09x01 - Nature of the Beast

Bye, Mike.

Ziva, I have to work outside the country.

For how long?

Before Dr. Mallard begins the autopsy, I'd like a moment to pay my respects.

I'm giving my resignation to the President as soon as this is over.

Director Vance, I'm authorizing Agent DiNozzo access to sensitive compartmented information.

No other team members need to know. Is that clear?

I'm a little concerned.

"Secretary Jarvis" when we're talking shop.

Take a look.

That's who you're handling.

Hey, I came as soon as I could.

Yeah, sorry it's late.

Status?

He was found unconscious.

Single gunshot wound to the chest, concussion.

I assume he defended himself.

Got off two rounds.

He shot the son of a bitch?

Maybe.

What does "maybe" mean?

Maybe means maybe.

There was a lot of blood left behind. Shooter's body was gone.

You want me to talk to him?

Gibbs, not that I don't love a good monosyllabic conversation.

It's oddly endearing.

It's just that it's after midnight, I'm a little fuzzy.

Talk to him about what?

You're the doc.

I got you some coffee.

Dr. Kate's... sister, huh?

Surprise, surprise. What are you doing here?

Can I get you something from the bar?

Little... appletini, or lime Jell-O shots?

Those are good.

It's good to see you haven't lost your sense of humor, Agent DiNozzo.

I thought you said he was shot.

I didn't say they were successful.

I'm gonna let you two talk.

DiNozzo, I'll get your clothes.

Thank you, Boss.

So, you're okay?

I'm not dead.

Looks like the vest saved your life.

You could say I'm well-invested.

Invest we trust.

Go vest, young man.

You fired two rounds from your gun.

Casings were recovered, slugs weren't. There was blood at the scene, but... no body.

I ain't got nobody.

Are you done?

Done with what?

The nervous responses.

I guess I'm a little... rattled.

Acknowledgment is the first step to recovery.

We're making some progress.

So, who'd you shoot, Agent DiNozzo?

You got pizza, Boss?

Something wrong?

It's not yours.

You shot another NCIS agent?

I need your help.

I don't know.

I can't remember any of it.

NCIS Season 9 Episode 01 Nature of the Beast

Sure you should be walking around, DiNozzo?

He hasn't stopped fidgeting since I got here.

I do have some stuff on my mind.

There's an epiphany.

I remember...

I had orders.

From whom?

SECNAV.

I didn't ask you.

I'm trying to help here.

You can't remember who the badge belongs to?

I have no idea.

Is the rest of your team accounted for?

It's the middle of the night. I'm still waiting for answers.

You discharged your weapon at someone, Tony.

That's not to be taken lightly. Who was it?

I'd tell you if I could.

He's blocked it.

Short-term memory loss is a protective response to trauma.

We know Agent DiNozzo has killed before, but if he ended the life of another NCIS agent, someone close, in addition to the concussion, that would explain the lapse.

It's temporary.

Most likely.

Sorry, Boss. I... was following orders.

Not following mine.

That's not fair.

It's the truth.

You know, Agent DiNozzo and I need a little time alone.

Would you mind?

Knock yourself out.

No pun intended.

Okay, now, where were we?

Tell me about your assignment.

From the beginning.

You ever play golf before, DiNozzo?

Of course, Mr. Secretary.

Yeah, you know, as a kid with my... with my father, on holiday.

It explains a lot.

It's a game about patience.

Taking every element into account.

Just when you think you're in control, you're not.

Are we gonna talk in metaphor for the rest of the round, sir?

'Cause, if so, I'm gonna need a few more beers.

You shoot from the hip.

You know, it's part of the reason I chose you for this assignment.

What's the other part?

You know what it takes to be a good agent.

You don't mind getting your hands dirty.

In that respect, NCIS has been good for you.

Been?

Well, no disrespect to Director Vance or Agent Gibbs, but we have a situation, and it's our job to deal with it.

Well, I'm sure the rest of the team could be helpful, sir.

I didn't ask the rest of the team, DiNozzo.

I asked you.

You saw the photo.

You know who the problem is.

Make it happen.

And did the rest of your team suspect that you were on a secret assignment?

No, not at first.

Just business as usual.

Another e-mail to Ray?

I know he's on a classified mission and that he is busy.

I also know that if he reads an e-mail, it could risk disclosing his location.

But?

