NCIS 1.13 One Shot, One Kill

The episode begins with two young men, playing a video game machine in a small grocery store. The one that is actually playing gets very frustrated because he keeps missing shots and his friend tells him, "Dude, you so suck." The young man responds, "This machine sucks! It's impossible!" Needless to say, the guy loses and his friend won't give him anymore change to play again, saying he still owes him $3.00 for tacos. The guy says to forget it and that the machine is rigged to make you lose anyway.

Within minutes, they hear another video game machine saying, "Kill shot, kill shot..." Walking around, they find a Marine Gunnery Sergeant Freddie Alvarez, playing the game. Needless to say, the young men are impressed.

Within a little while, the young men are sitting in a Marine Recruiting Station with Gunnery Sgt. Alvarez, being recruited. One of the young men, trying to clarify what Alvarez has already told them, asks if they sign up now, could he guarantee they'd go to Hawaii. He tells them if they sign an open contract, he will bust his behind to get them any duty station they want. They ask about Iraq, but Alvarez tells them that Iraq might be a problem. He says Iraq would probably be over with by the time they graduate. He also says that most Marines don't see combat and to look at him. He's been in the Corp 16 years and the closest he's ever come to a bullet is... He's cut off by a gunshot that breaks his coffee cup and hits him in the chest. He falls over at his desk that has been sprayed with his blood. The young men look at each other in horror.

A little while later, the NCIS team, as well as others, are at the recruiting station. While Kate questions the young men outside, Gibbs, Ducky, and Tony work inside. Ducky determines that Alvarez died almost instantly. Gibbs tells him that the C.O. is on his way and then, asks if Alvarez can be moved yet. Ducky says they can't put him on the gurney until they take pictures and that Gerald has the camera and is no where to be found. Gibbs asks Ducky if he could hurry his assessment up and says that he doesn't think Gunnery Sgt. Alvarez would appreciate being seen like that.

Within minutes, Gibbs asks Tony where his (Gibbs's) bullet is and Tony says hopefully in this box or in the wall behind it. He asks Gibbs if he has his knife on him. Gibbs gets his knife out and reminds him of rule #9, resites the rule to him, with Kate joining in toward the end: "Never go anywhere without a knife." Tony smarts off, saying he thought rule 9 was "Never ask a girl her weight on a first date." Kate pops off back and says that depends entirely on if he wants a second one or not.

Gibbs asks Kate what she has. She says the kids couldn't tell them much except for where Alvarez was sitting when he was shot and that several people said they heard a gunshot around 1300, but no eyewitnesses.

As Tony looks through a recruiting pamphlet and at the uniform in the picture, he tells Gibbs he (Tony) bets he (Gibbs) didn't have a problem getting dates, wearing one of those uniforms. Gibbs says dating wasn't exactly his problem then.

Gibbs turns his attention back to Kate and asks what the Leos said. Kate says it may have been gang-related and that Alvarez had a couple of run-ins with the locals and that last month, a cinder-block was thrown through the window there at the recruiting station.

Tony looks in the bullet hole in the wall and says if it was gang bangers, they're packing some serious stuff because the bullet went through the sheetrock into a toy warehouse. Gibbs tells him to give him his knife back and then, tells him and Kate to get moving and not to come back without his bullet.

Tony puts a string trojectory thing on the wall where the bullet hole is and gets up to leave. As he and Kate leave, Tony asks her if she thinks Gibbs would let him borrow his Marine uniform for a weekend. Kate says she doesn't know, but that she hopes she's there when Tony asks him.

Outside, Ducky looks in the back of the NCIS vehicle for the gurney and it isn't there. He wonders where Gerald put it and is about to get irritated, thinking Gerald was taken up with his MP3 again, when he (Gerald) walks up and tells him (Ducky) he finished taking all the pictures and put the gurney near the body because Gibbs wanted the body removed quickly. Ducky is impressed.

As Tony and Kate make their way into the toy warehouse, Tony picks up a doll and asks Kate if she ever played with one of those as a kid. Kate smarts off and asks if she looks like the doll type. Tony says maybe if she smiled more and did something with her hair.

They are, then, greeted by a warehouse employee, who walks up to them and asks if he can help them. Kate tells him they're with NCIS and Tony proceeds to tell him what it stands for, but he already knows. The man identifies himself as Carl, the AWM (assistant warehouse manager). Kate appears to be impressed that he's heard of them and Carl says he watches Forensic Files on Court TV and that they profiled a case that NCIS had a while back. He proceeds to tell them NCIS couldn't solve it and that the FBI was brought in.

