Truth or Consequences is the premiere episode of NCIS Season 7 and also the 139th episode of the entire NCIS series.
As the NCIS team struggle to cope with Ziva's departure from the agency as well as their respective lives, they find themselves being forced to return to work and adjust to some sense of normality while attempting to hire a new replacement although none of the women that are chosen seem to match up with the team's personalities or abilities. However, upon learning that Ziva may have died during her mission in the Horn of Africa, Gibbs, Tony and McGee, having been left grief-stricken by the grim news soon find themselves embarking on a mission of revenge as they seek to kill the leader of a terrorist camp Ziva had been tasked with finding down and eliminating but not everything is what it seems....
The episode opens with a recap of what happened in the previous episode before ending on a scene which shows terrorist Saleem Ulman asking his unidentified female captive to tell Saleem himself everything they know about NCIS.
It then cuts to show that the female captive Saleem is talking to is none other than former NCIS/Mossad Liaison Officer, Ziva David who has a half-swollen left eye, bruises all over her face and dried blood under her lips which suggests that she has been tortured.
Some time later, in a small building located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia, Saleem walks down the corridor, holding a small case.
As he approaches, the other man standing guard opens the huge door.
With that, Saleem heads inside and as he does that, he tells his captive that they will tell him all that they know, who they are, how they ended up here.
As he says that, he places the case down on a table and opens it before removing a syringe and as he prepares the syringe, Saleem also states, "What you are doing here" before telling the captive that they will talk.
The camera then pans around to reveal the captive sitting tied to the chair is none other than NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo who has slightly chapped lips and looks worse for wear with DiNozzo defiantly telling Saleem that he's not going to tell Saleem anything.
In the room and as big engines are heard flaring to life outside, Tony stares at Ziva, his expression giving nothing away before he swallows hard.
Ziva, meanwhile sits there, her own expression deprived of any kind of emotion before she states, "Out of everyone in the world who could have found me, it had to be you".
Tony silently nods before telling Ziva that she's welcome.
He then wonders if she's glad to see him?
Not looking at Tony, Ziva simply tells him that he should not have come.
Tony gives Ziva a puzzled look before stating all right and that it's been good catching up and that he'll be going now. He then makes to jokingly move, only to instantly fall down back as he remarks, "Oh. Oh, yeah. I forgot. Heh heh. Taken prisoner".
Ziva now looks at Tony, her expression a mixture of puzzlement and disbelief.
Still keeping her eyes locked on Tony, she asks McGee if he's all right.
From the floor, McGee stirs, replying that he's just glad Ziva's alive.
Ziva swallows before she tells Tony that he thought she was dead.
"Oh", Tony replies. "Oh, yeah".
"Then why are you here?", Ziva asks.
Tony states that McGee didn't think Ziva was dead.
"Tony", Ziva orders. "Why are you here?".
Tony tries to undo the ropes but grunts slightly before he tells Ziva that he couldn't live without her, he guesses.
Ziva manages half of a smile before grimly remarking that Tony will die with her.
Tony doesn't say anything.
Her gaze on the floor, Ziva remarks that Tony should have left her alone.
"Okay, tried", Tony says. "Couldn't".
He then tells her to listen and that she should know he's taken some kind of truth serum so if there's any questions she doesn't want to know the answer to...
Ziva states that she did not ask anyone to put themselves in harm's way for her and that she does not deserve it.
Tony wonders what she's doing out here.
Is she on some kind of a monastic experience?
Still looking at Tony, Ziva silently nods, telling him that it is justified.
Tony then tells her to get over herself.
"I have", Ziva replies.
She then orders Tony to tell Saleem everything that the terrorist wants to hear and that Tony and McGee should try to save themselves before admitting that she is ready to die.
"That's not how it works", McGee pipes up.
"How what works?", Ziva asks, puzzled.
"The plan", Tony replies.
Ziva is in disbelief at the figure that Tony has an escape plan.
Tony clicks his tongue at her and nods.
Ziva warns Tony that they have 30 men, heavily armed and that the men also have anti-tank, anti-aircraft weapons. She then wonders what does Tony have?
Tony simply shrugs before admitting that that's where things get a little tricky.
It then cuts to a flashback in the NCIS Director's Office which occurred in September where Vance says that they don't have it while Gibbs silently looks on as Tony voices his outrage, stating that they've got thermal activity.
Tony also states that they've got four-by-fours coming in and out while showing that Tony is holding a clicker connected to the main monitor in Vance's office. He also tells Vance that they don't know how much longer the guy's going to be and that they served this on a silver platter.
Vance remarks that Tony doesn't know that he's there at all.
As Tony looks on, horrified, Vance continues to say that they're not talking about kicking in a door and dragging a guy out in cuffs.
It's a military mission on foreign soil.
