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Escaped (episode)

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Escaped
NCIS
Season
Episode

2
First aired
Written by
Steven D. Binder (teleplay).
Christopher Sibler and Steven D. Binder (story).
Directed by
Previous episode
Next episode

Escaped is the second episode in Season Four as well as the seventy-second episode of the entire NCIS series.

Synopsis

A former Petty Officer who was jailed for his involvement in a theft ends up escaping prison and threatens the lives of both FBI agent Tobias Fornell and Fornell's daughter, Emily. This prompts Fornell to call on a retired Gibbs and the NCIS team for help. After their car is stolen, the team are forced to reopen the original case and as they dig into the case, they soon discover that someone else is the true mastermind behind the theft...

Prologue

In a small place called "My 1st Makeover" which is holding its Grand Opening, young girls are busy getting their nails and hair done while FBI Special Agent Tobias Fornell is busy reading a book as his daughter, Emily Fornell is busy coloring something in when a stranger advises her to choose another color.

Upon glancing up, Fornell realizes who the person is and orders Emily to come over to him despite Emily insisting that their number hasn't been called yet.

Fornell states while the stranger who is former Petty Officer Derrick Paulson tells Fornell to relax and that his daughter's fine.

Fornell then gets up to confront Paulson and tells Paulson that he didn't expect to see him until 2067.

Paulson just crosses his hand and states that he got a reprieve.

Fornell reaches for his gun but Paulson tells him that he won't do, not in front of his daughter.

"I don't need a gun to take you", Fornell snaps.

"You wouldn't hurt an innocent man", Paulson states.

"I'm not looking at one", Fornell replies but Paulson tells him that where he and Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs got it wrong.

Fornell tells Paulson that Gibbs is retired with Paulson stating that he knows and why does Fornell think Paulson is talking to him?

"I have no idea", Fornell snarls. "Why don't you enlighten me?".

Paulson then smugly tells Fornell that he told him: that he's got the wrong guy and that if there's a shred of decency in Fornell and his brains, then he'll reopen the case and find the right guy.

Paulson then glances at Emily before turning back to Fornell and then telling him that he's going to walk out of here with Fornell following Paulson but Fornell will realize something and end up reaching for the cell instead.

"Really?", Fornell asks.

"Yeah", Paulson says.

"Why's that", Fornell demands.

"I might not be alone", Paulson replies.

With that, Paulson leaves with Fornell glaring at him.

Paulson bids farewell to Emily before leaving the building for good with Fornell cautiously staying a few steps behind Paulson.

It then cuts to Fornell who's now on his cell-phone, patting Emily as his daughter keeps on coloring, unaware of what's happened.

Act One

At Leroy Jethro Gibbs's house which has been put up for sale, the man himself is in the basement, emptying things and dumping them into a bin.

Gibbs stops upon seeing a lunchbox fall out of one of the boxes which has him kneeling down and picking it up.

Pausing for a second, Gibbs sits down and glances at the lunchbox which has "Strawberry Shortcake" written on it. He then opens it and finds dolls stashed inside which has Gibbs smiling.

As he takes a doll out, Gibbs finds photos of his dead daughter, Kelly Gibbs underneath as well as photos of his wife, Shannon Gibbs and as he begins looking through them, a woman can be heard stating that it needs some work but that if it doesn't shout "wine cellar", then she doesn't know what does.

Gibbs looks up and sees the retail estate agent, Manny Varigan standing there before she tells the person accompanying her to have a look and that she'll be be right back.

The person then steps into view, revealing that it's Fornell.

"First my wife, now my house?", Gibbs wonders.

Fornell states no and that he's learnt his lesson before stating that he's through with Gibbs's leftovers.

Gibbs just smiles.

Fornell tells Gibbs that Gibbs will need a bigger box for that boat.

As Fornell walks down the stairs, Gibbs wonders if Fornell came all the way out here to give him packing tips.

As Fornell joins Gibbs, he tells Gibbs that he came to tell Gibbs that Petty Officer Derrick Paulson escaped from prison yesterday.

Gibbs just looks at Fornell.

After a few seconds, Gibbs states, "No".

Fornell then states that he hasn't asked Gibbs anything yet and that Gibbs caught Fornell last time with Fornell figuring that Gibbs might like to catch Paulson once again.

"You thought wrong", Gibbs states.

