Yankee White is the series premiere of NCIS (series). It first aired on September 23, 2003 nearly six months after the two NCIS pilot episodes, Ice Queen (episode) and Meltdown (episode) that were part of JAG (series) Season 8 aired and had introduced the majority of the NCIS characters including Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Anthony DiNozzo, Abigail Sciuto, Donald Mallard and Thomas Morrow.
In addition, it is also the first-ever episode to introduce Caitlin Todd played by Sasha Alexander who originally a Secret Service Agent assigned to the Presidential Protection Detail on Air Force later joins the team as Vivian Blackadder's replacement after resigning from the Secret Service.
A Navy Commander carrying the "football" suddenly collapses and dies on board Air Force, having just dined with the President of the United States. This triggers an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas while causing all the federal agencies involving NCIS to head to the airport to investigate. However, everyone suspects that the Commander's death is thought to have been due to natural causes but when a Major who was the Commander's replacement in protecting the football is found dead in his car, NCIS soon discover that whoever murdered the Major and the Commander is planning to kill the President....
The scene opens with George Walker Bush waving to the crowd before heading into Air Force One. As he steps into the main entrance of the plane, the stewards and all the personnel in sight get to their feet and the President asks the Chief Steward if the baby-backs from Papa Joe's have arrived.
The Chief Steward tells him that they did and that they were flown in from San Antonio ten minutes ago.
The President nods and orders for the whole plane to have an early lunch with the Chief Steward agreeing. After that, the President talks to Secret Service agents William Baer and Caitlin Todd before saying, "Wasn't Major Kerry supposed to be handling the football on this one?"
Agent Todd tells him that Major Kerry came down with the flu and Agent Baer then introduces him to Kerry's replacement, Commander Ray Trapp. When President Bush asks if they've met, Trapp states that they have when they were on the Abraham Lincoln.
Bush goes all dreamy, saying that the trip to the Lincoln was the best day he's had on the job. He then invites Trapp to lunch with him which Trapp agrees to. Once the two men have left, Agent Todd approaches Trapp and tells him that he's destined to have those stars on his shoulder before walking off.
Trapp smiles before sitting down, his hand securely resting against the suitcase containing the nuclear football.
A while or so later, the Chief Steward, having delivered food to everyone asks Agents Baer and Todd if they would like anything to eat. They both politely turn him down and once he's moved on, Baer announces that he's going to be in Comm, getting an update from Backhoe and tells her to keep an eye on things.
"Expecting problems, sir?", Agent Todd asks.
"Expect problems, Agent Todd", Baer says grimly. "And with a little luck, you'll never lose a President".
As he heads upstairs, Commander Trapp arrives back in after his lunch with the President and in an unusual display, drops the suitcase before glancing at his left hand. He and Agent Todd shake hands with Todd revealing that her first name is Kate. As he continues rambling on, Kate asks him, "Are you ill, Commander?".
Sure enough, seconds later, Trapp makes a gagging sound as if he's choking on something, prompting Kate to call her boss and the medical team for help. When Baer arrives, he demands to know what's wrong but Kate has no answers, instead telling him that she doesn't know. The medical team arrive on scene and Kate tells Burger, the doctor in charge of the medic team that Trapp just had lunch with the President.
"Oh my God", Burger whispers.
With that revelation, Baer takes charge and orders Kate to stay with the football. He and Burger then head for the President's Headquarters as the medical team continue working on Trapp.
One of the doctors checks for a pulse but finds nothing and orders Trapp's shirt to be removed. As she begins cutting the fabric, the only thing Kate can do is look on in dismay.
In his basement, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is busy working on a piece of wood with the TV blaring in the background. Gibbs then stops his work and heads over to the phone, answering it with his trademark, "Yeah, Gibbs". It then cuts to the NCIS squad-room, namely the Major Case Response Team's bullpen where Gibbs's second-in-command and the Senior Agent of the team, Anthony DiNozzo is busy giving Gibbs details of the Navy Commander who in DiNozzo's own words, "just carked in the air".
DiNozzo then tells Gibbs that Air Force One has landed in Wichita, Kansas and that the President's transferring to the back-up plane. He then states that he's booked the team to go on a 1500 United Flight out of Reagan which stops in Dallas before going on to Wichtia.
When Gibbs asks if that's the best he could do, DiNozzo tells Gibbs that it's Saturday and it'd be a lot easier if NCIS had their own jet. Gibbs reminds him that they don't and that Ducky is buds with various Medical Examiners across the country and also states that one of those Medical Examiners should hold the body until NCIS arrives on scene.
