NCIS Pilot

>> Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Drunken attempt at an NCIS recap ...

Shot of Air Force One as "Dubya" waves from the stairs and enters the plane. Cut to an interior shot of a hallway inside the plane. Steward type people are seated in hella plush chairs. Damn. I wish I had made a 24 hour flight in one of those seats, let me tell you. I was stuck next to a massively obese guy who kept elbowing me in the boobs. Anyway, all of the steward types jump to their feet as "Dubya" comes down the hall, spouting some Texan drivel about baby backs from Papa Joe's. I have no idea what he's on about. He tells Speaking Steward that he wants an early lunch. Okay, it's some kind of food. He then tells Balding Secret Service Guy about how much he loves this mystery food. "I know, Mr President," says BSSG, in much the same manner you might speak to a small child. Heh. BSSG is actually "Agent Baer," but since we never see him again, Balding Secret Service Guy he shall remain. "Dubya" then wonders why Major Kerry isn't handling the football. A pretty brunette Secret Service agent, and I won't pretend I don't know who she is, informs "Gee Dub" that Major Kerry has the flu, and introduces Commander Ray Trapp. Commander Trapp stands to attention and reminds "the Prez" that they met on the Abraham Lincoln. "Dumbass" declares that the trip to the Lincoln was the best day he's had on the job, and invites Commander Trapp to lunch. Commander Trapp is overjoyed. "Dubya" wanders off with BSSG as Kate notes that Commander Trapp must be destined for "stars on those shoulders" since he is having lunch with the boss on his first day. Did she just call him a kiss-ass? Commander Trapp sits, preens and pats the football resting on the floor by his chair, as we cut an exterior shot of the plane taking off.

Some time presumably a little later, a stewardess sets down a tray of the most appetizing airplane food I have ever seen. Another steward type walks down the hall towards where Commander Trapp had been sitting and offers BSSG and Agent Todd some lunch. They both decline and the steward disappears down the hall. BSSG informs Kate that he is off to Comms to get an update from Backhoe. That's what he said. I have no idea what the hell he's talking about. "Keep an eye on things down here," he tells her, and walks off. Kate stops him and asks if he's expecting a problem. Of course he is Kate. Haven't you seen the pre-credits sequence of this show before? Oh, right. Moving on. BSSG sagely warns her to expect problems, and with a little luck, she'll never lose a president. I suspect many Americans might feel that, with a little luck, they might just lose this one.

Speaking of problems, a Cleansing Burst of Synchronicity (TM Demian) escorts Commander Trapp back to his post. He's looking somewhat pasty and shaky. He proceeds to drop the football at his feet. He staggers forward a little, staring at his useless hand. As Kate stares at him with some concern, he chuckles nervously and tells her he "fumbled in [his] first army-navy game," but he recovered the ball. Kate continues to stare suspiciously as he sets the football down by his chair and turns to extend his hand, introducing himself. Haven't they already met? We officially learn that Kate's first name is, uh, Kate. Trapp starts to pant a bit and waxes lyrical about lunch with the President. Whatever. He gets all dizzy and slumps into his chair, as Kate asks if he's okay. He begins to have some kind of seizure and slumps to the floor. We learn that Kate's code name is Rosefern, as she tells "Slammer" (snerk) that there is a medical emergency in section one of the plane. She runs to check on Trapp as BSSG comes down the stairs. She tells him that she doesn't know what’s wrong, as Trapp starts spitting up white gunk. Gross. Medics come running to the scene, and quickly inform us that Trapp is not breathing and has no pulse. Kate informs one of the medics that Trapp just had lunch with President. Gasp! BSSG and doctor medic are off, with BSSG ordering Kate as he leaves to stay with the football. She skitters over to Trapp's seat and moves it out of harms way. The medics continue to work on Trapp as dramatic strings play and we cut to Kate looking anxious as finally cut to the credits.

Gosh, that was exciting.

The credits are depressingly mellow in the pilot, minus the drumbeat that makes me dance on the couch. Shots of Mark Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Michael Weatherley, Pauley Perrette and David McCallum. Aw, Ducky.

