After vanishing nearly two years previously, a Navy officer's body is finally found in a car pulled from a lake. A celebrity private investigator claims that he discovered the body and he seeks to claim the reward money the dead man's family had been offering but NCIS are tasked with investigating and soon discover that the death might not be accidental and the victim's younger brother soon emerges as a potential suspect but Gibbs believes someone close to the investigation might be responsible.
It's October 2002 and a car is driving rather recklessly through the road when it lands into a lake.
As it sinks to the bottom, it shows Lt. Brian McAllister sitting in the front seat, dead from a wound to his forehead.
As the car descends further into the lake, it closes up on McAllister's fingers and as the two years presumably pass, the flesh disappears from the fingers, revealing skeletal remains.
In the bullpen, Anthony DiNozzo is avoiding another call from a woman and presses the end button, stating, "No. For the twenty-third time".
Unsurprisingly, the phone rings again, drawing Timothy McGee's interest in it.
Tony's partner, Caitlin Todd arrives in with lunch and asks Tony if he's going to answer that.
DiNozzo tells her he's in Hell. Kate wonders if they've got money there because he owns her 43 dollars and 86 cents for lunch. DiNozzo tells her that he'll gladly pay her back today if she answers this call.
Kate wants to know who it is. DiNozzo tells her it's a crazy ex-girlfriend, one whom he hasn't seen since college.
"Stalker?", Kate wonders.
"More like a stalk-him", DiNozzo admits.
When Kate wants to know what she should say, DiNozzo's at a loss, stating that she should tell his ex that she's his wife or something.
Kate gives him a glare while McGee gets up from his desk.
DiNozzo pleads with Kate to take the call, stating that the ex has been calling him non-stop for two days and once she's convinced that Tony's going to pay her back, Kate accepts the call, lying to the other woman that she and Tony are married, that they've got two kids and that they're very happy before ordering the woman not to call back again.
Kate then states that she needs a shower.
Unfortunately, DiNozzo goes back on his word by ordering McGee to pay Kate.
When he hands over the money, McGee tells Kate that DiNozzo bet him forty dollars that he could get Kate to say that she was his wife.
Kate isn't happy, stating that she's going to kill Tony for this.
Tony, on the other hand smiles rather smugly and begins eating the food, only for Leroy Jethro Gibbs to interrupt proceedings by stating that the file on Lt. Brian McAllister has to be pulled as a private investigator, Monroe Cooper has found the Lt's remains.
It then cuts to Cindy Ames, a reporter who's interviewing Cooper. Once Gibbs has switched off the TV, McGee demonstrates his knowledge about Cooper, regarding him as the man who solves the unsolvable.
Gibbs doesn't care and once that's passed, the team grab their bags and weapons, setting off for their newest scene although Tony returns to grab the file and his food.
On their way to the crime scene, with Gibbs driving and DiNozzo eating, Kate goes over what's in the file. During the drive, Tony reveals that his parents are wealthy and that he can't even get an advance on the will.
Gibbs calls for McGee who's sitting in the back and McGee wastes no time in telling them everything he knows about Cooper.
A single road-bump has McGee hitting the floor in the back again which also causes DiNozzo to lose his food.
Kate remarks that they should get a seat back there and when DiNozzo reaches over Kate's thigh, she angrily slaps him, demanding to know what he's doing.
DiNozzo states that he was looking for his fork but Kate knows for a fact that it's not there.
Gibbs just smiles.
They arrive at the scene and Gibbs orders DiNozzo to grab the gear and see if McGee's still alive.
While DiNozzo does that, Gibbs and Kate meet the local sheriff, Deke Lester who isn't too thrilled with Cooper although his divers did find a car at the bottom of the lake, a car that happens to be a Chrysler convertible.
Kate realizes that it's the same car Lt. McAllister was seen with.
One of Lester's men has announced that they're ready to pull the car up and as that happens, Lester asks Gibbs if he's ready to see what they've found.
Back at the van, McGee who's wearing trousers and boots that make a squishy sound whenever he moves hopes to get Cooper to sign a book for him.
DiNozzo refuses, stating that if Gibbs catches McGee reading instead of working he's history and that DiNozzo has never heard of it. McGee snaps that he's not surprised because there's no pictures in it.
"You say something, Probie?", DiNozzo asks.
"Yeah, I'm not a dork", McGee states although the squeaking of his boots clearly says otherwise.