DiNozzo agrees and both men hang up.
Back in the basement, a Reporter has appeared on the TV to deliver a Breaking News report in regards to Air Force One landing in an airport in Kansas. She manages to get the name of the airport and says details are sketchy before Gibbs, having left the basement switches off the light, cutting off the power to the lights and shutting the TV off as well.
At the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, it's all hussle and bussle. As Gibbs and Tony head up to the check-point, Tony is rambling on and on about how many other agencies, FBI, CIA, DEA, ATF and even NYPD have their own private jets while NCIS has none.
"36 cents a mile. You wanna drive?", Gibbs asks.
"It's humiliating", Tony replies.
As they head to the metal detectors, they meet Dennis the Security Guard who's clearly confused by the term LEO (short for Law Enforcement Officer). The next few minutes are spent with Gibbs arguing with the Guard about how the airport is letting them carry weapons on board yet their bags have to be scanned.
Eventually, Donald Mallard aka "Ducky" arrives, telling Dennis, the Security Guard that the bags are his. The Security Guard relents and lets DiNozzo and Gibbs bring the bags through the metal detectors without delay, while Ducky tells them to move it, adding "We don't want to miss our flight".
The area around Air Force One is a crime scene and inside, various agencies including the Secret Service and FBI are busy fighting over who gets to lead the investigation with local Sheriff Elmo Poke telling them that as long as the body is in Kansas, it's in his jurisdiction.
After a lot of arguing, Poke orders everyone to leave the plane and gives custody of the body over to Ducky before leaving himself.
Once the plane is empty, Gibbs orders Tony to go up to the cockpit and show the pilot his credentials so that they can get the Hell out of here before anyone else returns.
With Tony gone, Gibbs and Ducky examine the body further and begin comparing theories as to how the Commander died.
Seconds later, Agent Todd from the Secret Service storms back in, her finger on her holstered gun as she demands to know who they are, having figured out the truth.
With the scheme having been ruined, Gibbs introduces himself and Ducky as NCIS, telling her that they flew down from Washington to take over to the investigation. Agent Todd is not impressed, stating that the FBI was trying to muscle in first and now it's NCIS. Gibbs counters with the fact that this is a dead Naval Officer.
"Who died on Air Force One after having lunch with the President it's my job to protect", Kate retorts.
Their arguing and sniping over who should to get to lead the investigation is interrupted by Tony who tells him that the pilot won't take off before "the Secret Service chick gives us the thumbs up".
When Kate smugly declares that it's just made it her team, Gibbs states he'll hijack Air Force One and orders Tony to escort Agent Todd off the aircraft and then close the hatch.
With her options up in smoke, Kate relents and agrees to be part of Gibbs's team, stating that she doesn't want to delay the team any further by having to shoot him and as such, the two then shake hands to seal their agreement.
Seconds later, Air Force One takes off with Poke revealing that Ducky is the Medical Examiner for NCIS, leaving Fornell and the FBI people shocked and they can only watch as Air Force One with NCIS on board flies off into the night.
On board Air Force One, Gibbs is talking to NCIS Director Thomas Morrow and filling him in on what's happened so far in the investigation. When Morrow asks if the Secret Service agent will stand up to the FBI, Gibbs tells him that he doesn't know but remarks that she's got balls.
Back on the crime scene, Kate wonders if Ducky is starting the autopsy already but Ducky assures he isn't, stating that he's taking a liver temperature to make sure that the time of death is right. Looking through her PDA, Kate announces that the President's doctor declared the Commander dead at 20:32 Zulu.
While Ducky gets a liver temp, Tony then tells Kate to move aside because he needs measurements for his crime scene sketches and the two spend the next few minutes arguing, with Kate calling Tony "pathetic" when he shows her a magazine with a female model on the cover.
Ducky then announces that his time is 19:15 Zulu with Kate saying that he must have gotten the time wrong. Gibbs comes back down from his talk with Morrow and tells Ducky to log his time of death before stating to Tony that they've gotten enough sketches because Agent Todd's going to give him the floor plans before walking off.
Kate tells them she won't do that, then heads off after Gibbs while Ducky tells Tony that the measurements were good but isn't 36 D a little wishful thinking.
"You think?", Tony asks.
