Left for Dead

First aired
Written by
Don McGill and Donald P. Bellisario- (teleplay).
Don McGill (story).
Directed by
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Left for Dead is the tenth episode in NCIS Season 1 and the 10th episode of the entire NCIS series.


A woman digs herself out of a grave in Rock Creek Park and comes to NCIS's attention after claiming that there's a bomb on a Navy ship but she's suffering from memory loss. As Gibbs and Tony investigate the case, Kate develops a bond with the woman and begins looking after her despite Gibbs's belief that the woman could be involved. However when they find a dead body in a hotel room that the "Jane Doe" also happened to be in before she was buried, the team start to suspect that the woman has a secret, something that could be devastating for the entire team in the long run....


The scene opens on a snowy night and a car is driving through the snow. It then cuts to a park where a hand emerges from the ground.

Seconds later, a young woman gets out and staggers up the hill. As she crosses the road, she stops in front of the same car.

The car breaks and a man gets out to find out what happened, trying to assure the mysterious woman to get into the car where it's warm.

Unfortunately, the approaching headlights of another car triggers something in the woman's memory and she sees explosions on a ship.

It then cuts to the woman who states that there's a bomb on a Navy people and how people are going to die.

Act OneEdit

In the basement, Leroy Jethro Gibbs is fast asleep with the TV blaring in the background when his phone rings, causing Gibbs to awaken and then answer it.

The caller is none other than Anthony DiNozzo Junior who tells him to rise and shine.

When Gibbs wants to know what's going on, DiNozzo tells him that in addition to his apartment having no heat or electricity for a month because the boiler blew, a motorist found a Jane Doe in Rock Creek Park who dug herself out of a grave and has no ID.

While Gibbs can deduce that she can't remember her name, DiNozzo challenges him to guess why NCIS is getting involved if she wasn't wearing a Navy uniform.

When Gibbs silently refuses, DiNozzo relents and tells Gibbs that the Jane Doe in question mentioned that there was a bomb on a Navy ship.

Prompted for details, DiNozzo then tells Gibbs that she's at Georgetown University.

Gibbs orders him to get Kate over there while he will call Ducky before meeting them outside the NCIS building in twenty minutes.

However, when DiNozzo starts asking about staying at his place, Gibbs tells him no and asks him to remember what happened the last time before hanging up.

Back in the office, Tony stares at the phone before hanging up and getting ready too.

In the basement, Gibbs sticks one of the sticks that was on the fire into a cup of cold coffee. He takes a sip and then groans, obviously disgusted with the taste.

A few hours later, Gibbs, DiNozzo and Donald Mallard are busy at the crime scene while also studying Jane Doe's grave.

Ducky complains about the lack of a body but Gibbs sends him to check for (another) one, since it wouldn't be a first case with multiple victims.

When DiNozzo starts saying that getting Ducky off their backs was a good idea because of his passion for story-telling, Gibbs simply gives him a look and DiNozzo goes back to work.

At the Georgetown University hospital, Caitlin Todd is talking to Dr. Joel Sanderson who updates her on Jane Doe's condition.

Given that she came close to suffocating in the grave she was in, it's impossible to determine if she's ever going to recover or even regain her memories.

Back at the park, Gibbs is arguing with Kate over the phone about putting the victim's picture on TV, stating that he wants whoever did this to her to believe that she's still dead and that NCIS's priority is finding the bomb.

Gibbs then hangs up and informs Tony that Kate's already formed a bond with Jane Doe, despite not having even questioned her yet.

Ducky returns without a body and tries to help identify what Gibbs and Tony found: some arrowheads, and a thousand-years-old shark tooth, which suggest the crime site is overlapping an archaeology site.

Ducky remembers that something similar happened to him in 1967 or 1968 while Gibbs just digs further into the soil.

At the hospital, Kate is busy taking Jane's fingerprints and remarks that it's a good news when Jane says she believe she'd done it before, although one possibility would be the FBI database of terrorists.

Jane is almost convinced that she put the bomb on the ship but when Kate presses her further, she admits that knowing it's there doesn't mean she put the bomb there herself.

A sudden glimpse at the crucifix Kate's wearing has Jane remembering being in a church although she can't remember which church.

Back at the park, Gibbs is still digging and sifting, while Tony is listening to Ducky's story before remarking that he and Ducky have worked together for two years and that Tony has no idea where Ducky lives although Ducky tells him he wants to keep it kept that way much to Tony's shock.

The debate is interrupted by Gibbs discovering a key underneath the dirt whic leaves everyone stunned.