"And he's a target of interest", Tony says.
"And he's our only interest", Vance corrects.
He reveals that he's spoken with Joint Chies and also with Mossad before stating that the hard truth is they're not gonna send a SEAL team into the desert based on a theory that Saleem Ulman can't live without his daily Caf-Pow!
"Director!", Tony snaps.
Vance states that they need confirmation that Saleem is there and as he heads back to his desk, he says that they don't have it.
Tony looks on, stunned while Gibbs stays silent.
Vance then finishes by saying that under the present circumstances, they just can't do it.
As Vance sits down, Gibbs states that he wishes the circumstances were different.
"So do I", Vance replies grimly as he sits down at his desk.
It cuts to Tony who looks really annoyed.
He then drops the clicker onto the table and storms out.
As Tony opens the door and leaves, Gibbs and Vance share a small glance before Gibbs cracks a small smile and leaves, following Tony.
Outside the Office area, Gibbs calls Tony back by saying, "Hey? Hey!".
"What?", Tony snaps, frustrated.
Gibbs wonders is that it?
"Yeah", Tony replies. "What else is there?".
Gibbs then suggests that maybe they send a couple of agents to the region.
"What for?", Tony wonders.
"To gather some intel", Gibbs replies and that they should put some eyes on the target as well as change the circumstances.
"Change the circumstances?", Tony repeats, stunned.
"Yeah", Gibbs agrees.
Tony wonders if Gibbs can sell that to Vance.
"Oh, yeah", Gibbs replies before telling Tony that it's strictly investigatively.
Tony laughs before remarking, "Wow" and telling Gibbs that Gibbs and Vance have a whole little thing going that Tony himself isn't seeing.
He then states that he gets it and that wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Bob's your uncle with Tony remarking that he's hip and that he digs it.
Gibbs then announces that he needs volunteers.
"I volunteer myself and Special Agent McGee for the secret fact-finding mission thingy that's totally not in the Sahara", Tony replies.
He then wonders what Gibbs is gonna do.
As Gibbs leaves, he tells Tony that he doesn't want it.
Once Gibbs is gone, Tony mutters, "Good talk".
Sometime later, in a desert area of the Sahara which is completely engulfed by a small sandstorm, a small jeep drives through the storm.
In the passenger seat, McGee sarcastically thanks DiNozzo for "volunteering" him.
In the driver's seat, Tony tells McGee to come on and that McGee always said that he wanted to travel.
"On my own time", McGee insists.
"On your own dime?", Tony says, having to shout due to the jeep's loud engine before telling McGee is he crazy? And that they could never afford this.
After a drive, they arrive into a small, abandoned village of some sort with burnt-out houses.
As the jeep stops, McGee states that does it for quadrant whiskey four.
"Yeah", Tony agrees, getting out off the jeep.
He then looks and grumbles that there's no sighting, unaware of the mysterious dark figures emerging behind him as McGee tells him that he's gonna call it in with McGee dialing the satellite phone.
Turning around, Tony spots the goons and calls for McGee.
McGee looks up just in time to see the leader of the group emerge from his hiding spot which causes McGee to instantly drop the phone and raise his hands as the leader approaches, his gun aimed at McGee.
As the group surrounds them, Tony greets the group and states that they come in peace before asking McGee to say the thing.
McGee tries to say something in Arabic, only for the leader to approach and drag McGee out of the jeep.
"Say the other thing!", Tony insists.
As he heads over to the main area, McGee says something else in Arabic but gets hit in the stomach and head, knocking him to the ground while Tony receives the same treatment seconds later.
It then cuts to an overhead shot showing the two being captured by the group.
Seconds later, it snaps back to the present with Tony now grim-faced while Ziva sits there, stunned by what she's heard. She tells Tony to wait and that they got captured on purpose?
Dropping her voice, Ziva whispers that these men are killers.
"I know", Tony whispers before stating that's why they have to stay long enough to not get dead.
"That would involve being rescued", Ziva says.
"Yes, it would", Tony agrees.
As it pans to show Tony and Ziva talking to the background while McGee lies behind them, Ziva wonders how long it will take with Tony admitting that he doesn't know.
He then asks her how long does she think he's been talking?
"What's the plan?", Ziva asks in desperation.
Tony then remarks that they fail to contact Dubai and that word gets to the carrier group in the Med who scramble F-22 Raptors that burn glass to sand before stating, "How long that's gonna take? I don't know" and finishing that it could be hours or days.
Suddenly, men shouting Arabic is heard.
Ziva just looks at the floor, her hopes of a possible escape having been dashed with Tony asking her can she fight?
Suddenly, the door opens and as the guard steps back, Saleem arrives with Tony saying, "Oh, hey, Saleem. What's up, man?".
