NCIS (2003– )

The Tie That Binds 

Ducky looks back on a choice he made 37 years ago when evidence in the murder of a Navy captain is linked to his dead mother.


Arvin Brown


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

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Harmon ... Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Pauley Perrette ... Abby Sciuto
Sean Murray ... Timothy McGee
Wilmer Valderrama ... Nick Torres
Jennifer Esposito ... Alex Quinn
Brian Dietzen ... Jimmy Palmer
Emily Wickersham ... Ellie Bishop
Duane Henry ... Clayton Reeves
Rocky Carroll ... Leon Vance
David McCallum ... Donald Mallard
Adam Campbell ... Young Donald Mallard
Adam Croasdell ... Young Angus Clarke
Juliette Angelo ... Emily Fornell
Caroline Lagerfelt ... Mrs. Victoria Mallard
Charles Shaughnessy ... Balthazar Kilmeany


The team investigates the death of a Navy Captain who's under investigation for selling secrets. They go through his things and find an address which turns out to be the house where Ducky and his mother lived before she died. They learn the man went there and was looking for Ducky's mother. Further investigation unearths a name, which Ducky says is the name of the man his mother nearly married 40 years ago. Ducky says when he met the man, he got a bad vibe off him and had him checked out and learned he was not a gentleman. They later learn the Captain hired a private investigator to find the man. They wonder what the Captain wants with the man. But Ducky wonders could it be him because he would be well over a 100 by now if he's still alive. Fornell's daughter tries to get him to leave Gibbs and come home. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

13 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Ducky's full name is Donald Horatio Mallard. See more »


At the end of the episode modern Ducky is seen standing side by side with younger Ducky and it is clear that the actor playing the younger Ducky is quite a bit shorter than the current Ducky. Thou much older, Ducky doesn't seem to suffer from the back issues that would cause that much loss of height. See more »


Young Donald Mallard: You made the right decision.
Donald Mallard: Did I?
Young Donald Mallard: Yes! Mother's fiancee was bent as a two-headed penny - a con man, a thief.
Donald Mallard: Even thieves fall in love.
Young Donald Mallard: Rubbish. Making him leave was the right call. And might I add so is whatever you're doing with your skin. You look fantastic!
Donald Mallard: I'm not really complimenting myself, am I?
Young Donald Mallard: Just take it.
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NCIS Theme
Performed by Numeriklab
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