Nature of the Beast is the season premiere of NCIS Season 9 and the 187th episode of the entire NCIS series.
After months of working with the new SECNAV on a top-secret, undercover and classified assignment, DiNozzo finds himself in a D.C. hospital, suffering from amnesia and also an injured arm while also carrying a NCIS badge stained with the blood of a fellow NCIS Special Agent. It now falls to Gibbs and the NCIS team with help from Doctor Rachel Cranston to find out what really happened.
The episode opens with a recap of what happened in the last season and ends with newly appointed SECNAV Clayton Jarvis giving NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo an assignment: watch over a fellow NCIS Special Agent who Jarvis suspects may have committed treason.
Dr. Rachel Cranston arrives at the hospital and as she leaves the lift, she remarks to NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs that she came as soon as she could.
Gibbs apologizes for the lateness.
Rachel asks about the status.
Gibbs remarks that he was found unconscious with a single gunshot wound to the chest and a concussion.
As they turn a corner, Rachel remarks that she assumes that he defended himself.
"Got off two rounds", Gibbs states.
Rachel wonders if he shot the son of a bitch.
"Maybe", Gibbs replies.
As this happens, they stop outside the hospital room.
"What does maybe mean?", Rachel wonders.
"Maybe means maybe", Gibbs states.
He then reveals that there was a lot of blood left behind and that the shooter's body was gone.
Rachel then realizes Gibbs wants her to talk to him.
"Yeah", Gibbs agrees.
Rachel states not that she doesn't love a good monosyllabic conversation which is oddly endearing but it's after midnight which means she's a little fuzzy.
She wonders what should she talk to him about.
Gibbs tells her that she's the doc.
He then hands her some coffee..
Startled, Rachel takes it.
Gibbs then opens the door of the hospital room and guides her inside.
It's then shown that the patient is none other than Gibbs's colleague, fellow NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo who sits on the bed, lost in deep thought.
He's also wearing a blue dressing gown with a hospital gown underneath.
Looking up, DiNozzo greets Rachel by stating "Dr. Kate's, uh, sister?" with DiNozzo also adding "Surprise, surprise" before he wonders what she's doing here.
DiNozzo wonders if he can get her something from the bar- little appletini or lime Jell-O shots before remarking that those are good.
Rachel remarks that it's good to sense that DiNozzo hasn't lost his sense of humor.
She then says to Gibbs that she thought DiNozzo was shot.
"Yeah", Gibbs replies. "I didn't say they were successful".
He then states that he's gonna let them talk.
As he leaves, Gibbs tells DiNozzo that he'll get his clothes with DiNozzo thanking Gibbs.
It's also shown that DiNozzo is holding his NCIS bulletproof vest.
As the door closes, Rachel remarks that DiNozzo's okay.
"I'm not dead", DiNozzo replies, pointing to an area in his vest.
Rachel states that it looks like the vest saved his life.
"You could say I'm well-invested. In vest we trust", DiNozzo says before laughing. He also adds "Go vest, young man".
Rachel then gets serious, informing DiNozzo that he fired two rounds from his gun. She also reveals that casings were recovered but that the slugs weren't and that there was blood at the scene but no body.
"Well, I ain't got nobody", DiNozzo says.
Rachel wonders if DiNozzo's done.
"Done with what?", DiNozzo wonders.
"The nervous responses", Rachel says.
DiNozzo simply rubs his head before admitting that he's a little rattled.
Rachel states that acknowledgement is the first step to recovery and that they're making some progress. She then asks DiNozzo who he shot.
As she takes a sip of her coffee, DiNozzo looks at her.
As this happens, Gibbs arrives in, carrying a box.
DiNozzo wonders if Gibbs has pizza.
Gibbs then produces some clothes from the box and begins examining it, causing DiNozzo to wonder if there's something wrong.
Gibbs then holds up an NCIS badge that has been stained with blood.
DiNozzo stares at the badge, grim-faced.
Gibbs tells DiNozzo that the badge isn't his.
DiNozzo then looks at the badge resting on the table.
Rachel wonders if DiNozzo shot another NCIS Special Agent.
DiNozzo looks flustered.
Gibbs lowers the badge.
DiNozzo then remarks that he needs their help.
Rachel looks stunned.
Gibbs just stands there.
DiNozzo then admits that he doesn't know.
It then cuts to DiNozzo who reveals that he can't remember any of it.
- It's revealed that Ziva's status as a Probationary Agent has ended and that she is now a fully-fledged Special Agent.
- Rule number 36 is revealed to be "If you feel like you're being played, you probably are".
- In addition to being a series regular, Mark Harmon is now credited as an Executive Producer, having been promoted from Producer, a role he had in the last few seasons of NCIS.
- The song playing in the last few minutes of the episode is Fink- Wheels.
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Major Case Case Response Team.|
|Anthony DiNozzo||Michael Weatherly||Senior Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||Junior Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Chief Forensic Specialist of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Leon Vance||Rocky Carroll||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Assistant Medical Examiner.|
|Erica Jane Barrett||Sarah Jane Morris (actress)||Special Agent in Charge of a team formerly based in Rota, Spain. In the previous episode, she was taken hostage by Jonas Cobb and her teammates killed. Barrett was later wounded in an ambush by Casey Stratton.|
|Simon Cade||Matt Willig||NCIS Special Agent. SecNav Jarvis believed him to be a traitor and who was the target of DiNozzo's assignment. Unfortunately, Cade was killed by Casey Stratton who intended to frame DiNozzo for the crime.|
|Gayne Levin||Alimi Ballard||NCIS Special Agent attached to Barrett's MCRT previously stationed in Rota who was shot and killed by Jonas Cobb.|
|Rachel Cranston||Wendy Makkena||NCIS Psychologist, a Doctor and the older sister of the deceased NCIS Special Agent Kate Todd.|
|Clayton Jarvis||Matt Craven||The new Secretary of the Navy who replaced Phillip Davenport in the aftermath of the scandal concerning the Port to Port killer, Lieutenant Jonas Cobb.|
|Casey Stratton (alias)||Scott Wolf||Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who is revealed to be an impostor and agent of Sean Latham with Stratton's real identity later revealed to be Jonathan Cole who is associated with the Phantom Eight group.|
|Felix Wright||Bryan Friday||Captain in the United States Navy and the murder victim.|
|Sean Latham||Philip Casnoff||Head of a corporation involved with the Phantom 8 Group.|