NCIS investigate when the body of a man is found in a chimney chute on a marine base with the team discovering that he might have been a serial killer but all is not what it seems...
In an underground building site as a rat scurries across a pipe, Miles Larson is telling someone to check the eyeball and that they should hook that come-along.
"Okay, set up the belt", someone states.
Larson tells the other men or "ladies" to get ready and that they should put their backs into it.
As the others work, Larson states when he was their age, he could do this by himself.
"Sure you could", someone mutters.
Larson then shows off his muscles or "pythons" before announcing that he could lift a 400-pound load back in the day.
Another man states that he remembers her name: Liza Scarpizzi.
Everyone laughs or groans at that with Larson agreeing, stating that Scarpizzi was one Hell of a woman.
Larson then tells them to get this thing out of here and that he's got a furnace waiting to go in before telling them to come on.
It looks like progress is being made but Larson, after spotting something, tells them to hold on. He then grabs a walkie-talker and talk to Mannie.
Larson believes that it's a partial obstruction in the smokestack.
Mannie remarks that he can see it from here and that it's probably carbon build-up.
Larson tells Mannie to clean it out.
Mannie states that he's doing it right now.
Larson then tells everyone that anyone who doesn't want to make an ash of themselves should step back.
Seconds later, the stuff in question comes down, bringing it with dust.
Larson tells Mannie to hold it and that they've got more than carbon coming down here.
"Copy that", Mannie states.
Larson then cautiously approaches.
It then cuts to show that the object is that of a body or rather an unrecognizable, deccyed body of an unknown man.
The next morning, in the bullpen, as he scrolls through photos of the female victims, Tony tells Ziva that he's seen a lot of things since he became a cop but this?
A guy who tortures and murders nineteen women and gets off on eating their toes?
Tony believes that whoever whacked this sick freak did NCIS and the world a favor.
"And our job is to arrest them", Ziva replies. "Makes perfect sense to me".
McGee then chimes in, stating that justified or not, it's still a crime and that you cannot take the law into your own hands.
As McGee walks back to his desk, having left a file on Gibbs's desk, Tony remarks, "Unless it's your little sister wanted for murder, right, Probie?".
"You know what I mean", McGee states.
Tony then hits a button while showing photographs of the dead women and wondering if they were McGee's sister.
McGee states that his point is that they cannot investigate the crimes they want to.
"McGee's right", Gibbs announces, walking in. "Does anyone have a problem with that?".
"No, boss, it's just..", Tony begins.
"Just what, DiNozzo?", Gibbs wonders.
"Some days, this job really sucks", Tony replies.
"Yeah?", Gibbs wonders. "Well, it's about to get worse".
As Gibbs says that, Fornell and Stacks arrive in with Gibbs announcing that Ziva and Tony are with Sacks on this one.
"Doing what?", Tony wonders.
Gibbs states that they're to come up with a list of people who wanted Bright dead.
"Besides everyone in this room?", Ziva chimes in.
"Except for McLawyer over there", Tony says.
McGee then states that all he was saying but gets interrupted by Gibbs who tells McGee to go check on Abby and see if she needs any help.
With that, McGee leaves.
As McGee heads off, Gibbs wonders if Fornell's running a little late today.
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?", Fornell grumbles, pinning the traditional NCIS Visitors Badge to his jacket.
"Oh, slightly more than that", Gibbs states before telling Fornell to come on.
Fornell wants to know what.
Gibbs announces that Ducky's got something for them.
In the morgue, Ducky announces that there wasn't any recoverable tissue from any of the remains and that all four bodies were completely stripped to the bone.
"Yeah, I can see that, Duck", Gibbs states before asking how long they were in the ground.
Ducky tells them that shallow graves, exposed to the elements and that all four women could have been there for decades or for as little as six months.
Fornell states that they know it's gotta be at least five years.
"Do we, Tobias?", Ducky wonders.
Fornell stands his ground, stating unless Bright figured out a way to climb in and out of that smokestack.
Ducky remarks that for what it's worth, he agrees with Fornell but down here, they deal in facts.
"Meaning you don't know?", Gibbs wonders.
Ducky admits that they don't know yet.
"You couldn't have told me that over the phone?", Gibbs says.
Ducky tells Gibbs that he could have before telling Gibbs that's not the reason Ducky called Gibbs down here.
As they head back down to Ducky's table, Ducky remarks that he took the liberty of reviewing the profile that the FBI prepared on their serial killer eight years ago and reveals that in order to disguise his predatory nature, Bright had to be methodical, precise, cautious almost to a fault.
"Your point?", Fornell demands.
Ducky then states that if the FBI's finest couldn't get Bright, then Ducky's wondering who did.
Gibbs then realizes that Charles Bright knew his own killer before telling Ducky that's great work.
As Gibbs leaves, Fornell's still in the dark.
Ducky fills Fornell by telling Fornell how could someone else get close enough to Bright to stab him to death with a screwdriver.
Fornell silently thanks Ducky and leaves.
As Gibbs heads into the lift, he's on the phone to DiNozzo with Gibbs telling to concentrate on the high school and that someone there had to have a personal connection to Bright.
