Witch Hunt is the seventy-sixth episode of NCIS and the sixth episode in Season Four.
It's Halloween but the NCIS team aren't in the mood for celebrating as they tackle the case of a Marine who was attacked in his home while they also track down and save his kidnapped daughter before it's too late while the team are left stunned by Abby's Halloween costume.
Leslie Burke is busy carving out a pumpkin in honor of the Halloween celebrations, remarking that it's not bad for a queen who's been supposedly dead for a thousand years. As this goes on, someone enters the house while Leslie puts the finishing touches to the pumpkin.
She then gets distracted by someone before realizing that it's her neighbor, Erik Niles and she believes that he's re-enacting Custer's Last Stand. However, Erik soon collapses to the ground, gasping for air and whispering his daughter's name.
This causes Leslie to drop the pumpkin and focus on helping Erik.
It then closes up on the pumpkin's smiling face as the top of its head falls off, having been caused by Leslie dropping it in shock.
In the office, Anthony DiNozzo is using his free time to practice throwing some rolled-up paper balls from his desk into a nearby bin while his partner, Ziva David examines herself with a mirror. Tony wants to know if Ziva's planning on leaving with Ziva remarking, "And if I am?".
Tony tells her that he wouldn't advise it and asks her if she knows what today is. Ziva tells him that it's Tuesday but Tony tells her that it's actually Halloween and it's an American holiday.
Ziva tells him that she knows what Halloween is and that it's mostly wearing silly outfits and begging for treats before stating that she imagines it would be a DiNozzo Holiday.
Tony states that she's wrong and that he doesn't do Halloween. Ziva believes that it's to do with his father but Tony tells her that ever since he became a cop, he finds that weird things always happen on October 31st. Ziva tells him to define "weird".
Getting up from his desk, Tony tells her that it's grave robberies, beheadings, cattle mutilations and just as Timothy McGee arrives in, buttoning up his shirt, Tony adds, "And McGee turning all fuzzy and blue". McGee then enters the bullpen to see his co-workers looking at him before asking, "What?".
Ziva wants to know what's under McGee's shirt with McGee telling her that it's his t-shirt. Ziva then realizes that he's lying. Tony then spots a bag containing blue puffy ears down by McGee's desk and grabs it before McGee can do anything. McGee just looks away, annoyed.
Tony then throws the hat over to Ziva who catches it before stating that he knew McGee played a fairy on that online game but dressing up as what? McGee defends himself by stating that it's a snow elf and that he's going to a costume party. As Ziva studies her new hat with her mirror, Tony tells McGee that it's far from okay and that this is taking geek one step beyond.
Ziva admits that she has to agree because the second she put it on, she felt all the respect leave her body. As Tony begins experimenting with his new "hands", McGee tells him that normally they would be right but they haven't met his Ice Queen before he gestures to Ziva with his finger.
Tony's in disbelief at that, remarking, "You've gotta be kidding me" just as McGee begins typing at his keyboard. As Ziva joins the other two, a photo of a young blonde-haired woman pops up on McGee's computer. McGee tells them that the woman is a Redskins cheerleader which has Tony and Ziva impressed.
When Tony asks where McGee met the girl, McGee tells him that he met her at an Armani store and that he also found out that they played on the same gaming server together. Tony wants to know since where can McGee afford Armani.
As Tony begins playing with McGee's jacket, Leroy Jethro Gibbs enters the bullpen, telling his team to gear up.
As this happens, Tony wisely decides to hide his "hands" from Gibbs by pretending that he's crossing his arms. Gibbs soon does a double-take when he sees Ziva wearing the elf hat, causing her to take it off and tell Gibbs that it belongs to McGee.
McGee tells Gibbs that he's going to a costume party but Gibbs tells him that he isn't anymore because General Custer has been shot and he's also got a dead skeleton in his living room.
His arms still crossed, Tony mutters, "What did I tell you? Halloween".
A while later, the whole area surrounding the house has been taped off and it's now a crime scene as Gibbs and the team arrive to investigate.
As the team grab their gear from the truck, McGee has to talk to his girlfriend, Sharon who unsurprisingly is not thrilled about her boyfriend working on Halloween.
"Oh my poor little McGee", Ziva states as McGee hangs up, frustrated. "There'll be other elf queens online".
"She's right", Tony agrees as he gives McGee his NCIS backpack. "They won't be cheerleaders and they'll weigh a few thousand pounds".
"Not to mention that some of them are men but you'll play along", Ziva replies just as Gibbs thanks a police officer and heads over to join the team at the van. He tells them that the man dressed as Custer is Staff Sergeant Erik Niles and that the local LEOs are looking for Erik's wife and his young daughter and that the blood trail from his house led to the neighbor's house who called it. Gibbs then tells Tony and Ziva to get the neighbor's statement while McGee is to begin processing the staff sergeant's living room and that there's a dead John Doe in there who's dressed like a skeleton.
As the team head off to their tasks, the NCIS Medical Examiner's van and it's shown that the front window has been pelted with eggs. Donald Mallard and James Palmer get out with Ducky apologizing for their lateness due to the fact that they had a run-in with some local youths.
"Yeah, I can see that, doctor", Gibbs replies.
McGee wants to know if they got a good look at the people but Ducky tells him that they did better than that before telling Palmer to release the captives. Palmer opens the door and two kids dressed as ninjas get out with one ninja wondering where they are while a second ninja wonders if they're in trouble.
As Palmer drags them down, Ninja One states that they said they were sorry but Ducky has a more deserving punishment for them: cleaning the window that they egged. DiNozzo tells Palmer that it's nice work but Palmer tells Tony that it wasn't him and that Ducky chased them for three blocks.
"Oh, please", Ducky states. "It's not that impressive. It's not as if they were real ninjas".
As the team split up to tackle the two different crime scenes at the two houses, Ninjas One and Two are still arguing over who should clean the van.
Inside her house, Leslie Burke is telling Tony that she thought Erik was play-acting at first and that it was General Custer's last stand. Ziva wants to know why Leslie removed Erik's jacket with Leslie stating that she did to check for other wounds and there wasn't any, only a single gunshot wound that nicked Erik's carotid artery before revealing that she's a doctor, a paediatrician.
