Welcome to the 200th episode of NCIS.
Gibbs pulls up to his regular diner to get coffee. He knows the names of an elderly couple leaving the diner, and is very friendly to the waitress - seems he's a regular. A man, whose face we don't see, gets up from the counter and walks toward Gibbs, putting his hand in his pocket. He pulls out a gun.
Gibbs sees him and draws his own, telling him to put down the gun. Gibbs' life flashes in front of his eyes. In a flash of light, he sees the bullet suspended in mid-air. Mike Franks, his late mentor, walks up and flicks the bullet away. Gibbs father and the team are seated at a couple of booths. He also sees his old friend, Private Joan Matteson (deceased), who calls out joyfully to him. As Gibbs replies, a young version of himself passes by and goes to Matteson.
Franks tells Gibbs he shouldn't have hesitated and people want to show him what he's accomplished. "Jethro, this is your life we're talking about," Franks says.
Former NCIS Director Jenny Shepherd (Lauren Holly) is there. They give each other a poignant look. Gibbs picks up the menu, which only has steak, coffee, whiskey listed on it.
Franks tells Gibbs "people" want to give him closure, show him all the good he did. Ziva's dead terrorist brother Ari strolls by.
24 Hours Earlier
At the office, Tony and Ziva are obsessing over the fact McGee switched his computer monitors.
Gibbs arrives with the body of the week: a dead petty officer on the USS Gentry. It's been dry docked for weeks for repair.
Onboard, they check out the body in the control room. She has a gun in her hand.
Ziva follows a blood trail to a nearby cargo bay. They find a man who has been shot. He's still alive, but out cold.
Back in the ethereal diner, Franks tells Gibbs he "earned" the playback. Gibbs protests that he was just doing his job. Ari is playing chess with Leon Vance at the counter. FBI Agent Farnell is there, too, he lifts his cup to acknowledge Gibbs.
Franks takes Gibbs back to the office, telling him one decision can change everything. Ducky walks by nodding to Gibbs with a muttered, "Jethro". At the office they talk about Kate. There's a picture of Tony with Kate (Sasha Alexander) on a desk.
Gibbs' flashes back to the day Ari shot Kate on a roof. Franks says "this time" Gibbs saw Ari and stopped him.
If Kate hadn't died, things would be different. We see the scene, but this time Gibbs is able to call in air support and scare Ari off.
Tony comes to the hospital frantic from being undercover, worried he missed it. Abby and McGee, obviously a couple, calm him down before he takes off down the hall. The doctor shows him to a room where an exasperated Kate is waiting in a hospital bed. Tony says something about her looking "less fat" and then says "Oh, boy" to which the doctor replies, "Yes" and introduced Tony to his son. If Kate had lived, Ziva would have stayed Mossad.
Flash to Tony interrogating Ziva.
Franks tells Gibbs that there was more to the case yesterday than Gibbs saw coming.
In the office,Tony snoops through McGee's desk while Ziva watches. She urgently whispers, "albatross!" as McGee approaches. He comments that they've teamed up to snoop. Ziva says that they are curious and concerned. Gibbs interrupts asking for an update.
Petty Officer Janet McCaffrey had a spotless record but made two deposits over $30,000 in the last week.
The civilian is Peter Germaine and he's still in the ICU. He works for a ship building company that was just bought by a Hong Kong company. There are some security concerns about a foreign country doing work on US ships.
In the lab, Gibbs finds a shirtless Jimmy Palmer laying on a table and Abby is massaging his abs. Jimmy tells Gibs that he pulled a muscle and that Abby was "Rolfing" him. He quickly leaves as Gibbs gives him The Stare. Abby tells Gibbs the two bullets in McCaffrey and one in Germaine came from the gun left in Germaine's hand. There was a partial print belonging to Michael Rose, a freelance systems analyst who does work with Navy intel. All three had clearance to be on board. Gibbs says, "Who knew Palmer had abs like that?" as he wanders out and Abby grins.
At the diner, a waitress serves Gibbs pie with chocolate sauce, just like his mom used to. He recognizes his mom Anne. She tells him she's proud of him. She says he gets to go home eventually. She tells him he could have been easier on his dad, it's hard raising a son. "Just ask Michael Rose," she says.
Back at the office, McGee says Michael Rose is a 42 year old divorced systems analyst facing foreclosure on his home. He has a 17 year old son named Stephen. Rose deposited $20,000 48 hours ago, his coworkers haven't seen him.
He made two calls to secure diplomatic lines in DC. Gibbs thinks he was calling the Chinese Embassy.