"Whatever you say, Spongebob", DiNozzo replies.
Back at the crime scene, the local department are taking great care to pull the car out of lake as the NCIS team and some other people look it.
Judging from the car's condition, Tony bets that it's safe to say the car's not going to run again.
Once the car's on safe ground, the team begin investigating and when Kate announces that McAllister's dog tags are in the car, Lester congratulates them although Gibbs refuses to believe it. He then flashes his light on a pair of skeletal remains in the driver's seat.
Cooper finally makes an appearance and it's clear that Gibbs has a strong dislike for Cooper, stating that he'll wait for his Medical Examiner to determine that.
Cooper tries to get involved, stating he found the car through legwork, luck and a gut feeling before stating that if he shares information with Gibbs, then he expects Gibbs to do the same thing.
Gibbs states that sort of thing goes against his policy which is to throw people who obstruct his investigations in jail.
As Gibbs leaves, Cooper mumbles that he'll keep that in mind.
In the morgue, Donald Mallard has confirmed that the remains are that of Lt. Brian McAllister but he's not sure how McAllister died and that two years in the water will make it that much harder.
Gibbs suspects foul play and orders Ducky to keep looking.
Once he's gone, Ducky reveals that he introduced Gibbs to his last wife but when James Palmer asks what went wrong, Ducky admits he doesn't because the woman doesn't talk to him anymore.
In the Evidence Garage, the team with Abigail Sciuto are busy working on McAllister's ruined car.
However, the banter which involves the joke of a cold fish ends when McGee finds a bullet lodged in the driver's side of the car.
He hands it to Gibbs who upon looking at it realizes that McAllister was murdered.
It then cuts to Gibbs who examines the bullet while the rest of the team look on.
The next morning, after turning off Abby's blaring music and complaining that it's her ears, not her stereo that is broken, Gibbs learns about the items recovered from McAllister's car including a phone which Abby believes she may be able to get some data from.
She then tells Gibbs about the bullet which matches a Colt .45, old school military version and she shows Gibbs a CGI image of the bullet in question going through McAllister's body.
It then cuts to the morgue where Gibbs and Ducky agree that it's one Hell of a shot.
When Palmer asks, Ducky reveals that the vehicle was stationary (standing still) when McAllister got shot.
Up in the bullpen, Kate's mapped out McAllister's destination and has determined that he was heading home on the weekend that he vanished.
DiNozzo reveals that McAllister's mother died in 1993 and that his father passed away in 2002, roughly three months after McAllister disappeared and the only surviving next of kin for the McAllister family is Thomas McAllister, Brian's younger son who has been arrested for DWI and marijuana possession but he's never been charged.
"Figures. The rich never are", Kate says.
"Even richer now, Kate", Tony states. "He inherited everything. Is currently the CEO of his own airline". McGee remarks that it's a story of the good son and the bad seed.
Tony then states Thomas was notified last night and that according to CACO- (Casualty assistance calls officer), he took it pretty well.
A man then arrives, carrying lunch and Kate announces that she ordered lunch and that it's something healthy for once before revealing that her chosen food is tofu veggie wraps which she gives to McGee, Tony and Gibbs.
When Tony makes a face, Kate insists that they're good and that she and Abby eat them all the time.
Gibbs wants Thomas McAllister interviewed.
DiNozzo announces he's set up an interview for later this afternoon and Gibbs wants Kate going with DiNozzo. Gibbs tasks McGee with contacting Monroe Cooper as he wants to know how Cooper found the vehicle and when McGee ponders further, Gibbs tells him that Cooper's going to be co-operating with him.
Kate then tells them she's going to give Abby her own tofu veggie wrap and leaves but not before urging her colleagues to enjoy them.
Once she's gone, Gibbs simply opens his, takes one sniff and then turns away, disgusted. Tony and McGee have tried theirs but like Gibbs, they're not too thrilled about it.
Gibbs throws his, repackaged into the bin while McGee joins him, throwing it into his own bin and then, DiNozzo not only throws his wrap into the bin too but also his drink.
After "lunch", Kate and Tony arrive at the airport hangar and talk to a guy working on a plane who soon reveals that he is Thomas McAllister.
When DiNozzo remarks that McAllister isn't too broken up over his brother's death, Tom tells them he's known his brother has been dead for quite some time as the first week, he expected a ransom note.