It then shows that Saleem is holding a knife is his left hand, revealing that he is left-handed as Tony wonders what the commotion is.
Saleem remarks that they're moving out.
"Oh, well, that's good", Tony replies before saying that he was getting kind of tired of this place.
Saleem then coldly reveals that they're not taking prisoners.
He then approaches the window and glances out.
"Oh, well, okay", Tony remarks. "It was nice talking with you".
Saleem states that they're not done yet before he stands behind Ziva, grabs her hair and then places the sharp dagger against her neck, Ziva's eyes widening in fright.
"If they do not check in, people will come looking", Ziva says.
Tony tells Ziva to shut up while Ziva tells Saleem to kill her and that he'll need the Americans for leverage but Saleem states that he doesn't make bargains.
"Do you make pizza?", Tony asks.
"What?", Saleem asks.
In that moment, McGee lashes out, knocking Saleem to the floor, causing Saleem to drop the dagger.
McGee scrambles for the dagger but stops upon seeing Saleem aim a gun at him.
Realizing the situation is dangerously close to slipping out of control, Tony orders Saleem to stop and tells Saleem that there's something Tony hasn't told him yet.
Ziva silently looks on, panic all over her face.
"And what is that?", Saleem asks while it's shown that he has his gun aimed at McGee with McGee having raised his hands in surrender.
Tony then tells Saleem that he told Saleem about the brains, the guts, the muscle, the scientist, the politician and the leader.
As this goes on, Saleem while pointing his gun at McGee manages to stand back up again and as Saleem approaches, Tony states that he told Saleem about every member of the team except for Tony himself and the part that Tony plays.
"Which is?", Saleem demands.
Meanwhile, McGee is on the ground, his hands above his face.
Tony then remarks that he's the wild card, that he's the guy who sees the reality in front of him and refuses to accept it. He then remarks that he should be terrified, right?
But he isn't.
Saleem silently looks on, still pissed off while Ziva looks at Saleem, weary.
Tony then remarks that he can't stop thinking the movie, "True Lies" where Arnie was strapped to the chair and shot full of truth serum before stating that Arnie picked his cuffs and killed everyone.
Saleem is slightly puzzled.
Suddenly, Tony reveals that Saleem has 30 seconds to live.
Ziva looks at Tony, puzzled.
Saleem scoffs, telling Tony that he's still bound and that Tony's lying.
"I can't lie", Tony rasps. "And I didn't say I was gonna be the one to kill you. Remember when I told you my boss was a sniper?".
Saleem just looks at Tony in disbelief.
Tony states back at Saleem, defiant, his eyes still locked on Saleem.
Seconds later, a lone bullet crashes through the window, shattering glass and sending pieces of it flying everywhere while Saleem falls to the ground, dead.
It then cuts to the freshly-made hole from the window and sweeps past a hill before landing on a mountain where someone in disguise is sitting there, smoke still rising from the sniper rifle.
The shooter looks up, revealing that it's none other than Gibbs himself who's also wearing a hidden mike on his left ear. He then examines the scene before saying "Go".
Down in the village, various choppers are heard flying overheard as the unseen leader of the Marine squad states, "Assault teams move out! Give me contact!".
Into the cell, as gunfire is heard raging in the background, McGee gets to his feet while Ziva simply looks up at the shattered window, completely lost for words.
McGee then steps over Saleem's body.
"Okay", Tony says, still struggling against the ropes that have kept him tied to the chair.
Suddenly, the guard who had let Saleem into the cell earlier bursts in, his weapon raised.
"Look out!", Tony yells.
On Tony's cry, another shot rings through the window with the guard dying before he can fire a single shot.
McGee then produces a knife and begins cutting at the binds with Tony stating, "Come on!" and "All right. Here we go" as McGee works frantically at removing the binds.
Ziva just looks at her two former colleagues, still stunned.
She then glances down at Saleem who lies on the floor, dead, blood pooling from an unseen wound, presumably in the side or back of Saleem's own head.
Seconds later, McGee and Tony leave the cell, the two men also carrying Ziva who presumably has been left in a badly weakened state.
As they make their way out onto the main area, with the gunfight still heard raging in the background, Tony has both his hands focused on carrying Ziva while McGee carries a gun in his left hand, possibly the one Saleem had.
For a few minutes, the three stagger through the alleyway before they encounter a terrorist who yells something in Arabic, causing the three to jump back.
However, the terrorist is later shot and he hits the ground, dead, surprising the three.
Tony and McGee simply look on, stunned while Ziva hangs between them, just as stunned.
Despite that happening, the three continue to walk on, stepping over the terrorist's body and as they turn a corner, they keep on walking before stopping, all three now completely frozen at the sight before them.
In the distance and standing before his team is Gibbs wearing his camouflage disguise and carrying his sniper rifle.