As Gibbs shakes his hand after carrying a heavy box, Fornell tells Gibbs that Paulson came to see Fornell when Fornell was with his daughter, Emily.

Gibbs just stops for a second, lost in thought.

After some silence has passed, Gibbs wonders if Emily's okay.

"For now", Fornell replies.

Fornell then remarks that Paulson wanted to tell Fornell that they got the wrong man and Paulson even strongly suggested that Fornell reopen Paulson's case to prove it.

Gibbs states that Paulson's risking a lot for something he knows can't happen.

"You think?", Fornell states and that he doesn't know what Paulson's game is but Fornell is not going to get sleep until that SOB is back behind bars.

Gibbs remarks that Fornell doesn't need Gibbs's help to find Paulson.

"Need?", Fornell states before angrily telling Gibbs that a convicted killer was two inches from Fornell's own daughter, handling her canyons and that he touched her too before telling Gibbs that they're way beyond need.

Another long silence passes before Fornell states that Gibbs has a nice tan.

Gibbs just looks up at the ceiling, lost in thought.

In the bullpen, NCIS/Mossad Liaison Officer Ziva David states that that's not really bad.

NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee then tells Ziva that for a spy, she's a horrible liar.

Fellow NCIS Special Agent Michelle Lee remarks that Ziva's right and that they can hardly notice but...

"But?", McGee wonders.

Lee then states that she wouldn't let DiNozzo see if she was McGee.

"Let Agent DiNozzo see what?", Team leader, NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo asks, wandering in.

"Nothing", McGee replies.

As this happens, Ziva and Lee return to their desks while DiNozzo locks his weapon in his desk drawer with DiNozzo wondering why McGee is mumbling.

McGee then states that he's not mumbling.

DiNozzo then looks up and an evil smirk spreads across his face.

As DiNozzo heads over to the desk, he states that either McGee said, "Mimes aren't rumbling" or "I'm not mumbling" and DiNozzo doesn't see any mimes.

DiNozzo looks around, only to see Ziva interested in her work.

With no options left, DiNozzo then asks Lee why McGee is mumbling?

Despite McGee's evil eye, Lee reluctantly admits that McGee over-bleached his teeth.

McGee just glares evilly at Lee with Lee raising her hand and gesturing towards DiNozzo who's their Boss.

As DiNozzo clasps his hands, Lee reveals that apparently, McGee fell asleep while wearing his bleaching tray.

DiNozzo then rounds on McGee, stating that McGee didn't watch "Friends" and that same thing happened to Ross while telling McGee that McGee could have learnt from their friend's mistake but McGee chose to read it before DiNozzo states that he'd better see the damage.

Covering his mouth, McGee just gives a muffled laugh of disbelief.

At her desk, Ziva looks up and smiles.

DiNozzo glances around the bullpen and announces that as team leader, he needs to be aware of any condition that might affect an agent's ability to perform his or her duties.

Ziva wonders what does having embrassingly white teeth have to do with McGee performing his duties?

"You said it was not that bad", McGee hisses.

"She lied", DiNozzo states.

DiNozzo then leans in and tells McGee to open his mouth with McGee refusing.

DiNozzo tries again, telling McGee to let him see the Chiclets but again, McGee refuses.

DiNozzo tries again with McGee stating a firm No.

DiNozzo suggests McGee open his... but gets interrupted when he sees Gibbs walking past them.

This has Ziva getting to her feet.

Gibbs heads upstairs.

As this goes, McGee wonders what's going with DiNozzo stating that he has no idea.

Gibbs races up the steps.

Once he's reached the area where the Director's Office, Cynthia Summer gets to her feet but Gibbs ignores her, heading into the office.

As he closes the door, NCIS Director Jennifer Shepard remarks that she was getting used to her door being treated as a door.

She then tells Todd that she'll call him back before hanging up.

As she does, Gibbs states that he needs a temporary reinstatement.

Jenny believes that Gibbs is here because of ex-Petty Officer Derrick Paulson and that she read Fornell's report before wondering why is there's a sudden if temporary interest in bank robbers?

Gibbs tells Jenny that if she's already read Fornell's report, then she already knows and that they're wasting time.

Jenny argues that it's not that simple and that Gibbs left. She appreciates what Gibbs did for Ziva but this isn't some gym membership Gibbs can turn on and off.

Gibbs admits that he can't but he's not Director of NCIS.

Jenny states that the Director of NCIS already filed Gibbs's retirement package with Navy Human Resources.

