Phoenix is the third episode of NCIS Season 10 and the 213th episode of the entire NCIS series.
While on medical leave as a result of suffering a heart attack which occurred when he learnt of the Navy Yard Bombing, Ducky orders that the remains of a Navy commander whose autopsy he performed twelve years ago be exhumed after Ducky realizes that the Commander may have been murdered. As that happens, the NCIS team investigate the death of a Marine who was found dead in his apartment and as the investigation unfolds, it appears that the two deaths are seemingly connected...
At Arlington National Cemetery, a body is being exhumed.
The slab reveals that the body being exhumed is that of Bruce Roberts and as the coffin is lifted up via a digger, Dr. Donald Mallard looks on.
Once the coffin is loaded onto the truck, various workers begin tying it securely.
In the meantime, the Administrator states to Ducky that he knows the drill and that he needs Ducky's John Hancock.
As Ducky signs the clipboard, the Administrator admits that he likes digging them up a lot better than putting them down and that funerals are too final before stating that with exhumations, there's excitement, mystery.
Ducky having finished signing hands the clipboard with the Administrator and saying, "Until next time".
The Administrator then turns back, stating that he's going to need the case number.
"Case number?", Ducky replies, puzzled.
The Administrator states that he never got to 27-B-stroke-six with the official NCIS case number.
Ducky remarks that he'll have to a word with Acting Medical Examiner James Palmer before wondering if he could have Palmer fax it over.
The Administrator states that's fine and that Ducky's a repeat customer although the Administrator hopes that Ducky hasn't taken up grave-robbery as a hobby.
The two laugh about this for a few minutes before the Administrator leaves.
It then cuts to Ducky who sighs heavily.
In the bullpen, Ducky is telling Gibbs, McGee and Ziva that twelve years ago, Commander Roberts was murdered with Ducky himself presiding over Roberts's autopsy.
- It's revealed that three months have passed since the events in Extreme Prejudice (episode).
- Ducky takes charge of a case for the first time.
- It's shown that McGee's shooting skills have dramatically improved.
- "Form 27-B-stroke-six" is a reference to Terry Gilliam's film Brazil.
- At the shooting range, before the second round of shooting begins, McGee has his earmuffs down. However, in the next scene, just seconds before he raises his gun and fires at the target, they're covering his ears. There's no way he could have gotten them on so fast and in such a short length of time.
- Some of the music that is heard in the episode is taken from Michael Des Barres's new album "Carnaby Street". Michael Des Barres also had great praise for the cast and crew of NCIS, stating, "I have worked on over 100 hours of television and I have never been on a set where everyone involved made me feel that I could fly with the material and feel safe enough, respected enough to do good work. Mark Harmon is the Captain of a ship that sails around the television universe like the mothership of terrific entertainment".
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team|
|Anthony DiNozzo||Michael Weatherly||Senior Special Agent and second-in-command of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||Junior Special Agent 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 of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Acting Medical Examiner.|
|Leon Vance||Rocky Carroll||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner of the NCIS Major Case Response Team. Is currently on semi-retired medical leave after suffering a heart attack but returns to his position at the end of the episode.|
|Felix Blackwell||Rene Auberjonois||A Doctor and the killer.|
|Del Finney||Michael Des Barres||A man who was a big star in the 1980s.|
|Ellen Roberts||Amanda Walsh||Commander Bruce Roberts's daughter.|
|Beverly Sharp||Shelley Robertson||Captain in the United States Navy and Commander Bruce Roberts's C.O.|
|Administrator||Jim Hoffmaster||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Marine 1 (Phoenix)||Jason Bremer||A Marine.|