|Hung Out to Dry||Credits||Transcript|
A young woman and her boyfriend get the shock of their lives when the body of a Marine falls through the SUV they're in. NCIS investigate and suspect that a faulty parachute which failed to open contributed to the Marine's death but they soon find evidence suggesting that the "accident" is actually a murder and the team set out to arrest the person truly responsible...
The episode opens with a young girl, Sarah Schaefer and her boyfriend, Jimmy sitting in a car, listening to Dashboard Confessional's "Ghost of a Good Thing". Jimmy is trying to kiss Sarah but she's refusing, telling him to stop. He then backs off and tells her he sat on a torn-up bus for three hours just to hook up with her.
Sarah tells him that if he only came to hook up, then he should have just stayed in Charlottesville.
Unsurprisingly, Jimmy starts kissing Sarah and she tries to get him to stop, telling him that she will scream. Their arguing is interrupted when a dead body crashes through the SVU, soaking Sarah and Jimmy with its blood.
And sure enough, Sarah starts screaming.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs is busy working on a boat in his basement when Anthony DiNozzo comes down the steps, informing him that he got a call from Quantico informing him that a Marine got killed in a night-training jump and that the guy's chute didn't open. When Gibbs asks about the victim's spare chute, DiNozzo tells him he doesn't know.
He then tells Gibbs that he hasn't called Ducky and Gibbs asks for DiNozzo's cell-phone before heading upstairs.
"Coming, DiNozzo?", Gibbs asks.
"Yeah!", DiNozzo replies. "I got the lights".
Then the lights are turned off, engulfing the basement in darkness before spotlights are switched on, revealing the extent of the crime scene. While Gibbs and Tony are heading to the scene, Sergeant Gregory Nutt fills them in on what he has so far and the group then head over to meet Sarah and Jimmy who they interview in regards to what happened. While Jimmy smokes a cigarette to calm his nerves, Sarah wrapped in her boyfriend's jacket tells Gibbs and DiNozzo what happened and she also says that she heard the victim moan after he'd crashed through the SUV.
Once they're finished, Gibbs and Tony head over to where Donald Mallard is, thoroughly examining the body of the Marine which happens to be buried deep inside the SUV. Tony remarks that he'll get the monopod and Gibbs heads over to Ducky to get what the Medical Examiner has so far.
Gibbs realizes that a number of the parachute's lines failed and this led to the chute "tootsie rolling" which dropped the Marine like a Roman Candle. When Ducky asks if they were cut, Gibbs tells him they look wore as if they simply gave out under the pressure.
DiNozzo returns with the newest recruit to the NCIS team: former Secret Service agent-turned-NCIS Special Agent Caitlin Todd who is wearing a tweed suit and high heels. She tells Gibbs while she got her new SIG-Sauer and badge but because HQ didn't issue her photo ID, she wasn't let through.
Upon seeing the Marine's body lying there, Kate is shocked, asking if this is for real. Ducky grimly assures her it is.
Gibbs hands her some gloves and tells her to put them while Ducky remarks that this is Kate's first crime-scene. When Kate mentions Air Force One, Ducky tells her that since she was in the Secret Service, that doesn't count.
Gibbs shoots down Ducky's request for a team photo and then hands Kate containing a box of combat boots because the heels Kate's wearing aren't suitable for a crime scene while also welcoming her to NCIS.
"How did you know my size?", Kate asks.
Gibbs urges her to put the boots almost immediately because she can't work a scene in high heels.
"Depends on the kind of work you're doing", DiNozzo replies.
Kate sarcastically remarks that DiNozzo's mind goes from X to XXX before she leaves to change, armed with the box that contain her new boots and hat.
Once Gibbs and Kate have left, DiNozzo asks Ducky about Gibbs's behavior which includes Gibbs ripping his hard-line out and tossing his cell-phone into a jar of paint thinner.
Ducky tells him that it's the day of the anniversary of Gibbs's third marriage and that his third ex-wife gets drunk and calls him repeatedly.
When DiNozzo asks him why Gibbs doesn't change his number, Ducky simply states that Gibbs is a man of more questions than answers.
