NCIS Database

Chimera is the sixth episode of NCIS Season 5 and also the 100th episode of the entire NCIS series.


The NCIS team investigate when the body of a sailor is found on board the USNS Chimera, a top-secret naval research ship sailing in the middle of the ocean. After boarding the ship, they find it completely abandoned except for the dead man. Things go from bad to worse when Ducky determines that the dead man died from viral hemorrhagic fever with Ziva suspecting that they're not alone and that someone else is on board although there might be another person on board as well but there's also a secret lurking on the ship as well and it's one that could cost the NCIS team their lives.


The scene opens on a lone ship that is sailing through an unknown sea that is shrouded in mist.

In the canteen area, a man wonders what the food is: dog crap while another comments that it looks like the same crap they had yesterday.

The cook remarks that they should have ate it all yesterday.

A Navy Captain wonders if anyone's seen Lieutenant Ferris.

One man tells the Captain to check the head and that Ferris has been in his office since before breakfast while the other believes that Ferris is probably plotting his revenge against Mattis.

Mattis tells the man to bite him.

The man remarks that it couldn't taste worse than this chow.

The Captain asks one of the guys to go check if Ferris is okay.

Seconds later, Ferris wonders in and the Captain asks Ferris if he's okay with Ferris assuring the Captain that he is and then muttering, "At least until I eat this crap".

As he heads off, the Captain asks about new orders from STRATCOM.

Ferris remarks that he just checked and that there's nothing.

Mattis then remarks, "Hair of the dog, Ferris?".

Ferris simply tells Mattis to go to Hell.

The two men glare at each other before Mattis leaves.

Suddenly, one man sitting at the table begins acting strangely, sending his plate aside before he begins seizing.

This has everyone looking on while Mattis emerges, asking the Commander what's the matter while the Navy Captain asks Commander Satoshi Takada what's wrong.

Takada just bangs his head off the table.

This has a few men getting to their table, everyone now very concerned.

The Navy Captain wants Takada taken to the sickbay but no-one seems to be able to do so, leaving it to Mattis who grabs Takada's hands.

They look at each other before Takada throws up, staining Mattis's apron with vomit.

The rest of the crew look on, horrified.

Takada then collapses to the floor before dying seconds later.

Once that's happened, everyone looks on, still stunned while Mattis stands there, frozen.

It then cuts to Takada who lies there, his brown eyes glazed over with blood pouring from his lips and nose.

Act One

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

The man who attacked Ziva has now been handcuffed to a railing and is demanding to be let out.

Ziva approaches Gibbs and tells him that their suspect is the cook on board the Chimera.

Act Five

The NCIS team after successfully fleeing the Chimera.

Major Events

  • It's revealed that since being infected with the plague, Tony has developed a fear of rats.
  • It's also revealed that two years have passed since the events in SWAK (episode).
  • It's revealed that McGee dislikes creamed corn.


  • Requiem (episode) was supposed to be the series' 100th episode, but the producers decided to air "Chimera" instead because the 100th episode's airdate fell on Halloween, and they felt "Chimera" was a darker episode, more thematically appropriate to the occasion.
  • The episode's plot was based on the story of the supposed "ghost ship," the Mary Celeste a ship that was discovered at sea by the vessel Dei Gratia, with no crew and no sign of life. As with the Chimera, there were plenty of supplies and the cargo was intact, and no clue as to what had happened to the crew. It was believed that, for some reason, the captain and crew had suddenly abandoned ship and been lost at sea. The scene where Tony finds a letter to a crewman's wife or girlfriend that was abandoned midway through its writing, is a tribute to a similar letter found aboard the Mary Celeste, indicating that whatever caused the crew to abandon ship happened suddenly and unexpectedly.
  • Tony quips that he'll "take 'Horror Films That Take Place on Ships' for $500," a reference to the game show Jeopardy!. Such movies include John Carpenter's The Fog, Leviathan and Ghost Ship (likewise loosely based on the story of the Mary Celeste).


Series Regulars

Name Portrayed by Role
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Mark Harmon NCIS 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.
Ziva David Cote de Pablo Mossad Liaison to NCIS and also a member of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Timothy McGee Sean Murray (actor) NCIS Junior Special Agent and a member of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Abigail Sciuto Pauley Perrette Forensic Specialist, NCIS.
Jennifer Shepard Lauren Holly Director of NCIS.
Donald Mallard David McCallum Chief Medical Examiner, NCIS.

Other Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Cory Mitas Bill Heck Ship Cook, U.S.S. Chimera.
Sean Ferris James O'Shea Communications Officer, U.S.S. Chimera and also a Lieutenant in the United States Navy.
Aleksei Graham McTavish Russian Commando Leader.
Navy Captain Rick Kelly A man who appears in the episode.
William Skinner Steven Culp A Naval Officer in charge of the USS Chimera and a Commander in the United States Navy.
Pirate 1 Christian Svensson A man who appears in the episode.
Pirate 2 Jordan Marder A man who appears in the episode.
Civilian Crewman 1 Craig Gellis A man who appears in the episode.
Civilian Crewman 2 Walter Wong A man who appears in the episode.
Rogers Roshawn Franklin Helicopter Crew Chief.
Satoshi Takada Eiji Inoue Biomedical Scientist, U.S.S. Chimera. Victim and a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy.
Russian Pirate Leor Aigen Uncredited role.
  v - e - dNCIS Season 5
Bury Your Dead (episode)Family (episode)Ex-File (episode)Identity Crisis (episode)Leap of Faith (episode)Chimera (episode)Requiem (episode)Designated Target (episode)Lost and Found (episode)Corporal Punishment (episode)Tribes (episode)Stakeout (episode)Dog Tags (episode)Internal Affairs (episode)In the Zone (episode)Recoil (episode)About Face (episode)Judgment Day Part 1 (episode)Judgment Day Part 2 (episode)