NCIS - The Beginning (Pilot)This is a featured page

air date: October 21, 2003

Summary: A murdered JAG officer teams up the JAG staff with agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS).

Episode recap:
The episode begins when a body that washed up from the Potomac is discovered to be a JAG officer. While Adm. Chegwidden's team is stunned by the news, members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (the focus of the spinoff) suspect foul play and begin questioning the officers. NCIS agents Leroy Gibbs, Tony Dinozzo and Viv Blackadder, along with Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, think Harm is hiding something, but a crucial piece of evidence leads them to deduce something far worse.
After a JAG officer is found murdered, Harm is arrested for the crime and is court-martialed. The case against Harm appears to be very strong, but Agent Gibbs begins to have doubts about his guilt despite the incriminating evidence. As Gibbs leaves for the Middle East to question a senior Arab terrorist about an impending attack against a Navy ship, he asks his team to dig deeper into Harm's case in the hopes that they will find new evidence that points to another killer before the verdict is read.
Harm's cover (hat) found on the river bank is confirmed by Abby as not to have been in the river as long as Loren Singers body. Actually its only been there a few weeks. Harm is defended by a non JAG office lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman, and Gibbs asks marine Major McBurney to prosecute. Later, when Gibbs is asked on the stand whether he thinks Harm murdered Singer - he replies No! He thinks its a setup for Harm, and starts his team looking for someone with an axe to grind while he flies out to search for Amad Bin Atwa.
Harm suggest that Cmdr. Lindsey may have something against him, and then recalls back to when Lindsey was last in his office, and he lifted Harm cap instead of his own. Tony and Viv have Lindsey brought in. Tony gets a confession out of Lindsey (out thinking him). It seems they were arguing, Singer went to leave and slipped in the snow hitting her head on the concrete. Instead of calling for help, Lindsey dumped Singer's unconscious body into the river causing her to drown. He put Harm's cover into place along the riverbank making it look like Harm did it. He looks relieved when Tony tells him he is not the father, although he is still guilty of murder. In the end we find out that Singer was going to Shannon, Ireland and not San Diego - so the father is not someone we know. Harm is released and Lindsey is charged with her murder.
Tony and Viv fly out to join Gibbs in the hunt for Bin Atwa. Thanks to some good intel, they now know his location is near Gibralter, and a navy aircraft carrier is the target. Bin Atwa is spotted in local sea port, and Viv blows their cover by staring at him too long. Heavy gun fire breaks out and almost all the terrorists are killed when Gibbs goes after Bin Atwa on the bridge of his boat. Bin Atwa pulls a grenade, but drops it when Gibbs shoots him - and Gibbs gets blown down the stairwell for his trouble. For a moment Viv and Tony think he was caught in the blast, but see him walking slowly through the smoke, and Viv tries to apologise for blowing their cover....

New character developments/insights:

Funny moments:

Best Lines:

Rabb: Look, there are enough holes in this case to raise reasonable doubt.
Counselor: There is also enough evidence to tie you to the murder and a string of witnesses, your colleagues, who will testify to angry words between you and Lt. Singer right up to the time of her death.
Rabb: Well, it could be worse I guess.
Counselor: How?
Rabb: I could not have an alibi
Counselor: You have an alibi??
Rabb: No.

Harm Rabb: How long you been doing this, Gibbs?
Gibbs: Nineteen years.
Rabb: Can you tell if someone's guilty, by looking in their eyes?
Gibbs: I can.
Harm Rabb: Yeah, well look in mine. Ask me. Ask me!
Gibbs: Would you kill for your brother?

Major McBurney: Nice lab you got here. Interesting Martha Stewart on LSD touches around the place too.

Gibbs: I'm not smart enough to play risky games with a lawyer of your caliber, Rabb.
Harm Rabb: That's Commander Rabb. Or Commander. Or sir, "Gunny." I believe as a reservist you're still technically in the Marine Corps.
Gibbs: I am an NCIS Special Agent, and I don't have to salute you, or sir you, or give you any military courtesy, but you know that. So who's playing the games here?

  • This episode is actually not an NCIS episode. It has the title JAG, but it's considered a one-hour pilot episode for NCIS!
  • Sasha Alexander (Kate Todd), the original cast member from "NCIS," is the only one that does not appear in this pilot.
  • When Tony gives Abby the blood, i.e. the first time we see Abby, the song playing is "Transfer" by Collide, and when the lawyer dude is in the lab talking to Abby, the song playing is "Frozen" by Collide,and the song playing when both the JAG lawyers come to the lab with Gibbs to get the results from the tag in the hat is "Monochrome" by Collide.

  • Recurring:
    • Alan Dale (NCIS Director Tom Morrow)
  • Guest Star:
    • Tom Jay Jones (Unknown)
    • Karri Turner (Lt. Harriet Sims)
    • Tamlyn Tomita (Lt. Cmdr. Tracy Manetti)
    • Paul Norwood (Unknown)
    • Joseph Hodge (Unknown)
    • Zoe McLellan (P.O. Coates)
    • Faran Tahir (Amad Bin Atwa)
    • W.K. Stratton (Cmdr. Teddy Lindsey)
    • Robyn Lively (NCIS Avent Viv Blackadder)
    • Michael Muhney (Major McBurney)
    • Alicial Coppola (Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman)
    • Patrick Laborteaux (Lt. Bud J. Roberts, Jr.)
    • John M. Jackson (R. Adm. Albert Jethro Chegwidden)
    • David James Elliott (Cmdr. Harmon Rabb, Jr.)
    • Catherine Bell (Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie)
  • Written by: Donald P. Bellisario, Don McGill
  • Directed by: Donald P. Bellisario, Scott Brazil

See also:

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