Gibbs learns that Vance, the director, has begun working a case by borrowing some of the members and other resources of the Gibbs team; an ME in Chicago, Illinois, has shipped to Ducky for an autopsy the body of a boxer, which the Chicago PD had fished out of Lake Michigan. Vance, McGee, and Ziva are in Chicago; Vance says that a former member of the Marine Corps has disappeared, and that he will send a material witness to Washington, DC, under protection. Gibbs wonders whether Vance has overstepped his authority. To avoid "talking" about Vance's case, Gibbs and Abby communicate via sign language; Gibbs shows up at Vance's house, and Vance's wife informs Gibbs that he'll stay for dinner. Vance has profound conversations with Gibbs and with Joe Banks, a suspect from Chicago; Tony says that Joe is not the right one. Eventually Vance receives word from Chicago about what took place, then he goes again to Chicago and takes part in a memorial service.
Vance, using members of the Gibbs team, in Chicago works the case of the murder of a man who, Vance insists, was once a member of the Marine Corps. Gibbs wonders whether Vance has exceeded his authority. Later Vance hears what happened.
- A boxers death leads to Vance starting his own investigation; Gibbs looks into Vance's past.