NCIS: The Immortals

>> Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We open on a lovely ocean setting, complete with luxury boat. Unfortunately, we soon arrive at the boat and meet the moronic pre-credits goons. Two couples are drinking beer and are either listening to reggae, or the Dramatic Strings are just resting up. They toast and collapse onto some couches. One drunken obnoxious idiot wants to go diving. The other guy is worried about sharks. The drunken, obnoxious guy, aka Brad, scoffs that sharks eat seals, not this "hard body". Brad, honey. You're not hot. At all. So shut up. He grabs a snorkel and dives, while I futilely pray for Jaws to show up. I am, as always, cruelly disappointed, so I settle for sullenly glaring and wondering how the hell Brad is staying underwater so long on one breath. I slap myself for asking stupid questions while watching TV, just as Brad discovers a guy in a Navy uniform at the bottom of the reef, held down by weights chained to his waist. We take in the weights and his pretty gold sword as Brad scoots for surface, unfortunately not managing to drown on the way.

Credits. Boogie!

We open in the squad room, on a close up of the drowned sailor's service record and Kate's chest. No comment. Gibbs notes that the body was in the water for less than 24 hours, and that "NAS Key West tagged and bagged and shipped it over." Tony wonders if they have an ID, and given that we just saw his service record, I'd say we do, Tony. Gibbs ignores me for some exposition, telling everyone that the Navy guy's name is "Seaman Russell MacDonald. Nineteen. Assigned to the USS Foster." Kate proudly identifies the ship as a "Destroyer. Spruance class." Tony and Gibbs exclaim over her knowledge. Kate smirks slightly (and, for some reason, she is smirking at something somewhere above Gibbs' head) as Gibbs continues that the "USS Foster left Roosevelt Roads Naval Station two days ago en route to Norfolk." He approaches the plasma, which shows a map of the coastline. Gibbs points out the Foster's current position, and notes that the body was found in the Bahamas. Mmm, the Bahamas. I wish I was there right now, instead of going back to work tomorrow. Sniff. At least they got rid of that serial killer they had lurking about the place. Anyway, Tony is excited. "Roosevelt Roads?" he drools. "Yeah," says Gibbs, instantly aware Tony is about to drivel and fixing him with a glare. Heh. "That's Puerto Rico," Tony husks lustfully. "Yeah," says Gibbs again, flatly. He's still glaring. Kate looks anxiously from Gibbs to Tony. "I love Puerto Rico," Tony continues hopefully. "I'm glad," says Gibbs, still pretending not to know where Tony is going with this. Tony continues, somewhat desperately, that Gibbs doesn't understand. "I love Puerto Rico!" he says again, all but dancing on the spot. Kate wonders idly if he's been there a lot. Tony exclaims that that's just it; he's never been there. Gibbs rolls his eyes as Tony prattles on about how he's wanted to go ever since he was a kid. He trails off and apologises once he catches Gibbs' expression. Heh. Gibbs gets back on topic: "Some time night before last, Seaman MacDonald went overboard." Kate wonders if anyone saw or heard anything. Nope, says Gibbs. No-one knew he was even missing until he didn't report for duty. Hmmm. Think that will be important later? Kate wonders if there was anything in his medical file, and Gibbs tells her they'll get those details when they get onboard the Foster. Tony wonders if there was anything else unusual.

Morgue. We pan down Seaman MacDonald's body, where he is still dressed in his dress whites, with sword and chains still attached. From off-screen, Ducky tells the team that this is exactly how he was found. Tony wonders why he was in dress whites. Gibbs says they don't know, there were no formal events scheduled. Kate wonders about his sword, nudge nudge. "Officer's ceremonial," Gibbs tells her. Tony notes that MacDonald was enlisted. Gibbs agrees that it doesn't make any sense. Ducky pulls the sword from its sheath (snicker. Because I am five) with a flourish and waves the sword at Kate, while intoning dramatically that the sword is sharp enough to slit someone's throat. I thought that was the whole point of swords, but nobody asked me. Kate smiles indulgently at Ducky as he continues, asking Kate if she knows why they drive on the left-hand side of the road in England. Kate looks at Gibbs and Tony all, the hell? They give her amused looks as she turns back to Ducky. "Dates back to medieval times," Ducky goes on. "Most people were, and still are, right-handed," he says, tapping his own right hand, which holds the sword. "It allowed them to slash at one another," he says, stepping back and away from her, "when passing on horseback," he finishes, slashing at the air ferociously. Hee. Tony shoots Gibbs an amused look, as Ducky asks them if they know why this isn't true about the rest of Europe while resheathing the sword. Unfortunately, Kate is more interested in why MacDonald was wearing a chain around his waist, so he doesn’t tell us. Ducky reveals the two 25 pound weights which had been attached to the chains. Ducky cannot say, however, whether MacDonald attached them himself or if someone else did it. Ducky then announces that he will now "get our poor seaman out of his wet clothes." "You're not gonna say 'And into a dry martini' are you?" Tony asks. Heh. No, laughs Ducky, "we'll save that for later, for me, I'm afraid." We get a corpse cam shot of Ducky smiling, as the rest of the gang head out.

Gibbs tells Tony that MacDonald lived locally, and that his address is in the file. Tony grimaces, but Gibbs reassures him that he doesn't have to worry about the notification, as CACO (who?) has already taken care of that. Tony wonders why him, as "a woman", meaning Kate, would be more sympathetic. Kate glares as Gibbs says that Kate is going with him. Kate suggests that Tony can handle it by himself, as they step into the elevator, and Gibbs basically tells them both to shut the hell up and get on with it.

