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◄ Back to 7.18 JurisdictionNCIS Episode Recap: Jurisdiction
Original Airdate: March 16, 2010
Recap Author: callerbear
A Marine platoon is doing Physical Training -- today's exercise is a formation run along the beach. Unexpectedly, one of the marines breaks formation, stops running and looks intently at something along the beach. His unhappy sergeant halts the platoon and chastises the wayward marine, until the marine shows him what caught his attention: a decomposed body half-buried in the sand, still wearing a wet suit and breathing apparatus.
Roll the opening credits.
In the squadroom, the team is unsuccessfully searching their desk and work area for the keys to the NCIS van. They're about to head down to the basement to search the garbage dumpsters when Gibbs arrives. "Got a dead body. Navy diver. Who's driving?" The team begins to tell him that there's a problem, until Gibbs shows them the van keys he found in the elevator. As he leaves, he tosses the keys over his shoulder into the middle of the floor, and the team scrambles for the privilege of driving.
Ducky and Palmer work their way across the sandy beach while Ducky reminisces about his time spent on beaches as a youth. (He still shudders at the thought of eating snails.) The diver's tank still contains oxygen. Fish have chewed off a great deal of his flesh. It appears that a propeller chopped off his left forearm, but after he was dead. Time of death was 3 to 5 days earlier. According to the wet suit markings, the diver is Lieutenant Michael Jensen. He's a master diver currently on leave, so his unit hasn't yet reported him as missing. Ducky discovers a puncture wound through the wet suit. It looks like the diver's companion stabbed him, then left him in the water to die. This wasn't an accident.
Gibbs and DiNozzo visit Jensen's home. As they approach the front door, Gibbs realizes that it's not completely closed. They enter, prepared for resistance, and check the home for intruders. Gibbs goes down one hallway while DiNozzo checks a different direction. As Tony calls out "Clear, Boss", a red-headed woman with long hair steps in behind him and holds her gun to his back. "Maybe not completely clear," Tony amends. Gibbs steps out behind the woman, but then her partner draws from behind Gibbs. Eventually matters resolve: The other team is from CGIS, the Coast Guard Investigative Service. The woman is Special Agent Abigail Borin. When she realizes that her 'probie' is gaping while holding his firearm, she delivers a Gibbs-like head-slap and tells him to put his weapon away. "That's a nice head slap!" DiNozzo notes. Phoof!
In the squadroom, Ziva's questions about CGIS are answered. She seems mildly amused that the Coast Guard got the drop on Gibbs and DiNozzo.
Gibbs ushers Agent Borin into the NCIS conference room, and they begin to spar over jurisdiction. Gibbs makes his claim: Jensen's navy, so the case belongs to NCIS.
"Depends on his involvement," she tells him.
"Involves him being dead!"
"He could still be my killer."
Gibbs smiles, sits, and they begin to talk. About a week earlier, a Coast Guard reconnaissance flight spotted a salvage boat adrift off the coast of Virginia. Only person aboard was the captain; he was bludgeoned to death, so the case fell to Borin. She had found security video of Jensen talking to the boat captain at the marina, so she wanted to question him. "I like to conduct my own investigation," Gibbs tells her. "So do I," she says, "Any death on a US registered vessel is FBI or Coast Guard jurisdiction." "So where's the FBI?" Gibbs asks. Borin asks for a phone call if NCIS gets anything. "I've got your number," Gibbs says. "No you don't," Borin tells him. "So what's your beef, Gibbs? Is it that I'm Coast Guard, that I'm a woman, or that I managed to get the drop on you in that house?" She hands him her business card, and Gibbs answers her question. "I don't know you." "That's it?" she asks as he leaves.
In Autopsy, Ducky and Palmer are working on what's left of the Lieutenant's body while discussing classical works of nautical fiction. Palmer says that his favorite was Treasure Island: He used to jump up on his bed, pretending that he was Jim Hawkins sailing with Long John Silver. "Ah, magnificent," Ducky says, "How old were you? 10? 9?" Palmer was a bit older. "23."
Gibbs enters. Although the body is roughly the same size as the Lieutenant, they'll have to confirm his identify through DNA or dental records. Death appears to have been by drowning, although it appears that he was also stabbed with a screwdriver. "Master diver drowns swimming to shore?" Gibbs doesn't believe it, even when Ducky reminds him that the diver was injured. Abby is processing his diving equipment. As Gibbs leaves, Ducky offers a warning: "Tread softly, Jethro! Miss Sciuto is not herself today!"
In Forensics, Abby is frustrated by machines that aren't finding the matches she wants to see. Her anger grows. She pounds on keyboards. She's shaking Jensen's laptop in frustration as Gibbs walks in. He's concerned about her behavior.
