Monsters and Men is the fourteenth episode of NCIS Season 11 and also the 248th episode of the entire NCIS series.
As the NCIS team continue searching for Benham Parsa, the leader of the infamous terrorist group, the Brotherhood of Doubt, they also find themselves investigating the death of Parsa's supposed bodyguard, only for the team to later discover that the body in question is not who it appears to be. Things then turn a turn when Bishop reveals that she has been hunting Parsa ever since her days as an analyst with the NSA which ultimately threatens to jeopardize the entire case but when Parsa launches his final game plan while being held on the USS Wilmington, triggering a crisis, the NCIS team must act quickly or risk losing one of their own forever.
The episode opens with a recap focusing on the last few episodes which show the emergence of terrorist Benham Parsa and the drone attack with the recap ending with NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs ordering NCIS/NSA liaison Eleanor Bishop to find Parsa.
At a batting range, Bishop is busy attempting to hit various balls with a baseball bat.
She fails to hit the first two and attempts to hit the third with her effort succeeding.
As this happens, her boss at NSA, Jeremy Marlens arrives.
Bishop tells Marlens that if he was trying for stealth, a less pungent cologne would've been a smarter choice.
Marlens states to Bishop that no-one wears cologne anymore and that it's body spray with Marlens believing it might be Mountain Musk.
As she hits a ball again, Bishop remarks that it's bold.
"I'll accept bold", Marlens states before remarking that he's also irritated. He then goes on to ask Bishop why hasn't she returned any of his messages?
Having hit a ball, Bishop then heads over, placing the bat against the wall as she tells Marlens that NCIS has been keeping her busy.
Marlens wants to know when exactly was she going to tell him she was working on Benham Parsa?
Bishop snaps that it was assigned to her, that she didn't seek out and that she was just doing her job.
Leaning against the wall, Marlens tells Bishop that as her supervisor, he's doing his and that he's still responsible for her actions and well-being, both of which concern him.
As this goes on, Bishop removes her helmet.
Hands on hips, Bishop stands her ground as she firmly tells Marlens that every other agency out there is after Parsa since the attack on the Conrad Gala.
She protests that Marlens can't except her to take a backseat.
Marlens sharply tells Bishop that that's not the point and that he should have told her with Marlens remarking that he's tempted to pull her joint-duty assignment.
"That's exactly why I didn't tell you", Bishop says.
She then opens the door and heads out into the main area of the batting range.
As she closes the door, Bishop turns to Marlens and tells him that this isn't like the last time.
"Sure feels like it", Marlens remarks.
Bishop just looks frustrated.
Marlens then asks Bishop about Gibbs and if he knows what happened.
Bishop tells Marlens that Gibbs wants Parsa caught and that's all that matters.
"Not to me", Marlens says.
Placing her hair back her ears, Bishop tells Marlens to look... before she stops, admitting to Marlens that he's right and that she should have told him before she asks him to let her see this through and that it's important.
Marlens pauses for a second before relenting, stating "All right".
He then states that it's cold and that Bishop is being too stubborn for him to continue this debate right now. He also says that T.S. Elliot was wrong- February is the cruelest month before asking Bishop how does she stand it in this cold weather?
Bishop, however is busy thinking of something.
As Marlens complains that he misses that Florida humidity, Bishop tells Marlens that she's gotta go.
With that, Bishop grabs her bag, slings it over her body before she runs off, holding the bat as well as Marlens calls her name, obviously eager for answers.
In the Bullpen, NCIS Special Agents Anthony DiNozzo and Timothy McGee are preparing to leave with DiNozzo whistling.
McGee wonders what's with Tony before wondering if Tony has a hot date or something.
"Hot indeed", Tony replies. "105 degrees Fahrenheit".
He then tells McGee to picture this: Bottle of Pinot, roaring fire and Tony sliding into a hot, steamy soak.
McGee states that he'd rather not picture that.
Tony then tells McGee that sometimes they've gotta stop and charge the batteries, get the old juices flowing.
McGee admits that he's not really a bath person.
"Course not", Tony says before stating that baths are kids and that he and McGee are men and men soak.
Slinging his NCIS Backpack onto his shoulder, McGee asks Tony what's the difference.
"These babies", Tony replies before producing a bottle.
McGee approaches Tony's desk and examines the bottle which is "Mighty Aphrodie's Moisturizing Bath Beads- Unlock the Goddess Within".
