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:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The ring-tone on Kate's cellphone is the NCIS theme song. See more »


The doctor tells Gibbs and Ducky that the patient went into cardiac arrest and that is the reason she made the explosion happen. If a patient goes into cardiac arrest in a hospital, there are alarms that would go off to alert other personnel and they would come running to help. She never would have been alone to try to resuscitate him and therefore she wouldn't have been able to cause the explosion. 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.
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References Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1985) See more »


Darkwave Sphere
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.

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