Tony tells Leslie that it explains why Staff Sergeant Niles headed over to the house and that she probably saved his life. Leslie tells them that she stabilized Staff Sergeant Niles until the EMTs arrived. Leslie even flirts with Tony much to his discomfort but Ziva gets things back on track by asking if Staff Sergeant Niles said anything to her.
"I think it was his daughter's name. Sarah", Leslie replies before voicing her hope that Sarah was with her mother when this happened.
In the Niles's home, McGee is busy processing the entire crime scene which involves him taking photographs of the area, of the body on the living-room floor and also of three bullets that are on the floor too. He then puts some on gloves and grabs an evidence bag, intending to go back and bag the bullets but when he gets back, he finds that the Number "3" sign has been knocked over and that the bullets are missing.
Upon realizing that there might be an intruder in the house, McGee draws his SIG-Sauer and scans the area for something, only to be interrupted by someone coming in from the front door. To his annoyance, it's Palmer who asks McGee if something's wrong.
McGee wants to know if Palmer's trying to get himself shot with Palmer stating that he doesn't want to. McGee then states that there's someone in this room while Palmer states that it's someone other than the dead skeleton guy. McGee sarcastically snaps, "Yes, besides the dead skeleton guy".
Palmer goes to check for himself.
A while later and in the house, Tony reports that the basement's clear with McGee trying to defend himself, stating that someone policed the brass and tried to wipe the blood. Tony wonders if it was the crime-scene fairies before stating that there's no-one here.
Gibbs then tells Tony to get Ducky in here and that they're wasting time which Tony leaves to do. McGee yet again tries to defend himself but Gibbs wonders what McGee makes of this, "this" being the whole crime scene. McGee states that it's obvious signs of a struggle and that there's one dead person but McGee's not sure how his head got that way.
Unsurprisingly, Gibbs decides to give McGee a clearer picture by using the head-breaking technique that Marines use to silence enemy sentries, a technique that he previously used on Tony in Red Cell (episode). Gibbs then realizes that Staff Sergeant Niles went down fighting before gesturing to the blood spatter on the wall.
Gibbs then heads over to the body and realizes that where he was standing was when Niles was when he got shot which also means that whoever shot Niles was also somewhere in the corner just as Ducky comes in. McGee points the spot where the bullets were and realizes that there were two assailants.
"At least", Gibbs replies.
Examining the body, Ducky determines that the cause of death is rather obvious but then again, they never know. As he removes the mask, he tells a story of a case he had involving a man who had died of heart failure had an ice pick plunged into his skull four hours after the time of death and states that it was the man's wife who had did it because she'd discovered that her husband had left her out of his will. Tony arrives in with the news that a kid saw a car leaving the staff sergeant's house around the time of the shooting and that Ziva's busy getting a description.
Ducky's removing the mask but Tony reacts upon feeling something brush against his feet, causing everyone to look up. Tony then states that it's under the couch with McGee sarcastically wondering if it's the crime scene fairy. Tony tells McGee to shush before remarking that he hates Halloween.
Tony then glances underneath the couch and upon something moving, jumps up in fright. Suddenly, the "intruder" pops out and while Tony grabs a breather on the couch, McGee realizes that it's a Roomba- a robot vacum cleaner that uses navigational sensors to clean the floor while the owner's away.
Ducky states that the Roomba's about to intervene with their crime scene and thankfully, Gibbs stops the Roomba for good by stamping on it, breaking it half. He then picks up the bullets that the Roomba stored when it cleaned the room and remarks that the damn thing policed the bass.
"Told you I wasn't crazy", McGee replies.
Gibbs then gives McGee the rounds and tells him to bag it while Ducky tells Palmer that they're going to get the body back to NCIS. Outside, Ziva is interviewing a young woman and her son with the boy stating that it might have been a silver Kurama and that the door slammed and the man just drove away.
Ziva thanks them before heading inside to the house.
Inside, Ducky and Palmer are making the final preparations so that they can bring the body back to the morgue and Ziva arrives in, reporting that the youngster she spoke said that the car looked like a Kuruma but she tells Gibbs that she isn't familiar with the model.
Gibbs tells Ziva that "Kuruma" is Japanese for "car". Tony states that her description of the car and sarcastically tells her that it's nice work. McGee then realizes that Kuruma is the name of a car in the Playstation 2 video game, "Grand Theft Auto 3" and that the car they're looking is actually a Chrysler Sebring Sedan.
As Ziva points to McGee, Tony remarks, "McGeek with the save" while Ziva announces that she'll put out a BOLO before leaving the house. Gibbs wants the staff sergeant's wife to be found but is interrupted by someone calling Staff Sergeant Niles's name.
As Ziva leaves, a police officer along with Laurie Niles and Rebecca Biddle arrive in, Laurie stunned at the state that her house is in. Upon seeing a body being removed, Laurie wonders over, grief-stricken and wondering if that's her husband in the bag but Gibbs assures her that it isn't.
In a small room, Laurie and Rebecca are telling Ziva and Gibbs that they were at school, getting ready for the Halloween party when the police came. Gibbs wants to know about the daughter, Sarah but Rebecca tells Gibbs that Sarah was with Erik. Tony then heads off to put out an AMBER Alert.
Gibbs then heads to talk to Laurie who tells him that she's okay now. As he sits down beside her, Laurie tells her that when she was told that Erik had been shot and when she saw the body... Gibbs then tells her that her husband is at Bethesda Hospital, that he's in surgery and that they'll take her to see him before telling her that he needs to ask her a few questions.
Rebecca then tells Laurie that Sarah's missing, causing Laurie to believe that her daughter's been kidnapped but Rebecca tells Laurie that NCIS don't know for sure. McGee tells Laurie that her daughter might have become scared and run off. Ziva wonders if there was a relative or a friend's house that Sarah could go to.
Laurie shakes her head, insisting that Sarah would have called her on her cell phone before telling Rebecca that they took her little girl. Rebecca assures her that NCIS will find Sarah and that they have to stay positive but they're all interrupted by the phone ringing.
Laurie answers it and puts it on speaker for Gibbs and the others to hear. Sure enough, it's Sarah who tells her that they hurt Daddy and that she tried to call the police but the man... Laurie tells her daughter that everything's gonna be all right and that she just needs to but a man's voice stops Laurie, telling her that they have her daughter and if she wants to see her alive again, then Laurie will do exactly what they say before stating that he'll call back with instructions.