Seconds later, Kate and Gibbs return, Kate now wearing the official NCIS cap, gloves and boots. DiNozzo responds by taking a photo of the two which Kate sarcastically thanks him for. DiNozzo remarks that she could be the NCIS poster girl in the outfit she's wearing, a comment that in a rare moment of unity has the entire team smiling.
The next morning, the team descend on the airplane hanger where the rest of the victim's unit is being kept. Captain Faul, the unit's C.O who is extremely pissed over the fact that his men can't contact their families and let them know that they didn't die in the training accident angrily confronts Gibbs over the situation. He demands to see Larry Fuentes's wife and son but Gibbs refuses to budge until they've finished questioning Faul and his men. Faul then tells the team that the unit has another jump at 21:00 tonight, something Kate expresses disbelief over.
Faul tells her that they don't stop for casualties of war, not even in training.
Gibbs refuses to let that happen and tells Faul his men don't even jump off a lower bunk until they've found out what's happened. When Faul continues to act against them, Gibbs pulls out his trump card. He places a fake call to Commandant May of the Marine Corps to get his point across, forcing Faul to stand down.
While Tony is tasked with photographing and sketching the inside of the plane, Gibbs and Kate interrogate the remaining members of Fuentes's unit. Through a talk, they learn that Fuentes's nickname was "Thumper" due to his good luck and that a week before the accident, Fuentes was on a new bike when he crashed into a car which "dinged" his collarbone. Corporal Paul Dafelmair also states he was the first to reach Fuentes and expresses hope that Fuentes died on impact.
Gibbs releases the men and orders them to prepare a written statement in regards to what happened but takes their gear, stating that it belongs to NCIS now.
As Gibbs and Kate walk away from the hangar, they discuss the fact that Fuentes's reaction time might have been slow due to the fact that he was taking painkillers for his collarbone. Gibbs remarks that the injured collarbone hurts like Hell and it usually takes a few days to heal.
Kate remarks on the stupidity of Dafelmair of knowing that Thumper was taking painkillers so that he could jump.
"No", Gibbs replies. "That's a Marine".
In the morgue, Ducky is busy telling Gibbs and Kate the injuries Fuentes sustained and confirms that the victim did indeed have an fractured left collarbone while Ducky even confirming that the two Agents are beginning to scare him. When Gibbs asks if it would hurt, Ducky tells him the shock would hurt "like blazes".
Ducky also states that Fuentes was briefly alive after falling into the SUV and then shows Gibbs and Kate a live image of Feuntes's femoral artery. While Kate gets a bit queasy about seeing it up close on the monitor, Ducky remarks that it was severed and that Feuntes bled to death as a result of it.
It then cuts to Abby's lab where she's busy changing her paintings much to Tony's dismay with Abby telling him that art doesn't stand still. She then tells him she's gotten rid of the "Sad End of a Draino Drinker", which was previously seen in the JAG Season 8 episodes, Ice Queen (episode) and Meltdown (episode) causes Tony remark to remark that the original painting was his favorite.
In its place is a new painting on her wall, one of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen which she calls "Blast From the Future". Gibbs and Kate arrive up from Autopsy with Gibbs looking for the tox-screen results. Abby gives them to the team, confirming that Fuentes was on Percocet and Vicodin which he took just before he jumped, causing Gibbs to remark that the Marines from his unit probably knew.
Abby tells them that Feuntes's reserve chute was fine and that all he needed to do was pop it. She then shows the team what she's found on the shroud lines on the main chute. Kate remarks that the edges look melted while Abby states she's certain that an acid shredded the lines holding Fuentes.
With Abby running solo and at least a day before he gets anything else, Gibbs assigns Kate to help Abby find the cause with Kate being surprised by the move. When she asks Gibbs if she gets to do Forensics, Gibbs shoots her down by saying that she's to schelp for Abby as Abby is the only person who gets to do Forensics.
As Gibbs and Tony leave the lab, Abby gives Kate a spare lab coat and the two's friendship begins.
