Sandblast is the seventh episode in NCIS Season 4 and also the seventy-seventh episode of the entire NCIS series.
This episode also marks the debut appearance of Lieutenant Colonel Hollis Mann and Tony's DiNozzo girlfriend, Dr. Jeanne Benoit.
A Marine Colonel dies in an explosion at a military golf course, prompting the NCIS team to investigate with the help of an Army CID team led by Lieutenant Colonel Hollis Mann to find out who is responsible. Meanwhile, the victim's son is hellbent on dropping out of college and signing up to the Marines to avenge his father, forcing Tony to try and talk the youngster out of making a big mistake.
"In the trap?", Frederick wonders.
"That's a Titleist Three", Josh replies.
Frederick wonders if Josh knows how good Frederick feels and how good this morning is.
"No, how good?", John asks as he grabs a
"I'm gonna blast out and two-putt", Frederick announces before stating that he's gonna break 90 for the first time in his life.
Frederick wonders if he told Josh to have the truck detailed.
"Yes, sir", Josh announces.
Frederick remarks that the last time he returned from deployment, he found a petrified Big Mac under the seat.
"How long?", Josh wonders.
Frederick believes that it must have been there for six months.
As Frederick heads into the main area of the bunker, Josh wants to know how long his father will be in Iraq this time.
"As long as it takes, Josh", Frederick replies before stating that it might be eighteen months, maybe less and then Frederick will go into teaching full-time so that he and his wife/Josh's mother can drive to Princeton every other weekend to see Josh.
As this happens, Josh spots a small wire buried underneath the sand and close to where the golf ball is.
Josh remarks that every other weekend will be fine.
Frederick just laughs.
"Are you gonna swing or should I get a beach towel?", Josh wonders before telling his father to keep his head down.
Frederick just smiles, amused.
Frederick then prepares to swing and as he hits the ball, a huge explosion erupts, sending Josh to the ground while sending debris scattering everywhere.
It then cuts to Josh who looks bloodied and stunned.
In the bullpen, as NCIS Special AGent Timothy McGee looks on, his colleague, fellow NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo Junior remarks that one and a half teaspoons is not sweet with DiNozzo stating that he's seen his people pour three ounces of sugar into a one-ounce espresso.
"Your people being Long Islanders?", McGee wonders.
"Romans", Tony says, placing the sugar back into the drawer with Tony remarking that the Romans are inventions of the grain harvester, the arch, modern plumbing.
As Tony shakes some milk, McGee states that every time he flushes, he'll think of Tony and his people.
As this happens, NCIS/Mossad Liaison Officer Ziva David arrives in, stating that she'd ask McGee to explain but she really doesn't know before telling Tony that she definitely doesn't want to know that Tony's doing.
Tony tells Ziva that he's making cappuccino and educating Probie/McGee as to what Italy has contributed to the world.
As this goes, McGee joins Ziva at her desk.
Tony believes that the Italians have contributed Oration, Italian cinema, sports cars.
"Gold chains and chest hairs", Ziva remarks.
Tony then remarks about pasta and all its sexy shapes and sizes.
Ziva states that the Chinese invented pasta with Tony stating that it was Communist-era proganda.
With that, Ziva and McGee chuckle before McGee heads to his desk.
In the office, NCIS Director Jennifer Shepard remarks that she assumes that Homeland Security has been informed.
As NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs examines Colonel Cooper's file, Jenny wonders if they'll be raising the threat level with the person on the other end of the line agreeing and stating that it'll be Orange.
Jenny tells them that they've got her direct line with the person thanking her before they hang up.
As Jenny hangs up, telling Gibbs that it's Orange, Gibbs remarks that the Army-Navy Club is a high value target.
Turning her chair around, Jenny gets her feet, remarking that it's not a high-value target, it's a terrorist dream and that someone can't slice a tee shot without hitting either a congressman or a general.
"Or a colonel", Gibbs replies, handing Jenny Colonel Cooper's file.
Jenny remarks that Colonel Cooper was set to deploy tomorrow and at least, Colonel Cooper got to spend the last day with his son.
