NCIS Database

Ships in the Night is the eleventh episode in NCIS Season 8 and the 173rd episode of the entire NCIS series.


The NCIS team investigate when a Marine is shot dead while on a pleasure cruise which reunites them with Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) agent Abigail Borin. During the investigation into the death, the team uncover a plot involving millionaire business magnates and a high-society scandal.


A lone dinner boat sails through a river.

On board, in the main dining area, various groups of people are engaged in talking, eating or drinking while easy-listening music plays in the background as waiters and waitresses serve the people.

In one area, Steve Mehlman tells CGIS agent Abigail Borin that it's getting late, huh.

"Yeah", Borin states.

Mehlman states that if this goes any further tonight, they're gonna have to go back to her place.

Borin just looks at Mehlman, disgusted.

Mehlman then remarks that at least when his mom passes, he'll inherit the house before he takes another sip from his glass.

"Good to know", Borin says.

She then grabs her purse.

Mehlman states that Becky told him that she doesn't say much.

It then cuts to show that there's a gun inside Borin's purse.

Mehlman tells Borin not to worry because that's a quality he values in a woman.

Obviously reaching the end of her patience, Borin tells Mehlman would he excuse her because she needs to go freshen up.

As she gets up, Mehlman remarks "Sure" with Mehlman adding that he'll be right here.

A while later, with Norah Jones's That's What I Said playing over the speakers, Borin downs a shot of whiskey in one go before asking the bartender for another.

"You got it", the bartender replies.

In the corner, a Marine asks her if she's having a rough night.

Borin remarks that it's a blind date on a boat.

"Nowhere to go", the Marine says.

"Overboard", Borin replies.

The Marine chuckles and wonders if he should call the Coast Guard.

"No need", Borin remarks before stating that she is the Coast Guard. She then identifies herself as CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin with Borin even displaying her CGIS credentials.

The Marine identifies himself as First Lieutenant Jeremy Nolan.

The two shake hands.

Nolan remarks to Borin that if her date gets worse, then he'll see her back here?

"Safe bet", Borin replies, nodding.

"Good", Nolan says.

With that, Nolan heads off, leaving Borin alone.

Seconds later and just before Borin is about to take a drink, her blind date, Steve shows up much to Borin's obvious annoyance. He remarks that he thought he lost her.

Borin just falsely smiles at Steve, remarking "No chance of that" before she dons the shot of whiskey.

Suddenly, the sound of gunshots are heard, startling everyone with Steve wondering what that was.

This causes women to begin shrieking.

Borin, on the other hand draws her gun, telling everyone to get down with everyone ducking for cover.

Holding her gun, Borin races around the room and checks every area, finding no sign of danger before she heads outside. She then looks over and finds a fresh yet half-dry blood trail on the floor which are connected to some legs.

It then pans around the corner, revealing that the legs belong to the Marine Borin was talking to a few minutes earlier: Marine Jeremy Nolan who lies on the ground, dead, his hands bloodied.

Borin then lowers her gun.

It cuts to Nolan whose features are full of surprise while his eyes stare at nothing.

Act One

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

McGee after Ziva has arrested Devin Lodge.

Act Five

In the bullpen, McGee is falling asleep at his desk, only to jolt awake when DiNozzo slams a locker in his desk with McGee thanking him.

"Anytime", DiNozzo says.


  • The song playing in the club where Tony and Ziva are interviewing Devin Lodge is Ke$ha's "We R Who We R (Fred Falke remix)".
  • This episode marks the second appearance of CGIS agent Abigail Borin who made her first ever appearance in the Season 7 episode, Jurisdiction (episode).
  • The age of consent in the District of Columbia is actually 16 years old. Therefore, Devin Lodge would not be committing statutory rape there. This error is most likely due to the fact that the series is shot in California where the age of consent is 18 years old.
  • Kimberly sneers at Wayne that she's the only person named in Jeremy's will, meaning that even if Wayne serves less time in prison than she does, she'll still get the entire estate. In fact, according to the common law "slayer rule", which has been enacted into statute in all U.S. jurisdictions, murderers are specifically prohibited from inheriting from their victims' estates, regardless of whether they are named in the victim's will or not. Under most such statutes, a criminal conviction for murder (based on "beyond a reasonable doubt") is not even necessary, it is sufficient for a civil court to find the person "reasonably likely" to be guilty of murdering his or her victim.


Series Regulars

Name Portrayed by Role
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Mark Harmon Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Anthony DiNozzo Michael Weatherly Senior Agent and second-in-command of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Ziva David Cote de Pablo NCIS Probationary Agent and also a member of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Timothy McGee Sean Murray (actor) Junior Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Abigail Sciuto Pauley Perrette Chief Forensic Specialist of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Leon Vance Rocky Carroll Director of NCIS.
Donald Mallard David McCallum Chief Medical Examiner of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.

Recurring Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Abigail Borin Diane Neal Special Agent with the CGIS.

Other Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Wayne Grossman Roark Critchlow The Nolan's Attorney and in house counsel.
Kimberly Nolan Tiffany Dupont First Lieutenant Jeremy Nolan's sister.
Tom Adams Patch Darragh CFO of the Nolan Corporation.
Devin Lodge Tyler Hynes Boyfriend of Kim Nolan who is later arrested for having sex with an underage minor.
Jeremy Nolan Wes Brown Victim and a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
Jared Bratton Leith M. Burke Captain in the United States Marine Corps.
Steve Mehlman Kurt Scholler A passenger on the pleasure cruise.
Bouncer (Ships in the Night) Christopher Guyton A man who appears in the episode.
Bouncer 2 Chris Guzzi Uncredited role.
Doug Fisher Gino Pesi
Kyle Dansby Wayne Roberts Uncredited role.
  v - e - dNCIS Season 8
Spider and the Fly (episode)Worst Nightmare (episode)Short Fuse (episode)Royals and Loyals (episode)Dead Air (episode)Cracked (episode)Broken Arrow (episode)Enemies Foreign (episode)Enemies Domestic (episode)False Witness (episode)Ships in the Night (episode)Recruited (episode)Freedom (episode)A Man Walks into a Bar (episode)Defiance (episode)Kill Screen (episode)One Last Score (episode)Out of the Frying Pan (episode)Tell-All (episode)Two-Faced (episode)Dead Reflection (episode)Baltimore (episode)Swan Song (episode)Pyramid (episode)