NCIS Database

The Truth Is Out There is the seventeenth episode in NCIS Season 1 and the 17th episode of the entire NCIS series.


The NCIS team investigate when a Petty Officer is found dead at an underground rave party after falling through the ceiling. During a search of the victim's room, the team soon find out that he was taking bribes and Gibbs believes that the victim's colleagues are involved but while forensic evidence is linking them to the scene, the group that confess that it was a prank gone wrong. However, Gibbs believes that one of the group is responsible for the Petty Officer's murder.


The scene opens on an underground rave where a late-night party is being held and people are enjoying themselves.

A Nightclub Dancer eventually makes his way through the crowd and once he's reached the head, he begins gasping with relief as he starts urinating.

However, he notices tiny droplets on blood falling from the ceiling, some of which eventually hit his shirt. He looks up and realizes that there's a crack in the ceiling.

Once he's finished urinating, he zips himself up and using a trashcan to give him some leverage, touches the ceiling with his index finger.

The second he does that, the ceiling falls apart which causes him to fall back against the wall in shock.

It then cuts to a young man who's lying on the ground, dead.

Act One

A few hours later, the underground club has become a crime scene with the local police around there.

As Leroy Jethro Gibbs heads off to the crime scene, Anthony DiNozzo Junior tries to cheer up Caitlin Todd in regards to the terrorist who escaped in the previous episode but Kate isn't in the mood.

They soon get inside where Kate states that they're never going to see the terrorist again but Tony knows that Gibbs will.

Eventually, the team arrive at the crime scene where NCIS Medical Examiner Donald Mallard is, studying the body. He tells Gibbs that he got here before them and that he visited his assistant, Gerald Jackson who's going in rehab for the next few months before Ducky tells Gibbs that he wants the terrorist on his table.

Kate begins taking photos while Tony laser-sketches the scene.

Ducky then tells them that the dead man expired at 1am and that the victim has been identified as Petty Officer Chris Gordon and that Petty Officer Gordon is a S.K stationed at Petty Officer. The whole thing looks normal except for the fact that someone dressed him after he died.

Gibbs is more concerned about how Gordon ended up in the ceiling.

Outside, the team find traces of blood on the door.

Gibbs then heads off and gives out the orders: Tony is to do a hundred-meter perimeter search while Kate is to keep on taking photographs.

Tony soon spots brake marks on the ground and notes that if they were brake marks, they'd be light before darkening which means that whoever killed Petty Officer Gordon wasn't slowing down one bit. He was accelerating.

When Tony remarks that no-one saw Gordon die, Gibbs grimly states that the only person who did was the one who killed him. He then orders the area to be preserved for evidence before asking where the guy who ran the illegal nightclub is.

An Alexandria Cop then arrives and tells Gibbs that the local police interviewed the guy in question before letting him go.

Gibbs is in disbelief about that but the Cop defends himself by stating that the guy had to leave.

A while later, the team arrive at a boarding school and interview Darin Spotnitz who at first is cagey about talking to them but he eventually relents, telling them he didn't see or heard anything the previous night.

Once the interview is over, Kate realizes that Spotnitz cleared 8,125 dollars in a single night.

Tony then remarks that he should have majored in business.

The team's next stop is Petty Officer Gordon's quarters and they begin searching his place with Gibbs noticing that the place has been tossed.

Tony and Kate get distracted by what the person or people in question were looking for before Gibbs tells them to get to work.

A search of Gordon's room finds nothing of interest except for the fact that he was immune to germs and that he was a big fan of reality TV.

Gibbs soon realizes that there's a problem with the speakers and once he has managed to get the speaker open, finds money stashed inside.

It then cuts to the bills in Gibbs's hands.

Act Two

Tony and Kate are stunned by the money which adds up to 40,000 which Gibbs remarks is a perfectly good motive for someone wanting to kill Petty Officer Gordon.

The team arrive at Pax River and interview Master Chief Petty Officer Vince Nutter who tells them that Gordon hung around with four guys and the group is nicknamed "The Five Musketeers".

When Gibbs tells him about the money, Nutter is surprised although he doesn't believe that Petty Officer Gordon was involved in drugs or gambling.

The team soon leave with Kate remarking that Gibbs wasn't subtle with that kickback comment and Gibbs tells her he wasn't trying to be.

Back at the morgue, Ducky has finished the autopsy and tells Gibbs that Gordon had numerous fractures including a single skull fracture that killed him.

Ducky then tells Gordon had a substance on his hands which Abby is working on but Ducky guesses that it's baby powder.