Back on the ship, Tony needles McGee until he tells him Vance offered him the head of the cyber crimes unit in Okinawa. Tony already knew, and says it's too good an opportunity to pass up. McGee finds his sincerity disconcerting. Tony tells him to trust his gut.
Ziva waits for Stephen Rose to get home. He swings his lacrosse stick at her, then explains his dad says he has to protect himself from the Chinese and they might have trouble.
Back at the diner, his mom tells Gibbs he hasn't made his mind up yet. The headline of a newspaper reads "NCIS Agent kills suspect". Gibbs hasn't pulled the trigger yet.
Dead NCIS Agent Riley McAlister joins Gibbs in a booth. He's there because Gibbs needs him, but Gibbs just thinks of him as a crook and a murderer. He calls Gibbs the same and reminds Gibbs of Mexico and Pedro Hernandez, the man Gibbs killed to avenge the deaths of his wife and daughter.
Gibbs imagines what would have happened if he hadn't killed Hernandez, but says he had to. If he hadn't, Abby wouldn't be carrying around the huge secret she has. He asks what would have happened to him if he hadn't.
24 Hours earlier
Gibbs sits down with Stephen Rose, a nice honest kid. Gibbs tells him his dad is selling secrets to the Chinese, but Stephen says he just got pulled in with some bad people.
His dad called last night and sounded scared.
Gibbs sees Pedro Hernandez sitting down the diner counter and fixates on him. Franks says if Gibbs hadn't shot him, it would have eaten Gibbs up.
Cut to fat out of shape Gibbs in his basement, swilling from a bottle. The team comes to check on him, they haven't seen him in months. He hasn't been the NCIS boss in years. The boat is back in the basement.
He just wants to be left alone. He's surly. Abby tells him Kate had her baby (this time a girl ) and named her Kelly, Gibbs' dead daughter's name. He doesn't want them to stay. Abby and McGee are together (sensing a pattern here ; ) ).
Duckie tells him to stop thinking about himself and think about the ones who love him. He kicks them out, saying he doesn't want their pity. Duckie asks, "Then what *do* you want?"
Back in the diner, Franks tells him folks do the wrong things for the right reasons and maybe Gibbs isn't so different from Michael Rose.
Back on the ship, Gibbs, McGee, Tony and Stephen Rose look for Michael. A search dog barks at a storage room door. Stephan talks to his dad, saying they just want to help.
Michael comes out with his hands up.
Gibbs picks a bullet up off the diner floor. He sees his daughter Kelly, she takes him to his late wife. She tells him they've been waiting for him. Kelly is drawing a picture of the three of them.
Back in interrogation, Gibbs tells Rose that Germaine just died in ICU. Rose says he thought it would be easy, they had a plan. Germaine had the connection with the Chinese and Rose was supposed to do the download, but he changed his mind, worrying about his honor and the lives he'd be putting at risk. He says he tried to call the Chinese embassy to back out, but when he went to the ship that night to erase the hard drive, they were already there. He claims he killed them in self-defense. He needed the money to save his family.
Back in the diner, Gibbs tells his wife he shouldn't have let her testify and he should have known better. Kelly tells him it wasn't his decision and his wife says if they hadn't died, he wouldn't have joined NIS. If they hadn't died, he would have stayed a Marine and they would have been on the other side of the situation.
At the Gibbs' house, he's overseas and there's a knock at the door. His wife and daughter see Marines in dress uniforms.
In the diner, his wife tells him he doesn't get it both ways.
Back at NCIS, Gibbs tells Stephen to head home. Stephen asks him for help, saying his dad is just trying to do what's right. Gibbs says killing two people wasn't right. Stephen sees he's not going to help him.
At the diner, from the moment Gibbs first walks in. He sits down for coffee.
The gunman gets up and walks toward him. He pulls the gun and Gibbs draws his, but he pauses. Stephen is the shooter. He fires, grazing Gibbs in the shoulder. Gibbs still doesn't fire. He lowers his gun and Stephen does the same. Two men from the diner tackle Stephen. Stephen is weeping and telling Gibbs that he's so sorry.
Gibbs hears Mike Franks voice, saying that apparently Gibbs isn't finished yet. He looks over to a booth and sees what looks like the back of Mike Franks, when he looks again - no one is there.
Back at the office, McGee announces he's not talking the job in Okinawa, he thinks he has more to do here. Tony and Ziva are pleased that he is staying.
Gibbs comes in announcing a dead Marine in DC. He's all healed and ready to head out. As the team members try to get him to take it easy after the previous days shooting, Gibbs tells them, "My choice, I wouldn't have it any other way" He pauses and looks back at the office for a long moment, then smiles and fade to black.
A note appears thanking viewers for 200 episodes.