Identity Crisis is the fourth episode of Season Five and also the 98th episode of the entire NCIS series.
A normal autopsy for Ducky goes wrong when it's discovered that one of his research cadavers was actually murdered. The NCIS team and the FBI join forces to track down a man capable supplying people with new identities for a price but they soon discover that a group of terrorists who have given new IDs are on the way to America, raising the concern of a possible terrorist attack...
In the NCIS morgue, NCIS Medical Examiner Dr. Donald Mallard remarks that every body has a story to tell. He then remarks that although this gentleman died a natural death, he gave his cadaver to further their education.
As this goes on, Ducky's assistant, James Palmer is busy using a saw to slice through the dead man's brain as Ducky advises the group to pay close attention to what the dead man has to tell them.
It's shown that the group of nine people, seven men and two women are all Navy personnel who are wearing white lab coats and carrying the NCIS Visitors Badge.
Once Palmer has finished, Ducky asks for the brain.
As they both prepare, Ducky now standing over the brain area remarks to the Navy personnel that inside they will see the delicate structure and pathways that determine memories, emotions, basic motor functions and in sum, who they are.
He then asks Palmer if Palmer would cradle the brain while Ducky severs this.
As this happens, Ducky calls on Lieutenant Carl Greer, asking Greer the four lobes of the cerebrum.
Greer remarks that there's the frontal, the parietal, occipital and temporal.
Once he's finished, Ducky successfully removes the brain area while the personnel look on, amazed. Ducky then states that the adult human brain weighs approximately three pounds.
Holding it, Palmer remarks that it feels like a soggy grapefruit.
As the personnel chuckle at that, Ducky tells Palmer to pass it around and as Palmer hands the brain to Greer, Ducky tells the group not to let its same size fool them as the celebral cortex contains one billion neurons and one million billion connections or synapse.
Ducky remarks that if someone was to count one synapse per second, they wouldn't finish counting for 32 million years which has both Ducky and Palmer chuckling.
Suddenly, Greer calls Ducky.
It's then shown that some form of liquid is leaking out from the brain and on to the floor.
Ducky looks at the scene, horrified.
As Ducky heads over, Palmer looks on, concerned while the Navy personnel are muttering.
"Certainly not", Ducky remarks, cupping his hands so that the liquid falls into Ducky's own hands instead.
Still holding the brain, Greer wants to know what the Hell that is.
"This, my dear Lieutenant", Ducky remarks grimly. "Is murder".
It then cuts to Ducky who is reflected back in the trace of mercury, Ducky's expression full of disgust and horror.
As she, Gibbs and Fornell head up to MTAC, NCIS Director Jennifer Shepard while holding a folder states, "You're telling me that there are terrorists on the way here and that they could be anyone. How did this start?".
As they reach the entrance, Fornell explains that it began with a man named Marvin Hinton AKA "Frederick LeClare".
"An ex-con looking for a new identity", Gibbs replies.
"A wish your Eraser was more than happy to accommodate", Jenny replies before using the iris scanner.
In MTAC, Kreiger remarks that her boss, Fornell looks mad just as Fornell, Jenny and Gibbs arrive in with Fornell giving Kreiger the evil eye as Ziva remarks that Fornell is going to chew Kreiger up.
"Out. Chew you out", Tony replies before suggesting that Fornell might not do that and that Fornell might be either one of those silent killer types.
With Fornell still glaring at Kreiger, Jenny wants to know about the Eraser, causing Fornell to call on McGee.
At a monitor, McGee hits a few keys and the briefing begins.
Fornell reveals that the Eraser is believed to be a Pakistani national, raised in India and England and that he made his name working with terrorists.
"Clean IDs", Gibbs states. "Easy transit".
As Gibbs examines the information on the big screen, Fornell explains that the Eraser facilitated Basque terrorist attacks in Spain, IRA bombings in England and the GIA bombing in France in 1995 with Jenny remarking that the bombing killed eight and wounded hundreds and that it was led by Khaled Kelkal.
Fornell then states that French authorities identified the man who made it possible as Kamal Konkani.
"That's a lot of Ks", Tony remarks. "Ks are funny, Agent Kreiger. Ever seen the Sunshine Boys".
"Ssh", Ziva snaps which startles Tony.
Fornell then says that they weren't able to put a face before Kamal disappeared off the radar.
As the big screen changes, showing a map of Maryland, Jenny remarks that apparently Kamal has relocated to Maryland and also upgraded his system for taking people off the grid.
As Tony attempts to poke Ziva, only for Ziva to stop him without even looking, Fornell says that they were tipped off to Hinton so it's possible that Kamal dropped the dime himself to test his work.
"His work seems impeccable", Jenny remarks.
"Now he's covering his tracks", Fornell states.
"And shopping his service to terrorists overseas", Gibbs finishes.
Jenny then states that she'll monitor the situation in the training camps and watch closely for any movement before suggesting that Gibbs, Fornell and the team pick up the trail on this end.
"No trace, no face", Tony remarks sarcastically. "This ought to be easy".
With that, Tony, Ziva and Kreiger all get to their feet and leave MTAC, following Gibbs and Fornell.
Outside MTAC, Fornell calls Kreiger aside for a talk as Gibbs, Tony and Ziva descend the stairway with Ziva revealing that according to Intepol, Kamal rarely ventures out of his safehouse once it's established.
"Style's cloak and dagger", Tony pipes up. "Low tech. No cell phone. No electronic messages".
"Smart", Gibbs remarks.
As they head down the stairs, they pause upon hearing Fornell yell to Kreiger that he doesn't give a flying crap what it states in the handbook before telling Kreiger that she doesn't know enough to make a decision on her own.
It then shows Fornell ranting while Kreiger silently listens.
Back on the stairs, Ziva remarks that that was long overdue.
- Dr. Jordan Hampton is introduced for the first time.
- During the briefing of Kamal Konkani, a photograph of the Omagh bombing can be seen in the background. The Omagh bombing was an event that occurred in the town of Omagh in Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland on August 15th, 1998 with the bombing killing 29 people and injuring 220 people.
- Several characters appearing in this episode share names with characters from the G.I. Joe cartoon and toy franchise from the 1980s. According to the file cards on their packaging, "Courtney Krieger", "Shannon O'Hara", "Robert Graves", and "Carl Greer" are the given names of Cover Girl, Scarlett, Grunt, and Doc (the Joes' missile tank driver, counter-intelligence expert, infantry trooper, and medic, respectively). In addition, "Blaine Parker" (a tattoo artist who was mentioned but not portrayed in the episode) was the given name of the Joes' computer specialist, Mainframe.
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||NCIS 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.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||Mossad Liaison to NCIS and also a member of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||NCIS Junior Special Agent and a member of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Forensic Specialist, NCIS.|
|Jennifer Shepard||Lauren Holly||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner, NCIS.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Ducky's assistant.|
|Tobias Fornell||Joe Spano||An agent with the FBI.|
|Jordan Hampton||Torri Higginson||A Medical Examiner.|
|Courtney Krieger||Dorian Brown||An agent with the FBI who reports to Fornell.|
|Shannon O'Hara (alias)||Nikita Ager||A suspect.|
|Robert Graves||Joe Egender||A delivery-boy and an associate of Kamal Konkani.|
|Carl Greer||Emerson Brooks||A Lieutenant present at the autopsy of Mervin Hinton/Fredrick LeClare.|
|Coffee Man||Thomas Betro||Uncredited role. A man who offers to go get Gibbs a coffee. In real life, Thomas Betro was the real-life director of NCIS at the time that this episode aired.|