As this happens, Fornell slips in just as the doors are closing.
DiNozzo remarks that he's on it with Gibbs telling DiNozzo to find him.
In the lab, Abby remarks that she's a forensic scientist and that she doesn't need anyone checking up on her but what she does need is to date those bones AKA the ones found in Beef Jerky's back yard.
As this goes on, McGee is busy reading a card that came with some black flowers.
"Marty?", McGee says.
Upon hearing the name, Abby stops and then brightens up as an idea forms, stating why didn't she think of that? As she begins typing, she states that Marty got his degree in Forensic Botany at Penn State.
With a photo of the bones on her monitor, Abby remarks that the roots grew into the bones and realizes that if Marty can ID the plant, then he can also give them a rough estaime as to when they were buried.
She then congratulates McGee.
However, Abby stops and asks McGee how did he knew what Marty majored in?
McGee calmly tells her that he didn't before wondering who Marty is.
"He's just a friend", Abby remarks.
McGee then reads the message that says "Being with you makes me believe that size truly doesn't matter, Abby".
Abby then admits that Marty is a really good friend.
Up in the bullpen, DiNozzo is typing with Sacks wondering where the Hell did DiNozzo learn to type. DiNozzo then asks Sacks if he minds and Sacks's breath is taking the starch out of DiNozzo's own collar.
As DiNozzo gives Sacks a taste of his breath, ie, DiNozzo breathing in Sacks's face, Gibbs and Fornell arrive, both holding coffees and wondering at the same time what they've got.
Ziva reveals that the staff's still present from five years ago and all claim not to have known Bright.
Fornell remarks that if they murdered the guy and stuffed him down a chimney, that's not surprising.
Gibbs then calls on DiNozzo with DiNozzo telling Gibbs that he's running a list of substitute teachers who used to teach with Gibbs stating that Charles Bright's wife is a teacher and that she taught 3rd grades before asking DiNozzo to check if she ever worked at Puller.
DiNozzo remarks that they checked for Brights already and there are none.
Gibbs wants her maiden name checked.
Ziva reveals that Karen Bright's maiden name is "Burris".
DiNozzo enters the name into the system and announces that they've got a hit: Karen Burris who subbed for Social Studies and Western History in 2001 and that the Social Security number is listed the same as Bright's wife.
Gibbs and Fornell just look at each other.
A while later, Abby arrives into Marty's lab and she's greatly impressed with the technology and equipment, remarking that her mama always told her that big things come in small packages.
Marty then gets up, remarking what a coincidence and that his mother warned him about tattooed girls bearing samples.
Abby remarks that she's talking about Marty's lab and that she loves it.
"Yeah?", Marty says. "Pretty sweet, huh?".
Abby remarks that she'd kill for half of this equipment.
"Really?", Marty wonders. "What would you do for all of it?".
Abby just looks at Marty and smiles.
In Observation, Tony wonders what Ziva's crazy ninja sense is telling her with Ziva believing that Karen Bright is scared.
"I mean about whether she shanked Beef Jerky and dropped him down the wishing well?", Tony wonders.
As this goes on, it's shown that they're both staring at Karen Bright who is now sitting in the Interrogation Room, alone.
Ziva wonders what would Tony do if he woke up and found that he was married to a monster.
Tony states that it happened to his father all the time and that they usually just moved.
"That explains it", Ziva remarks.
As Tony stares at her, the door to Interrogation opens and Gibbs and Fornell arrive in.
As Fornell sits opposite Karen, Gibbs tells Karen that she was a substitute at Lieutenant General Lewis Puller High School and Karen admits that she's worked a lot of schools in the area before wondering what that has to do with this?
"Considering we found your husband petrified in the chimney there", Fornell states. "Quite a bit".
Karen just hangs her head.
Gibbs tells her that they know that this is hard but they're here to help. As he says that, Gibbs places photographs of the female victims in front of Karen.
Gibbs then remarks that it's important Karen tell them the truth.
Karen doesn't respond.
Fornell then wonders when Karen found out.
"Find out?", Karen says.
"That your loving husband was murdering women who looked just like you", Fornell replies.
As the last photograph is placed in front of her, Karen shakes her head, stating that she told them and that her husband didn't do those things.
Gibbs remarks that Karen's husband removed the toes from their left feet and he also thinks that Karen knows why.
Karen's body just shakes as she begins to silently weep.
Gibbs then wonders if Karen would take off her shoe and show them her left foot.
"Please", Karen begs.
"Karen", Gibbs states.
Karen then turns and Gibbs kneels, removing the heel while revealing that Karen's left foot is completely deformed except for the single thumb toe that has red nail polish on it.
Fornell reels it in by telling Karen that her husband was an evil man.
"That thing was NOT my husband", Karen snaps before stating that it wasn't the man she married and that it had to be stopped. She also states don't they see?
Karen also states that she had no other choice.
Fornell remarks that she could have gone to the police.
"And have my children live the rest of their lives knowing that monster was their father?", Karen says in tears. "No". She then states that she had to and that she had to protect them from it.
Meanwhile, Ziva and Tony are silently watching from Observation.
