In addition, it is also the final episode of the entire NCIS series to have Brian Dietzen (James Palmer) credited as Also Starring, a credit he has held since the Season 6 premiere episode, Last Man Standing (episode).
After learning that Vance has gone missing, the NCIS team search for Vance while attempting to find Harper Dearing who is seeking revenge against the Navy for his son's death. However, Dearing's final game plan involves launching an attack with both NCIS and the Navy Yard as the targets and when it finally occurs, the lives of NCIS and its personnel including those of Gibbs and his team are all threatened...
The episode opens with a recap of what happened over the previous episodes and ends with NCIS Special Agents Ziva David and Anthony DiNozzo informing their boss, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs that NCIS Director Leon Vance is missing and that they have no idea where he is.
In a small wooded area in Virginia, the NCIS Major Case Response Team are busy investigating and processing the scene where Vance's SUV has been left abandoned with assistance from the Virginia State Police.
As NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee examines the inside of the car for possible blood, his colleague, fellow NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo takes photograph of the boot which has Vance's luggage and a gift bag inside.
Once he's done, Tony tells McGee and also NCIS Special Agent Ziva David that he hates to do it but that Tony himself is going to go through Vance's luggage.
As McGee looks on, Ziva remarks that Tony has never been bashful about going through other people's belongings.
"Yeah", Tony remarks. "But this is Director Vance's stuff" before wondering if he really wants to know if Vance is a boxers or brief guy.
"Do you want me to?", McGee wonders.
Tony tells McGee or McCurious that he's got it covered.
McGee remarks that he knows this area and that this isn't part of Vance's usual route home.
As Ziva begins polishing for prints, she remarks that they're not even close to Vance's house.
Gibbs arrives over, wondering if they've got anything.
It then shows an overhead shot of the NCIS team processing the SUV while Virginia officers interview a witness and also an NCIS Special Agent assigned to Vance's protection detail.
As this happens, McGee tells Gibbs that Vance left his cell phone in the car and that Jackie Vance called a couple of times wondering where her husband is.
Gibbs asks if there's any prints.
"Totally clean", Ziva replies, frustrated.
NCIS Special Agent Russell Wallace then arrives over, greeting Gibbs.
Gibbs asks Wallace what the Hell happened.
Wallace explains that they landed at Andrews at 2230 and that he thought they should drive the Director home but that Vance wanted to get his SUV which was at the Navy Yard.
Gibbs wonders how Vance was when Wallace left him.
Wallace remarks that Vance was tired but fine and that they all were because it was a long flight. He then says that he was at home at about 0100 when Jackie Vance called him and that Jackie was worried.
Gibbs tells Wallace to go home with Gibbs telling Wallace to get some rest.
As Wallace leaves, Gibbs heads back to the team with McGee stating that there's no blood or signs of a struggle.
Gibbs announces that he'll call SECNAV and that they should get the Director's family into a hotel while they start a perimeter search with BOLOs, FBI and the police.
As the team head off to do that with Tony adding, "On it, boss", Gibbs looks out at the area which is composed of nothing but fields with horses in them.
"Where are you, Leon?", Gibbs wonders.
Meanwhile, in a coffin, Vance opens his eyes, startled by his new surroundings.
It's shown that the room appears to be some kind of chapel with windows that have various decorations or patterns on them.
Vance groans, obviously still groggy.
He then looks to see a skeleton lying next to him, the remains wearing a shirt.
This startles Vance and has him sitting up.
An overhead shot then shows that Vance is lying in some kind of coffin with the skeleton who is apparently dressed in a uniform associated with the United States Navy.
Vance looks at the window and then covers his eyes, still feeling the effects of the drug.
He glances down and sees a note pinned to the skeleton's chest with the note stating "Your king is vulnerable".
It then cuts to Vance who looks very angry.
Cole then looks Gibbs squarely in the eye, Cole remarking "Get out of here".
Gibbs stares back at Cole, silent.
Cole then tells Gibbs that the vehicle is too close to the building with Cole shaking his head.
