The Metro PD finds the body of an 18-year-old Marine who had grown up in the same hood where he died; the Gibbs team investigate with the help of Franks. They slowly assemble the picture, then a gentle social worker offers the last piece.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Marine Staff Sergeant Vincente Medina
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Marine Private First Class Tomas Tamayo
Kari Coleman ...
Maggie Scott
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Victor 'Popeye' Carmado
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Pete Lewis
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Glenda
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Mickey Diaz (as Héctor A. García)
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Storyline

Acting on a report of shots fired, the Metro PD finds the body of Marine Pfc. Emilio Salazar; Gibbs and company investigate. Salazar, 18, had grown up in the same neighborhood where he died; he enlisted four months ago, and he was scheduled for deployment next week; someone at the scene wrote Gibbs's Marine Corps service number in blood. Salazar had a criminal record since age 12; all his offenses were juvenile and gang-related; his body bore gang tattoos. Ducky says that Salazar died slowly after a single round to his chest, and that machine-gun fire strafed his body six hours postmortem. Gibbs calls Franks to Washington, DC, to help find someone; Franks says that Colombia was a long time ago. Gibbs and Franks chase the leads and question the sources; they feel puzzled, but they continue to fit the pieces together; finally they get the rest of the picture while speaking with a gentle, kindly former-Vista volunteer neighborhood social worker. Written by DocRushing

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10 February 2009 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gibbs' badge shows his NCIS Service Number as 867-5309. See more »

Goofs

When Ziva and DiNozzo go to pick up "Popeye" Carmado, a MetroLink train passes on the tracks in the background. MetroLink trains are the commuter rail service for the Los Angeles area. See more »

Quotes

[to Gibbs, who saved his mother's life eighteen years earlier]
Marine Private First Class Tomas Tamayo: You're the reason I became a Marine.
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Connections

References The French Connection (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Want To Be On TV
Performed by The The Airborne Toxic Event
(When Abby is dancing)
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User Reviews

 
Just like the Opeth album
28 April 2010 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Deliverance. Now there's a word that can mean just about anything, though it's probable that most people's first thought would be "being freed of something", but it can also mean a concrete delivery of something. And this episode offers multiple solutions, not all of which are mutually exclusive. I add one star for just the clever-but-thankfully-not-"hey look how clever we are" way the writers play with the audience's expectations about what they are referring to with the word (BTW, words by themselves don't refer to anything, as George Yule points out in his book, Study of Language. Now there's food for thought.). Since it would be a spoiler and in this very case I want to avoid that spoiler, you'll just have to take my word that the "deliverance" they refer to is quite brilliant.

So, aside from wordplay, why is this episode any better than the usual 7/10 NCIS episodes? Well, first of all, it maintains a steady pace throughout, but instead of mucho action set pieces (though there are a couple), this one opts for *both* the intellectual and emotional paths. Therefore, it's more engaging. Although a typical 10-year old might complain about the lack of explosions... Also, the cast is in top form in this one. Pretty much every joke, every look, every expression is pitch perfect. Usually, someone is just coasting along in the acting department, but this time everyone shines. Of course, Abby steals the show as usual, although that's just my subjective opinion - I'm pretty convinced that she's the most likable character in TV of the '00s. And as you can see from the plot outline, Mike Franks pops up too, which is never a bad thing - although often a sign of trouble. His scenes with Vance are just fantastic.

But this episode really belongs to Gibbs, and Mark Harmon delivers (heh heh) a nicely restrained performance - but he also manages to convey to the viewer that there is an enormous inner turmoil in Gibbs. That's where the emotional path through this episode runs. The writers find new ways to play out the old "Will he be able to separate his feelings from his duty?" question, with a brilliant pay-off. That's about All That Can Be Safely Written. Oh, the Opeth reference in my review summary? This episode is like that album. It twists and turns, at times lulls you into serenity and then hits you squarely in the face with a massive hammer. And you enjoy every second of it. 9/10.


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