It is the first part of the two part season opener and marks the final appearance of Alan Dale (Thomas Morrow) up until the Season 10 episode, Chasing Ghosts (episode) while also marking the debut appearances of both Lauren Holly (Jennifer Shepard) and Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) respectively.
In the aftermath of Caitlin Todd's tragic and unexpected murder at the hands of rogue terrorist and spy, Ari Haswari which happened in the last few seconds of the previous episode, the main NCIS Major Case Response Team now find themselves struggling to come to terms with the life-changing event while attempting to arrest Ari for his personal involvement in Kate's death. Gibbs, however, having had enough of federal agencies covering Ari's back is more interested in avenging Kate's murder by doing the one thing possible: killing Ari. In the meantime, Jennifer Shepard, a woman from Gibbs's past joins the agency, having been appointed as the new NCIS Director, replacing Thomas Morrow who has resigned. Things take a turn when Mossad officer Ziva David later arrives at NCIS and it soon becomes clear that she's trying to prevent Ari from dying at Gibbs's own hand for some reason which has Gibbs suspicious of her while Ari returns, intent on ending his feud with Gibbs once and for all.
The scene opens with a lift being operated and as the lift reaches its destination, rogue spy Ari Haswari emerges from the lift, a sniper rifle on his back.
He intends to go somewhere but the sound of gunshots catches his attention and he heads outside.
Once outside, Ari races through the empty rooftop just as the gunfight between the NCIS Major Case Response Team and Ari's own terrorist cell continues on the opposite rooftop, neither side backing down although the NCIS team are making quick of the terrorists.
Once he's reached an ideal spot, Ari sets up his sniper rifle and glances through the scope with him witnessing NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo Junior shooting a terrorist operating the control panel for the drone before it shows DiNozzo and DiNozzo's Boss, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs at the area with Gibbs talking to someone.
Ari's visor then examines NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee who Ari attempts to shoot but the plan changes when McGee suddenly comes under fire from one of Ari's own men, forcing Ari to stop his plan altogether as he watches McGee head for cover behind the team's Dodge Charger, abandoning the controller.
Ari is left annoyed and ejects the first round from the rifle before he fires off a second shot that destroys the controller McGee was using.
It then cuts to Gibbs who on the opposite rooftop is busy destroying the other controller by shooting at it with his NCIS-issued SIG-Sauer.
Another scene shows NCIS Special Agent Caitlin Todd being hit by gunfire as Gibbs and DiNozzo rush to her aid, killing the terrorist who originally fired back at McGee.
Ari looks through his scope and as he watches, Gibbs and DiNozzo quickly pull Kate to her feet.
As the three Agents stand around, relieved and even smiling, Ari aims the sniper rifle carefully at Kate and without any second thoughts, pulls the trigger.
It then cuts to Kate who looks pained for a second before hitting the ground, dead as Gibbs and DiNozzo look on in horror.
"Sorry, Caitlin", Ari says, looking up from his sniper rifle.
It then cuts to Gibbs who's searching for the sniper and as soon as he spots the familiar figure, he mouths "Ari".
The NCIS morgue is shrouded in darkness when Dr. Donald Mallard arrives and after putting his hat and coat on a stand, heads over to the main table where a body bag is sitting.
After carefully unzipping the bag, Ducky pulls it aside before switching on an overhead light and as it sinks it for him that it's Kate who's lying in the bag, he removes his glasses and tells Kate that he's so sorry while it then focuses on Kate who is still inside the body bag, the bullet hole in her forehead having long since stopped bleeding.
Up in the squad room, as it continues to rain rather heavily outside, Gibbs sits at his desk, lost in thought over the events of the last 24 hours.
He glances over at Kate's desk which is completely empty and abandoned except for the chair which is turned to the side as it was whenever Kate faced Gibbs directly.
As he sits there, thinking, Ghost Kate suddenly appears in front of Gibbs's, asking him, "Why me?".
She then points to the bullet she first took for Gibbs and wonders if stopping one bullet wasn't enough for him before demanding to know why she had to take two.
For once, Gibbs has no answers whatsoever, simply replying that he doesn't know.
Ghost Kate then rounds on Gibbs, leaning into his line of space, almost as if she overheard him saying that and wonders what Gibbs's famous gut is telling him.
Gibbs just shakes his head, still unable to say anything.
Ghost Kate leans in and suddenly yells at the top of her voice why did she instead of Gibbs?!
Once she's disappeared again, the elevator suddenly pings and as the doors open, McGee and DiNozzo come into the bullpen.
Both men are soaking wet but they're more focused on telling Gibbs their news which is that they've found Ari's sniper's nest which was in an abandoned office building to the east.
DiNozzo then informs Gibbs that Ari didn't police his bass before producing the slugs that they managed to gather from the crime scene.
Gibbs studies the bullets and realizes that they look similar to the ones he used when he was a sniper.
This prompts him to get up and examine the bag more closely although he's struggling given his poor eyesight.
McGee tells him that they're Lapua 308s before telling Gibbs that he didn't mean Gibbs couldn't see that.
"I can't without my glasses", Gibbs replies before telling the other two that Lapua's match-grade sniper ammo.
As he heads off, studying the bag, Gibbs wonders if DiNozzo and McGee found any other bullets but DiNozzo tells him that they didn't find any that match the other casings and that he left three guys on the roof, searching.
There's no response from Gibbs who's still studying the ammo in the bag with DiNozzo announcing that he and McGee will go back to the roof to resume their search.
Gibbs, on the other hand just tells Tony that he's soaking wet and orders him to put some dry clothes on which has DiNozzo and McGee looking at each other.
As he heads over to the window and while watching the downpour, Gibbs tells them that Ari's rooftop wasn't much higher than the one the NCIS team were on.
He takes a sharp breath and it then cuts to show an image of Ari firing a lone bullet that passes through the air, striking Kate in the forehead, killing her before heading off into the distance.
In the present, Gibbs realizes that the rooftops behind them were lower and that there was no telling how far a full metal jacket bullet would go after killing Kate.
As this happens, McGee wants to know how Gibbs knows that the bullet killed Kate was a full-metal jacket.
"Didn't you see Kate?", DiNozzo asks.
"I didn't want to", McGee replies.
DiNozzo then tells McGee that Kate's head was intact with McGee wondering if she didn't look bad.
DiNozzo too cheerfully tells McGee that she didn't and a little mortuary putty right in the center of Kate's forehead while he points at McGee's forehead and Kate will be as good as new although she was having a bad hair day before telling McGee and while headslapping the other man that a full-metal jacket will put a hole the size of a grapefruit right in the back of the head.