"Unfile it", Gibbs snaps.

Jenny states that it doesn't work that way and that it would take weeks to reinstate Gibbs and that's even if Gibbs manages to pass his...

"My psych evaluation", Gibbs interrupts. "Or are you talking about my firearms-proficiency exam?".

"No", Jenny says before stating that's not the one she's worried about.

Gibbs just turns and heads for the door.

As he leaves, Jenny tells him to wait.

Gibbs simply turns around and heads back into the office.

"Let me at least validate your parking", Jenny states.

Gibbs just rolls his eyes.

Jenny then digs into her drawer and remarks that that's strange before remarking that she could have sworn that she filed this. She then produces a folder which Jenny reveals is Gibbs's retirement package.

Gibbs just looks at her.

As she stands up, holding the file, Jenny states that she must have accidentally put in for Gibbs's unused leave time instead.

She then stands in front of Gibbs and after flipping the folder open, reveals that of which there are six days left until it has to be filed.

Gibbs then turns around and leaves.

Jenny just stands in her office, lost in deep thought.

At the desk, with McGee and Ziva having gathered around, DiNozzo then tells Cynthia not to tell him that Cynthia doesn't eavesdrops and every assistant eavesdrops.

"He's coming", Ziva states. "He's coming".

As this happens, Gibbs descends the stairway.

As Gibbs arrives in, DiNozzo wonders if Gibbs is visiting the neighborhood or taking his desk back?

Lee sits back down as DiNozzo tells the others to go.

Lee gets to her feet but DiNozzo signals for her to sit back down.

In a cubicle behind the bullpen, Gibbs is busy wiping stuff off a board and gets ready to write on it with a marker.

Ziva, McGee and DiNozzo leave the bullpen while Gibbs produces his cell phone which is ringing and as Gibbs answers it, he tells the caller at the other end that they should have been here half an hour ago.

Outside, Fornell reveals that he's getting Emily at his mother's house.

As this happens, an FBI agent escorts Emily up to an elderly woman who's Fornell's mother.

Gibbs wonders if Fornell wants Gibbs to send an agent over with Fornell wondering how many agents Gibbs can spare.

On the outskirts of the bullpen, DiNozzo reveals to Ziva and McGee that he's got an idea and that maybe Gibbs lost his memory again which has caused Gibbs to forget that he quit his job.

"Wouldn't he be sitting at his old desk then?", McGee wonders.

Ziva remarks that if Gibbs wanted them to know what he was doing, he would have told them.

"Oh, right", DiNozzo states. "Because he would never except it to figure out for ourselves".

Jenny then arrives, announcing that Gibbs is back on temporary assignment before revealing that it's the Paulson case.

"Paulson?", Ziva wonders.

DiNozzo reveals that it's Petty Officer Derrick Paulson and that Paulson knocked over a bank, killed two of his own accomplices and that the money was never found.

Still on the phone, Gibbs tells Fornell about Paulson's prison cell and that Gibbs wants to see what was in it.

Fornell states that he already had the contents sent over and maybe the NCIS techs could find something that the FBI techs couldn't.

As Emily bids goodbye to her father with Fornell waving back, Fornell states that he's worried.

Gibbs tells Fornell that Emily will be fine and that Paulson isn't after her.

Fornell remarks that he ruined Paulson's life and that they don't know what Paulson is after.

In the lab, with her monitors full of Gibbs, NCIS Forensic Scientist Abigail Sciuto is looking through a diary while sucking on a lollipop.

Gibbs wonders if there's anything good.

Abby admits that there is and it's a jailhouse appeal from an escaped convict with Abby remarking that the guy knows his forensics.

As Gibbs places a Caf-Pow down onto the table, Abby looks up and upon seeing Gibbs, hugs him, happily stating that she knew it and that she won't these anymore AKA the photos on her monitor now that Gibbs is actually here.

Abby then hugs Gibbs again, remarking that she knew he'd come back.

Gibbs tells her that he's not back.

"Of course you're back", Abby says. "I can feel your badge".

She then breaks away, wondering if it's Gibbs's badge.

Gibbs holds his badge up which has Abby stating that Gibbs is back but Gibbs dampens things by stating that the reinstatement is only temporary.

He then places the lollipop back into her mouth and states that it's until he can find Paulson.

Abby just stands there, stunned.

