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NCIS: Witch Hunt
Airdate: October 31, 2006
Recap author:
myredk9s

Screaming and stabbing noises are heard as the camera pans in on a woman dressed as Cleopatra carving a pumpkin. The camera moves through the house which is all decorated for Halloween. As Cleopatra lights the candle in the jack-o-lantern, the front door opens and someone moves slowly through the apartment, past all the decorations and the TV set which is blaring an old black-and-white horror movie. Cleopatra turns around and sees Erik dressed as General Custer, complete with an arrow sticking through his neck. She chides Erik for not knocking and tells him the party doesn't start for an hour. Erik coughs, gasps, clutches his neck, and manages to groan the word "Sarah" before collapsing to the floor. Cleopatra sees the real blood coming from his neck and realizes that it is not part of his costume, but a real injury.

Opening credits roll.

In the NCIS squad room, Tony is enjoying himself shooting baskets using wadded up paper and McGee's trash can. Ziva is planning on leaving early today, but Tony advises against it. It's Halloween and it's not just a child's holiday. Weird things always happen on October 31st: grave robberies, beheadings, cattle mutilations, and McGee turning fuzzy and blue. This last is said as McGee enters the squad room, buttoning his shirt over his Halloween costume. At first McGee tries to deny he's wearing a costume, but Tony seizes the shopping bag with the hat and gloves in it and there's no going back. Ziva puts on the hat and Tony puts on the gloves, saying that he knew McGee played a fairy in his online gaming, but dressing up as one was taking geek one step beyond. McGee tells him it is a snow elf, but that doesn't help. Ziva admires herself in the hat but tells McGee that she lost all respect for him the moment she put it on. Tony defends himself, telling them they haven't met his ice queen. They all gather around McGee's monitor to look at the pictures of a beautiful blonde who just happens to be a Redskins cheerleader and is McGee's date. They met at the Armani store and discovered they played in the same online gaming server. Tony is puzzled as to how McGee can afford Armani and starts grabbing McGee's clothes to look for labels.

This inquiry is stopped by the appearance of Gibbs, telling them to gear up. Gibbs is stopped in his tracks by the sight of his team, each wearing a piece of McGee's snow elf costume. Ziva is the first to realize she still has the hat on and immediately takes it off stating that it belongs to McGee. McGee says he's going to a costume party later that night. Gibbs' response "Not any more, Elf Lord. General Custer has been shot and he has a dead skeleton in his living room." Tony knew it. "What did I tell you? Halloween!"

The team arrives at the crime scene as McGee tries to explain to his date that it isn't his fault, but he can't make it. She doesn't care and McGee is left with nothing to look forward to but the nonstop teasing from Ziva and Tony. Gibbs comes up with the information on the crime: Sgt. Erik Niles was Custer and the dead skeleton is in his living room. The blood trail goes from the Niles' residence across the street to the neighbor's (Cleopatra's) house. The wife and daughter are not at home. Tony and Ziva are to take Cleopatra's statement; McGee is to begin processing the crime scene in the Niles' home.

Just then Ducky's truck pulls up. The entire windshield is covered in raw egg goo. Ziva wants to know what happened to them; Tony's response is one word: Halloween. Mr. Palmer parks the vehicle and Ducky gets out apologizing for their tardiness. They had a minor run-in with some local youths. Gibbs: "Yeah, I can see that, Doctor." McGee: "Did you get a good look at them?" Ducky: "Oh we did better than that. Release the captives, Mr. Palmer!" Mr. Palmer opens the side door of the truck to reveal a couple of teenage boys dressed as Ninjas. They are muttering about how they said they were sorry, where are they, are they in trouble. Ducky has no patience for that. He holds out a spray bottle of window cleaner and a roll of paper toweling. "Right. Clean it." Tony commends Mr. Palmer who tells him that it wasn't him, it was all Dr. Mallard. Ducky chased them for 3 blocks. "Oh, please," Ducky demurs. "It's not that impressive. It's not as if they were real Ninjas," and strides off to the crime scene. The teenagers can still be heard muttering and Gibbs turns away with a smile on his face.

