NCIS, which stars basically the same cast (except for one character) from the episodes which were done through a JAG crossover and this episode introduces us to the character of Agent Kate Todd. The episode opens with the President of the United States being taken onto Air force one, by Agent Kate Todd. When lunch is served a new recruit on the plane has lunch with the president and afterwards suddenly collapses and dies. Tony calls Gibbs to inform him about the death, and they arrange to ask Ducky to ask for a favour to hold the body for the team until they arrive. Whilst on the way to the plane, Tony keeps complaining that they need their own plane.

    Kate, being part of the Secret Service, stays with the body until the cause of death is discovered. Everyone leaves the plane, after Ducky plays the boss, then Kate comes back on demanding to know who they are, as they aren't who she thought they were. The plane takes off with, heading to Andrews, the body, NCIS and Kate on board. Later on during the flight, Kate becomes ill on the plane and Ducky discovers that she simply has the flu. One of the best scenes has to be when Ducky & Tony take photos of themselves in the Presidents chair. When they arrive at Andrews, Kate has been ordered to hand the body over to the FBI. When they pick up the body and drive off they hear ringing coming from inside the body bag. Tony is inside the body bag. When back at NCIS they discover that he wasn't murdered and that it was in fact a natural death. Kate tells Gibbs that she is flying back tonight to re-join the Secret Security team and Gibbs asks if he can go with her and after a bit of a talk she agrees. We then see Kate having a meal, with Tim, another marine officer. They say their goodbyes and as she leaves he gets into his car and dies, the same way which the first man did. When back on the back up plane for Air Force One the following day, Gibbs keeps quoting the Harrison Ford movie – which is also called "Air Force One". Tony is called out to a suspicious death and it turns out to be Tim. He manages to get hold of Gibbs and informs him of Tim's death. It is then discovered that neither of them died natural, they died due to venom which, was in their uniform. Gibbs takes Kate in the toilet so that they can talk and he then informs her of Tim's death. She freaks out, and rightly so. Back in the press cabin a reporter collapses, like the other two did and also dies. By now Gibbs and Kate have realised what is going on, an attempt on the Presidents life is about to happen. Gibbs realises that they have keys to the guns and Kate goes to cover the president. Gibbs then sees that they have already got some of the guns. As the "reporter" goes towards the president's cabin, Gibbs sees the gun, and they both open fire; & Gibbs manages to kill the terrorist. After the plane lands, Gibbs learns that Kate has handed in her resignation, and as she leaves Gibbs catches up with her. He then offers her a job at NCIS.
  • The pilot episode, after watching the transitional episode from JAG to NCIS, then i can say that the new version is better than some of the JAG episodes i caught from time to time.

    We get introduced to Special Agent Gibbs, straight away you learn that he's a man not to be messed around with.

    A death on-board Airforce one sees the usual chaos of departmental rivalry for who has jurisdiction, so that they can suck up to the President. So we see Gibbs babysitting Dinozzo, Ducky, Kate Todd and a corpse of the deceased officer.

    They have to determine how the officer died, why the officer died and who would benefit, and thats the tip of the evenings' mission. Not too much to ask for, just a small miracle is needed.

    Needless to say, this episode was taken, in my opinion, from the film Air Force One, but also it was a good start to the series.

    It was obvious that Kate Todd would resign or be fired from the secret service, as she is far too good looking to be in that service. But of course Gibbs would want her to be on his team.
  • I am hooked, lined, and sinker! I will unquestionably tune in for future episodes.

    All the stars did a fantastic job! Being serious about the job and at the same time maintaining their sense of humor.

    This was a great introduction! Let the audience know who all the key players are, how they operate, and how they view themselves.

    I was in awe when DiNozzo and Ducky had their pictures taken sitting in the president's chair, was sweet! I would most likely be doing the same thing, if I were in their shoes.

    I am a JAG fan! I adored David James Elliot playing Commander Rabb and the producer said NCIS was a spin-off of JAG. The show certainly reminds me of JAG, minus the show being surrounded by the military.
  • Great introduction for a great show.

    When I first saw the pilot of this show, I already saw the rest of the seasons. It was funny to me to see all the characters introduced, while I already knew them. But never the less I still thought the way they did it was fascinating. It was also fun to see on how the characters grew, between the pilot and a while later. I also thought that the cause they worked on was great, this episode was really well written. One of my favorite moments of this episode was when they sort of kidnapped the plane, were the crime scene was one. It was fun to see the faces of the FBI, when they realized that there crime scene was taking away from them. It is such a Gibbs thing to do, and it made me laugh very much. I also liked the way that Kate became a part of the team, cause I didn't know how that happened and thanks to this awesome pilot, I know now.
  • great introduction of characters and interesting case...