Street. We have another overhead shot, this time of Tony and Kate pulling up at MacDonald's house. The Dramatic Strings kick in, all melancholy, as Tony bitches that he hates this. Kate worriedly asks if it's going to be that bad, as Tony throws an apprehensive look at the house. Tony tells her she has no idea, and Kate agrees that she doesn't, and heads towards the front door. Tony grimaces and manages to look like he has gas. He pauses and leans on a tree. Kate tells him, not unkindly, to take a breath, and to think of Puerto Rico. That does the magic for our drama queen, and he sucks it up and follows Kate to the house.

MacDonald's house. Inside, Tony examines a sword mounted over the fireplace, as Kate speaks to Mrs MacDonald and the Dramatic Strings play softly throughout the scene, telling us to feel sad. She notes that MacDonald didn't have a lot of friends on the Foster. Mrs MacDonald, clearly a poor, deluded woman as far as her son is concerned, denies this. "Oh, no, he had many friends on the ship. He told me so in his letters." Sigh. We don't see Kate's reaction to this, as Tony's head blocks her out as he asks if the sword on the wall was MacDonald's. Mrs MacDonald says no, it was her Scottish husband's. "He served in the Black Watch regiment." Tony gives her slight smile and a kind look. Aw. Kate says that MacDonald's file says that his father was dead. Mrs MacDonald confirms this, telling them that Mr MacDonald died when MacDonald Jnr was 12. Kate wonders if MacDonald "seem[ed] particularly obsessed with the sword." Mrs MacDonald is confused. Tony quickly jumps in, telling her that a "similar weapon" was found "with the ..." Kate shoots him a warning look. "Near [MacDonald]," he finishes lamely. Kate then asks Mrs MacDonald if MacDonald seemed "down or depressed" in his letters. Mrs MacDonald emphatically denies this, gritting out that "a mother knows things about her son," clearly demonstrating that she is firmly in denial. Poor thing. She continues, firmly, that he would not have killed himself. She turns in profile to the camera and whisper-talks that "It's a mortal sin." Kate and Tony follow her eyes to a statue of the Virgin Mary, as the Dramatic Strings tell us to feel bad for the nice Catholic lady, dammit!

Outside, Kate asks Tony if "these interviews are always that difficult?" Tony guesses so. "You guess?" wonders Kate. Tony says that he's never interviewed a victim's mother before. Kate thought he'd been a Baltimore homicide cop? Yes, Kate, we did actually remember that, but thanks. Tony blithely tells her that he had someone else interview the mother. Kate is outraged. "This was your first?" she howls. Yeah, says Tony. Kate wants to know why, then, Tony thought she wouldn't know how bad it was going to be. "I didn't think you would," Tony duhs. Kate is pissed at his presumption. Tony tells her to "breathe," and Kate glares, and the scene, mercifully comes to an end.

Foster. A chopper is landing on the deck. Don't ask me for any kind of correct military/ship terminology; if it isn't in the captions, I have no idea and am totally guessing. So there. Anyway, we see a shot of (I guess) the Foster turning in the water, then we cut to a walkway on the ship where a Navy guy tells them that the Commander is on a call with "LANT fleet, sir." I have no idea what LANT is. Navy dude continues, telling them that the Commander will catch up with them as soon as he can. Gibbs tells the "Master Chief" that they appreciate it. I know it's probably not appropriate, but the titles sometimes make me giggle. "Master Chief!" "Petty Officer!" Hee. Ahem. Tony asks the Master Chief if he had any contact with MacDonald. Master Chief did not. "[MacDonald] kept pretty much to himself." Gibbs says that that "Seems to be the general consensus," then snides, "or the party line." See? Nobody noticed he was missing? Anyway. We do not see Master Chief's reaction to Gibbs’ jibe, but as they enter the inside of the ship, he tells them that they are to be staying in the XO's quarters, as they are "small, but it's private and secure." Gibbs says that's fine, as Master Chief knocks on a door and we cut to the inside, where the XO is pissily picking up his bags and curtly calls for them to enter. Master Chief introduces "Lieutenant Commander Robbins" to Gibbs. Gibbs starts to thank him for giving up his quarters, but Robbins pissily cuts him off with "Not a problem," indicating quite clearly that it IS a problem, dammit, and stomping out. Master Chief smirks and tells them that "NCIS is always welcome aboard, sir. You can expect excellent cooperation." He clearly means not a word of what he is saying. Gibbs does not rise to the bait, and calmly says they appreciate that. Master Chief continues smarmily that "If you need anything ..." Gibbs cuts him off with "I won't hesitate." Master Chief sarcastically inclines his head slightly and leaves. Kate pretends to wonder why that didn't sound sincere. Gibbs blithely tells her that "You get used to it. They either stonewall or kiss ass. To them, we're the Internal Affairs of the Navy." Kate concludes that they hate "us" then. "No," exclaims Tony sarcastically. After Gibbs tosses him a glare, he amends that to "Pretty much." Gibbs tells the kids to set up the laptop and establish a feed from NCIS, ruffling his hair while doing so, and causing it stick up like a rooster's tail at the back of his head. Heh. Tony is on it. The set up, not Gibbs’ hair. Meanwhile, something has occurred to Kate. "We're not sleeping here, are we? Together?" Tony and Gibbs share a look, Tony clearly biting his tongue. Gibbs finally turns back to Kate and announces that he's taking the couch. Kate looks horrified.