Ziva is questioning Cleopatra who turns out to be a doctor. Niles suffered a single gunshot to the throat, which nicked his carotid artery. Tony figures that's why Niles headed over to her house, saying she probably saved his life. A bit of flirting starts and Ziva interrupts and continues with her questions. Sarah is Niles' daughter's name. Cleopatra is hoping that Sarah was with her mother and did not witness this.

McGee is processing the crime scene at the Niles' residence. There is blood spatter on the walls, which are decorated for Halloween. Tony has used the number markers for the various pieces of evidence, including the brass, and is shooting them. The dead skeleton is a bit creepy, as McGee notes. McGee goes back to his evidence kit and puts on his latex gloves. When he stands back up, the number 3 has been knocked over and the brass is gone. He looks around and the number 2 is also knocked over and the blood drops have been smudged. McGee pulls his weapon and begins looking for the intruder when the door opens. McGee raises his weapon and nearly shoots: Mr. Palmer. McGee tells Mr. Palmer that there is someone else in the room, and, yes, he means besides the dead skeleton guy.

Tony is reporting in that there is no one in the basement as Gibbs is turning on the lights in the living room. McGee knows that someone policed the brass and tried to wipe up the blood. "Who, probie? The crime scene fairies?" asks Tony. There is no one in the house, besides the dead skeleton guy, but the NCIS team. Gibbs wants Ducky in there so they can stop wasting time.

McGee continues to apologize but insists that there was someone there. Gibbs has moved on, he wants McGee's interpretation of the crime scene. McGee says there was a fight but he isn't sure how the dead skeleton's head got that way. Gibbs is only too happy to demonstrate. He has McGee get on the floor, despite McGee's protests. "Well, Tony did tell me how you demonstrated this technique . . .." "Yeah, you guys talk about things like that? You learn by feeling, McGee. This is how Marines silence enemy sentries. Sixty-six pounds of pressure and then SNAP!" During this dissertation on Marine killing tactics, Gibbs has pinned McGee to the floor and is snapping his head as if to break his neck. McGee realizes that Niles went down fighting. Gibbs points to the blood spatter on the wall as confirmation of this fact. They determine that there was a third person in the room.

Ducky has entered the room during this last exchange. He feels the cause of death is obvious, but you never know for sure. Ducky once had a case of heart failure where an ice pick had been plunged into the skull 4 hours after the man died. "His wife discovered that she had been left out of his will." Tony comes back into the room to tell them that they have a witness who saw a car leaving the crime scene. Ziva is getting a description of the car.

Ducky is taking off the dead skeleton's mask as Tony yells and leaps away from the couch. There is something under the couch. "Maybe it's the crime scene fairies," McGee jibes. Tony is having none of it. He tells us again how he hates Halloween as he cautiously gets down on the floor to look under the couch. We see something moving along the floor under the couch. Tony sees it too and yells and leaps up. Out from under the couch comes the Roomba. McGee explains what it is while he watches it work its way across the floor. Ducky tells him that his Roomba is about to interfere with his crime scene. Gibbs stalks the Roomba and smashes it with his bootie clad foot. Gibbs reaches into the wreckage and says "damn thing policed the brass." McGee told them he wasn't crazy. Gibbs wants it bagged and they move on.

Ziva is outside interviewing the child that saw the car. As Ducky and Mr. Palmer load the body onto the gurney, Ziva comes into the house to tell them the boy saw a kuruma, but she does not know what kind of car that is. Gibbs tells her kuruma is the Japanese word for car. Tony sarcastically tells Ziva, nice work, but McGee knows that a kuruma is a Chrysler Sebring sedan in the video game Grand Theft Auto. Nice save! Ziva will put out a BOLO on the car.