Once the call's ended, Laurie falls to the table, still holding the phone, sobbing while Gibbs and Rebecca comfort her.
In the morgue, while examining the body, Ducky states that he once dressed up as a skeleton in his youth before stating if the man knew that the tradition of Halloween was brought over from Scotland along with the fine sports of golf and curling? The doors soon open with Tony and McGee walking in while Tony tells Ducky that he wouldn't call anything using a broom a "sport".
Ducky tells Tony that curling is referred to as chess on ice because it puts high demands on tactics and foresight before taking a photo of the man on the table. Tony tells Ducky to relax because he loves Scotland and it's all to Sean Connery who in Tony's opinion is the very best James Bond ever.
McGee states that he thought Connery was Irish which has Ducky laughing. McGee then states that "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" with Tony telling McGee that Connery was using a fake Irish accent and that it's called "acting". Ducky then states that the cause of death on John Doe is blunt-force trauma to the neck but Tony gets to the chase by telling Ducky that the body is the only link they've got to the missing girl and that he needs an ID.
"Well, currently he remains a John Doe", Ducky replies before stating that the body has no ID, no tattoos, no distinguishing marks before giving McGee the camera. Tony wants to know about the prints with Ducky telling him that Jimmy brought them up to Abby's lab but she isn't there and she's not answering her calls.
"Well, Halloween is a big night for Abby", McGee states.
"Every night is Halloween to Abby", Tony corrects.
Ducky then spots Palmer coming back in and asks him if Abby's in yet. Palmer confirms that Abby is in and that she's in costume. Tony wants to know what it's like but Palmer states, "Trust me, you wouldn't want me to ruin the surprise".
With that, McGee and Tony leave the morgue and soon arrive in at the lab where they see Abigail Sciuto has arrived and she's swapped her usual gothic clothing in exchange for an exact copy of the famous dress Marilyn Monroe wore during the "Seven Year Itch" with Abby wearing a blonde wig, earrings and shoes while her fingernails have painted red.
This stops McGee and Tony dead in their tracks while Abby, oblivious to them drooling over her, apologizes for her lateness due to the fact that she couldn't hear her cellphone ringing and she rues the fact that cemeteries would be a little quieter. She then tells them that it's awful about that little girl being kidnapped and the fact that it's on Halloween was creepy.
Turning back to her computer, Abby tells them that she's running the skeleton's fingerprints through Interpol and she's starting with Virginia and Maryland and then a subset of all known child molesters on the East Coast. While this goes on, McGee takes a quick photograph of Abby in her costume.
With her back still to them, Abby also mentions that she's got an AMBER Alert running but there's been no hits yet before turning back to the two men and announcing that they've got to find the missing girl. Tony and McGee still haven't moved an inch from the doorway, causing Abby to wonder what's wrong or if she has food in her teeth or something.
Tony decides to stick with "or something" and he and McGee finally get the ability to move again before they head over to where Abby is. Tony announces that they need Abby to run the dead guy's photo against any mugshots. Abby then tells McGee to give her the memory stick but McGee's too stunned by Abby's costume to do anything, forcing Tony to give McGee a headslap and tell the other man to give Abby the camera. McGee recovers and apologizes before giving Abby the camera.
Abby then uploads the images of the dead man onto her computer as Tony tells her that they need to put out a BOLO and see if anyone recognizes the dead man they've got in the morgue. Abby catches McGee staring at her and begins wondering what's wrong with him before remarking that McGee looks three cans short of a six-pack.
"It's nothing", McGee replies. "You just look different".
"He means the Halloween costume, Marilyn", Tony agrees.
Abby finally realizes what's gotten the two men so tongue-tied and she remarks that it's sweet too. DiNozzo is interrupted by his phone ringing. It's Gibbs who while exploring the Niles's bedroom tells him that Woodridge P.D have a kid who says he may have seen a Sebring in the neighborhood. Tony agrees to get on it and tells Gibbs that they've got a picture of their John Doe without the make-up. Gibbs tells Tony to send a photo and Gibbs will see if he can get Laurie Niles to ID the dead man.
Gibbs wants to know what Erik Niles's condition is. Tony tells him that Niles is in surgery and according to the doctors, they won't be able to talk to Niles until tomorrow. As Gibbs continues searching, he remarks that tomorrow is too late with Tony agreeing.
Tony wants to know if the kidnappers called back yet but Gibbs states that they haven't, causing him to wonder...
"If she's still alive", Tony asks.
"No", Gibbs states. "What they want with an enlisted Marine who makes less than $32,000 a year".
Tony then remarks that he was wondering the same thing with Gibbs ordering him to find out before hanging up. A file of the John Doe in the morgue has arrived and Ziva is accessing it on a laptop while Laurie wonders how long she has to stay there with Rebecca assuring Laurie that they're doing everything they can.
Ziva tells Laurie that she must stay calm but Laurie states that it's easy for Ziva to say before asking Ziva if she has children. Ziva tells Laurie that she doesn't but she knows what it's like to lose a member of her family. Laurie then begins sobbing, causing Rebecca to sarcastically thank Ziva who states that she didn't mean...
Rebecca tells Laurie that Sarah will be fine.
As Gibbs arrives in, Ziva shows him a photo of the skeleton John Doe while Gibbs grabs Ziva and drags her to one side. As it turns out, Gibbs wants to know if Laurie has recognized "John Doe" yet but Ziva tells him that she hasn't shown it to Laurie yet and that everything she says makes Laurie cry.
Gibbs tells Ziva that Laurie's husband is in critical condition and that her daughter's been kidnapped. Ziva knows but she realizes that she's not good with the crying, women or..., causing Gibbs to state, "That makes two of us". Ziva also states that she believes that Laurie is hiding something and that Laurie is conflicted like she's holding something back.
Gibbs then decides to show Ziva something and they both head into the bedroom where Ziva realizes that there's one shirt in the wardrobe which has her realizing that Staff Sergeant Niles wasn't living here. Gibbs hangs up the shirt and demands to know if that's a question or a statement.
"Actually, more of a: you want to find me out why?", Ziva replies.
With that, she and Gibbs leave the bedroom.