Gibbs and Kate begin arguing about the security of the floor plans, with Kate casually stating that she thinks she's destined to shoot Gibbs, not DiNozzo. They then have more arguments in regards to Commander Trapp who replaced Major Kerry who had the flu. Gibbs continues to explore Air Force One, displaying almost child-like glee at discovering new things on board the plane.
As they leave the press cabin, in which Kate confined the three plane stewards, Gibbs tells Kate two of his important rules which are: 1- Never let suspects stay together, and 2- Always wear gloves at a crime scene.
Once they've arrived back, Ducky tells them he believes he's found why his time of death and that of the President's doctor were so different. After realizing her mistake, Kate tells Ducky she owns him an apology. Ducky disagrees and begins rambling on about some story with Gibbs telling him to give it a rest because they've got work to do.
After Gibbs mentions Rule #3- Don't believe what you're told: double check, Kate sarcastically asks him if she should write the rules down in her Palm Pilot or crochet them on pillows.
Once they're inside the President's office, Kate expresses dismay at seeing Tony in the President's chair to which Tony replies, "He's not using it". As he and Tony begin logging evidence and signing their names on the bags to protect the chain of custody, Gibbs offers Kate to try but she simply slaps a hand over her mouth and runs out the door with Gibbs and Tony giving chase.
Eventually, Kate leans in the bag and promptly throws up before asking, "Can I rinse? Now that you've got your evidence".
Gibbs assures she can and as Kate heads into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her, Gibbs signs his name before handing the bag to Tony, telling him to log it and go find Ducky.
When Tony asks, "You think she's got whatever killed the Commander?", Gibbs just looks at him and shakes his head uncertainly.
With Tony running off, Gibbs simply heads over to one of the seats and then starts looking out the window as Air Force One continues to fly on into the night.
It then cuts to a big function with a man announcing that President George W. Bush is on stage. While various members of the media who were on Air Force One are scribbling down things, Secret Service Agent William Baer is on the phone with FBI Agent Tobias Fornell (calling him Tom) as the two debate on why NCIS shouldn't handle the investigation and why the FBI deserve to, instead.
Baer eventually relents, agreeing to give the FBI the body and once Fornell has hung up, he remarks that they're back in the ballgame.
Back on Air Force One, Ducky is busy treating Kate who's lying down on a chair, recovering after getting sick. He remarks that it's a stomach virus to which Kate agrees. When pressed further, she goes on to say that it's the exact same symptoms Major Kerry had.
Ducky's puzzled for a few seconds before eventually figuring out that they slept together.
"Did you think I was a virgin?", Kate asks.
"I'd hoped not", Ducky replies before moving away.
Once Gibbs and Kate are alone, they spend the next few minutes, talking to each other before Kate is told that she has a call from Agent Baer. When Gibbs asks her if he should take the call in her place, Kate replies, "I'd have to be dead" before mustering up the strength to get up and head to the conference room.
Gibbs smirks in amusement.
It then cuts to the President's room when Tony is busy interviewing the Chief Steward as part of the investigation. Once he's finished, Gibbs comes in, asking to know what he's found. While Gibbs is in the head, Tony tells him what he has so far and when Ducky arrives in, the two spend the next few minutes taking photographs of one another sitting in the President's chair.
Gibbs then comes back and tells them, "If you two are through taking pictures of each other, maybe we can move that body aft", leaving DiNozzo and Ducky stunned.
In the conference room, Kate is arguing (albeit unsuccessfully) with her boss, Baer, who's busy making sure everything is ready for the President's departure from the forum. The two are talking in regards to who should lead the investigation. Baer tells her to give the body over to the FBI when Air Force One lands at Andrews or else the only Presidential detail she'll be getting will be walking Spotty before hanging up.
Kate hangs up, frustrated.
Once she's arrived back downstairs, having told Gibbs she won't disobey a direct order, she and Gibbs settle into their seats, the pilot having informed them on the intercom that they're preparing to land into Andrews at this time. Sure enough, the Air Force One plane arrives in Andrews seconds later.
Fornell and another unnamed FBI Agent are busy driving back to the FBI Headquarters, talking about how since they've got Commander Trapp's body, they're going to be leading the investigation. Unfortunately, they get a shock when a cell-phone begins ringing.
But it's not coming from either of them.
It's actually coming from inside the body-bag where DiNozzo (pretending to be Trapp) is hiding. He answers it and it's Gibbs who tells him that they're in the clear and that Tony can get out of the body-bag now. With the FBI van having come to a screeching halt, Tony says, "I never thought I'd say this but I'm not sure I want to".
