While recovering after heart surgery, a commander dies due to an internal flash and the resulting fire without an apparent external cause; the Gibbs team investigate. Abby says it's murder, then she finds a key fact, and the gang solves it.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Commander Janice Byers
Ensign Evan Hayes
Coach Morgan
Chief Petty Officer Velat
Charles Walker
Navy Corpsman


While recovering after heart surgery at the Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, a commander dies due to an internal flash and the resulting fire without any apparent external source of ignition; Gibbs and company investigate. McGee suggests the possibility of spontaneous human combustion (SHC), Gibbs makes fun of it, Ducky declines to ignore it, and Abby digs it. However, Abby says that it's murder. Tony sees again a friend from Gitmo, then a party in a hotel room leads to a missing officer at a swimming pool. Ducky wines and dines the woman surgeon, but he later becomes disappointed in her. Abby finds a key fact, then the team solves the mystery. Written by DocRushing

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Release Date:

30 November 2004 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The song playing on the radio during the hotel room party is Word Up by Cameo (released 1986). See more »


The fire is set with a cigarette and some matches. It's claimed to delay the fire for 12 minutes before it starts. Cigarettes burn faster in high oxygen. See more »


[first lines]
Nurse Dooley: Tell me he's asleep.
Navy Corpsman: Dr. Byers saw to that. Gave him Percocet before she left.
Nurse Dooley: If I were her and he called me in at two in the morning, I would have killed him.
See more »


References Stalag 17 (1953) See more »


Analog Spells
Written by Dominic Kelly
Performed by Dominic Kelly
Courtesy of Addax Music Company
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User Reviews

10 August 2015 | by (Washington State) – See all my reviews

The show was based upon oxygen in a hospital recovery room blowing up and killing a patient.

This story line ruined the entire episode. NCIS has a team of scientist and not one of them knew that oxygen is not combustible. Oxygen will promote combustion but alone does not burn nor explode.

It is unfortunate that NCIS would perpetuate misinformation and help to spread non truths though the population. I would hope that future shows use a technical adviser that understands science to prevent the continuous dumbing of the population. It would also help make the show more real than fantasy.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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