Paloma confronts Jackson in his store, in Stillwater, Pennsylvania; her goons shoot up the store, but Jack escapes; the next four months he stays with Jethro and a pair of protective agents. The gang watch for Paloma; then they investigate an unplanned landing of a helo in West Virginia; the pilot, a reservist, died; Gibbs sees that Paloma was one of the passengers. Franks walks into Gibbs's house, then a dead body shows up in Frederick, Maryland. Rivera goes to Vance's office, asks to make a deal, and leaves something behind, and Paloma calls Gibbs. Dolls start turning up, and an agent dies; Jack, Franks, and Jethro go fishing; Vance invites Rivera for a chat, so they talk, but news interrupts, then McGeek intervenes. Rivera takes the matter into his own hands, and he produces an unintended and unexpected result. Franks goes back to Mexico, and Jack and Jethro go back to Stillwater. Vance files Abby's report, then he moves on to another case.
Paloma's goons shoot up Jackson's store, but he escapes, then he stays with Jethro. A helo lands, and two die, as do an agent and another person. Rivera takes matters into his own hands, but he produces an unintended and unexpected result.
- (Previously -- Abby goes to Mexico to look at the 20 year old case of drug dealer Pedro Hernandez, the guy Gibbs killed for murdering his family. Gibbs goes to Mexico to find his mentor Mike Franks but finds the dead body of Col Murton Bell instead. Paloma Reynosa threatens Gibbs' dad.)
Paloma visits Gibbs dad, menacingly flipping his "Open" sign on the door to "Closed", while trying to intimidate Jack. He pulls his Winchester rifle on her knowing instinctively (obviously based off a gut feeling the same way as Gibbs does) that she is there to harm him. When she reaches for her gun that she has hidden in the back of her jeans, he fires a warning shot by her head. She pulls her gun. He stares her down.
She backs out.
Outside, Paloma gives the command to her goons to kill him. They rain a hail of bullets on his shop. When they go inside, he's not there.
Gibbs shares a cup of coffee with his pops, who makes him breakfast. His dad is fed up after months of living with his son. He hid out in his storm cellar at the time. He's ready to go home. But Gibbs says not till it's safe.
Tony watches footage of a shootout, a trap he walked into while following Rivera. No word from Franks.
They're still looking for Paloma.
Ziva's following a Cuban lead in Miami. McGee is at the Canadian border.
In the meantime, Gibbs and Tony are off to West Virginia. A helicopter pilot is dead by his copter. There's another body nearby. But the guns are missing.
Gibbs pulls up the copter's surveillance footage and there's the passenger, Paloma Reynosa.
Back at the office, Gibbs wants Ziva back from Miami. They talk to McGee in MTAC. He's surrounded by Mounties and horses.
He tells them DEA and the Mounties shut down a drug deal at the border that was tied to the Reynosa cartel.
In the morgue, Duckie examines the body found by the copter and finds geographically identifying bug bites. He empties stomach contents for Abby to examine.
Tony gets an IM from his dad, who wants to discuss his own "situation," but Tony says not now.
Ziva returns from Miami. She claims she was working, but he says he spies tan lines. Amused she tells him that she does not have any tans lines at all (basically indicating that she tans nude) and that a Reynosa drug shipment came into Miami recently by boat and Alejandro Rivera paid the mayor a visit.
At home, Gibbs' pops can tell his boy is restless. Gibbs tells her Paloma is around, but they don't know where. His dad asks him to come back and help fix up the store when this is all over.
They hear a door open and Gibbs pulls his gun. But it's Mike Franks.
Gibbs asks him what happened after the gunfight. He healed in a convent. "Drinking wine and playing cards with the sisters, I've never been closer to God," he says.
When Gibbs called to warn him, he got the girls safe. They burned his place and got his finger, but he got away.
Franks is fired up to help take on Paloma.
In the lab, Abby has her own guard and is asking him to help her choose a collar to wear. Gibbs comes in and states that her gaurd probably doesn't know anything at all about collars, but she clarifies that after having him guard her for the past few months she has come to appreciate his "quiet opinion". She then tells Gibbs that the stomach contents trace from Mississippi to the Panhandle. Based on the bug bites they went from Mexico, along the gulf and east coast -- drug routes. Gibbs reassures Abby that he has a plan, but to her frustration he doesn't share it with her. She is obviously very worried about her report coming into the wrong hands and objectively watches him leave.