Meanwhile, McGee and Tony are talking to Augie Breen who's dressed up as a zombie and is trying to tell them what he saw over a game of charades. McGee then translates by stating that Breen is saying that Tony's bad at charades. Tony soon loses patience and rips off the mask, causing Breen to complain that Tony ruined his costume.
Tony, on the other hand wonders if Breen wants to be charged with obstructing a federal investigation before ordering the zombie to speak. Breen then tells them that he saw a car with two people in it and that it cut the corner so fast it ran over the kerb before pointing them in the direction of the scene while also stating that he didn't see the plate because he can barely even see Tony or McGee over all the make-up he's wearing. Once they're finished, Tony puts the piece of Breen's ripped mask back in place and the "zombie" goes on his way.
While McGee takes photos, Tony wonders if he's got a time of death on the great pumpkin but McGee tells him that he's got more than that because the car left its licence plate embedded in the pumpkin.
Back at the house, Gibbs shows Laurie and Rebecca a photo of the John Doe in the NCIS morgue. He tells Laurie that this was the man fighting with her husband. Laurie apologizes, stating that she doesn't recognize him. Rebecca urges Laurie to think and that maybe she saw the man at a store or the mall.
Laurie then states again that she doesn't know him before wondering if she can talk to her husband. Gibbs tells her that she can although he's still in surgery at the moment and that the second he gets, they're going to get him on the phone to Laurie and Rebecca tries to assure Laurie that it'll be fine but Laurie wants Rebecca to stop touching her.
Laurie then storms into the bathroom and splashes cold water on her face while Gibbs heads in after her, leaving Ziva with Rebecca. Gibbs gives Laurie a paper towel and then tells her that he knows what she's going through before statin that there's nothing he can say with Laurie wondering if he ever had a daughter of his that was kidnapped.
"Kidnapped, no", Gibbs states. "But I promise to do everything I can do to bring your daughter home safe".
"I just hope it'll be enough", Laurie remarks before returning to the table, leaving Gibbs alone.
In the lab, with her techno music blaring, Abby tells Tony that "Dawn of the Dead" was awesome but Tony disagrees, stating that it was cinematic blasphemy and fast zombies are the reason classics aren't remade. While this goes on, McGee stares at Abby, still stunned by her costume.
"John Carpenter's The Thing?", Abby asks before spinning around again.
"There's an exception to every rule", Tony announces.
"The Fly?", Abby suggests.
"Maybe two", Tony replies.
McGee wonders didn't Tony say that Al Pacino in Scarface was the best. Tony interrupts McGee by stating that his point is that zombies should be slow. Abby states that there's nothing scary about a zombie dragging his butt with Tony retorting that a zombie isn't a zombie if he's dragging his butt around. McGee again brings up the point that Tony liked "28 Days Later" and that those zombies were really quick.
"Alright, enough with the zombies!", Tony snaps, losing patience. "Did we find an impression on the vegetable or not?".
"Technically, it's a fruit", McGee singsongs.
As she joins Tony at the plasma, Abby announces that they've finished rendering the laser scan of the Great Pumpkin's surface. She then asks McGee can he invert the image as soon as he's finished undressing her with his eyes? While Tony looks on, Abby tells McGee to bring up the gamma, increase the contrast before recommending that he flop it.
Once he has, Abby states that it's the left-hand side of a Virginia licence plate. Tony tells Abby that it's nice work before ordering McGee to run it. McGee runs the four letters and is busy cross-referencing them against Chrysler Sebrings before stating that they've gotten a hit with the car being registered to a rental car company out of Catlett, Virginia.
"Yes, DiNozzo does it again", Tony replies.
"Don't you mean Abby and I did again?", McGee states but Abby hits him on the shoulder. When McGee asks why she hit him, Abby tells him that those days ended the moment McGee started sexing up the cheerleader. DiNozzo orders them to find out who rented the car before proudly announcing that he's going to make Gibbs's night.
McGee then tells Tony that there's no name because the car was reported stolen three days ago.
Tony then hangs up.
In the bedroom, Ziva tells Gibbs that Erik Niles moved into the Quantico Bachelor Enlisted Quarters three weeks ago. Gibbs wonders if there were martial problems. Ziva tells him according to someone named "Scuttlebutt" Niles caught his wife cheating on him but Gibbs corrects her by stating that Scuttlebutt isn't a person: it's what Marines call gossip.
"And then you wonder why I have a problem with your language", Ziva states.
Suddenly, they're interrupted by the phone ringing which causes both of them to rush back to the table. While Ziva begins running a trace, Gibbs advises Laurie to stay calm and to tell them that she wants to talk to her daughter. Laurie then hits the speaker-phone and hopes that it's her daughter but the man tells her to try again. Laurie insists that she be allowed to talk to her daughter or she'll hang up. The man tells Laurie that if she hangs up, then her daughter will die.
Sitting down, Laurie demands she be allowed to talk to her daughter right now but the man tells her that talk is cheap and that Laurie wants to see Sarah alive again, that'll cost her. While Ziva works on the trace, Gibbs silently gestures for Laurie to say something so that they can buy them more time.
"Whatever it is, whatever you want", Laurie announces. "I'll do it. I'll give you my word".
As Rebecca looks on, the man tells Laurie that he wants a hundred thousand in small bills and that she has until dawn to get it. Laurie agrees to do that before insisting that she be given a chance to speak to her daughter but the man tells her to get the money first and then Laurie can talk to her daughter before hanging up.
As soon as he hangs up, Ziva and Gibbs realize with dismay that the trace has failed while Laurie begins sobbing.
In the car, the man hangs up and it's shown that he has Sarah Niles sitting in the passenger seat with duct tape over her mouth,obviously scared. With his mask muffling his voice, he asks her if she's scared before remarking that it's good and that she should be.
It then cuts to Sarah who's now crying with tears running down her cheeks.
In the room, Ziva tells the group that the call wasn't long enough to trace and that they'll get another chance to do it when the kidnapper calls Laurie back to tell her where to drop off the ransom. At the table, Gibbs approaches Laurie and tells her he'd like to talk to her alone.