Gibbs wants them to find Mrs. Niles as well. Just as these words come out of his mouth, Laurie Niles comes running into the house. She arrives just as Ducky and Mr. Palmer are readying the gurney to roll the dead skeleton out to the truck. Laurie starts to collapse at the sight of the body bag on the gurney, but Gibbs assures her that it is not her husband. There is another woman with Laurie, who steadies her and keeps Laurie on her feet. The other woman introduces herself as Laurie's sister, saying that they were at the school getting ready for the Halloween party when the police arrived. Gibbs asks after the daughter and is told Sarah was with her dad. "Amber alert. On it boss," is Tony's immediate response.

Laurie tells Gibbs she's okay to talk now. Gibbs says that Niles is at the hospital in surgery and they will take her there, after they ask her a few questions. The sister leans in to tell Laurie that Sarah is missing. Laurie's immediate response is that Sarah has been kidnapped. Everyone assures her that Sarah may have just been frightened and run off. They want names of friends or relatives that Sarah would have gone to. Laurie knows that Sarah would have called her on her cell phone. Laurie's sister assures her that they just have to stay positive, that they will find Sarah.

Laurie's cell phone rings and it could be Sarah right now. Gibbs asks her to put it on speaker and we hear a scared little girl calling for her mommy. They hurt daddy and she tried to call the police but the man stopped her. Laurie tries to reassure her when a disguised voice comes on telling Laurie that they have her daughter and Laurie is to do as she is told. They will call back with instructions. They hang up as Laurie sobs.

Ducky is cleaning the make-up off of the dead skeleton, who is lying on the autopsy table. The tradition of Halloween was brought over from Scotland, along with the fine sports of golf and curling. Tony and McGee walk in on this monologue. Tony does not believe that anything that uses a broom should be called a sport. This insults the proud Scot, who calls curling chess on ice. It puts high demands on tactics and foresight. Tony wants Ducky to know he loves Scotland, especially Sean Connery, who Tony proceeds to imitate. McGee thought Connery was Irish which causes Ducky a great deal of amusement. McGee references Darby O'Gill and the Little People to which Tony responds he was using a fake accent. "It's called acting."

Ducky has been moving around the corpse taking photographs. He hands the camera to McGee. The preliminary cause of death is blunt force trauma to the neck. Tony puts on his best Gibbs' manner and tells Ducky they need an ID ASAP. The corpse is the only link to the missing girl. Ducky's feathers are ruffled as he tells Tony that the corpse remains a John Doe because there absolutely no distinguishing marks on the body. What about prints? Mr. Palmer took them up to Abby's lab but Abby is MIA and she is not answering her cell phone. McGee says that Halloween is a big night for Abby. Tony thinks every night is Halloween to Abby. Mr. Palmer returns to the lab with a somewhat bemused look on his face. Abby is here now and she is in costume. Tony's intrigued by that idea. "What's it like?" "Trust me," grins Mr. Palmer. "You wouldn't want me to ruin the surprise." McGee and Tony leave autopsy quickly.

Tony and McGee walk into Abby's lab and stop. The camera pans in on Abby's legs, she's in a white dress, and then pans up her body, showing the back of the dress, which highlights the top of Abby's cross tattoo, and reveals her in a short curly blond wig. Abby is Marilyn Monroe dressed for the famous subway grate scene in The 7-Year Itch. As Tony and McGee stand there with their mouths open, Abby swirls around, imitating that famous scene. Abby is sorry she's late, but she couldn't hear her cell phone. You'd think it would be quieter in a cemetery, but apparently not when a Halloween party is in progress. Abby continues talking, she's worried about the little girl, and she's running the fingerprints as they speak. Tony and McGee still haven't moved, not even to close their mouths. McGee takes her picture with Ducky's evidence camera. Abby finishes talking and realizes they are staring at her. "Why are you looking at me like that? Do I have food in my teeth or something?" she asks.

Tony will just stick with "or something." They need Abby to process the photos from Ducky's camera to see if they can find a match in mug shots. All this while some very seductive music has been playing on the soundtrack. Abby is talking in more quiet tones and is moving in a more sultry manner. In her Marilyn costume, Abby is much more gentle and feminine acting than she is as her normal Abby-hyped-on-caffeine self. McGee is still frozen in place. Abby has to specifically ask for the camera and even then McGee can't seem to move. Tony head-smacks McGee to get him to give up the camera. Tony is talking about putting out a BOLO as Abby pulls up the pictures. She finally asks McGee point-blank what his problem is. "You look different" McGee says with a corny grin on his face. It's the Halloween costume, Tony points out. Abby has completely forgotten she is wearing it.

