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 (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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Surround)


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mark Harmon's son Sean plays the young Leroy Jethro Gibbs in this episode. See more »


The fictional class rings for the fictional high school show the name "Still Water" as two words with a space, whereas the name of the town, both the one in the show and the real one in Pennsylvania, is "Stillwater" as one word without a space. See more »


Jackson Gibbs: Everybody's always lying to you all the time. Can't you *ever* take things as you see 'em?
NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs: I see people *lying* to me!
Jackson Gibbs: You were such a happy child.
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
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User Reviews

My favourite episode by far
23 March 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As an avid viewer of NCIS for a long time now, I have shared experiences and relationships with the characters. I enjoy the episodes where characters pasts are dragged up, and I think it is good to see more about where Gibbs has come from. The touching story of him meeting his first wife (Shannon) is heartfelt, and the relationship between Gibbs and his father is different than the relationship held between himself and other characters, although, Gibbs attitude is exactly what any long term fan would expect. Mark Harmon is able to play the role very well, as in all episodes, and the plot twist is very good. This episode defines a series that I can only describe as perfect.

This is my favourite TV show, and this is my favourite episode.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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