Under the Radar is the third episode of Season Eleven of NCIS and the 237th episode of the entire NCIS series.
After an explosion at a Navy Lieutenant's apartment destroys the apartment and also kills a civilian, the NCIS team search for the missing Lieutenant and soon discover that the Lieutenant who also washed out of flight training is planning to exact revenge against his former classmates who are on a Navy ship, the classmates in question preparing for their first assignment while McGee struggles to deal with the potential fallout that could occur after realizing that his NCIS credentials have gone missing.
The scene opens on an apartment and sees numerous items all over the apartment including a Navy officer uniform that hangs on the back of a chair but as the apartment is explored further, it's discovered that there's a shape-charge attached at the door and ultimately a bomb as well.
Suddenly, from outside, someone knocks on the door.
Courtney, a young African-American is knocking on the door but she gets no response.
As she continues knocking, the Building Manager walks up, wondering if she's looking for Terry.
Courtney says that she is because she has a registered letter for him before revealing that the Mailman brought it late yesterday afternoon with Courtney herself even signing for it.
The Manager tells her to give to him and that he'll put it in Terry's apartment.
Courtney hands over the letter while thanking him before she walks off.
The Manager then grabs a key and begins unlocking the door.
As he does that, Courtney then turns back, stating that she doesn't want to be a pain and that she's got ants in her kitchen.
The Manager tells her that the exterminator is coming this afternoon and that they'll be done before Courtney gets back from class.
Courtney thanks the Manager again with the Manager telling her that's what he's here for.
Once he's gotten the door open, the Manager then heads into the apartment as a small device inside begins clicking and whirling.
This eventually catches the Manager's attention.
Out on the hall, Courtney is looking through her phone and heading into her apartment when a huge explosion rips through the building.
It then cuts to the hallway area which is now completely engulfed in flames.
NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo arrives in for work and heads straight for his desk, only to get a shock when he sees someone at the desk opposite his.
It's revealed that the person is none other than agent Murray Hines.
Tony greets Murray and wonders what Murray is doing at Ziva David's desk.
Murray remarks that it's officially not Ziva's desk anymore before wondering if Gibbs is going to replace Ziva.
Tony replies that he doesn't know and that it's only been a week before remarking that Gibbs hasn't really discussed it with him.
As he approaches the desk, Tony asks Murray what he's doing.
Murray states that it's standard SOP and that he's scrubbing Ziva's hard-drive.
Tony heads back to his desk.
Murray then finds a photo of young Tony hanging in the right corner of the monitor and grabs it, looking at it for a few seconds before telling Tony that it kind of looks like him.
"It is", Tony replies.
As Murray wonders how close they were, Tony snatches the photo out of Murray's grip.
The elevator pings and the door swings open, revealing that NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee has arrived but judging from his state, it's obvious that McGee's in a state of great panic.
As McGee enters the bullpen, Murray who has finished his work greets McGee but McGee doesn't respond.
As Murray leaves to go elsewhere, Tony calls McGee's name and like Murray, is ignored although Tony doesn't care as he's busy glancing at the contents of his desk drawer.
With the photo of his younger self resting in the drawer along with some pins and the Star of David necklace that Ziva secretly left for him in the previous episode, Tony looks at the items for a second before the sound of drawers being open causes Tony to look up.
Tony then heads over to McGee's desk where McGee is still frantically looking for something.
As McGee continues searching, Tony wants to know what the matter is with McGee stating that he can't find his own NCIS badge and ID.
Tony is stunned, stating that losing creds is serious.
McGee snaps that he knows and that he couldn't find them at home while hoping that he'd left them here at NCIS.
Tony remarks that McGee is so screwed.
McGee is just relieved that he didn't lose his building access card.
Tony then reveals that lost creds automatically initiate an automatic IG 2B investigation and that is almost as serious as an Agent losing their weapon before asking McGee if he didn't lose his weapon.
"Keep talking and I'll use it", McGee snarls, pissed off while pulling the left side of his jacket aside to presumably to reveal the holster containing his SIG-Sauer.
Tony tells McGee that he's got to chill out and that there's no need to report the loss if they're just going to show up. He then tells McGee that McGee needs to think, visualize before asking McGee where was the last time he saw them.