At the NCIS HQ, Abigail Sciuto is telling Gibbs and DiNozzo that the key is magnetized, with no logo or serial number, and that it could be opening almost anything from a hotel room to a high-security lock but considering that the magnetic code is like a fingerprint, the key will lead her back to whoever made it.

Kate arrives in, informing them that the rape kit's negative.

Abby tells them that she's busy running the fingerprints and Jane Doe's clothing which will hopefully give them answers.

When Kate brings up Jane Doe's fingerprints, DiNozzo interjects with the belief that the woman's a terrorist.

Kate strongly disagrees, stating that the woman was in a church and that she's not the terrorist type.

A beep turns the team's attention to a nearby computer and Abby heads over with Gibbs following her.

Abby tells them she's found what's on Jane's clothing: Erythritol which is found in low-carb sweeteners, Trimethylene which is in polyester fibers, Dinitrate is a common angina medication and glycol, which is antifreeze.

Tony theories that Jane Doe probably uses low-carb sweeteners, wears polyester, puts her own antifreeze in her car and has a heart condition.

Abby then remarks that maybe Jane Doe's mixing up a brew to go boom big time and that these chemicals are used in high-grade explosives.

It then cuts to Kate who looks stunned at the news.

Act TwoEdit

A few hours later, Kate is talking to Jane who tells her that her heart's fine, that she hates polyester, and that she doesn't like sweeteners - she "just knows", subconsciously, as she knows she dislikes strawberries and loves blueberries.

Jane then begins getting very emotional when she says she knows those things about herself but she doesn't know who she is, what she does, or where she lives.

Outside, Gibbs and Tony are talking to Dr. Sanderson, who insists that she can't be released as long as she doesn't know her name, address, and phone number, when Kate emerges, telling them that Jane's regained her memory.

Once Sanderson and "Maureen Ingalls" are gone looking for a set of hospital greens, Kate tells Gibbs and Tony that she's going to take Jane Doe in for the time being as she feels that her home would be more helpful or comforting for Jane to regain her memory rather than a hospital.

She also notes that Jane will be in Kate's spare bedroom so she doesn't have to say no to Tony, who's still looking for a place to stay.

As well as that, they need to find that bomb.

In her lab, Abby's found that the key is a hotel room key made by MagSecure and that the list of the hotels is on the way.

Tony then notices something on the key that appears "more than [just] a scratch" to him, and a surprised Abby takes a closer look.

It proves to be a phrase etched in using micro-laser. They are left stunned when the words, "THE APARTMENT", pop up on the plasma.

In Kate's apartment, Jane is admiring a photo of Kate with the President and Kate admits that she was part of the Secret Service but she left because the work at NCIS is much more interesting.

Kate then gives Jane a sweater and some pants to use instead of the hospital gown Jane's wearing right now.

When she emerges, wearing the clothes, Jane states that she can't remember the make of the ship, but knows it's not a carrier.

When asked, Jane also dismisses submarines, so considering there are no active battleships, it would have to be a cruiser or a destroyer.

Kate then scrolls through a list of names for the ships, hoping Jane will recognize one.

Back in the lab, Abby's printed out the list of hotels that use MagSecure keys, only three of them being in the DC area, and Gibbs and Tony start contacting the hotels.

In Kate's apartment, she and Jane are still looking through the lists but the search is interrupted due to the fact that Jane is feeling weak because she hasn't eaten anything.

As such, Kate offers to take her out to dinner and gives her a coat, that Jane believes she recognizes.

As she becomes gradually more convinced, Kate explains that only a few stores carry this particular brand, so Jane now wants to go check them out, stating that "food can wait".

Kate, who is prepared for the kind of emergencies her job requires, gives Jane an energy bar.

Back at the lab, the search has proved fruitless: none of the hotels micro-etch their keys.

Gibbs considers a permanent resident might have done so instead, and it turns out only one hotel offers this kind of service.

Gibbs calls for a search authorization to give them access to the hotel.

Tony then gets on that and while the two are busy, nags Gibbs for more information but is stopped when Gibbs tells him to put a sock in it. Gibbs eventually relents and admits that one of his ex-wives lives at the Jackson much to Tony's amusement.

In a clothes shop, Kate's trying to get Jane to recall anything.

A Saleswoman then appears and offers Jane a new coat, but she declines, saying she likes black ones. The sight of a bald men entering the shop causes Jane to remember he looks a lot like the man who attacked her.

Gibbs and Tony have arrived at the Jackson Hotel where the Hotel Manager is talking about Richter while leading them to the hotel room. When he spots a "Do Not Disturb" sign, the manager pauses, but Gibbs uses the key in NCIS's custody, which does match and, opening the door, he heads inside with the manager and Tony looking on.