Tony laughs, remarking that this girl introduced Tony to it and that Tony had no idea.
Tony then goes to state that it exfoliates, makes you tingle in all the right places if McGee knows what he means.
McGee then admits that he's so sorry he asked.
"That makes two of us", NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs announces, arriving into the Bullpen. He then tells the two to grab their gear and that Port Authority in Portsmouth found a body in the water.
As McGee heads back to his desk, Gibbs who's busy putting on his coat on tells them that the clothing matches the BOLO NCIS put on Parsa's bodyguard.
Seconds later, Bishop arrives in, calling Gibbs's name and stating that it's good that he's still here.
Tony wonders if there's a rumble between the Sharks and Jets, referring to the bat Bishop is carrying.
As this happens, the three agents leave the Bullpen.
Bishop stammers that it isn't before telling them that she has a lead on Parsa.
As the three head for the elevator, Gibbs remarks that so do they before revealing that it's in Virginia with Gibbs telling Bishop, "Let's go".
Holding up the bat, Bishop tells them to wait and that Parsa isn't in Virginia.
This has Gibbs, Tony and McGee stopping in their tracks.
Gibbs then approaches Bishop and after lowering the bat, tells her to speak.
Bishop tells Gibbs that Parsa is going to Pakistan and that she should have seen it sooner before revealing that makes it sense. She then digs into her bag, producing her laptop.
Gibbs tells her to slow down and make sense now.
Looking up, Bishop states salted hot chocolate. She then reveals that she was drinking it the first time she read about Parsa's parents.
As she heads over to the monitor, Tony and McGee head into the Bullpen, both intrigued.
At the monitor, Bishop hits a key on her laptop and two photos of two Pakistan natives pop up, Bishop revealing that they are Raza and Sabeen Parsa who were innocent civilians killed in a U.S. drone strike on Pakistan on February 6, 2004.
She tells them that this event is what triggered the psychological shift in Parsa, making Parsa who he is today.
Turning around to face them, Bishop reveals that the ten year anniversary of their deaths is in 48 hours- two days.
McGee and Tony look stunned.
It then cuts to Gibbs who realizes that Parsa's going back to where it all started.
As a sailor works on the steel door with a blow torch, David Harketti, a Navy Hull Technician Chief presumably on the USS Wilmington tells Gibbs that the door was built to stop people from breaking out, not from trying to stay in.
"How long?", Gibbs wonders.
Harketti states for them to cut through three-inch thick steel, that it'll take them twenty/thirty minutes.
Gibbs tells them that they've gotta be faster than that and to blow the damn thing if they have too.
It then cuts to an inside shot of the brig where the blow torch is still on cutting through the steel door while a security guard lies on the floor.
As he sits down at the table again, wincing slightly at the gunshot wound in his left shoulder, Parsa asks Bishop if she's alright.
Bishop tells him that she's better than the two sailors he just killed.
Parsa states that they're casualties of war, he's afraid.
Bishop simply sits there, refusing to meet Parsa's gaze.
Parsa then leans in and tells her that he wanted them to finish their conversation, in private while Bishop turns around even more, greatly unnerved.
He then tells Bishop or "Eleanor" that it's been a long time before saying that he's thought about her.
Finally meeting his gaze, Bishop tells Parsa that he should have stopped by the office, said hello.
Parsa disagrees, stating that's too formal and that he much prefers her apartment in D.C.
Bishop sits there again, staring at the ground but seconds later, gazes at Parsa who asks about Bishop's husband, Jake?
Parsa then says that Jake should really learn to watch his surroundings.
"Stop, Benham", Bishop orders. She tells Parsa that her husband isn't his play.
Parsa sits there, smiling.
Bishop wonders what is?
She wonders if Parsa's going to use her as a hostage? Make a trade for his freedom?
Parsa silently looks away.
Shaking her head, Bishop tells Parsa almost pityingly that it won't work.
Outside, some progress is being made on the steel door as someone yells "Hold on! Hold on! Gotta get through".
It then shows the same shot of the laser cutting through the door while the dead guard lies on the floor as Bishop tells Parsa that he's not getting off this ship.
"A hostage?", Parsa remarks. "Is that what you think you are?".
He then tells Bishop that she knows him better than that.
"This isn't an escape attempt", Bishop states.
Parsa looks at her, his expression accepting.
"It's a suicide mission", Bishop then finishes, her voice full of dread as the truth hits home.