After a month, he prayed and when it came to a year, he knew. DiNozzo asks him for an alibi and it becomes obvious to Tom that NCIS believes he killed his brother.
Cooper's arrived at NCIS and then tells Gibbs and McGee about the route McAllister took the weekend he disappeared.
Tony and Kate arrive back in, arguing about Kate's crush on Tom McAllister and Kate states that she's using her gut.
Tony starts to make a comment about if she was a guy, then she'd be using her... but Kate stops him, telling him if he wants to live, he won't say it.
DiNozzo Gibbs that McAllister's hiding something but Kate believes it's grief and that there's no way he's involved.
Abby arrives in the bullpen and tells them that the last calls McAllister got before he died were on Friday October 4th.
When Gibbs asks for more, Abby reveals that the calls in question were from his brother, Thomas McAllister before apologizing to Kate who looks stunned.
In the Evidence Garage, Cooper gives Gibbs and Kate all the evidence he got over six months before asking Kate if it's alright to smoke in here while even calling her sweetheart.
Kate, disgusted insists she be called Agent Todd and also promptly removes the cigar from Cooper's mouth, stating it's a federal office building.
Tony and McGee emerge with the board and are stunned when Gibbs announces that they're going to do the whole briefing thing upstairs.
Unsurprisingly, Tony heads upstairs and leaves McGee in the garage with the bullpen.
After a while and with the board now in the bullpen, Cooper tells them what he knows about the McAllister family which fell apart in 1993 after the mother, Elaine McAllister died.
Cooper then reveals that the father began hanging out with psychic Saleena Lockhart in an attempt to contact his dead wife and that Lockhart soon began running the McAllister business which nearly slid into bankruptcy in 2001 or 2002.
McGee is ordered to do a check on Lockhart and Cooper then produces a file containing a contract that would have automatically been transferred over to the new airline Brian McAllister planned to step up.
Gibbs realizes that the contract was created the weekend Brian McAllister disappeared.
It's clear that Cooper is gunning for Thomas McAllister to be brought in and arrested given that he had motive and opportunity but Gibbs tells Cooper while Cooper wants the reward, Gibbs and his team are searching for a killer.
Gibbs then decides that Kate will be having dinner with Thomas McAllister while he and DiNozzo go to investigate Ms. Lockhart whom McGee has tracked down.
As he and DiNozzo leaves, Gibbs tells Cooper that he trusts that the P.I can find his own way out of the NCIS building. Gibbs and DiNozzo arrive at the studio where Saleena Lockhart is filming but the Stage Manager tells them not to interrupt the filming.
Unsurprisingly, the two Agents barge their way in, leaving the Manager frustrated and in a frenzy. Gibbs and DiNozzo get into the studio and see Lockhart with a woman named Sally Parker.
As the filming drags on, DiNozzo wonders if they do this on the Oprah Show.
"Never believe what you see on TV", Gibbs states.
Once the filming has ended, Gibbs and DiNozzo start interviewing Lockhart, only for Lockhart to request they go outside after realizing that Gibbs's energy is disrupting her site.
Outside, Lockhart tells them that she didn't have anything to do with Brian's murder and that they should talk to Thomas because Thomas was the black sheep of the family and he hated Brian.
It cuts to Lockhart and Tony being seen through a sniper rifle, suggesting that someone wants to kill them. Lockhart reaches her trailer and promises the two Agents that her lawyer will give them a list of people who were at a retreat the weekend Brian disappeared.
Suddenly, a red dot appears on Lockhart's face and Gibbs grabs her out of the way just as a series of gunshots engulf the trailer.
Luckily, Tony already has his gun drawn and is firing off a few shots, one which damages the window of the jeep which is fleeing the scene. He tells Gibbs he got the plates and Gibbs tells him, "Good job".
In the lab, while Abby is examining the bullets, Gibbs asks Kate about the plates. She tells them that the plates on the car in question came back as being stolen.
Abby then announces that the markings are a match and that both rounds came from the same pistol that killed Brian McAllister two years ago.
It then cuts to Kate and Tony, both of whom look stunned while Gibbs simply stares at the screen.
Once they've left MTAC, Gibbs and DiNozzo are considering on the best course of action to arrest Thomas McAllister with Tony wondering why they can't drag McAllister in for questioning.
"Because his lawyers make in a hour more than what you make in a week", Gibbs says.