Disgusted, Tony cuts him off and Kate says they're there on official matters. Carl guesses it's about the murder next door and Tony says the bullet went through the common wall into that warehouse and they need to forensically trace its trojectory. Carl agrees it's okay and asks them if they're gonna use a laser or the more outdated string technique. Tony and Kate look irritated.

Back at the recruiting station, Alvarez's body is zipped up in the body bag and wheeled out by Ducky and Gerald.

Outside, Gibbs introduces himself to the C.O., Major Dorden. Major Dorden proceeds to tell Gibbs that Alvarez was a career recruiter who never missed a quota. Gibbs asks him if he has any ideas about the crime and he reiterates the gang theory. Gibbs asks if there were any complaints filed by any of the kids he recruited. Major Dorden says there were some and Gibbs tells him he will need to see them. Major Dorden agrees and says he can have the whole filing cabinet if it will help find the killer.

Back at the toy warehouse, Tony and Kate are still trying to find the bullet, but have had no luck. As they are crawling on the floor, looking for marks, thinking it could have dropped, Carl tells them that that's not how they do things on CSI. Kate looks back at him and tells him he needs to get off the couch more. Tony proceeds to ask Carl if there was a pallet or a display right around where they were looking at about 1:00 that afternoon. Seeing Carl was distracted, Tony calls his name again and Carl says yes and that it had left on a truck about an hour ago and that it was a load of dolls, headed for Richmond. Tony asks him if he (Carl) could contact the driver and Carl says he can.

Later at headquarters, Gibbs dumps a load of file folders on Kate's desk, which he says is 7 years of Alvarez's personal and professional correspondences and tells Kate they need to be sorted by category. Kate asks what they are and Gibbs says he's leaving that part up to her. Kate tells him to at least tell her what she's looking for. Gibbs says the same thing they're all looking for: a murderer.

Down in Abby's lab, Tony is stunned to see that Abby has pulled all the dolls' heads off their bodies. Abby says it's so they will know they've been checked. Tony says the one with the bullet in it was on top. He's also stunned that all the dolls are naked. Abby ssh's him and says she's about to perform her first autopsy. She proceeds to cut the doll head open and takes the bullet out with tweezers. She holds it up and does an impression of Ducky and says, "Gerald, to Abby please." Gibbs walks in and wants to know if Ducky knows that she does that. Abby says hello and that she was about to run the bullet through the ballistics lab. Gibbs says good and when she's done, he wants to see the mock-up trojectory. Abby proceeds.

Gibbs asks Tony why those dolls are naked. Tony says it must be a goth thing.

Later, Abby gives her report on the bullet and says it definitely wasn't just a pistol. She says it was 7.62 mL. Kate guesses it was a rifle and Abby says the problem is she can't tell which kind and that she'll try to look it up on the plates. Gibbs tells her to start with what it's not. She says it's not an AK47. The grooving is all wrong. Without knowing the exact make of the rifle, she can only guess, but it could explain why there's no eyewitnesses. She does determine that the shot was long range and Gibbs says the shooter is a sniper.

Later that evening, it is determined, after looking through some of Alvarez's files, that he had a gift for exaggerating opportunities the Corp offered. However, no threats have been discovered yet. After Gibbs gets a phone call, he and Tony leave to go search the building that Abby thinks the shooter fired from, while Kate stays behind to keep looking through Alvarez's files.

As Tony and Gibbs observe the trashy surroundings around the building they go to to search, Gibbs speculates that's the reason Alvarez made quota every month. After they make their way up the multi-floor building, they discover a brick wall that faces the recruiting station. Tony thinks Abby had to have made a mistake and wonders how the shooter could've fired from there. Within minutes, Gibbs discovers a brick that has been cut out of the wall and the hole where it was gave a perfect view of the recruiting station and he says they have a shooter who is highly intelligent.

The next morning, a tired Tony walks in to headquarters to find Kate with organized stacks of files on her desk. Kate asks him if he had fun last night. He said he got in around 4 am and filed evidence for another hour. Kate asks if Gibbs was with him and Tony nervously picks up the phone, saying he better call and make sure Gibbs is up. About that time, Gibbs comes walking up and tells Tony he's (Tony's) late and Tony says good morning.

