Two Navy sailors, both of whom are serving on the USS Enterprise overdose on meth, prompting the NCIS team to investigate. When they arrive on the ship to investigate further, both sailors insist that they've never touched the drug despite their tests clearly saying otherwise. With the help of the Agent Afloat who once worked for Gibbs, NCIS dig deeper to get to the truth but things change when the first sailor dies under mysterious circumstances, the case is later upgraded to a murder investigation with Gibbs believing that a senior officer on the ship is knowingly jeopardizing the lives of his crew by secretly giving them performance-enhancing drugs...
At a nightclub where various people are enjoying themselves, a man who's sweating staggers down the steps, accidentally bumps into someone's Boyfriend who gives him the evil eye and then moves on.
While his friends are having a good time, the guy in question isn't.
It then cuts to a chef who opens the door to a walk-in freezer and he sees the same young man standing inside the freezer, still sweating but without any clothing.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs is in his basement, working on a new boat while a ball game on his TV plays in the background.
His answering machine which consists of "Gibbs. Talk" picks up the call and on the other end, it's Stanley Burley, a man who worked with Gibbs on the other end.
Burley demands Gibbs stop working on that stupid boat and pick up before stating that he needs Gibbs's help with a case on the USS Enterprise.
Burley then adds "Boss" in and as such, Gibbs drops everything before answering the call. He demands to know what's going on.
Burley tells him that two days an arresting-gear operation went "wacko" while on liberty in Rota and that his crew-mates found him naked in the freeze with his body temperature being 106.
Gibbs states that judging by the symptoms, the man is a chronic drug user but Burley states that the man's tox-screen which was taken less than three weeks ago was negative.
Burley also admits that he doesn't have enough time to work on this by himself.
Donald Mallard arrives in and remarks that while Burley was an incredible athlete, cricket was one of the few games he didn't play.
He gives Kate a cricket ball to take to Burley which she accepts.
The team soon depart the bullpen and head for the plane with Gibbs and Tony giving Kate some pointers in regards the labeling system of the bulkhead which is how one gets around on a ship this large.
Upon arriving, Stan meets the team and confirms that Bobby Wilkes's tox-report has shown traces of meth in the system. Gibbs sends Kate to interview Petty Officers Gil Niles and Peter Shrewe on Deck Five, while Tony is to talk to Chief Petty Officer Reyes.
Gibbs requests tapes of Wilkes "in action" (as an arresting gear operator).
Burley says that he's only got about a hundred hours worth and that he has one of the rooms on hold.
Gibbs gives Burley a slap, telling him some things never change while Tony and Kate look on, uncomfortable.
Kate struggles through the ship and she gets lost, stumbling into a men's head on Deck Six. Petty Officer Gomez who's in there gives her some helpful advice before resuming his activity.
In the sick bay, Gibbs is interviewing Petty Officer Wilkes who insists that he doesn't do drugs and he's sure that no-one else in his crew does either.
Kate has arrived at the Deck Five Berthing and upon being told that the SOP (standard operating procedure) is for women to announce themselves in men-designated areas of the ship, announces herself as an NCIS Special Agent before asking for Petty Officers Niles and Shrewe.
A lone crewman tells her Niles should be in Hangar Bay on Deck One and gives her directions, then Kate moves on.
She then interrogates Niles who after a long talk grimly tells her that the code of silence doesn't fly too well on the flight deck and that there's no room for screwing up.
Gibbs and Stan have been summoned to the USS Enterprise's bridge where Commander Stovic tells them that he needs the drug problem found and stopped.
Gibbs assures Stovic that they'll do that they can with Stovic agreeing, stating that lives depend on it.
It then cuts to Gibbs who looks grim-faced.
A plane is on the final approach to the USS Enterprise's flight deck and Chief Petty Officer Reyes and his team snap into action.
During the process, Tony emerges onto the deck. The alert ends with Reyes disapprovingly commenting that his team were two seconds slower than the last time and he tells them to wait.
Reyes doesn't say anything helpful to Tony. He just mentions he didn't see and hear anything.
Another plane is about to land but at that same moment, Petty Officer Shrewe has a meltdown, forcing the plane to be diverted. As all this happens, Shrewe is lying on the ground, whimpering.
Gibbs, Tony, Kate and Burley arrive outside the sick bay and the Flight Surgeon emerges, telling them that Shrewe has been sedated and it looks like the same as Petty Officer Wilkes with Shrewe's symptoms also suggesting long-term meth use but Tony mentions that Shrewe's last random drug test was also negative.
Gibbs sends Tony to toss Shrewe's rack and look for something while Kate is to go interview the urinalysis coordinator.
While Gibbs and Stan glance at tapes which has one crew member looking like he has ants in his pants according to Stan, Kate interviews Lieutenant Norski, the USS Enterprise's Urinalysis Coordinator.