Gibbs' basement. A coffee mug rests on a wooden frame as the shot widens to reveal Gibbs working on his boat. A phone rings, interrupting this very manly activity. Tony informs Gibbs that a Navy Commander carrying the football on Air Force One just "carked in the air." Nice. Tony goes on to tell Gibbs that they landed in Wichita, which Tony kindly informs the non-American viewers is in Kansas. Thanks sweetie. He continues that "Gee Dub" has transferred onto a back up plane and that Tony has booked them onto a flight out of Reagan. The flight will make a stop in Dallas. Gibbs snarks about this, and Tony reminds him that it's Saturday, and wishes they had their own jet. Gibbs cuts him off, saying that Ducky is friends with coroners all over the place, and should be able to get the relevant coroner to hold the body for them until they arrive. Gibbs bolts from the basement, as the television shows a newsflash about Air Force One stopping in Wichita, but apparently the media doesn't seem to know about the death of the Commander.

Airport. Tony bitches about the various law enforcement departments who have their own jet, calling it embarrassing. Gibbs basically tells him to cram it. He tells the security guy they are LEOs. The security guy tells them he's a Capricorn. Ha, ha. Not. Tony hands over his ID, pointing out that LEO is an acronym for law enforcement officer as the security guy regards him dubiously. Gibbs snarks that Dennis, for that is his name, must be new at this. Dennis confirms that it's his first week, and tells them he's never heard of NCIS. Gibbs tells Tony that that's embarrassing. Dennis asks if NCIS is anything like CSI. Is that supposed to be meta? Tony responds, "only if you're dyslexic." Snerk. Dennis tells them they can go around the metal detector, but their bags have to go through the scanner. Gibbs is incredulous that they can take their weapons on board the plane, but their bags must be scanned. Dennis spouts some nonsense about permits as Ducky shows up to put an end to this nonsense, telling Dennis that the bags are his. Dennis is all, you should have said you were schlepping for the doc - he has a permit for the bags. Tony rolls his eyes and stares at Gibbs all, dude I can't believe this crap. Ducky barks at them to move it along.

Air Force One. Night has fallen. There are cop cars all over the place. Inside the plane, the Wichita ME is telling the FBI to get stuffed, as the body is in his jurisdiction. No-one is moving the body until the ME says they can. I guess he's pretending he's not the ME, and is holding the body for Ducky. Also, his name is Elmo, which cracks me up. Or it could be the vodka. Anyway, Fornell (yay, Fornell!) snits that the ME's jurisdiction doesn't trump his on Air Force One. Kate interrupts to inform them that, upon the departure of the President, the plane is actually no longer Air Force One. Fornell snits at her to stay out of the pissing contest, since with the President off the plane, it's not a Secret Service problem. Kate replies that it could be a natural death, or a botched assassination. Until they know which, it damn well is her problem. The ME interrupts them before they get into the hairpulling, reiterating that they can't move the body until the ME says they can. Upon cue, Ducky arrives, greeting Elmo, who asks how he liked some steaks he sent him. Fornell is confused about Elmo air expressing steaks. Kate informs him that it's a big state, noting how long it took Ducky to get there. This exchange serves no purpose other than to show that Ducky's ruse is working. Elmo informs Ducky that the FBI and Secret Service are fighting over the body "like two hounds over a T-bone" as he leans down to examine Trapp's body. Gibbs helpfully notes that all the extra personnel are contaminating the crime scene, prompting Ducky to tell everyone who boarded in Wichita to bugger off, like, now. Fornell refuses to leave, and Kate notes that she flew in on the plane. Ducky consents to them staying, but orders everyone else off. Elmo asks Ducky what he thinks. Ducky notes that there is no outward sign of trauma. Kate notes that he fell ill after having lunch with the President. Tony asks how he is. Kate says he's fine and that he's flown on to LA. Gibbs wants to know what happened. Kate describes Trapp's symptoms. Ducky wants to know if it was a gradual or sudden collapse. Sudden, Kate says. They believed he had a stroke. Tony notes that he's "kinda young for a brain fart." Ducky notes that it looks like a natural death, and says that the FBI can leave with the body if they sign a release. Fornell and Kate agree to work out jurisdiction later, and head off to take care of the paperwork. Kate lingers to overhear Elmo ask Ducky about some soft shell crabs. Ducky assures Elmo that he'll have them by the weekend. Elmo is pleased. This exchange serves no real purpose other than to provide Kate a clue that something's up. Once they are alone, Gibbs sends Tony off to order the pilot to take off. As Tony leaves, Gibbs asks if Ducky enjoyed playing his boss. Ducky grins that he did. Gibbs wants to know what Ducky thinks happened to Trapp. Ducky says that he has no idea at this stage. Gibbs notes that Tony is right, and that it is unusual for a naval aviator to be having a stroke at his age. Ducky notes that it could happen, and launches into one of his stories, this one about a "young promising basso profundo" who apparently had a stroke at age 27 during an Otello aria.