Tony's phone rings. It is Gibbs with a report of a Sebring sighting. Tony reports that they also have a picture of the skeleton without the makeup. Gibbs is searching the Niles' bedroom while talking on the phone. He wants the picture in the hopes that Laurie can identify him. Niles is still in surgery and they won't be able to interview him until tomorrow, which will be too late. The kidnappers have not called back yet. Gibbs is wondering what the kidnappers want with a Marine who makes less than $32,000 a year.

Ziva is sitting in the dining area with Laurie and her sister, downloading the photo of the skeleton. Laurie wants to be moving, doing something. The sister says they are doing everything they can; Ziva asks her to stay calm. Laurie asks Ziva if she has children; no, but she knows what it's like to lose a member of her family. This makes Laurie sob. Ziva realizes what she said and tries to apologize, but the sister cuts her off with "Nice. Thank you." The sister tries to reassure Laurie as Gibbs comes in to get Ziva.

Gibbs wants to know if Laurie has recognized the skeleton. Ziva hasn't shown it to her since so far all Ziva has managed to do is to make Laurie cry. Gibbs has no sympathy for Ziva's plight. Laurie has a right to be emotional. Ziva isn't very good with the crying. Gibbs says that makes two of us. Ziva feels that Laurie is holding something back. Gibbs shows her the bedroom closet; obviously Niles was no longer living at home. Ziva needs to find out why.

Tony and McGee are interviewing a zombie, trying to find out where and when the zombie saw the Sebring. The zombie's mask is interfering with his ability to speak clearly. McGee is trying to interpret what the zombie is saying, but Tony just gets irritated and rips the mask so that the man can speak clearly. The zombie says the car cut the corner so hard it ran over the curb. Tony tells the zombie to show him and the zombie promptly sticks his arms out straight in front of him, makes a moaning noise and starts to shuffle. Tony tells him not to be a wise guy. McGee is hoping for a license plate, but the zombie can barely see with all the make-up he has on. Tony puts his mask back together and sends him on his way. There were hay bales and pumpkins on the corner, all scattered and broken now. McGee is taking pictures. "You got a time of death on the Great Pumpkin there, Charlie Brown?" asks Tony. Nope, but McGee can see that the car left an impression on one of the pumpkins.

Gibbs shows Laurie the picture of the man killed fighting with Niles. Laurie doesn't recognize him. Her sister pushes her to think about it and Laurie snaps at her. Laurie wants to speak to her husband. Gibbs tells her Niles is still in surgery, but they'll get him on the phone to her as soon as possible. Laurie's sister clasps her hand and tells her it will be all right. Laurie pulls away from her, asking her to stop touching her, stands, and walks into the kitchen. Gibbs follows her and speaks softly to her, telling her he understands. "Did you ever have a daughter kidnapped?" Laurie asks. Gibbs hesitates and then responds "Kidnapped? No." It is clear to Laurie that Gibbs does understand what she is going through. Gibbs promises to do everything he can to bring Sarah home safely. Laurie believes that Gibbs will try, but doesn't believe that Gibbs will succeed. Laurie walks back into the dining area.