Cut to MacDonald's quarters, where some guys are playing poker. Gibbs enters and greets them. He asks "Petty Officer (hee!) Carnahan" which one is MacDonald's. Carnahan reluctantly shows him, telling Gibbs that MacDonald's bunk is the one below his. Gibbs sarcastically thanks him, and wonders if he knew MacDonald. "Not well," is Carnahan's grudging response. "He pretty much kept to himself," he says, with Gibbs pissily chiming in on the last part. The Dramatic Strings have kicked in during this scene for some reason. It's certainly not dramatic. Shut up, Dramatic Strings. Anyway, Gibbs continues with his questions, wondering, as he flicks the light on over the bunks and begins rummaging through MacDonald's bunk, whether MacDonald liked to listen to music, or read. Carnahan snots that he "really didn't notice." Gibbs notes that Carnahan's bunk is right above MacDonald's, "but you didn't notice?" He pulls an hilarious face while saying that, much like a parent when mocking a surly teen. Heh. Carnahan coldly says that's a private person. Gibbs does not let up, yanking the mattress off MacDonald's bunk and running his hands around the frame. "If you had to venture a wild guess," he presses, "what do you think MacDonald liked to do?" Carnahan has clearly realised that he has to give up some information to get Gibbs off his back. "Spend his life at work," he says coolly. Gibbs rolls his eyes, as if to say, finally! Hee.

We get a voice over of, presumably, MacDonald's supervisor, as we see a computer screen with, um, technical stuff on it. "Computers run the weapons systems, the radar, the sonar. We're the backbone of the ship here, Agent DiNozzo." The camera shot pans out to show us the supervisor as he leads Tony into the room. There are screens and blinking lights, and that's as much commentary on the equipment as I feel qualified to give. "The brightest of the brightest under your command," Tony notes. The supervisor likes to think so. He, too, is just barely restraining the attitude. As Tony follows the supervisor, we cut to a shot of a random guy's face as he eavesdrops on the conversation. He'll probably be important later. I'd also like to note that the Dramatic Strings are absent, perhaps so that we wouldn't pay too much attention in this scene. Oops. Did I just drop an anvil on your head? Sorry about that. The vodka must have affected my motor control, as well as causing me to ramble on endlessly. Where was I? Right. Tony wonders where MacDonald was in the "food chain." Supervisor curtly says that he was good. How good, Tony wants to know. "That depends on what you're comparing him to," snits Supervisor. Tony is less inclined than Gibbs to ignore the bullshit, and snaps, "All right. Compared to you." Supervisor gets pissier. Heh. "I trained at MIT, MacDonald was a year out of high school." Tony, who for some reason has the camera up his nose (hi, Tony's nostril!), shoots back that "The best IT guy in our office is 22. Harvard. When he gets stuck, he calls his 14 year old nephew." Heh. Supervisor reluctantly allows that MacDonald was "very good." Tony pushes. "How very?". "When he was focused, better than anyone here,” grits Supervisor. "Including you?" Tony asks. Heh. Bitch. Supervisor agrees, and smirks bitterly. "Including me." Tony wonders if MacDonald had been focused lately. Not so much, and not for a long time, says Supervisor. "You think he offed himself [Supervisor]?" Tony asks seriously. Supervisor gives up the attitude somewhat, and allows that it's possible. "He was troubled. There was definitely something bothering him." Tony looks hard at him.

Medical bay. A woman, who appears to be the Medical Officer, is washing her hands. "He was having a hard time adjusting to ship life." See what they did there? "I suggested he get into counselling." The Medical Officer is chatting to Kate, and is much less pissy than the men Tony and Gibbs were chatting to. No comment. Anyway, Kate wonders if MacDonald was receptive to that idea. No, says Medical Officer, he only wanted to talk to her. Kate asks what his "issues" were. Medical Officer doesn't really know, as she wouldn't get into them. "It was obvious that Seaman MacDonald was disturbed, but I wasn't qualified, ma'am." Kate queries further, "But you did talk to him." Yes, but only "as his medical corpsman, not his psychologist." Kate gives her an amusing "come on, sister-girlfriend" look and head-tilt. Heh. Medical Officer relents. "All I know is that he had this mysterious friend. I mean, he was from here, but he wasn't here. It didn't make any sense. But, he seemed obsessed with him." Kate thinks for a second, and asks Medical Officer if she thinks MacDonald could have killed himself. Medical Officer thinks this over. "Off the record," Kate reassures her. Medical Officer is adamant. "Definitely not!"

MacDonald's bunk. Gibbs is still rummaging. He finds a book in MacDonald's pillow. The Dramatic Strings kick in as Gibbs check the book's title, which we don't see, and raises an eyebrow. He turns to where Carnahan is still standing, fidgeting impatiently, behind him; meanwhile Tony's voiceover can be heard all the way from the deck!

"So here's what we know," he recaps for us. "A dead kid wearing dress whites for no reason, with a sword he shouldn't have on, which is not supposed to be sharp, at the bottom of the ocean with weights on." Kate chimes in. "He was a brilliant but troubled computer tech who lived at work and had a mysterious friend." Gibbs sums up. "Okay, so given the circumstances, probably not an accidental death. So, suicide or murder?" The Dramatic Strings are loving the exposition, by the way. Tony says that Supervisor suggests he could have killed himself. Kate rebuts this with the contentions of Mrs MacDonald and the Medical Officer, who say he wouldn't have. I wouldn’t bet on the mother’s recommendation there, Kate. Gibbs chooses this moment to show them the book he found in MacDonald's bunk. We get a close up of the book, which is titled "The Japanese Sword Art of Iaido". Gibbs suggests that he might have been teaching himself to use the sword. From a book? Whatever. Tony's expression is also dubious about how well that would work, and the Dramatic Strings send us to the next scene with a flourish.