    NCIS is called in when a navy officer on Airforce 1 dies mysteriously. There are a lot of jurisdiction battles between NCIS and the secret service, which is very entertaining to watch. I love how they introduced the characters, especially Ducky and Gibbs. The case was pretty interesting: poison laced in military uniforms and a plot to assasinate the president. I thought it was funny to see Gibbs describing a movie (I think it was the one with Harrison Ford and he was on airforce 1 and yadda yadda) anyways, I always see Tony as the one that's supposed to refer to movies, not Gibbs. Oh well. I really like this episode and it's a great start to a great series.
  • A great way to start the series and introduce the characters.

    So there was some ideas from the movie Air Force One, but all in all this episode stood on it's own. I liked the way they characters were introduced and how they played on each other. When I watched the DVD of it and got even more insight to the characters, why certain actors were picked and how they were originally conceived and what they turned out to be.
    To see this rather unlikely bunch work as a cohesive team begins here, worth a second and third watch.
    A lot of interesting action here and the way this episode ends sets up the series.
  • A fantastic beginning to a spectacular show!

    This episodes outlines what makes NCIS the best show on television, and showcases one of the greatest ensemble casts in the history of television.

    While other episodes have certain things about different characters that are more interesting, this episode epitomizes the craftiness and quirkiness of the NCIS investigative team.

    Mark Harmon's portrayal of Special Agent Gibbs is amazing. The character is so unique, even in spite of the number of crime-solving dramas currently on television. He is respected, revered and possibly even feared by his team, yet he can say "please" to a girl with no crime scene experience. The introduction of Caitlyn Todd to the team was a wonderful way to end the episode and to begin what would become a phenomenal show!
  • this episode is about how the team works and how kate comes into the picture. it also shows how crappy the fbi can be. it also showed us how big of a pain in the butt gibbs can be. it was deffinintly a good and exiciting episode and also one of the first!

    this episode was one of the best, of course it was one of the first. i think it did a good job introducing the main charactors. abby was the best in the episode like always!!! but isnt she always?! abby is so funny if she ever leaves i am going to be so ticked it wont even be funny!!! tony and kate had their, connection type thing going on to in this episode! they always fight! i dont see how gibbs puts up with them! then again it is gibbs. he is so weird! i would hate if he left too.
  • I'm in love with NCIS and when this episode came out, I got so excited.

    For me, Yankee White was a very important episode. This is where you got to see the introduction of the character Caitlin Todd. Even right away when there was tension between her and agent Gibbs, you could tell that they had a special bond of some sort. Also, This episode introduced us to the reacurring character Fornell. The whole ego war between the FBI and Ncis was not only funny, but it kept you interested. This episode also kept you in a kind of shadow. At first you think that you knew what was happening but then later you find out that it was something completely different.
  • I had to wait to see this because I wasn't introduced to NCIS until season 2 but it was sure worth the wait.

    This was a great start to a great series. NCIS came out of the gate with everything we could wan... humor, drama, suspence and action. Both the writing and the acting are way above the usual standard. NCIS became my favorite show so quickly I still wonder what hit me. This episode took off on a non-stop roller coaster ride and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Mark Harmon is so real in this role that it's very easy to believe he really could be Leroy Jethro Gibbs. I cheered when, at the end of the episode he took down the terrorist with a double double-tap.
    This was a great beginning of what I hope will be a very long and successful ride.
  • I have to say that I didn't get in to NCIS until 2nd season thanks to my aunt & uncle visiting on a Tuesday night. Then I was hooked! Being an over the road truck driver I would stop every Tuesday night in order to catch the show. I missed a few.

    This was a fantastic pilot, I've seen other episodes but never saw the pilot until yesterday thanks to DVD's. The way Kate became a member of the team finally makes sense to me. We learned a few of Gibb's rules with many more to come.
    The character introductions were beautifully done the creator's and writer's deserve a big hand on this one and all episodes after. I've never seen an episode the was a disappointment.
  • A great introduction to the core of a very character-driven show.