It then cuts to a van, presumably an NCIS vehicle, driving down the motorway. Gibbs is in the passenger seat, Ducky in the back, scribbling something down on a pad or a PDA and Ducky's assistant, Gerald Jackson is in the front seat, behind the wheel.
Gibbs tells Tony that he has to go search Commander Trapp's apartment despite Tony protesting that it's 1am.
When Tony's argument is interrupted by his own surprised scream, Gibbs hangs up and dryly remarks "I guess they found him" while Ducky smirks in amusement. The scene then cuts to MTAC where Morrow is having a conference-call with the Director of the United States Secret Service and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Morrow announces that since NCIS have Commander Trapp's body, they'll be the ones leading the investigation.
In the NCIS morgue, once Gerald has left bringing Trapp's uniform up to Abby, Gibbs and Ducky go over what's been found so far with Ducky remarking that he won't get anything for hours. Despite Ducky insisting Gibbs go home and get some sleep, Gibbs instead opts to sleep on one of the vacant autopsy tables with a roll of kitchen paper towels serving as a "pillow".
Tony arrives back into NCIS, carrying an evidence box of items he has managed to get from Commander Trapp's apartment and walks into the lab where Forensic Scientist Abigail Sciuto is busy studying Trapp's uniform for any trace of poison.
When Tony insists that he'll wait while she's going through the contents, Abby directs him to a futon under her table which Tony gratefully accepts.
As Tony lies down on the futon, using his coat as a pillow and then falls asleep, Abby looks out in amusement and begins working on the items.
The next morning, with Agents Todd and Fornell in attendance along with Gibbs and Tony, Ducky and Abby explain what they've found during their all-nighter. After the presentation ends, Fornell requests that his people check their findings. Ducky agrees, stating that he and Todd will be getting copies of their findings.
As Fornell prepares to leave, he asks Tony, "How's your butt?".
"Still bouncing on the beltway", Tony replies, giving Fornell a sarcastic smile.
Fornell departs the bullpen but as Kate prepares to leave, Gibbs calls her back, offering her some gum as a truce which she accepts. He then asks when the President's coming back. Kate tells him it'll be noon, tomorrow and that she's flying back tonight to rejoin the detail.
"Mind if I tag along?", Gibbs asks, adding a "Please" for good measure.
Kate tells him but his SIG-Sauer can't because there's a rule on Air Force One that states that only Secret Service agents can carry guns. Gibbs then agrees, demonstrating by putting his gun into his cabinet and locking it. He then grabs his jacket and leaves but not before telling the others to keep on looking to which Abby nods.
However, once he's gone, she excitedly remarks that Gibbs said please while Ducky simply nods.
In a bar in Georgetown, Kate and her boyfriend, Major Timothy Kerry clink glass, remembering Commander Ray Trapp. During the talk, Kate breaks up with Kerry, stating that she's more worried about losing a President than losing her job and that she needs to be 100% focused on the task at hand.
Once she's left, Major Kerry gets into his car but upon leaving his hat aside, suffers a stroke and seizure, dying instantly with drool emerging from his mouth and like Trapp, his eyes are wide open, staring at nothingness.
After saluting, the President arrives back on Air Force One and meets Trapp's replacement, Major Carl Pritchard before announcing that it's a job well done and that they should begin heading on home, a move Baer agrees with. However, while the President heads into his room, Kate confronts Baer and tells him she's surprised he didn't object to Gibbs tagging along with them.
"He's here because his gut is still churning, isn't it?", Baer states.
"Well, yes, sir. I suppose you could put it that way", Kate replies.
"Well, so is mine", Baer counters.
And seconds later, Air Force One takes off. Back at NCIS HQ, Abby tells Ducky that she's tested everything. Ducky gives her a hint by stating, "Nature always proves to be a far more ellusive and powerful killer than man" before he leaves although Abby is confused.
Back on Air Force One, Kate along with everyone is having lunch. She mentions that she's recovered from the 24-hour bug and tells Gibbs that she broke up with Major Kerry who got over the bug the previous day. And when she asks how else one could get to know someone while on the job 24/7, Gibbs suggests church.
At NCIS, the test to see if the poison is that of the black puffer comes back up negative, leaving Abby discouraged although she gets up from her desk with a series of samples.
