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Return to 6.24 Semper Fidelis
NCIS: Semper Fidelis
Airdate: May 12, 2009
Author: sandbar17

Previously on NCIS
Begins with Ziva identifying Michael Rivkin and Tony asking Ziva "anything you want to tell me?" Tony cuts off McGee asking about Ziva's knowledge of Rivkin's actions. Lots of bits of Ziva/Michael scenes.

Directors of the FBI, CIA, and ICE meet at SecNav's home for a poker game. They hear a noise on the patio, call the agent on point, Julia Foster-Yates. One of the agents on protection, Sherman, is attacked and killed on the patio.

Act One
In the morning, Tony, McGee, and Ziva meet outside. The dead agent is ICE -- Immigration-Customs Enforcement. FBI has jurisdiction in the death of a federal agent. Tony compares the arrival of FBI with clowns and starts a comparison of the situation with a three-ring circus, and then upon Ducky's arrival goes into junior ringmaster mode. (riding a motorcycle looks cool and all, but nobody messes with the man driving an elephant). Ziva mentions the poker game, and McGee says he would like to have been a fly on the wall during the poker game in order to eavesdrop.

Gibbs sees Ducky and tells SecNav, who assigns the investigation to NCIS, supported by FBI and ICE. He sends CIA home, saying "my house, my rules." Fornell introduces Agent Julia Foster-Yates to Gibbs. She says that she was assigned the protection detail for the poker game.

Outside, Tony discovers the bitten off tongue of Agent Sherman. Jules arrives and says that he was flailing. Ducky discovers a bruise on the side of his neck, showing that he was attacked. Jules doubts this to be true since the security web was her design and was "air tight."

Inside, McGee informs Gibbs and Fornell that the surveillance cameras showed the patio was a blind spot. Fornell says the heads of these agencies get together a couple of times a year. They rotate responsibilities. Gibbs is bothered by the fact that NCIS was not represented.

Outside, Ducky discovers a bug that had been planted on the window and dislodged by Agent Sherman. Ziva reports to Gibbs that the bug was damaged. Jules takes the bug and steps on it, saying, "It's best not to take any chances."

Act Two
Abby complains to McGee about "the bug stomp" since she will have to put it together before she can track it. McGee tells her that Jules stomped it. Abby hopes to have a word with "Jules." McGee would like to be there for that. Abby looks at the poker hands and chips in evidence and recognizes that they weren't really playing well.

In Vance's office, Vance, Fornell and Gibbs talk about the poker game and the fact that Vance was not there. Vance says he "cleaned the all out" last month. Ducky is working on the autopsy. Ziva and Tony are following up on the protection detail and scouring the grounds with Agent Foster-Yates.

At SecNav's home, Ziva leads Tony and Jules as she follows a trail of heavy footfalls. Tony and Jules chat about team dynamics. Meanwhile, Ziva climbs a tree where branches have been cleared out. She speculates that when the protection detail went in toward the house, the killer went up and over the fence and out the gate. Ziva's phone rings. McGee calls to tell them that Gibbs wants them to return to the office. Tony questions why McGee didn't call him first. When he checks his cell phone, he discovers he doesn't have a signal. Only Ziva, in the tree, has a signal on her phone.

In Autopsy, Ducky demonstrates to/on Fornell how the choke hold on Sherman would have caused him to blackout. However, in the autopsy, Ducky found that Sherman had a stroke and that the choke hold was not meant to be fatal. Fornell gives Ducky a wide birth when he departs.

In the elevator, Jules flirts with Tony. Ziva questions Jules about why an NCIS agent wasn't tasked with his protection. She reaches for the elevator switch and together Tony and Ziva confront Jules. She says she was instructed not to reveal any details. This was an intelligence summit and she didn't know the subject, but whatever it was, someone was willing to kill to find out.

