Gut Check is the ninth episode of Season Eleven of NCIS and the 243rd episode of the entire NCIS series.
A briefing being held in MTAC is interrupted when it's discovered that the Secretary of the Navy/SECNAV Sarah Porter has been bugged. Determined to find out who's responsible for the bugging, Gibbs, Tony and McGee investigate, only to fall into a case that has issues of national security at stake and even murder while working alongside a young NSA Analyst who predicted two years ago that the security breach would occur.
In MTAC, as a CGI image of a ship sailing through an ocean appears on the screen behind her, SECNAV Sarah Porter announces that this is the Zumwalt Class-destroyer, demanding the best from the Navy and companies constructing her.
It then shows four businessmen sitting in MTAC, all four also wearing the NCIS Visitors Badge as they look on at the presentation.
Porter tells the four men that they represent the next wave of U.S. defense companies who will improve the lives of their military personnel by keeping them safer and better equipping them to defend us.
As this happens, both NCIS Director Leon and NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee are looking on.
As the screen changes showing the four companies's logo: United Equinox Electronics, Galaxy Mission Corporation, Dearborn Dynamics Systems, Inc and Berniger Marine Incorporated, Porter remarks to the men that together they are the future of the United States Navy.
Once the briefing's over, everyone begins applauding with Vance and McGee joining in.
Ward Davis then asks Porter why is his logo smaller than Marc Attencio?
He points out that Berninger Marine laid down a million tons of raw steel this year while United Equinox made a tiny screw.
As this happens, Porter rubs her head, obviously frustrated.
Marc Attencio states that there's a correction and that they made a teeny-tiny screw that could withstand a 1,200 degree temperature swing and that they made a crap ton of them.
Suddenly, the alarms begin blaring, causing McGee and Vance to look on, concerned.
A "System Shutdown" then pops up on screen.
As the screen goes black, Porter asks McGee if this is another dramatic touch?
McGee tells Porter or Madam Secretary not exactly and that network security detected an unauthorized electronic transmission and that everything shuts down automatically.
As this goes on, Vance begins walking around.
Porter wonders if someone's trying to hack in from the outside.
"No", McGee replies. "Lockdown only happens if the attack's internal".
It then cuts to Vance who states that the threat is in this room.
In the elevator with Gibbs, Porter states her need to clear the air right now before revealing that she has no idea where she got that pen.
- It's revealed that Tony now owns two goldfish.
- NSA Analyst Eleanor Bishop is introduced for the first time.
- After the case, Bishop becomes the official NSA/NCIS liaison officer.
- This is the second episode to briefly feature the in-development Zumwalt-class destroyer. The first was in the Season 5 episode Stakeout (episode).
- In this episode Tony says Bishop "pulled a Palmer" on the suspect. This is a reference to "About Face (episode)" where Jimmy drove a car into Tesla Suskavcevic's truck.
|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 for the 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.|
|Leon Vance||Rocky Carroll||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Sarah Porter||Leslie Hope||The new SecNav and Clayton Jarvis's replacement.|
|Eleanor Bishop||Emily Wickersham||NSA Analyst who later becomes the official NSA liaison to NCIS.|
|Ward Davis||Alan Ruck||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Marc Attencio||Geoffrey Blake (actor)||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Rudolph Stalin||Gideon Emery||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Norma Hench||Nichelle Hines||NCIS Special Agent.|
|Chad Flynderling||Tim Peper||NSA Agent.|
|Thaddeus Nox||David Anthony Buglione||Bugger and posing as "Edward Gracey".|
|Library Patron||Grace Noble||A woman who appears in the episode.|