A Man Walks into a Bar is the fourteenth episode in Season Eight of NCIS and the 176th episode of the entire NCIS series.
As the NCIS team investigate the murder of a Naval Commander who was due to retire in eighteen months, they also finds themselves going through a series of mandatory psychological evaluations with the sessions themselves also revealing personal issues within the team as well as a connection to an incident in the past that ultimately changed the team forever....
Captain Thomas Lind is glancing at the screen when Navy Information Systems Technician Victor Davies arrives in with a notification from Fleet Command concerning a change of assignment.
"Carry on", Lind says.
Davies nods and leaves.
Looking at the sheet, Lind remarks that they're heading for the East Sea to monitor North Korea activity off the coast.
He looks at Ensign David Howard and tells him to wake up Commander Reynolds with Ensign Howard to tell the Commander that the Captain wants to meet him on the bridge.
"Aye, aye, sir", Howard says before leaving and closing the door after him.
Lind then turns back to glance at the radar.
Later, Lind and another man head down the stairs with Lind remarking that he's trying to get this ship underway and what the Hell is so important that the XO couldn't come to him?
Lind then opens a door and heads inside, asking Ensign Howard where the Commander is and is there a problem?
Howard remarks that he found the Commander.
He then steps back, revealing the Commander who's lying in his bunk, dead, blood emerging from his lips and chest.
Lind looks horrified.
It then cuts to show a huge blood underneath the Commander which has stained his right hand and fingers red.
In his office, NCIS Director Leon Vance is busy talking to the SECNAV and tells the SECNAV that he understands before hanging up just as Gibbs arrives in.
As soon as he's hung up, Vance informs Gibbs that the Colonial is on lockdown.
- It's revealed that Tony's mother died when he was eight years old.
- The team meet Dr. Rachel Cranston who is later revealed to be the older sister of their deceased colleague, NCIS Special Agent Kate Todd.
- This episode features clips from (in order of appearance) the episodes being Aliyah (episode), Silver War (episode), Legend Part 2 (episode), Kill Ari Part 1 (episode), See No Evil (episode), Singled Out (episode), Hometown Hero (episode), Reveille (episode), Cloak (episode), Enemies Domestic (episode), An Eye for an Eye (episode), SWAK (episode), Yankee White (episode), Twilight (episode), Recruited (episode), Rule Fifty-One (episode), Truth or Consequences (episode) and Kill Ari Part 2 (episode). Among the clips used is also a lost scene that never aired, where Kate and Tony are talking on the rooftop which is taken from the Season 2 episode, An Eye for an Eye (episode).
- Guest star Scott Lawrence previously played the role of Commander. Sturgis Turner on JAG, NCIS's parent series.
- In the background of the last scene where Kate is talking to her sister on the phone, McGee can be seen sitting down at a computer and Tony is looking out of a window. This is from the season one episode, Dead Man Talking (episode) where the three of them are on a stakeout. In the same episode, she receives a call from a "Dwayne" and answers it in the same way, showing McGee and Tony in the background.
|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||NCIS Probationary Agent and also a member of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|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.|
|Dr. Rachel Cranston||Wendy Makkena||Psychologist conducting evaluations of the team, and Caitlin Todd's older sister.|
|Special Agent Caitlin Todd||Sasha Alexander||NCIS Special Agent and also Dr. Cranston's younger sister. Once part of the Secret Service Presidential Protection Detail, she later joined the NCIS team up and began her career which lasted up for a year and a half. However, it all ended in tragedy when in the last few seconds of the Season 2 finale, Twilight (episode), she died after being shot in the head by an old enemy of the team. It is revealed in the DVD commentary for this episode that Sasha Alexander came back to use her current voice during the phone call with her sister.|
|Captain Thomas Lind, USN||Scott Lawrence||A Captain on board the ship.|
|Admiral Wayne Hargrove, USN||Robert Newman (actor)||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Nancy Hargrove||Kim Johnston Ulrich||Wayne Hargrove's wife.|
|Ensign David Howard, USN||Brian Skala||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Petty Officer Rena Oliver, USN||Alexandra Barreto||A woman who appears in the episode.|
|Seaman Marcus Leonard, USN||Dustin Seavey||A Seaman with the United States Navy.|
|Navy Information Systems Technician Victor Davies, USN||Andrew Pattison||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Min Ho Kwon||Matthew Yang King||He was suspected to be the murderer. However, at the time of the murder he was sending photos of the weapons system to the North Koreans.|