But... writing them doesn't mean reading them.

Unless he's on a secure system.

Then they will, perhaps, make him smile.

I think I got something else that's gonna make you smile, "Ziver".

Congratulations.

You're now a journeyman agent.

My probation is officially over?

Done and done.

Congrats, Special Agent David.

I will carry this with tremendous pride.

Carry what? Ray's stones in a Mason jar?

Probie no more.

Good for you.

Who am I gonna pick on now?

You will find something else to pick on me about.

In the meantime, Tony, we are now equals.

Equals, huh? Careful what you ask for.

Tonight we should all go out and celebrate.

You mean a wetting down?

No, there is no wedding.

I mean, Palmer's not getting married till next spring.

It's called a "wetting down".

Means you're paying.

Then we should go somewhere fun.

I know a fun gaming lounge.

3-D PS2 on a 60-inch plasma.

Or not.

And what do you think, Tony?

I think I'll take a rain check. I've got some homework to do.

But, you have some fun, David. You've earned it.

How's your vision, DiNozzo?

20-20, Boss.

Why?

You, know, Vance tells me Jarvis needs your help.

Better keep your eyes open.

Back of my head, as always, Boss. Learned from the best.

You haven't learned everything.

I'd have told him to forget it. What do you know about Jarvis?

Smart. Seems like he means business.

You trust him?

Don't we have to?

I became a cop because I thought the lines were clear... good and bad, right and wrong.

Let me guess: the lines blur?

Funny how that happens.

You gonna tell me what's on your mind?

Just doing my job, Boss.

Just doing my job.

Walk me through what happened from the end of May to now.

I was given an order to handle a situation.

And by "handle", you mean kill someone?

If it came down to that, yeah.

Taking a life is lot of responsibility.

Do you consider yourself an accountable person?

Very.

And yet, this happened.

How did the order present itself?

Through a...

Through a photograph.

Of whom?

Sweetheart, if I could remember that, we wouldn't be here, would we?

I'm not your sweetheart. Try harder.

I am trying.

I know there's probably something you're not mentioning.

Try again, Tony.

I know you can.

You don't know anything about me.

Actually, I know quite a lot.

From Kate... to Jeanne Benoit... to the complexities of your relationship with Agent David.

Don't think I had forgotten about that kid in Baltimore, either.

I need to know what I did.

Then let's start with the photo.

I des...

I destroyed it.

Destroying more pictures from your dirty collection, Tony?

Miss Shiny New Badge of Courage, the answer to that is no.

Unlike you, flashing your new badge at every Tom, Dick, and Joe Friday who's willing to look, I've been doing my job.

What job is that?

Rumor has it you've been given a new assignment.

Will you be traveling, too?

I have put in some time for my vacation.

You never know, maybe our paths will cross.

Where you going?

There's a new app that tells you where every Cracker Barrel in the country is.

I'm going to Central America to meet an old friend.

Central America.

That's nice, the land of tropical martinis and string bikinis.

Tell me, does CI Ray know about this "old friend"?

It is a woman. She is someone very dear to me and...

I need her advice. Ray has nothing to worry about.

I do not know what you are investigating... and I do not need to know, but ever since we lost Levin and Franks and EJ left...

NCIS has been through a lot.

We have been through a lot.

We need some time.

We... as in you and me?

That's not what I meant.

What did you mean then, Ziva?

All I'm saying is... look out for yourself.

Please?

You must have sensed that they were concerned about you.

I'm sure they were.

Everyone was in the dark, trying to put the puzzle together.

Something is gnawing at me, Jethro, and as you know, I am not one to gnaw.

Shoot, Duck. What is it?

You, your agents, Abby, even Director Vance.

We work together as a cohesive unit.

We have no secrets from one another because there cannot be any.

That is why we succeed.

Yeah, that's the way it works, Duck.

So?

I noticed something when I did Agent Levin's autopsy a small postmortem incision made with a nonsurgical blade.

You saying that someone else cut him other than you?

I took the liberty of downloading the Autopsy security images from the day that Levin was killed.

Special Agent Barrett asked for time alone with the body so she could say her good-byes.

That's a hell of a good-bye, Duck.

She cut him with her pocketknife.

Yes.

It seems that EJ and you share an affinity for retractable weaponry.

She taking something out of his arm?

That's what astounded me.

Agent Levin had a small microchip of some sort embedded in his arm.

