Under Covers (episode)

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Under Covers

First aired
November 8, 2005
Written by
Directed by
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Under Covers is the fifty-fourth episode of NCIS and the eighth episode in Season Three.


The bodies of a murdered assassin and his wife are taken to NCIS after they end up dead in a car crash. It's soon discovered that the victims had reservations at a hotel where the United States Marine Corps birthday ball is scheduled to be held which means that someone at the ball could be a target. As such, Tony and Ziva go undercover, posing as the two married assassins and they attempt to discover who hired them but it's soon revealed that there's more to the case than meets the eye....


The scene opens with a man giving a butler some money before the butler departs.

It's soon revealed that the man in question is none other than NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo and his female companion is Mossad/NCIS Liaison Officer Ziva David.

The two then begin exploring their room with Tony stunned by the big screen TV in the cupboard while Ziva eats a grape from the mini-basket. Tony unsurprisingly gets distracted by the fact that the TV has 200 channels.

Ziva then intervenes by closing the cupboard door before she leads Tony back to the room, stating that there's only one thing she's interested in right now.

There's a moment of silence before the two begin kissing rather passionately.

It then cuts to the floor where Ziva quickly removes her skirt which drops to the ground as the two continue kissing.

Act One

A while later, Tony and Ziva are lying in bed, their clothes having been scattered everywhere.

Ziva grabs the remote and hits a button with music emerging from the speakers. She then asks Tony who's lying on top of her if they think they brought it with Tony remarking that he did.

"That's fairly obvious", Ziva states.

"For your information, that's my knee", Tony replies.

"Whatever", Ziva states before telling Tony that he can get off her.

Tony remarks that it's only been ten minutes and that he has a reputation to protect. Ziva remarks that they're not even sure if they're under surveillance yet.

Tony states that they can't be too careful when they're undercover before suggesting that they give it another 40 minutes just to be realistic.

"Realistic, huh?", Ziva wonders. "In that case...".

She then gestures so that it's now Tony lying on the bed with Ziva straddling him.

"I'll just ride on top", Ziva finishes.

Tony remarks that he can live with that.

Ziva then punches Tony, causing him to grunt with pain with Tony wondering what that was for. Ziva tells him that that is not Tony's knee.

She then kisses him.

In the NCIS morgue, a body-bag is unzipped, revealing a young woman with NCIS Medical Examiner Dr. Donald Mallard remarking to his friend, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs that the woman is very beautiful.

Gibbs states that her name is Sophie Ranier and that she's murdered over twenty-five people.

"And her friend?", Ducky wonders, asking about the other body-bag being brought in.

Gibbs then unzips the body-bag and announces that it's Sophie's husband, Jean-Paul Ranier and that both were Canadian citizens who were also contract assassins.

As the other NCIS team focus on getting the bag containing Jean Paul's remains onto the table, Ducky remarks that Sophie has suffered extensive injuries and that it may take some time to determine the actual cause of death.

Gibbs reveals that they were killed in a car accident two days ago outside of Kuwait International Airport before giving Ducky the accident report.

"I'm assuming this is urgent", Ducky replies. "I've waited three months to see Giselle".

"Yeah, apologizes about your girlfriend, Duck", Gibbs states.

NCIS Director Jennifer Shepard then arrives in, stating that Giselle is a ballet and that Gibbs should get out of his basement more.

It then shows a flashback of Gibbs and Jenny having dinner together in a foreign city, presumably somewhere in Europe.

Jenny then tells Ducky that they need to know everything about these two with Ducky wondering why NCIS is investigating this.

Jenny reveals that Marine CID found two fake U.S. passports and two first-class tickets for Washington D.C. in their luggage with Gibbs stating that they have reservations at the Barclay through November 10th.

"Marine Corps Birthday", Ducky states.

Gibbs announces that they're holding the Ball, hosted by the Commandment of the Marine Corps. Jenny reveals that their top military leaders, congressmen and directors will be there including Jenny herself.