Gibbs asks Kate if she has those files sorted. She says it looks like they might have had Alvarez figured wrong. She holds up some files and says they're letters, thanking him and that he kept in touch with a lot of his recruits, even after graduation. She, then, holds up some files that were gripes and then, walks over to Gibbs's desk with 2 files that stood out. One, she said, sounded the most promising and Gibbs reads that the person was threatening to cut off Alvarez's head---but Kate says he couldn't be the shooter because he was killed in Iraq 6 months earlier. The other file appeared to be the best bet---a Sgt. Aaron Barnes was promised qualification for the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Program if he signed up for a 6-year hitch. However, Sgt. Barnes's high school GPA wasn't high enough to qualify and when he found out, he wanted to break his contract. Of course, that could not happen and upon being told he couldn't do that, he wrote a threatening letter to Alvarez, promising to look him up again when his (Barnes's) contract was up. Tony says that's not exactly a death threat and Kate says Barnes's contract is up that year, but there's something interesting. Two years ago, Barnes was selected for sniper school and he did so well that he was brought back as an instructor and that is what he is doing now.

Within a little while, Barnes is tracked down at the school. Barnes is mortified to find that Gibbs, Tony, and Kate believe he could be the shooter that killed Alvarez. He is shown the letter that he (Barnes) wrote years earlier and is stunned that Alvarez kept it. Barnes says it isn't what they (the team) thinks. Gibbs asks him where he was between noon and 1400 the day before. He says he was on an individual PT around some resevoir. Kate asks if anyone can corroborate that and he says a Corporal Stenson can. Tony asks where he is and Barnes says he's (Stenson's) conducting some class in the field and he could have Stenson call them when he gets back. Gibbs says he has a better idea; he tells Barnes to give them Stenson's grid-coordinate and a map.

Stenson is tracked down and tells them he and Barnes were running the obstacle course.

A little later, Gibbs has Barnes at headquarters in interrogation. Barnes says yes, Alvarez lied to him. He (Barnes) got ticked and he wrote Alvarez that letter, but joining the Corp was the best thing that ever happened to him. Gibbs notices that Barnes is sweating despite the fact that it is 68 degrees in that room and he asks him if he's hot or does he always sweat that much. Barnes vehemently claims he is not a murderer and Gibbs says excuse him if he doesn't take Barnes's word for it. Barnes states that his contract was up that year and why would he re-enlist for 6 more years if he hated the Corp. Gibbs speculates maybe he just enjoyed being a sniper.

Unbeknownst to Gibbs, the real shooter is preparing to shoot another recruiter in Maryland.

Barnes stands by his claim---he didn't shoot Alvarez.

As Gibbs, Kate, Tony, and Ducky arrive at the recruiting station in Maryland, they find an unpleasant surprise: the FBI is there to investigate. Gibbs argues with FBI Agent Freeman that since the victim was a Marine, it was in NCIS's jurisdiction. Agent Freeman says it was across state lines in Maryland in their jurisdiction, according to the FBI Director. He tells Gibbs if he will pull his people back, they'll get copies of everything they (the FBI) find. Of course, Gibbs isn't about to back down. Agent Freeman says Fornell warned him about Gibbs and for Gibbs not to try and remove the body.

Across the room, Tony and Kate give another FBI Agent---who is using a red laser to trace the bullet---a hard time for using a laser.

Kate, then, tells Gibbs they can get the trojectory with no problem and Tony says the competition will be for the bullet. Ducky says the bullet passed clean through the victim and he (the victim) wouldn't be much help. Then, Gibbs suggests that they all "help their good friends, the FBI, find it." He tells Tony to make a hole. Tony asks Ducky for a scalpal and Gibbs tells Kate to find the bullet.

While Ducky keeps an FBI person distracted, Kate looks around for the bullet and finds it in the wall, behind a chair. Tony "makes" the other hole in the wall and calls out to Gibbs he has the secondary bullet hole. FBI Agent Freeman steps in and says they'll take it from there. Tony stands up in front of him and says oh no and that he will wait for his (Tony's) boss---the good looking guy with all his hair. Gibbs comes back over and says he will handle it.