Any idea why?

That's where my expertise ends and yours begins.

Timing of DiNozzo's mission could explain it.

Well, you said it, not I.

Why do I bother having a door?

When were you going to tell me about this thing with DiNozzo?

Agent DiNozzo is following orders given directly to him by Secretary Jarvis.

He's my responsibility, Leon.

No, he's my responsibility, and if I'm willing, so are you.

How well do you know Jarvis?

I've known Clayton Jarvis for almost 20 years.

I've trusted him with my life.

People change.

I hope you're not questioning the SECNAV's authority.

Jarvis can do what he wants. It's his Navy.

It's his Navy... it's my team.

He starts to turn the picture over... there.

Go two frames back.

That looks like a woman to me.

No, it doesn't.

It looks like a hairy pirate with a moustache.

You mean, Tony's assignment is to kill Johnny Depp?

I like Johnny Depp.

This isn't working.

It is too grainy, I cannot see anything.

Don't feel comfortable doing this.

I know, we're spying on family.

Well, sometimes we must cross boundaries to protect those we care about.

Hypothetically, what if Ray was Tony's target?

Though I am confident it is not Ray, we should prepare ourselves for the unexpected.

I hope it isn't anyone we know.

Mr. Ambassador, it was a pleasure, and please give your wife my regards.

I look forward to seeing you... Not now, Gibbs.

I'm going straight to a charity.

You're using one of my people without my knowledge.

They're my people, too.

Yes, sir, but we function as a team. If you remove one, everything changes.

Director Vance told me to expect some push-back from you, but you're being borderline disrespectful.

That a compliment, sir?

You'll get DiNozzo back when I'm done.

What if he doesn't make it back?

Sounds like you know more about this mission than you should.

I've just been there many times myself.

Stop that car!

Call an ambulance.

It's okay.

Oh, my God.

He's a friend.

Well, your friend's dead, Mr. Secretary.

You think this has anything to do with it?

What do you suppose the SECNAV is saying to?

Well, if I were him, I'd be asking how to get blood out of a $200 white dress shirt.

See, it's all about oxygenating the stain.

My mother used to use club soda, but my uncle preferred

Perrier with a dash of...

The incision, they're probably talking about the incision.

Well, it's in exactly the same location as Agent Levin's.

Captain Wright was a highly decorated naval Officer and a valued member of the DOD. Make this investigation a priority.

Start with the incision in his arm.

NCIS Special Agent Levin had one, too.

There will be no discussion of Captain Wright's death with anybody outside this core group.

Do I need to repeat myself?

No, sir.

Your timing is impeccable.

I got the answer I was looking for.

On the DL, ask Agents McGee and David to find the thread that links Wright to Levin.

And the microchip?

I wish I knew.

Did Gibbs notice you weren't at the hotel?

Missing a crime scene never goes over well, but...

I was already on the mission.

What did you say to him?

I didn't.

He knew I wasn't there.

Gibbs sees everything, you know.

And where were you in your assignment at this point?

I don't know.

You know, when my mom died, we were in a room like this.

I remember 'cause there was a movie playing...

Angels with Dirty Faces.

Michael Curtiz.

These two kids growing up together.

Bogie's priest.

Cagney.

The mobster... searching for answers.

Life's crossroads.

We all make decisions, some smarter than others.

Pieces weren't fitting together.

I had to talk to Agent Barrett.

Why?

She's the one in the photograph?

The thing about chasing a federal agent they know how to disappear.

She was careful about not leaving a paper trail.

Not careful enough.

Kiawah Island? Nice.

Beachy.

Hello, Tony, how are you?

Working. Looks like you are, too.

There's someone I need to see. Friend of a friend.

Is it about the microchip you took out of Levin's arm?

We need to talk.

I can't, not till I get back.

I don't know what you're mixed up in, but people are looking for you.

People who don't have the same personal investment as yours truly.

I made a promise to someone, Tony, and now I need to fulfill it.

I made a promise to someone, too.

A promise I fully intend to keep.

You took something, EJ.

Something that's causing people a lot of concern.

Is that why you're here?

And they want it back.

It's not mine to give.

You have an option here, but you have to trust me.

And what if I can't?

Then I can't help you.

While I was getting deeper, I knew Gibbs wouldn't be letting up, trying to figure out what Wright and Levin had in common.

Anything, McGee?