Gibbs reveals that Tony and Ziva have taken up their reservations at the Barclay and they're there now, pretending to be these two assassins and that they're working blind.

Jenny remarks that they're counting on Ducky to fill them in on the more personal details of their couple.

Ducky states that while it's common knowledge that he talks to his patients, unfortunately to date none of them have ever answered him back.

"Listen harder", Gibbs states.

In the hotel room, Tony asks Ziva if she knows what he could really use right now.

"Some deodorant?", Ziva suggests.

Tony remarks that he was thinking more along the lines of a back massage.

"Good idea", Ziva says before telling Tony why doesn't he roll over like a good boy.

Tony lies on his stomach while Ziva then sits on his back, massaging him with Tony groaning in pleasure and remarking, "To think my mother thought I was too good enough for you".

Ziva then pinches him.

In a hotel room, FBI agent, Maya is keeping an eye on things when her partner, Yussif comes in with Yussif wondering what he missed.

Maya remarks that they had sex.

As Yussif approaches, grabbing a sniper rifle, he wonders if they had contact with anyone.

"Just each other", Maya replies. "Multiple times".

As he keeps the sniper rifle trained on the window, Yussif wonders if it was good for Maya with Maya disgusted. Suddenly, there's a tap and Maya announces that someone's knocking on their door.

Ziva wonders who it is with the voice saying, "Room service".

In the hotel room, Ziva changes the music and lets the bellboy who is none other than NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee in with McGee remarking that it's compliments of the hotel management. He then gives Ziva something.

As Ziva closes the curtains, Tony, now up and wearing a bath-robe approaches with McGee giving him something.

In a low voice, McGee states that Gibbs wants McGee to sweep the room for bugs and to place some of their own before announcing that Gibbs wants to talk to Tony.

Tony slips a small headpiece into his ear.

Ziva remarks that McGee can put that over there, please.

"Very good, ma'am", McGee replies, grabbing the tray of flowers. He then turns the vase around, revealing that one of the flowers has a camera in it.

Ziva announces to McGee or the Garcon that they'd like some extra bath towels.

As this goes on, it cuts to MTAC where Gibbs and Jenny are.

McGee then grabs a remote and begins scanning the area while stating that he's checking to make sure everything is in order. He then spots the bed and asks Tony if he would like the maid to make up the bed for him.

Tony remarks that won't be necessary.

In the other hotel room, as the FBI agents keep a track of things, Ziva wonders if the waiter will check the minibar and they'd like it stocked with Red Bull.

"Red Bull", McGee states. "That'll keep you up all night, ma'am".

"Exactly", Ziva replies.

Suddenly, McGee's remote begins glowing green, suggesting that he's found the bugs and he silently gestures at Tony and Ziva to remain quiet with Ziva nodding,.

McGee then states that they should accept this assortment of cheeses compliments of the hotel. He then presses the tray down onto where the bugs are.

In the room, Maya stops and tries to get closer by turning the volume.

Yussif wonders what's wrong with Maya stating that room service put a tray on their microphone.

"You know what that means", Yussif says.

"We're screwed?", Maya says.

"Nope", Yussif states. "You get to dress up as a maid now".

Maya just looks at Yussif, annoyed.

In the main hotel room, McGee tells Tony and Ziva as long as they whisper, it should be okay.

In MTAC, Gibbs wonders if DiNozzo is comfortable.

DiNozzo states that he is and that he's working on it before wondering why they're asking.

"We're looking at you, Agent DiNozzo", Jenny replies. "All of you".

This causes the cork of the wine bottle to pop, startling McGee while DiNozzo covers himself up with DiNozzo quickly apologizing.

Gibbs on the other hand is pissed, stating what the Hell is DiNozzo doing and that they're supposed to be married assassins and that they're not visiting the Playboy Mansion.

Tony states that it was kind of Ziva's idea.

Suddenly, the phone rings with DiNozzo alerting them to it.