On Air Force One, Gibbs expresses surprise about where one of the journalists is going. Kate tells him that the President promised 10 minutes to each member of the Press on board and he's been playing catch-up ever since the incident at Wichita. Gibbs then mentions about a book by Tom Clancy where three years before 9/11, terrorists hijacked an airliner and crashed it into the Capitol. He then goes on to say that in the Harrison Ford movie, terrorists were reporters. Kate tells him that the Secret Service has vetted every single one in the Press Cabin except for Gibbs himself.
Gibbs then mentions that in the film, the terrorists even got their credentials from a Secret Service turncoat and leaves. As he does, one of the journalists, Leonard Rish emerges from the Press Cabin and asks Kate if the Secret Service is loosening up their dress code. Kate tells him that Gibbs is not a member of the Secret Service.
"We all gonna get our fifteen minutes of fame?", Rish asks.
"It's ten", Kate corrects. "And the President's doing his best."
Back at NCIS, Abby has tested the Poison Arrow Frog and the results are negative.
In broad daylight, DiNozzo arrives at a crime scene and introduces himself as NCIS before asking Andy Kochofis of the Metro Police Department what they've got. Detective Kochofis tells that there's a dead Marine Officer with no signs of robbery because there's still cash and credit cards in the dead man's wallet. Kochofis tells DiNozzo that he's got two shootings to handle and he hopes NCIS will take the body of the dead Marine.
DiNozzo looks at the card and it shows that the man's name is Timothy Kerry.
"Yeah, we'll take him", he replies.
Back at NCIS, Abby's running the poison of the Coastal Taipan through her systems and sure enough, it comes up as Positive, confirming that it is the poison that was used to kill Commander Trapp and Major Kerry. Abby leaps from the seat and spends a few minutes hopping up and down joyfully before saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you".
On Air Force One, Kate's telling Gibbs about the differences between the real Air Force One and the back-up plane when Gibbs gets a call telling him he has a conference call waiting for him in the Comm Room. He then gets up and tells Kate he wants to know every detail no matter small she think it is.
"Please?", Kate asks hopefully.
Gibbs arrives in the Comm Room and gets the news that Major Kerry is dead. With Ducky and Abby as well as Tony fitting into a single call, Gibbs learns that the poison was venom from a Coastal Taipan, a highly deadly snake found in Australia. In Abby's words, the poison "zaps the nervous system and clots the blood. You convulse and then you stroke" with Ducky remarking that the poison is almost impossible to detect.
Having gotten this new information and realizing that Al-Jazeera and Bin Laden wouldn't be bragging about icing the President's ball carriers, Gibbs ends the call and heads back downstairs. Along the way, he then asks Major Pritchard where he got his uniform cleaned.
"Base cleaner at Quantico", Pritchard replies.
Gibbs eventually catches up with Kate and leads her into a toilet so that they can talk in private given that the rest of the rooms on the plane are being used right now.
After giving her the bad news and deciding that Kate's innocent ("Liars can't pale on cue"), Gibbs realizes that Al-Qaeda must have planted something on board the plane before it became Air Force One - while the security was less strict.
Kate denies it's a bomb, saying that they would've donated it by now.
In the Press Cabin, Stan (Rish's cameraman) begins coughing and gagging, revealing that he's been poisoned.
As Secret Service Agent 1 in the Cabin rushes to Stan's aid, Secret Service Agent 2 calls for back-up, citing a medical emergency. Baer who's escorting Rish back to the Cabin abruptly drops everything and rushes to the Cabin just as Burger and his medical team come in.
They begin working on Stan and with everyone focused on that, Rish then heads for the Armory before unlocking the doors and removing a MP5A3 and a matching ammo clip, which finally reveals that he is the terrorist responsible for killing both Trapp and Perry and whose primary goal is to kill the President.
Back in the Press Cabin, Burger is still performing CPR although it's clear that Stan is already dead given that the CPR is having no effect.
In the toilet, Gibbs has figured out that the terrorists copied the movie's plot and that they too vetted a reporter. Upon seeing the door open, Rish who's been heading for the President's room slips in an alleyway while Kate informs Gibbs that there's a medical emergency in the Press Cabin. Gibbs dismisses that as a diversion and dispatches Kate to cover the President.
Removing her SIG-Sauer from her holster, Kate heads for the President's room while also telling Major Pritchard that no-one gets past him.
As such, realizing the danger, Pritchard stands guard.