Gibbs then learns that Gordon was wearing something, probably a helmet or something on his head when he got hit and he can understand why Ducky's so confused.

In the lab, NCIS Forensic Scientist Abigail Sciuto has identified the latex as being gray latex or rubber. She tells Gibbs what she's found so far and that she matched the tyre track that they found at the crime scene.

She gives him a list of the four vehicles that have that specific tyre and then tells that him Gordon's blood alcohol level was 0.10 which means that he was legally drunk when he died. She confirms that the substance on Gordon's hands is baby powder and tells him that she's having a program emailed to her that will hopefully help recreate the accident.

When Abby asks Gibbs about his fetishes, Gibbs tells her that he's got three ex-wives and that he can't afford any fetishes.

Up in the bullpen, Kate asks what level Tony is but Tony refuses to tell, claiming it's personal.

Gibbs comes in and announces that it's 15:20.

Tony expresses hope that they're getting off early but Kate picks up on the fact that Gordon's buddies are coming on duty at 16:00.

"The four musketeers", Gibbs says.

In Interrogation, Gibbs is interviewing Howard Carter, James Morgan, David Bowman and Wong who tell him what they find.

Wong is surprised by the amount of money that they found in Gordon's room but insists he doesn't know anything about it.

When Gibbs asks them what cars they drive, the fact that Wong drives a Taurus sets off bells.

Kate soon discovers that the list Abby gave Gibbs has Taurus on it and she sends a message to Gibbs informing him that Taurus is the one of the cars that uses the exact same make of tyres that was found at the crime scene.

Wong tells Gibbs that his brother has his Taurus because he's on his way to Phoenix to meet a girl he met online.

In the bullpen, once the interrogation's ended, the team compare notes and their description of the mystery woman is simply, "She's super hot".

Gibbs orders an APB be put on Wong Taurus's and that Kate and Tony go talk to Antwane Mann. At his shop, Mann tells them that he was a bouncer at Spotneitz's party.

Mann then tells them that a man left with a girl and it's shown that the photo is that of Petty Officer Wong.

It then cuts to Tony and Kate who look at each other, stunned.

Act Three

In the bullpen, the team regroup to compare notes along with the fact that the four Petty Officers lied about how they were with and that the 40 thousand dollars found in Gordon's room gives someone a motive for wanting him dead.

Gibbs then gives them a hint by telling what Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein, "Follow the money".

A while later, Tony and Kate are going through the notes and after some searching, come up the theory that Gordon was being blackmailed but they've got no idea who was blackmailing the victim.

In Abby's lab, her new program has arrived and she's busy showing Gibbs a CGI remake of the accident. She's also determined that the car that hit Gordon was either a Taurus although she soon expresses doubt, stating that the other car might be a Mercury Sable.

While looking through Gordon's wallet, Tony finds a pre-paid phone cards which makes no sense given that Gordon had a cell-phone.

The search eventually leads them to the Bartex Corporation and they discover that the corporation was recently awarded with a two thousand hundred million contract for the new generation of carrier fighter jets by the U.S Navy.

As a result, the blackmail theory gains ground and Master Chief Nutter is at the top of the list.

Gibbs arrives, demanding to know about the parking permits at Pax River.

Tony tells all the cars have checked out except for Wong's Taurus which is between D.C and Phoenix. He then discovers that Nutter drives a Mercury Sable and with that in mind, the team head off to Pax River.

Unfortunately, once they've gotten to Pax River, Master Chief Nutter isn't there although Petty Officer Carter gives them Nutter's cell-phone number.

Gibbs then calls Abby and she begins tracing the phone number once Nutter's answered. She soon pinpoints the location as being 18900 Beallsville Road.

When Gibbs asks her what's there, Abby tells him that it's the Bartex Corporation.

They descend on Nutter just as he's leaving the parking loft and Nutter tells them that Bartex offered him a position. As such, he's considering taking it again.

While Gibbs talks to Nutter, Kate and Tony search the car although it reveals that the body-work is still the same which means that there's no way Nutter is the one responsible for Gordon's death.

The team are heading back to HQ but for once, Gibbs is driving slowly.

However, Gibbs eventually mumbles that they're not going to lose again and spins the car around, essentially going back the way they came.

As they head back, Gibbs informs them that they're not leaving until they've found out who hit Petty Gordon.

With that, the team gets to work.

A intense search of the site leads the team to discovering the same latex that was on Gordon's body when he was killed and a footprint with the name, "Pax River".