Kate calls Gibbs to tell him about the description of Jane's attacker.

It then cuts to Tony who's glancing down at the very same man who's lying on the floor, dead with money scattered all over his body with blood all over the floor.

Act ThreeEdit

The hotel room is now a crime scene and both Metro and NCIS are battling to see who gets the right to take the body.

Detective Andy Kochofis arrives in and tells them that if his M.E.'s cool about letting NCIS handle it, then so is he with Tony introducing Gibbs to Kochofis as Kochofis was the Detective who cut DiNozzo slack in the investigation into the murder of Major Timothy Kerry.

Unfortunately, Medical Examiner Diggar Aldridge is engaging in a battle of wits with Ducky.

Luckily, Ducky wins the battle and Aldridge retreats, remarking that they're backed up at the lab.

Almost immediately, NCIS takes possession of the scene and Ducky has determined that Richter died from a blunt object to the back of the head.

After a search, Tony determines that the bust of JFK is the one responsible for Richter's death due to the fact that it has blood on it.

"Oh, you poor man", Ducky remarks.

Kate and Jane are sitting in a restaurant, waiting for their food to arrive.

To pass the time, they talk about Richter. Kate tries to assure Jane by telling her that bad things happen to good people all the time.

However, once their food's arrived, Jane sees a flashback of herself sitting alone in a restaurant. She tells Kate she saw a sad and lonely woman before breaking down and sobbing.

Gibbs and Tony have arrived in Abby's lab where she's giving them a brief history lesson on the bust of Kennedy and also about Kennedy's assassination. She's found a series of prints which confirms that Jane Doe was in the same hotel room as Walter Richter.

In the morgue, Ducky has determined that Richter suffered a skull fracture, resulting in his death.

Ducky has also found that Richter's time of death was less than 44 hours ago which means that he was dead at around the same time that Jane was discovered.

Tony arrives in with information about the company Richter worked for which is called BFF or Bombe Fernentdeckung Fabrik with the company specializing in making bomb-detecting devices for the U.S Navy.

Tony and Gibbs interview Stephen Brauer who's shocked to hear of Richter's death. He tells them about Suzanne McNeil

When Gibbs and Tony tell her McNeil isn't dead, Brauer freezes. He eventually pulls himself together and manages to show them a photo of McNeil.

Sure enough, it confirms that McNeil is Jane Doe.

In NCIS, Kate is accompanying Jane/Suzanne down to the morgue to see Richter's body.

Jane is expressing doubts over it but she knows that she has no choice.

Once Ducky shows her the body, Jane/Suzanne gets a flashback and suddenly remembers Richter giving her a severance package before turning away. In a fit of rage, she struck with the Kennedy bust, killing him instantly.

In the present, Kate asks Jane/Suzanne if she remembered anything but Jane/Suzanne tells her no, she didn't yet it's obvious she's lying.

She then looks at Richter's body, calling him a poor man which Ducky agrees with.

Kate looks on.

It then cuts to Jane abruptly leaving the morgue.

Act FourEdit

At the company, Gibbs is talking to Kate in regards to Suzanne McNeil aka "Jane Doe".

In regards to Richter, the man whose body was found in the hotel room, Kate states that Jane only felt sympathy for Richter.

Gibbs reveals that he's emailed Kate Suzanne's file so it'll be looking at the other woman's life story and he has a few ideas about why Brauer wanted her dead but when Kate asks for them, Gibbs abruptly hangs up.

Back at NCIS, Jane/Suzane who has been walking up and down the bullpen is looking at a wall when Kate gets up and calls her by her true name.

Suzanne doesn't react but judging by her expression, it's becoming increasingly clear that she's remembering every single thing that has happened so far.

At BFF, Gibbs is losing patience with Brauer and Tony approaches to tell him about the new bomb-sniffing equipment they're working on as well as the fact that Brauer is worried that it's not to going to pass a trial set for Thursday.

Brauer then agrees to show them the lab.

At NCIS, Kate has given Suzanne her file, remarking that it's not too late for a husband and kids.

Suzanne simply states that all the good ones are all married.

Heading down to the lab, Gibbs and Tony interrogate Brauer about his relationship with Suzanne.

Brauer tells them that a man in his position can't afford to risk losing everything because of a sexual harassment suit.

They soon arrive at the lab and Brauer leads them into the supposed Navy ship McNeil was talking about but it's not a real ship: it's simply a mock-up of one.

After getting the news from Brauer, Gibbs calls Kate who informs Doe/McNeil about the ship. Kate's thrilled about it.

Suzanne then insists on going to the BFF so that she can get a feel of the place but Kate's against the idea, believing Suzanne has had enough for one day.