McGee returns from Canada only to have to endure the teasing that Tony gives him about a horse there that seemed to really like him.
Gibbs shows them Paloma's path, solidifying her cartel pipeline. The DEA calls, saying there's a dead drug dealer in Maryland.
Vance gets a call from Ziva's dad, the Mossad director, but won't tell Gibbs about it. He thinks the dead dealer is a message for Gibbs. Vance wants to move the Gibbs boys to a safe house. He already knows Franks is in town.
Tony and McGee check out the dead dealer. Witness report a Hispanic woman in her mid-30s was there. The dead guy is a butcher but they think his shop was a drug distribution center. Tony guesses the dead guy's car is gone.
Chez Gibbs, Franks tries to rile Jackson to action. Franks wants to end things. Gibbs joins them and his dad says it's time to end things.
Alejandro Rivera, Paloma's brother, strolls into NCIS to see Vance.
He offers details of Paloma's operation in exchange for permission to extradite her to Mexico to be tried. Vance promises nothing. Rivera surreptitiously places a bug under his chair in Vance's office, then leaves.
The team sees Alejandro on his way out. He pauses to flirt with Abby. He asks about her report, which he says he never got. She says there's only one print out.
He tells her it's late and she should be getting home and warns her to be careful on her drive home. Hearing the threat, Gibbs steps to him. Vance says it's time for him to leave before he gets hurt -- by Vance.
Gibbs walks Abby to her car outside. Duckie brings up a Day of the Dead skeleton doll he just found against his windshield. Abby has one, too. Gibbs' phone rings. It's Paloma.
She threatens him and hangs up. Gibbs has McGee trace his last incoming call. It came from outside Gibbs' house. McGee calls the agents there but nobody picks up.
Gibbs races off.
At his house, he goes room by room with his gun drawn. Franks and Gibbs come up from the basement, unharmed. Outside, one agent is dead and another is injured. There's a skeleton inside. Gibbs knows she's not finished yet.
Vance and Gibbs confront Rivera, who pleads ignorance. He calls his embassy. Vance hangs up his phone and he and Gibbs leave.
Rivera walks around the corner and gets into a car -- with Paloma. She tells him it's time to avenge their father's death.
Back home, Gibbs asks his dad for help to stop things.
In Vance's office, he tells Tony that Gibbs is moving his dad to a safe house. The director watches as he leaves obviously waiting for a confirmation gesture. Tony gives him the sign he is looking for and he turns to his TV screen to look at a picture of Reynosa and two of her men sitting in the back seat of the helicopter from footage recorded while they were on it.
McGee tracks Rivera's cell phone.
Franks and the Gibbs boys arm up and head out.
Vance calls Rivera, saying he's ready to talk diplomacy.
Abby asks Duckie what happens if "this" doesn't work. She worries about Gibbs.
Vance meets with Rivera in his office to strike a deal. Tony explains that Gibbs and his father are alright but they are going to spend the night in a safe house. Tony then hands Vance a note which seems to make Vance flustered. He tells Rivera that they will have to cut the meeting short and that he can find an agent to escort him out.
They leave, allowing time for Rivera to grab the bug he planted earlier. He hesitates for a split second, obviously curious, then open the folder to find the note Vance was handed to by Tony says "Paloma Reynosa killed."
In MTAC, McGee blocks Rivera's calls to his sister as he heads for the safe house and Gibbs boys.
Tony thinks Gibbs plan to catch her might actually work.
Rivera creeps around the safe house with an automatic weapon. He fires a blast. Tony and Ziva pull up, taking him into custody. He says he did it to finish what Paloma started.
Gibbs walks up and Rivera realizes he's been had. But now he wants to know who was in the safe house.
Gibbs goes in and finds Paloma wounded inside.
Rivera goes to her and begs for forgiveness as she fades away. She looks at Gibbs and quotes "Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly (a poem by Mary Howitt). She asks Gibbs if he knows that poem then dies.
Later, in Vance's office, Franks comes by for his plane ticket to rejoin his family. Vance tells him not to miss the plane, obviously indicating that he wants Franks gone as soon as possible.
The Gibbs boys clean up pop's shop.
Vance goes down into the file room and puts Abby's report on Pedro's shooting in a box. He takes care to move another box on top of the one he places it in, making certain it is officially lost in a vast room of old archived paperwork so that it will never appear again, giving away the fact that Gibbs killed Pedro Hernandez.
As he is walking away he gets a text from Eli David that says: "I found him."