It then becomes too much for McGee to accept and he tells Tony to stop before adding, "Please".
Upon realizing that he probably went overboard describing Kate's head wound, Tony apologizes to McGee.
Gibbs then asks them since they've gotten three rounds, how come there was only one hit?
DiNozzo believes that Ari fired off a few rounds as the NCIS team were weaving across the roof.
Gibbs tells them that he was standing still when Kate was shot dead with DiNozzo adding that McGee lasered the distance at nearly 600 meters.
McGee confirms that it was actually 572.
Taking a deep breath, DiNozzo then voices his theory that there was a slight shift in the wind that caused Ari to miss Gibbs and hit Kate instead.
It then cuts to a flashback where Gibbs and Tony are glancing around for a sign of Ari while Kate lies on the ground, dead, still staring up at the sky and as the flashback continues, Gibbs focuses on the flag and realizes that it isn't flying.
Back in the present, Gibbs notes this fact and tells DiNozzo and McGee that there was no wind, causing DiNozzo to realize with disbelief that Ari was probably aiming at Kate all along before stating that Gibbs is the one Ari wants to kill.
As Gibbs heads over to McGee's desk, using a lamp to study something, McGee then states that Ari had a "thing" for Kate which has DiNozzo stunned.
McGee then tells Gibbs that Kate told McGee that Ari was always coming onto her with an example being when he held her hostage in the morgue and later kidnapped her, choosing to let her go.
DiNozzo's clearly stunned, wondering why Kate never told him which has McGee sarcastically remarking, "Gee, what a surprise".
This has DiNozzo then rounding on McGee and headslapping the younger Agent, causing Gibbs to tell Tony not to do that.
At McGee's desk, it's shown that Gibbs is studying the controller the team originally got from Danborne Avionics and he asks McGee when it was hit.
McGee and DiNozzo then look at each other for a second before McGee heads over to his desk, telling Gibbs that it happened when he was pinned down.
Gibbs wants to know if Ari had a shot at it but McGee pauses for a second, remembering where another terrorist shot at the controller, forcing McGee to duck for cover behind the NCIS Dodge Charger before firing back.
Back in the present, McGee tells Gibbs that a car was between Ari and the controller and there's no way Ari could have hit it.
As Gibbs begins studying the damaged controller, McGee apologizes, telling him that he should have realized it was Ari.
DiNozzo then rather cruelly asks why didn't Ari pop (presumably kill) McGee, causing McGee to sarcastically thank DiNozzo but DiNozzo defends himself, instead insisting that McGee was a sizable target while the controller wasn't.
McGee wants to know if DiNozzo thinks he's fat but DiNozzo doesn't think McGee is before admitting that McGee might be, maybe a little, around the waist and the chin.
At McGee's desk, Gibbs realizes that Ari didn't have any angle on McGee which has DiNozzo telling McGee that he owns that shooter from the warehouse a thank-you and that he saved McGee's life but McGee isn't too thrilled.
Gibbs is still examining the controller and tells DiNozzo and McGee that the bullet entered the controller and that it could have ricocheted into the car. McGee then states that he'll get on it.
Glancing at his watch, Gibbs tells them that Abby should be in by now before telling Tony to see what he can pull off that brass.
Gibbs then tells McGee and DiNozzo that he's going for coffee before asking them if he can get them anything.
Taken aback by Gibbs's behavior, both McGee and DiNozzo politely decline and as soon as Gibbs has left the bullpen, DiNozzo comments that it's a first while McGee realizes that Gibbs called him by his first name: Tim and DiNozzo states that Gibbs patted his back.
McGee remarks that it's kind of nice but DiNozzo doesn't want nice because Gibbs isn't Gibbs if he's nice before heading off, leaving McGee by himself in the bullpen.
Outside, it's still raining rather heavily and as a Marine SUV drives past, Gibbs emerges from the building and heads down some steps just as the thunder rumbles.
At a corner, Gibbs then zips up his coat before heading down the alleyway, walking past the windows that lead into the lab.
In the lab, Abigail Sciuto whose hair is down for once is staring at a drawing of herself as a vampire bat.
In the corner, Kate's ghost, now wearing gothic clothing including a long blonde wig, a cross around her neck and a big gothic-styled ring on her hand tells Abby that she's a mess and that Abby has red eyes, no make-up whatsoever and that if there ever was a time for black lipstick, then it's right now.
Abby smiles before wiping away a tear and as she begins putting lipstick on, using her computer as a mirror, Kate's ghost leans in and wonders about the first time that they met each other.
Once Abby's finished, she puts the lipstick down while Kate's ghost tells her that she couldn't believe that Abby was a forensic scientist and that Kate had assumed that goths had bats for pets or something.
Still at her desk, remembering, Abby tearfully tells Kate that she really liked her a lot.
Kate's ghost tells Abby not to start that again before wondering where Abby's pigtails are and that she loves Abby in pigtails.
Abby then begins doing her hair in pigtails and as this happens, Kate's ghost tells her that it's better and that Abby was persistent.
While walking, Kate's ghost recalls that it was first the black lipstick and then the black nail-polish before stating that the next thing, she knew Kate had a tattoo on her bum. As she continues working on her pigtails, Abby just chuckles while Kate's ghost realizes with dismay that Ducky's be going to seeing the tattoo when he performs his autopsy on Kate's body.
This has both women laughing while Kate's ghost remarks that she's now dead and embarrassed at the same time.
It then cuts away to show that Abby is by herself, laughing while Tony stands at the entrance to her lab.
Tony then calls Abby's name, causing her to jump up and glance at Tony.
She greets him but Tony wants to know if she's okay.
Abby tells him that she will be as soon as she's tied up her pigtails.
Once she's finished, Abby then turns around to face Tony and asks him what can she do for him?
Tony just stares at her and Abby wants to know.
Tony tells her that she's weirder than Gibbs.
Abby wants to know how so with Tony stating that Gibbs is being nice.
Abby tells Tony that Gibbs is also nice.
Tony disagrees, stating that Gibbs is only ever nice to her and Abby before telling her that Gibbs just growls at Tony and even smacks him on the head.
"Which makes you feel wanted", Abby replies, getting up from her seat.
Tony nods in agreement before Abby asks what he has for her.
Tony then gives her the evidence bag containing the shell casings they found at Ari's sniper's nest, telling her that they are 308 casings.
While holding the bag and as she signs to maintain the Chain of Evidence, Abby tells Tony that he did have to give her the most popular calibre in the world.
Tony tells her that he just found them before wondering if Abby can determine what weapon Ari used.