She then recovers and removes the lollipop, placing it onto the table before heading over to the monitor. As she hits some keys, bringing the original photos back, Abby remarks that they'll see about it and wonders what she can do for him, temporarily reinstated Agent Gibbs?

As Abby sits back, Gibbs tells that she can process the contents of Paulson's cell.

Still pouting, Abby wonders what she's looking for before sarcastically stating that it's anything to help Gibbs find Paulson.

Gibbs tells Abby that he wants to know what Paulson was up to before he escaped before looking up at the camera and stating, "Unless the three of you have any suggestions".

It then cuts to the camera.

Up in the bullpen, knowing that they've been caught, McGee, Ziva and DiNozzo look at each other, startled.

DiNozzo hits the monitor, bringing them online and states that they were eavesdropping like little girls but they do have suggestions.

Ziva remarks that prison records show that only one person ever came to visit Paulson in jail.

McGee reads from a file, revealing that the person is Mickey Stokes who's a former Navy sailor and 72.

Ziva believes that since Paulson's got no family, they should assume that Paulson will attempt to contact Mickey and that she's already got an address.

In the lab, Gibbs announces that Tony and Ziva are with him.

Gibbs and Tony then overlap each other, stating that McGee should here and help Abby process Paulson's belongings.

"Then gargle this", Gibbs announces, holding up a Caf-Pow. "Before the rest of us go snow blind".

He then slams the Caf-Pow back onto the table and leaves.

Abby just sits there, sulking.

Up in the bullpen, DiNozzo is attaching his holster to his hip and looks at McGee before leaving while McGee looks confused.

The NCIS Dodge Stratus being driven by DiNozzo with Ziva in the passenger seat and Gibbs in the back arrives at Stokes's house with Gibbs getting out first as Tony and Ziva follow.

Tony states that Gibbs was awfully quiet in the car.

Ziva remarks that it's not like Tony was giving Gibbs a chance to talk and as they head up the path, Ziva asks Tony if he isn't nervous about Gibbs wanting his old job back.

"No", Tony replies. "I'm just bringing him up to speed on the latest protocols".

As they stand outside, Stokes emerges, asking why it took the "hotshots" so long and that he's been waiting over an hour.

With that, Gibbs, Tony and Ziva draw their guns and head into the house.

As they attempt to do so, Stokes orders them to take their shoes off.

Ignoring Stokes, the three split up and search various areas of the house before reporting that it's clear.

Gibbs asks Stokes where Paulson is.

Stokes states that he never said that Paulson was here before handing Gibbs a phone and as Tony begins looking around, Gibbs accepts it.

Gibbs answers the call.

It's Paulson who while driving a car tells Gibbs that he didn't expect to hear Paulson's voice and Paulson remarks that he thought that Gibbs had quit.

"Retired", Gibbs corrects.

"At your age?", Paulson remarks. "That's quitting".

Gibbs wonders why doesn't Paulson turn himself in and that Paulson can tell Gibbs this in person.

"Turn myself in for what?", Paulson remarks. "I'm an innocent man".

"Try broken record", Gibbs says after some handcuffs on the table.

Paulson then realizes Gibbs is not going to reopen the case.

Gibbs remarks that they'll both know what Gibbs will find if Gibbs does that before Gibbs asks Paulson what he really wants.

Paulson triumphantly remarks that he's already got it.

At the entrance to the house, Gibbs simply hangs up.

DiNozzo wants what Paulson really wants.

"Our car", Gibbs remarks.

Outside, it's shown that the team's car has been stolen.

It then cuts to Tony, Gibbs and Ziva who look on from inside while Stokes just grins.

File:Vlcsnap-2012-11-01-15h24m08s150.png

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

In the morgue, as Ducky and Palmer perform an autopsy on Nash's corpse, Ducky explains to DiNozzo and Gibbs that the end is never pleasant and for Nash, it's doubly so.

Ducky then snaps Nash's shoulder back into place, causing DiNozzo to wince.

"At least he had a great view on the way down", DiNozzo remarks.

Ducky doubts that Nash enjoyed it, seeing how Nash's jaw was broken along with six of his fingers and his knees and all this happened before Nash fell.

"Killer beat him first", Gibbs remarks.

Ducky believes that it was more like Nash was interrogated and that the damage is too methodical, too calculated to be a simple beating and that whoever did this was after information.

Turning away, Ducky remarks that when the killer got it, he repaid his victim with these.