In Marty's lab, he mentions Gaultheria procumbens and that it's evergreen shrub and that it's more commonly known as "wintergreen" or "checkerberry".
Abby who's sitting at his computer is bringing a photo up with Marty stating that he needs to see a photo of where the sample was recovered from.
Abby states that it was taken from the fibula and tibia.
Marty tells Abby to go back to the wide shot.
Marty then tells her to go to that quadrant.
Abby brings it up with Marty remarking that it's a wintergreen about five meters from the remains and that judging by the thickness of the root, annual growth rate and the soil samples Abby brought him, they can calculate roughly how long the body's been buried.
As he gives Abby the calculator, Marty triumphantly reveals that it's plus or minus six months and as he heads over to another area, Marty states that they can tell it was a live sample by the tiny little offshoots forming off the main root before asking Abby if she wants to see.
But when he looks back, it's shown that Abby's gone.
Marty calls for her but there's no reply.
In Observation, Ziva remarks that if she'd been in the same position as Karen Bright, she can't have said that she would have done the same thing.
Tony then realizes that McGee was right about someone taking the law into their own hands.
Ziva just looks at him.
Tony then states that Karen Bright is lucky that she wasn't Charles Bright's last victim.
Fornell comes back into Interrogation, closing the door behind him and as he sits in front of Karen, he tells her that no-one should have to live through what she did.
Karen just nods.
Fornell then tells her that there's no jury in the world that wouldn't sympathize with her.
Karen just sobs.
Suddenly, a phone rings.
Fornell gets up and states that it isn't him.
Gibbs realizes that it's his cell phone ringing and he then answers it, wondering what it is.
In Observation, Tony's telling Ziva how much they want to bet that that's McGeek and that Rule Number 22 is never, ever bother Gibbs in Interrogation.
However, judging from the discussion of the phone call, Gibbs looks deeply horrified and disturbed which quickly catches Ziva's attention.
She tells Tony that she doesn't believe that's McGee.
Gibbs tells Abby that he's got it and thanks her before hanging up.
Back at the table, Fornell is telling a sobbing Karen that she's going to get through this.
Gibbs tells Fornell to get away from Karen.
Fornell gets off the table.
Gibbs walks around the room, stating that the bodies in the yard aren't from five years ago. Fornell wonders if they're older but Gibbs disagrees.
Karen, having realized that she's about to be exposed, has stopped crying.
Gibbs remarks that they're more recent than that.
Fornell just looks at Karen, puzzled.
Approaching Karen, Gibbs remarks to Fornell that Charles Bright wasn't the serial killer, Karen Bright herself is.
On cue, Karen looks up and her expression is now full of pure evil and hatred.
A while later, in the now empty bullpen, Gibbs and Fornell are both sitting at Gibbs's desk, both drinking coffee.
Fornell is still stunned by the twist, telling Gibbs that was.. before wondering how in God's name did they miss that?
Gibbs remarks that he doesn't think God had much to do with that.
Fornell then tells Gibbs if he knows what's gotten Fornell himself really freaked out?
Gibbs just looks at Fornell who states that if Charles Bright's body had gotten hung up going down that chimney five years ago, then Karen Bright would still be out there and that they would never have caught her.
Gibbs then tells Fornell that he can do one better than that.
Fornell disagrees, stating Gibbs can't top that.
Gibbs wants to know what a toe was doing in Charles Bright's stomach.
Fornell looks puzzled.
It then cuts to an overhead shot of Gibbs and Fornell who are sitting at the desk, both men lost in deep thought over what has been an emotionally draining case for both NCIS and the FBI.
- This was the most-watched episode of Season 4.
- Marty Pearson reappears from Once a Hero (episode).
- At one point Abby refers to the corpse as "Slim Jim". Slim Jims are a jerky-like treat that comes in the form of sticks and can be purchased in almost any convenience store in the U.S.
- In a conversation with Gibbs, Fornell claims to have been a member of the FBI team that captured serial killer Ted Bundy. Mark Harmon (Gibbs) portrayed Bundy in the TV movie The Deliberate Stranger.
|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.|
Recurring Cast Edit
|Jeanne Benoit||Scottie Thompson||Tony's girlfriend.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Ducky's assistant.|
|Tobias Fornell||Joe Spano||An FBI agent.|
|Michelle Lee||Liza Lapira||An NCIS Special Agent.|
|Marty Pearson||Michael Gilden||A friend of Abby's.|
|Trent Kort||David Dayan Fisher||An undercover agent with the CIA.|
|Ron Sacks||Don Franklin||An agent with the FBI.|
|Regine Smidt||Sandra Hess||An arms dealer associated with La Grenouille.|
Other Cast Edit
|Karen Bright||Mandy June Turpin||Charles Bright's wife and Amy's mother and also a serial killer.|
|Amy Bright||Marcella Lentz-Pope||Charles and Karen Bright's daughter.|
|Martin Quinn||Corey Stoll||An arms dealer.|
|Miles Larson||Christopher Michael Moore||A man who's the head of a building crew who discovers Charles Bright's body.|
|Rick Samson||Rico E. Anderson||A man who appears in the episode.|