He tells her that the urine samples aren't tested on board.
They're shipped stateside inside.
He also goes to explain the procedures and also some of the methods used to beat the system.
When Kate tells him about how two men in six weeks can beat it, Norski states it's unlikely but tells her anything's possible.
Gibbs returns to the sickbay to interview Petty Officer Shrewe and Shrewe insists he has never taken any drugs, consumed alcohol or had any tobacco in his life.
However, things change when Corpsman Milano, having checked Wilkes's pulse finds nothing and immediately calls a Code Blue. He and the Flight Surgeon rush in and begin using a crash-cart to get Wilkes's heart going again but nothing happens.
It then cuts to Gibbs who sighs heavily as everyone realizes that Petty Officer Wilkes is dead.
The next day, while Gibbs, Kate and Tony are standing on a balcony, a large group of personnel on board the ship inspect the flight deck with the announcer telling them to keep their eyes peeled.
Gibbs then states that Wilkes was probably murdered because he was going to give up the name of his supplier.
Tony agrees but Kate states it makes no sense given how the two men had a Navy legacy in both their respective families.
Gibbs tells her that drug addicts learn the art of conning fast while Kate tells him she's had the urine sent to Abby who's going to retest them all over again.
As Gibbs leaves to check on Burley, Kate tries to assure Tony over the whole Burley affair but the whole thing goes out the window.
In the morgue, Ducky and his assistant Gerald Jackson are working on Wilkes's body which has been shipped to NCIS given the circumstances surrounding Wilkes's death.
The two men are looking for any obvious signs of death but haven't found anything yet although Ducky remarks that like all his other guests, Wilkes will tell him everything.
In the conference room, Burley is busy going over the tapes when Gibbs arrives, giving the man a bagel just how Burley likes it which has Burley amazed.
Burley has discovered some footage which shows Reyes handing his men something but the image is too grainy to make out what.
Gibbs requests the footage be sent to Abby so that she can enhance it further and tells Tony and Kate to go talk to the Air Boss to see what he thinks of Reyes.
While talking to Tony and Kate, the Air Boss shows them a scene where Reyes is busy putting his men through their paces by forcing them to do push-ups and he remarks that the crew's performance is 50% above average.
Kate's impressed, stating that it's quite a record. She and the other two men watch proceedings from above while Gibbs glances from the side.
The team regather in the conference room where Ducky and Gerald give them a demo in regards to how Wilkes died.
Ducky reveals that air was placed into Wilkes's IV drop and when that happened, instant death followed.
The gas bubble found in Wilkes's heart was 6% C02, meaning it was Wilkes's own breath.
Gibbs returns and questions Milano again with Milano insisting he's innocent and that when he went go change the bag out, Wilkes was alive and when he came back, Wilkes was dead.
Stan catches up with Gibbs and informs him that a second set of prints have been discovered on the saline bag.
Gibbs figures out instantly that they are Wilkes's and he and Stan debate the fact that Wilkes committed suicide after taking a call from his very proud father who happens to be a retired Chief Petty Officer.
Abby tells Tony and Kate in a video-conference that the urine she tested was clean but she's found that Wilkes and Shrewe's urine are exactly the same.
Kate and Tony talk about who could be responsible for that and after a battle to see who gets to an office first, Kate wins before announcing herself as an NCIS Special Agent while also requesting she'd like to see the record books while Tony gets lost and winds up in a room where the sheets are being washed and cleaned.
Abby then speaks to Gibbs and Stan.
She informs them she's managed to get the video's resolution cleaned up and she shows them Reyes giving his men small white tablets.
Gibbs and Burley confront Reyes again but Reyes simply states that they're actually caffeine tablets which can be bought over the counter at any convenience store.
Reyes remarks that he loves this men and he'd die for them.
It cuts to Gibbs who looks lost in thought.
Tony is busy running the tablets Gibbs and Stan got from through a drug kit but there's nothing.
Gibbs still believes what his gut's telling him and then orders the three to get a search authorization so that they can go through Reyes's bunk in the morning while Reyes is busy with flight operations.
The next morning, Reyes is on the flight deck, yelling out instructions and the search and rescue mission get the people they were looking for.
Down in Reyes's quarters, Tony, Kate and Stan are searching but there's nothing.
That is until Tony suggests they start playing in the dark.
During the examination, Kate discovers some residue on a shelf in Reyes's locker. They take it back to the conference room where Tony runs it through the drug kit again but it turns out to be clean.
Gibbs then figures out that they need to go to the one person who still has those capsules: Petty Officer Niles.
Gibbs confront Niles who insists the only things he uses to get him awake in the morning is a cup of coffee and a couple of tablets. He then gives Gibbs a bottle containing capsules that looks like the ones Reyes was holding.
Tony tests them again and this time, they're positive for meth.