While Kate digs the bullet out of the wall, Gibbs keeps Agent Freeman distracted. Agent Freeman asks if Gibbs has heard from his (Gibbs's) director yet. Gibbs says he hasn't and until he does, the bullet in the wall belongs to NCIS. Agent Freeman gets an attitude and says from where he's standing, Gibbs is out-numbered. Gibbs remains calm and cool and says from where he's standing, he (Gibbs) isn't real worried about it. Agent Freeman gets upset and calls out for someone to get the NCIS Director on the phone.

As Kate continues digging the bullet out of the wall, Gibbs tells Agent Freeman that getting his (Gibbs's) director on the phone might be a problem because he (the NCIS Director) plays golf on Thursdays.

As Kate bags the bullet and hides it inside her jacket, Gibbs's phone rings. Gibbs answers and Tony tells him, from outside, that Kate has the bullet. Gibbs, then, proceeds to fake Agent Freeman out by pretending it's the NCIS Director on the phone.

After about a minute, he hangs up the phone and tells Agent Freeman it looks like he (Freeman) wins this one, but not to get used to it. Agent Freeman says for him not to take it personally and that they all have their orders.

Before leaving the recruiting station, Gibbs finds a small, white feather on the floor, next to the water thing and he's reminded of someone named Carlos Hathcock---a Marine sniper legend with 39 confirmed kills in Vietnam. Kate asks if Gibbs thinks it's connected to the shooter and he says he doesn't know and if they can find one that matches it in Alvarez's office. She asks if he realizes what it means if it is a calling card and Gibbs says it means the shooter likes to meet the recruiter before he kills him.

Back at headquarters, Abby determines that the second bullet is in better condition than the first and that stuff between the two bullets are matching up. Even though she isn't completely sure it's from the same gun, she's 100% sure it's from the same model. She also determines that the shooter fired from a vehicle because there isn't a building in the right place for him to have shot from.

At the first recruiting station, Tony and Kate are attempting to find a feather like the one found at the second station. Tony is griping about being the one to crawl around on the floor while Kate just brushes him off---until she opens a closet and finds live roaches, crawling around. She quickly closes the door and offers to switch with Tony. He agrees and upon opening the closet and finding the live roaches, he gives Kate a disgusted look while she laughs at him.

Back at headquarters, Gibbs goes back to the interrogation room, where Sgt. Barnes says he has been waiting for 3 hours without anyone telling him what's going on. Gibbs says they'll be there for another 3 hours if that's what it takes. Barnes is stunned as he thought he wasn't being charged. He, then, asks Gibbs what Corporal Stenson said. Gibbs says Stenson said they were PTing yesterday and goes on to repeat what was said about the run around the resevoir, but asks Barnes why Corporal Stenson didn't remember making the run. Barnes's face falls. Gibbs says he has no alibi and whether he's the shooter or not, he had lied during a criminal investigation. He goes on to tell Barnes, "Let's discuss those charges."

Barnes speaks up and states the name Rachel Hauser. He goes on to tell Gibbs that he was with that girl from noon to 1400 at a motel outside the main gate. Gibbs asks if the girl has a phone number and Barnes writes it on a slip of paper for him.

Just before Gibbs leaves the room, Barnes speaks up and tells him that his (Barnes's) wife doesn't know. Gibbs says he's just checking on an alibi and the rest was between him (Barnes) and her.

Back at the first recruiting station, Tony and Kate haven't had any luck, finding a white feather. Tony pops off and says Alvarez must have recruited the cleaning crew because they obviously hadn't been there in a while. Kate speculates that the feather might have blown away the first time they swept. Then, it finally dawns on them to check the ventilation and sure enough, the white feather is stuck in there.

Later, back at headquarters, after some discussion, it is determined that the shooter is not in the military, but a wanna-be, who is targeting Marine recruiters because they turned him down. It is also determined if he continues his pattern, they have less than 24 hours and Gibbs says maybe it's time they get more proactive.

So, it is decided that Gibbs is going to go undercover as Gunnery Sgt. Alvin Thomas, taking Kate undercover with him as his C.O., Captain Nelson. Tony is stunned that Kate is gonna be Gibbs's C.O. and he says he didn't realize she knew so much about being a Marine. Gibbs says she doesn't know squat about being a Marine and that she doesn't have to. Kate goes on to tell Tony that she won't be interacting with the recruits. She'll just be there to focus on how they interact with Gibbs and that one of them might be the sniper. Tony smarts off and tells her she isn't the only one around there who knows how to profile. Kate pops off back, "Maybe. But with that haircut, you wouldn't pass for an ROTC student." Tony glares at her.

