NCIS: Season 4, Episode 20

Cover Story (10 Apr. 2007)
"NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" Cover Story (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Comedy | Crime
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 266 users  
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Gibbs and company investigate a crime scene; while doing so McGee recognizes that key details duplicate details in his second novel, still unfinished and in progress. The gang find two bodies; they eventually find the delusional bad guy.



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Title: Cover Story (10 Apr 2007)

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Episode cast overview:
Lyndi Crawshaw
Landon Grey
Todd Ryder
Nynno Ahli ...
Rick Green
Johnny Smokerson


Gibbs and company investigate a crime scene at the rented home of a Navy petty officer, Cove, in Norfolk, Virginia; while doing so McGee recognizes that certain key details duplicate details, including a highly unusual cocktail, in his second novel, still unfinished and in process. Cove and his pickup truck have disappeared, and his truck has since become found. The gang search McGee's rough draft, and they trace the movements of one of its characters; at one of the sites in the book, they find two bodies, one of which is Cove's, and the other of which matches another character. The team continue to follow clues, and they eventually find the delusional man responsible for the two deaths. Written by DocRushing

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Release Date:

10 April 2007 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The author photos in the publisher's office include Donald P. Bellisario, Tom Clancy and Stephen J. Cannell. See more »


When the team is in Abby's lab Tony has a blue drink in his hand. Abby takes the drink away but it is now red. See more »


[seeing Gibbs and Tony approach him, Todd takes off in a bizarre manner]
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: What do you call that?
Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs: Running. I think.
See more »


References Coyote Ugly (2000) See more »


Cyclical Torment
Written by Dominic Kelly
Performed by Dominic Kelly
Courtesy of Screw the Pooch ASCAP
See more »

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User Reviews

A favorite episode
1 September 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

NCIS became one of TV's all-time hit series due to cast chemistry and excellent writing. Both attributes are on view in "Cover Story", one of my all-time favorite episodes.

On IMDb only a single review is posted, spending its entire length foolishly complaining about a technical error. This is a symptom of our trivia-obsessed current culture, where a clown who finds continuity errors and goofs in major films has a huge website following, but in which young buffs no longer look up to an incisive role model like Pauline Kael or Andrew Sarris the way we boomers did while cultivating our motion picture obsession.

An ingenious script by David North grabs the viewer by the throat early on when McGee discovers that his sense of déja vu at the crime scene stems from the victim so closely resembling one of the fictional characters of his latest novel. He's stymied at Chapter 7 with writer's block, but the other NCIS crew stop mocking him when they discover that they are all potential victims, since Timothy has been using them as the close-to-the-bone models for his invented protagonists.

This element of jeopardy for the team was a clever device to extend the episode beyond its obviously McGee-centric premise. And like many a latter-day episode of "Castle", it permitted the viewer to revel in the comparison of "fictional" vs. "real" (just as fictional, however) characters as the descriptions in the novel-in-progress became clear.

This gimmick was terrifically developed, and the fact that the clue to catching the killer was a goof did not spoil the episode at all. As I watched I fleetingly was aware of the much-used nature of a typewriter ribbon, but my mind glossed over this fact and accepted the twist -such is the want-to-believe nature of a fan. Ordinarily a nitpicker, I wanted to enjoy this episode, and I did.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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