NCIS: Season 7, Episode 11

Ignition (5 Jan. 2010)
"NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" Ignition (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Comedy | Crime
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 202 users  
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An investigation into the death of an aviator and an experimental jet pack is hindered by a lawyer who appears to have a vendetta against NCIS.



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Title: Ignition (05 Jan 2010)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Tillman
Captain James Powell
Vanessa Tillman
Commander Peter Sheridan
Ranger Mina
Ranger Jake (as Brandon Bell)


Navy test pilot lieutenant commander Brad 'Hondo' Sayer is found half-burn by park rangers in the Virgianian Appalachians. He was flying a jet-pack in his spare time, but it exploded. The manufacturer, Victor Tillman, paid him well as the Navy refused the project, but ignored his ex and competitor Vanessa paid him to fly a prototype she got in the divorce as well. Given his expertise, McGee is made key investigator. Lawyer Margaret Allison Hart is his greatest obstacle. Autopsy by Palmer shows Brad was poisoned before. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

5 January 2010 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the NCIS team is looking at the "mug shot" for lawyer Allison Hart, it says in the fine print she works for a firm called "Wolfram, Hart", an in-joke by the writer no doubt. Jesse Stern, who used to be David Greenwalt's assistant on the series ANGEL, which featured an evil law firm of the same name, wrote this episode. See more »


When discussing the propellants used by the jet-pack, McGee states that the use of Hydrogen Peroxide and Kerosene as fuels is highly unusual. This mix of fuels was used extensively by the British between 1955 and 1971 for a number of very successful rockets, culminating in the Black Arrow space launch vehicle. See more »


Special Agent Timothy McGee: It was his!
Ziva David: What was?
Special Agent Timothy McGee: The pack. It didn't belong to either of the Tillmans, it belonged to Sayers.
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: He built his own jet pack?
Special Agent Timothy McGee: The pack uses fighter jet engineering. That's the missing piece. Sayers ripped off the technology from both of the Tillmans and...
Ziva David: He borrowed from the Navy, as well, to build his own version, which used the best of all three.
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: But it crashed.
Ziva David: So, it was not very good.
Special Agent Timothy McGee: That was the intention. The intention was to crash. To dispose of the body where it wouldn't be ...
See more »


References Thunderball (1965) See more »


Heart Attack Machine
Written by Richard Wolf & Brian Wayy
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User Reviews

Jumped the Shark
22 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

*** Spoiler Alert ***

"Truth or Consequences" was a stretch: what if Gibbs couldn't see the bad guy to shoot him? It worked because the pathos was focused on Ziva. However, in "Ignition," the classic NCIS working formula, patter, relationships, expressions, personalities, even camera angles have lost the formula. It felt like walking with a rock in my shoe.

Show us, don't tell us: Bellisario didn't have to explain catapults on a flight deck in "Agent Afloat." Going hyper-geek with the dinosaur theory on top of the benefits of forest fires, soon to be followed by more monologues about the history of jet packs, only to explain it away with the "we got it" apology, was tedious. The technology is usually very well handled: Abby always has a point to her drawn-out explanations, but it's a bore if it's just monologue and doesn't add to the plot of the story. (Bellisarius knows how to explain technology by weaving it in without boring the audience and how characters should react to the explanation.)

Gibbs was too patient with the McGee short and seemed to be lost throughout the episode, instead of pushing harder for answers. He's usually the tension in the room that elicits critical thinking, sometimes by just staring. Here, Gibbs continually pauses and is confused, even just smiling. Gibbs doesn't pause to be Gibbs; for the first time in the NCIS series, I saw Mark Harmon instead of Gibbs.

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