Rebecca tells Laurie that it's okay, that she'll be right here if Laurie needs her and that Rebecca isn't going anywhere. As Laurie leaves, Gibbs tells Ziva to inform DiNozzo that Gibbs himself wants that John Doe ID'd in an hour. Inside the bedroom, Laurie tells Gibbs that they don't have $100,000 sitting in the basement and that she believes that her parents might be able to get it but it's going to take time. Gibbs tells Laurie that they can help her with that but he tells her that he needs answers and Laurie tells him she'll answer anything before asking her to sit down on the bed.
Once they're comfortable, Gibbs asks Laurie why her husband moved out of the home and onto Base. Laurie wants to know what that has to do with the kidnapping. Gibbs tells her it might not be nothing but he needs to know. Laurie tells Gibbs that she and Staff Sergeant Niles were having some problems and that Erik wanted a trial separation.
When Gibbs asks her why, Laurie tells him that she made a mistake, a stupid mistake eight years ago. Gibbs wants to know what kind of mistake but when Laurie hesitates, Gibbs tells her that he's been married four times and that he's made every mistake in the book.
Laurie then states that right before she and Erik got married, Erik broke off their engagement for a few weeks and that she saw an old boyfriend. She also mentions that it was a stupid fling and she pretended that it had never happened. Gibbs then realizes that Erik might not be Sarah's biological father after all.
Laurie tells him that she doesn't know and even if she did, it doesn't matter. As Ziva walks down the hall towards the room, Gibbs wants to know how Erik found out with Laurie telling him that her ex-boyfriend showed up last month and demanded that Sarah take a paternity test and when Laurie refused to let Sarah do it, the ex-boyfriend threatened her.
Laurie states that the man's name is Robert Miller but she has no idea what his address is. Gibbs wonders if Miller lives in Virginia but Laurie tells him that Miller used to. Gibbs then tells Laurie to give them Miller's age, weight, height and eye color so that NCIS can run the name down through DMV. Laurie then tells them that Miller's 28 years old with brown hair, green eyes and that he might weight 180 pounds.
At Gibbs's glare, Ziva dials a number on her phone and leaves.
Once Ziva's gone, Gibbs then gets up and closes the bedroom door before asking Laurie what she isn't telling him. Laurie tells Gibbs that it's her fault and she's on the verge of saying something else but Rebecca interrupts proceedings by barging in and when she asks if Laurie's okay, Laurie begins crying again.
"No", Gibbs replies.
Laurie then states that she destroyed her family. Rebecca then rounds on Gibbs, asking him if he doesn't think that Laurie's been through enough already. Gibbs wants to know if Miller could have done this. Laurie tells him that Miller could have before admitting that she doesn't know and that she just wants her baby back.
Gibbs just looks on, silent.
In the bullpen, a full AMBER alert has been issued for Sarah Niles while DiNozzo talks to Ziva, stunned that Laurie's just telling her this now. Ziva defends herself, stating that just because she's a woman, it doesn't mean that Laurie would tell her everything.
At his desk, McGee states that there are over 300 Robert Millers in the tri-state alone. Tony then tells McGee to narrow the search down with the criteria. McGee does that by stating the age range is "25 to 30" but isn't too pleased when the result brings back 103 Robert Millers.
Tony then realizes that they've got Laurie's phone records from when they tapped her phones so he suggests that McGee check to see if Robert Miller called in the last month. As McGee does that, he rues the fact that Abby was right and that McGee is three beers short of a six-pack but Tony believes that Abby was talking about McGee's abs- abdomen.
McGee does the search and finds that Miller called Laurie Niles three times the previous month, that Miller called from his home phone while Tony relates the information back to Ziva. Back at the house, Rebecca tells Gibbs that Laurie can barely stand and is there any way they can let Laurie get some rest?
"Sure", Gibbs replies.
Ziva then arrives, telling Gibbs that they've gotten an address. Gibbs then pulls Ziva aside to tell her to keep an eye on the two sisters and states that if the kidnappers call back, Ziva is to tell Laurie to say that there is no more money until they talk to the girl.
And with that, Gibbs heads off, leaving Ziva behind.
As they head to Miller's address, Tony tells McGee that the last time he did Halloween, he was an astronaut and that the neighborhood he grew up in although it wasn't a neighborhood and that it was an estate with mansions smack-dab in the middle of them and really long driveways. Tony even states that it made Halloween very tricky as there was a lot of walking involved and he remembers that his feet were tired that night and that dogs were barking.
McGee then sarcastically remarks that it's gotta suck growing up rich like that but Tony remarks that his costume was fantastic, wicked awesome before revealing that he was a space man but he had no ventilation. As McGee looks on, Tony recalls that he was burning up, sweating like Roger Federer after a five-set tiebreaker and stinky like cheese which has McGee either rolling his eyes or looking out the window. Tony then remarks that it was a big haul and that he got more candy than he could carry.
"God, I imagine this story's coming to an end soon", McGee states.
Tony then states when he got home, his father made him throw it all away, even the apples. McGee believes that Tony's father was concerned about his son's teeth. Tony then states that it was actually because he'd made his astronaut costme from one of his father's $3,000 designer suits.
"Ouch", McGee states.
"I don't think I sat down again until Christmas", Tony replies before telling McGee that they were good times. Unsurprisingly, Gibbs has already arrived at the scene and is searching a car when Tony and McGee arrive to join in. The three then descend on the car and realize that it's the same car given that there are slices of pumpkin on the windshield and that the plates match and that if it's Miller, then he stole the ride.
Tony then realizes that they're outside Miller's building with his home being in the second floor with the apartment number "207" before remarking that Halloween doesn't have to suck after all. McGee then realizes that something was burned inside the car recently and that it's still smoldering.
Gibbs then tells to pop the trunk which McGee does.
Once he's gotten to the trunk and determined that it's clear after opening the lid, Gibbs puts his gun away and soon makes a grim discovery: a princess hat which convinces all three men that Miller is the one responsible for kidnapping Sarah Niles. As soon as he's slammed the trunk again, Gibbs tells McGee and DiNozzo, "Let's get this son of a bitch".
With that, the three Agents head inside, armed with flashlights and their guns. They soon reach the door and upon hearing a woman scream, storm inside, identifying themselves as federal agents. Unsurprisingly, the other guests don't believe them and begin applauding with Drew Paragon telling them that it's a great costume but they spelled CSI wrong on their hats.