Back at the airplane hangar, Gibbs and Tony are questioning Corporal Dafelmair who is a rigger- someone who's tasked with inspecting and preparing the parachutes before any jumps. Dafelmair remarks that the chutes are packed randomly and that there's no way for someone to get to their target with a sabotaged parachute.
After a lengthy talk, Gibbs brings up Dafelmair's criminal past. Dafelmair got a choice from the judge: go to prison or join the Marine Corps. He chose the Corps and clearly states that he would never do anything to hurt them or one of his brother Marines.
In Abby's lab, she and Kate are studying the substance on the shroud lines of Fuentes's parachute. Abby eventually identifies it as sulfuric acid and after that, the two spend the next few minutes talking about how they got into their respective careers.
Back at the Base, a Marine catches up to Gibbs and Tony who gives Gibbs a box containing a new cell-phone courtesy of Ducky who has also sent Gibbs a message regarding call-blocking. Gibbs then gets his first call on his new cell-phone and tells the person at the other end he'll be in twenty. The two then look at the Marines jumping off a ledge and landing in a sand-pit with Gibbs remarking that Tony falls into the category of "I want a kick in the ass in the ground".
The team eventually regather back in Abby's lab where Kate reveals that nine of the sixteen parachutes she and Abby tested were found to have been tampered with and log book signatures show that different riggers packed them. Dafelmair packed four while Brinkman and Fuentes packed the rest. Kate tells Gibbs and Tony that she rang Captain Faul when Ramsey's signature didn't show up. Faul told that he put Ramsey on a two-week rigging suspension for sloppy work. Gibbs figures out that Fuentes was the one who wrote Ramsey up.
Abby has found DNA traces on all nine of the tampered parachutes, but they can't ID it because they don't have access to Ramsey's DNA.
Kate suggests that they use the Armed Forces DNA registry but Gibbs shoots her down, saying that they can't because the registery is only good for identifying bodies. Kate insists that there has to be a way around that and Gibbs remarks that she's now thinking like an NCIS Special Agent.
Kate grins at the compliment.
Lt. Bud Roberts Jr from JAG has been called into NCIS to help Gibbs and Kate gain access to the Armed Forces DNA registry but while Bud agrees with the evidence, he refuses to help them get access to the registry. Despite Gibbs's efforts to get Bud to cave in, Bud remains defiant, stating that it was designed to identify bodies, not chase suspects.
However, Bud feels compelled to sign some search authorizations just to make Gibbs happy.
Back in the squad room, Gibbs and Kate talk about Gibbs's strategy in talking to Lt. Roberts with Gibbs comparing his strategy to that of horse-trading before remarking that if you can't work the system, you can work the people. Tony states that scuttlebutt- (term for Marine water-cooler gossip) is that Ramsey took a swing at Thumper because Thumper was the one responsible for getting Ramsey suspended.
Gibbs gets another call with the caller's identity withheld and Tony sticks his nose in, causing Gibbs to give him the glare to which Tony says, "I'm gonna shut up now" and Gibbs replies, "Now?". Upon getting up from his desk, Gibbs tells them to meet him at the hangar at 14:00 because that's when they're going through the riggers's lockers.
Gibbs arrives at Fuentes's house and sees the Sergeant's young son, Billy, sitting on top of the treehouse, grieving for his dead father. Billy rues that the treehouse will never be finished and since his father's dead, why should it matter? Seconds later, Mrs Fuentes, Billy's mother and Sergeant Fuentes's widow arrives outside, demanding to know what's going on. Gibbs identifies himself as NCIS and Mrs Fuentes remarks that her husband was a good husband and a good father with Gibbs adding a good Marine in.
Mrs Funtes then tells there are rumors going around about her husband's death, rumors which suggest it wasn't an accident. Gibbs assures her that he'll find who's responsible and after giving young Billy some advice, watches the family leave for the funeral.
She then stops and tells Gibbs she believes he'll get who did this.
"You have my word", Gibbs vows.
Back on the base, Tony wearing a Marine uniform with no name tag is practising how to jump out of an airplane when Gibbs and Kate arrive. Kate remarks that the jumping was "very ladylike" and when Gibbs demands answers, DiNozzo tells him he's doing some research for Abby and eventually admits he thought of serving two masters.