Plenty.

After weeks of navigating red tape, I finally got through the government firewall connecting Levin to Wright.

Yeah. And?

Both men used to be Office of Naval Intel.

ONI isn't in Levin's file.

All the details were redacted.

Both apparently worked for the Director of Special Operations, a civilian named Sean Latham.

Latham leads a secret armada of spy vessels called the Watcher Fleet.

Watchers are loaded with billions in surveillance.

They constantly are monitoring terrorist and anti-military activity.

Spying on the spies.

After their time at ONI, Agent Levin was transferred here, and Captain Wright went to the Pentagon.

Gotta wonder what's on those microchips.

And who'd kill for 'em.

Is this what Tony's wrapped up in?

Special Agent Gibbs?

Yeah. What can I do for you?

Agent Stratton, FBI.

Busy night?

Burning the wick at both ends.

Yeah, that's what coffee's for.

Can I help you with something?

Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo.

We got wind he may have been involved in an altercation with another federal agent.

Can you verify that?

Is Agent DiNozzo a patient in this hospital or not?

Being a patient doesn't mean he did anything wrong.

We'll be the judge of that.

You won't.

Anything happened this case would have been handed over to my IG for a 2B investigation.

I want to talk to him.

There was an accident.

He had a head injury.

I heard he was shot.

Man, I tell you, you're just chock full of all kinds of bad information, Stratton.

Go home. Sorry you got out of bed.


So, what happened after she decided to leave with you?

She was being evasive and I needed answers.

People know you took the microchip. Why?

Because Levin told me to. Because if anything happened to him I swore I'd get it to the right person before it fell into the wrong hands.

What's on it?

I honestly have no idea.

You're lying.

All I did was make a promise.

To who?

The highest bidder? Is that what this is about? You're selling information?

Who were you going to see?

No one.

I need to know the truth, EJ.

Navy Captain Felix Wright.

He's been out of the country.

He's dead.

Go! Get in the car, EJ! Go!

Stay down!

Did you see 'em? How many?

Hold on.

So, Barrett was the one in the photo.

The traitor.

I didn't say that.

They wanted their chip back.

Barrett took it.

They tried to kill her.

They were shooting at both of us.

You're defending her.

EJ... needed my help.

Why do you think you keep getting involved with dysfunctional women?

What?!

Well, the women you date are messed up.

I date all kinds of women.

You know, I think you're drawn to them because you want to help them.

I am drawn to them because, usually, they're pretty hot.

Admit it.

You like hot girls who carry guns.

Who doesn't like hot girls who carry guns?

Which brings us back to Agent Barrett.

Of course it does.

I see what you did there.

That was tricky.

You really like these head games, don't you?

You did that on purpose.

Anger releases endorphins, and endorphins can jog all sorts of memories.

In the case file, Jarvis gave me some information about... microchips.

Now that we know about Wright and Levin's Naval Intel connection, I did a little digging of my own.

When implanted under the flesh, microchips can leave behind metal hydride corrosion.

High-tech rust.

Look what I figured out.

That it hurt.

But based on the level of metallic decomp Ducky found, I was able to determine that the chips were implanted at approximately the same time.

Both in the left arm, both in the same position and both functioning as low-emitting radio frequency I.D. tags.

They were access chips.

Electronic door-openers.

Gibbs, this is Sean Latham, ONI's Director of the Watcher Fleet.

I didn't know if you guys really existed.

Flesh and blood.

Normally, we wouldn't be discussing an ONI program but we have a situation.

And I just lost a dear friend. Sean?

Gayne Levin and Felix Wright worked for me as a part of a program called Phantom Eight.

An eight-man squad that tried to preemptively influence international acts of terrorism.

Stop 'em before they happen.

Each operative was tagged with a microchip, a pass key, giving them access, worldwide, to the Watcher database.

Wave your arm over a secure laptop download classified information, our enemies would pay top dollar for.

When Levin was killed, ONI's intention was to remove his chip immediately.

Unfortunately, one of your agents got to him first.

And you think Agent Barrett is in it to make a profit?

We don't want to risk finding out.

Why sharing this with me?

We now believe she's working internally. With someone else.

You want to know who.

We're already looking, Gibbs.

Find her.

Find the stolen microchips.

It's a matter of national security.

Hi.

We need your help.

After you cook dinner.

I'm sitting there, I'm on my third tequila.