Shot of the Foster. Gibbs is on the laptop, chatting to Abby, who tells him they found a few more things on MacDonald's body. Kate and Tony are also there, listening. It turns out that MacDonald was wearing a St Christopher medal. The odd thing, though, is that in his pocket they found a "character charter" for a "fantasy game." Tony wonders what kind of game. "It looks like an MMORPG," says Abby. Tony's all, the who in the what now? "It's a massive multiplayer online role-playing game," Abby clarifies. My husband is all, woo! "They're huge on the internet," Abby continues. Gibbs gives a quick, hilarious headshake. Heh. He wonders what a character charter is. Abby explains that it's "like a character's manifesto. His goals, moral stance, creed." The Dramatic Strings find this far more interesting than I do, but they don't live with someone who spends all of his time playing those goddamn online games. Gibbs scoffs disbelievingly. Believe it, dude. Abby continues that there can be thousands of players on one site alone, and Gibbs snarks that "it's comforting to know that [MacDonald's] computer skills were being put to good use on a $1 billon ship." Kate smiles at this. "He's a computer geek?" smirks Abby knowingly. Heh. Tony tells her that MacDonald worked in the Combat Information Centre. Abby notes that that's a perfect job for a "power gamer". She continues that "he was working on combat, it was just more like the medieval kind." Gibbs wonders if these games are violent, and Abby explains about what goes on, but I don't care, because I've heard enough about these games already. Gibbs wonders what they should look for on his hard drive. Abby says that if he's any good, they won't find anything. Kate suggests that they look in cyberspace. All righty, then. They decide that they should check the servers of the gaming sites, and Abby says she'll give it a shot. Then she tells them that there were nicks on the sword. Tony wonders if they were caused by another sword. "Two sailors playing with sharp swords," says Gibbs. Kinky! Kate gets the hint. "Once in a while, you might miss. I'm on it." She heads off. There's some guff about Gibbs getting the MMORPG acronym wrong, and Tony corrects him, and Gibbs glares, and I am bored. Gibbs decides to chat to Ducky.

Tony exclaims in disgust as morgue-cam comes up on the laptop, showing Ducky mid autopsy. I'm exclaiming in disgust because the dude assisting Ducky is NOT Gerald. Boo! Ducky apologises for the gross out, and starts blathering about a woman who swallowed a small piece of jewellery, but is cut off by Gibbs. Ducky lists his findings, which all confirm "classic death by drowning." Apparently there was also a "slight haemorrhaging of the inner ear," caused by the change in pressure as he headed for the sea floor. And yet, a dickhead in a snorkel was able to find him? Whatever. More vodka! Ducky has also found dirt under MacDonald's nails, from when "his fingers grabbed whatever he was touching when he succumbed." Ducky continues that it's likely the dirt will be found to have come from the ocean floor. Ducky concludes that MacDonald was alive when he went overboard. Gibbs looks thoughtful.

Somewhere ... else, a smug officer type is describing his, um, sword to Tony: "Stainless steel blade, acid-edged and hand polished." He slowly unsheathes his sword for Tony's benefit. Heh. He's totally flirting here, and Tony's slightly disturbed expression is not convincing me otherwise. HoYay! Smug Officer Type Who Is In Love With Tony continues, "The fittings, guard and pommel are 24 carat gold plated." SOTWIILWT leers at Tony and tells him that "As late as the 1800s, a sword like this would have been used to defend against an enemy trying to board a ship." He wriggles his eyebrows at Tony and continues seductively, "Only the blade would have been sharp enough to take a man's limb off." Tony says nothing. SOTWIILWT continues flirting. "I always liked pirate movies. Didn't you?" Aw, he's checking to see what kind of movie to ask Tony to! Tony is not receptive. "Not really," says Tony, clearly creeped out by the flirting. Hee. SOTWIILWT tries another tack: "Of course, today it wouldn't stand much of a chance against a 9-mill, H and K MP5 Parabellum, would it?" Tony guesses that he likes gun movies, too. SOTWIILWT decides to go for it. "I like all weapons, sir." If you know what he means, and I think you do. Tony cruelly toys with him. "I can really appreciate that, Ensign.” He gets back to business, wondering if “all the officers' ceremonial swords accounted for?" SOTWIILWT is eager to please, and says that he "checked with 32 officers, found 32 swords." Okay, I'm not going to make up any gay subtext on that one. Except: tramp. Anyway, the poor, besotted guy tries once more to seduce Tony with, "including my beauty." Tony sternly tells SOTWILLWT that they will need to take a look at all of them, his tone making it clear that he means the swords, not, you know, swords. Ahem. SOTWIILT is disappointed. "Yes sir," he replies, crestfallen. Tony then asks where SOTWIILT thinks MacDonald could have gotten the sword. SOTWILLT says that it would have had to have been the Base Exchange. Tony looks at him curiously. "Roosevelt Roads Naval Station?" Yep, that's the one. SOTWIILWT explains that if the clerk didn't check IDs, MacDonald could have bought one as a souvenir, but notes that he'd have to hide it onboard. Tony, looking thoughtful, wonders why. SOTWIILT flicks back to "smug", scoffing that it would be insane to allow enlisted men to carry weapons on board. Tony is all, whatever, dicksmack and, off-screen, rushes out to file a restraining order.