Back in Abby's lab, Abby, McGee, and Tony are discussing zombie movies. Tony finds fast zombies blasphemous and remarks that there are reasons why you don't remake classic movies. Abby and McGee start naming off remakes that are better than their originals. Tony's point is that zombies should be slow. Abby doesn't find slow zombies scary. Tony insists that zombies are supposed to be slow. McGee brings up 28 Days Later in which the zombies are very fast. Caught up by his own tastes in movies, Tony declares the subject closed. Tony is eating a sandwich and asking if they found anything on the vegetable. McGee says technically it is a fruit, and Abby says yes they found something on the Great Pumpkin. She asks McGee to invert the image on the plasma, as soon as he's done undressing her with his eyes. McGee takes one more look at Abby then follows her directions to clean up the image. "Smashing Pumpkins! It's the left-hand side of a Virginia license plate" Abby declares. McGee runs the first 4 letters of the plate against all Sebrings and they have a hit. Tony laughs and declares "DiNozzo does it again." McGee counters "You mean Abby and I did it again." Abby smacks McGee on the shoulder. "Those days ended the moment you started sexing up the cheerleader" she tells him. Tony is about to call Gibbs and tell him the good news when McGee discovers that the car was stolen. Tony snaps his cell phone shut without making the call.

Ziva fills Gibbs in on the status of the Niles' marriage. Ziva heard about that someone named Scuttle Butt said Niles caught his wife cheating on him. Gibbs hides a smile and tells Ziva that scuttlebutt isn't a person but rather a Marine slang term for gossip. Ziva feels abused by the English language.

Laurie's phone rings. Gibbs hurries to Laurie and tells her to stay calm and ask to speak to Sarah. He asks Laurie if she can do that for him. Laurie says okay as her sister hovers in the background and Ziva sets up the trace on her laptop. The disguised voice refuses to let her speak to Sarah. They want $100,000 in small bills and Laurie has until dawn to get it. Laurie agrees to this and asks to speak to her daughter again. The kidnapper says money first then you can talk and hangs up on her. Not enough time for a trace.

The scene switches to a close-up of Sarah, bound and gagged. A man in a decaying skull mask asks her if she's scared. When Sarah cries the man says good, she should be.

Ziva is explaining that the call was not long enough to trace, but that they will get another chance when they call back to complete the instructions. Gibbs wants to talk with Laurie alone. Her sister assures her that everything will be okay, she's not going anywhere, she'll be right there if Laurie needs her. Laurie goes with Gibbs. Gibbs has a message for DiNozzo: he wants that John Doe ID'ed in an hour. Laurie is concerned about where she will get $100,000. Gibbs assures her that they can help her with that, but he needs some answers. Gibbs wants to know why Niles was living on base. Laurie is reluctant to talk about it, but Gibbs gently pushes. Laurie admits to making a mistake but she cannot continue. Gibbs tells her he's been married 4 times and he's made every mistake in the book. Laurie gathers her courage and tells him that Erik broke the engagement right before the wedding and she had a fling with an old boyfriend. She has no idea who Sarah's biological father is, the old boyfriend or her husband. The husband found out because the old boyfriend showed up wanting a paternity test. Gibbs wants the contact information for the fling but Laurie doesn't have it. Gibbs gets a name, Robert Miller, and a physical description.

Ziva has joined them, standing in the doorway as Laurie gives the physical description of Robert Miller. Ziva starts dialing her phone and walks away. Gibbs gets up and closes the bedroom door. Gibbs needs to know what Laurie is holding back. Laurie is about to tell him when her sister opens the door and comes into the bedroom, checking on Laurie. Laurie is not okay and the sister turns on Gibbs "Don't you think she's been through enough all ready?" Gibbs wants to know if Laurie thinks Miller could have done this. Laurie doesn't know, maybe. All Laurie wants is Sarah back.

The Amber alert for Sarah is up on the plasma in the squad room. Tony is on the phone with Ziva, getting the information on Robert Miller. McGee says there are over 300 Robert Millers in the tri-state area alone. Even narrowing the search by the physical description, there are over 100. Tony reminds McGee that they have Laurie's cell phone records because they're tapping her line trying to trace the kidnapper's calls. "Abby is right," says McGee. "I am 3 beers short of a 6-pack." "I think she was talking about your abs, McFlabby," retorts Tony. They've found him.

The sister is still berating Gibbs. She wants him to let Laurie lie down and get some rest. Gibbs agrees as Ziva returns with Miller's home address. Gibbs is leaving Ziva with Laurie and her sister while he goes to Miller's. If the kidnapper calls again, no money until they talk to the girl.