As the three agents holster their guns, Gibbs asks for Robert Miller, causing Paragon to remark that someone's in a bad mood. Gibbs grabs Paragon who tells him that Miller is over there by the blue alien ladies as everyone in the room looks on. Gibbs lets Paragon go and storms off with DiNozzo telling Paragon that it isn't easy being a root vegetable.
Gibbs soon reaches Robert Miller, only to discover that the man himself is wearing a Klingon costume and even speaking Klingon too. McGee then helpfully translates that Miller said that Gibbs's mother has a smooth forehead and that it's a Klington insult which has DiNozzo stunned that McGee speaks Klingon.
"Not fluently but yes", McGee admits.
Gibbs then identifies himself, McGee and DiNozzo as federal agents with Miller saying something that McGee translates is, "Klingons don't surrender". Gibbs's patience soon runs out and he slams Miller against a wall, asking Miller if he's the Robert Miller they're looking for.
Miller finally drops the act and asks Gibbs who they are.
Gibbs drags Miller up from the ground with Miller yelling that he is who he says he is while Gibbs demands to know where Sarah Niles is. Miller then realizes that the bitch (Laurie) sent NCIS here and he remarks that his lawyer states that he has a right to know if Sarah's his kid, that he's just trying to do the right thing and that if Sarah is his daughter, then Miller just wants to be a part of her life before remarking that Sarah looks like exactly like him except for the fake teeth and the bumps on the forehead.
Gibbs wants to know if that's why Miller kidnapped Sarah with Miller telling Gibbs that he didn't kidnap anyone. Gibbs then states that the car that was used to kidnap Sarah is downstairs. Miller's stunned and tells them that he has no idea what they're talking about.
As Miller tells Gibbs that he's here all day, getting rady for the party, DiNozzo and McGee emerge from the crowd with McGee telling Gibbs that there's no sign of the missing girl. Miller tells Gibbs that he told him so. Tony then remarks that the only thing he hates worse than Halloween are Klingons.
Miller then points out a whole list of people for them to ask including Paragon who tells them that this has gone far enough and that he happens to be a lawyer, causing DiNozzo to angrily remark, "Good. the only thing I hate worse than Klingons are lawyers".
Miller again insists that he didn't do anything and that Laurie is the one who threatened him, stating that her husband was going to kill Miller if Miller didn't leave Laurie alone. Gibbs still isn't convinced and as such, arrests Miller while DiNozzo goes to phone Ziva.
Back at the house, Ziva's phone rings and she finds that it's Tony who tells her that Gibbs wants to talk to Laurie. Ziva then reaches the bedroom, telling Laurie that Gibbs needs to talk to her but there's no answer. Realizing something's wrong, Ziva heads into the bedroom and begins searching for any sign of Laurie or Rebecca but it's completely empty.
Ziva then spots an open window and realizes that Laurie and Rebecca are gone.
It then cuts to Ziva who looks miserable upon realizing that she's screwed up.
In Interrogation, Miller is shifting rather uncomfortably under Gibbs's intense stare while in Observation, Tony arrives in, asking McGee if General Kang is crying or if that's just sweat. McGee then states, "Half an hour alone in a room with angry Gibbs? Even Klingons have their limits".
Tony wants to know what Gibbs has been doing to Miller with McGee stating that Gibbs has been mostly staring at Miller, causing Tony to suggest that it might be a new interrogation technique. McGee then remarks that it appears to be working because it's definitely creeping him out before asking Tony if he checked Miller's alibi.
Tony states that according to six people, Worf (Miller) was at the party when Sarah Niles was kidnapped, causing McGee to wonder if they shouldn't tell Gibbs. Tony then rounds on McGee, stating, "Well, I don't know, Probie. Have you figured out how the kidnapper's car was outside of his apartment yet?".
McGee believes that Miller could have hired someone to kidnap the young girl but Tony believes that Miller is being framed. Back in Interrogation, Miller tells Gibbs that he's trying to co-operate but Gibbs is staring intently at Miller, causing Miller to wonder if Gibbs is going to say anything.
Gibbs just stares at Miller who shakes his head.
In the morgue, while Palmer puts a body, presumably the unidentified John Doe away, Ziva and Ducky are having tea with Ziva admitting that she screwed up because she knew Laurie Niles was hiding something, that Ziva knew Laurie wasn't telling the whole truth and does Ducky know what Ziva did?
Ziva allowed herself to feel sorry for Laurie and does she know what makes that her? Ducky believes she's human but Ziva thinks she's a chimp although Palmer helpfully explains that Ziva means "chump". Palmer tells Ziva that a chimp is an animal while a chump is someone who is easily taken advantage of or fooled but at Ducky's warning tone, tells Ziva that he's not saying that she is..
Ducky then asks Palmer to give them a moment alone which Palmer does by leaving the room. Once Palmer's gone, Ducky tells Ziva that Palmer means well and Ziva agrees that Palmer's right. Ducky believes that Ziva's being too hard on herself with Ziva stating that she let Laurie Niles and her sister climb out of a bedroom window in the middle of the NCIS investigation and she's wondering maybe they should throw her a parade. Ducky tells her that the question she should be asking herself is why because two-thirds of all child abductions are by a biological relative which has Ziva realizing that Laurie Niles kidnapped her own daughter.
Ducky asks Ziva that she knows what they mean by a mother and her bear cubs. Ziva then states that the mother bear eats her cubs when food runs out. She explains that she saw it in a documentary that Tony forced her to watch and it was called "Grizzly Man".
Ducky tells Ziva that he was actually referring to a mother bear's protective nature when her cubs are threatened and that there's no deadlier creature on the planet. Ziva then states that the bears ate the man who shot the footage and the man's girlfriend too.
Ducky agrees that it's dreadful whcih Ziva is what she said to Tony but Ducky's point is that Laurie Niles might have been trying to protect her daughter due to the fact that Laurie's husband filed for divorce and another man claimed to be the young girl's father.
"She didn't want to lose or share custody of Sarah", Ziva replies.
Ducky tells her that it's one possibility before wondering what Gibbs thinks. As he sips some tea, Ziva tells Ducky that it's hard to tell and that Gibbs is currently not talking to Ziva. Ducky tells Ziva to chin up and that it could be worse but Ziva's puzzled at that statement with Ducky telling her that Gibbs could be a bear.