Now that they've gotten what they were looking for, Gibbs knows that they need to catch Reyes in the act.
It then cuts to the Air Boss's workstation where he's sharing his concerns about the flight crew to Reyes, prompting Reyes to get into his meth stash.
It then shows Reyes heading into the Urinalysis Coordinator's office.
A rescue mission is then shown and a few minutes, Reyes leaves the office.
Stan, Tony and Kate head into the office where they confront Norski with Stan stating that both Norski and Reyes were assigned to two previous ships where Reyes's flight crew also happened to have the best performance rating on the ship.
Stan then demands Norski hand over Reyes's stash.
On the flight deck, a rescue helicopter has landed and a survivor is being escorted. Reyes enters a room where he meets Niles who claims he needs something to get him going.
Reyes and Niles go aside with Reyes giving Niles a capsule before Niles turns to Gibbs who's standing behind Reyes and gives him the capsules.
Knowing he faces a discharge and possible discharge, Reyes tries to justify his actions by stating he did what he had to do when it came to getting his own men up to speed.
Gibbs remarks that Wilkes was a victim of a leader who betrayed his trust and arrests Reyes on the spot.
On the flight deck, the team are getting ready to leave with Burley coming to see them off. After Burley has given Tony some reassurance, the three Agents get onto the plane.
On board, Gibbs tells Kate the take-off is going to be just as rough as the landing but instead of going forwards, they're going backwards this time.
Tony remarks that it's like sex but without the work.
Kate retorts that everything is like sex to Tony.
Seconds later, the aircraft takes off and Gibbs is yelling to see how Kate's doing but there's no response. He calls on DiNozzo who tells him that Kate's smiling.
- Stan Burley, an NCIS Special Agent who previously worked under Gibbs is introduced for the first time.
- While Kate and Tony are arguing about how to get the admin office of the ship, Kate's seen wearing a green jacket, red top and her hair is down. But when she begins crossing places, Kate's seen wearing a purple top and has her hair tied up in a ponytail which is presumably footage from the team's first day on the ship. However, when Kate gets to the office, she's seen wearing the same green jacket and red top from before while flashing her badge at the Officer in charge before asking him to see some record books.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Stan Burley although he would later reappear in the Season 9 episode, Playing with Fire (episode) after an absence of nine years.
|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 for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||NCIS's Chief Medical Examiner.|
|Gerald Jackson||Pancho Demmings||Assistant Medical Examiner for NCIS.|
|Stanley Burley||Joel Gretsch||Former NCIS Agent under Gibbs who is now NCIS Agent Afloat on the USS Enterprise.|
|Stovic||Sal Landi||Commander in the United States Navy and Skipper of the USS Enterprise.|
|Norski||Jonathan Sadowski||The USS Enterprise's Urinalysis Co-ordinator and a Lieutenant in the United States Navy.|
|Reyes||Carlos Gomez||The officer responsible for slipping his crewmen performance-enhancing drugs. Is a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy.|
|Bobby Wilkes||Charlie Hofheimer||The first victim to suffer a meth overdose. Later dies but Gibbs suspects that he was murdered to stop Wilkes from telling them who his supplier was. Was a Petty Officer First Class in the United States Navy.|
|Gil Niles||Jonathan T. Floyd||A member of the flight team on board the USS Enterprise and who plays a big part in helping NCIS arrest Chief Reyes. Is a Petty Officer Second Class in the United States Navy.|
|Peter Shrewe||Anson Scoville||The second sailor to suffer an overdose. Is a Petty Officer Second Class in the United States Navy.|
|Gomez||Eddie Diaz||Gave NCIS Special Agent Kate Todd directions on how to get to the Urinalysis Co-ordinator's office. Is a Petty Officer in the United States Navy.|
|Seaman (High Seas)||Robert Baker||A man who gives Kate instructions on how to get to the Dock 5 section of the USS Enterprise. Is also a Seaman in the United States Navy.|
|Flight Surgeon||Larry Sullivan||A doctor on the USS Enterprise who treats Petty Officers Wilkes and Shrew after the two suffer overdoes.|
|Milano||Corbin Allred||A Corpsman assigned to the USS Enterprise who helps the Flight Surgeon.|
|Clerk||Alex Avant||An African-American man seen working on the USS Enterprise's flight deck under Chief Petty Officer Reyes.|
|Air Boss||Bruno Gunn||A man in charge of the flight deck on the USS Enterprise.|
|Handler||Monti Sharp||Presumably assigned to the USS Enterprise.|
|Crewman (High Seas)||Gil McKinney||A crewman assigned to the USS Enterprise.|
|Commander Stovic's Aide||John Littlefield||A man who is the aide to Commander Stovic, the Commander of the USS Enterprise.|
|Boyfriend||Rigo Sanchez||A Hispanic man Petty Officer Bobby Wilkes accidentally bumped into while under the influence of some meth.|