At this point, Kate comes bursting back on to the plane, demanding to know who the hell they are. Oops. Busted! Gibbs identifies himself and Kate bitches about the FBI and NCIS trying to muscle in on her. Gibbs and Kate argue a little over jurisdiction, until Gibbs offers to let Kate be on his team. "Your team?" Kate asks disbelievingly. She wants to know why it should be his team. Gibbs points out that she has never worked a crime scene. Kate snits that she earned her jock strap. Gibbs snarks that it must have an "empty feeling." Heh. Kate glares and responds, "like some species of frogs, [she] grow[s] what [she] need[s]." Atta girl. Gibbs smirks as Tony returns, yelling that the pilot won't take off until he hears from Kate. Kate is smug, until Gibbs threatens to hijack the plane. Kate finally relents. They shake. Fornell chooses this moment to come back up the stairs, but Tony closes the door in his face as the plane taxis down the runway. Fornell throws a fit, races back down the stairs and demands that Elmo tell him that the hell Ducky is doing. Elmo casually says he guesses that Ducky decided to take the body to Washington. Fornell is confused. Elmo tells Fornell that he never said Ducky was his medical examiner, as the plane takes off. Fornell demands to know who Ducky works for, and gets the bad news.

Comms, Not Air Force One. Gibbs is chatting to NCIS Director Morrow, who wants to know if he had literally slam the door in the FBI's face. Gibbs shrugs that they were outnumbered. Morrow wonders why Gibbs didn't try a little interagency cooperation, and Gibbs replies that he got the Secret Service agent in charge to share the investigation. "Willingly?" Morrow asks, disbelievingly. Heh. Gibbs concedes that they could use backup when the plane lands. Morrow is amused, but cannot provide the requested backup. Gibbs warns him that if the FBI gets hold of the body, they will be shut out of the investigation, and Morrow tells him to make sure the FBI don't get the body, then. He wants to know if Kate will stand up to the FBI. Gibbs doesn't know, but says she's got balls. Morrow chuckles.

Meanwhile, Kate is sitting near the body as Ducky gets to it with his liver probe. "Are you starting the autopsy?" she asks, appearing somewhat squicked at the thought. Ducky scoffs gently, stating that he is merely confirming time of death. Kate informs him that their physician declared him dead at "2032 Zulu." Ducky likes to double check. Tony interrupts to move Kate out of his way so that he can make crime scene sketches. Kate wonders what's up with that, as he's already taken photos. Tony smirks and grabs a convenient magazine with a bikini clad girl on the cover, asking Kate to tell him the bikini girl's measurements. Kate glares and calls him pathetic. Tony states that he's serious, asking if Kate rhetorically if she can tell the girl's height and cup size from the picture. That's why they take sketches. Kate rolls her eyes. Meanwhile, Ducky has come up with a different time of death, "1915 Zulu." They squabble about the discrepancy, until Gibbs arrives to break it up. He say's he'll go with Ducky's time of death, and tells Tony to quit with the sketches, as Kate is going to give him the floor plan. Kate refuses. They argue, while Ducky congratulates Tony on his photo analysis. Heh.

Gibbs and Kate pedebitch down the hall, Gibbs asking about Commander Trapp and Kate insisting that she can't give up the floor plan. Gibbs is all, whatever, it was in the Harrison Ford movie. Kate bitches about the difference between the movies and reality, as Gibbs asks if the president's head isn't nearby. Heh. He's getting more and more enthused, insisting that "this was all in the movie!" as they enter the dining room. "Harrison Ford was sitting right here!" Hee. He's cute when he's all fanboy. Kate's still stuck on the plans, worrying about them ending up on the internet. Gibbs snits that NCIS does not leak. Then he offers to let her shoot Tony if they do. She says that she thinks she is destined to shoot Gibbs. No, honey. You're destined to get shot instead of Gibbs. Oops. Spoiler! Gibbs goes back to the topic of Commander Trapp. Kate says she only met him that morning, and that he had only just received his Yankee White clearance. He was Major Kerry's backup, and was only on the plane because Major Kerry has the flu. Gibbs wants verification. Kate insists that he has it, but whatevers that he can go ahead and waste a doctor's time.