"Everything all right?" Gibbs asks.
"No, it's not. What are you doing here?"
"I work here!"
"No, I know what you're doing here (waving her hands to include the entire building), but I always know when you're coming here (pointing to the floor), and I didn't."
"You don't have anything."
"I've got nothing."
Jensen drowned, but had plenty of nitrox in his air tank. Ducky found small pieces of rubber between his teeth; she thinks they're from his regulator. But the most frustrating thing to her is that she hasn't been able to break the encryption on Jensen's laptop computer. "He's got a code built in here that would make NSA proud."
She sighs. "Just, I'm off my game."
"Well, maybe this will help." Gibbs hands her a Caf-Pow.
"You think I didn't try this already? I had two Caf-Pow's this morning; that's kind-of when things started going south." She sets the drink down on the counter, and almost frantically looks away. "I don't know what's wrong."
Gibbs tries to get her to focus on the case. "Abs, I need what's in that laptop."
"I know you do." She thinks for a moment. "Maybe a hug would help?"
He gives her a hug and pats her back. She turns back to the laptop and pecks at the keyboard. Nothing. "Didn't help. I guess I'm just going to keep banging my head." "No, don't do that." He kisses her forehead. "I need what's in that head." Gibbs leaves.
In the squadroom, Tony is displaying the background they have on Special Agent Abigail Borin up on the plasma screen. Borin had been a Marine sergeant and served a tour of duty in Iraq before switching to the Coast Guard. Tony marvels at the similarities between Borin and Gibbs. "Are you obsessed with this woman because she reminds you of Gibbs, or because she's deeply attractive?" Ziva asks. Tony begins to comment on Borin's attractiveness just as Borin walks up behind him. Embarrassed, Tony switches the plasma back to case-related information. "Where's Gibbs?" Tony asks her. "Ah, he's avoiding me, but I am not going anywhere, so..." (with a tone just like Gibbs) "...What d'ya got?"
The team’s eyebrows raise at the similarity of the question. McGee rises and steps towards the screen, joined by Ziva. McGee and Ziva review their findings. Only one interesting financial transaction: Jensen rented a storage facility, and paid three full years up front. Borin becomes aware of DiNozzo's intent observation of her, and she's a little confused. "Is there a problem?" "No," Tony laughs, then wonders if Borin has any siblings. "None," she says, "Only child. Small town in Ohio." She senses something behind their looks. "Tell Gibbs I'll wait for him outside MTAC."
Gibbs and Ziva accompany Borin and her Agent Kyle Omagi into MTAC. Omagi is surprised at the extent of MTAC, and Borin defends her service. "Just because CGIS is small, it doesn't mean we're impotent." Borin asks MTAC to connect them to Quantico. The video screen shows a laboratory, and a young woman steps to the camera and says "Hi."
Gibbs murmurs to Borin, "That one of yours?"
"We make it work."
She speaks up. "Ms. Choi? Could you tell Agent Gibbs your findings, please?" Choi says that they've found Jensen's fingerprints all over the boat with the murdered captain. They have also found some blood that matches Jensen's blood type, although they're still waiting for DNA analysis. Looks like a double-homicide -- one civilian, one navy.
Borin and Gibbs spar for a moment longer about jurisdiction. Borin says she's willing to try a joint effort and Gibbs agrees. "OK, welcome aboard!" Phoof.
In the squadroom, Borin shows the team that the captain's vessel had been trolling back and forth in a grid pattern for almost a week, clearly searching for something. It stopped in one location, and presumably the murders took place there. Borin's team is working on satellite imagery of other ships in the area. "What about my team?" Gibbs asks. His team scrambles back to their desks to give reports. DiNozzo has found several large deposits recently made to the captain's bank account. McGee will interview Missy Dawkins, who was called by Jensen several times. Just then, the warrant for accessing the storage locker arrives on the printer. In unison, both Gibbs and Borin try to order someone to go investigate the storage unit. Borin defers to Gibbs; he sends DiNozzo.
In the conference room, McGee interviews Missy Dawkins.
"Oh my god, I can't believe he's dead!" she says.
"What was your relationship with the deceased?"
"You mean he's deceased, too?"
McGee is taken aback, and tries again.
"How did you know Lt. Jensen?"
"We dated on and off for the last six months. He was a fun guy. He just didn't have much...."
"Money," McGee suggests.
She nods her head sagely. "I was Runner-Up Miss Biloxi, accustomed to a certain lifestyle."
"Yeah, bet you are. When was the last time you saw him?"
"About two weeks ago. Michael told me he was going off on some hush-hush navy thing. Told me when he came back, he'd have a lot of money to burn."
"Did he say exactly how much?"
"Enough to make all my dreams come true!"
