NCIS Database

We Build, We Fight is the thirteenth episode of NCIS Season 12 and also the 271st episode of the entire NCIS series.

This episode also marks the directorial debut of Rocky Carroll (Leon Vance).


The NCIS team investigate when a Navy Lieutenant who was set to be the first openly gay service member of the United States military to receive the Medal of Honor is murdered with the resulting investigation reuniting them with DOD agent Hollis Mann while Palmer prepares to become a father for the first time.


Eric Kutzler is busy attempting to wash blood off his knuckles, only for Kutzler to wince.

Once he's finished, Kutzler grabs a towel and dries his hands.

He then grabs a glass and attempts to fill it up with water, only for Kutzler to drop the glass which hits the wall before shattering into pieces.

As Kutzler pulls his hand away, it reveals that a lone plastic package of small bottles sit there on the kitchen counter.

Kutzler grabs his cell-phone and quickly dials a number with a voicemail of Kutzler's husband, Vince Armstrong stating that he's not here and that the person calling should leave a message.

Kutzler tells Vince that it's him and that he should call him when he gets this.

With that, Kutzler hangs up and begins pacing back and forth, restless.

Suddenly, the lights in the kitchen go off, causing a dog to begin barking loudly.

"Oh, come on", Kutzler complains.

Using the light on his phone, Kutzler then grabs his jacket and heads outside.

Outside, Kutzler, having removed a panel then begins examining the wires associated with the house just as he hears some rustling.

This causes Kutzler to close the panel again and go, "Hello?".

But there's no response.

As he searches around for the person, Kutzler wonders if someone's there.

Suddenly, a dog jumps up, barking loudly which has Kutzler startled.

"Loki", Kutzler whispers.

As Loki begins barking, Kutzler remarks that Loki scared him half to death.

He then tells Loki to go and get inside.

Still growling, Loki then runs off.

Kutzler turns away from the gate and goes back to examine the panel again. He then hits a switch and suddenly, the power comes back.

As this happens, a lone masked individual arrives, presumably moving slowly so that they won't get spotted or heard.

Kutzler, meanwhile closes the panel again and then remarks that he thought he told Loki to...

Suddenly, a silenced gunshot is heard with Kutzler grunting as he is shot in the chest and a second shot sends Kutzler to the ground.

The killer then flees.

It then cuts to Kutzler who lies on the ground, dead.

Act One

Gibbs after learning from Hollis Mann that Navy Lieutenant Eric Kutzler was going to receive the Medal of Honor.

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

Act Five

Major Events

  • Breena Palmer, Jimmy Palmer's wife eventually gives birth to a baby girl who she and Jimmy eventually name Victoria Elizabeth Palmer.


  • The song playing in the last few minutes of the episode is Randall Kent- Going Home.
  • The area where Gibbs and Armstrong are seen talking at is the National Seabee Memorial, a sculpture dedicated to Seabee, the nickname given it to those who serve in the United States Naval Construction Forces (NCF). The word "Seabee" comes from initials "CB" which in turn comes from the term Construction Battalions. The full saying on the statue is "With compassion for others, we build- we fight for peace with freedom".
  • This episode would be marked as the final appearance of Breena Palmer, as she would sadly be killed off due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.


Series Regulars

Name Portrayed by Role
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Mark Harmon 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.
Timothy McGee Sean Murray (actor) Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Abigail Sciuto Pauley Perrette Chief Forensic Specialist for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
James Palmer Brian Dietzen Assistant Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Eleanor Bishop Emily Wickersham NCIS Probationary Agent.
Leon Vance Rocky Carroll Director of NCIS.
Donald Mallard David McCallum Chief Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.

Recurring Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Breena Palmer Michelle Pierce James Palmer's wife.
Hollis Mann Susanna Thompson Gibbs's ex-girlfriend who now works for the Department of Defense.

Other Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Xavier Meade Keith Sellon-Wright A Navy Rear Admiral.
Davis Riley Chris Coy A man who appears in the episode.
Eric Kutzler Andy Favreau A Navy Lieutenant and the main murder victim.
Vince Armstrong Alano Miller The murder victim's husband and also a Virginia State Trooper.
Mat Jebson Will Green The killer.