Somewhere else, again, some more, Gibbs is chatting with the Skipper. The Skipper is also being helpful, but thankfully is not flirting. The Skipper tells Gibbs that he didn't know MacDonald very well, and Gibbs notes ruefully that no-one seemed to. The Skipper says that MacDonald did some maintenance work on his computer last week, and seemed to be "in a bit of a daze." He continues that they drug tested him, but he was clean. Gibbs confirms that their toxicology tests were negative as well. The Skipper wonders about the fact that he was wearing the dress whites and the sword. Gibbs isn't sure, "but we think he was involved in an online fantasy game." "Like an MMORPG?" asks the Skipper. Off Gibbs' surprised look (heh), the Skipper says that his kids play. "A lot," he says with some exasperation. Hee. I hear you, dude. Gibbs says they think he might have taken it "a step further and staged real fights with someone on board." The Skipper is surprised, and wonders how that would be possible. Gibbs suggests that the Skipper knows this ship inside out, and the Skipper confirms that he does. Gibbs asks where he would go to conduct a sword fight without getting caught. The Skipper thinks for a moment. "Damage Control, in the Machine Shop, at night."

Lab. Abby is banging away at her keyboard, and we see a shot the game Abby is playing. Her character appears to be some kind of elf. Abby exclaims in frustration about some "King's guards" as Ducky wanders past. He pauses and enters the lab. Abby blathers at the screen as she fights, and exclaims in triumph when she wins. She yammers about her progress to Ducky, who looks about as interested as I do when my husband does the same. He tries to come up with a related story, but can't some up with anything. Heh. Ducky flees the lab to find something more interesting to do.

The Foster, medical bay. Medical Officer is telling Kate that the night MacDonald died there were three injuries, but none were sword related. Kate asks for files relating to other "questionable lacerations" for the past few months. Medical Officer agrees but will need a couple of hours. Kate is pleased. She turns to go, but stops to ask about "MacDonald's mystery friend." She asks Medical Officer if MacDonald mentioned being afraid of him. Medical Officer says MacDonald only mentioned the guy once, but that MacDonald was more in awe of him than anything else. Kate is all, hmmm.

Lab. Abby is still playing. The Dramatic Strings reappear. We see her elf walking down a hallway. The husband would like you to know that the keyboard bashing sounds we hear are lame, as you would not be doing that just walking. I still don't care, but if I’m to escape a beating for pissing about his gaming, I’ll throw that in. Anyway, Ducky has returned with a Caf-Pow for Abby. She smiles and says he's a prince. Game blather. It's not important, except that the game is called "The Immortals". Ducky is still not really interested in the game. Abby does reveal that if she gets into the keep, she can open a character log. She gets killed by an orc. She has to infiltrate the castle again. I have to get more vodka.

The Foster, somewhere on deck. Tony catches up to Gibbs and tells him that the sword had to have come from Roosevelt Roads, and that if he fought with someone, that someone probably got their sword there, too. Gibbs' phone rings, and it's Abby, plus the Dramatic Strings. She's gotten access the game log. She says that MacDonald played a character called Weylin, and that his opponent was called Kinvaras. Their main mode of combat was sword fighting. The Dramatic strings swirl to a crescendo as Abby announces that Kinvaras also logged on from the Foster. Dun dun dun!

The Foster, somewhere else on deck. Gibbs shakes his head ruefully, wondering "Who would have thought that Pong would turn into online role-playing games." Tony does not know what Pong is. The guys then proceed to recap the information we just heard. They wonder what the odds are. Gibbs wonders why they use such weird names. Heh. Tony snarks about computer geeks. I'm breaking all my fingers to refrain from cracking the kind of jokes that will lead to my husband requesting a divorce.

They guys head back inside the ship, pedeconferencing through the cramped corridors. Gibbs exposits that since MacDonald bought a sword and was teaching himself how to use it, he must have found whoever else was playing the Immortals onboard and decided to "take it to the next level: Reality." Tony reminds him that they must have bought the swords at Roosevelt Roads. You know. In Puerto Rico. Tony offers to hop a helicopter, buy a sword undercover, bust the clerk and find out who bought the swords! He could be there and back in 24 hours! Gibbs eyerolls. "Six," he says firmly. "Twelve?" pleads Tony, futilely attempting to bargain. Gibbs tells him it's not a negotiation. Heh. Tony will take six, and smiles and dashes off, almost breaking his neck falling over a knee knocker. Gibbs smiles slightly and shakes his head at the bonehead he hired. Hee.

Cut to a shot of a helicopter taking off from the deck, as the Dramatic Strings get all excited that they're off to Puerto Rico! Whee!

Lab. Abby has found a list of gamers' personal websites and finds "The Immortal Tales of Weylin." She clicks in, accompanied by the Dramatic Strings. There is a general description of the character, together with a list of such things as History, Family Tree, Kills, etc. There is also a link to "Weylin's Diary", which requires a password. Abby curses and sets her "Codebreaker 7.8" to hack it. The husband gets pissy again at the lack of realism, and I tell him to drink some more. Abby mutters that this is going to take a while, and settles in for the duration.

Puerto Rico! As the helicopter lands, the Dramatic Strings are replaced with Latin music. The chopper lands and we cut to the Base Exchange, where Tony is kitted out in a Petty Officer's uniform with his hair slicked back. He is preening and trying on sunglasses. He flirts with the sales clerk and cheesily says he'll take them. Sales Clerk coyly wonders if he wants anything else, if you know what she means, and I think you do. Wow. Tony's getting a lot of play this episode. Anyway, he asks for a Naval Officer's sword. Sales Clerk tells him he can't have one. He tells her that some of his friends says they got one from there before, and protests that it's not like it's drugs or anything. Sales Clerk tells him them's the rules, and to take it up with the Navy if he has a problem. He offers to pay extra, showing her a wad of bills, and cajoles her, telling her he just wants a souvenir to take home. She caves, offering to let him have one for $600. He protests that they retail for $400. She counters that she could lose her job. Tony tries for $500 and she mutters in Spanish and stomps to the other side of the counter to fold some t-shirts. Tony scampers around and agrees to $600. She stuffs the money in her bra, and Tony reveals that he is an NCIS agent. Sales Clerk freaks, hurling various items at Tony and yelling in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish, but I think she was saying something about a curse. Tony laughingly attempts to calm her down, telling her he only wants some information. He does seem to have had plenty of practice with irate women hurling things at his head. Heh.