Abby tells him that it's a 308 but Tony wants to know what model.
Abby is in disbelief that Tony doesn't know but Tony tells her would he be asking if he knew?
Abby wants to know how she's supposed to know.
"Because you're the firearms expert", Tony replies.
Abby realizes that she is and as she puts on the gloves, she announces that when she's done, she'll tell Tony the propellant, the primer, the percentage of nickel and copper in the brass, whether or not all three rounds were fired from the same weapon which Tony assumes but only Abby can prove or disprove.
As she heads over to her desk, switching on her computers, Abby, still on a rant tells Tony that she'll tell him who manufactured the ammo, the batch number and perhaps where it was sold.
She also vows that to some degree of accuracy tell Tony if it was fired from a lever-action, a bolt-action, a semi-automatic or an automatic weapon but there's no way in Hell she could tell which of the 87 different 308 models fired those rounds.
Tony then quietly tells her that the rounds are Lapua before telling Abby again that Lapua made the ammo and that the logo's on the rim.
However, Abby soon breaks down and rushing into Tony's arms, tells him that she's going to miss Kate.
As they embrace, Tony tells her that he'll be missing Kate too.
As they continue embracing, it then cuts to outside the lab where it's shown that Abby and Tony who are still embracing each other are now in the cross-hairs of a sniper rifle.
A while later, Gibbs is walking back to NCIS, holding a cup of coffee and just as he approaches the window that leads into Abby's lab, a single shot is then fired, causing the window to break and Tony and Abby to duck for cover with Abby's stunned cry echoing through the night.
Realizing that Ari's back, Gibbs drops his coffee and quickly rushes inside.
In the lab, Tony and Abby are now on the ground with Tony on top of Abby. Tony quickly takes stock of the situation and asks Abby if she's been hit but thankfully, she hasn't.
After staring at each other for a minute, Abby then tells Tony that he's heavy, prompting him to apologize and then get off her. He then drags her into a corner before removing his SIG-Sauer while also taking the safety off with a single click.
Abby remarks that Tony's all muscle which explains why he's so heavy.
Tony tells her to keep quiet while checking for any signs of the sniper.
Abby's still in awe at Tony and even smacks his ass, causing Tony to wonder if this is how Abby copes with getting shot at.
Abby has no idea because it's her first time.
Gibbs then rushes in, switching off the lights with Tony telling him to stay down because they're taking fire.
As soon as he's in, Gibbs responds by switching off the rest of the lights in the lab.
Outside, Ari is looking through his sniper rifle for another target to kill but his opportunities are cut short by the fact that there's no lights on in the lab at the moment.
Ari then clicks the rifle and the round suddenly drops out into his hand. Ari then throws it out the window where it lands on the ground in the pouring rain.
Ari then closes the window, starts the engine and then drives off.
Inside, Gibbs is wondering if Abby's okay.
She assumes him that she is.
Gibbs then tells Tony to close the bridges between Anacostia Park and to tell Metro cops that it's a crime scene.
Tony agrees and goes to do just that but Gibbs stops him by asking him what if Ari has a night-vision scope.
"That's a good point, boss", Tony admits before beginning to crawl through the lab on his knees.
Gibbs then assures Abby that he'll get her bullet-proof glass but Abby tells him that there's no such thing with Gibbs admitting that he'll get her bullet resistant glass instead.
As they take a breather, Abby then realizes that Ari firing at Gibbs and hitting Kate instead wasn't a mistake and that he's after her now.
Gibbs tells her that he was walking by that window at the same time that Ari fired. Abby tells Gibbs that he's just saying that to make her feel safe.
As he puts his arm around her, Gibbs tells Abby that he'll keep her safe before kissing her on the forehead and remarking that it's a promise.
In the morgue, Ducky is busy writing something down on a small capsule.
He then heads over to study Kate's body and after a second, in his mind, Kate's eyes open and she tells him she appreciates the fact that he kept her covered in front of the others, especially Tony.
Ducky remarks that he knows how modest she is but Kate corrects her by stating that she was modest and that she's dead now. She then remarks that she shouldn't be and that she could have killed Ari right here in the morgue.
It then cuts to a flashback from Bête Noire (episode) where it shows Kate reaching for a scalpel and attempting to kill Ari but failing as Ducky looks on.
Back in the present, Ducky wonders why she hesitated.
Kate tells him that it was Ari's eyes and that there was something in Ari's eyes that made her not want to kill him but Ducky tells her that Ari's eyes were like ice to him and when he looks down at Kate again, it's shown that she's gone back to being dead, her eyes closed.
The doors to the morgue then open and Ducky then covers up Kate's body just as Gibbs arrives in to tell Ducky that Ari fired into Abby's lab.
Ducky's stunned by the news.
Gibbs then tells Ducky that it had to have come from across the river in Anacostia Park while Ducky begins wondering if Abby was hurt but Gibbs tells him that Abby was a little shook up and that Tony's with her.
Ducky wonders if they're both in the lab but Gibbs states that Abby and Tony are in the squad-room, writing an incident report before pausing for a second and then glancing over at the table where Kate's body lies, covered by a single white sheet.
As Ducky grabs two glasses and begins pouring alcohol into them, Gibbs tells him that he should have brought another M.E to help but Ducky tells him that he couldn't, not for someone like Kate.
Gibbs then tells Ducky that he's lost men in combat and that while you know you will, you hope you won't.
Ducky remarks that this is different with Gibbs angrily telling him that it shouldn't be and as Ducky drinks some alcohol, Gibbs tells him that Kate was an agent and that she knew she had to lay her life on the line but he knows that Ducky's right and that it's different.
Ducky tells Gibbs that he's right and that he's lost men but has he ever lost a woman?
Gibbs doesn't answer, causing Ducky to believe that both he and Gibbs are a bunch of old chauvinists and that women will never be equal in their lives until they're equal in death.
Gibbs wants to know why Ari killed Kate instead of Gibbs.
Ducky believes that Ari meant to hit Gibbs but Gibbs disagrees, instead realizing that because Ari shot at Abby means that Ari's after the NCIS team and he's targeting the women first.
Ducky realizes that Ari is now torturing Gibbs before wondering that one had to made what made Ari such a sadist.
Gibbs simply yells that he doesn't give a damn and that he just wants to kill the bastard (Ari).
With that, Gibbs storms out off the morgue, leaving Ducky in disbelief.
Down in the Evidence Garage, Abby and McGee are busy dismantling the Dodge Charger when Abby shows him a 308 casing she found in the truck of the car.