Tony wonders if Gibbs is hinting that Tony deserves a raise but Gibbs gives Tony the usual glare and Tony promptly shuts up.
In the bullpen, Kate's getting ready to go to dinner with Thomas, announcing that she's meeting Tom at the airport in twenty minutes.
Gibbs wants Kate to distract long enough so that Gibbs and McGee can search the McAllister house.
Kate asks Tony about her outfit with Tony messing
Once they've assured Gibbs they're done playing dress up, they return to their desks while Kate begins tidying herself up all over again.
As he and McGee get ready to go, Gibbs announces he wants a comm check in fifteen minutes before telling Kate she looked better the other way. Kate hurriedly rearranges her outfit and appearance once again.
A while later, with Tony in the car, Kate heads for the airplane hanger and even blows Tony a small kiss before entering the hanger although she moves the mike closer to her throat just to be on the safe side.
She heads inside with Tom appearing seconds later and announcing that they're going to be eating in the hanger before stating that if she survives his cooking, he's got some things to tell her about his big brother.
Gibbs and McGee have arrived at the McAllister mansion and head around back to avoid detection by going in the front.
As Gibbs works on the door, McGee remembers how he got in the last two times via Tony throwing a rock through a window and Kate climbing through a second-storey window. Gibbs soon gets the door open and the two men head inside.
At the hanger, Tom and Kate are having dinner when Tom admits that after his mother died, his father pretty much lost it. He talks about Ms. Lockhart and how she began manipulating his father, cutting him off from the rest of the family. Brian was too busy with his Naval career and when Kate tells Tom that someone tried to kill Lockhart, Tom admits that he thought of it a few times.
Kate tells him that a lot of people think Tom is responsible. Tom wants to know what she thinks but Kate tells him she's here, isn't she?
Back at the McAllister house, Gibbs and McGee are searching for the gun cabinet when they hear a door creaking.
Realizing there's probably an intruder in the house, the two draw their guns and head for the door. They silently signal to one another and Gibbs is first through the door, wielding his flashlight and gun with McGee joining him.
The two get a shock when they see Cooper in the room with a cigar in his mouth.
With no real danger, Gibbs and McGee holster their weapons with Gibbs asking Cooper what the P.I is doing in the house. Cooper tells them he's doing the same thing they are but Gibbs states that they've got a warrant. Cooper asks if Gibbs is going to arrest him and Gibbs tells him it depends on what Cooper found.
Cooper hopes he found the million dollars and then tells them he checked the local counties which revealed that Tom McAllister doesn't own any handguns but his father did and there's even a Colt .45. Gibbs looks at the gun and realizes it's been fired. He then calls Tony, ordering to take McAllister which has Cooper smiling.
In the hanger, Tom tells Kate he wanted Brian to come home and talk some sense into his father. Tom even admits that Saleena Lockhart is the person who'd benefit from his death.
Kate shows him the contract that Cooper gave them and Tom looks at it for a second before remarking that Brian never would have signed it.
However, they're interrupted by Tony's voice and it cuts to DiNozzo who's standing there, his gun trained on Tom as he tells the younger McAllister brother that he's under arrest for killing his brother.
Tom then tells Kate that desert's probably out of the question.
While they wait for Abby's results in the lab, Kate paces back and forth with Gibbs asking her if she's fine. She assures him that she is but Gibbs doesn't buy it.
Abby emerges, telling Gibbs she hopes she's getting overtime because she's missing her cousin's birthday and she tells Gibbs that the pistol is a match, meaning that it's the same weapon that killed Brian McAllister and shot up the make-up trailer.
As Gibbs leaves, something on the car gets his attention and he examines it closely with a flashlight.
In the lab, Kate is complaining about the fact that the one nice guy she met is a murderer although Abby assures her it happens to Tony all the time.
Kate then gives Abby a back-rub which is interrupted by Gibbs yelling he needs her out in the lab, now.
Abby comes out and Gibbs tells her how much time she spent on the door.
Abby tells him she was going to test for metal fatigue and age in the morning.
Gibbs orders her to do it right now.
When Abby wonders why, Gibbs looks at her and Abby tells him it'll be ready in thirty minutes.
Gibbs then tells Abby that Kate will help too which has both women surprised.
As Tom McAllister sits in Interrogation, McGee's singing Cooper's praises and Cooper remarks that he's planning on retiring after this case.