I'm not in good shape, and Franks is, like, 12 sheets to the wind, when all of a sudden, the door swings open, and standing there are the three deadliest drug dealers in all of Mexico, you know what Franks does? He turns to the bartender and he says...

"Cervezas for my amigos.

"If I'm dead, put it on my tab, probie."

His family's here now.

It's good to have 'em close.

You know what you got there?

Nope.

I don't want to, either.

You were supposed to give it to Wright.

Now what do we do?

Figure out who it belongs to?

Jarvis?

You think?

You don't trust anyone, do you?

Yeah, I do.

I just make 'em earn it.

The only people I trusted were the men on my team.

I'm starting to worry about the big guy in all of this.

Why?

Cade and Levin were tight.

Maybe he knew too much.

Get him back here. You in contact?

Not since we left.

Try.

So that's when you realized you couldn't do this alone?

I trust these people with my life.

Like family.

Not my family. My family is... way less dependable.

You should meet my father sometime. It would explain a lot.

I'd like that.

He'd like that, too, I think.

NCIS is... part of who I am.

And yet you took an assignment, that resulted in the death of another agent... the very people you say you trust with your life?

You're contradicting yourself.

Wouldn't be the first time.

I'm sorry. Am I interrupting?

Who are you?

Didn't Gibbs tell you I was here?

I'm Agent Stratton, FBI.

I apologize.

I didn't realize Agent DiNozzo was with anyone.

And you are...?

His doctor.

Look at me, interrupting with a doctor's work.

I'm just so glad to see you're alive, Agent DiNozzo.

Thanks.

It's a miracle, really, and thank Heaven.

You and I can talk later, if that's all right with you, Doc.

I'm calling Agent Gibbs.

Now is clearly the wrong time.

The doctor is in, so I'm out.

Take care of yourself, pal.

Okay?

What happened next?

I knew it was time to resurface, time to come in and see what surfaced with me.

Here you go.

Tony, you've been off the grid for weeks.

You miss me, McWorry-wart? I was busy doing my job.

We were concerned.

We? I see.

Yes, Tony, I expressed curiosity.

Even though you're more than capable of taking care of yourself.

You and Ray are cut from the same quilt.

Cloth.

Don't interrupt her, Boss, she's on a roll.

Of course.

Makes total sense...

... Since EJ's the one you are after.

She's the one in the photograph, is she not?

You know I can't answer that.

Somebody help.

Route my cell phone to the plasma.

Tapping into the WiFi now.

It's Cade. He just sent me this message.

Something's happened. He is in trouble.

You gotta help me. I don't know what to do here.

Someone's after me.

I just spoke to Fornell about Agent Stratton.

Know him?

Can you give us a minute?

All right.

I'll go get my sixth cup of coffee for the evening.

Lightweight.

Ruin all my hard work and I'll kill you.

Copy that.

Brass from your weapon. We found it in the alley.

I told you, Boss, I...

Just shut up and listen, DiNozzo.

Abby's running DNA from spatter found at the scene.

In addition to your blood, there were two other types found.

Two?

Three people altogether.

I know this is hard, but I need to know, who you were handling.

Great playing with you, Brian.

I'll see you again.

Been waiting long, DiNozzo?

Permission to speak candidly, Mr. Secretary?

Go for it.

This mission blows.

I'm sorry you're disappointed.

Rule number one in Washington politics: don't take work personally.

I know a few rules, too, sir.

Such as?

Rule number three: never believe what you're told.

What are you insinuating?

Rule number five: don't waste good.

In other words, I'm wasting your precious time?

And there's my favorite, rule number 36: if you feel like you're being played, you probably are.

What do you want?

I want you to take me off this assignment.

I can't do that.

I feel like I'm too close.

That's the sacrifice. Nature of the beast.

People are getting hurt, people I care about, and I'm not asking you, sir, I'm telling you.

You take me off this assignment or I resign from NCIS.

That felt like a threat.

You want to hear my second rule?

Sure.

Don't screw with me.

I own you.

Know it, accept it.

It comes with the detail.

You gonna give me another speech about patience, maybe throw in a golf metaphor?

Sure.

You're OB, Agent DiNozzo.

Now, get lost before you say something you can't back out of.

I hope you play better than you negotiate.

Spare me the criticism.

He seems to be handling things worse than you predicted.

He'll come around.