However, Kate soon gives in, unaware that Suzanne is manipulating her.

Gibbs and Tony watch the test with Brauer and the tester commenting that McNeil is very competitive and she holds back a few surprises because she likes winning.

Unfortunately, the tester fails when a bomb explodes, causing Brauer and the tester to swear while Gibbs remarks that he had a hunting dog like that once.

While Suzanne is upstairs, Kate waits down in the lobby just as Gibbs, Tony and Brauer arrive.

Seconds later, Suzanne comes back down and gets a series of flashbacks. She was in the church with Brauer and at the restaurant, watching Brauer and his wife.

It then cuts to the hotel room where she's struggling with Brauer but she falls and hits her head on a chair leg, knocking her unconscious.

In the present, Suzanne keeps up the ruse of not knowing Brauer before greeting him.

They both leave to speak privately.

As they do, Gibbs remarks that Brauer, the son of a bitch is guilty as Hell.

With her back to the agents, Suzanne tells Brauer that while he didn't have the guts to leave his wife, he buried her instead.

In the process of retelling the story, Suzanne's anger and grief emerges along with her disgust that Brauer couldn't dump her himself and that he sent Walter in his place.

"You murdered Walter?", Brauer asks, speechless.

Back at the lobby, Kate's picking up on something. She remembers how Suzanne told her how Richter's head had been bashed in but no-one had told her and she hadn't even seen his body.

Kate then realizes that Suzanne remembered.

In the seating area, Suzanne angrily tells Brauer that no-one dumps her before announcing that she has developed a new bomb, one that's so volatile that it'll go off if she drops it.

Brauer gets up and realizes if that happens, then she's going to die too.

Suzanne remarks that she's already been buried.

Brauer then screams out in German that Suzanne has a bomb.

This prompts Kate, Gibbs and Tony to draw their guns.

While Tony and Gibbs retreat to a safe distance, Kate still holding her gun edges closer in an attempt to reason with Suzanne and begs her not to drop the bomb.

Unfortunately Suzanne's too far gone for any reasoning with and simply says, "Sorry, Kate" before dropping the bomb.

Seconds later, the entire building goes up in flames, creating one Hell of a giant explosion.

It then cuts to a few hours later where Kate, having been left badly injured due to the fact that she was near Suzanne when the bomb went off is now sitting on a gurney with a medic patching up her wounds.

From a distance, Gibbs and Tony look on.

Tony wants to comfort her but Gibbs reminds him that no-one can do that and that Kate's going to have to rely on herself to get through this ordeal.

Gibbs and Kate then share a glance at one another as the snow keeps on coming with the wind blowing around the area too.

It then pulls away to show the entire area is now full of various ambulance and police as snow begins falling down.


  • Michael Edward Rose, who plays the murder victim Walter Richter, would later reappear in the Season Seven episode, Double Identity (episode) as Marine Major Gordon Holcomb.
  • Series regular Mark Harmon (Leroy Jethro Gibbs) and Sherilyn Fenn ("Jane Doe"/Suzanne McNeil) previously worked together on the 1991 movie "Dillinger", about infamous bank robber John Dillinger. Harmon played Dillinger while Fenn played Evelyn Frechette, a woman associated with Dillinger who later became his girlfriend.


Series RegularsEdit

Name Portrayed by Role
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 and who also works for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Donald Mallard David McCallum NCIS's Chief Medical Examiner.

Recurring CastEdit

Name Portrayed by Role
Gerald Jackson Pancho Demmings Assistant Medical Examiner for NCIS.
Andy Kochofis Asante Jones Detective with the Metro Police Department.

Guest CastEdit

Name Portrayed by Role
Suzanne McNeil Sherilyn Fenn A young woman who's the victim of a murder attempt and who suffers from amnesia after being buried alive.
Stephen Brauer Derek de Lint Suzanne McNeil's boss and also her lover.
Diggar Aldridge Kenneth Tigar The Medical Examiner for the Metro Police Department.
Joel Sanderson Jim Rash A doctor who helps treat Jane Doe/Suzanne McNeil.
Tom Verne Al Espinosa A man who appears in the episode.
Hotel Manager Phil Abrams The manager of the Jackson hotel.
Saleswoman Daniella Kuhn A saleswoman in the clothes that Kate and Jane Doe go to.
Walter Richter Michael Rose (actor) A worker at the bomb-making company Jane Doe/Suzanne McNeill works at. Is later found dead in a hotel room and it's soon revealed that McNeil is the one who killed him.
Blonde Chemist Elena Jovis A young woman who Tony hits on while he and Gibbs are visiting the bomb making company. Uncredited role.
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