They come to a set of doors locked by a security panel. Gibbs exclaims that this is where the terrorists got their weapons in the Air Force One movie, so I presume it's a weapons locker. He futzes with the security panel as Kate scoffs derisively. Gibbs asked who switched planes with the president. Kate says that the press was put on a separate plane, and everyone else was put on the back up plane, except for three stewards who she has kept here in the press cabin. Gibbs wants to know why. Kate snots that she might not know about the finer points of investigation, but that she knows enough to hold the stewards who prepared and served the suspect meal. Gibbs shoots her down with "rule number 1: never leave suspects together." Heh. He then tosses her a pair of gloves. Kate is confused, for her prints are already all over the place. "Rule number 2: always wear gloves at a crime scene," Gibbs tells her.

Meanwhile, Ducky has come up with the reason for the discrepancy with the time of death. He's worked out that the physician checked "Dubya" before returning to Trapp, and since Trapp died almost instantly, there's your reason. Kate apologises, and Ducky charmingly forgives her, saying he's relieved they worked it out. He says that it's inconsistencies like this that start conspiracy theories, and is about to launch into a story before Gibbs cuts him off, leading Kate off down another hallway. "Rule number 3: don't believe what you're told. Double check everything," he Yodas at her as they head into the President's office. Kate snarks about writing the rules in her palm pilot or crocheting them on her pillow, as we see Tony at the President's desk, futzing with the telephone. Kate protests, and Gibbs orders Tony off to start bagging and tagging the various leftovers. Gibbs gives Kate a lesson in bagging and tagging, chain of evidence, blah blah blah. Kate begins to look nauseous. Gibbs finishes up his demonstration and offers to let Kate have a go. She shoots him a look, claps a hand over her mouth and bolts for the bathroom, with Gibbs chasing her and yelling at her to stop. He finally bails her up against the bathroom door, and she hurls into the evidence bag. "Can I rinse now?" she snits. Gibbs gives his assent, and she vanishes into the loo. Tony asks quietly if Gibbs thinks she has whatever killed Trapp. Gibbs gives him a look, tells him to get the barf bag to Ducky, then goes and sits in a nearby chair, sighing, and looks out the window.

Cut to some rally, or something, as BSSG wanders through the crowd, on the phone with Fornell, as we see shots of the real Gee Dub addressing the cheering crowd. Fornell bitches about NCIS doing the autopsy, and disparages their abilities. BSSG agrees to let the FBI take over the investigation, and says that he'll order Kate to turn the body over at Andrews but he can't control NCIS. Fornell gloats that with FBI and the Secret Service "joined at the hip, all they can do is watch and bitch." He hangs up and crows to his unseen companion that they're back in the ballgame.

Not Air Force One. Ducky examines Kate, noting that she doesn't have a temperature. He tells her that it's probably just a stomach virus. She sighs that she knows it is. She wonders if he "use[d] that thermometer on cadavers." Heh. Ducky asks if she would rather he used the liver probe. Gibbs wants to know why she is so sure she has a stomach virus. She says it's because it's what Major Kerry had. Ducky asks if she's worked with him recently. Kate pointedly tells him no. Ducky, getting it: "Ah." Heh. Kate cracks a joke about Ducky thinking she was a virgin. "I'd hoped not," Ducky replies. Um. What? She and Ducky share a chuckle, and Ducky gets up and wanders off, leaving Gibbs to stare disapprovingly at Kate. She asks if she's going to get a lecture about sleeping with co-workers. Nope, says Gibbs, continuing the Disapproving Stare. That Disapproving Stare is going to come back to smack you in the teeth in the third season, Gibbs, so you and your Disapproving Stare can just shut the hell up. Oops. Spoiler! Anyway, Kate gets a message over the PA that BSSG is on the line. Gibbs offers to take the call for her, but she gets up, shooting him her "tough guy" stare, and tells him she'd have to be dead. She wanders off as Gibbs chuckles at her moxie, or something.

President's office, Not Air Force One. Tony is interrogating the Chief Steward. He finishes up as Gibbs wanders in to use the head. He expositions to Gibbs about food security and purchasing procedures, as Ducky enters. Tony gestures to him with a camera as he continues to chat to Gibbs about the food. He takes a photo of Ducky sitting in the President's chair, looking solemn and all, uh, presidenty. They quickly swap places and Ducky takes Tony's picture. Incidentally, Tony reveals that they had ribs and coleslaw, so I'm guessing that "baby backs" is actually ribs. Thanks, Tony! Apparently since the ribs were flown in, they were only reheated and served, so the food is not likely to be the culprit. They finish up with Tony once again sitting holding his notebook looking innocent as Gibbs emerges from the head. "If you two are through taking pictures of each other, maybe we could move that body out," Gibbs tells them as he strides from the room. Ducky and Tony shoot each other startled looks as we see the first demonstration of Gibbs Sees All.