Unsurprisingly, McGee is more interested in looking at her but Abby quickly catches on, telling McGee to stop looking at her butt and get her an evidence jar.
McGee then produces one and with Abby still holding the casing, he tells her to drop into the jar where she does.
Once McGee has put the jar aside, Abby announces from inside the trunk that she's found another casing while McGee continues staring at Abby's ass while it's shown that Gibbs has appeared.
Upon seeing Gibbs standing behind him, McGee jumps and then after calming down, tells Gibbs that they found a 308 casing.
Abby then emerges from the trunk and tells Gibbs that she actually found two and that they were plugged in the back of the trunk. She then drops the second casing into another evidence jar McGee has gotten for her.
"These fired by the dirtbag in the warehouse?", Gibbs asks.
Abby confirms that they are and that those slugs are the ones she found in the car and that they're nine mils.
McGee states that Ari missed with his first shot and that he then hit the controller with the second.
Gibbs wants to know where McGee was before he took cover.
McGee then shows Gibbs that he was a few meters down from the driver's car while Gibbs remarks that Tony's right and that McGee does own that terrorist a thank-you.
McGee then remembers the terrorist firing at him, forcing McGee to duck for cover behind the car and he then gets up.
As the work continues, Tony arrives down, announcing that Ari didn't police his brass and that Metro P.D found a 308 casing in the park next to tire tracks.
Gibbs wants to know but Tony tells him it's nothing before telling Gibbs that he was waiting for Gibbs to tell him to bring the evidence.
"I have to tell you that, DiNozzo?", Gibbs wonders.
"You always do", DiNozzo replies and as Gibbs heads for the lift, scanning it with his eyes, enabling the elevator to open, he tells DiNozzo to do something but DiNozzo interrupts him by telling Gibbs that he already did.
As Gibbs heads into the lift, DiNozzo then announces that the Director wants to see Gibbs up in MTAC.
Once the doors close, Abby rounds on Tony, wanting to know why he's baiting Gibbs with Tony telling her that he's trying to stop Gibbs from being so nice.
McGee admits that he likes nice Gibbs and unsurprisingly, Tony and Abby response by headslapping him at the same time.
Gibbs arrives in MTAC where it's obvious that something big is about to happen given the amount of people in attendance while in the main MTAC area, a Mossad Agent paces back and forth.
As Gibbs sits down, Director Thomas Morrow asks Gibbs what he has.
Gibbs tells him that they've got brass from Ari's sniper's nest which are three bullets and tire tracks in Anacostia Park from where he fired a shot into the NCIS forensics lab. Morrow believes it's unusual for a sniper not to police his brass with Gibbs agreeing.
Morrow tells Gibbs that he's gotten calls from every director he knows promising to hunt down the sniper as if he'd killed one of their own.
Gibbs suggests trying the FBI because Ari Haswari is their mole.
Morrow then tells Gibbs he endorsed Gibbs's recommendation that Kate get the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Gibbs nods, thanking Morrow.
Morrow then mentions that according to Gibbs's after-report, no-one saw the sniper that killed Kate. Gibbs mentions that Ari was on a rooftop 600 meters away.
Morrow believes that it was an extraordinary shot but Gibbs disagrees, causing Morrow to realize that Gibbs was a sniper with the Corps.
Gibbs remarks that he did two tours.
"Vietnam?", Morrow asks.
"I'm not that old, sir", Gibbs replies before revealing that he served in Panama and Desert Storm.
Morrow then remarks that he thought Gibbs was older just as someone announces that a target vehicle is approaching.
As a camera in MTAC zooms in on the approaching van, a man states that they're acquiring the target in Hebrew before the techs launch a missile which strikes and hits the trunk, destroying it while the Mossad agent announces that they're confirming the target hit.
With the action over, everyone then leaves the room after congratulations are exchanged.
Morrow then wonders what they were talking about with Gibbs stating, "Avoiding using Ari's name and the word "sniper" in the same sentence, sir".
Morrow tells Gibbs that Gibbs's own anger is understandable given that Gibbs just lost an agent and now he wants payback.
Morrow then tells Gibbs that it's a passion he can't afford while Gibbs wonders if Morrow honestly doesn't think it was Ari.
Morrow disagrees but admits that are those who do.
Gibbs then realizes that it was those who ran him, those who thought they had the holy grail of moles and those people are covering their asses right now.
Morrow tells Gibbs to cover his own ass when he brings Ari in and Gibbs admits that it won't be a problem because he won't be bringing Ari in.
This causes Morrow to look at Gibbs, stunned before Morrow gets to his feet, announcing that he isn't Gibbs's problem anymore.
Gibbs wants to know he's being fired.
While straightening up his suit, Morrow tells Gibbs that he's been offered a deputy director's position at Homeland Security which leaves Gibbs stunned.
Morrow admits that NCIS could use some younger blood but Gibbs is more interested in who's going to replacing Morrow.
"Not me", Gibbs replies.
Morrow then laughs and admits that as much as he likes Gibbs, he would not shoot NCIS in the head before heading down the ramp, telling someone that Gibbs is their problem now.
Suddenly, a red-haired woman stands up and turns around before greeting Gibbs.
The woman in question is none other than Jennifer Shepard, Gibbs's former partner and lover.
While in his seat, Gibbs is left stunned and taken aback by the news and it then shows a small flashback of him and Jenny having sex in a hotel room before snapping back to the present.
"Should we skip the "you haven't changed a bit" bull?", Jenny wonders.
"Why start lying to each other now, Jen?", Gibbs replies.
"Any problems taking orders from me", Jenny asks.
"As a director or as a woman?", Gibbs states.
"Either", Jenny says.
Gibbs just shrugs, mentioning that it was six years ago before getting up from his seat.
As he does that, he tells Jenny that the past won't be a problem before heading down the steps until he's standing right next her. He tells her that she was a damn good agent, especially undercover.
"Jethro", Jenny states.
"Madam Director", Gibbs agrees.
It then cuts to show the two of them staring at each other while smiling.
As they leave MTAC, Jenny tells Gibbs that he has no physical evidence linking Ari to the shootings and it's no wonder agencies in the U.S and aboard are having doubts.
As they head for the stairs, Gibbs tells Jenny that the bastard killed one of his people, that he's trying to kill more and that he'll tell Jenny something: no suit with a tight sphincter is going to get in his way and that includes Jenny herself.
Jenny calls Gibbs by his full title: "Special Agent Gibbs". Gibbs then stops and looks at her before heading back to where Jenny is.
From her position, Jenny stands firm and tells him that on the job, it'll either be Director Shepard or Ma'am.
