Honor Thy Father is the twenty-fourth episode of NCIS Season 11 and the 258th episode of the NCIS series as well as the Season 11 finale episode.
After successfully apprehending a criminal, the NCIS team are then assigned to investigate as to whether a U.S. Navy ship that served as a secret detention site for indicted terrorists was accidental or an intentional diversion for an escape and in doing so, are reunited with an enemy from their past while Gibbs travels to his childhood home of Stillwater after learning that his father has died.
A bartender hands NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee with McGee thanking him.
As McGee leaves the bar, it's revealed that he's in the Green Star bar with the bar holding a "Young Professionals and Military Officers Mix".
He then bumps into a female Naval Officer with McGee apologizing.
The female Officer then states why should she apologize before telling McGee that she did it on purpose.
"I'm sorry, what?", McGee wonders.
"I said, I bumped into you on purpose", the female Naval Officer replies.
At McGee's confused glance, the female Naval Officer remarks that she's flirting with him.
McGee thanks her and then admits that he's actually here with someone.
As he leaves, the female Naval Officers wonders who brings a date to a mixer.
McGee then heads over to the table where his colleague, NCIS Special Agent Eleanor Bishop is waiting for him.
As he sits down, McGee tells Bishop that he's back.
Bishopis thankful as she had to fight off two young professionals who wanted to show her their paystubs.
"Is that a euphemism?", McGee wonders.
Outside, on the main street, as numerous people walk by, the traditional black NCIS van is sitting parked along a pavement and NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo Junior remarks that he can hear McGee.
"Well, I should hope so", McGee remarks.
In the van, Tony pokes at his headset and states, "There you go".
As this goes on, the team's boss, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs then turns back to the monitor while smiling, amused.
Tony remarks that while he's still got a bit of an issue but that will come online in a second with Tony referring to the main cameras on the main monitor that are still offline with Tony stating that he should have taken the job inside.
Bishop disagrees, stating that she doesn't think that would've been a good idea.
"Bishop's right", McGee says. "There's enough eye candy in here to send you into diabetic shock".
In the van, Tony remarks that's fine and that he's capable of handling McGee's dweeb-centric responsibilities.
He then slaps the monitor and the outside cameras promptly come online.
"DiNozzo", Gibbs says.
Tony looks at Gibbs, puzzled with Gibbs stating that they don't have all night.
Tony then hits a key and states that they should go catch themselves a burglar. He then begins sending a file containing information on burglar, Wayne Levinson AKA "The Snail".
In the bar, Bishop grabs her phone as Tony states he sent them a glamour shot to keep him fresh.
As Bishop and McGee study the photo, Tony wonders why they call Levinson the Snail.
"He's probably a slow mover", McGee says, irritated. "Can we stick to the essentials, please?".
Tony then sarcastically apologizes and tells them to remember that the cameras are for the outside only.
Gibbs states that they should be smart because Levinson could be armed.
"What if..", McGee begins but pauses after seeing someone matching Levinson enter the bar.
As that happens, Levinson passes by McGee and Bishop before heading on.
Outside, McGee reveals to Tony and Gibbs that Levinson is heading for the south end with Bishop stating that he went into the back.
Gibbs tells the two Agents to wait and that they should give Levinson a second because they can catch him in the act.
"Copy that", McGee replies.
With that, he and Bishop get up and leave.
A few seconds, they're in a small area of the bar, both Agents now wielding their guns and as they approach a door, McGee is in the lead with Bishop behind him.
They arrive at the door with McGee asking Bishop if she's ready.
Bishop assures him that she is and that this is the best part.
They then both head in, their guns drawn with McGee identifying themselves as NCIS while Bishop orders Levinson to put his hands on his head.
For a second, it looks like Levinson's going to obey them as he drops the stack of money he's holding but he eventually flees with McGee and Bishop racing after him with Bishop telling Gibbs that he's running.
On the street, Levinson runs down the pavement with McGee and Bishop in hot pursuit while Bishop tells Gibbs that Levinson is heading for Brand.
"He's definitely not a slow mover", McGee states.
Bishop chimes in that Levinson just turned north.
Levinson heads into a darkened alleyway just as the NCIS van arrives in, screeching to a halt in front of Levinson while Gibbs leans out the passenger window, aiming his SIG-Sauer at Levinson and telling Levinson to get his hands up.
As they arrest Levinson, Tony chuckles while remaining that they got him before telling everyone that they did a nice job. He then reveals that the Snail is now escargot and that he's cooked, fini.
As he holsters his gun, Gibbs looks down onto a puddle and gets a flashback showing his father taking young Gibbs on a walk through a forest.