Jenny then suggests that Ziva answer it.

Tony then asks Ziva or Sweetcheeks if she thinks she can answer the phone while he pours them some champagne? Ziva silently gets to her feet and answers the phone with Tony thanking her.

Ziva then grabs the phone and answers, stating, "Yes".

In a room, a man tells her that there's a cell-phone in the Bible next to their bed. Ziva opens the drawer and finds the Bible before producing it and showing it with Ziva stating that she's got it.

The man tells her to keep with her at all times before announcing that they have dinner reservations in the hotel dining room at 9pm before advising them not to be late.

With that, he hangs.

Ziva hangs up and remarks that it was the concierege before remarking to Tony that it looks like they were able to get into the dining room after all.

Tony hands her a glass of champagne with Ziva remarking that it looks like she's getting up dressed up for him tonight.

They then click glasses.

Tony looks at McGee who just rolls his eyes.

In MTAC, Gibbs remarks that wasn't the concierege and that it was their contact.

In the hotel room, Maya announces that they're on the move before telling Yussif that they should go and they've gotta get dressed for dinner.

"I'm coming", Yussif announces.

A while later. NCIS Forensic Scientist Abigail Sciuto, wearing her bowling outfit arrives in while telling Gibbs not to look at her that way and she was at league night when she got the 911 while also revealing that she was two leagues away from a perfect score.

As she and Gibbs enter the morgue, she then states that just for the record, the stupid outfits weren't her idea.

"I like it", Gibbs says.

Abby remarks that it's kind of cute.

Ducky states that there's no sign of his assistant, James Palmer.

"Not since this afternoon, Ducky", Abby says.

Gibbs directs Abby to the dead couples's personal effects and that she should get herself wired so she can tell DiNozzo and Ziva her findings.

"Looking for anything in particular?", Abby wonders.

"Yeah, anything that will help those two act like them", Gibbs announces before leaving the morgue.

In the lab, Abby's computer is busy scanning the people.

In the dining room, it's relatively busy with Gibbs asking Tony for a visual with Tony remarking that there's quite a crowd here tonight before he asks Ziva/Sweetchecks if there's anyone she knows.

"Not yet", Ziva replies. "But the night's just getting started, my little hairy butt".

Tony just looks at her.

Back in the lab, Abby is keeping an eye on things with Gibbs asking for an update. Abby tells him that she's loading the photos into the computer now.

Gibbs then asks Ducky if there's any scoop for their married couple.

Ducky wanders in with his findings, stating that he has the breakdown of the contents of their stomachs and intestines before remarking that if Mr. Reiner had lived, Ducky would have suggested a fibre-rich diet because Reiner's colon was almost completely impacted with faecal material.

This puts Tony off eating his shrimp while Ziva laughs.

"Do you think it's too late to order a salad?", Tony wonders.

At the bar, McGee is in position.

As McGee scans for trouble, Maya and Yussif, the two undercover FBI agents from earlier arrive in.

At the table, Ziva believes that their food is here now.

As a waiter guides Maya and Yussif to their table, Tony and Ziva are being given their food. Meanwhile, Abby is busy working on loading more of the photos.

As Ducky listens in via a headset, Gibbs asks McGee to report.

McGee tells Gibbs that he's got the restaurant covered from the entrance.

At the table, Tony is busy trying to cut into his meat with little success, causing Ziva to look at him. At her glance, Tony states that he's more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

Ducky then states that the calluses from Mr. Rainer's hands suggest that Rainer was left-handed.

Gibbs then tells DiNozzo to switch hands.

As Tony does that, Ziva remarks that it's nice, isn't it?

"Yeah, a quiet little dinner", Tony remarks. "Just the six of us".

Ziva then produces the cell-phone from her purse and states that their friend is calling. She then holds up the phone to Tony's glasses.

In the lab, Abby manages to get a snapshot of the incoming call with Gibbs stating that he wants that number.

"On it", Abby states before stating that she's starting the reverse search dictionary.