At a storage facility, Tony and Ziva gain access to Jensen's unit. It's filled with things that look like they were recovered from shipwrecks, tools, and ocean charts marking various wrecks. Particularly prominent is an article about a ship named the "Calafuego", which may be a "treasure hunter's dream." Perhaps this is all about sunken treasure?
In Forensics, Abby is visited by Gibbs and Borin. Still fighting a major headache, she has recovered several email messages exchanged between Jensen and Dr. Joseph Mavrey, a renown surgeon in the DC area. The email messages often refer to "a cage foul", but Abby has realized that's an anagram for " Calafuego". Gibbs and Borin step up to Abby's large screen as she tells them that the Calafuego went down somewhere off the east coast of the country. "Perhaps he was looking for it?" Gibbs and Borin bounce ideas off one another. "Or found it?" "Maybe he had a partner." "Costs a lot to recover a ship. They'd have to be rich." "Very."
Mavrey is apparently rich. His wife shows Gibbs into their gated mansion's sitting room. She tells Gibbs and Borin that Mavrey is out of the country. "Another international doctor's group crisis in South America." He won't be back for weeks and is unreachable. "He turns everything off. He says it distracts him from the work." She doesn't recognize Jensen's name, and says that her husband meets so many new people she couldn't possibly keep up with all of them.
As they leave, Borin believes the wife is covering for her husband, and wants to bring her in for more questioning. Gibbs tells her that it's smarter if they wait. "SecNav has pull with the Attorney General. Doctor's Charity. AG's on the board." "So we'll get it." "I know that!"
In the squadroom, Tony's imagination runs wild as he remembers many of the swashbuckling pirate movies of the 30s and 40s. "Captain Blood! Douglas Fairbanks. The Black Pirate! Imagine Gibbs as a pirate, little eye patch, peg leg, parrot on his shoulder." McGee has been researching famous shipwreck finds. and shows Tony about one find that netted nearly 450 million dollars. The Calafuego was known to be loaded with gifts for the Spanish government. "No telling how much money could be at stake here."
Gibbs and Borin return. McGee estimates that the wreck could be worth $250 million dollars, at least. In addition to being a good heart surgeon, Mavrey had sixteen patents pending, so he could afford to play treasure hunter. McGee continues searching, and finds that one of Mavrey's inventions appears to be flawed, and thousands of lawsuits are being filed. "He's going to need as many high-priced lawyers as he can afford." Vance joins them. He's just heard from the Attorney General's office. Mavrey's doctor group never left the country. McGee sees that Mavrey just logged into his web site to perform a heart surgery. Gibbs and Borin leave to chase him down.
In Mavrey's clinic, they approach the first nurse they see and ask for Mavrey. She tells them that he hasn't been in the clinic for days, and doesn't know where he is. Gibbs ignores her and walks into the surgical prep room, where a doctor is washing up. Gibbs taps him on the shoulder. It's Mavrey's associate, filling in for him while Mavrey is gone. "Where's Mavrey?" "Well, to be honest, we haven't heard from him in over a week." Phoof!
Back in the squadroom, McGee sees that Mavrey's credit card has just been used to hire a private jet to the Marianas Islands. "Now it's my turn," Borin says. She turns to her agent. "If the doctor's plane hasn't landed yet, why don't we have a Coast Guard aircraft intercept it, and suggest to his pilots that they might be abetting a fugitive?" "You can do that?" Gibbs asks. She smiles. "Just scratching the surface." Ducky calls -- he's found something.
In Autopsy, Ducky is feeling lonely. First his mother passes away, then last night Ducky broke up with Sophie. "She was so anxious to change yours truly, I was beginning to question my own identity." He then confides a larger problem. "She also put some of Mother's silver in the dishwasher." When Gibbs reminds him of the case, Ducky shows some interesting findings. Jensen had three broken teeth. It looks like he may have had some type of seizure -- his jaw was so tightly clamped that he literally tore the muscle off the bone, biting right through the mouthpiece. It doesn't make sense to Gibbs -- as a master diver, Jensen had far too much training to panic in a situation like this.
Ducky has also found a history of congenital hemochromatosis, where the body absorbs too much iron. It's a condition that would have precluded diver training, unless someone altered Jensen's records.
In Forensics, Abby is disturbed. "I don't know how they think they can get away with it!" She's done a spectrographic analysis of Caf-Pow, and found that they changed the formula in order to reduce their costs.
She hasn't found anything unusual in Jensen's blood, but is surprised at the air tanks. They were filled with a nitrogen-oxygen mixture used for deep dives, but Jensen was heading for shallow water. "Why didn't he adjust?" she asks. Gibbs agrees. "Master diver would know that." Abby gets an idea for further analysis. Just then, McGee arrives. A fisherman has found a punctured Zodiac boat that washed up on shore not far from where Jensen was found. He also reports that the Coast Guard intercepted Mavrey's plane: Mavrey wasn't on it. The pilots were paid cash to fly an empty plane to the Marianas. "We're being played." He sends DiNozzo to bring in the doctor's wife.
