The body of a Marine corporal, minus his feet, shows up in the trunk of a junked car; Gibbs and company investigate. Abby and McGee go to Mexico on business; Abby returns with concerns. The gang figure out who killed the Marine and others.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Leon Vance (credit only)
Velvet Road
Frank Smith
Pamela Cook


At an automotive recycling yard the body of a Marine corporal shows up in the trunk of a car; while at the scene Gibbs and the gang see that someone has amputated both feet. Ducky in his shop points out several troubling items, and Tony and Ziva find a troubling cargo inside a truck. Abby goes to Mexico to conduct a class, and McGoo goes to protect her; they take the students outside to do some field work, and several locals interfere; Abby makes several discoveries about an old cold case, and she takes action. Meanwhile Gibbs and the others have figured out who killed the previous victims, but not who killed the last one; then Gibbs finds out who killed the Marine. Abby goes to Gibbs's basement and talks with him from her heart. Written by DocRushing

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

snake | serpent | poison | See All (3) »





Release Date:

11 May 2010 (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?


Gibbs' rule no. 40: If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are. See more »


At one point Anthony DiNozzo refers to a particular machine as a "trash compactor"; however, that term is wrong. A trash compactor, in the usual context, is a mechanical truck body mounted on a truck chassis - a trash truck or garbage truck, as seen often on collection routes in residential neighborhoods. The correct term for a device at a recycling yard is a car crusher, car cruncher, or car smasher. See more »


Abby Sciuto: The only thing I do know is that I didn't find this out by accident.
Special Agent Jethro Gibbs: Rule 40?
Abby Sciuto: "If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are."
See more »


Subliminal Criminal
Written by Richard Wolf and Brian Wayy
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User Reviews

Justifiable Homicide
8 March 2011 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

The seeds infrequently planted throughout the season finally sprout into a main plot, also marking the beginning of the longest continuous story so far: 4 episodes, the final one being spared for the following season. Structurally, that is pretty ambitious for a mostly-episodic series where there is no pre-planned Babylon 5 style Mytharc and in which character development takes over half a decade.

For the record, NCIS is usually great entertainment, but rarely merits more than 8/10.

The Burning Question of Tony and Ziva's stories of their night in Paris is neatly brought up again. It's also nice that we are shown how neither Tony nor Ziva do not mind the other being almost cheek to cheek with them when peering at a monitor screen over their shoulder. A nice nod to long-time fans is the mention a certain event in Abby and McGee's history. McGee's jealousy over Abby is also great. The fact that the actual case of the week is one of the most gruesome in NCIS history works great with the ominous atmosphere created by the arc plot. And then there is a nice surprise, after which comes the first episode-ending cliffhanger. A wrenching cliffhanger. Great start, 8/10.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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