As Gibbs takes the small capsule containing the bullets, DiNozzo remarks that they can rule out suicide.

Ducky agrees, stating unless Nash was able to shoot himself in the back three times in a row and as he says that, Ducky pops Nash's knee back into place, causing DiNozzo to wince and ask if they really need to do this now?

On Ducky's phone, a doll suddenly appears with Abby saying that the bullets are Winchester hollow-points.

Seconds later, Abby herself appears, waving at the camera. She then explains that they were fired near the Colt that the Baltimore P.D. found near the scene.

As everyone gathers around, Gibbs asks Abby if she saw the serial number.

Abby remarks that it's the same gun Paulson too from Mickey Stokes's house and that Paulson tried to wipe but Abby found a partial print.

Ducky then remarks that the gentleman (Paulson) who asked NCIS to prove his innocence just killed the one man who could exnorate him.

As Ducky says that, Gibbs rubs his eyes, obviously frustrated.

DiNozzo remarks that Nash didn't frame Paulson and the two were originally partners until Nash double-crossed Paulson.

Ducky then states that Paulson didn't want to clear himself and that he was looking for the money.

Abby then pipes up, stating that Paulson used NCIS to take him straight to the bank with Abby remarking that Paulson is a smart kid.

DiNozzo then states that if Gibbs's gut says that Paulson was innocent, then maybe they're missing something else.

"The only thing I am missing right now is Happy Hour at Carlos's Cantina", Gibbs states.

With that, Gibbs leaves the morgue.

Gibbs then arrives into the lift and as the doors close, Gibbs stands there, lost in deep thought.

Frustrated, Gibbs then stops the elevator and then switches it back before standing back, having changed his original destination.

In the lab, Abby is telling security not to let Gibbs leave the building.

She then states that she already told Tom why.

As this happens, Gibbs arrives in which has Abby hanging up and remarking that it was a false alarm.

As she hugs him, Abby remarks that she's thankful and that she was so sure he'd be halfway to Mexico right now. She then holds up her right hand, revealing that she and Gibbs are now cuffed together.

Abby apologizes, stating that Gibbs is a flight risk.

"Abby!", Gibbs snaps.

Leading him to her desk, Abby remarks that they're gonna figure out this case and that they always do.

Gibbs just looks at her.

This has Abby smiling and realizing that Gibbs already figured it out.

"No but you're going to", Gibbs states.

He then tells Gibbs that he wants to know how Paulson knows.

"Knows what?", Abby wonders.

"Everything", Gibbs states. "Everything that we seem to".

Abby then smiles and hugs Gibbs much to his discomfort.

In the bullpen, DiNozzo, McGee and Ziva are holding a campfire with DiNozzo stating that Russell Nash hid the money from the bank job somewhere.

"If Paulson gets to it before us..", McGee states.

"He's gone for good", Ziva remarks.

DiNozzo wants to know where it is.

Ziva remarks that Nash was using an assumed name and all transactions were in cash only.

"Money's not in a bank", McGee says.

McGee then suggests storage.

Ziva believes that maybe a third party could be holding it.

DiNozzo then states that he'll look at properties under an alias and maybe Nash hid the money in a mattress somewhere before DiNozzo announces that the campfire's over.

As McGee and Ziva head back to their desks, Ziva asks DiNozzo where Gibbs is with DiNozzo telling her that he doesn't' know.

Ziva wonders if there's anything wrong.

DiNozzo remarks that there is quite a lot wrong as aside from McGee's teeth which has McGee giving Tony a sarcastic smile, they've got a dead man who shouldn't be dead, an innocent man who isn't that innocent and a trail that's about to run cold because the perp has managed to stay one step ahead of them since this whole thing started.

"You just noticing that now, DiNozzo?". Gibbs states as he arrives in.

DiNozzo remarks that he hasn't and that it's kind of been a theme.

Gibbs then grabs the recorder and slams it against the desk but when it won't break, Gibbs also produces his knife and begins cutting the recorder open.

DiNozzo tells Gibbs to be careful and that it's easy to break.

Gibbs eventually gets the recorder open.

This has McGee and Ziva looking on, both curious.

In the lab, with the recorder under a microscope, Abby reveals that it's a shortwave RF bug and that Paulson probably planted in the Dictaphone when he stole the car earlier.

She also reveals that she's been burning the campfires to CDs and as such, the Dictaphone has been in her lab pretty much the entire day.