In the dining room, Ziva answers, stating that she's glad the man called and that they were getting bored.

Outside at the pay-phones, the man from before states that he thought it would help if they saw their target in person tonight.

"He's here?", Ziva says.

"You don't see him?", the man states.

Ziva tells the man to relax and that she's been flying for over 20 hours.

In the lab, Abby gets a glimpse of where the man may be.

Ziva remarks, "And the restaurant's packed. We will".

In the lab, Gibbs tells Abby to talk to him with Abby stating that it's from the pay phone and that the address is coming.

In the dining room, Ziva states that he didn't mention anything about being surrounded by U.S. Marines with Ziva stating that it's too dangerous for the sums he's paying them.

The man then states that they should accomplish their mission and that they'll talk more.

"But you won't pay us more", Ziva states.

In the lab, Abby states that she's got it and that it's from 2205 M. Street before revealing that he's calling from a pay phone inside the restaurant.

Gibbs calls on DiNozzo and McGee.

"Already moving", McGee states.

DiNozzo announces that he has to go to the little boys room before leaving the table.

Outside the man states that he has to talk to his boss.

"Do that", Ziva states. "We'll wait for you to-".

She stops upon hearing a click on the end before remarking that he hung up.

In the lab, Gibbs silently watches on.

McGee makes his way through the dining area and upon seeing a figure at the phone, draws his gun with McGee announcing himself as a federal agent.

The figure turns around to reveal that it's none other than DiNozzo with DiNozzo announcing that the man's gone.

McGee just lowers his gun.

It then cuts to DiNozzo who's busy putting his gloves on.

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

Background Information

  • The episode first aired on November 8, two days before the date officially celebrated by the U.S. Marine Corps as its "birthday" (November 10, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution to raise a force of Marines for the Revolutionary War).


Series Regulars

Name Portrayed by Role
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Mark Harmon Special Agent In Charge, NCIS Major Crimes Response Team ("MCRT").
Anthony DiNozzo Michael Weatherly Senior Special Agent, NCIS MCRT who is masquerading as Jean-Paul Ranier.
Ziva David Cote de Pablo Mossad Liaison Officer, NCIS who is masquerading as Sophie Ranier.
Timothy McGee Sean Murray Junior Special Agent, NCIS.
Abigail Sciuto Pauley Perrette Forensic Specialist, NCIS.
Donald Mallard David McCallum Chief Medical Examiner, NCIS.
Jennifer Shepard Lauren Holly Director, NCIS.

Recurring Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Charles Sterling Michael Bellisario Aka "Chip", he is Abby Sciuto's assistant.
James Palmer Brian Dietzen Ducky's assistant.
Tobias Fornell Joe Spano F.B.I. Special Agent-in-Charge

Other Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Yussif Phillip Rhys F.B.I. Special Agent.
Maya Michelle Krusiec F.B.I. Special Agent.
Marcos Siazon Eric Steinberg Contract killer.
Henry Spivey Matthew Kaminsky Siazon's hired thug.
C.K. Cord Sonny Surowiec Siazon's hired thug.
Sophie Ranier Jennifer De Minco Canadian contract killer and the main murder victim. Uncredited role.
Jean-Paul Ranier Rife Sibley Canadian contract killer and the main murder victim. Uncredited role.
  v - e - dNCIS Season Three
Kill Ari Part 1 (episode)Kill Ari Part 2 (episode)Mind Games (episode)Silver War (episode)Switch (episode)The Voyeur's Web (episode)Honor Code (episode)Under Covers (episode)Frame-Up (episode)Probie (episode)Model Behavior (episode)Boxed In (episode)Deception (episode)Light Sleeper (episode)Head Case (episode)Family Secret (episode)Ravenous (episode)Bait (episode)Iced (episode)Untouchable (episode)Bloodbath (episode)Jeopardy (episode)Hiatus Part 1 (episode)Hiatus Part 2 (episode)

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