"You're serving one now", Gibbs snaps.
The team arrive at the paraloft where Sergeant Nutt meets them and explains that after Fuentes's death, he had the riggers's lockers sealed. After a long search, Kate finds in Ramsey's locker a can of brass stripper solvent which contains sulphuric acid, the same content used to melt Fuentes's parachute lines.
Despite Ramsey insisting the stuff isn't his, Nutt takes him into custody while Tony reads the Corporal his rights and Gibbs seals Ramsey's locker again. In interrogation, Gibbs brings up the fact that Thumper/Fuentes and Ramsey had a fight after Fuentes got Ramsey suspended and wrote him up.
Gibbs then gives Ramsey an opportunity to prove that he's really innocent.
The deal: Ramsey must provide a DNA sample.
Ramsey is unwilling until Gibbs agrees that he can't know whether or not there's already something planted at the scene with Ramsey's DNA on it.
Back in the squad-room, Gibbs is berating DiNozzo for his latest report, saying that it looks like he learnt to write in China while Kate catches a glimpse and remarks that it could be Egypt since from where she's standing, DiNozzo's writing looks like hieroglyphics.
He and Kate are in the middle of talking about the interviews of the Marines who didn't jump when Abby shows up, informing the team that Corporal Ramsey finally caved and gave her a DNA sample despite the fact that his mouth was drier than mummy dust.
She tells them that she had to go over four times to get a decent DNA sample.
When Gibbs asks her how long it's going to take for the DNA to match, Abby tells him they've got to give 24 hours. Gibbs tells her the clock's ticking and as such, Abby leaves to get to work. Kate expresses surprise that Ramsey gave up a sample of his DNA while DiNozzo remarks that Ramsey's hoping for that one in a million shot it won't match.
"Guilty people do that?", Kate asks.
"All the time", DiNozzo replies.
Gibbs then remarks that Kate has a point because what if Ramsey was telling the truth and that he's innocent? Kate then realizes that if Ramsey is truly innocent, then they've got two suspects: Corporal Dafelmair or Brinkman. Gibbs reminds her that they've got three because since Captain Faul had a key to the paraloft, then he's their third suspect.
Gibbs and Kate grab their gear and leave to interrogate Faul.
Tony attempts to join them but Gibbs tells him to stay behind because he's got a report to finish. Gibbs and Kate arrive back at the hangar and talk to Faul who tells them he has an alibi for the time when the parachutes were tampered with.
After the interview ends, they return to the squad room where Tony informs them that despite being suspended from rigging duties, Ramsey handed out the chutes while Feuntes supervised from the truck.
Kate then tells them that Ramsey could have given Thumper a dirty chute, something that gets Gibbs's attention. When he asks her to repeat herself, Kate states that Thumper could have been given a sabotaged chute. Gibbs realizes she said dirty and then storms off to the lab with a confused Tony and Kate following.
The team arrive in Abby's lab where Gibbs demands to see Fuentes's reserve chute but Abby informs him that there's something they should look at first. She shows them an infared image of the sabotaged shroud lines and tells them there are traces of cocaine on the line. Gibbs express surprise at the revelation and wonders if the killer's using it but Abby says that the residence's too pure and that it came from cutting and weighing the drugs. Kate then voices her concern that Thumper was probably murdered for reporting Ramsey's rigging.
When Gibbs checks Thumper's reserve chute despite Abby remarking that she already checked it, Gibbs expresses concern that it's clean, too clean for someone who smashed through a tree and an SUV. Abby tells him once she'd finished testing the other gear, she stored them in the ballistics lab.
After bringing the bags containing the parachutes out of the lab, the team go through the bags and after a search, Gibbs produces a chute with Number 13 marked on it. He looks at it more closely and discovers that the reserve chute assigned to Thumper can't be used because the cone has been soldered in place.