Comms, Not Air Force One. Kate is being ordered by BSSG to turn the body over to the FBI upon landing. She protests, but BSSG snaps that if she doesn't obey his orders, the only presidential detail she will get will be "walking Spotty." Kate sighs.

Staircase, Not Air Force One. Kate trots down the stairs and notices the body is missing. Gibbs professes ignorance. They both chuckle. Kate wonders if they moved it to the aft ramp for a quick getaway. Gibbs smirks, and tips his coffee cup at her. Kate regretfully tells him it won't work. "I've been ordered to turn the body over to the FBI at Andrews." Gibbs shrugs and suggests hopefully that Kate could stall them until NCIS have a chance to get away with the body. Kate can't; she won't defy a direct order. She says she's sorry. "Never say you're sorry," Gibbs responds automatically. He grins and tells her she needn't worry about crocheting that one. Kate smiles as the pilot tells them to fasten their seatbelts, and we cut to an exterior shot of Not Air Force One coming in to land.

Roadway. Fornell's Flunky asks why he let NCIS take the evidence they bagged on the plane. Fornell smirks that it didn't hurt to give them something to save face, and that it doesn't matter - the president clearly wasn't poisoned, so what good is the bagged food evidence anyway. A phone rings. The agents ascertain that the phone belongs to neither of them, as we hear Tony whisper "Hello?" Hee. Gibbs tells him they're in the clear and that he can get out of the body bag. Can you breathe in one of those things? The car slams to a stop, as Tony says he's not sure he wants to. Heh. Gibbs tells him he has to search Commander Trapp's apartment that night. Tony protests that it's 1:00 am. Gibbs says that "Agent Axelrod" (hee!) is trailing the FBI's car to pick up the body bag when the FBI tosses it. Tony snits "that's funny Gibbs" as we see a pair of hands reach for the bag and hear Tony yelling. Gibbs hangs up and sings "I guess they found him." Ducky laughs from the back of the van.

MTAC. Morrow is chatting to the director of the FBI and BSSG. They hiss and spit and piss at each other, but Morrow wins the measuring contest when he notes that his agent succeeded in carrying out his orders, and suggests that they share the investigation - with NCIS in charge. FBI Director and BSSG assent. Morrow smirks triumphantly.

Morgue. Ducky's cute assistant, Gerald, expositions that he found Abby and she's on her way in. Apparently she was at "one phat party." Gerald smirks and walks off with Trapp's clothes. Gibbs is bemused. He turns to Ducky, asking if he's found anything yet. Nope, and not for some time yet. He's just begun examining the body for needle marks. Gibbs wonders if someone injected him. Ducky doesn't know, and says that he's sent Trapp's uniform up to Abby. So now we know where Gerald went. Gibbs bends over and stares at the body. Ducky tells him to go home and get some sleep, as the examination will take all night. Gibbs grabs a head rest and lies down on an autopsy table. He sleepily wonders why Abby would go to a "phat party." Ducky rolls his eyes, turns out the overhead light and tells Gibbs to get some sleep. He goes back to Trapp's body and continues his exam.

Lab. We see Abby going over Trapp's uniform with a blue light. Tony comes in and wants to know if she's found anything. Not yet, states Abby. Her voice is much deeper here than in later seasons. Hmm. Tony goes to put a box down on her bench, and tells her he thinks he knows how the Commander was poisoned. He expositions that Trapp was majorly into vitamins, supplements and organic food. He's convinced that if he was poisoned, one of the items in the box is the culprit. Which means it totally isn't. Abby wonders what Tony's going to do while she checks. Tony says he'll wait. Abby tells him there's a futon in her office, and Tony gratefully thanks her. Aw. Tony lies down, groaning happily.