At the Mavrey home, DiNozzo meets with the doctor's wife. She's very willing to come in for questions. "I will help you any way I can."
In Interrogation, Tony reviews the notes on the lawsuits facing Mavrey. The wife acknowledges that they've had a rough time lately. With tears in her eyes, she says she doesn't know where his is. She received a message from him a week earlier saying that we was leaving the country and that the lawsuits would be dealt with when he came back. She's convinced that he's a good man, and wouldn't kill anyone.
Tony shows her the gruesome photos of their two victims (Jensen and the boat captain), and Borin steps up. "We need your help to find him, or we're going to have to charge you as an accessory." "I didn't do anything wrong," she cries, "Why is this happening to me?"
In Autopsy, Lt. Jensen's medical records have arrived and, as expected, there's no record of any liver condition. Ducky has spoken with the Navy doctors that periodically checked Jensen, and they saw absolutely no signs of hemochromatosis, whereas their body shows every sign. The body isn't Jensen! Phoof!
In the squadroom, they have two questions: Who is their John Doe, and where is Jensen? Gibbs puts everyone to work. DiNozzo is to contact Metro PD about missing persons. Ziva is to review security footage at the marina. McGee is tasked to find Mavrey's medical records. McGee gets the first results: Mavrey had epileptic seizures as a boy, and had a congenital liver disorder (hemochromatosis).
In Interrogation, Andrea Mavrey is waiting. When Borin and Gibbs walk in, Andrea's hopes rise: "You've found my husband! Where is he? I'd like to see him." Borin tries to break the news to her gently. "He's here. He's been here all along." Gibbs is blunter. "Dead body in the wetsuit isn't Jensen." As they talk, she breaks into tears and tells them that because of the lawsuits, Mavrey had been taking cash out of his corporate accounts -- a lot of it -- and sinking it into a treasure hunt, hoping for a big payoff.
In the hallway outside Interrogation, McGee rushes to catch Gibbs. "Boss, Miss Biloxi -- Missy Dawkins. She just bought two one-way tickets to Mexico. The first is in her name, the second is Michael Jensen."
In the conference room, Missy explains to Gibbs and Borin that she had received text messages from Jensen. She bought the tickets, but Jensen never showed. It's another decoy. Missy says that she knew it would never work anyway -- Jensen spent all his time with that rich doctor and his wife.
Abby calls. She's discovered that all of the recovered treasure found in Jensen's storage locker was faked. It's worthless! Jensen has been scamming everyone -- there is no Calafuego treasure. He's been milking the doctor for months. Phoof!
Gibbs and Borin head back to the squadroom, realizing that Andrea Mavrey and Jensen were likely having an affair. DiNozzo is sent to the Mavrey Clinic to look for money while Gibbs and Borin head to the Mavrey home.
Meanwhile, Andrea Mavrey is pacing the floor as Michael Jensen helps her search the home for the ten million dollars they believe Mavrey had hidden. Gibbs, Borin and DiNozzo walk into the middle of their argument and arrest both of them for Mavrey's murder. Tony has found the money in Mavrey's locker at work.
Director Vance has called both Borin and Gibbs to his office. "Agent Borin, I would like to thank you personally for working so proficiently with NCIS."
"Thank you, Director."
Vance raises his eyebrows in invitation. "Agent Gibbs?"
Vance continues. "I just got off the phone with SecNav. Now I know turf wars are unavoidable, but I find that cooperating with our sister agencies provides excellent results." Vance smiles at Gibbs. "Don't you agree, Agent Gibbs?"
"Well, hopefully we can do it again soon." Vance shakes hands with Borin, and she turns to Gibbs. "You know were to find me." He shakes her hand. "Likewise."
In the squadroom at night, Tony brings out a large bowl of popcorn to Ziva. "Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime?"
"It is just a movie, Tony."
"How dare you. Is Mickey just a mouse? Is Ringling Brothers just a circus?"
"Oh, well you see, that's why you don't have any friends!"
"I do have friends."
"Really, then. What are you doing with me, watching a movie on a Friday night at work, huh?"
Tony pushes a button on the remote control, and the classic movie "The Black Pirate" (starring Douglas Fairbanks) begins to play on the large plasma display.
"You are my friend," she tells him softly.
He's surprised. "Really?"
"No," she tells him with a mischievous smile, "My date cancelled."
He looks back at the screen. "Mine too," he says.
Ziva looks thoughtfully at Tony for a moment, then back at the movie.
Roll the closing credits.
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