DiNozzo then remarks that at least they now know how Paulson tracked down Russell Nash.

Abby eventually produces the bug.

Gibbs wonders if Abby can backtrack it but Abby says that it's impossible without a private cipher but she thinks she knows where they can get one.

Handing the bug to DiNozzo who examines it, Abby begins typing on her keyboard and reveals that Paulson's crew bugged the bank's general manager for two weeks before the robbery and that it was a custom job, just like this one.

She also reveals that the cops interviewed the bug maker and that they cleared the bug maker of any involvement.

As she takes the bug back from DiNozzo, Abby also states that she'd bet a Caf-Pow that this came from the same guy.

"How can you tell?", DiNozzo asks.

Abby looks at DiNozzo and tells him that the bug maker signed his name.

In Interrogation, Stanley Springer states that it's a crime for any person acting under color of the law to deprive any citizen of their legal rights and that it's title 18, U.S. Code.

Ziva just looks on, impatient and then calmly remarks to Springer that no-one is depriving Springer of his rights and that they are simply asking for a copy of the cipher Springer made.

"No-one shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself", Springer says. He then looks over at the glasses and yells that'd be the Fifth Amendment.

In Observation, as DiNozzo's on the phone and McGee watches, Ziva remarks that no-one's accused Springer of a crime.

Springer wants to know why did Ziva's goon consficate his files..

Ziva's reply is interrupted by McGee being left stunned by Springer calling him a "goon".

DiNozzo tells McGee that he thought he told McGee to stop hunching his shoulders and that Springer wasn't talking about McGee with DiNozzo even telling McGee that it's called a mirror.

DiNozzo then states to the person on the phone that he said every exit, not every other exit.

As this happens, Gibbs comes into Observation as DiNozzo states for the same reason you don't floss every other tooth.

Gibbs wants to know where the other cipher is.

DiNozzo then tells Gibbs or Boss that they hit a SNAUF.

As DiNozzo, Gibbs and McGee look on, Springer states that the Federal Code also states that not only does Springer have the right to remain silent but to withhold any information Springer himself sees fit.

Ziva just closes her eyes and opens them again, obviously frustrated.

Back in Observation, DiNozzo remarks that if this keeps up, they may be forced to unleash Agent Lee.

Gibbs simply leaves Observation and arrives into Interrogation, silently gesturing to Ziva who takes the hint and leaves Interrogation.

McGee remarks that this should be quick.

"It better be", DiNozzo replies. "We got a fugitive on the run with a big game".

As Springer remarks that he knows that the game is not gonna stop, DiNozzo then states "The Fugitive", having made a connection.

In Interrogation, Springer tells Gibbs or G-man that Gibbs can stare at him all day because Springer ain't talking.

"You got something to hide?", Gibbs asks.

Springer is in disbelief, stating that if he refuses to talk, does that mean he's guilty? Springer then asks Gibbs if he's ever heard of Miranda vs Arizona, 1966?

As Ziva arrives into Interrogation, DiNozzo remarks that he's been here all this time and how could he have missed it?

DiNozzo then adds that it's even that simple.

"Missed what?", Ziva wonders.

DiNozzo explains that Gibbs is Tommy Lee Jones, no argument there and that makes DiNozzo Joey Pants. DiNozzo then states that he was a little..

As DiNozzo rambles on, Ziva whispers to McGee what's going on and that they've been avoiding "fugitive" for two days.

McGee tells Ziva that DiNozzo made the connection himself.

In Interrogation, Springer tells Gibbs or "eyeball" that the bottom line is that Springer himself runs a fully-licensed spy shop and that he's not responsible for what his clientele does with his products.

Springer then states to Gibbs that he doesn't have to answer anymore of Gibbs's questions, no matter what Gibbs says.

A few minutes of silence passes between the two men.

Gibbs then leans in and tells Springer that he's got this little girl who wants to go to her dad and that that's not gonna happen without Springer's help.

"So, please?", Gibbs asks.

This has DiNozzo stunned and he wonders if Gibbs just said..

McGee just looks on, apparently too lost for words to reply.

Springer stays silent for a few seconds before he asks Gibbs what Gibbs wants to know again.

Gibbs just nods.

A while later, in a small area, McGee remarks that the signal's strong and that there's no movement.

As this goes, McGee, Gibbs and DiNozzo are getting ready.

Gibbs then asks Ziva if she's got eyes on the suspect with Ziva remarking that she did and that the suspect isn't alone.