Foster, presumably in the Machine Shop. Gibbs examines some metal posts and notes they have marks on them. He puts little measuring tabs on them and photographs them, as they imagine a sword striking the post. Kate turns and checks out a nearby post, finding similar marks. She notes that they are two sword lengths apart. "MacDonald and Kinvaras were starting to take their game very seriously," she says thoughtfully. Gibbs warns her that they don't know that yet. Kate says that she checked all the officers' swords and "there wasn't a scratch on any of them." Gibbs reminds her that Abby has not confirmed that the metal in MacDonald's nicked sword came from another sword. Kate wonders why he sent Tony to Puerto Rico, then. Gibbs snits that "it's called being thorough. Hunches do not hold up in court." Kate protests that it's not a hunch, as two people said that MacDonald wouldn't have killed himself. Gibbs wonders why she is so adamant on that score. She insists that it makes sense. "He's Catholic," she says emphatically, as if that makes a difference. "And so are you," replies Gibbs, clearly thinking she's personalising it. Kate protests, saying that Catholics don't commit suicide, it's a cultural thing and blah. Whatever, Kate. This (lapsed) Catholic isn’t buying what you're selling. Gibbs doesn't seem to be buying it either, but he refrains from further comment. Fortunately Tony calls to put an end to this blather.

Tony is at a bar on a beach, sipping a cocktail of some sort. Mmm, cocktails. Anyway, in between leering at the various bikini babes around him, Tony offers to fill Gibbs in on what he found. Gibbs decides to go up top due to the reception, leaving Kate alone to visualise two guys fighting, swords clashing, and to brood upon possibly suicidal Catholics. The Dramatic Strings are getting fiesty, but maybe they just want a cocktail, too.

Meanwhile, down at the beach, Tony confirms that the Base Exchange was selling swords to naughty enlisted men. They confirmed selling to MacDonald, and as Tony heads away from the bar down to the actual beach, he tells Gibbs that they sold three others, and he's got descriptions. Gibbs, from the deck of the Foster, wonders where Tony is. Tony says he's waiting for his chopper ride, and it will be a couple more hours. A waitress approaches Tony with another cocktail as the music kicks in louder. Gibbs snarls, and Tony brightly tells him to relax, and assures him that he's a professional, while sipping his drink. Meanwhile, he's leering at the topless girls sunbathing. He gazes over the top of his sunglasses and smacks his lips appreciatively. Hee.

Cut to the XO's quarters. Gibbs and Kate are going through files, comparing them to the descriptions Tony sent them. Kate wonders how many people are on the boat. "This ship has 323 enlisted, 32 officers. You're lucky this isn't an aircraft carrier." They continue flipping through files, until Kate goes "hmmmm." Apparently Petty Officer Ronald Zuger "cut his arm on a plate glass window last month. Only there were no glass shards in the wound." He matches the description, and guess where he works?

Surprise! We're off to the Combat Information Centre, where the eavesdropping guy from earlier is playing the Immortals, while being watched by an admiring coworker. Admiring Coworker quickly skeddadles as Gibbs sneaks up on them and compliments Zuger's swordsmanship. Zuger quickly brings up his screensaver. Heh. It sucks being busted fucking around at work. Anyway, Gibbs smirks at him and wonders, "Killed anyone else lately?" Nice.

We cut to some sort of lunchroom that Gibbs is using for interrogation. Zuger protests that "virtual homicide" is not illegal. Gibbs assures him that he's not under arrest. Zuger snottily wonders why he's there, then. Gibbs drawls, "Well, for starters, there's a little matter of misappropriation of government property." Zuger protests that everyone in CIC plays online. Gibbs shoots back that "they don't give you guys top-notch equipment so you can have a better gaming experience." Heh. Zuger is unrepentant. "They wouldn't have top-notch equipment if it weren't for guys like me." Oh, get over yourself. Gibbs agrees, and needles him with "Guys like you and Seaman MacDonald?" Zuger grinds his teeth. Gibbs is falsely amicable: "Okay. What came first, the online chicken or the CIC egg?" Hee. Zuger smirks a little and says he didn't know MacDonald (ie Weylin) was onboard for a long time. Gibbs says it must have been quite a shock. Zuger says that they "had a pretty good laugh over it." Gibbs drops the friendly act and grimly states "He's not laughing now. [Ominous pause] Is he?"

Lab. Abby's computer beeps, indicating the password has been cracked. Abby opens Weylin's Diary as the Dramatic Strings cue up again and is dismayed to see how much of it there is. She reaches for the phone. Kate answers. Abby wonders why Gibbs isn't answering his phone. Kate says that he's "having a talk with Kinvaras." Abby warns that if he's "as whacked out as his rival, tell Gibbs to watch his neck." Not commenting. Backing away slowly! Ahem. Anyway, Kate realises this means that Abby has cracked MacDonald's diary. Abby confirms, bitching that "this guy had diarrhoea of the keyboard." Ha! Kate offers to go through it instead. Abby is way stocked.