Gibbs wonders what it'll be off the job.
"There won't be any off the job, Agent Gibbs", Jenny replies.
Gibbs then remarks that it's too bad because he missed Jenny but Jenny tells him not to make it difficult. Gibbs then nods, stating that it won't happen again before adding "Director".
Jenny seems to accept and as they head down the staircase, she tells Gibbs that they can continue this talk in private but Gibbs tells her he's gotta change his clothes and that they can talk in his car instead. Jenny is not impressed but Gibbs states that he's got a dead agent and a sniper on the loose before insisting that he doesn't have ten minutes to spare.
They finally reach the bullpen where a quick glimpse at the window shows that it's still raining but it's much lighter now and even the sun is beginning to shine.
Gibbs then asks Tony for an update. Tony tells him that McGee and Abby are working on firearms analysis while Tony is busy matching tire tracks to vehicles.
Gibbs then announces that no-one is to leave the building, that McGee is now on protection detail with Abby and that Gibbs himself will be back in an hour.
As Gibbs and Jenny head for the lift, Tony stares at Jenny's ass while Kate who's now wearing a Catholic schoolgirl suddenly appears opposite Tony's desk, telling Tony that his mother should have washed his mind out with soap and that since Gibbs left a woman, his only thought is: Nooner.
"Was not", Tony states.
"Was too", Kate replies before telling Tony she always knew what she was thinking.
However, Tony is busy staring rather intently at the clothes that Kate's wearing, causing her to wonder what he's up to.
Kate looks down, realizes what she's wearing and squeaks in horror before berating Tony, telling him that she just died and now Tony's having a sexual fantasy about her.
"Can't help it", Tony says, amused.
Suddenly, a wind emerges, blowing up Kate's skirt and revealing her panties much to her own horror. She angrily calls Tony's name but Tony isn't too bothered, instead telling her that he sometimes pictured what she used to look like, naked which in turn causes Kate to scream, outraged.
It then reveals that the bullpen is empty again except for a young foreign woman who's standing outside the area, dressed in a jacket, trousers and boots with an NCIS Visitors Badge pinned to her jacket while her long black or brown hair is tied up with a bandanna.
She looks around the room a few times in amusement and Tony soon glances at her before realizing that he's been busted.
He then tells the person in question that he'll call them back before hitting a button which causes the dial tone to be heard and Tony hits it again which stops it.
He then glances at the young woman and they exchange greetings with one another with the woman wondering if Tony was having phone sex.
Leaning back in his chair, Tony lies and tells her that he was playing charades.
The young woman then does a motion of something rolling along, causing Tony to realize that she's played before but she tells him that she's never played on the telephone before heading down the area.
Tony tells the woman that he and his partner were coming up for quotes for Saturday night.
The woman is in disbelief that Tony and his partner play charades on Saturday night. Tony tells her it's to kill time before he goes clubbing and he then asks the woman who she is.
She then introduces herself as Ziva David, an officer with the Israeli Mossad and shows Tony her Mossad ID.
Tony's stunned that she's Israeli with Ziva sarcastically remarking, "Very good. The way you made that connection. Mossad. Israeli" but Tony wants to know what he can do for her.
"Nothing", Ziva replies. "I'm here to see Special Agent Gibbs".
"How do you know I'm not Gibbs?", Tony wonders.
Ziva just chuckles in disbelief before heading over to McGee's desk where after dumping her bag, she sits down on the chair and makes herself comfortable.
She asks for Gibbs with Tony announcing that Gibbs will be back in an hour or so before wondering if he can't help her or something.
Ziva tuts and tells him that she doesn't think so.
A moment passes between the two and Tony admits that they got off to a bad start before getting to his feet.
As he heads over to Ziva, he introduces himself and tells her that he wasn't playing charades because he was remembering his partner. Ziva wonders if he was thinking of his partner naked but Tony states that he wasn't before changing his mind and admitting that he was.
After stammering, Tony then states that he isn't the only man who does it.
Ziva admits that women do it too with handsome men and as Tony heads back to his desk, she yells out, "And even an occasional woman!".
Back at his desk, Tony admits that Ziva is now teasing him but Ziva wonders if Tony's partner didn't tease him.
"Not about sex", Tony replies. "Kate was kind of puritanical".
Ziva apologizes but Tony tells her that it didn't matter because he wasn't interested in Kate and that they were partners.
As this happens, Ziva removes her bandanna, letting her hair drop down, she asks Tony if Kate (his partner) wasn't attractive. Tony admits that Kate was attractive but not to him, causing Ziva to wonder why Tony imagined Kate naked in the first place.
"Miss David", Tony tells her, wagging his finger. "You can sit there and slouch provocatively for an hour if you'd like or you could tell me what you need and maybe I can help".
Getting up from the desk, Ziva states that he can't help because she's here to stop Gibbs from killing a Mossad Officer.
Tony then realizes that the Mossad Officer in question is none other than Ari Haswari and Tony wags his finger again, causing Ziva to listen into him.
"I'd wish you luck but I want the bastard dead too", Tony whispers.
It then cuts to Ziva who looks stunned.
In the basement, Jenny is examining one of Gibbs's boats or tools before wondering what happened to the boat he worked on six years ago.
Gibbs tells her that he burned it which leaves Jenny stunned but she then realizes that Gibbs burned it because he named it after an ex-wife.
Gibbs then switches off an overhead lamp and tells her, "Let's go".
Jenny wants to know which ex-wife Gibbs named the boat after.
Gibbs tells her that she damn well knows which one.
Jenny also wants to know why Gibbs didn't change the name but Gibbs tells her that it wouldn't matter and that every time he went out on her, he'd think of Diane.
Jenny tells him that he could have sold it but Gibbs isn't too thrilled, causing Jenny to remark that Gibbs didn't care about who sailed off on Diane.
Jenny then tells Gibbs that he's a strange man.
Gibbs just scoffs at that news and he tells Jenny that she was a good agent.
"Were?", Jenny repeats, stunned.
"Yeah", Gibbs agrees before telling her that the Director's job is pure politics.
Jenny tells Gibbs that she's good at politics and that NCIS needs someone who can shake the money tree on the Hill and work with sister agencies.
Gibbs is stunned at the fact that she won't call a boat a "he" but that she'll use the term "sister agencies".
Jenny tells Gibbs that she's a schizoid libber and that it comes from working with chauvinists like Gibbs.
Unsurprisingly, Gibbs just laughs at that, telling Jenny that he can't believe that she's giving up field work for rubber chicken dinners.
Jenny then remarks that she doesn't think they serve that dish at Palena.
