The body of a Marine is found in some woods in the days leading up to Christmas and the team discover that he had recently become a Muslim, a decision that could serve as the main motive for his death. As Abby attempts to reunite a mother and son, even going so far as to recruit McGee for help, Gibbs is left shocked when he gets a surprise visit from his father who is hiding something...
In a small, wooded area as it snows, Lara complains that they could get arrested for this.
Dean tells to come her on and that it's one little Christmas tree. Why pay when they can cut it down?
"Because this is a park", Lara says.
Dean protests that it's Christmas with Lara stating that it's illegal.
It then gives a clear close-up of the two and it's also shown that they're busy dragging the newly cut down tree through the area.
Dean remarks that it's what their grandparents used to do.
Suddenly, Dean stops, calling Lara's name.
"What?", Lara wonders.
Dean tells her that he likes this whole criminal sexy thing.
"Stop it", Lara insists.
He then wonders what it's going to be this Christmas. A little naughty or nice.
Dean mock growls with Lara screaming before he embraces and the two spin around, both hugging each other.
As they stop with Dean placing Lara back down, Lara tells Dean to wait with Dean saying, "What?".
Lara then looks over and sees someone, a man leaning against a tree, causing her to say, "Oh my gosh".
"What's he doing?", Dean wonders, having spotted the man as well.
He then calls the guy and asks him if he's alright.
But there's no response.
Dean remarks that the guy must be freezing.
As the two approach, Lara calls the man but again gets no reply.
As they edge closer, it's shown that the man is leaning slumped against a tree while a big backpack lies just a few meters away from him.
"Sir?", Lara calls again.
They then arrive at the area with Lara gasping in shock at the sight of blood on the man's forehead while there's a tattoo "Semper Fidelis" on the man's upper arm, revealing that the man is in fact a member of the United States Marine Corps.
"Call the police", Dean states.
Lara looks stunned.
It then cuts to show a gaping wound on top of the Marine's forehead with a single cut in the center of it.
In the bullpen, as Ziva joins him at his desk, McGee reveals that as a Marine, Ellis officially changed his religious status eight months ago from Christian to Muslim.
- Jackson Gibbs arrives in Washington D.C and it's revealed that he came to see his son for advice after killing a man who attempted to rob his store, and because it was Christmas.
- Ziva reveals that she speaks nine languages.
- It is revealed that Jackson Gibbs was once a bomber pilot.
- The song playing at the end of the episode is "Kangaroo Cry" by Blue October.
- The character of Lt. Commander Aaban El-Sayad appears to be based on Abuhena Saifulislam, a real-life Muslim chaplain in the U.S. Navy, who was originally commissioned in 1999; as of 2014, he was one of only two Muslim chaplains in the U.S. Navy, and the only one assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps.
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Anthony DiNozzo Junior||Michael Weatherly||Senior Agent and second-in-command of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||NCIS Probationary Agent and also a member of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||Junior Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Chief Forensic Specialist of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Leon Vance||Rocky Carroll||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
Recurring Cast Edit
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Assistant Medical Examiner.|
|Jackson Gibbs||Ralph Waite||Gibbs's father.|
Other Cast Edit
|George Ellis||Joe Regalbuto||Former Colonel in the United States Marine Corps who is now an ordained minister.|
|Aaban El-Sayad||Corey Reynolds||A Navy Chaplain/Imam as well as a Navy Lieutenant Commander.|
|Patrick Ellis||Brando Eaton||Younger son of George Ellis who killed Navy Lieutenant Thomas Ellis, his brother because he couldn't handle the fact that his brother was a convert to Islam.|
|Tina Ellis||Lindsay Pulsipher||Widow of Lt. Thomas Ellis.|
|Carol Wilson||Meredith Eaton||College friend of Abby's.|
|Louis Tibbens||Aaron McPherson||First Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and a member of Lieutenant Ellis's unit who distrusted him because of his faith.|
|Lara||Jenna Gavigan||Found the body while searching for a Christmas Tree.|
|Dean||Kristopher Higgins||Found the body while searching for a Christmas Tree.|
|Cara Blake||Rochelle Greenwood||Ensign in the United States Navy and mother of Fisher Blake currently deployed to Afghanistan.|
|Delores Bromstead||Kate Fuglei||Human Resources, NCIS and Tony's Secret Santa.|
|Fisher Blake||Harrison Forsyth||Nephew of Carol Wilson and son of Cara Blake.|