This causes Ziva to choke or cough while sipping her tea.
Ducky just laughs.
Back in Interrogation, Miller tells Gibbs that they're wasting time here because there's someone out there with his daughter doing God knows what. Gibbs tells Miller that it's his "alleged" daughter. Miller then states that whether he's her father or not, Sarah is still Laurie's daughter and Miller cares what happens to Srah.
Gibbs then tells Miller that he believes him.
Miller just wants to know why they've been sitting here but Gibbs states that Miller's been sitting while Gibbs is waiting. Miller wants to know what Gibbs was waiting for. Gibbs then holds up his phone which on cue rings and as he leaves Interrogation, McGee and Tony leave Observation with all three ending up in the corrider.
It's Abby who's calling Gibbs and she tells him that she has everything for him with Gibbs stating that he's on his way before hanging up. Tony announces that he checked Miller's alibi but Gibbs already knows that Miller didn't do it. McGee wants to know how.
"Spent 40 minutes with him", Gibbs replies.
"And you did was stare at him", McGee states.
"You ever tried reading a Klingon's face, McGee?", Gibbs asks. "It ain't exactly easy".
As Gibbs heads off, Tony passes McGee, laughing while McGee soon follows them.
In the lab, Abby tells the three Agents that she's finally ID'd the body in the morgue which means that the dead John is no longer a Doe.
While Tony and McGee stare at Abby, she also reveals that she got a hit on him through the DMV database while also revealing that the dead man is Lee Varon who's thirty eight years old, originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia but he has no criminal record.
Heading back to the main area, Gibbs tells Tony and McGee that he wants everything on Varon from birth up until Ducky cracked his sternum.
But when it's obvious that Tony and McGee are still stunned by Abby's costume, Gibbs headslaps both of them while stating, "On it, Boss". McGee and Tony then take their cue and leave the lab while Gibbs tells Abby that it's not bad for a blonde before attempting to leave the lab.
As he does that, Abby tells him that there's no statistical evidence that suggests that blondes have lower IQ than any other hair color. Gibbs then tells Abby that he'll take her word for it with Abby stating, "There's more if you're interested, Mr. President".
Gibbs then heads back and Abby states that she ran some tests on the burnt paper found in the kidnapper's car but while there were no traces of fingerprints, she found traces of chemicals with Gibbs realizing that it was ink. Abby then tells Gibbs when she applied her own special and unique brand of chemical and ran through the laser scanner a few times, this was what she got.
As she gets it ready, she also states that it's a miracle that separates humans from other primates: really bad penmanship. Ziva then comes in and realizes that it's Miller's home address before stating that Laurie probably gave it to the kidnapper. Gibbs believes that Laurie didn't kidnap her daughter but Ziva wonders where Laurie Niles is with Gibbs telling Ziva that the last time he saw Laurie, she was with Ziva.
As Gibbs leaves the lab again, Ziva finally admits that she screwed up before wondering why Laurie ran. Gibbs realizes that Laurie was hiding something, causing Ziva to wonder if Gibbs agrees with her but Gibbs angrily tells Ziva that she definitely screwed up before exiting the lab.
"Is there something I should know?", Abby asks.
"I think he's planning on devouring me", Ziva replies before leaving the lab.
"And they say blonds have all the fun", Abby states.
Upstairs, as Gibbs comes in, armed with a cup of coffee while Ziva follows, McGee reveals that Lee Varon, the dead skeleton served in the Air Force, that Varon received an "other than honorable" discharge in 2003 and that he did one year of community college. Tony then reveals that Varon was a security guard who worked for a law firm, Kapp and Associates in Annandale, Virginia. Ziva does a quick search and reveals that Laurie Niles works for the company and that Laurie is the firm's chief financial officer which has the team realizing that Laurie knew Varon.
Ziva believes that Laurie hired Varon to abduct her daughter, Sarah and that it's the only theory that makes sense with Gibbs stating that there's another reason why Sarah Niles was kidnapped. Ziva wants to know but Gibbs just looks at her. McGee then announces that he's gotten a hit on a BOLO which is weird considering McGee just entered it into the system.
McGee explains that Varon's vehicle is moving and that the "cop" Gibbs believes is following it are hits that were generated electronically and that it's Varon's E-ZPass for toll lanes. Tony states that Varon's doing a lot of driving for a dead guy with Ziva telling the team that it left Woodbridge after Laurie Niles and her sister disappeared.
As Tony states that the car made a run up to Manassas, Virginia, not too far from Miller's apartment, Gibbs heads for his desk and grabs his gun with McGee and Ziva realizing that the last hit was five minutes ago and that it came from Annandale which is one exit from Kapp and Associates Law Firm.
With that, the team grab their belongings and rush out of the bullpen.
A while later, Gibbs and Ziva enter the front of the law firm, their guns drawn with Ziva spotting the glitter on the ground and realizing that it's from Sarah's costume just as Tony and McGee arrive in behind them, stating that the plates match the dead skeleton's car in the parking lot.
Gibbs orders Tony and Ziva to go find the missing girl while he and McGee sweep through the rooms. McGee then spots the kidnapper and ducks into a side room, telling Gibbs via the comm system that there's someone in the last office before stating that he has visual contact on Laurie and Rebecca.
While Gibbs sweeps through the rest of the rooms, McGee describes the man as being Caucasian, approx 35 years old and he's holding the two women hostage with a semi automatic weapon. Gibbs then wonders if they've got a positive ID on the young girl but McGee tells him that it's a negative because he can only see the left side of the room.
In the room, while Martin paces, Laurie is busy using a hand-scanner and a computer to access records. She then tells Martin that she's in and that the insurance money is here, all three million dollars. Martin tells her that all she has to do is transfer it to the accounts on the sheet of paper and they'll call it a day but Laurie states that she wants to see her daughter first. Martin tells her that she'll see Sarah once she's transferred the cash and outside while McGee waits for orders, Martin states that she's been smart so far, that she played along to protect her princess and that he'd hate to see her blow it now.
Laurie then tells Martin that he shot her husband but Martin tells her that he didn't have a choice, stating that they were originally supposed to kidnap Staff Sergeant Niles and Sarah but Erik chose to fight back instead. Laurie rubs her head as Martin warns her not to make the same mistake.