Tony and McGee are driving to Miller's place. Tony is telling McGee about a Halloween adventure in his childhood. He dressed up as an astronaut and made a huge haul. He had to walk a lot to get to all of the mansions in his neighborhood, but it was worth it. McGee doesn't have a lot of sympathy for poor little rich Anthony DiNozzo. Tony's father made him throw everything away. McGee says he was concerned for Tony's teeth, but no. Tony made his astronaut costume out of one of his dad's designer ski suits. Now McGee has sympathy. Tony didn't sit down again until Christmas.

Tony and McGee arrive at Miller's apartment house where a Halloween party is in progress. McGee spots the Sebring, identifying it as a kuruma. Gibbs is there as well and they are about to crash the party. McGee finds a still smoldering piece of paper in the ashtray of the Sebring. And they find part of a fairy princess costume in the trunk of the car. "Let's get this son of a *****" is Gibbs' comment.

The team progresses through the apartment house to Miller's apartment. A scream echoes from the apartment as they approach the door. Gibbs busts the door in, shouting "Federal agents." Inside the apartment a costume party is in full swing. The team gets a round of applause and a man dressed as a carrot takes their picture and compliments them on their group costume. Only problem with it is they spelled CSI wrong on their hats. Gibbs is not in the mood and the carrot quickly finds out its best just to answer his questions. The carrot points out Robert Miller for them.

Robert Miller is dressed as a Klingon and speaks to them in Klingon as they approach. McGee translates. Gibbs has just been insulted ("Your mother has a smooth forehead"). Gibbs identifies himself as a federal agent again and the Klingon responds by brandishing his bat'leth and stating that Klingons do not surrender. Apparently that's because no Klingon has met Gibbs when he is looking for a missing 8-year-old girl. Miller quickly abandons his Klingon identity. Miller wants to know if Laurie sent them. Miller says he has a right to know if Sarah is his; he only wants to be a part of his daughter's life. Gibbs accuses Miller of kidnapping Sarah but he denies it. Miller was here all day planning the party. McGee and Tony have searched the apartment and there is no sign of Sarah. The only thing Tony hates worse than Halloween are Klingons. Miller names carrot man as one of the people who can vouch for him. Carrot man turns out to be a lawyer. Tony hates lawyers worse than Klingons. Miller claims Laurie threatened him, said her husband would kill him if he didn't leave them alone. They bring Miller in for questioning.

They call Ziva so Gibbs can talk with Laurie. Ziva leaves the dining area and goes to the bedroom to get Laurie. There is no one in the bedroom and the window is open.

Gibbs is sitting in the interrogation room staring across the table at Miller who is still in his full Klingon make-up minus hair. Tony joins McGee in the observation room and is surprised to see General Kang crying, or is that sweat. McGee suggests that a half-hour in a room with an angry Gibbs would make any Klingon cry. Gibbs has spent most of the half-hour simply staring at Miller. Tony thinks that's a new interrogation technique. McGee says it is working, it's even creeping him out. Tony has checked out Miller's alibi; he was at the party when Sarah was kidnapped. But neither wants to interrupt Gibbs to tell him that. They're now trying to figure out how the kidnap car could be in front of Miller's house if he had nothing to do with it. Miller either hired someone to do the kidnapping or he is being framed.

In the interrogation room, Miller is trying to talk to Gibbs, telling him he's trying to cooperate. Gibbs doesn't respond, just keeps staring. Miller asks if he's going to say anything. Gibbs just keeps staring.

In autopsy, Mr. Palmer is putting the skeleton to bed while Ziva and Ducky are having a heart-to-heart over tea. Ziva knew that Laurie was holding something back and she allowed herself to feel sorry for her. Does Ducky know what that makes her? "Human," Ducky answers. "A chimp," Ziva corrects him. "I think she means a chump, Doctor," Mr. Palmer responds and then proceeds to explain the difference between a chimp and a chump. Ducky asks Mr. Palmer to leave and says "he means well" as Mr. Palmer obliges.