It then cuts back to Tony who is in disbelief, Ziva who looks completely stunned while McGee is smiling, obviously overjoyed.
Gibbs then looks at his team and remarks, "Let's go home".
Tony takes a look at Ziva and McGee before glancing at Gibbs while Ziva just hangs there, still stunned at what she's seeing while McGee rubs his nose.
It then cuts to a shot of Gibbs standing there before his team, bathed in light.
A few hours later, the team with Ziva in tow are all in the elevator heading for the Squad-room.
McGee stands there, silent, his green shirt slightly ripped with a bandage on his forehead as various cuts line his face, Ziva just looks back and forth, still not saying anything while Gibbs stands beside her, bruised with Tony behind them.
All four have various bruises, cuts and scratches on their respective faces.
"Just another day at the office", Tony remarks.
As the elevator continues going up, Ziva silently breathes a sigh of relief, the realization that her former NCIS colleagues saved her finally starting to sink in.
Seconds later, the elevator stops and a single ding is heard, revealing that they've arrived at their destination.
The elevator doors open, revealing the NCIS Squad-room which as usual is full as various workers or agents go around their day, some talking to one another while walking around or others at their desks, working.
As they prepare to head out, Ziva hesitates for a second before looking at Gibbs.
Gibbs looks to the side.
Outside, Ducky and Abby are in the Bullpen, waiting but upon seeing the group, Ducky and Abby both stop what they're doing and begin staring at the elevator, both obviously stunned.
Taking charge, Gibbs exits the elevator first followed by Ziva with McGee and Tony both right behind her.
On the stairway, Vance watches as the team emerge.
As the elevator doors close in the background, Gibbs and the others head into the bullpen while Abby heads for Ziva, Abby herself still completely stunned at seeing Ziva in the Squad-room.
Smiling and amazed at the fact that Gibbs and the team managed to rescue Ziva from Africa despite overwhelming odds being stacked against them, Vance begins clapping.
This prompts everyone to stop what they're doing and join in, various people nodding in appreciation or in awe at what Gibbs and his team have managed to achieve.
Now in the bullpen, Gibbs silently looks at Vance.
Vance smiles at Gibbs while still applauding.
His gaze still locked on Vance, Gibbs silently nods.
Meanwhile, Abby approaches Ziva and cautiously yet gently touches Ziva's face before Abby gives Ziva a hug while in the background, the applause continues to go on, showing no sign of winding down let alone stopping.
As the hug takes effect, Ziva blinks.
Tony then shakes Ducky's hand and pats Ducky on the shoulder before walking off as Ducky looks to McGee who's presumably glancing at Vance.
As Gibbs dumps his bag at his desk, the whole Squad-room has come to a halt as various people in the room continue applauding Gibbs and his team for their effort in successfully saving Ziva from being held prisoner in the Horn of Africa while Tony sits down at his desk.
In the alleyway leading into the Bullpen, Ziva has her hands placed on Abby's lower back as Abby continues hugging Ziva while McGee and Ducky look on.
As someone, presumably Vance heads back upstairs to possibly inform someone, maybe SECNAV what has happened, the camera pans over Abby's shoulder and shows Tony sitting at his desk, watching Ziva.
It then cuts to Ziva who blinks again and then manages a weak smile, the fact that she's back at NCIS finally starting to sink in.
- It's revealed that four years have passed since the events in the Season 2 finale episode, Twilight (episode).
- This is the first episode to have Shane Brennan credited as an Executive Producer in the closing credits alongside Donald P. Bellisario.
- The "Previously on NCIS" recap is missing from the Region 2 DVD version and the episode.
- Since James Palmer's introduction towards the end of Season 1, this and the Season 3 episode "Kill Ari Part 1" are the only season premieres not to feature him.
|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||Former Mossad Liaison Officer to NCIS who is later found alive but showing signs of torture. After Saleem is killed, she is brought back to the United States with her NCIS colleagues.|
|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.|
|Saleem Ulman||Omid Abtahi||Leader of an unnamed terrorist cell.|
|Claire Connell||Noa Tishby||Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA.|
|Chad Dunham||Todd Lowe||NCIS Special Agent who is stationed in Djibouti, but currently on assignment in Chad, Djibouti.|
|Heather Kincaid||Mercedes Masohn||Police Officer, Seattle. One of the candidates to fill the vacancy created by Ziva David's return to Mossad.|
|Dominic DiMarco||Marcus Brown||Petty Officer United States Navy (USN) and also a methamphetamine dealer who stabbed himself in order to divert suspicion away from himself during an NCIS investigation.|
|Rebecca Hastings||Sonita Henry||Captain, United States Air Force (USAF). One of the candidates to fill the vacancy created by Ziva David's return to Mossad.|