"How do I know that you're not going to just kill us after I transfer this?", Laurie wonders.
"I'll kill you if you don't", Martin replies.
Outside, Gibbs is in a room just opposite the main room while Rebecca tells Laurie that they've come this far and that she should do it and end it. Laurie tells Martin that NCIS is gonna figure this out but Martin tells her that he's had those Navy cops running around all night and they're clueless before ordering her to transfer the damn money, not realizing that Gibbs and McGee, two of the "clueless" agents are outside, waiting for the right moment.
Once Martin aims his gun at Laurie, Gibbs and McGee identify themselves as federal agents while ordering Martin to drop his gun. Martin then changes tatic, aiming for Gibbs and McGee but the two NCIS agents respond by firing back, the bullets killing Martin straightaway and causing him to hit the floor, dead.
With the threat down, Gibbs and McGee instead while Laurie gasps with Rebecca telling the agents that they've still got Sarah. McGee tells them that if Sarah's in the building, then they'll find her. Meanwhile, Tony and Ziva are continuing their search of the rooms but there's nothing so far.
They search another room and instantly find Sarah Niles in a chair, bound and gagged.
In the room, Gibbs checks Martin for a pulse but finds nothing while Laurie staggers outside with Rebecca following her. In the other room, Ziva tells Sarah that they're with her mother and that they're here to take Sarah home. Tony then states that they've found Sarah which Gibbs leaves to report but outside, as Laurie rounds on Rebecca, Gibbs tells the two women that they've got Sarah and once the building's secured, Laurie and Rebecca can see her but in a surprising twist, Laurie begins beating up Rebecca while screaming that Rebecca isn't her sister and that Rebecca was in on the kidnapping all along.
As Gibbs and McGee look on, Laurie states that Rebecca told her that if Laurie didn't lie to NCIS, then they would kill Sarah. Gibbs thankfully intervenes, restraining Laurie by dragging her away and urging her to stop. Laurie then rages that all they wanted was the stupid money and it then shows that there's a gun inside Rebecca's handbag.
McGee then alerts them to the gun just as Sarah comes out, calling Laurie's name and in an emotional reunion, mother and daughter are finally reunited, tearfully embracing one another just as Gibbs, Tony and Ziva arrive while McGee's busy handcuffing Rebecca.
Gibbs then tells Tony and Ziva who are puzzled that apparently, Laurie doesn't have a sister before walking off.
"Halloween, Ziva", Tony replies. "Be glad it only happens once a year".
At NCIS, Sarah who missed out on Halloween is being given the chance to go trick and treating with Ducky and Abby accompanying her as the three head around to every desk in the building to ask for candy for Sarah. In the bullpen, Laurie tells Tony that they didn't have to do that but Tony tells her that every kid deserves a happy Halloween.
McGee and Ziva arrive with the news that Staff Sergeant Niles is awake and he's asking for Laurie and Sarah and that there's a car waiting to take the two to the hospital whenever they're ready to go. Laurie then tells them to let Gibbs that she appreciates how Gibbs kept his word and that she's sorry she lied to him.
"Trust me", Tony replies. "He knows".
As Laurie heads off to join Sarah with Ziva accompanying her, it shows Gibbs standing on the balacony overlooking the squad-room with a new cup of coffee while McGee and Tony head into the bullpen. Gibbs mumbles, "Look at this" and it shows Sarah holding some candy which has Gibbs remembering his daughter trick or treating too.
It then cuts to Gibbs who's smiling at the happy memory.
- Abby is dressed up like Marilyn Monroe from her movie "Seven Year Itch" complete with the blonde hair. In real life, Pauley Perette's natural hair color is blond and she regularly dyes her hair black whenever she's preparing to film a scene as Abigail Sciuto.
- In the lab, Abby makes a reference to "Dawn of the Dead", a horror movie that was originally filmed in 1978 and was about a group of people trying to hide from zombies that had risen from the dead. A re-make was released in 2004 and was directed by Zack Snyder. The original was directed by George Romero.
- In the same scene, Abby makes another reference, this time to popular alternative rock band, the Smashing Pumpkins who were formed in 1988. They were one of the most successful bands during the 1990's, but eventually broke up in 2000. Their sound contained elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, and dream pop, just to name a few.
- Pauley Perrette usually spends 45 minutes in make-up during the shooting, but for her Marilyn make-up and costume, it took almost twice as long and the fake cross that she was last wearing in "Silver War" is seen again in the episode, appearing whenever Perette's back is to the camera.
- Mary Matilyn Mouser makes her (to date) last appearance in the ending flashback as Kelly Gibbs, dressed, like Sara Niles, in a princess costume. Interestingly, Mouser also appeared in the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Goes Home Again" (another Halloween episode) as "Princess Girl," a trick-or-treater.
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||Special Agent in charge of the Major Case Response Team, NCIS.|
|Anthony DiNozzo||Michael Weatherly||Senior Special Agent, MCRT, NCIS.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||Mossad Liaison to the NCIS.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Chief Forensic Specialist, NCIS.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray||Junior Special Agent, MCRT, NCIS.|
|Jennifer Shepard||Lauren Holly||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner, NCIS.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Ducky's assistant.|
|Kelly Gibbs||Mary Mouser||Gibbs's murdered young daughter.|
|Rebecca Biddle||Cheryl White||Laurie Niles's "sister" and Martin Jansen's partner.|
|Laurie Niles||Katie A. Keane||Erik's wife and Sarah's mother.|
|Robert Miller||Scott Michael Campbell||A man who believes he might be the biological father of Laurie's daughter, Sarah.|
|Leslie Burke||Susan Diol||A doctor who treats Erik Niles.|
|Martin Jansen||Graham Shiels||A man who took Laurie Niles's daughter, Sarah hostage.|
|Augie Breen||Garikayi Mutambirwa||A witness dressed up as a zombie.|
|Drew Paragon||Rob Reinis||A man at a Halloween party dressed up as a giant carrot.|
|Sarah Niles||Kali Majors||Erik and Laurie Niles's young daughter.|
|Erik Niles||Dave Earnest||A Staff Sergeant left injured after being shot.|