Gibbs rushes back down again, unknowingly heading past where Rish is hiding before discovering that the Armory is open and one of the weapons is missing. He grabs a SIG-Sauer, jams a round into it and then heads back to the centre of the plane just as Rish is attempting to get into the President's room.
Gibbs attempts to get Rish to surrender but Rish isn't having it, instead choosing to shoot up the hall with all his shots missing Gibbs who on the other hand wastes no time in sending two rounds from his temporarily-borrowed SIG into Rish's body, killing the terrorist and ending the whole thing for good.
With the threat over, Gibbs silently walks over to Kate who's put away her own gun and hands her his SIG before walking away, leaving her blinking.
Air Force One is once again a crime scene and as they leave, Baer remarks that both he and Gibbs are going to spend the next week doing paperwork. Baer then tells Gibbs that Kate resigned, and he accepted her resignation because she broke the rules.
They both shake hands before Gibbs departs.
It then cuts to Kate who is walking through a car-park where Gibbs catches up with her, telling her he heard she quit. She tells Gibbs that happy news gets round fast and that she did resign because it was the right thing to do. Gibbs agrees and then tells her if she pulls that crap at NCIS, he won't give her a chance to resign.
"Is that a job offer?", Kate asks.
However, her question goes unanswered as a Mysterious Red-Head in a silver car arrives and gives Gibbs a lift before the car drives off into the night, leaving Kate behind in the car-park.
In Gibbs's basement, the TV shows the press-conference where it's revealed that the FBI are taking the credit for stopping Rish's rampage and it then cuts to Gibbs who's busy doing what he did at the beginning of his episode: working on his boat.
- Secret Service Agent Caitlin Todd, FBI Agent T.C. Fornell and Ducky's Assistant, Gerald Jackson are all introduced for the first time.
- Agent Todd's codename is revealed to be "Rosefern".
- Gibbs's first three Rules are: 1- Never let suspects stay together, 2- Always wear gloves at a crime scene and 3- Don't believe what you're told. Double check.
- After helping NCIS with the investigation, Kate resigns from the Secret Service for good and is offered a job as a NCIS Special Agent which she accepts, resulting in her becoming the third member of the Major Case Response Team, DiNozzo's partner and also the replacement for Vivian Blackadder (whose absence is left unexplained).
- The TV in Gibbs's house is playing CBS, but later in the series, they use Zulu News Network, a fictional news network carried over from JAG.
- After watching a reporter go in to see the President alone, Gibbs references a Tom Clancy novel in which terrorists hijacked a plane and crashed it into the Capitol and notes the novel was published before September 11 (the 1994 novel was "Debt of Honor"). Gibbs then points out a movie starring Harrison Ford as the President in which terrorists pose as reporters and hijack Air Force One (the 1997 movie was aptly named "Air Force One"). In the movie, the Secret Service agent who betrayed the President had the last name "Gibbs." The airplane set used as Air Force One was in the episode was also used in the film.
- The coroner states that the body is in Wichita County while the Secret Service and FBI are arguing over juristiction but this is inaccurate, since the city of Wichita is located in Sedgwick County in southeast Kansas, which is 250 road miles from Wichita County in western Kansas.
- While Tony's driving to the crime scene where Major Kerry's body is, a camera man can be seen sitting in the passenger seat, presumbly filming the scene itself.
- As most people know, this is not the "original pilot" of the series because the original pilot episodes are "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown" from the series "JAG".
- "Yankee White" is a special security investigation considered the nation's most rigorous security background check in which candidates must pass in order to work for the Defense Communications Agency. The criteria include U.S. citizenship, unquestionable loyalty, and an absolute absence of any foreign influence over the individual, his family, or "persons to whom the individual is closely linked."
- Fornell's first name was revealed to be Tom although it was later changed to Tobias in later episodes so that he wouldn't be confused with Tom Morrow, the NCIS Director who was played by actor Alan Dale and who also appeared throughout Season 1 and 2, having originally debuted in the two-parter episodes, "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown".
- Some of the music played during this episode was first heard during the two-parter episodes, "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown", which were the official pilot for NCIS and also part of Season 8 of JAG.
- During the opening credits, a remixed version of the theme song was played but it was presumbly dropped in favour of the original version of the theme song.
- When Abby remarks "What are you, my priest?" about Tony's "Bless you", he then counters with "Curse you?". This could be a reference to the fact that Michael Weatherly (DiNozzo) played a demon who wanted to become a priest on the TV series, "Charmed".
