An ambush in an alley behind a bar leaves one Marine dead and one very ill; the gang investigate. The survivor is from Gibbs's hometown, and the team goes there; flashbacks abound. The bunch put the pieces together and nail the bad guys.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Leon Vance (credit only)
Nick Kingston
Janet LaCombe
Emily Kingston
Geno Monteiro ...
Sergeant Seth Welch
Shannon Fielding (as Aviva)


A fight in an alley behind a bar leaves one Marine corporal dead and another critically ill; the gang investigate; Gibbs says that the event was an ambush, not a bar brawl. The survivor is from Gibbs's hometown; Gibbs and Ducky agree that the survivor may have been the target of the attack. McGee and Ziva go with Gibbs to the town, where they meet Gibbs's father and others; they learn that everyone in town believes that the Marine died four years ago. Flashbacks abound; Gibbs finds lies and liars. McGee and Ziva gather evidence, but it disappears, so Tony and Abby join them, and they get more evidence; then they all put the pieces together and nail the bad guys. Written by DocRushing

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 October 2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Surround)


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


There really is a Stillwater, PA (allegedly Gibb's home town). It is about midway between Williamsport and Wilkes-Barre in Columbia County along PA 487 in north-eastern Pennsylvania. See more »


On the DVD, the closed caption says that Ducky, who has come from the opera, hums "The Magic Flute." In fact, he is humming "Non piu andrai" from "The Marriage of Figaro." See more »


Jackson Gibbs: [to Ziva] Tells a story, 20 dollars in your wallet is just paper, put it on the ground, it's full of wonder
See more »


References A Night at the Opera (1935) See more »


Forge the Nebulous
Written by Dominic Kelly
Performed by Dominic Kelly
Courtesy of Screw the Pooch ASCAP
See more »

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User Reviews

A Classic within a Classic
4 February 2014 | by (Wigan, England) – See all my reviews

A bittersweet episode where Gibbs is faced with dealing with his 'private past' whilst investigating the case. The anguish and posturing between father and son on meeting up after nearly 20 years without contact is fascinating to watch in the way it develops. Both tackling their loss of Wife/Mother/Daughter(in law)in different ways but both grieving at the expense of their own relationship, due to misunderstandings and lack of communication. Only for the bridge to be crossed and reconciliation in the common cause. Intertwined is the story through Gibbs eyes of how he first met Shannon, a love that never dies, whilst his team try to come to terms with the fact that not only does he have a past, he has a father. A compelling episode in a Series that continues to grow, never disappoints in how the characters deal with their relationships within the wider changing team, and in amongst all of this is a case to be investigated.

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