Gibbs continues his interrogation, as the Dramatic Strings shut the hell up. He notes that MacDonald viewed Zuger as an "authority figure." Zuger retorts that he outranked MacDonald. Gibbs says that's not what he meant. Zuger exclaims that he didn't kill MacDonald. Gibbs tries a different tack. "Okay. Have you ever killed him?" He gets up to do his little "wander around and behind the suspect" thing he likes to do during interrogations. "In the game," he adds. "Sure," says Zuger blithely, "Kinvaras has beheaded Weylin lots of times." Gibbs smirks and plays on Zuger's ego. "You were better than him." Hells yeah, says Zuger. He snorts derisively. "Pissed him off." Gibbs wondered if that's when they decided to fight for real. Zuger foolishly smarms that he never said they did. On cue, Gibbs summons Tony, who has found Zuger's sword and the Dramatic Strings. Zuger looks like he's going to wet himself. Tony assures him that it won't take long to match up the metals. Zuger protests that it was MacDonald's idea. "I thought it was kinda cool at the time!" says Zuger, like, yeah! Everyone else was doing it! Sheesh. Gibbs snides at him "Until you got cut." Zuger reluctantly agrees. Gibbs gets in Zuger's face and asks if that scared him. Zuger, clearly scared shitless, attempts to bluesteel: "Kinvaras is never frightened. And I've never quite known what Weylin was thinking." Gibbs asks where he was when MacDonald went over. Zuger says he was helping a friend with a computer problem most of the night. "Big problem," notes Gibbs. "Huge, sir." replies Zuger.

Cut to the XO's quarters, where Weylin's Diary is being printed. We have a MacDonald voiceover, which I'll skip transcribing. Basically, he's a paranoid nutbar. Kate, who is reading this, looks worried, as are the Dramatic Strings. Scene!

Foster. Gibbs is questioning our old friend, Petty Officer Carnahan. It turns out that Zuger's alibi is holding up - he was erasing a heaping bunch of porn from Carnahan's computer. Heh. Carnahan somewhat shamefacedly admits to Gibbs that he's "got a lot of free time on [his] hands." Uh, so to speak. Gibbs looks slightly amused by this.

Morgue. Ducky is videoconferencing with the gang, and confirms that the dirt from MacDonald's hands was from the sea floor. There was no sign of a struggle. Ducky notes that, from what Abby found in his online diary, "the afterlife could be a vast improvement for a young man so troubled." Ducky starts to blather about a book he wants to send Gibbs, so Gibbs hangs up on him. Heh. Tony says it "sure looks like a suicide" to him. Kate is still in disagreement, but this time it's not about religion. She says that there's no hint of a plan to kill himself in his diaries, in fact it's "just the opposite." Kate now has Gibbs' attention. "MacDonald seems resolved to continue his battle with Kinvaras after he leaves the ship," Kate says. "So, why would a man so intent on his mission no matter how deranged, off himself and end it?" Gibbs wants to know what else is in the diary. Kate is on the last entry now, and sits down to continue her reading. Gibbs turns to Tony and asks for Zuger's records. Tony gets on the phone and is put on hold. There's a bit of guff about presents Tony bought in Puerto Rico that is intended only to set up the "joke" at the end of the episode, so I'll pay it no mind just now.

Meanwhile, Kate has found something interesting. "MacDonald says that after he makes his escape he'll destroy his enemies by releasing a great plague against the realm as the sun sets beneath the next full moon." Gibbs dives on MacDonald's file as Tony announces Zuger's file is on the way and the Dramatic Strings reappear. Apparently "MacDonald had applied for the NBC programme," says Gibbs. Off Kate's quizzical look, Tony explains "Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons." "Passed the physical, flunked the psych," notes Gibbs. Tony wonders what the realm is supposed to be. Kate thinks it's the Foster. "MacDonald was convinced that the crew was aiding his enemy." Gibbs declares that MacDonald is going to set off a "bio bomb" on the ship. The Dramatic Strings know that the end is nigh as Gibbs moans, "Tell me it's not a full moon tonight." Heh. Duh, Gibbs. Gibbs wants to know when the sun sets. In about an hour, says Kate. Gibbs orders Tony to get Zuger in front of his computer to see if he can find anything about MacDonald or a bio weapon. Gibbs notes that Navy ships don't carry biological weapons, and tells Kate to check with Homeland Security to see if there's anything unaccounted for in the region. Kate pounces on phone.

Gibbs tracks down the Skipper in a staff meeting. He barges in and convinces him that a bomb is about to go off. The Skipper says to sound "general quarters." Mayhem!

Horns and PA systems and chaos, oh my! As sailors scurry all over the place, Tony drags Zuger to CIC. Zuger wants to know what the hell is going on. Tony urgently asks him if MacDonald ever mentioned "delivering a virus aboard the Foster?" Why the thought of a computer virus hasn't occurred to anyone, I have no idea, especially since it would occur to a computer geek far more readily than a bio weapon, I would think. Anyway, Zuger protests that he doesn't think so, as we see various sailors scurrying and putting on gas masks.

CIC. Tony orders Zuger onto his site to find anything he can.

Corridor. Kate reports that no known material is missing, but they'll continue to check. Gibbs tells her to keep checking.

Scurrying, searching, mayhem.