Squad Room. Ducky is expositing about the autopsy results, with a picture of Trapp's brain on the plasma. That's a nice TV, y'all. He says that Trapp had a cerebral embolism in the parietal lobe. There were also a number of clots in the renal artery. Kate and Fornell are also there. Fornell is scowling. Heh. Kate asks if that's unusual. Ducky explains that it's not, as in most cases of arterial thrombosis, clots will develop over a period of minutes or hours and spread to other parts of the body. Gibbs wants to know what would cause them in a "healthy young aviator." Ducky cedes the floor to Abby, who says she did a fibrinogen test. The procoagulant numbers were high, but not off the charts. Fornell asks about drugs, but Abby says none of the drugs that could induce clotting showed up. There was only epinephrine, which was injected when he fell ill on the plane. She also says that none of the vitamins Tony found would have caused it. Kate wants to know if she tested the food on Air Force One. Abby did, but it was negative for toxins. She does go on about how unhealthy it is, and suggests that the Secret Service should protect the president from his diet. Gibbs smirks at this. Fornell confirms that the results say it wasn't murder. Ducky confirms that it was apparently a natural death. Fornell says he wants to double check the results. Ducky assures Fornell and Kate that copies of his report will be made available to both of them. Fornell leaves, snarking an aside to Tony about his butt. "Still bouncing off the beltway," Tony replies. Heh. Gibbs offers Kate some gum on her way out. Kate does a slight double take but accepts. Gibbs wonders when the president is returning to Washington. Kate says tomorrow, and that she's flying out tonight to rejoin the detail. Gibbs wants to tag along. Kate mulls it over, and Gibbs pleads "pleeease" in the manner of a five year old sweet talking for lollies. Heh. Kate decides that he can, but he can't bring his gun. "No weapons on Air Force One unless you're Secret Service." Gibbs thinks this over, then pulls off his gun and stows it in his desk. Keep looking, he tells Ducky, as he follows Kate out. Abby is shocked that Gibbs said please. Heh.

Bar. "Tim," who is also known as Major Kerry, toasts Commander Trapp with beer. Mmm. Beer. He blathers about Trapp coming through the war without a scratch, then dying of a stroke. Yeah. Bummer. Kate is surprised that Major Kerry knew Trapp. Major Kerry says he had a drink with Trapp when he came to the White House, and gave him tips on local dry cleaners, gyms, bars, grocery mart, bars and so on. Kate asks if he told Trapp about "this place." No, says Major Kerry. Trapp might have run into them, and that would be bad. Kate agrees. Major Kerry is perceptive enough to notice Kate's change in demeanour here, and asks if Trapp would have run into them after today. Kate proceeds to dump him. He takes it well, asking if she's worried about losing her job. No, a president, says Kate. She finds working with him a distraction, and she can't afford that. Major Kerry grimaces.

Outside, Major Kerry walks Kate to her car. He even gets her door for her. Aw. She smiles at him and drives away. Major Kerry hops into his convertible, looking rather sweaty and pasty. He groans and suddenly has a fit, collapsing.

So, I'm to assume Gibbs went home to pack during all this? Whatever.

Air Force One. Repeat of "Dubya" heading up the stairs, and chatting to folks in the plane. He greets BSSG and congratulates him on job well done, suggesting that it's time they headed home. He wanders off to his office, as Kate expresses her surprise to BSSG that he allowed Gibbs on the plane. BSSG asks Kate if Gibbs is "here because his gut is still churning." Kate allows that he is. "Well so is mine," says BSSG, turning to follow "Gee Dub" down to his office. Kate looks worried.

Lab. Abby bitches to Ducky that she has tested for everything and has drawn a blank. Ducky consoles her that "nature always proves to be a far more elusive and powerful killer than man." Abby gets thinky face.

Air Force One. People are having lunch, as Gibbs stares down the hall at the guy with the football. Kate wonders if Gibbs is expecting him to drop. Gibbs notes her appetite has returned. Kate tells him it was a 24 hour bug, and that Major Kerry got over it yesterday. She goes on to tell him that she met Major Kerry for a drink yesterday and that they broke up. She babbles that they hadn't been dating long anyway, but that they had known each other for a couple of months beforehand, and how is she supposed to meet people when she's on the job 24/7?. Gibbs just stares at her and replies, "Church." Heh.

Lab. Abby is testing various natural toxins. Pufferfish? Not it.

