A former Marine and Medal of Honor recipient who fought in World War II arrives at NCIS HQ, confessing to having murdered his friend in battle on the same night that they were battling against the Japanese, a battle that took place nearly sixty years ago. Facing heat from SECNAV and Commander Faith Coleman, Gibbs and the team work to prove that the Marine is innocent in hopes of saving him from life imprisonment and loss of his Medal of Honor.
It's a normal day at NCIS and as various employees enter the Lobby to bring another day of work, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs meets Henry, a security guard who informs him about a sushi place.
Gibbs tells him that at the sushi place, you're supposed to eat everything you're given with a smile.
Their talk is interrupted by a man named Ernest Yost who enters the building and after being patted down, produces a Medal of Honor medal before showing the two men a .45 and informing Gibbs that he killed his best friend with that same weapon.
It then cuts to Gibbs who looks at Yost.
However, Caitlin Todd figures out that a woman at a local bakery was at was wearing legwarmers and when DiNozzo asks, Kate tells him that it must be the profiler in her.
Gibbs arrives with Corporal Ernest Yost who sits in DiNozzo's seat and he assigns DiNozzo to look after him before assigning McGee to search for the 911 calls detailing Yost ringing the police while Kate is to dig up Yost's file and she's surprised at Yost winning the Medal of Honor.
Gibbs tells her you're only ever given the Medal for going above and beyond the call of duty.
As Gibbs leaves, Yost and DiNozzo talk to one another and when DiNozzo asks how Yost can fly for free, Yost shows the agent his Medal of Honor.
In the lab, Abigail Sciuto is testing Yost's gun and once she's shown Gibbs about the coloring mismatch, manages to get traces of dirt or black sand from the magazine.
Gibbs asks her to trace its origins.
Abby tells she will before asking what the case is but Gibbs tells her it's a Marine who doesn't clean his weapon after firing it.
As she examines the gun, Abby remarks that things must be really slow upstairs.
Up in the bullpen, Gibbs is interviewing Yost about the fact that he beat his friend, Corporal Wade Kean with the gun but Yost doesn't know why he did it.
Unfortunately, Yost gets all emotional and Gibbs calms him down before he sends the Marine off to get a drink of water with Tony helping him.
Once they're out of earshot, McGee tells Gibbs about the seven calls Yost made to Virigina P.D over the past eleven days.
Gibbs hears a sample of one.
Kate soon arrives with Yost's file and Gibbs begins reading from it just as DiNozzo and Yost return.
Gibbs tells Yost that he heard about the other man losing his wife.
Yost thanks him and tells him she's buried at Ball's Bluff National Cemetery before he gets emotional over his wife's death.
Kate offers to buy Yost dinner with McGee joining in.
Yost accepts Kate's offer first while Gibbs talks to someone on the phone and arranges a video-conference.
Gibbs arrives in MTAC and meets Commander Faith Coleman who tells him that he will open an investigation into Wade Kean's death.
Despite Gibbs protesting, Coleman tells him to do it anyway before asking him what the statue of limitations on murder is.
It then cuts to Gibbs who just turns away.
Yost is brought into Interrogation where Gibbs has a talk with him about what happened the night Corporal Kean died while Tony and Donald Mallard silently look on from Observation.
During the talk, Yost gets emotional and while remembering, remarks that the room smells like rotten eggs.
Out on the corridor, Ducky tells Gibbs his thoughts.
Kate then joins them to tell them Kean died the night before Yost was awarded for gallantry.
Gibbs then realizes that Yost is experiencing survivor's guilt from Kean's death and then orders for Wade Kean's body to be exhumed.
Back in the bullpen, McGee and DiNozzo are both looking at the To The Shores of Iwo Jima while Yost is asleep at DiNozzo's desk.
Gibbs enters the bullpen and upon hearing Yost snoring loudly, smiles before he heads to McGee and DiNozzo.
Once they've spoken some, Gibbs assigns DiNozzo to look after Yost once he's home but DiNozzo tries to get out of it by stating he has tickets for a ballet from a country that starts with an "S".
At the cemetery, Gibbs, Kate and Ducky meet the Superintendent.
A few minutes, a Marine burial detail that Gibbs specifically requested for the exhumation arrives and with that, Kean's body is exhumed and brought back to NCIS.
In the morgue, Ducky's examining the skeleton remains and Kate is left disgusted when Gibbs tells her that whenever someone was killed in the war, one of their dog tags was put between their teeth so that the body could always be identified.
Gibbs realizes that Kean lost his lower legs when he'd stepped on a land-mine. Ducky studies the wound on Kean's head and then takes Yost's gun before placing it against the wound.
It's a match.
"He said he was bringing us evidence", Gibbs says before leaving the morgue.
It then cuts to Kate and Ducky who are left to look at Kean's body.
The next morning, Lt. Commander Coleman with two Marines arrives at NCIS, demanding Yost be placed in her custody.