CIC. Zuger has logged on to his site, but then the screen goes black, followed by some gobbledygook and a computerised voice says "Die, Kinvaras! Die!" I love that he added a "mwhahahahaha" for good measure. Hee! Zuger freaks. He tries another monitor, but no good. MacDonald has hacked his account, and all of the information is gone. Gibbs appears to put a boot up Zuger: "You listen to me very closely. There's a good chance that a bio bomb is going off on this ship by sunset. Right now, you're the best shot we've got to find it. You give me answers, or I will make sure you're the last one in line on the evac." Heh. Zuger is terrified. Gibbs continues, "Did MacDonald even hint, in any way, of taking out this crew?" Zuger says no, so Gibbs turns to Kate, telling her to go over MacDonald's diary again. He turns back to Zuger, snarling that he wants to know "every detail that happened between you and MacDonald."

Shot of the Foster as the sun slowly sets. The Dramatic Strings are having a whale of a time.

Command Central. I think. A Navy dude informs the Skipper of arrangements that have been made as the Skipper anxiously checks his watch. Scurrying. Helicopters.

CIC. Kate is going over the diary. Tony and Gibbs read over her shoulder.

Sailors. Searching. Scurrying. Torches. Dramatic Strings!

Foster. The sun is setting, some more.

CIC. Gibbs applies the screws to Zuger, telling him they've only got 20 minutes left. Zuger says nothing. Gibbs slams him up against the desk, yelling "Do you want the crew of this ship to die?" Zuger spills. MacDonald was crazy and thought he really was immortal. Gibbs says that MacDonald thought Zuger really was Kinvaras, and that's why they fought with real swords. As everyone gawks, Zuger replies that he thought they were just playing, but then MacDonald tried to kill him. He denies that he then killed MacDonald, but he did challenge him. To what, Gibbs wants to know. To go "UA like he was always talking about!" yells Zuger. "I told him to take his sword and swim to shore." Gibbs looks gobsmacked. "Why was he wearing weights if he was gonna swim?" howls Gibbs. Zuger doesn't answer. Gibbs shakes him again, and bellows, "Why did he have weights chained to his waist?" Zuger can't even look at him as he shakily admits that "[he] told him that was the only way he could prove to [Zuger] he was immortal." Gibbs is horrified. "Why would you let him do that?" The Dramatic Strings of Yes, This Guy is also Nuts shudder to a crescendo as Zuger duhs, "To win the game." Tony and Kate look like they're going to hurl. Gibbs throws Zuger away from him, presumably so he doesn't give into temptation and shoot his stupid ass, and heads back to Kate. He yells at Kate to find something in the diaries already and stomps off.

We see a shot of the sun getting even lower as a hand hangs up a phone in, I think, Command Central. A Navy guy tells the Skipper they haven't found anything. The Skipper tells him to have Gibbs meet him in his "sea cabin".

CIC. Kate mutters to herself that she's missing something. There's only five minutes left! Oh noes! So, of course ... "This stuff MacDonald said about cutting off the head so the body will die. I mean, we're assuming that is part of setting up a 'plague against the realm'. But what if it meant two separate things?" The Dramatic Strings get excited because they know the episode is almost over, and Tony urges her to go on. "Zuger's website and his character were destroyed. And the plague against the realm could simply be referring to a computer virus." Ha! Told you! Neener. "Leaving 'cutting off the head' as another threat," realises Tony. The guys slowly process the information: since MacDonald thought the crew was "aligned with his enemy," they work out he's talking about the crew when he's talking about "cutting off the head so the body will die." God, it's painful watching them work this out! More vodka! FINALLY, they realise he's going to off the Skipper, the Dramatic Strings go nuts and they scamper off as we cut to a shot of the sun sinking really, really low now.

Skipper's sea cabin. The Skipper is chewing Gibbs out because they haven't found a bomb. Gibbs insists they are dealing with a real threat. Kate and Tony burst in and announce that the Skipper is the target. Tony asks where the Skipper is at this time every day. The Skipper protests, in order to draw out the "tension", but Tony tells him to shut up and answer the damn question already. Why, right here in his cabin, actually. Kate announces that they have to get the fuck out of there, and they all bolt for the door, dragging the confused Skipper with them.

They bolt down the hall, Gibbs exiting last and slamming the door behind him. They get a little way down the hall and cabin go boom, sending Gibbs and the Skipper to the ground. Tony makes sure that Kate is okay and turns to check the other two. The Skipper is all, holy shit! Gibbs heads back to check out the damage.

Lab. Ducky is confused, so Abby recaps the entire situation re Weylin/MacDonald and Kinvaras/Zuger for Ducky, with Ducky attempting to insert various stories along the way. It's mildly entertaining, but only due to Abby and Ducky's delivery of their lines.

Foster. XO's cabin. The gang are packing. Kate can't get over how reality got so blurred for MacDonald. Gibbs notes that to MacDonald, destroying Zuger's website was as "real and violent as trying to kill the skipper." Tony snarks that he's glad his parents made him play sport in high school. Heh. Kate and Gibbs eyeroll at him and head for the door. We then get to the part about what Tony brought them from Puerto Rico. They reluctantly stop and accept a package each from Tony. Kate got a two piece bikini consisting of a bikini bottom and a hat. Gibbs wonders if she's going to try it on. Hee! Skeevy, Gibbs. Very skeevy. The Dramatic Strings of It's the Funny Denouement! cue up as Kate tosses the bikini pants at him and snarks "you first." Atta girl. Gibbs protests lightly that they won't fit. Not touching that joke. Backing away, hands in the air. Kate snits that she works with pigs, and Tony hands Gibbs ... a fantasy RPG book. In Spanish. Gibbs is not impressed. Tony snits that he's never happy. They leave, with Tony grabbing the bikini bottoms on his way out, closing the door behind him and we fade to black.


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