Ziva continues to berate herself, but Ducky focuses on the problem at hand. "Two-thirds of all child abductions are by a biological relative." Did Laurie kidnap Sarah herself? "You know what they say about a mother bear and her cubs," Ducky reminds Ziva. Ziva, of course, does not. "They eat them when the food runs out." Ziva begins describing Grizzly Man, which Tony forced her to watch. Ducky was referring to a mother bear's protective nature when her cubs are threatened. "There's no deadlier creature on the planet." Ziva agrees reminding Ducky that they ate the man who shot the footage and his girlfriend. "Yes, well, that's perfectly dreadful," Ducky agrees. "That's what I told Tony," says Ziva. What Ducky is getting at is that Laurie's husband had left her, another man was claiming paternal rights. Laurie might not have wanted to lose or share custody of her child. It is a possible scenario. "What does Gibbs think?" asks Ducky. "Hard to tell," replies Ziva. "He's currently not talking to me." "Well, chin up dear. It could be worse." "How?" Ziva wants to know. "He could be a bear." Both giggle as they drink their tea.

Back in the interrogation room, Miller complains that they are wasting time. Someone has his daughter and is doing God knows what to her. Gibbs speaks for the first time, saying "Alleged." Sarah is his alleged daughter. Miller says it doesn't matter whether he's the father or not. Sarah is still Laurie's daughter and he cares what happens to her. Gibbs believes him. So why are they just sitting there? Miller is sitting, Gibbs is waiting. Waiting for what, Miller wonders. Gibbs' phone rings and that's what Gibbs is waiting for.

Abby is calling to tell him she has ID'ed the skeleton. Gibbs is in the corridor moving and is joined by Tony and McGee who tell him that Miller's alibi checked out. Gibbs knows that Miller didn't do it. How does Gibbs know that, McGee wonders. Because Gibbs spent 40 minutes with him. "All he did was stare," McGee says. "Did you ever try reading a Klingon's face, McGee? It ain't exactly easy." And Gibbs strides away.

The skeleton is Lee Varon, identified by the DMV database. Gibbs wants to know everything about him from birth until Ducky cracked his sternum. Tony and McGee just stand there and Gibbs head slaps them both saying "Yeah! On it boss!" which brings both of them to life. Abby is just standing there as Gibbs moves in close to her and says "Not bad for a blond." Abby reports that there is no statistical evidence that blondes have lower IQs than any other hair color. Gibbs will take her word for that and starts to leave the lab. "There's more. If you're interested. Mr. President." Abby continues. Gibbs peeks back around the door jamb to see what she has.

Abby ran tests on the piece of burnt paper McGee found in the Sebring. Abby found no prints but ink on the paper. She did some of her special magic and found this, "the miracle that separates us from all other primates. Really bad penmanship." Miller's name and address are on the piece of paper. Ziva walks in and says that Laurie Niles probably gave that information to the kidnappers. Gibbs tells Ziva that Laurie did not kidnap her own daughter. Than where is Laurie Niles? "Last time I saw her, with you," is Gibbs' accusing response as he walks out the door. Ziva admits she screwed up but why did Laurie run. Because she was hiding something. "So you agree with me," Ziva suggests. "Oh, yeah," Gibbs replies emphatically. "You definitely screwed up." And he leaves the lab.

Abby wants to know what is going on between Gibbs and Ziva. "I think he's planning on devouring me," Ziva tells her. "And they say blondes have all the fun," is Abby's parting remark.

As Gibbs comes into the squad room, McGee starts to report on Varon. He was in the service and received an other than honorable discharge. He's a security guard at a law firm, the same one that Laurie Niles works at. They knew each other, Tony says. Yes, because she hired him to kidnap her daughter, Ziva responds. It's the only thing that makes sense. Gibbs doesn't agree. There's another reason. They want Laurie to do something but Gibbs doesn't know what just yet.

McGee got a hit on his BOLO on Varon's vehicle. He just entered it in the system so it's odd that he got a hit so fast. The vehicle is moving and they're getting responses because they're using Varon's EZ Pass for high speed toll lanes. The vehicle is on its way to the law firm. Gibbs and team gear up and hit the road.