    All wrapped up in an interesting mystery is a solid look at each of the key NCIS characters, as well as a feel for what NCIS is, and how it fits into the law-enforcement community. If one continues watching into the next couple of seasons, there are a couple of minor discrepancies in character backgrounds, but it definitely sets the viewer up to become attached to the team members, and their various quirks. This episode is a great example of a crime drama that stands out from the rest because of unique & compelling characters and a healthy sense of humor.
  • hooked from the first line

    although it is the first episode of NCIS, it is not the first one i saw, but it is an amazing pilot. it introduced Kate Todd to NCIS at the end of the episode. it introduces us to all of the characters and must say, it does it brilliantly. we are also introduced to three of Gibbs\' rules, the start of many. it has a great plot to it and is home to many classic lines. brilliant acting and writing is what makes NCIS what it is, along ith the humor. this episode has it and i could watch 1 million times and still enjoy it
  • wow.. brilliant way to start off a series!

    wow.. if this is just the start then we're in for a sweet ride. it was brilliant! i LOVE the introduction of the character of kate. she's now officially one of my favourite characters. awesome character. :) i loved how kate stood up to both gibbs and NCIS.. and one of the most classic lines of ncis ever... "NCIS anything like CSI?... "only it you're dyslesic!" action packed, with a great storyline, just enough humour, the usual brilliant characters. what more can you ask of a crime show? absolutely nothing i reckon. brilliant start to the new series... cant wait for more!
  • While on Air Force One, a Navy Commander dies, agents from the Navy NCIS decide to take the investigation into their own hands. The NCIS team has to figure out if the Navy Officer's death was of natural causes or not.<br /><br /> <br

    `YW is my all time favorite one! This is the strongest pilot eppy I ever saw! I think it's one of the best NCIS ep.ever written. I have seen this episode so many times now and I smile more and more every time I watch it.I love absolutely everything about it! Especially the Kate/Gibbs scenes- loved the scene where Kate tried to justify to Gibbs the extent of her relationship with Major Kerry... it was so funny! When first saw YW,I fall in love with Kate/Gibbs!They are HOT together.If DPB didn’t want UST on this show, then he doesn’t have a clue what UST is!Even people,who think Kate and Gibbs should have only a profesional relationship ,can see the chemistry and tension between them!!! Kate even threatened to shot him .Yankee White' is a very Gibbs/Kate ep.- Gibbs saying 'please' to Kate, which surprises even Abby. The whole bathroom scene.The scene in Yankee White where Kate's lying down because she's not feeling well and Gibbs just stares at her-. That handshake at the beginning.There's a scene where Kate is punching into Gibbs' chest and he ends up hugging and comforting her. I love that it was only one storyline and I think they used all the characters well.
  • Wow! What a great way to officially start this series!!!

    I loved this episode! I started watching NCIS sometime during the first season, so I missed this one and just watched it on DVD. It was great! Agent Todd was destined to become part of the NCIS team; she fit right in. Not too many people will stand up to Jethro Gibbs! But Gibbs was different in this episode-- he was funny and flirty! I remember now the sexual tension between Kate and Gibbs present during the first season that gradually diminished in the second season.

    I thought it was funny how no one seemed to know about the NCIS agency, yet they seemed to come out on top throughout the entire case! Even at the end, Fornell mentions nothing to the media about the fact that NCIS solved the case!

    Again, excellent ep! Great kickoff of the first official season!
  • awesome episode! it was smart, funny, and cleverly thought out. for the first episode of the series, it was awesome to see three government agencies bumping heads. with NCIS out-smarting, coming out on top, over the FBI and secret secret service.

    great acting by all members of the cast. and after watching this episode, i really felt like seeing the movie air force one. this had to be the best, strongest series starter i've ever seen in my life. your eyes would be glued to the TV screen the entire time. forget going to the bathroom, it can wait. you'll miss some good stuff if you do.
  • NCIS is called into Witchita County, where Air Force 29000 has landed (Alpha Foxtrot)and the backup plane had already cleared the President to land in L.A for a press conference. To investigate a death that imitated a natual death.

    While aboard Air Force One. Commander Ray Trapp dies of a "Stroke" and NCIS is called into Witchita County, to investigate this natural death. While trying to find out the truth Gibbs asks Kate to tag along with her on the search. He can but his 6 hour can not come with him. Kate sits at a bar with MJR.Kerry and tells him she can no longer be with him. After she leaves MJR.Kerry dies of what also looks like a natural death. Later aboard the aircraft Gibbs tells Kate what happened leaving Kate devistated and confused. Until truth be told about what killed him and Commander Trapp. Later Agent William Baer finds out truthfully about Kate and Tim and she resigns from the Secret Service under the punishment of broken rules and gets a job offer at NCIS.
  • Great pilot and up & coming show!

    This is a great and up and coming show that
    Has really held its own and it isn't JAG but they
    Are more in authority over JAG as the team butts
    Head with the Secret Service and of course the FBI and
    One of the SS agents Kate joins them and the show really holds its own!
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