It then cuts back to the present where Gibbs looks deeply puzzled.
McGee then tells Gibbs that they'll match Levinson's prints to the other burglaries when they get back.
Still distracted, Gibbs tells them to do that.
McGee then drags Levinson to the van with Bishop following.
It then cuts to Gibbs who looks confused before he turns around and walks away.
In the main NCIS Squadroom as the work day begins, Bishop who's sitting cross-legged on her desk is eagerly watching a report from ZNN in which the newsreader is stating that a ship belonging to the United States Navy, the U.S.S. Niagara was conducting a routine training exercise some 200 miles off the coast of Maryland and then fire broke out on the ship's galley.
She then asks Tony if he's listening to with Tony wondering if he should be.
As the female newsreader remarks that the fire has been contained and that no casualties were reported, Bishop mutes the TV and remarks that she should pay more attention when she cooks.
She then reveals that the last time she made craw-chilades, she almost burnt down the house.
"Ooh, craw-chilades", Tony remarks.
"Crawfish enchilades", Bishop corrects before revealing that she got the recipe while she was down in New Orleans and that they're her new favorite thinking food.
As she sits down, Gibbs and McGee arrive into the Bullpen with Tony wondering how it went with Levinson.
McGee reveals that they charged him for last night and that they also got him to confess to the three other burglaries he was suspected in Annapolis.
"Case closed before breakfast", Tony remarks.
Gibbs then asks Bishop if she spoke to the bar owner with Bishop stating that she did and that it's Levinson's same M.O. which consisted of Levinson identifying a place without a proper security and then making his move.
She also reveals that the bar owner said that the safe had been broken for months.
"Wanna bet he'll get it fixed now?", Gibbs says.
Bishop states the bar owner was glad that NCIS were there because he's going to change the name of the bar form "The Green Star" to "The Lucky Star".
As Gibbs sits down at his desk, Tony then says that speaking of lucky, he felt like he was the lucky one last night, spending a little quality with Mr. Gibbs in the surveillance van and Tony even acknowledges he got to do the "cut off the perp" move which he believes is very cool and that was good stuff before Tony asks McGee how his run was.
Tony then remarks that chasing after Snail means that Levinson wasn't so slow after all.
"Yes, Tony", McGee says sarcastically. "The name is ironic".
As Tony laughs, remarking how it's like when they call a big guy "Tiny", NCIS Director Leon Vance descends the stairway with Vance calling Gibbs's name.
Gibbs looks up and sees Vance with Vance nodding.
With that, Gibbs gets up from his desk and heads off to the stairs with McGee looking around.
In his office, Vance is looking out a window when there's a knock on the door and seconds later, the door opens, revealing that it's Gibbs.
As Gibbs walks in, the door closing after him, Vance turns away from the window while telling Gibbs to have a seat.
Gibbs is confused, remarking that it's not about Levinson.
"No", Vance replies.
Gibbs wants to know what it is.
Heading over to his desk, Vance tells Gibbs that an employer working Gibbs's father called the office, looking for Gibbs and that he didn't have Gibbs's cell.
At Gibbs's glare, Vance continues, informing Gibbs that his father, Jackson Gibbs had a stroke before Vance apologizes, telling Gibbs that his father is dead.
It then cuts to Gibbs who is stunned by the news.
A while later, in the bullpen, with NCIS Forensic Scientist Abigail Sciuto and NCIS Medical Examiner assistant James Palmer present, Abby is showing the group a display on the monitor, stating that she thinks they should go with this company because their delivery service reviews are awesome and Gibbs will be at Stillwater in 48 minutes.
As Palmer checks his watch, Tony tells Abby that they don't need to have the flowers on the curb when Gibbs gets out of the car.
Abby states that she knows before going on to say that the other great thing they can do is customize and that she was thinking something simple like this.
She hits a button on the clicker and a collection of flowers along with a card that says "Papa Gibbs- Forever in Our Hearts" pops up on the monitor.
Bishop is impressed with Palmer wondering if those are suspenders with Abby confirming that they are. She then states that they can also add five Jackson themed balloons but she's not sure what shape they should be.
McGee tells Abby that Gibbs is going to appreciate whatever they send and that there's no reason for her to stress.
Abby remarks that she has to stress because if she doesn't, she'll stop and if she stops, she's going to get really, really, really sad.
Bishop states that when her grandmother died, it helped talking about her and she tells them maybe they could tell her what Jackson was like.
Abby remarks that he gave the best hugs.
McGee states that Jackson was the only one who could do the Gibbs stare at Gibbs.