Air Force One. BSSG tells a journalist that she can go see the President, and leads her off down the hall. Gibbs watches them go, and gets up to stare after them thoughtfully. He asks where they are going. Kate explained that the President had promised them each 10 minutes, and that he's playing catch up since Wichita. Gibbs, still on his Harrison Ford kick, tells her that three years before 9/11, Tom Clancy wrote a book where a terrorist hijacked a plane and crashed it into the Capitol. In the Harrison Ford movie, he notes, the terrorists are reporters. Kate scoffs that all of the reporters have been vetted for years by the Secret Service, and that Gibbs is the only one not vetted by them. Gibbs retorts that in the movie, the terrorist got his clearance from a Secret Service turncoat. He stalks off down the hall as Kate rolls her eyes and sighs. A journalist, Leonard, wanders up to Kate and snarks about Gibbs not being dressed like a Secret Service agent. Kate snippily informs him that Gibbs isn't a Secret Service agent, and herds Leonard back into the press cabin.

Lab. Abby looking bored. Poison Arrow Frog? Not it.

Outside the bar, Tony drives up to where Major Kerry lies dead in his car. He introduces himself to the cute black cop on the scene. CBC tells Tony that there are no signs of trauma and that it doesn't appear to be a robbery. He bitches that he already has two shootings to deal with, and when he saw the victim was a navy guy he hoped that NCIS might take over. Tony checks the ID and notes the victim's identity with some alarm. "Yeah, we'll take him," he says, wrinkling his brow. Dun!

Lab. Abby looking comatose. But then! The computer beeps, indicating a match. Taipan? It! Abby does a victory dance, thanking an imaginary cheering crowd.

Air Force One. Gibbs, still with the churning gut, notes there is something different about this plane from Air Force One. Kate reminds him this is Air Force One. Gibbs whatevers, as BSSG conspicuously calls Leonard for his turn with the President. Kate tells Gibbs there are some minor differences. The other plane is newer and has some minor updates. Leonard emerges from the press cabin, shoots Gibbs and Kate A Look as he struggles into his jacket, and scurries off after BSSG. What differences, Gibbs wants to know. Kate sighs but humours him. The rear loading hatch is bigger on the other plane, extra lavatory forward, and locks are digital and keyed on this plane. The pilot chooses this moment to summon Gibbs to Comms for a teleconference. As he leaves, Gibbs tells Kate he wants to know every single difference between the two planes, no matter how minor.

Comms, Air Force One. Tony informs Gibbs of Major Kerry's death, and expositions on where he was found, telling him that Ducky and Abby have the details. Gibbs asks Ducky if it was another stroke. Ducky confirms this, adding that this time there were multiple embolic infarctions and noting that the Major must have received a higher dose than the Commander. Dose of what? Abby cuts in to tell him it was venom from a Coastal Taipan, "a highly toxic Aussie snake." She goes on to describe the effects of taipan venom, saying that it "zaps" the nervous system and clots the blood, causing the symptoms we've been seeing tonight - convulsions and stroke. Ducky jumps in, saying that the toxin is almost impossible to detect. Tony ruefully admits that Abby would have already detected it if he hadn't interrupted her way back when he barged in on her ALSing the Commander's uniform. Abby says she found traces of DMSO in the collars and the cuffs. Apparently when mixed with the venom it absorbs through skin. Okay, then. Tony says that Major Kerry was the intended victim, but he had the flu, and so didn't put on his uniform until yesterday. Gibbs wants to know how the poison got into the uniforms. Abby tells him they shared the same dry cleaner. Gibbs barks at Tony to go hit the dry cleaners. Morrow interrupts, telling him that the FBI have been sent to do that, as this has "all the ear-marks of Al-Qaeda." They wonder what the goal is. Tony suggests that they want to brag about offing the President's "ball carriers." Heh. I’m five. Morrow thinks not. Gibbs agrees, and ends the call.

Gibbs comes bounding down the stairs, and questions the current holder of the football about where he gets his uniform dry cleaned. Once he hears that it was not the same dry cleaner as the Major Kerry and Commander Trapp, Gibbs hauls ass off down hallway. He runs into Kate, who tells him she has accessed everything she could on the differences between the two planes. Gibbs tells her he needs to talk to her, and upon being informed there really isn't anywhere private, hurls her laptop into a nearby chair and drags her into the bathroom. The ball carrier (heh) looks on, puzzled.

