Jonathan Cole was a former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier and also a member of the special operations team with the callsign "Phantom Eight".
Jonathan Cole was one of the Phantom Eight, a team of special operators assigned to the Navy's covert Watcher Fleet and charged with global counter-terrorism. At some point after the group was disbanded, Cole reconnected with Sean Latham, and the two went rogue. They targeted their former colleagues and worked to obtain their microchips, which could be used to access the Watcher Fleet's database, before selling them to the highest bidders. They had planned to target Gayne Levin, but the Port-to-Port Killer beat them to him, and Gayne's teammate Erica Jane Barrett acquired the microchip. Simon Cade, another former Phantom Eight operative and teammate of Barrett's, became their next target.
NCIS Season 9Edit
In the Season 9 opener "Nature of the Beast", Cole and Latham framed Cade for selling secrets and he was forced to go on the run while recovering from his own near-death encounter with the Port-to-Port Killer. Newly appointed Secretary of the Navy Clayton Jarvis sent Anthony DiNozzo on a black ops mission to stop Cade through whatever means necessary. In pursuit of Cade, the Phantom Eight microchip belonging to Levin reentered the picture when Barrett was found by DiNozzo. Eventually, Cole organized a meeting between Barrett, Cade, and DiNozzo in order to kill them all and seize the microchips. He successfully acquired the microchips, but both Barrett and DiNozzo survived.
Barrett disappeared, and Latham informed Cole of DiNozzo's survival. He masqueraded as an FBI Agent named Casey Stratton in order to finish off DiNozzo. However he was met with stiff resistance from Leroy Jethro Gibbs, who forced him away. When Gibbs was gone, he tried again and actually reached the room where DiNozzo was being kept, only to find that he was accompanied by Dr. Rachel Cranston and on guard. He tried to sell his identity to them both, but they only grew more suspicious. Cranston contacted Gibbs, and Gibbs contacted Tobias Fornell at the FBI who informed him there was no agent named Casey Stratton employed at the FBI. Gibbs cracked open the insurance policy of William Decker, left to him by his mentor Mike Franks after his death, and found a photo of Cole with the other seven members of the Phantom Eight. Cole, meanwhile, met with Latham and the two held an international black market auction for the microchips. Levin's chip was purchased by a CEO named Harper Dearing, an act which would come back to haunt both NCIS and Cole.
Cole returned in "Housekeeping", still bent on killing DiNozzo and Barrett. When Gibbs's team realized that Latham was in on it, they and SECNAV set up an elaborate trap to bring him down. They tipped off Latham to the whereabouts of DiNozzo and Barrett, and allowed him to inform Cole. When Latham told him this hunt had to end, Cole killed him and went after the lead. What Cole did not know was that the information was falsified; DiNozzo and Barrett were located in a different safe house twenty miles away from the one Cole had been informed of. He blew up the wrong location and was apprehended after a lengthy pursuit by Gibbs, Ziva David, and Timothy McGee. In interrogation, Cole gave up the names of some of the buyers, but Gibbs was adamant that it changed nothing; he was still going to prison for a very long time. At that point, Cole started humming a tune, and through it he revealed he knew that Gibbs was responsible for the murder of Pedro Hernandez in Mexico.
While Cole was imprisoned, his actions would have serious consequences. A few months after Cole's capture, Dearing used Gayne Levin's chip to locate the Watcher Fleet file codenamed Aquamarine. He had Conrad Plimpton, another member of the Phantom Eight, murdered to seize the file. Aquamarine was a list of ships in the Navy Fleet with faulty wiring which could cause the entire ship to combust under the right conditions. The Watcher Fleet had only managed to retrofit a third of the ships listed in Aquamarine before the file was stolen, putting all remaining vessels on the list at risk. Dearing began firebombing those ships, determined to take revenge for the death of his son.
With Dearing growing increasingly bold and dangerous, culminating in the kidnapping of Director Leon Vance, Gibbs's decided to bring in Cole in "Till Death Do Us Part". Cole was to play the part of a collaborator in Dearing's schemes so NCIS could capture him in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. At first, it appeared to have worked; Dearing invited Cole to a veterans cafe for a meeting. However the meeting was a ruse and Dearing only used Cole to deliver a thinly-veiled threat to Gibbs. When it was discovered that Dearing had planted a bomb in the director's car, meant to devastate the Navy Yard, Cole tried to disarm it. However, Dearing was ready for him, and the bomb exploded at point blank range. Cole was incinerated, but not before he redeemed himself in the eyes of Gibbs and the team.
- Captain Felix Wright- (shot dead).
- Special Agent Simon Cade- (shot dead).
- Captain Marcelles Dane- (stabbed and thrown off high story building).
- Sean Latham- (stabbed).
- James Barnsway- (shot by Marcelles Dane).
- Carter Plimpton- (was killed by Harper Dearing via arsonist-for-hire Bruce Johnson to get the Project Aquamarine file, which Dearing knew about thanks to the receiving of Gayne Levin's Watcher Fleet microchip that he and Latham auctioned online).