"That's one way of looking at it", Gibbs replies before he leaves.
Jenny just stands there, staring out the window, Colonel Cooper's file now in her hands.
A while later, at the golf course, members of the Army CID are already beginning to take photographs of the bunker and also of Colonel Cooper's badly burnt, almost unrecognizable body.
As the NCIS team arrives, Tony remarks that it looks like they're late to the party.
As they pass Army CID guards, Gibbs shows them his NCIS ID and tells the team to assume a hundred meter blast radius from the sand trap.
Tony corrects Gibbs, stating that it's called a bunker, not a sand trap.
Gibbs just stops to glare at Tony.
"Blast radius, hundred meters", Tony announces. "Got it, Boss".
Tony then remarks that McGee's got the woods and that Tony's got the far side.
McGee's hestiation has everyone stopping with Gibbs demanding to know what.
McGee then admits that it's poison ivy. McGee also reveals that he looks at the stuff and breaks out.
"Don't look", Gibbs says.
McGee just looks stunned before he heads off.
As they move on, Ziva remarks that the Zaka will be busy today.
"Zaka?", Gibbs wonders.
Ziva reveals that the Zaka are Orthodox Jews who volunteer to collect body parts from terrorist attacks.
As Gibbs examines the scene, a member of the Army CID arrives, calling Gibbs's name. The woman identifies herself as Lieutenant Colonel Hollis Mann and she is Army CID.
As Mann says this, both she and Gibbs shake hands.
Mann believes that Gibbs's director called.
"She did", Gibbs says.
Gibbs attempts to introduce Mann to Ziva but Mann reveals that she already knows about Ziva, stating that the Army Criminal Investigative Division has excellent intel.
In the background, Ziva heads off to start examining things.
Gibbs remarks that that's good and that they can use it to support NCIS's investigation.
Mann corrects Gibbs by stating that it's a joint investigation with Army in the lead. She also points out that this isn't the Navy-Army Club: it's actually the Army-Navy Club.
Gibbs then points out that that's a dead Marine at the Army-Navy Club.
Meanwhile, as numerous Army CID are searching the area, Tony throws some grass and upon seeing it land outside the crime scene, heads off to pursue a lead.
At the bunker area, Mann reveals that she had EOD sweep the rest of the sand traps although Gibbs points out that they're called bunkers, not sand traps.
Mann then points that Colonel Cooper's son saw what he thought was a spider web in the bunker.
Ziva wonders if it's a trip wire.
Mann believes that that's possible but also admits that there's not much to go on with this one. She also remarks that they've got a lot of land to cover.
"Eighteen holes on a golf course", Gibbs says.
Mann agrees before asking Gibbs if they want to divide them up.
Gibbs agrees and tells Mann that NCIS will take the crime scene and that Mann and her Army CID staff can take the other seventeen holes.
Mann stands her ground, stating that Gibbs isn't taking away her crime scene, end of story.
Ziva just looks on.
Mann then states that if Gibbs asks nicely, Mann might give NCIS the body.
Gibbs then remarks that he doesn't really have to ask considering how his M.E. got here first.
In the background of the golf course, the NCIS Medical Examiner's van has arrived and Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Donald Mallard is busy getting ready.
Mann then agrees, stating that if this is going to be a pissing contest, then Gibbs better bring an umbrella.
Gibbs just smiles and nods.
They're interrupted by Tony announcing that he's got some good news.
As Tony joins Ziva, he asks Ziva if he missed something with Ziva stating that Gibbs just found his fourth ex-wife.
Gibbs wants to know what Tony has.
Tony announces that he found this outside the next tee and that it was outside the blast radius with Tony believing that the wind must have carried it.
He then reveals that the object he's holding looks like part of a detontator.
Mann states that she checked the neighboring tees herself.
Tony then remarks that maybe Mann should have checked the trash cans and as he places it into an evidence bag that Gibbs is holding, Tony remarks that it looks like a hole in one.
Gibbs tells Tony "nice work" with Tony thanking him as Mann looks outside.
In the morgue, Ducky tells Colonel Cooper's body that he has difficulty getting out of the sand although he supposes it's because Ducky himself doesn't practice enough.
