A six-year-old boy sees who kidnaps his father, a Naval officer who works with a highly classified online-encryption system; the boy calls the NCIS, so Gibbs and the team investigate and eventually solve the crimes and recover the father.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Commander Harry Wilder
Frank Connell
Michael Bellisario ...
Zach Tanner
Laura Osgood
Lt. Commander Alex Tanner
Willis Hirst (as Brian Thomas Fitzpatrick)
Vincent Pazzo


A precocious six-year-old boy, Zach, sees who kidnaps his father, a Navy lieutenant commander and a PhD who works with a highly classified online-encryption system; the boy promptly calls the NCIS, so Gibbs and the team respond. Tony and McGee learn about new computer problems at the workplace where the father works as a liaison officer. Then Zach calls Gibbs, and the same bad guys try to kidnap Zach too, but Gibbs intervenes; later the gang finds the body of one of the kidnappers. Ziva and others make persuasive arguments to Gibbs, but he does not buy. Persistence prevails; Ziva extracts useful information, so the gang find the father and nail more bad guys. Written by DocRushing

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

1 November 2005 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


While in the squad room, Gibbs blows up a latex glove for Zack. Much like his former St. Elsewhere costar, Howie Mandel did when he was touring back in the 80s. See more »


Jenny Shepard: You think he might make another attempt to get Zach back?
Leroy Jethro Gibbs: If he does, I'll be waiting for him.
Zach Tanner: My dad didn't do anything wrong!
Jenny Shepard: It's a complicated situation.
Zach Tanner: IT'S NOT!
Jenny Shepard: Zach...
Leroy Jethro Gibbs: Zach, there's evidence he did something wrong.
Zach Tanner: Doesn't matter. I know in my- my stomach he didn't do anything wrong! You promised you'd bring him back to me, Gibbs. PLEASE!
See more »


References Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) See more »


Patroling the Core
Written by Dominic Kelly
Performed by Dominic Kelly
Courtesy of Addax Music Company
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User Reviews

May be my favorite NCIS episode
4 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Just saw this episode again (perhaps the third time) and I love it! The acting in this episode is spot on, and that includes the very young actor who plays Zack Tanner. This is everything I want in television entertainment: a little intellectual challenge in following the plot, a little personal interest (this one, with the young child of the missing person), and time to experience the primary NCIS characters doing their thing. Perhaps a little light on Abby and Ducky. But since you can't feature all of the characters in each episode, this episode does a great job of demonstrating nuances of Gibbs, Ziva, McGee and DiNozzo. The story line works, from the opening scene with Zack headed toward the carousel to the final revelations about the bad guy(s).

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

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