NCIS Database

Cabin Fever is the fifteenth episode of NCIS Season 12 and also the 273rd episode of the entire NCIS series.


As the NCIS team investigate an explosion that occurred at an upcoming terrorist summit that was scheduled to take place on a Navy ship and which also resulted in the death of a Navy Petty Officer, Gibbs chooses to sit out the resulting investigation, choosing instead to help grief-stricken FBI agent Tobias Fornell whose life is on the verge of imploding altogether as Fornell still struggles to come to terms with his ex-wife's brutal murder while an old enemy returns for a final showdown with both Gibbs and Fornell.


The episode opens with a recap of what happened in Twenty Klicks (episode) and ends with NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs being seen through a sniper rife wielded by terrorist Sergei Mishnev mere seconds after Sergei killed Gibbs's ex-wife, Diane Sterling by shooting her in the head which occurred in the Season 12 episode, Check (episode) while Sergei tells Gibbs or "his friend" that it's only the beginning.

As a Virginia State Trooper car drives along the car, Keyes asks his partner, Johnson that she knows the deal between them two, doesn't she?

"Them two who?", Johnson wonders.

She then realizes he's talking about Judge McGraff.

Keyes also mentions Wilson, the DA and that McCraff and Wilson used to be sweethearts.

"Is that a fact?", Johnson wonders, unconvinced.

Keyes tells Johnson to check them out next time she's in court and he brings up the little looks and smiles McGruff and Wilson exchange as well as the fact that McGruff objects, Wilson sustains and that it happens every time.

"Old flame's still burning, huh?", Johnson says.

Keyes remarks that he thinks that they'd burn it up on the bench right there if they could.

Johnson berates Keyes, saying that he's bad.

"Not as bad as this yahoo", Keyes grumbles.

In front of them, a lone car is driving.

This has the troopers put the alarm on their car with the sirens wailing.

Grabbing the mike, Johnson tells the driver to pull over to the side, please.

The car eventually turns a corner, landing on a small dirt road before coming to a stop altogether.

Seconds later, the trooper's car pulls in behind it with both Johnson and Keyes getting out and putting their hats out.

Armed with his flashlight, Keyes approaches the car and asks the driver how they're doing tonight before wondering if he could see the driver's licence and registration.

Where there's no response, Johnson knocks on the window twice.

The window then electronically opens, revealing a lone bottle of whiskey in the area right beside the driver.

Her own flashlight out, Johnson wonders what do they have there?

It then reveals that the driver is none other than FBI agent Tobias Fornell who drunkenly tells them that it's okay and that it's prescription bourbon.

Johnson looks stunned.

It then cuts to Fornell who lies against the driver's seat, completely and utterly drunk.

Act One

Act Two

Gibbs in the main room of his cabin.

Act Three

Act Four

Act Five

A while later, at his home and in front of a raging fireside and as a dog barks in the background, Gibbs takes a sip of his beer just as someone knocks on the door.

Once he's finished taking a sip, Gibbs places the beer bottle onto the table before telling the person, "Yeah, it's open. Come on in".

Seconds later, the door opens and closes as the visitor walks in, revealing it to be none other Counselor Anton Pavlenko who seems amused at the fact that the door is open before stating why is not he surprised?

Gibbs greets Pavenlenko with Gibbs stating that he doesn't have any vodka but that there's a cold beer in the fridge.

As he heads over to the center of the living room, Pavenlenko remarks that Gibbs is considerate before telling Gibbs that he cannot stay.

He then remarks to Gibbs that he understands that they had some success.

"You could say that", Gibbs remarks.

Walking over, Pavenlenko admits that he was nervous and that Mishev was quite suspicious at first but Gibbs was right. He then remarks that when he told Mishnev that Gibbs killing Nelly Benin was a fake, Mishnev brought it, hook, link and sinker.

Gibbs remarks that people believe what they want to believe.

Pavenlenko states that had Mishnev not, then they might not be having this conversation right now.

"But here we are", Gibbs says.

Pavenlenko then approaches Gibbs, holding out his right hand and as the two men shake, Pavenlenko thanks Gibbs in Russian.

With that, Pavenlenko then turns around and leaves.

"Counselor", Gibbs calls.

This has Pavenlenko stopping.

"Thank you", Gibbs remarks.

His right hand against his chest, Pavenlenko silently bows before he walks off.

It then cuts to Gibbs who half-smiles and then nods, happy that the threat of Sergei Mishnev has ended once and for all.

Major Events

  • It's revealed that terrorist Sergei Mishnev is in fact the half-brother of the dead terrorist and enemy of the NCIS team, Ari Haswari.
  • The team's battle against Sergei finally comes to a permanent end when Fornell personally shoots and kills Sergei, resulting in Fornell avenging his ex-wife, Diane Sterling as well as all the other people Sergei murdered.


Series Regulars

Name Portrayed by Role
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Mark Harmon Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Anthony DiNozzo Junior Michael Weatherly Senior Special Agent and second-in-command of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Timothy McGee Sean Murray (actor) Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Abigail Sciuto Pauley Perrette Chief Forensic Specialist for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
James Palmer Brian Dietzen Assistant Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Eleanor Bishop Emily Wickersham NCIS Probationary Agent.
Leon Vance Rocky Carroll Director of NCIS.
Donald Mallard David McCallum Chief Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.

Recurring Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Anton Pavlenko Lev Gorn Russian Counselor.
Sergei Mishnev Alex Veadov International Mercenary. Later dies after Fornell shoots him.
Tobias Fornell Joe Spano FBI Agent.
Emily Fornell Juliette Angelo Tobias Fornell and Diane Sterling's teenage daughter.
Diane Sterling Melinda McGraw Fornell's dead wife.

Other Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Nazar Boulos Marcelo Tubert Frankie Boulos's father.
Frankie Boulos Joshua Sawtell Nazar Boulos's son.
Judy Sloan Courtney Hope Petty Officer Second Class in the United States Navy.
Keyes Scott Michael Morgan Virginia State Trooper and Johnson's partner.
Johnson Presciliana Esparolini Virginia State Trooper and Keyes's partner.
Doctor Brian Demonbreun Uncredited role.
  v - e - dNCIS Season 12
Twenty Klicks (episode)Kill the Messenger (episode)So It Goes (episode)Choke Hold (episode)The San Dominick (episode)Parental Guidance Suggested (episode)The Searchers (episode)Semper Fortis (episode)Grounded (episode)House Rules (episode)Check (episode)The Enemy Within (episode)We Build, We Fight (episode)Cadence (episode)Cabin Fever (episode)Blast from the Past (episode)The Artful Dodger (episode)Status Update (episode)Patience (episode)No Good Deed (episode)Lost in Translation (episode)Troll (episode)The Lost Boys (episode)Neverland (episode)