"You sure?", Gibbs asks.

Ziva remarks that she heard Paulson's voice.

With that, the team set off.

As they head off, Gibbs and McGee head off to the main area while Tony and Ziva cover the back.

As Gibbs raises his gun, Stokes is heard telling Paulson to let Stokes give Paulson some more money in case Paulson needs it.

"I won't", Paulson says.

From their spot, as Ziva looks on, Tony tells Gibbs that he and Ziva are in position.

Stokes then tells Paulson to come here and take this.

"Gun", McGee states.

Gibbs then tells the team to move, move as Stokes begs Paulson to take it.

With that, the team descends on the house.

Inside, as the NCIS team burst in, Paulson grabs the gun back from Stokes and attempts to run, only to be stopped by Tony and Ziva.

As Stokes looks on, the entire team have their weapons trained on Stokes.

DiNozzo tells Paulson not to do it and that they will shoot him.

With that, Gibbs, Ziva and McGee all still have their weapons trained on Paulson who is clearly struggling.

Having caught onto something, Gibbs tells DiNozzo and McGee to put their weapons down.

DiNozzo and McGee do so.

Ziva, on the other hand has her weapon raised at Paulson who isn't giving an inch either.

His own gun still trained on Paulson, Gibbs remarks that he was wrong and that he knows that Petty Officer Paulson is innocent before Gibbs too lowers his gun.

Paulson lowers his gun too.

Gibbs then tells Stokes that he isn't before calling on DiNozzo.

On cue, DiNozzo moves in, telling Stokes that he's under arrest for the murder of Russell Nash, his two accomplices in the Greater Virginia bank robbery and last but not least, the Greater Virginia bank robbery.

Stokes wonder if their porch light is on before stating that at first, NCIS wrongly accused Paulson and now, NCIS are accusing Stokes himself?

McGee glances at something.

DiNozzo then explains that they found the bug that Stokes planted in their forensic tech's lab and that they were almost as surprised as Stokes looks now when the guy Stokes got it from pointed Stokes out in that photo instead of Paulson.

As Ziva aims her weapon, Paulson just looks stunned.

Stokes protests, stating that this is ridiculous and does he look like he's got five million grand lying around?

Paulson then wonders if Stokes set him up, then where's the money?

Stokes states that NCIS doesn't know what they're talking about.

Still glancing at something, McGee reveals that it's here and that it's been here the whole time. He then reveals that the table is a rosewood bureau-plat desk, 19th century and that it's $38,000.

Looking at Stokes's locker, McGee sees a book and points out that it's a first edition of Huckleberry Finn and that cost $20,000.

McGee then reveals that in the bedroom, it looks like Stokes has a Chippendale mahogany case clock.

McGee states that that's six figures and tells Stokes that he didn't collect this stuff on a Navy pension.

Unsurprisingly, Paulson raises his gun.

Stokes pleads to Gibbs but Gibbs tells Stokes not to talk him and even states he believes that Paulson should shoot Stokes.

Ziva has her gun raised.

Gibbs approaches Paulson and states that except Paulson's never been a killer before Gibbs tells Paulson that he doesn't think Paulson's gonna start now.

Gibbs places his hand around the gun and lowers with Paulson eventually complying.

"And miss his trial?", Paulson says.

Gibbs just looks at Paulson who then states, "Not for the world".

As DiNozzo cuffs Stokes, he tells Stokes that he's a real piece of work.

With that, DiNozzo leads the disgraced Mickey Stokes away.

Ziva and McGee look at each other with McGee revealing the Antiques Roadshow with Ziva nodding in agreement.

A while later, in the basement, as Gibbs sits there, lost in thought, Jenny arrives and tells Gibbs that Paulson has been cleared of all charges.

As she places her bag aside, she also tells Gibbs that he saved Paulson's life.

"He did most of the work", Gibbs remarks.

Jenny tells Gibbs not to sell himself short or is it too late for that?

Gibbs wonders if this is supposed to some sort of pep talk to get him to stay.

Jenny just smiles and crosses her arms.

Gibbs then realizes that she doesn't want him back.

Jenny admits that she doesn't.

Gibbs then wonders if she's worried she won't be able to handle him.

Jenny then reveals that she's worried Gibbs won't be able to himself and that Gibbs has already been in two comas. She also believes that he might not come out of a third.