As Bishop smiles, Tony remarks that it was with those icy-blue eyes and then reveals that Jackson gave Tony the sweater off his back once and that the sweater was white with two functional pockets and that it was very soft.
Abby remarks that she wishes Gibbs could have taken one of them with him and she also wishes that there was something they could do.
Tony tells her that the best thing they can do for Gibbs is stay focused and do the job.
"Agreed", Vance says.
This has the group startled and looking at Vance who tells them that the focus starts now before telling DiNozzo, McGee and Bishop to follow him to MTAC.
"Following you to MTAC, sir", Tony replies.
With that, Vance leaves the bullpen with Tony, McGee and Bishop following while Palmer and Abby stay put.
In MTAC, Captain Arnold Craig tells the group that despite media reports, today's incident on board the U.S.S. Niagara was not an accidental gallery fire and that it was intentional.
CIA agent Sandra Jenkins states that it appear that an incendiary device was bought on board by a civilian contractor.
Vance wants to know about the casualties.
Craig reveals that five were wounded and one person is dead before revealing the contractor was confronted and shot dead while trying to evade capture.
Vance wants to know why the Niagara.
At Jenkins's glare, Craig then reveals that they're carrying prisoners with Jenkins stating they're terrorists who have been indicted.
She reveals that her team was conducting on board interrogations to gain intel.
Craig pipes up that they believe that the fire was a diversion and a means to an end with Bishop realizing that this was a prison break.
Craig agrees and reveals that two prisoners managed to escape during the chaos.
Tony wonders who the prisoners are.
Jenkins states that most of the prisoners were captured on intel from NCIS's interrogation of Benham Parsa.
In MTAC, everyone looks at each other with Tony realizing that the Brotherhood of Doubt was trying to free its members.
Jenkins states that had the fire reached its full potential, more would have escaped and that the Brotherhood stood to gain but it's unlikely that they were responsible because when NCIS captured and killed Parsa, the Brotherhood of Doubt was left financially ruined and that they're powerless.
Vance states that the big picture before asking Craig what they're looking for.
Craig tells them that evidence suggests that the prisoners escaped on an RIB and that the speed is 40-plus knots and that the range is 200 plus nautical miles.
As this goes on, Tony simply turns around and leaves MTAC with Vance following.
McGee wonders about the status of the escapees.
Outside MTAC, Tony is busy dialing a number on his phone when Vance emerges, telling Tony to put the phone away. Tony looks around and sees Vance with Tony remarking that he'll be right and that he was going to call....
Vance interrupts Tony by revealing that he knows what Tony's going to do before Vance orders Tony to stop.
Tony then remarks that with all due respect to Vance, Tony himself believes that Gibbs would want the update but Vance believes that if Tony briefs Gibbs on what's going on, then Gibbs will be back at his desk before lunch.
Tony believes that it's Gibbs's call but Vance states that it's actually his call.
Vance approaches Tony and states that Gibbs needs time and that it's Vance's job to make sure that he takes it.
"Anyone else, I would agree, sir but Leroy Jethro Gibbs?", Tony wonders.
Vance wonders if Tony can handle point on this or not.
Tony remarks that he can with Vance saying, "Good" and that Tony should inform his team before stating that Gibbs stays where he is and that there's no contact before Vance asks Tony if they're clear.
"Clear as a bell, sir", Tony replies.
Meanwhile, Gibbs has arrived at his father's store in Stillwater and as he enters the store which is empty and shrouded in darkness, Gibbs sees his father's stick propped up against a chair.
Gibbs then heads over to the chair and picks up the stick, examining it. He then glares over at the wall, spotting his father's trusted shotgun which is now mounted on the wall.
A small flashback suddenly appears, presumably form the Season 6 episode, Heartland (episode) in which Gibbs says that no-one was ever allowed to touch that Winchester with Jackson stating that you tell a kid he can't a rifle, he grows up to become a sniper.
Back in the present, Gibbs smiles at the memory and then places the stick back against the chair.
In the Bullpen, as they gather around the monitor, Bishop is puzzled, stating that they can't call Gibbs at all with Tony remarking that he believes that technically Bishop could call him but that she can't talk about ships or prison breaks.
"But he's Gibbs", McGee says.
Tony believes that Gibbs will know everything by their breathing before stating that there's no calling Gibbs before telling them that they should do this and wondering what do they know?
Bishop grabs the clicker, revealing that two prisoners believed to have escaped from the Niagara and that they escaped via a RIB or a Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat.
McGee states that the Nigara's radar was compromised by the fire and that the RIB started out unnoticed at 0500 and that it could have headed in any direction.