After the team lie that Yost escaped, she gives them 24 hours to find another reason before leaving.
Gibbs then tells Kate that if they turn Yost in, then he's going to get a dishonorable discharge and maybe even lose his Medal of Honor.
Furthermore, Gibbs believes that Yost could go to his grave, carrying a guilt he doesn't deserve. He then asks Kate to find every living Marine that Yost served with while McGee and Abby are to work together to create a reconstruction of the fight.
When Yost puts on some martial music, DiNozzo who had been sleeping on the couch gets a rude awakening.
Yost tells DiNozzo he has some arm and it then reveals a stuffed giraffe in the corner that DiNozzo presumably won at a fair that he and Yost attended.
While DiNozzo goes for coffee to help cure a possible hangover, Yost recalls his war-time days but it becomes obvious that he's beginning to accept that he doesn't deserve the Medal of Honor.
Yost then shows DiNozzo some photos of his colleagues and eventually one of his late wife, Dorothy but when DiNozzo remarks that Yost's buddies would be jealous, Yost gets angry about the remark before telling DiNozzo he has to take a whiz.
In the lab, Abby and McGee are showing Gibbs and Kate what they've managed to get so far. The two also reveal the location where Yost killed Kean.
During that, Gibbs and Kate realize that given that Kean had stepped on a landmine which had cost him his two legs, Yost had probably struck him to keep him quiet.
DiNozzo finds a photo of Wade and Dorothy and asks Yost if they were high-school sweethearts.
Yost silently nods which means that they've got a motive for Yost wanting Kean dead: Kean was in love with Dorothy, Yost's future wife.
It cuts to DiNozzo who looks very grim-faced.
The next morning, the team regather in the bullpen and DiNozzo informs them about what he discovered.
Gibbs, on the other hand doesn't buy it.
DiNozzo tells him that it doesn't matter because Yost himself is beginning to accept it.
Kate states that if Commander Coleman gets this, then she's going to use it to put Yost away for the rest of his life.
McGee then arrives over with the news that he's tracked down Ferris Bellows but the man dropped dead while playing poker in Las Vegas which as a result makes Yost the last surviving Marine of his unit.
While sharing a dance with Yost, Kate starts crying.
Coleman arrives in with two Marines, pissed about her demands not being met but she then meets Yost who tells her he's relieved about being arrested.
However, Gibbs who Coleman confronts over failing to deliver Yost to her has found a witness: Hitoshi Yoshida.
With Yoshida's help, they soon prove Yost's innocence and Coleman decides that her report to SEC will be that Corporal Kean was killed in action, not by Yost.
After the case has ended, Gibbs takes Yost out for dinner at a sushi restaurant where Yoshida just happens to work.
Yoshida reveals that while he wasn't on Iwo Jima and that he was on Guadalcanal which has Yost stunned.
As Yost drinks some more sake, Yoshida pours another cup of sake for himself and then in a truly touching moment, both men proceed to raise their cups to each other.
It then cuts to show Yoshia and Yosts's cups clinking together.
- Charles Durning (Ernest Yost) is credited as a Special Guest Star.
- Season Two Cast
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||An NCIS Special Agent in charge of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Anthony DiNozzo Junior||Michael Weatherly||The Senior Agent of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team and also the second-in-command.|
|Caitlin Todd||Sasha Alexander||A Secret Service Agent previously assigned to the Presidential Protection Detail on Air Force One and who is now an NCIS Special Agent as well as Tony DiNozzo's partner.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perette||A Goth who is also the Chief Forensic Scientist and who also works for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||An NCIS Special Agent previously assigned to the Norfolk Naval Base who is now the Junior Agent of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||NCIS's Chief Medical Examiner.|
|Faith Coleman||Alicia Coppola||A JAG officer.|
|William Moore||Kevin Sizemore||Uncredited role.|
|Ernest Yost||Charles Durning||A Marine who served in World War 2.|
|Hitoshi Yoshida||Lloyd Kino||The owner of a sushi restaurant in downtown Washington D.C.|
|Henry||Ben Guillory||A security guard at the entrance to the NCIS building.|
|Superintendent||Hugh B. Holub||A man present when Wade Kean's body was being exhumed for an autopsy.|
|Wade Kean||Jason Alan Smith||A Corporal who served with Ernest Yost.|
|Ferris Bellows||Scott Thomas||Another Marine who served with Yost and Kean. Died while playing poker in Vegas.|
|Chip Stearns||Marc Senter||A Marine in the same unit as Yost.|
|Douglas Griffith||Douglas Griffith (actor)||A real-life Lt.Colonel with the United States Marine Corps.|
|Actor||Andy B. Dardaine||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Japanese Soldier||Ernesto Trinidad||Uncredited role.|
|Jenkins||Marc D. Wilson||An M.P. Uncredited role.|