NCIS (2003– )
5 user 1 critic

Rock and a Hard Place 

Backstage before a charity-benefit concert in Washington, DC, an explosion kills a Navy petty officer first-class; Gibbs and company investigate; Abby fingers the bad guy, McGee finds out about him, and Gibbs and Ellie catch him at work.


Arvin Brown


Donald P. Bellisario (created by), Don McGill (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Harmon ... Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Michael Weatherly ... Anthony DiNozzo
Pauley Perrette ... Abby Sciuto
Sean Murray ... Timothy McGee
Brian Dietzen ... Jimmy Palmer
Emily Wickersham ... Ellie Bishop
Rocky Carroll ... Leon Vance (credit only)
David McCallum ... Donald Mallard
Keith Carradine ... Mannheim Gold
Joel Brooks ... Ronnie Mustard
David Shatraw David Shatraw ... Bobby Quinn
John Sloan ... Luke Pischedda
Hank Harris ... Denny Johnson A.K.A Nerdy Man
Javi Mulero ... Earl Grieve
Sue Cremin ... Vivian Sutton


Backstage at the Convention Center, Washington, DC, during preparations for a fund-raising concert to benefit the Hero Comfort Foundation, an explosion kills two men: a janitor and a volunteer worker, who was also a Navy petty officer first-class; Gibbs and company investigate; the fire chief said that the source of the detonation is a part of the warhead of a WW2-era torpedo. McGee and Ellie speak with Mannheim Gold, the apparent target of the explosion; during questioning his agent shows up and starts running his mouth. Mannheim goes home with Tony, then to a sudden gig. The concert takes place at a different venue. Abby deduces who planted the bomb, McGee digs up that man's past, and Gibbs and the gang put the pieces together; they figure out the reason for the bomb and the change of venue, then Gibbs and Ellie find the bad guys and a bunch of loot. Palmer experiences some good ups and a disappointing down. Written by DocRushing

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 March 2014 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Featured in NCIS: Keep Going (2017) See more »


NCIS Theme
Performed by Numeriklab
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User Reviews

Every good series has a dud now and then
25 March 2014 | by stl4646See all my reviews

Possibly the worst episode of NCIS ever witnessed. Choppy, uninteresting, silly character for Carradine, no interesting input from Ziva's replacement.. It was simply a terrible episode for such a fine series. The plot was not believable and characters like the suspect's agent were annoying. It feels like the writers thought "oh wow we'll have Keith Carradine guest star and no matter what the plot is, if we dress him up to look like an aging hippie, everyone will think its cool. Well it wasn't. And even though the writers have mapped Bishop out to be a nice person with high intelligence, her character seems little more than filler, someone to take up space on the camera. They should have given Cote de Pablo the money she wanted. She was worth it.

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