Heading up the steps, Gibbs tells her that he's never heard of it with Jenny stating that the food isn't takeout.
Gibbs wants to know which one of the tight sphincters is taking Jenny out to dinner and voices his hope that it isn't Tobias Fornell.
Jenny tells him that it's the CBS Early Show and that they want a background before Jenny goes on TV.
Gibbs heads down to where Jenny is and tells her that she can't do that which has Jenny stunned.
Gibbs tells her that Ari is a chauvinist and that Ari's taking out the women Gibbs works with before targeting Gibbs himself.
Jenny tells Gibbs that people should know that Ari Haswari isn't the sniper and that Gibbs doesn't have any evidence to prove the doubters wrong.
"Have you ever doubted me?", Gibbs wonders.
Jenny tells him that she's never professionally doubted him but Gibbs wants to know why she's doubting him now.
Jenny tells him that she has to establish a working relationship with those people.
Gibbs wants to know who Jenny's siding with: them or Gibbs himself.
Jenny then tells Gibbs to give her a tough question before heading up the steps with Gibbs following her.
In the lab, as new glass is being installed to replace the old ones lost when Ari fired into the lab, McGee wonders what's with the creepy music.
Abby tells him that she's playing the song out of respect for Kate.
McGee then voices his belief that he thought Abby was from New Orleans and he's also wondering don't they play jazz at funerals?
Abby turns around and tells him that it happens whenever they're coming from the cemetery after a body has been buried and that on the way to the cemetery, they play a dirge- (a song expressing grief or mourning) before asking McGee if he knows what a dirge is.
"Creepy music?", McGee replies.
Abby wants McGee to go back to the squad-room and let her do her job in peace but McGee tells her that he can't.
When Abby ponders further, McGee rather reluctantly tells her that Gibbs told him to watch over her and Abby doesn't react angrily, instead stating, "That is so sweet" much to McGee's surprise.
In the bullpen, Ziva theories that Tony came from a wealthy family and that he was born and raised on the East Coast, went to an New England boarding school and that Tony even spent some time in the Midwest and Philadelphia. Tony wonders how Ziva knows that but she doesn't say anything.
Gibbs and Jenny soon arrive in and Jenny and Ziva greet each other with a traditional kiss with Jenny telling that while Ziva missed the big event, NCIS didn't.
As the two women talk, Gibbs and Tony tell each other the women they've spoken to with Tony stating, "Ziva David, Mossad. She's here to stop you from whacking Ari".
Gibbs then reveals that the red-haired woman is Jenny Shepard, Director of NCIS and she has the same mission as Ziva.
Tony's in disbelief at Jenny being the NCIS Director but one glance from Gibbs shuts him up.
Jenny then heads over to introduce Ziva to Gibbs and as they shake hands, Ziva mentions that Jenny has spoken often of Gibbs.
"Really?", Gibbs states.
Jenny then reveals that she and Ziva worked anti-terrorist ops since 9/11 and that Gibbs saw one today in MTAC.
Remembering the truck being hit by the missile, Gibbs wonders if that was one of Ziva's but she tells Gibbs that she only acquired the intel just as her satellite phone begins ringing.
Ziva excuses herself to go answer it while Tony's still stunned about the fact that Jenny's the new NCIS Director. She calmly tells him that she really is the new NCIS Director.
Tony, on the other hand just laughs nervously while Jenny walks away.
Still drooling over Jenny, Tony gets a rude wake-up call when Gibbs passes by, headslapping Tony in the process and causing a relieved although sore Tony to remark, "Good to have you back, boss".
As Gibbs heads down past the stairway, it shows Ziva in a corner, telling someone in Arabic that she has a relationship with the new NCIS Director and that she may be able to convince the Director of his innocence but not Gibbs because according to Ziva, Gibbs is a man with blood in his eyes.
It's then shown that the person she's talking to is none other than Ari who tells her to let him worry about Gibbs before asking Ziva if she has the passports and money.
Ziva tells Ari that she does with Ari telling her to use the drop tonight.
Ziva, on the other hand wants to see Ari but Ari tells her it's too risky because Gibbs will have Ziva followed, that they'll meet in Paris after the mission is over and that he promises that.
Ziva states that she doesn't want to lose Ari too with Ari telling her that she won't before saying, "Shalom".
It then cuts to Ari who's in the trunk and who hangs up as well.
Once Ziva has ended her phone call, she heads to the bullpen where Gibbs, Tony and Jenny are working.
Gibbs asks Ziva whose balls get cut off if Ari is not a Mossad mole but a terrorist.
Ziva then states that it'll be hers since she's Ari control officer with Gibbs realizing that they promote control officers young in Mossad.
"Have to", Ziva replies. "The good ones are dead at your age".
Gibbs smiles before asking Ziva if she knows how Gibbs located Ari's terrorist cell.
As she packs her bag, Ziva tells Gibbs that it was a GPS fix off his encrypted cell phone and that Ari wanted Gibbs to know the location so that Gibbs and the team could stop the missile instead of Ari himself which would have blown Ari's cover.
Gibbs then tells her that only a NSA satellite can GPS an encrypted phone but Ari didn't know that Gibbs had that asset.
Ziva then remarks that Gibbs gives Ari less credit than Ari gives Gibbs before asking Gibbs who hung up first: Gibbs or Ari.
Ziva then tells Gibbs that Ari knows that a fix only takes 19 seconds and recalls the events from Reveille (episode), stating that when Ariel Sharon visited the U.S, Ari's first terrorist cell, his Hamas one kidnapped Kate before wondering why didn't Ari kill Kate, instead of freeing her so that she could warn the Secret Service?
Realizing things are on the verge of descending into potential violence, Jenny gets up while Gibbs rounds on Ziva, angrily asking her to arrange a meet so that Ari can tell Gibbs himself.
Ziva then tells Gibbs that Ari is an Mossad operative undercover in Hamas and that he hasn't turned on Mossad nor did he even kill Kate.
Jenny then tells Gibbs that even if he's right, then they own everyone some proof.
"That's all we ask", Ziva states. "Don't kill the wrong man".
Gibbs then brings up the incident in Norway with Ziva telling him that the mistake cost Mossad dearly but Gibbs tells her it wasn't as dear as the Palestinian waiter Mossad accidentally killed.
Ziva glances at Jenny who tells her to assure her deputy director that even though Ari Haswari's a suspect, no action will be taken until they have evidentiary proof.
Jenny then rounds on Gibbs, telling him that it's proof before action which has Gibbs leaving his desk.