Ducky then explains that he digs his feet in, he opens the clubface but then he forgets to follow through and the ball just goes a couple of feet before admitting to the Colonel's body that it's nearly as Colonel Cooper himself traveled.
As this happen, Gibbs and Mann arrive in.
As they approach the table, Mann wonders if Ducky's talking to himself.
"The body", Gibbs replies.
As they arrive at the table, Ducky reveals to Mann that her C.O- commanding officer just called and requested copies of Ducky's autopsies reports.
Ducky pauses to greet Gibbs before they get down to business.
Gibbs wants to know about the report.
Ducky then remarks that the cause of death appears to be just what they see here: explosive dismemberment.
"Yeah, got that part", Gibbs says.
Mann then states that what they don't have is traceable fragments from that explosion.
Ducky admits to Mann that Abby was complaining about the dearth of physical evidence from the crime scene before admitting to Colonel Cooper's body that it's present company excepted of course.
Gibbs believes that the bombshell was plastic.
Mann states that means that the fragments disintegrated.
Ducky admits that they did but luckily, not all of them before revealing that as the ancients soon discovered, fire and water do not mix.
As he heads off, Ducky reveals that the human body is over two-thirds water and that some of the burning fragments were cooled by the interstitial liquid in the Colonel's tissue before they could disintegrate.
Mann takes the capsule containing the evidence and examines it as Gibbs looks on.
"Get that to Abby", Gibbs says.
With that, Gibbs leaves with Mann following Gibbs after she gives Ducky back the capsule and thanks him.
In the conference room, Josh who's been treated for his injuries remarks that he can't believe that his father's gone. Josh also remarks that it's like he hears himself saying that but he also knows that it's a stupid thing to say.
Tony who's scribbling things down on a pad tells Josh that it's not stupid.
Josh then remarks that if Tony told him that Colonel Cooper, Josh's father was still alive, that what Josh saw was a trick, then Josh thinks that he'd believe it.
Josh just looks puzzled.
Tony then suggests that maybe they should finish this tomorrow.
Josh shakes his head, remarking that he'll be at Princeton tomorrow and that his father wouldn't want him to miss his first day of classes.
Tony just nods and says, "Okay".
He then brings up the fact that Josh saw a spider web in the bunker.
Josh admits that he did or at least, he thought soon until his father hit it before remarking that he should have said something.
Tony tells Josh that there's nothing Josh could have done.
Josh then states that that's another one of those stupid things people say.
Tony then remarks that he's got a million of them and that Josh should ask his co-workers with Tony's colleagues telling Josh.
Josh just nods, wondering what else Tony's got.
Tony then states, "Everything happens for a reason".
Josh then remarks that that would have really pissed him off before Josh tells Tony that he can do better.
Tony then goes, "When your time is up, your time is up".
"Hope you got more skills than that", Josh says.
Tony then remarks that in the immortal words of Elvis Costello, "oh, accidents will happen".
Josh then states that he probably would have struck his fist through Tony's skull if Tony had said that.
Tony admits that it's a soft skull, actually.
Josh then voices his belief that this wasn't an accident.
"No", Tony says.
Josh remarks that he thought they were fighting them there so that they wouldn't have to fight them here. He then believes that maybe they need some more help.
Tony looks stunned for a second before telling Josh that maybe he should focus on Princeton and that NCIS will find who did this.
"Like you found Bin Laden?", Josh says.
Tony just looks at Josh.
In the bullpen, McGee is scanning through photos on the monitor and once he's found it, tells Mann and Ziva there it is.
Mann then states that it's good and tells McGee to punch in on that.
McGee remarks that they can read the entire licence plate.
Ziva then tells them that she'll update the BOLO.
"BOLO for what?", Tony wonders, arriving into the Bullpen.
Mann reveals that they've cleared the course, vetted everyone as they left but they've got no record of this '99 Toyota leaving.
She also remarks that the owner is a greenskeeper.
McGee believes that the person must have used an old service entrance and gotten out before NCIS and Army CID covered all of them.
"Nice catch, McGee", Tony remarks.