Act Three
Gibbs and Fornell arrive in the squadroom to talk to Jules. Gibbs orders her to tell what she knows about the op. When her perimeter design is questioned, McGee offers to take the surveillance footage and the position reports to create an animated model. Jules and McGee are assigned the task. Ziva and Tony are assigned background of the agents and investigating known operatives in the area. The knowing look between Ziva and Tony implies that Ziva's friend, Michael Rivkin, is on Tony's short list.

Gibbs and Fornell enter Vance's office to find SecNav there with Vance. SecNav briefs them. Reminding them of what happened 8 years before, at the start of a new president's administration, SecNav says that 9-11 happened because agencies didn't work together. Once again, they've let too many foreign nationals through the borders. Mossad's Rivkin is one mentioned specifically. The poker game has two purposes: to decrease the chatter leading up to the game, and to make it easier for the agency heads to talk. Gibbs points out that NCIS wasn't represented. Too quickly, SecNav replies, "I was there." Gibbs asks about the survivor from the cell in California, Haziq Khaleel. (See 6.22-6.23 Legend)Vance says that he gave up his handler, Abin Tabal. (This is new name to us.) No word on Callen's shooter. Gibbs reports that Callen is still critical. Fornell says that he has an Abin Tabal on the FBI watch list in DC. SecNav says to find him.

Tony and Ziva report to Fornell what they have discovered about Tabal. Ziva gets a phone call from Rivkin. Fornell says that Tabal must run between the African camps and the sleeper cells, then orders Tony to "find the guy." Tony isn't happy taking orders from someone who believed when he (Tony) was framed for murder. Ziva leaves to meet Rivkin, without telling she was doing so - in fact, she is speaking in Hebrew to hide it. Tony looks up on the internet a translation of what Ziva said in Hebrew on the phone.

In Abby's lab, McGee and Jules work on the animation of the perimeter. They look at the surveillance camera on the access road footage. Jules puts her hand on McGee's and thanks him for coming to her rescue. Abby is not happy about the flirting and confronts Jules about the bug. When Jules finds out that Abby can reconstruct the bug, she boldly says, "What's the problem?" Abby asks about her training in martial arts. Jules loves Muay Thai. Abby realizes that she's beaten, turns to McGee and says, "And in my own lab." Jules and McGee discover that a car had been circling the SecNav's house that night. After running the plates, McGee and Jules leave to report to Gibbs.

Gibbs confronts Vance with the fact that he was the one circling SecNav's house. Gibbs tells him that he's tired of having information withheld. Vance agrees. He says that Dir. Hutchins (FBI) had let word of the game slip before he found out that Vance wasn't invited. He wasn't invited because they were meeting to talk about him.

Ziva and Rivkin meet at an open-air cafe. Rivkin is drinking. Tony calls Ziva and lies that he has found Tabal. She leaves the cafe. Tony arrives at the table with Rivkin's drink.

Act Four
Tony and Rivkin toss insults at each other. Tony orders Rivkin out of town. Rivkin says that Tony is like a brother to Ziva and that Tony can't question Ziva's feeling for Rivkin. Tony once again repeats his order for Rivkin to get out of town.

Ziva arrives at NCIS headquarters to find McGee and Jules going over the perimeter. It's a sophisticated pattern, but there is a hole in the net. Jules's explanation is that it was an error. Fornell tries to comfort Jules by saying, "Nobody's perfect." Gibbs asks Ziva about the backgrounds. She gives him what she has so far. Jules needs to check in with her boss. McGee gets a call from Abby. She needs his help with the bug. Gibbs asks Fornell if he will vouch for "the ICE princess." Fornell answers that she's cold on the outside, "but when she opens up she's full of beans, molten cheese, like a microwave burrito."

At Tony's desk, Ziva finds a note in Tony's trash, it's the translation of what she said on the phone--the location of the cafe where she met Rivkin.
In Abby's lab, Abby tells McGee that when the bug is working properly, it emits a signal that can piggy-back on any available internet connection and then upload the audio to a live stream on a private website. McGee recognizes that Abby didn't really need his help, and asks her if she's feeling neglected. She says she's not feeling neglected, but didn't like watching him flirt with Jules. But, when he says that she's out of his league anyway, Abby says, "No, she's not."