Tony soon discovers cigarettes that belong to Petty Officers Morgan and Carter probably smoked and there's also the mark of a tripod on the ground as well.

Gibbs then realizes that Gordon's murder was filmed.

Kate wonders what was filmed?

Gibbs imagining what happened to Navy Petty Officer Chris Gordon.

It then cuts to Gibbs who puts his hands together, imagining what happened in his mind.

Act Four

The four musketeers have been dragged back to NCIS for an interrogation and they squirm upon seeing their colleague's dead body.

When Petty Officer Carter asks if he can be excused, Gibbs reminds him that the opportunity left three days ago.

It then cuts to interrogation where the four Petty Officers are in the room, looking increasingly agitated.

Tony bets that Carter's going to wet his pants before Morgan does.

Gibbs asks about the videotape and Kate tells him that Abby's cleaning it up right now.

With that, the team head into Interrogation and Tony starts by remarking that they've never ever put four people into a single Interrogation room. Kate states that it's because NCIS doesn't want comparing stories or conspiring to hide the truth from the authorities.

Tony tells the Petty Officers that they're willing to make an exception.

Gibbs then sits down in front of the Officers. He tells them that he knows everything and that it's just a matter of time.

Kate then picks up, stating that the time is how much they're going to be spending at Leavenworth if they don't co-operate.

Morgan cracks first, insisting the whole thing was a joke but Wong tells him to shut up and asks for a lawyer.

Gibbs remarks that if he were in Wong's shoes, he'd want a lawyer too.

Carter then interjects, wanting to know what if they co-operate.

Wong then tells his friends that all NCIS has is a strip of rubber and that they can charge them, they would have already. Tony then asks Wong about his car.

Kate then tells if he knows how hard it is to get rid of blood stains nowadays.

Wong wants to know if they've got his car but he soon goes against it, believing that they don't have his car and that they're just bluffing.

Gibbs then tells Wong that they don't need his car and produces the small video-tape, stating that they've got this instead.

A TV complete with a VCR is then brought into Interrogation and as Tony begins setting up the equipment, Kate tells the Officers that they should never put anything on screen that they don't want to be seen.

Tony then tells them, "Just like Paris Hilton".

Gibbs tells them that they had their chance to come clean and that if they had done so, it would have helped with the sentencing.

Morgan tries again and his other two colleagues except for Wong start joining in.

When Gibbs asks whose idea it was, Carter insists that it was Gordon as he'd been planning the whole thing for months. He then states that it was payback for the time Wong had set him up on a blind date with a transvestite.

Wong yet again intervenes, stating they've got to stick together but Morgan tells him it's their fault that Gordon's lying on a slab.

Carter then tells Wong that while he can live with it, Carter can't.

Gibbs then asks about the girl mentioned earlier and wonders if she was someone's girlfriend.

Carter tells him the girl was a call-girl.

It then cuts to a flashback where the girl, Zoey is with Gibbs stating that they got her to lure Wong out of the club into the parking lot for their joke. She accidentally bumps into Wong and apologizes before the two begin flirting.

She invites him to dance and without waiting for an answer, drags him onto the dance floor.

The two get into the groove and she asks him if his car's in the parking lot. Wong tells her it is and they then leave the club.

As the flashback ends, it comes back to the present and sets onto Wong who's looking grim. Gibbs tells him it must have been some girl before asking who was in charge of the set-up in the vacant.

Carter tells him that he and Gordon were responsible.

It then cuts to another flashback where the two are getting ready for the prank and they both remark it's going to be legendary.

They then begin setting up the whole thing.

Carter urges Gordon to hurry up, telling him that the girl's going to be bringing Wong out soon.

The two then begin arguing over the camera and once they realize the camera's in the car, they go back to get it, leaving the tripod there.

In the present, Gibbs tells them it looked like they had everything organized.

Kate asks them what went wrong.

They all hesitate before Bowman tells them that Wong panicked.

It then cuts to another flashback where it shows Wong and Zoey kissing, unaware they're being filmed as Morgan and Bowman look on, amused.

A series of flashing lights then get Wong's attention and as Zoey asks him what's wrong, Wong asks her if she saw some lights. Zoey assures him that she didn't and begins kissing Wong again.

Carter tells them to cue the dry and urges Gordon to haul ass.

It then cuts to a box where two chemicals have been mixed in, creating a smokey effect and smoke then begins rising out of the box.

Morgan's still filming the whole thing and Carter remarks that Wong's going to have a heart attack.

Back in the present, Kate tells Wong that he doesn't appear to be the type that scares easily.

Wong insists that he didn't know Gordon was behind the whole thing.

