After an elaborate setup Tony and Ziva break into a classified Navy facility; however, that test is itself a ruse by which to identify a mole within the NCIS. Gibbs and Lee meet in the chat room, and Gibbs says that now they work together.



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A cadaver packed in dry ice inside a wooden crate arrives at a highly classified secure Navy facility; Gibbs and company receive a call, then start an investigation on-site; however, those events are a setup to enable the Gibbs gang to test the physical security of the facility. Further, that test is itself a ruse by which to identify and catch a mole within the NCIS. Gibbs, Tony, and Ziva meet the SecNav. The door to Abbyville causes problems. Vance calls a meeting in the evidence garage, and he sends Lee out on an errand. The team meet Lee outside; that leads to a session between Gibbs and Lee in his chat room. Gibbs says that he and Lee now work together. Written by DocRushing

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Release Date:

18 November 2008 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the beginning of the episode, Ziva comments that Tony needs a "tension breaker." One of the most notable "tension breakers" was during the final exam in Summer School (1987), starring Mark Harmon See more »


While Abby is waiting in the interrogation room, being questioned by McGee, she keeps saying she's refusing to speak. She pretends to zip her lips closed and only opens them to say a few words. Throughout the scene, she keeps inadvertently closing and opening her "zipper" in opposite/inconsistent directions to speak or not speak. See more »


Navy Lieutenant Robert Deckard: Dead sailor in a box. Delivery manifest had no origin.
NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee: I gotta ask you this: Did you order a dead body?
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References Battlestar Galactica (2004) See more »


Blessed Are the Cursed
Written by Dominic Kelly
Performed by Dominic Kelly
Courtesy of Screw the Pooch ASCAP
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User Reviews

The Format Breaker
28 March 2010 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

OK, I'll admit that I am a fan of NCIS (how come it doesn't say "Naval Criminal Investigative Service" in the opening credits?) but I don't let that cloud my objectivity. Most episodes are worth 6 to 7 stars, ie. above the average (5.5) on the scale of 1 to 10, from the worst sh*t in the universe (Batman & Robin = 1) to the best (would have to list all, so to conserve space, I list none). Every now and then we get an 8. But with the exception of the best-viewed-in-a-continuous-edit-version "Judgment Day", I haven't seen a 9 since season three's "Ravenous" (3.17) - although the average rating of that episode is a little under 8...

Anyway, this is such a good episode, and also what in the TV entertainment terminology is known as a Format Breaker, that it would be unfair to spoil it. Let's just concentrate on the big picture. The script is *fantastic*. Oftentimes, when attempting these kind of pay-attention-or-you-loose-track-of-the-plot episodes, the writers get too clever for themselves and either make the episode hard to follow, or, unnecessarily complicated just to show how clever they think they are. Neither is the case here. The plot has more twists and turns than your average episode of "24", yet it's not difficult to follow *and* makes sense (which "24" often doesn't, sadly). The characters are given some of their best scenes and several themes that have been, over many episodes, slowly burning in the background now rise to the surface. And it is *thrilling*. The suspense and laughs are superbly interwoven. Poor acting, directing and/or editing could have wasted the potential, but the execution of the script is pretty much flawless.

So, why not 10? Unlike way too many people (I've had a look at many vote breakdowns of various episodes of various shows), I don't rate pretty much every episode of my favorite show (or the show, for that matter) 10/10, because 10/10 means absolute perfection, with no room for improvement. Since this is part of a larger storyline and not the climax of it, it *can't* be 10/10. We are not given the whole story, just a part from the middle. True, that does not prevent an episode from being a 10/10, the most famous example being one that somehow, despite many plot holes and other problems, still is The Best Episode That Is Neither the Start Nor the End of the Story™. I'm of course talking about a certain Episode V. Besides, one has to hope that the climax actually surpasses this by being a 10/10. Otherwise, what would the point of waiting for it be?

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