As Bishop stares at the floor, Parsa silently nods.
In MTAC, Vance and Marlens are having a conference with Gibbs and McGee as Vance wonders how much longer until they can breach the door?
"Too long", Gibbs replies.
Vance wonders if there are any eyes inside?
Gibbs tells Vance that Parsa's taken out both security cameras and that they're blind.
Vance then turns to Marlens, asking Marlens if the NSA employee has any idea of what Parsa's plan is?
Turning away, Marlens states that Parsa's actions towards Bishop in the past have always been psychological and that he was trying to make some sort of connection with her and get her to understand him.
As this happens, on the screen, Gibbs looks dismayed at what he's hearing before a sense of realization sweeps over him. He then states that he needs NSA's recorded phone calls between Parsa and his sister and any that mention their parents.
"What's the play, Gibbs?", Vance asks.
Gibbs announces that they're going to take a page out of Bishop's book and hit Parsa where it hurts: his family.
Back at the rig, a blowtorch is still contining to pierce the steel door.
Now sitting on the table, Parsa tells Bishop that there's one thing he always wanted to know.
Bishop silently looks on.
Parsa wonders what made her single him out all those years ago?
How did she know the path he'd take?
Bishop remarks that it's the same answer for how she tracked him down.
Parsa cocks to his head to the left side, caught off guard by the reply.
Producing a photograph from her jacket pocket, Bishop glances at it before she places it on the table. It's shown that the photo is of Parsa's parents.
She remarks that it's always been about them and that she singled Parsa out because she knew their deaths left a void that Parsa couldn't fill. She saw a scared, angry kid who used violence to mask his grief.
It was never about money or religion.
It was about not feeling alone.
And that's why Parsa causes death and destruction to make others feel the same pain he does.
As he gets off the table, Parsa says that he has succeeded and that he took comfort in knowing that his parents were together when they died.
Bishop looks at Parsa.
Leaning in across from her, Parsa tells Bishop that she shouldn't be scared of the end and that she won't be alone.
Seconds later, the PA system plays out Hayat who tells her brother to please come home.
Bishop is stunned by what's going on.
"Hayat?", Parsa states.
The recording of Hayat then goes to say that their mother and father are gone and that she loves them as much as Parsa does but nothing will bring them back before stating that this is not what they would have wanted.
Getting increasingly agitated, Parsa rounds on Bishop, demanding to know what is going on and where is Hayat?
Unable to answer, Bishop looks away.
The recording of Hayat goes on to say that he is all she has in this world and that she cannot lose him and that he should promise not to leave her.
Bishop tells Parsa to listen to Hayat and that he doesn't have to die while suggesting that he should spare Hayat the pain.
Losing control, Parsa slaps the wall, yelling that his sister will understand and that she'll honor him just as Parsa himself honored their parents.
"Benham, please", the recording begs.
Raising the gun, Parsa wonders how Bishop's family will honor her?
In the background, the door is heard opening, implying that the Navy personnel finally managed to cut a hole through the steel door and Gibbs then rushes in, his SIG raised before he fires two shots at Parsa, the two shots causing Parsa to jerk back and Bishop to jump.
Parsa then slumps to the ground, dead.
Gibbs then opens the brig door and rushes in to clear the room.
Bishop who's gotten to her feet is standing there, her mouth open in shock.
Gibbs then kicks the gun away from Parsa's lifeless hand and examines the body of the fallen terrorist.
It then cuts to a close-up showing Parsa lying on the floor, dead, his eyes now open but also lifeless with a single bullet-shaped hole in the right side of his forehead.
Glad that the main threat is down, Gibbs checks the body of the fallen Navy guard.
Bishop just continues to stare at Parsa's lifeless body, still stunned.
Once Gibbs has finished, he and Bishop exchange silent glances.
A few hours later, at the Navy Yard, Bishop sits at her desk, lost in deep thought when Tony arrives in, asking McGee if he's heading over to Delilah's.
As he grabs his coat, McGee states that he is, that's movie night and that he has a sudden urge to watch "Rocky" before asking Tony if he's interested.
"Ah", Tony says, grabbing his coat and backpack as he joins McGee. "That's very nice of you but I've got an overdue date with Aphrodite's Bath Beads".
As they leave, Tony tells Bishop or "kid" that she did good with McGee seconding that.
Looking at her colleagues, Bishop simply states that it was a team effort.
