A man stumbles out of the bushes and into a street. A car full of distracted teenagers barrel down the street. The driver doesn't see him til she's on top of him. He bounces off the hood and falls into the street. They see he's been stabbed repeatedly in the back.
Tony comes in to work, peeved at McGee for standing him up. He wanted McGee to introduce him to a fellow nerd at the Air and Space Museum the night before. McGee says their plans are for the next night. Tony is further peeved at McGee for picking the sprinkles off his donut and blowing repeatedly on his coffee. McGee cancels any future plans.
Ziva thinks they're like a married couple, experiencing a seven year itch.
And then it's time for Gibbs to announce the body of the week: a dead sailor in Norfolk.
He's Justin Moss, who worked for the office of public affairs.
On the scene, Duckie says the victim was stabbed with a big knife. A blood trail indicates he was walking toward his house.
The street isn't the crime scene. Gibbs sends Tony and McGee to look for it.
They wander up to another crime scene, where DC police have marked the blood trail. Detective Phil McCadden meets them outside a hotel, offering "quid pro quo, Clarice." DiNozzo appreciates the Silence of the Lambs reference.
Inside, there's blood all over the walls. (Kill Bill reference follows.) There's a wine bottle and a couple glasses. Tires squeal outside and a woman runs up. She's looking for her husband, Justin. She was supposed to pick him up, he was meeting someone there. She knows who: a prostitute.
Back at NCIS, she explains her husband was a reporter for the Navy Herald, working on a story about high priced call girls in Norfolk.
McGee finds that Moss withdrew $1,000 right before his meeting, and two other times that month, times that correspond to him meeting with a source at a bar.
Ziva and McGee visit the Herald and talk to his editor. The $1,000 payments give him pause.
In the lab, Abby shows Gibbs motel security footage that shows a woman arriving and leaving an hour later. It's too far away to tell who it is.
The security footage at the bar shows he's meeting with Charlotte Cook, a woman who's been busted for prostitution but had a good lawyer who sprung her quickly, before DNA was taken.
Abby's excited to tell Gibbs that Charlotte used to work for Holly Snow, the former DC madam now serving community service.
DiNozzo and McCadden discuss the best movie set in San Francisco (Vertigo), and make plans for a movie man-date. Duckie shows them there are three previous similar homicides, they have a "multiple offender." DiNozzo and his new BFF high five.
Duckie tells Gibbs that Moss didn't have sex before he was killed, he was faithful to his wife.
McGee calls to say Charlotte Cook is off the grid.
Holly gives a sexual harassment seminar and Gibbs drops by. She knows him from when he busted her.
She doesn't think Charlotte would have anything to do with murder, but agrees to help Gibbs in exchange for... something she whispers in his ear. He calls it a deal breaker.
But she tells him to put her back in business, Charlotte will find her.
Vance doesn't immediately love Gibbs' plan to put Holly back in action to bust Charlotte for solicitation. That'd let them test for DNA and match it to the hairs found in the hotel.
Abby comes upstairs to stare at Holly. Ziva and McGee are taking calls for Holly, waiting for Charlotte to call. She does. Holly gives her the date info, telling her to ask for "Eddie" at the Adam's hotel.
At the hotel, McGee preps the hotel room with bugs. Tony comes out wearing a smoking jacket. Holly sets him straight, telling him to look like he's done this before and not focus on impressing her.
She tells him to ask for something off the menu. Charlotte will call Holly, not be able to reach her, then deal.
Charlotte arrives. She rips open her coat revealing a sexy dress. She slaps Tony, telling him he's been a bad boy. Holly tells him to change the menu and ask for "the spicy Canton." He hands her an envelope and excuses himself to the bathroom.
Charlotte reaches Holly's voice mail.
Watching the video feed, they see her take the money and put it in her purse. They arrest her.
Tony excuses himself to take a cold shower.
Back at NCIS, Charlotte's lawyer tries to say it was entrapment. Gibbs lays out the pictures of the victims. She says three of them were clients, but not the reporter. She just talked to him and thought he was nice. She wants to talk, denying she killed anyone, but her lawyer Dwight asks to talk to her in private.
Gibbs brings Holly coffee. She tells him Charlotte's not the killer. She tells him how she got into the business: she was an art history major at Wellesley when someone approached her and she learned how much she could make.
Gibbs gets a call from DiNozzo telling him there's another victim, killed while Charlotte was in their custody.
DiNozzo and McCadden drop by the crime scene, where Gibbs calls them T-Cad, like the cute new couple they are.
The victim has multiple stab wounds, they think the killer would have to be male to subdue him. He's another one of Charlotte's clients.
Tony and Phil head for a bite to eat.
Back at NCIS, Charlotte and her lawyer Dwight meet with Gibbs and Holly. Holly tells Charlotte that someone is following her. She wants the name of a john who might have been rough. Dwight tries to shut her up, but Holly shuts him down.
She tells him to look for Nicholas, a 50ish man who works for the State Department, gets jealous and plays rough.
Outside, Holly tells Gibbs she knows Nicolas, but he won't believe how.
They watch footage from one of Holly's speeches. She remembers a clingy audience member.
Gibbs takes Holly home.
Down in the lab, Abby reassures McGee that Tony's bromance will be over soon. He pretends not to care. Gibbs comes down and she reports she found the killer's blood in the latest victim's stab wound.
McGee reports that the suspect Nicolas Everett bought a hunting knife a few months ago. Abby says it matches the victim's wounds.
The killer's blood got into the victim when he cut himself with his own knife as he was stabbing; the killer will have a slice on the heel or palm of his hand.
Tony tells Gibbs that Nicolas was arrested for domestic abuse and has many complaints against him.
Walking to grab him, McCadden rubs Tony the wrong way by calling McGee a geek. They run into Nicolas coming out and grab him but see that there isn't a mark on his hands. He didn't do it.
At the office, they find Everett's alibi checks out and his knife is clean.
McGee says Holly is the only other connection between the victims. They track her ankle bracelet. Tony runs McCadden off, saying they can handle it.
Gibbs and Vance head into MTAC.
They lose the GPS signal. McGee gets Holly's text messages, including one from Charlotte asking for help. But Charlotte has been admitted to a hospital under a domestic violence protocol.
Gibbs visits her and finds her face is bashed in and hugely swollen. She says it was her boyfriend. Her lawyer, Dwight.
She says Dwight took her phone.
McGee tracks it from MTAC and tracks him to a foreclosed office complex. Tony stays with Charlotte while Gibbs heads out.
In an empty office, Dwight tells Holly that if Charlotte won't stop seeing other men, he's going to make sure she can't see them. He's got the knife in his hand and is standing behind her ready to pounce when Gibbs busts in shooting. Dwight goes down and Gibbs frees Holly. Dead Dwight has a deep slice on his hand.
Back at the office, Tony takes a call from McCadden, telling him there won't be a next time. Tony makes peace with McGee, calling him annoying. And Tony's juvenile. Things are back to normal.
Gibbs and Holly share a quiet dinner of steak and beer. She thanks him for delivering on her "deal breaker," a quiet dinner with a friend. "We're friends?" Gibbs asks.
Her phone rings. She asks someone what time and says she'll see what she can do. She gets off the phone and says she can explain. She says she has to go. They settle on being friends and she gives him a kiss on the head as she leaves.