- The end of the episode marks the first appearance of the Mysterious Red-Head, an unidentified woman often seen encountering Gibbs during the first two seasons.
- When Kate says "Oh, no, she won't", her lips aren't even moving.
- When the terrorist plot is finally confirmed and Kate hears about the medical emergency, Gibbs tells her to stay with the president. Yet, when the shooting starts, she comes out to the plane corridor, gun drawn. She had no way of knowing at that point that the battle was over, so in effect had just left the president unattended and unprotected.
- Sasha Alexander (Special Agent Kate Todd) is the only original NCIS cast member that did not appear in the original pilot of the show, shown as a part of JAG.
Series Regulars Edit
- Season One Regular Cast
|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|
|Caitlin Todd||Sasha Alexander||Special Agent, MCRT, NCIS who was formerly attached to the Presidential Protection Detail on Air Force One. Later resigns at the end of the episode, joining NCIS and as a result, becomes DiNozzo's partner and also the Junior Agent of the team.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Chief Forensic Specialist, NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner, NCIS.|
|Thomas Morrow||Alan Dale||Director of NCIS.||Alan Dale reprised the role after appearing as Tom Morrow in the two JAG episodes.|
|Mysterious Red-Head||Played by Vivienne Bellisario||Unidentified female companion of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.||Bellisario is the real life wife of series creator Donald P. Bellisario and also the mother of Sean Murray who plays Tim McGee.|
|Gerald Jackson||Pancho Demmings||Assistant Medical Examiner for NCIS who helps Ducky with various tasks.|
|Tobias Fornell||Joe Spano||Agent, FBI.|
|William Baer||Gerry Becker||United States Secret Service and head of the Presidental Protection Detail. Codename is "Slammer".|
|Elmo Poke||Gary Grubbs||Local Coroner of Wichita, KS and a friend of Ducky's.|
|Commander Ray Trapp USN||Gerald Downey||Commander, United States Navy (USN) and the Football Carrier for Air Force One.|
|Major Timothy Kerry USMC||Dane Northcutt||Major, United States Marine Corps (USMC).|
|Captain Burger||Michael Adler||President's Physician.|
|Leonard Rish||Robert Bagnell||Reporter and also a terrorist who was given the task of assassinating the President but was later shot dead by Gibbs when he resisted arrest.|
|Major Carl Pritchard USMC||Dwayne Macopson||United States Marine Corps and the new Football Carrier in the aftermath of Ray Trapp's death.|
|Director of the United States Secret Service||Lawrence Pressman||United States Secret Service.|
|Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation||Gregory Itzin||Federal Bureau of Investigation.|
|President, George Walker Bush||Steve Bridges||President of the United States.|
|Bowman||Jeremy Overstreet||Federal Agent. Agency Unknown.|
|Detective Andy Kochofis||Asante Jones||Homicide Investigator with Metro P.D.|
|Dennis the Security Guard||Michael Maize||TSA Guard assigned to the airport at Wichita, KS.|
|Secret Service Agent 1||Ron Brosh||United States Secret Service. Uncredited role.|
|Secret Service Agent 2||Michael Calder||United States Secret Service. Uncredited role.|
|NCIS Agent 1||Paul Majors||NCIS. Uncredited role.|
|FBI Agent||Gerald McCullouch||Federal Bureau Investigation.|
|Chief Steward||Richard Anthony Crenna||Chief Steward Aboard Air Force One. He is the son of Richard Crenna.|
|Medic||Jennifer Weston||Dr. Burger's assistant. Uncredited role.|
|Reporter||Doris E. McMillon||Reporter for CBS|
|Stan||Scott Fishkind||Rish's Cameraman who accompanied Rish to Wichita. Uncredited role.|
|NCIS Season One|
|♦ Ice Queen (JAG) ♦ Meltdown (JAG) ♦ NCIS: The Beginning (JAG) ♦ Yankee White ♦ Hung Out to Dry ♦ Seadog ♦ The Immortals ♦ The Curse ♦ High Seas ♦ Sub Rosa ♦ Minimum Security ♦ Marine Down ♦ Left for Dead ♦ Eye Spy ♦ My Other Left Foot ♦ One Shot, One Kill ♦ The Good Samaritan ♦ Enigma ♦ Bête Noire ♦ Truth is out There ♦ UnSEALeD ♦ Dead Man Talking ♦ Missing ♦ Split Decision ♦ A Weak Link ♦ Reveille|