McGee states that he's tried that.
Suddenly, their boss, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs arrives in, announcing that there's been an explosion that blew up a JG's apartment.
As they grab their belongings, Tony wonders about the casualtiies with Gibbs revealing that there's one: the Building Manager.
McGee just stands there, stunned.
Gibbs grabs his SIG-Sauer and leaves the bullpen while also wondering if McGee is waiting for a special invation.
As Tony swings his backpack onto his shoulder and leaves, McGee remarks, "No, boss" before grabbing his backpack and joining them at the elevator.
A while later, the team arrive at the crime scene which has been completely sealed off with only the Metro Police Department and medical personnel being given access.
Gibbs heads for the tape and shows a Metro officer, Owen Tamblin his ID, only for Tamblin to stop him with Tamblin stating that he didn't get a good look at that.
Gibbs relents and then shows Tamblin his ID in full.
As this goes on, Tony watches the exchange from a window of the NCIS Major Case Response Team Truck while McGee is busy getting all the equipment in order.
Tamblin, now satisfied thanks Gibbs and lets Gibbs through.
Back at the van, Tony remarks that the baby-faced newbie cop is actually checking IDs before telling McGee that this is unusual and unfortunate for McGee.
With that, Tony heads off and approaches the tape, showing Tamblin his ID while revealing that he is Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo.
Tamblin thanks Tony and lets him through.
As Tony simply waits behind the tape, McGee emerges from the van, his arms carrying equipment and a notepad with a pen in his mouth.
Tamblin tries to stop him but McGee begins mumbling things, McGee presumably telling Tamblin that he's an NCIS Special Agent.
Tamblin lets him through and McGee mutters a muffled, "Thank you".
As McGee joins Tony who applauds and states, "Bravo", Tamblin has a look of bewilderment on his face.
In the apartment which is now a burned wreck, Tony photographs the Building Manager's remains.
Later, NCIS Medical Examiner Dr. Donald Mallard and his Assistant, James Palmer attempt to bring the body-bag containing the Manager's body onto a gurney, only to be interrupted by Palmer's phone ringing with Palmer telling Ducky that it's Palmer's wife, Breena Palmer.
Despite Palmer knowing that Ducky feels strongly against taking personal calls in the field, Ducky gives Palmer permission to answer it with Palmer thanking him.
As Palmer heads off into another room to take the call, Tony curiously listens in for a second before telling Ducky about his surprise about the fact that the Palmers are going to adopt a baby with Tony wondering if they're still going through with it.
Ducky states that they are and that Breena is going to take a while before asking Tony to help him with the body-bag.
Tony hesitates but eventually relents and helps Ducky place the body-bag on the gurney.
As they do that, Ducky remarks that this is gonna be interesting because the victim took the burnt of the explosion.
Tony heads over to an area and realizes that the explosive device was a shaped charge which meant that it was meant to kill whoever opened the door.
With that, Tony then takes a single photograph of the shaped charge.
A while later, as Ducky and Tony wheel the gurney out, Gibbs is interviewing Courtney who tells him that she knocked on the door and that she was going to give him his mail before stating that she only knew the Lieutenant as a neighbor.
She also reveals that the Lieutenant was a nice guy but quiet and that they didn't really talk about anything important.
Gibbs wants to know about the registered letter but Courtney is confused.
Gibbs asks her again about the letter yet Courtney apologizes, stating that her ears are still ringing. Gibbs gives up and tells Courtney to get herself checked out at the hospital.
Gibbs then tells Courtney that they'll contact her later.
With that, Gibbs leaves and as he walks away, McGee joins him with McGee revealing that he spoke to Lieutenant Keith's officer at the Pentagon and that Keith is on two weeks leave, visiting his mother in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
As they walk off, Gibbs is puzzled about Keith being away and someone booby-trapping Keith's apartment as well.
A while later, in the Bullpen, Tony introduces his colleagues to Lieutenant Junior Grade Terence Keith who is twenty-six and who grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Tony also reveals that Keith graduated from Montana State and that Keith went to Officers Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island.
Tony pauses for a second to declare his love for Rhode Island before announcing that Keith wanted to fly but Keith ended up washing out of preliminary flight training at Whiting Field in Florida and that he was assigned to his present duty at the Pentagon last year.