She then states that Gibbs is good, the best and when you're as good as something as you area, when you can make a difference just like Gibbs can, you just don't quit.

Gibbs just silently sits there.

Jenny then grabs her bag and leaves.

Gibbs sits there, occupied by his own thoughts.

The next morning, as they arrive for work, Ziva tells McGee that he used to be a nice person and that sitting at Tony's desk has affected McGee's personality.

DiNozzo remarks that it's for the better and that McGee picked up a girl all by himself.

"Yeah, at a funeral", Ziva replies.

DiNozzo then remarks that McGee didn't tell him that.

As they leave the elevator, McGee tells DiNozzo that DiNozzo was right and that when women are vulnerable, they get right in there..

As this goes on, DiNozzo smiles.

Suddenly, at the entrance to the bullpen, the three stop.

It then focuses on Tony's old desk which has various items on it while McGee's old desk has items on it too including and standing at the end of the bullpen is Agent Lee, carrying some files or folders while Tony's current desk is occupied by none other than Gibbs himself.

This has Ziva, DiNozzo and McGee stunned as they take in what's going on.

Gibbs just looks at his team, removes his glasses and says, "What?".

Both Ziva and Tony look stunned.

It then cuts to McGee simply smiles as his teeth sparkle as well.

Major Events

  • Gibbs later returns to NCIS for good, resulting in Michelle Lee being removed from the team.

Cast

Series Regulars

Name Portrayed by Role
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Mark Harmon Originally the leader of the NCIS Major Case Response Team and also an NCIS Special Agent, Gibbs subsequently retired in the last few seconds of the previous episode before spending four months in Mexico with his mentor, Mike Franks, a former NIS agent. Gibbs later rejoins NCIS in the last few seconds of this episode, officially reclaiming his original position of being an NCIS Special Agent and also the Agent in charge of the Major Case Response Team.
Anthony DiNozzo Michael Weatherly Originally the team leader of the Major Case Response Team, Dinozzo returns to his original position of second-in-command and Senior Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
Ziva David Cote de Pablo The Mossad Liaison to NCIS.
Abigail Sciuto Pauley Perrette Chief Forensic Specialist for NCIS.
Timothy McGee Sean Murray Originally the Senior Special agent of the Major Case Response Team, McGee returns to his original position of being the team's Junior Agent following Gibbs's return.
Jennifer Shepard Lauren Holly NCIS Director.
Donald Mallard David McCallum Chief Medical Examiner for NCIS.

Recurring Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
James Palmer Brian Dietzen Ducky's assistant.
Tobias Fornell Joe Spano An agent with the FBI.
Michelle Lee Liza Lapira An NCIS Special Agent and the Probie of the team. Following Gibbs's return to NCIS, Lee is subsequently removed form the team.
Kelly Gibbs Mary Mouser Gibbs's murdered young daughter.
Cynthia Summer Stephanie Mello Jenny's secretary.

Guest Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Mickey Stokes Hal Holbrook The man who framed former Petty Officer Derrick Paulson.
Derrick Paulson Brandon Barash A former Petty Officer found guilty of robbing a bank and of killing someone. Is later found innocent.
Stanley Springer Wayne Pére A man who appears in the episode.
Gary Silverstein Courtney Gains Petty Officer Derrick Paulson's former room-mate.
Marny Mathers Judyann Elder A Realtor who sought to sell Gibbs's house after he put it up for sale.
Emily Fornell Payton Spencer Tobias Fornell's daughter.
Woman (Escaped) Janiece Jary A woman who appears in the episode.
Older Woman (Escaped) Harriet Margulies A woman who appears in the episode.
Man in Elevator (Escaped) Paul Clausen Uncredited role.
Office Assistant Chrissy Crook Uncredited role.
Young Woman (Escaped) Sarah Spiegel Uncredited role.
  v - e - dNCIS Season Four
Shalom (episode)Escaped (episode)Singled Out (episode)Faking It (episode)Dead and Unburied (episode)Witch Hunt (episode)Sandblast (episode)Once a Hero (episode)Twisted Sister (episode)Smoked (episode)Driven (episode)Suspicion (episode)Sharif Returns (episode)Blowback (episode)Friends and Lovers (episode)Dead Man Walking (episode)Skeletons (episode)Iceman (episode)Grace Period (episode)Cover Story (episode)Brothers in Arms (episode)In the Dark (episode)Trojan Horse (episode)Angel of Death (episode)

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