In the lab, with her techno music blaring, Abby wearing earmuffs is busy conducting tests to determine which sniper rifle is the one responsible for killing Kate.
She then puts the round into a lone evidence jar before checking the tank for the smaller round which she drops into another jar.
Abby then picks up another rifle and resumes her tests while outside, McGee who's still serving as her protection detail is pretty bored.
Leaning back into the chair, he tells no-one that Kate was his sweet superhero.
Kate's ghost then launches herself into the lab and lands on the desk where it's shown that she's now wearing a catsuit similar to that of Trinity from the Matrix. She then tells McGee that she's a very naughty boy which has McGee realizing that he's becoming Tony.
Kate's ghost then somersaults off the table and once she's on the ground, it's shown that she's now wearing a BDSM-styled outfit complete with a whip and she glances very seductively at McGee, causing him to say "Oh, wow" out loud just as Abby emerges, wanting to know what McGee's wowing over.
McGee stammers and Abby then tells McGee to spit it out.
McGee then gets up from the desk and tells Abby that he was thinking about Kate.
Abby tells him that she was and as they leave, she tells McGee that she still kind of feels Kate's presence and as they head into the lab, Abby glances at her Gothic version of Kate who's doing an "I love you" sign to Abby via her fingers while McGee's version of Kate silently wags her finger at him.
McGee is so caught up in the moment that only a headslap from Abby brings him back to reality.
As the elevator doors close, Gibbs tells Tony that he wants him on Ziva's ass but Tony tells Gibbs that Ziva isn't his type, causing Gibbs to headslap him and tell Tony that he wants Tony to tail Ziva.
Tony tells Gibbs that he knew that. Gibbs then states that Ziva has been in contact with Ari which is the only way she knew that Gibbs hung up on Ari.
Tony then remarks that he didn't want Gibbs pissed but Gibbs snaps that he thought Tony wanted him pissed.
Tony stammers, stating that he did and that it was weird when Gibbs was being nice, forcing Gibbs to impatiently tell Tony to spit it out with Tony telling Gibbs that if Ziva was right, that Ari knew that Gibbs would trace the call and maybe there's a chance Ari isn't the sniper?
Gibbs realizes that Ziva was right and that Ari wanted to raid them in the warehouse because Ari set Gibbs up and it ended up costing Kate her life.
As Gibbs leaves the lift, Tony wants to know if Ari's a mole or a terrorist but Gibbs tells him that Ari is whatever works to play his game.
"If Ziva leads me to Ari?", Tony asks.
"Shadow him and call me", Gibbs replies.
"So you can bring him in?", Tony states.
Gibbs states that he'll bring him in but as the doors close and out of Tony's earshot, he admits that he'll actually be bringing Ari into the morgue.
In the lab, Abby tells Gibbs that the FBI database gave her six weapons whose rifling patterns fit the bullets that Tony and McGee recovered.
McGee then tries to reach for one but Abby slaps him, stating that she's able to get rid of two, leaving three: Tango 51, Bravo 51 and a Marine M40A1 sniper rifle which Gibbs remarks is "his old friend".
Gibbs then demonstrates his skill by holding the weapon and aiming it as if he's preparing to shoot at something much to McGee and Abby's amazement.
McGee remarks that Gibbs looks sweet holding the rifle but Gibbs is confused, causing McGee to try and tell him what the expression means but Gibbs tells McGee that he knows what it means before wondering if Ari looked "sweet" when he shot Kate.
"No, of course not", McGee states, ashamed.
Abby then tells them that her vote's for the Tango or Bravo 51s. She asks Gibbs what he thinks with Gibbs telling her that her test rounds have more gouging than Ari's who was hand loading and moly coating.
Abby tells Gibbs that he's so good with McGee wondering what "moly coating" is.
Abby states that it's molybdenum disulfide which is a lubricant that decreases barrel wear but increases accuracy.
Gibbs then tells McGee to run a trace on Tango and Bravo 51 sales over the last six weeks in the tri-state area before ordering McGee to check the Bravo first.
McGee leaves to do that.
Gibbs then heads to Abby, wanting to know if there are any prints on the brass but Abby has figured out that Gibbs's gut is telling him something and she's wondering what it is.
Gibbs then states that he needs coffee but Abby doesn't buy it for a second, stating that this isn't just another investigation and that while Todd was his agent, Kate was Abby's friend so could he please stop with the John Wayne stares already and tell her what his gut says?
Gibbs asks her what he doesn't believe in with Abby stating that it's UFOs, mystics, coincidences, saying you're sorry, excuses before telling him that she could go on all night.
Gibbs then tells her as a Marine sniper, he used hand-loaded Lapua .308 boat-tail, full-metal jacket, moly-coated bullets.
Abby's stunned and Gibbs wants to know if she knows what a sniper calls a Bravo 51.
"No", Abby states.
"A Kate", Gibbs replies before leaving the lab.
It then cuts to Abby who looks stunned.
At a pharmacy in D.C which is closing for the night, former Medical Examiner Assistant Gerald Jackson emerges, carrying a bag of painkillers for his injured arm.
He then gets into his car and takes the pills before swallowing it down with some water just as someone grips his left shoulder, causing Gerald to wince in pain.
It's soon revealed that Gerald has gained an unwelcome passenger who happens to be none other than Ari.
As he looks at Ari's reflection, Gerald has a flashback of Ari shooting him in the arm in the morgue during Bête Noire (episode).
In the present, Ari who has a gun aimed at Gerald tells the other man that his shoulder hurts too whenever it rains.
In the morgue, Ducky looks sadly at Kate's body for the final time before saying goodnight. He then covers Kate's body with a white sheet and places her into the drawer just as his phone begins ringing.
As Ducky answers, it's shown that Gerald has his mobile on speakerphone so that Ari can hear the talk too.
At Ari's nudge, Gerald greets Ducky who warmly wonders how Gerald is.
Gerald tells him that he's been better with Ducky wondering what's wrong.
Ari tells Ducky that Gerald's having flashbacks.
Ducky's confused for a second as to who the passenger is but then figures out that it's Ari, causing him to angrily state, "You bastard".
In the car, Ari chuckles, remarking that Ducky does remember him.
Ducky starts to say that if Ari harms Gerald but Ari tells Ducky that he has no intention of harming Gerald, stating that one ruined shoulder is enough and that it certainly is for Ari who pats Gerald on the shoulder, causing Gerald to wince in pain.
Ducky wants to know what Ari wants.
"A professional courtesy, one doctor to another", Ari replies.
Sitting down at his desk, Ducky tells Ari that he'd be most willing to provide a free autopsy.