Gibbs picks up on the fact that Keith washed out and wants to know what happened with Tony assuring Gibbs that he's checking it.
McGee then walks up, announcing that something's wrong and that was Keith's mother in Fort Wayne. Apparently, Keith isn't there and Keith's mother isn't expecting him.
"She talk to him?", Gibbs wonders.
"Not in weeks", McGee replies.
It then cuts to Gibbs who looks greatly concerned at the development.
In the bullpen, Gibbs remarks that it looks like Lieutenant Keith called the same number over the last few days.
McGee announces that the number belongs to Lieutenant Junior Grade Dana Robbins and that she's an aviator currently assigned to the U.S.S. Benjamin Franklin which is currently home ported at Norfolk before telling Gibbs that Lieutenant Robbins only answered the first call and that Robbins and Keith spoke for less than three minutes.
According to McGee, Robbins isn't on board the ship although McGee notes that he left a message.
Tony hangs up and joins them, revealing that he's been talking people in Fort Wayne about Keith and it's not exactly an ideal childhood.
Apparently, Keith's father left when he was six years old due to the fact that Keith's father was an alcoholic and that they haven't had much contact since.
Keith was also a nerd in high school, a science geek which has McGee glaring at Tony.
Gibbs remarks that Captain Laramie hinted that Keith was a little strange.
Tony agrees, stating that the high school adviser said that Keith was a loner, bullied and that Keith got his nose broken his senior year and a lot of wedgies and that Keith probably went out of state to go to college: to get away from his past.
"Doesn't sound like officer-candidate material", Gibbs remarks.
Vera arrives in, stating that she found the break room and the coffee sucks before stating that Vance told her there was an empty desk she could park her ass before attempting to get into Ziva's old desk.
Unsurprisingly, Tony and McGee stop her, each saying "No!" and "Not that one".
Vera rounds on them, wanting to know what their problem is.
As McGee and Tony look at each other, Gibbs heads over to Vera and tells her to come here before announcing that he has a desk for her.
Gibbs leads to the end of the bullpen and directs her to a small area just right behind McGee's desk. Vera remarks that it's cramped but Gibbs assures her that it's cozy.
Vera just shrugs, stating that it's just until the end of the month before remarking very loudly that the guys aren't even going to know she's here.
As Vera sits down, Gibbs looks at Tony and McGee.
Tony gets the hints and states that it's time for them to go back to work.
As this happens, Gibbs's phone rings.
- It's revealed that a week has passed since the events in Past, Present, and Future (episode) and that it's been a month since the events in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (episode).
- This is the first episode of Season 11 to introduce new opening credits for the cast following Cote de Pablo's departure from the show which occurred in the previous episode.
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||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.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||Special Agent for the the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Chief Forensic Specialist for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Assistant Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Leon Vance||Rocky Carroll||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Wayne Hargrove||Robert Newman (actor)||Navy Admiral who originally appeared in the Season 8 episode, "A Man Walks Into a Bar".|
|Murray Hines||Will Harris||NCIS Special Agent.|
|Stacy Bergin||Barbara Eve Harris||FAA Director.|
|Kip Logan||Jonathan Wood||Terence Keith's flight instructor.|
|Building Manager||Lou George||The main murder victim.|
|Vera Strickland||Roma Maffia||NCIS Special Agent and the final partner of Mike Franks prior to his retirement in the aftermath of the Khobar Towers bombing.|
|Mel Frazier||Scott Waara||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Dana Robbins||Teri Reeves||Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade.|
|Larry Purcell||Wade Williams||A man who sold Lieutenant Keith 200 pounds of C4.|
|Michael Laramie||Wolé Parks||Navy Captain and Navy Lieutenant Terence Keith's Commanding Officer.|
|Courtney||Andrea Bordeaux||A young woman caught in the blast that destroyed Lieutenant Keith's apartment.|
|Owen Tamblin||Christian Gehring||Metro Police Officer.|
|Eugene Coyle||Hugo Armstrong||IG Special Agent.|
|Terence Keith||Tyler Wolfe||Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade.|
|Flight Student||Grace Noble||Uncredited role.|