They then glance down at a window where it's shown that Abby is busy getting things from her lab as she prepares to evacuate with Abby even slipping some CDs into her bag.
Back in the vehicle, Cole looks at Gibbs once again and tells Gibbs to go and to get Abby out of here.
Gibbs then looks back at Cole, stunned and in disbelief.
Cole just smiles and tells Gibbs that it's not the danger, it's the fun.
Gibbs stands there before he picks up the knife which he then hands to Cole who accepts it.
The two then exchange glances once again with Cole silently nodding.
Gibbs simply stands there, a wistful smile on his face before he leaves.
As soon as Gibbs has gone, Cole sits there, examining the C-4 and his right hand hover some cris-crossed red and yellow wires before he examines it, presumably searching for a weak spot.
Suddenly, the sound of a phone ringing interrupts Cole and he looks up, startled.
It then cuts to show that the phone which is now online has two words: "For Evan".
It then cuts to Cole who looks startled and horrified as realization starts to sink that this is it.
In the bullpen, McGee grabs his backpack and prepares to leave.
Meanwhile in the lab, Abby emerges, wearing her bag with Burt the hippo tucked under her left arm just as Gibbs comes running in.
As Abby grabs the Caf-Pow from her desk, Gibbs rushes to her side, shielding her with his body as the windows of the lab shatter from the impact with the explosion with the two of them crashing to the ground while Abby screams.
The explosion also causes the windows in the squadroom to shatter too, sending everyone in the room to the ground while McGee is caught off-guard by the blast before he and two more people, a man and a woman hit the ground, McGee grunting at the impact.
In the elevator, as the explosion takes effect, Ziva grabs onto Tony and the two of them fall to the ground just as the power goes off and debris falls onto the ground, plunging them into darkness.
The screen then goes black for a few seconds with nothing but silence.
Seconds later, it fades back into color and vision as it then shows a long beach in Miami, Florida.
Ducky is out for a walk on the beach in question while the waves crash back and forth with thunder crackling as well.
He then stops to admire the view.
Seconds later, Ducky's phone ring and he answers it cheerfully, only for disbelief to sweep across his face and for him to mutter "Dear God" as he learns of what's happened at NCIS.
Ducky then instantly wonders how many although the number is not revealed.
"Yeah, of course", Ducky states. "Well, tell them I'll be there right away" before remarking that it's imperative that no-one touch any of the deceased until he...
Suddenly, Ducky stops as he begins breathing heavily which has him taking his phone away from his right ear.
Experiencing great chest pain, Ducky then walks away but can only get a few meters away before he sinks to his knees, the pain too much to bear.
Ducky pauses for a second, still in great pain before he finally collapses into the sand, landing in a puddle of water, his eyes staring at nothing and his phone still in his hand.
It then cuts to show Ducky lying in the puddle, the only person on the beach while in the background, a single bird explores the beach.
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Anthony DiNozzo||Michael Weatherly||Senior Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||Junior Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Chief Forensic Specialist of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||Special Agent 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.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Assistant Medical Examiner.|
|Samantha Ryan||Jamie Lee Curtis||Head of the Department of Defense PsyOps (MISO) Division.|
|Harper Dearing||Richard Schiff||A reclusive billionaire and the man behind the terrorist attacks against the Navy. He seeks revenge against them because some faulty materials were responsible for killing Dearing's son, Evan.|
|Jonathan Cole||Scott Wolf||Member of the special operations team "Phantom Eight".|
|Breena Slater||Michelle Pierce||Jimmy Palmer's wife-to-be.|
|Victoria Dearing||Sheila Kelley||Harper Dearing's ex-wife.|
|Parker Ryan||Daniel Polo||Dr. Samantha Ryan's son.|
|Russell Wallace||Cassius Willis||An NCIS Special Agent who was tasked with guarding NCIS Director Leon Vance while Vance attended a NATO security conference in Prague.|
|Waitress||Debbie Jaffe||A woman who appears in the episode.|