Tony arrives back at NCIS and Ziva confronts him in his lie. Tony says that Rivkin was in LA on business just like he is in DC on business. Ziva said she would have introduced him if he'd have asked. Tony replies that he was just doing his job. Gibbs has told him to leave, he's told him to leave. Maybe Ziva should ask him to leave. Ziva defends Rivkin. Jules walks up and asks for the location of the conference room. Tony escorts her.
In the conference room, Jules reports to Gibbs and Fornell on the status of the search for Tabal. Fornell and Gibbs have been looking over the results of the interviews with her team on the op. Sherman had more experience and had a problem taking orders from a women with less seniority. Fornell asked about her feelings about Sherman. Gibbs points out that he was a thorn in her side. Jules stops them before they go any further and explains that she'd been covering for Sherman. He was out of position. He wasn't supposed to be on the patio. He's dead for the same reason that he didn't get the promotion. He didn't operate as part of the team. Gibbs gets a call. They have a lead on Tabal. At Tabal's apartment, they find schematics of SecNav's house and the body of Abin Tabal.

Act Five
In autopsy, Ducky has determined that Tabal bit down on a suicide capsule. Ducky says that if Tabal had decided that he's a threat to the cause, it fits the psychology to kill himself. Tabal has wiped his computer, but Abby is sifting through it. She's already connected the laptop to the electronics in the bug. "Smoking Gun. Case Closed. Write it up."

In the squadroom, Jules tells the team that it's been good working with them. McGee offers to walk her out. When McGee asks what Gibbs and Fornell had to say, she tells McGee that they were apologizing to her for implying that she might have killed Sherman. McGee is shocked that they would apologize. He says it would take a while to explain the significance. She responds that he can explain it to her because she has no plans. Ziva says good night to Tony and leaves. Gibbs reminds Tony of rule number 11: when the job is done, walk away. Tony's not happy with the way the case closed. When Gibbs asks what is on his mind, Tony tells him that Rivkin is in town, with Ziva. Both are bothered that Rivkin is in town. Gibbs tells Tony to stay on him.

Later, in Gibbs' basement, SecNav comes to talk, bearing the bottle of bourbon that Gibbs gave him. SecNav talks about his brother, that he preferred psychological warfare. He asks why he's been digging dirt on Vance, if it was to get closer to him. Gibbs hands SecNav Vance's unopened CIA file, and says that he never asked for it. SecNav opens it. He finds a copy of the same reference that Vance shredded in "Judgement Day." (5.18 - see link below.) He wonders how it keeps coming out in the open and that it's not even real.

In Abby's lab, Abby and Tony look at Tabal's laptop. While the rest of the laptop has been wiped, he didn't erase the network connections, so they can still see where he was connected to the internet. One of the addresses is Ziva's apartment.

Ziva, in her car, tries to call Hadar.

In Gibbs' basement, SecNav tries to assure Gibbs that he trusts Vance and that he knows his background. Gibbs says that at the poker game they were discussing how to use Vance. SecNav assures Gibbs that he's not the only one looking after the integrity of NCIS. He proceeds to tell Gibbs that Vance will be heading up a major operation against Mossad. Part of the problem is that the daughter of the Director of Mossad is part of NCIS. SecNav tells Gibbs that he and Vance have to play nice. He doesn't have to trust him, just follow him.
Tony arrives at Ziva's apartment to find Rivkin. Rivkin thinks Tony might have come to comfort Ziva after Rivkin's departure. Tony tells him he's there on a case. That Tabal's laptop was connected to Ziva's home account. Rivkin asks if he was there to question Ziva about this connection. Tony replies that he was until Rivkin opened the door. Tony goes to arrest Rivkin in the deaths of Abin Tabal and Agent Sherman. Rivkin attacks him. They struggle. Rivkin lands on a glass table and is impaled by a shard of glass. Tony crawls to his gun. Rivkin takes out the glass shard and moves to attack Tony. Tony fires. Ziva enters the apartment.

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