In another flashback, Wong and Zoey are still kissing, only for a single loud noise and a flashing sound to interrupt them.

They then see someone or something walking towards them and as the two begin freaking out, it shows that the camera's still being filmed. Zoey urges Wong to do something since the thing is coming right at them.

Wong searches for his car keys and remarks that he can't find them while behind the scenes, his colleagues are laughing.

As Zoey continues screaming, Wong soon gets the engine going and puts his foot down on the peddle.

Not realizing the truth, the car races forward. Gordon yells "No!" but it's too late and the car hits Gordon, killing him instantly while causing his body to hit the ground.

Back in the present and as the flashback disappears, Morgan tells Gibbs that Gordon was their best friend and they killed him.

It's shown that he, Carter and Bowman are crying while Wong is remaining strangely dry-eyed over what happened.

Gibbs then asks about the forty thousand dollars they found in Gordon's room and the three Officers state that they didn't know Gordon had that kind of money.

The three insist that this was an accident and that they never should have attempted to hide the body.

Gibbs then asks Wong if it's true.

Wong simply shakes his head, telling them the only thing he's guilty of is manslaughter and that they saw the tape.

Gibbs then shows the small tape he's holding and asks about it.

Wong is still stone-faced.

Gibbs remarks that it isn't his tape but Wong is in it.

Gibbs places the tape into the VCR and once the TV's switched on, it shows Wong with Gordon at a bank.

Gibbs who is standing behind Wong tells him that twenty-two year olds cashing 40 thousand dollar inheritance cheques is something bank tellers tend to notice.

It then freezes on Wong and Gordon laughing and smiling.

Despite being stunned, Wong insists it was an accident but Gibbs has a surprise for him.

Kate opens the door and Zoey being accompanied by a female agent, walks in. Kate asks her if Wong knew it was a prank. She silently nods yes and Kate wants to know how much Wong gave her to keep quiet.

"One thousand dollars", Zoey replies.

Morgan is in disbelief at the news and again, Zoey nods. She tells them that his friend was trying to get even with him.

The other Petty Officers glare at Wong, stunned and realize that he knew all along.

Wong simply says nothing and hangs his head, ashamed.

In the bullpen, Tony's preparing to leave for the night when he stops by Kate's desk.

He asks her if she had any plans.

She tells him she did but it's too late.

Tony then invites her to eat some Chinese food with him at the new restaurant down the street and Kate agrees to go.

She wants to ask Gibbs but Tony tells her he's busy.

It then shows Gibbs who's standing at his desk and when Kate wants to know, Tony tells her he's doing the same thing he does every night.

Realizing there's no sense in reasoning with Gibbs at the moment, Kate leaves the bullpen with Tony joining her seconds later.

It then cuts to Gibbs who's sitting at his desk, a ball clenched in his left hand as he watches his computer go through every single database in an attempt to find the unknown terrorist.

He just sits there, unblinking and still staring at the computer screen, hoping for an answer.


Series Regulars

Name Portrayed by Role
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Mark Harmon An NCIS Special Agent in charge of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Anthony DiNozzo Junior Michael Weatherly The Senior Agent of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team and also the second-in-command.
Caitlin Todd Sasha Alexander A Secret Service Agent previously assigned to the Presidential Protection Detail on Air Force One and who is now an NCIS Special Agent as well as Tony DiNozzo's partner.
Abigail Sciuto Pauley Perette A Goth who is also the Chief Forensic Scientist and who also works for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Donald Mallard David McCallum NCIS's Chief Medical Examiner.

Guest Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Vince Nutter Brian Thompson Master Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy who's assigned to Pax River.
Howard Carter Leonard Roberts A Petty Officer at Pax River.
James Morgan Chris J. Johnson A Petty Officer at Pax River.
David Bowman Ryan Tasz A Petty Officer at Pax River.
Wong James Huang A Petty Officer at Pax River and Petty Officer Gordon's killer.
Chris Gordon Joshua Bitton A Petty Officer in the United States Navy who was assigned to Pax River and also the murder victim. Uncredited role.
Darin Spotnitz Adam Wylie A schoolboy and also a businessman.
Zoey Jennifer Lyons The young woman Wong blackmailed to keep quiet about Chris Gordon's death.
Antwane Mann Reginald Ballard A bouncer who runs his own hair saloon.
Alexandria Cop Harry Hutchinson A cop at the crime scene.
Johnny Alex Weed A man who appears in the episode.
Nightclub Dancer Joseph Benjamin Stewart Uncredited role.
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