The team glance at the name on the rucksack and realize that they've gotten Fuentes's killer. Gibbs then tells Kate to call Captain Faul and tell the Captain that jump-offs can resume since they've gotten the killer. When Kate asks if she should tell Faul who it is, Gibbs angrily remarks that he doesn't want DNA evidence. He wants the bastard, i.e., the one who murdered Fuentes to confess.
Once Kate has left the lab, Gibbs tosses the spare parachute to DiNozzo, telling him they're both going to go jumping and that DiNozzo will be wearing this when they jump.
"Jump?", DiNozzo says, confused while Gibbs signs a clipboard that Abby hands to him.
A few hours later, Gibbs and DiNozzo join the rest of the Marine unit on their first official jumping mission since Fuentes's death. DiNozzo tricks Dafelmair into switching chutes with him and Gibbs eventually confronts Dafelmair about his criminal past and how Thumper found out he'd soiled the Marine uniform by selling drugs.
When Dafelmair remains silent, Gibbs advises the Corporal that a confession and the identity of Dafelmair's supplier will get him a deal. Dafelmair refuses to say anything, forcing GIbbs to cut Dafelmair's shroud lines much to Captain Faul's horror. Gibbs tells Faul and everyone in earshot that Dafelmair has a spare parachute.
Dafelmair finally cracks, asking how good the deal will be and Gibbs asks DiNozzo to read the Corporal his rights. Unfortunately, an enraged Brinkman begins attacking Dafelmair, screaming that the Corporal in question doesn't deserve a deal for what he did.
In the panic and scuffle that follows, Tony gets pushed out of the plane with Gibbs remarking, "Goodbye, DiNozzo". It then cuts to a figure who is flying through the air with their parachute opened at last and DiNozzo can be whooping in joy or excitement about experiencing a real jump.
In the squad room with Kate having gone home already and Gibbs doing paperwork, Tony is watching the live coverage of Dafelmair's arrest and remarks, "Are we ever going to make the eleven o'clock news?.
"Could have happened if you'd broken your neck", Gibbs replies.
DiNozzo then bids Gibbs a good-night before leaving the bullpen, limping while Gibbs silently smirks in amusement before resuming his paperwork duties. Seconds later, his cell-phone rings and upon glancing at the caller ID which says, "Caller ID Withheld", Gibbs drops the still-ringing phone into his drawer and then leaves the bullpen too.
At the crack of the dawn the next day, young Billy Fuentes in his PJs emerges from the house after hearing the sound of a hammer. He looks up to see Gibbs up to the tree, finishing the treehouse that Sergeant Fuentes was working on with his son before his murder.
Billy wants to come up but Gibbs asks him if he's chosen a password yet. Billy tells him it's Semper Fi, a choice that Gibbs admits is a good passward.
Billy finally climbs up to the treehouse and joins Gibbs in working on the treehouse.
- Caitlin Todd officially starts work as an NCIS Special Agent, having received her SIG and badge.
- Kate is seen in Interrogation for the first time.
- Ducky calls Kate "Caitlin" for the first time.
- Gibbs receives a cell-phone from Ducky, having dumped his previous cell in a jar of paint-thinner.
- Ducky reveals that he has a nephew.
- Ducky explains that every year Gibbs's third ex-wife gets drunk on their anniversary and calls him non-stop.
- Kate witnesses an Autospy for the first time.
- Tony learns that Abby has gotten rid of her painting titled "Sad End of a Draino Drinker" which was previously seen in JAG: Ice Queen and replaced it with a picture of a self-inflicted gunshot to the abdomen, one that she calls "Blast from the Future".
- Gibbs reveals that before becoming an NCIS Special Agent, DiNozzo was a Baltimore cop.
- Kate becomes a temporary lab assistant so that she can help Abby.
- Kate reveals that prior to joining the Secret Service, she had spent a year in law school but had quit, feeling as if she'd spent ten years in prison.
- Gibbs shows his soft side to a child.
- Chaney Kley, who played Corporal Paul Brinkman, later died on July 24, 2007 with his cause of death being revealed as sleep apnea.
- While talking to Tony about changing her artwork, Abby explains that she's got a "Chagall feeling" going on. This is a reference to Marc Chagall, a Jewish Belarusian artist whose main works came from fantasy and dreams.