In the car, Ari laughs before telling Ducky that he wants to prove that he didn't kill Kate.
Ducky wants to know if he's going to take by taking Gerald hostage but Ari tells him that Gerald is free to go if Ducky listens to Ari's side of the tragedy.
Ducky tells Ari that he's listening.
Ari states that it's a long story and that he'd hate to have someone to trace this call.
Ducky then tells Ari that there's no-one in the morgue except for Ducky himself and Kate's dead body with Ari realizing that it must have been a difficult autopsy and he apologizes.
"Will you get out with it?", Ducky snaps.
Ari wants Ducky to meet him alone but Ducky wants to know what's going to happen to Gerald.
Ari states that if Ducky comes along, then he and Gerald can exchange places.
Gerald tries to talk Ducky out of it, stating that if Ducky comes along, then Ari's going to kill him.
"Learn to trust, Gerald", Ari states before telling that he might have shot Gerald in the shoulder but he's never lied.
After taking a moment to consider his options, Ducky then tells Ari that he has his word while in the car, Ari thanks Ducky.
Up in the bullpen, Gibbs sees Ghost Kate sitting at her desk, asking him if he's re-evaluating his convictions and how many times did he tell her that there's no such thing as a coincidence?
Jenny's voice then calls Gibbs away and it's shown that the bullpen is completely empty except for Gibbs and Jenny.
As Jenny stands there, she tells Gibbs that she knows that it's been a difficult day for both of them.
Gibbs smiles, remarking that's what his D.I- (drill instructor) used to say but Gibbs never believed him.
Jenny makes to leave but Gibbs calls her back, wondering if she's having dinner with CBS. Jenny admits that she is but Gibbs tells her not to do the interview before adding a "Please".
Jenny then tells Gibbs if she'll be able to delay it for a few days with Gibbs telling her, "Good".
Jenny then bids Gibbs a good night before heading for the lift and as it cuts to Gibbs, it's shown that Kate is still at her desk, her head bowed and eyes closed as if she's asleep or glancing through something although her lamp is off.
Jenny reaches the lift and summons the elevator.
When the doors open, she finds Ducky dressed in his coat and hat and carrying a walking stick or an umbrella.
They greet each other with Ducky congratulating her on becoming NCIS Director.
As Gibbs glances over at the lift, he can only see Jenny but he hears Ducky talking, causing him to realize that something isn't right.
Gibbs then races for the lift but he's too late as the doors have already closed.
Gerald is in his car, waiting while Ari is in the back seat, his sniper rifle pinned against Gerald's back.
Ari asks Gerald if he's back at work yet with Gerald telling him that he's due to rejoin NCIS next week.
Ari starts to say that he's always found that work is the best but stops upon seeing some lights and he realizes that it's a vintage Morgan which means that Ducky has arrived.
Ari tells Gerald to flash his lights which Gerald does.
Ari then tells Gerald to roll down his window which Gerald does.
As Ducky waits, Ari tells Gerald to wait in Ducky's car while he and Ducky have a talk.
Gerald then prepares to get out of the car while Ducky approaches the area.
Once Gerald and Ducky have exited, they begin walking slowly and very carefully towards each other and as Ducky edges closer, he seems obvious to the fact that Ari has now replaced his small gun with a large sniper rifle which has its scope now aimed at Ducky.
It then cuts to Ducky who's approaching Ari.
- The NCIS team struggle to come to terms with Kate Todd's murder at the hands of terrorist Ari Haswari.
- NCIS Director Tom Morrow resigns his position at NCIS to accept a position at the Department of Homeland Security.
- Morrow's replacement, Jennifer Shepard, a former NCIS agent and also Gibbs's former girlfriend/partner and Ziva David, an Officer with the Israeli Mossad are both introduced for the first time.
- The episode title, "Kill Ari" is a reference to "Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2", movies that Quentin Tarantino directed. In "Kill Bill", the main female character goes on a quest of revenge after being left for dead by her former colleagues while in this episode and the next, "Kill Ari Part 2", Gibbs prepares to exact his own brand of justice against Ari Haswari in revenge for Ari having murdered NCIS Special Agent, Caitlin Todd.
- McGee says Abby is from New Orleans. The actress that plays her, Pauley Perrette, is also originally from New Orleans.
- From this episode onwards, Michael Weatherly (Anthony DiNozzo) is now second in the opening credits, appearing just after Mark Harmon (Jethro Gibbs). In the opening credits for Season 1 and 2, Sasha Alexander (Caitlin Todd) was second, coming after Harmon with Weatherly being third despite Weatherly having been in the pilot episode with Harmon but due to Alexander leaving the show for good, Weatherly has moved up one spot with Pauley Perette (Abigail Sciuto) coming after him. Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) later joined the show, taking the third place in the credits and resulting in Perette being moved down to the fourth spot in the credits just before Sean Murray (Timothy McGee) and David McCallum (Donald Mallard).
- Also, from this episode onwards, the Foof begins using the freeze frame, a motion that has continued to this day.
- In the Region 2 DVD, in the scene where Gibbs confronts Ziva after her talk with Ari, the word "balls" that Gibbs says can be seen on the subtitles but not heard as it's presumed that the word was cut or bleeped out due to the fact that it's a rude word.
- Since James Palmer's introduction towards the end of Season 1, this and the Season 7 episode "Truth or Consequences" are the only season premieres not to feature him.
- Sasha Alexander (Kate Todd) and Rudolf Martin (Ari Haswari) are both credited as Special Guest Stars.
- Season Three 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.|
|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||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.|
|Ari Haswari||Rudolf Martin||A terrorist and double agent responsible for killing Agent Kate Todd in the previous episode.|
|Tobias Fornell||Joe Spano||An agent with the FBI.|
|Thomas Morrow||Alan Dale||Director of NCIS who resigns from NCIS for good to accept a position at the Department of Homeland Security. Is replaced by Gibbs's former partner and girlfriend, Jenny Shepard.|
|Caitlin Todd||Sasha Alexander||Special Agent, MCRT, NCIS who in the previous episode, died after Ari Haswari shot her in the head. Despite her physical self being dead, she appears as a ghost or in random visions to the team during the episode as a means of helping them cope with her devastating murder.|
|Gerald Jackson||Pancho Demmings||Ducky's Medical Examiner Assistant|
|Jennifer Shepard||Lauren Holly||Tom Morrow's replacement as the NCIS Director and Gibbs's former partner and girlfriend.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||Ari's Mossad Control Officer.|
|Mossad Agent||A.J. Tannen||An agent of the Israeli Mossad who's seen in MTAC.|