Bathroom, Air Force One. Gibbs growls at Kate to sit, snatching her gun as he does so. Kate protests as Gibbs points the gun at her and glares. Commander Trapp was poisoned, he tells her, expositing about the snake venom. Kate looks bewildered. Does Gibbs think she did it, she asks. He says that she was with the Commander when he was poisoned. Kate bitches that the president was also with Trapp, does Gibbs plan to accuse him too? No, Gibbs replies, since the President was not with Major Kerry yesterday. Kate's all, the what? In the who? Yeah, Gibbs says. He stroked on a Georgetown street. Right near that bar where you two "kissed and said bye-bye." Heh. Gibbs is such a bitch. Kate's face crumples and she girly-slaps his chest. Geez Kate. You're a Secret Service agent! Surely you can do better than that? Kate bursts into tears and calls Gibbs and asshole. Eventually she calms down. She sniffles as, by way of apology, Gibbs explains that he "gave it to [her] cold, wanted to see [her] reaction. Liars can't pale on cue." Um, Gibbs? Neither can she. I'm just sayin'. Gibbs gives Kate her gun back. She calls him a bastard, then asks how Trapp and Kerry were poisoned. Gibbs explains about the dry cleaners and how they think a sleeper agent for Al-Qaeda is involved. Kate remembers that Major Kerry had recommended dry cleaners to Trapp. Gibbs wonders what they're after, and asks what killing the ball carriers (hee) gets them. Nothing, Kate says. Another aide steps in. Realisation starts to dawn on Gibbs: "And another plane. This plane." Kate says that security is exactly the same on this plane. But the plane isn't, says Gibbs, and the security probably isn't either until the President boards. The terrorists must have planted something. Clearly it can't be a bomb, Kate says, or it would have detonated by now. Gibbs and Kate make thinky faces.

Press cabin, Air Force One. Some journalist dude starts having a seizure and everyone freaks. Secret Service agents notify via their wristpieces of a medical emergency in the press cabin. BSSG is escorting Leonard back to the press cabin, and bolts on ahead. Medics swarm around the dead guy as Leonard watches in the background. Leonard peers down the hall behind him, then turns and walks over to the gun locker, unlocking it with his handy key. He snatches some kind of automatic gun and some ammo. What? Like I know from guns.

Bathroom, Air Force One. Kate is telling Gibbs that this plane has keys, not digital locks. The armoury, Gibbs realises. They have keys to the armoury! We know, Gibbs. Pay attention. Gibbs continues, saying they copied the movie and vetted a reporter. Kate protests that that would take years. So did 9/11, says Gibbs, as Kate is all, "Shit!" Heh.

Hallway, Air Force One. Leonard ducks behind a door as Gibbs and Kate emerge. Kate learns that there is a medical emergency in the press cabin. Gibbs rightly tells her that it's a diversion, and orders her to cover the President. They run off in separate directions, Kate telling ball carrier not to let anyone past him. He stands up and walks forward a little ways, peering down the hall.

Meanwhile, Gibbs runs past the doorway Leonard is lurking behind. He goes to the armoury and, finding it unlocked, helps himself to a weapon. Leonard heads off and approaches ball carrier, who tells him to stop. Leonard, coming closer, pretends to want to know what's happening. Suddenly, Gibbs yells "Freeze!" from behind. Leonard gets cranky face and pauses. Gibbs commands him to get his hands in the air. Leonard pretends to comply, and turns and fires at Gibbs, missing him completely. Heh. Gibbs shoots once, hitting him in the chest. Leonard hilariously drops on his ass, legs splayed, gun still firing for a moment. Gibbs shoots again, and Leonard slumps back, dead. Kate cautiously emerges from the President's office. Gibbs hands Kate the gun, as she stares at him all shocked.

Air Force One, night. BSSG complains that he will be doing paperwork for a week. Gibbs commiserates. BSSG continues, saying that Kate told him about her and Major Kerry when she tendered her resignation. Gibbs looks surprised, asking him "you accepting?" Of course, says BSSG. She broke the rules. He thanks Gibbs and they shake. "No sir, thank you," Gibbs smirks, knowing he's about to get a new employee, and leaves the plane.

Tarmac. Gibbs scurries after Kate, saying he heard she quit. She confirms, saying it was the right thing to do. Yep, Gibbs agrees. He tells her if she pulls that crap at NCIS, she won't get a chance to resign. Kate is confused, yelling after him, "Is that a job offer?" Gibbs does not respond, he has scurried on ahead and into a convertible driven by a mystery red haired woman. Kate looks after him, slightly open mouthed.

Gibbs' basement. The television shows Fornell on the news, taking credit for stopping the terrorist attack. Gibbs is working on his boat. Theme music plays as Gibbs blows on his boat and we fade to black.


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