Mann then remarks that it's her catch and wonders if they can get an address on this.
As Tony makes a face, Gibbs and Jenny emerge from MTAC with Jenny stating is it just her or did the SECDEF seem nervous?
As they head over to the railing, Gibbs believes that the SECDEF probably has a tee time tomorrow.
As they see Mann talking to McGee, Jenny asks Gibbs what Mann is like and at Gibbs's glance, Jenny wonders if Mann is up to the job.
Gibbs tells Jenny that he'll let her know.
Suddenly, Gibbs's phone rings and he answers it.
It's soon revealed that the caller is Tony.
Gibbs hangs up and yells Tony's name.
Tony looks up and sees Gibbs and Jenny both standing at the railing.
As Mann stands beside the desk, Tony then remarks that that's weird and that he thought Gibbs was still in MTAC.
Gibbs wants to know what Tony wants.
Tony starts to tell Gibbs about the lead but Mann interrupts, stating that they just found an unaccounted-for vehicle at the Army Navy club.
With that, Gibbs heads down the stairs to join them as Jenny looks.
A while later, the NCIS Dodge Stratus arrives and unsurprisingly, Army CID personnel are already there with the main suspect in custody.
As Gibbs and Tony get out, Gibbs points Tony towards the suspect.
Mann tells Gibbs that the suspect is already in Army CID custody and that her people can handle the interrogation.
Gibbs just glares at Tony who leaves.
As Gibbs and Mann head on, Mann believes that Gibbs is divorced.
"Three times", Gibbs replies.
"Only three", Mann says.
They pause as Army CID personnel prepare to open the boot of the suspect's car. One Army CID guard yells for everyone to stand clear while Mann tells Gibbs that she'll be sure to tell her superiors how Gibbs and NCIS assisted.
They then open the truck with another guard stating, "All clear".
Gibbs and Mann approach just as an Army CID guard drops the only contents of the car onto the ground.
Mann remarks that although it's drugs, it didn't mean he didn't plant the bomb.
Gibbs smiles and walks off, stating that she can have that interrogation while Gibbs himself looks for the person who did.
It then cuts to Mann who looks annoyed as Gibbs walks off.
Almost immediately, Mann jumps into action, yelling that the building be secured right now.
As this happens, Gibbs tells Ziva and Tony to go out the back door and that no-one's allowed in until EOD gets here.
With that, Tony and Ziva head for the back door.
As they do that, the remaining Army CID officers leave the building again while Gibbs stays just in time to see the back door slam shut.
Satisfied, Gibbs glances up at the bomb before he leaves too with the door closing as well.
- Lieutenant Colonel Hollis Mann, an officer with the United States Army, Jeanne Benoit and Mamoun Sharif are all introduced for the first time.
- McGee gets infected with poison ivy again.
- Abby reveals that she can lip-read.
- This is the second time McGee has been infected with poison ivy, the first being in the Season 2 episode, Caught on Tape.
- Josh Cooper sarcastically references the U.S. government's failure to catch Osama bin Laden in the five years that have passed since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Bin Laden was finally tracked down and killed on May 2, 2011, fifteen days before the airing of Season 8's "Pyramid."
- Josh Cooper tells Tony that he (Tony) reminds him of Dr. Phil. When Michael Weatherly leaves NCIS, he goes onto to play 'Bull' a character based on Dr. Phil.
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||NCIS 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.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||Mossad Liaison to the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Chief Forensic Specialist, NCIS.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray||Junior Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Jennifer Shepard||Lauren Holly||NCIS Director.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner, NCIS.|
|Jeanne Benoit||Scottie Thompson||Tony's girlfriend.|
|Hollis Mann||Susanna Thompson||A Colonel with the Army Criminal Investigation Division.|
|Mamoun Sharif||Enzo Cilenti||A terrorist.|
|Josh Cooper||Blake Bashoff||Victim's son.|
|Fredrick Cooper||David Fabrizio||The main murder victim.|
|Abraham Moussalah||Arnell Powell||A courier for the bomb that Sharif originally planned to use.|
|Army EOD Team Member||Shane Wood||Uncredited role.|