- Lt. Bud Roberts recounts to Kate what happened the last time he and Gibbs interacted (NCIS' two part pilot from JAG). This references the fact that Kate replaces Vivian Blackadder from the two part pilot.
- The background given for Abby regarding her interest in forensics is the same as Pauley's: living near a wrecking yard and being intrigued by the cause and effect of the wrecks.
- Several characters get their names from crew members: Sarah Schaefer (Construction Coordinator, Thom Schaefer), Sgt. Gregory Nutt (Transportation Coordinator, Greg Nutt), Cpl. Paul Dafelmair (Costume Supervisor, Paul Dafelmair).
- When Gibbs is checking different parachutes, Tony asks what he is looking for. Gibbs replies, "A screwed pooch." Screw the pooch is military slang for badly messing something up.
- Patrick Labyorteaux, who played Lt Bud Roberts on NCIS's parent series, JAG, is credited as a Special Guest Star.
- This is also one of the very few episodes where there's no music of any kind being played in Abby's lab.
- Despite being referred to as a Lance Corporal in the press release, everyone refers to Fuentes as Sergeant instead of Lance Corporal.
- In regards to 1400 being the designated time that the team will search the Marine's lockers, Tony says that it's two o'clock "secret service time", but Kate replies that they use Zulu time, so it's 1900.
- This is also the first-ever episode to introduce the "Special Guest Star" credit.
- Season One Regular Cast
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||Special Agent in charge of the Major Case Response Team, NCIS.|
|Anthony DiNozzo||Michael Weatherly||Senior Special Agent, MCRT, NCIS.|
|Caitlin Todd||Sasha Alexander||Special Agent, MCRT, NCIS.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Chief Forensic Specialist, NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner, NCIS.|
|Lieutenant Bud Roberts Jr, USN||Patrick Labyorteaux||A JAG lawyer.|
|Gerald Jackson||Pancho Demmings||Assistant Medical Examiner for NCIS.|
|Captain Faul, USMC||James MacDonald||In charge of the marines doing the night-training jump.|
|Sergeant Gregory Nutt, USMC||Keith Diamond (actor)||Gives Gibbs and Tony information about what happened when they arrive at the crime scene.|
|Sergeant Tuers, USMC||Lee Reherman||A member of the same unit as Lance Corporal Fuentes. NCIS interview Tuers in regards to the suspicious circumstances surrounding Fuentes's death.|
|Sergeant Larry Fuentes, USMC||Brian Patrick Wade||Victim.|
|Corporal Paul Dafelmair, USMC||Rick Pasqualone||The Marine who was in the drugs trade and who was also responsible for killing Corporal/Sergeant Fuentes.|
|Corporal Dave Ramsey, USMC||Dave Power||Was thought to have been responsible for the death of Sergeant Fuentes but is later found innocent.|
|Corporal Paul Brinkman, USMC||Chaney Kley||One of the Marines NCIS interview in regards to the death of Sergeant/Corporal Fuentes.|
|Rosemarie Fuentes||Christina Souza||Wife of Victim.|
|Billy Fuentes||Austin Noah Marques||Son of Victim.|
|Sarah Schaefer||Julie Gonzalo||Young Girl. (Witness)|
|Jimmy (Hung Out to Dry)||Brandon Davis||Sarah's Boyfriend. (Witness)|
|NCIS Season One|
|♦ Ice Queen (JAG) ♦ Meltdown (JAG) ♦ NCIS: The Beginning (JAG) ♦ Yankee White ♦ Hung Out to Dry ♦ Seadog ♦ The Immortals ♦ The Curse ♦ High Seas ♦ Sub Rosa ♦ Minimum Security ♦ Marine Down ♦ Left for Dead ♦ Eye Spy ♦ My Other Left Foot ♦ One Shot, One Kill ♦ The Good Samaritan ♦ Enigma ♦ Bête Noire ♦ Truth is out There ♦ UnSEALeD ♦ Dead Man Talking ♦ Missing ♦ Split Decision ♦ A Weak Link ♦ Reveille|