Tony remarks that it narrows it down before asking about the prisoners.
Bishop states that escapee number one is Edwin Smith and that Smith is a forty-two year old Canadian and also one of the few prisoners on board the Niagara with no ties whatsoever to the Brotherhood of Doubt.
Reading though Smith's file, Tony remarks that it looks like Smith put in eight years as an engineer on a cruise ship and that the experience could come in handy out there.
Bishop hits a button again and states that escapee number two is Lateef Mir who is thirty years old and who was born and raised in Karachi with McGee revealing that Mir assassinated a group of American journalists in Pakistan in the name of Parsa. Tony remarks that Mir has been tied to the Brotherhood of Doubt since it started.
McGee states that they shouldn't get too attached to the picture because Mir is a chameleon and that Mir is highly skilled at changing his appearance and even taking on new identities.
Bishop then reveals that she saw a surveillance photo of Mir a few years ago and that she couldn't believe it was the same guy.
Suddenly, they're interrupted by Abby who states, "So what, McGee? You don't check your email anymore" with McGee wondering if Abby sent him something.
Abby confirms that she did and that it's a satellite image.
McGee then heads over to his computer to access the email while Bishop gives Abby the clicker with McGee stating that the email came through two minutes ago.
"Two minutes is two years in Abby time, you know that", Tony replies.
Abby hits the clicker and an image pops up on the monitor with Bishop wondering what that is.
Abby then reveals that based on ocean current, the time of departure and the amount of fuel, she was able to narrow down the search area for the RIB. She also remarks that the area in the photo is a piece of protected shore in Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware and that this object has the same dimensions as the missing RIB.
Tony then tells McGee to call it into the FBI and DHS- Department of Homeland Security.
As McGee nods and gets to work, Tony also tells Bishop that she's with him while thanking Abby for her work, stating that it's nicely done.
As they leave, Abby smiles.
A few hours later, a SVU is heading across a beach in Cape Henlopen State Park before it stops with a RIB in the distance.
Tony and Bishop get out of the SVU with Bishop stating that's the RIB over there and Tony believes that it matches the specs and that it's definitely Navy.
They both approach the RIB with Tony donning gloves.
As they reach the center, Tony sees someone's arm sticking out from underneath the cover.
He and Bishop silently look at each other with Tony pulling back the flap to show that it's the body of a man.
Bishop states that it looks like Edwin Smith.
Tony agrees before wondering where the chameleon is.
It then cuts to show Tony and Bishop standing alone on the beach with the RIB.
- This episode is dedicated to the memory of Ralph Waite who played Jackson Gibbs. Waite died on February 13, 2014 from age-related illnesses at the age of 85. As a result, this episode was written as a tribute to Waite.
- This is also the first season finale of the entire NCIS series not to end on a cliffhanger of any kind.
- The song playing during Jackson Gibbs's funeral is Warren Zevon's "Keep Me In Your Heart."
- When Vance asks Tony, "are we clear?", Tony responds "clear as a bell, sir." A nearly identical exchange took place in the film Crimson Tide (1995), between Denzel Washington's Commander Hunter and Gene Hackman's Captain Ramsey. Rocky Carroll co-starred in Crimson Tide, along with Matt Craven.
|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.|
|Leroy Jethro Moore||Billy Dee Williams||A man who is a former Marine and a friend of Jackson Gibbs. Leroy Jethro Gibbs' namesake.|
|Alejandro Rivera||Marco Sanchez||A enemy of the team who was captured in the Season 8 premiere episode, "Spider and the Fly".|
|Jackson Gibbs||Ralph Waite||Gibbs's deceased father. Appears in flashbacks in this episode.|
|Ann Gibbs||Clare Carey||Gibbs's deceased mother. Appears in flashbacks in this episode.|
|Fu'Ad Hansur||Allel Aimiche||Former Brotherhood of Doubt member and attempted assassin against Gibbs.|
|Arnold Craig||Sean Patrick Murphy||Captain in the United States Navy.|
|Minister (Honor Thy Father)||Lou Richards (actor)||A minister who presides over Jackson Gibbs's funeral.|
|ZNN Reporter||Sandra Mitchell||A woman who appears in the episode.|
|Wayne Levinson||Stephen Monroe Taylor||Called "The Snail".|
|Violet L.||Ellen Wroe||A Petty Officer in the United States Navy.|
|Sandra Jenkins||Kim Rhodes||CIA Agent.|
|Leticia Gómez||Fernanda Andrade||A woman who appears in the episode.|
|Cal Fraser||Daniel E. Smith||Jackson Gibbs's store helper.|