As they wait for the elevator, Tony calls back to Bishop to check her bottom drawer.
"What?", Bishop asks, puzzled.
"Bottom drawer", Tony repeats.
Bishop opens the drawer full of candy bars and crisps which has her smiling and then laughing.
She then looks to see Tony and McGee, both men smiling at her before the doors close.
Bishop smiles but then glances over at the NCIS Most Wanted Wall where the photograph of Parsa has been covered with red tape, confirming that Parsa is dead.
She then looks at the photo again which shows Parsa's name and the fact NCIS sought him due to his personal involvement in the death of SECNAV Clayton Jarvis.
Turning back to the desk, Bishop then scribbles something on a Sticky-pad note. She then places the note on the right side of her computer.
She then puts her laptop into her bag and as she leaves, it shows that the note has a reference to Rule 11- "When the job is done, walk away".
A few hours later, Bishop is back at the batting range but has failed to hit two balls while in the background, Gibbs walks towards her.
As the third ball emerges, Bishop attempts to hit that but fails which has her groaning in frustration.
Gibbs tells Bishop that she's trying too hard.
Turning to face him, Bishop remarks that she didn't think that was a bad thing and that practice makes perfect, right?
She then faces the machine, the bat resting in her hand as she remarks that it's about reading the signs, staying one step ahead of the ball.
As she says this, she attempts to hit a ball but misses.
Gibbs tells her that that's her problem and that she should stop trying to guess what's coming.
As a ball hits the net, Gibbs tells Bishop to wait for it and that she should trust her instincts.
In the meantime, another ball crashes against the net as Bishop tenses, bracing herself.
Seconds later, a ball emerges and Bishop finally succeeds in hitting that ball, sending it crashing against the net on the other side much to her relief.
She then turns around and looks at Gibbs who tells her that anticipation doesn't get her the win and that it's how she reacts to the situation.
As she removes her helmet, Bishop remarks that she guesses that they're not talking about her swing anymore.
Opening the door to the ball field, Gibbs tells her that she's catching on.
Stepping into the main area, Bishop tells Gibbs that he's not the easiest person to read and that it's kind of frustrating before admitting that it's really frustrating.
Glancing at Gibbs, she wonders if anyone has ever told that to Gibbs?
She then asks Gibbs or Agent Gibbs what is he really doing here?
Gibbs tells Bishop that he gave her a job to do and that she stepped up, saw it through.
Bishop wonders if this is praise.
"No, it's a standard, Bishop", Gibbs remarks.
He then tells her that he'll expect that out of her every day now that she's an agent.
"Agent?", Bishop says, stunned.
She then wonders if Gibbs is offering her a permanent job at NCIS.
Gibbs tells her that it's Probationary but that she's earned it if she's still up for a challenge.
Bishop smiles and states that before she starts working for Gibbs and this becomes frowned upon...
She then gives Gibbs a big hug with Gibbs chuckling.
Bishop then breaks away and looks at Gibbs, stating, "I accept, boss".
The two then shake hands.
"Welcome aboard, probie", Gibbs states.
Nodding, Bishop smiles.
It then cuts to Gibbs who smiles back.
- Following the case, Bishop is promoted to full-time NCIS Field Probationary Agent and she also joins the NCIS Major Case Response Team on a permanent basis, officially replacing Ziva David with Bishop also presumably resigning from the NSA for good as well.
|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||The NSA/NCIS liaison officer who after the case involving Parsa is later promoted to Probationary Agent, resulting in Bishop becoming the newest member of the NCIS team and also the official and permanent replacement for Ziva David.|
|Leon Vance||Rocky Carroll||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Benham Parsa||Karan Oberoi||A terrorist who is also the leader of the group, the Brotherhood of Doubt. Dies after being shot by Gibbs when Parsa attempts to kill Bishop.|
|William Blake||Aaron Hill||Navy SEAL Lieutenant.|
|Pakistani Man 2||Hans Marrero||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Pakistani Man 3||Tony Graham||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Pakistani Man 4||Anthony Martins||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Watchstander||Adrian Gonzalez||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Lloyd Manditsky||John Allen Nelson||JSOC Vice Admiral.|
|Jeremy Marlens||Nestor Serrano||NSA Supervisor who is also the boss of Eleanor Bishop.|
|David Harketti||Rob Evors||Navy Hull Technician Chief.|
|Khalil Farooq||Shishir Kurup||Parsa's cousin.|