At the law firm, they find glitter on the floor from Sarah's fairy princess costume. Varon's car is in the parking lot. Ziva and Tony are to find the girl, Gibbs and McGee will find the mother. McGee finds the sisters being held hostage by a male with a semi-automatic weapon. McGee can only see the left-hand side of the room so he is not sure if Sarah is in the office or not.

Laurie is working on her computer, using her handprint to verify her identity. She's freeing the insurance money, all $3 million of it, for the kidnapper. She's to transfer it to the accounts he provides, but Laurie is holding out for her daughter. He tells her she'll get Sarah after she transfers the cash, so play it safe and smart like she's done so far. Laurie asks if he shot her husband. Yes, because her husband fought back. He was supposed to be kidnapped along with Sarah, but Niles gave them no choice. Laurie shouldn't make the same mistake. Laurie wonders how she can trust him not to kill them anyway. He assures her he will kill them if she doesn't do the transfers. Her sister encourages her to go along with the kidnapper, just get it over with. Laurie tells him that NCIS will figure it out, but the kidnapper believes they're clueless.

That's when Gibbs and McGee bust in. "Federal agents. Drop your weapon." The kidnapper chooses to shoot instead and Gibbs and McGee return fire, dropping him. Laurie and her sister are all right. But they still have Sarah. If she's in the building, we'll find her, McGee assures them.

Tony and Ziva are searching the rest of the building for Sarah. They find her bound and gagged in a closet.

As Gibbs verifies that the kidnapper is dead, Laurie leaves the office to find her daughter. Her sister trails behind her.

Ziva tells Sarah that they are friends of her mommy and they're here to take her home. Tony notifies Gibbs that they have Sarah and she is safe.

Gibbs stops the sisters to tell them that they have Sarah. "Once we secure the building, you and your sister can see her," McGee tells them. At that instant, Laurie decks her sister in the mouth and knocks her to the floor. "She's not my sister!" she screams as she continues beating the woman. "She's one of them. Told me that if I didn't lie to you they'd kill my baby." Laurie has the woman on the ground and is kicking her repeatedly. Gibbs and McGee back up in the face of this mama bear's anger. Gibbs finally rushes in and grabs Laurie, pulling her off of the woman kidnapper, telling her to stop. "All they wanted was the stupid money," Laurie screams. McGee sees the gun in the other woman's purse, which is lying open on the floor. Gibbs keeps pulling Laurie back from the other woman.

At that moment, Laurie spies Sarah, who comes running to her mommy, followed by Tony and Ziva. McGee is handcuffing the other woman as Tony and Ziva walk up. In classic understatement, Gibbs tells them, "Apparently she doesn't have a sister." "Halloween, Ziva," Tony intones. "Be glad it only happens once a year."

Back in the squad room, Sarah is trick-or-treating in her fairy princess outfit. Ducky is helping. "The sky is blue, the grass is green, may we have our Halloween?" he says in a broad Scottish accent. "Thank you," Sarah says. "You're most welcome, your highness," Ducky responds and bows. Abby, still in her Marilyn costume, tells her they still have a lot of desks to hit and Ducky, Sarah, and Abby take off around the squad room. Laurie tells Tony that they didn't have to do this, but Tony tells her that every kid deserves a happy Halloween. Ziva and McGee walk up to report that her husband is awake and asking for her and Sarah. They have a car waiting to take them to the hospital. The camera is following the trio of trick-or-treaters around the office, while Laurie asks the team to tell Gibbs how grateful she is and how sorry she is that she had to lie to him. "Trust me," Tony tells her, "he knows."

The camera pulls back to reveal Gibbs standing up on the balcony overlooking the squad room, leaning on the railing with a coffee cup in his hands. He's watching Sarah and listening to her giggle. Then we see him flash back to taking Kelly trick-or-treating. The episode ends with Gibbs having a smile on his face at the happy memory.

◄ Return to 4.06 Witch Hunt


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