Grounded is the ninth episode of Season Twelve of NCIS and the 267th episode of the entire NCIS series.
While weather worsens outdoors, DiNozzo, Bishop, and her husband, Jake are stuck at Dulles airport working on a case involving a possible terrorist threat, only to discover twists and turns as the case turns out to be anything but ordinary with the NCIS team later finding themselves battling to stop a possible assassination attempt.
As snow sweeps over Washington D.C., a woman states that D.C. hasn't seen snow like this for Thanksgiving in decades. She also goes on to say that the roads are slick and visibility is zero and that a bitterly cold windchill has made the nation's capital feel more like the frozen Arctic and what caused the shift in temperatures is this high-pressure system that they can see right...
As this happens, the camera pans inside to a motel room and onto a TV, revealing that the woman is ZNN Meteorologist Chelsea Mills.
Meanwhile, Mike Beers remarks to his wife that he's flown in worse and that it's Paris, a quick there and back.
As he closes his suitcase, he also promises that there are no leftovers and that he'll be there to cut the turkey.
On the TV, Mills then remarks that what had been broadcast as scattered showers in some areas quickly turned into the wet, icy accumulations they are seeing out there right now.
As she says that, Beers hears a door at the knock and tells his wife that it's his cab and that he loves her before he hangs up. He then opens the door, telling them that he'll be another minute.
He then sees Norman Dopps standing there.
Dopps then draws a gun with a silencer and shoots Beers, the shot sending Beers to the ground while killing Beers instantly.
In the background and on the TV, Mills tells them to look at local temperatures and that that in D.C., they can expect lows into the 20s and in Fairfax, not much better and that along the coast, their coldest temperatures as they'll dip down into the teens.
Dopps heads inside the room and shuts the door.
He then removes Beers's glasses before placing them onto the bed with Dopps also removing Beers's wedding ring too.
As Mills says that the forecast of some scattered showers in some areas was quickly turned into the wet, icy accumulations they are seeing out right there, implying that this is a repeat of some sort, Dopps picks up the glasses and heads over to the mirror where he puts the glasses on, examining himself in the mirror.
He then dumps his backpack onto the bed and produces a box, opening it while revealing that a bush, scissors and some spray are inside.
It then cuts to the floor where Beers lies there, dead as Mills announces that they can expect one rough Thanksgiving weekend ahead.
- Jake Malloy, Ellie Bishop's husband is introduced in person for the first time.
- On the Region 2 DVD, a behind-the-scenes feature titled, "Pre-Flight Jitters: Shooting on Location" revealed that the episode was shot over three days at a closed side of a real airport in Ontario, California.
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Anthony DiNozzo||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.|
|Chelsea Mills||Jackie Johnson||A Meteorologist working for ZNN, previously appeared in Squall (episode).|
|Mike Beers||Trent Dawson||An airport marshal, former marine and the main murder victim.|
|Norman Dopps||Trent Dawson||A hit man for organized crime families and drug cartels and Beers' look-alike.|
|Ruth Potts||Edie McClurg||A woman who appears in the episode.|
|Lana Danzette||Tate Hanyok||A woman who appears in the episode.|
|Jake Malloy||Jamie Bamber||Ellie Bishop's husband.|
|Janet Lewis||Klea Scott||Airport Police Lieutenant.|
|Alberto Velez||Philippe Brenninkmeyer||AKA "Dapper Don" and also an assassin.|
|Lou Sandlock||Chris Dougherty||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Joseph McBride||Chris Flanders||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Pajama Hipster||Rane Jameson||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Colombian Federal Agent||Gordon Vasquez||Appears briefly in the airport. Uncredited role.|