DiNozzo voices his belief that NCIS should get half of that 50 million dollars but Cooper states that it's too bad life isn't fair.
As he says that, Kate and Gibbs enter Interrogation. Cooper states that in his day, they didn't wait two hours to interrogate someone with DiNozzo guessing that they just beat it out of said person instead. "Something like that", Cooper admits.
In Interrogation, Tom's pleading his innocence and for once, Gibbs agrees with him while Kate just smiles.
In Observation, Cooper's pissed, demanding to know what's going on.
Back in Interrogation, Gibbs announces that Tom's free to go before leaving.
In Observation, Tony looks on.
A while later, Cooper himself is in Interrogation, stating that it's not enough that he does NCIS's job for them and now they want to arrest him for it?
Gibbs tells Cooper that they do own him for finding Brian McAllister for them but the problem is, that McAllister's death isn't murder. Cooper refuses to believe it but Gibbs tells him that Brian McAllister died in a car accident due to the fact that the bullet fired into his body wasn't from two years ago.
He then tells Cooper that the metal around the impact was only recently exposed to water and asks Cooper if two weeks sounds right?
Gibbs then tells Cooper that Thomas decided to offer a reward for finding Brian McAllister's killer but in order for Cooper to get his reward, he arranged one.
Cooper's in disbelief at that, telling Gibbs he has no idea what he's talking about. Gibbs admits that it would have worked and that they would have eventually found the gun but Cooper's impatience got the better of him.
Gibbs wonders what Cooper would have done with the money. Gambling debts, retirement?
Gibbs states that firing those shots at Saleena Lockhart was overkill and it was too bad they caught Cooper putting the gun back.
Cooper wishes Gibbs good luck in proving it and Gibbs tells him that he will before telling Cooper about a sample for the Instant Shooter ID Kit which is capable of determining if someone fired a gun recently.
Cooper tells Gibbs to swab away because there's no GSR on his hands.
Gibbs slaps Cooper from behind. Gibbs knows better, stating that Cooper was wearing gloves at the time. He then tells Cooper that the man who solves the unsolvable needs a trademark and said trademark happens to be Cooper's big coat.
Restraining Cooper's hands, Gibbs swabs a section of the coat and before he dips it into the sample, he warns Cooper that it goes blue, he has the P.I for attempted murder.
Gibbs then places the swab into the sample, seals it again and closes it before giving a shake for good measure.
The sample then turns blue, revealing that Cooper's guilty. "Good luck trying to collect that million dollars", Gibbs states and orders Cooper to get up before taking out the handcuffs.
In Observation, McGee's stunned by the fact that his idol is a criminal who attempted to frame an innocent man for what was originally a car accident. DiNozzo believes it was all about the money and leaves although McGee remarks, "Sometimes. Not always".
A while later, Tom and Kate are leaving the bullpen with Tom suggesting desert although it's 2:30 in the morning.
Taking Kate's hand in his, Tom knows a place that's still open and when Kate asks him, Tom tells her it's New York.
Tony then emerges from the lift and drops a hint about joining them although Tom and Kate disagree.
As the plane takes off, Kate is heard asking Tom: "So you're Catholic, right?".
It then cuts to an outside shot which shows the plane flying off into the night.
- Season Two Cast
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||An NCIS Special Agent in charge of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Anthony DiNozzo||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.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||An NCIS Special Agent previously assigned to the Norfolk Naval Base who is now the Junior Agent of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||NCIS's Chief Medical Examiner.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Gerald Jackson's temporary replacement as the Assistant Medical Examiner.|
|Monroe Cooper||Mike Starr (actor)||A Private Investigator.|
|Thomas McAllister||Michael Weaver||Brian McAllister's brother and Elaine McAllister's son.|
|Elaine McAllister||Carryl Lynn||Uncredited role. Thomas and Brian McAllister's deceased mother.|
|Saleena Lockhart||Robin Riker||A TV psychic.|
|Sally Parker||Lorna Scott||One of the people who works on Saleena Lockhart's show.|
|Stage Manager||Jimmy Palumbo||A man seen guarding to the entrance to Saleena Lockhart's studio.|
|Deke Lester||Mark Damon Espinoza||A Sheriff from the local police department.|
|Cindy Ames||Gina St. John||A TV reporter.|
|P.A.||Rob Luke||A man who also appears in the episode.|
|State Trooper (Black Water)||Adam Carrera||A man who appears in the episode.|