Gibbs, later, asks Tony what they heard from the FBI. Tony says they'll cooperate, but they're not too keen on the visible part. Gibbs says the shooter isn't a moron and if he doesn't see law enforcement in the area, he will think something is wrong.

Confused, Tony asks what's the point of setting a trap if he (the shooter) knows about it. Kate answers him by saying that part of a sniper's mission is to infiltrate enemy territory. This guy wants to prove himself and validate his skills. He won't pass up an opportunity like this. Tony asks what if the shooter succeeds. As Gibbs heads toward the elevator, he assures Tony that the shooter won't succeed.

Tony, then, tells Kate she looks good in her uniform and she says thanks. Then, she decides to have a little fun with him and asks him if he has tried his on yet. Tony doesn't know what she means and she tells him Gibbs said he'd (Tony would) be in uniform, too. For a moment, Tony gets a little excited.

A little while later, we see Tony on a utility pole, wearing a bright orange and bright yellow vest. He talks into a hidden microphone, to Abby (who is back at headquarters) and he says Gibbs gets dress blue charlies and he (Tony) looks like one of the village people. Abby laughs and tells him maybe he can find a local cop and get a dance routine going. About a minute later, she asks Tony how he's doing and he tells her he's hardwiring the main microphone to the DSL line and he has the other two on a wireless relay. Then, Abby determines all microphones are operational and she's set where she's at.

Down in the recruiting station, Major Dorden (Alvarez's and Allen's (2nd victim) C.O.) says the new window that was put in looks good. Gibbs agrees. He asks Gibbs how it feels to be back in uniform. Gibbs says it's a little tighter than he remembers.

Major Dorden, then, asks Gibbs if he really thinks this will work. Gibbs says he doesn't know, but if it doesn't, there's no sense worrying about it. Major Dorden responds, "Spoken like a true Marine."

Then, Kate comes walking in and Major Dorden greets her by saying, "Good morning, Captain." She responds, "Major," and then, looks at Gibbs and says, "Gibbs...I mean, Gunny." Gibbs walks over to her. He, then, reminds her that her cover (hat) comes off inside. She takes her cover off. Gibbs, then, looks her over and says she's looking good. He opens her jacket and discovers her ribbons are out of order. She gets disgusted and says she spent an hour, trying to get it right. Gibbs tells her it's okay and that it's a common newbie mistake.

Major Dorden becomes extremely concerned and says that maybe he should take her place because their whole plan rests on this guy believing that they are both Marines. But Gibbs assures him that they have it under control and that Kate will do fine. Major Dorden says that he will just stay and help out, then, and that there's nothing wrong with another set of eyeballs. Gibbs says it isn't a good idea and the best thing he (Dorden) can do is leave it to them (the team). Major Dorden reminds him that he (Dorden) lost two of his men to this guy and asks if he (Gibbs) really thinks he (Dorden) is passing up a chance for payback. Gibbs reminds him that his (Dorden's) mission is to protect their country and their (the team's) mission is to protect him and his Marines. He goes on to say for him (Dorden) to allow them (the team) the honor of doing their job. Major Dorden agrees, wishes Gibbs and Kate luck, and leaves.

Gibbs and Kate take their seats at their desks and Tony conducts a mike check from his car---everyone hears him fine. Thus, begins the waiting.

Later in the day, Tony wonders if they're giving away free XBoxes because he observed the 10th kid of the day going in. Kate says Gibbs is really good at this stuff and jokingly says she's even thinking of signing up. He asks about potential snipers and she says he will be the first to know. He, then, says no, Gibbs will and asks if Gibbs is still wearing his vest. Kate observes Gibbs's vest on the floor, under his desk, and tells Tony that Gibbs said it was visible under his shirt. Tony gets aggravated.

As Kate observes Gibbs interacting with a recruit, the water delivery man comes up to her and asks for her signature on the invoice and she obliges.

A little while later, FBI Agent Freeman picks up his walkie-talkie and tells Tony they should call it a day because the last 2 attacks were earlier in the day. Of course, Tony tells him they can't and if they close early, it'll look suspicious.

A little later, Gibbs asks Kate what she thinks and she says that he has at least one more day as a human target.

Then, another recruit comes in. Gibbs introduces himself as Gunnery Sgt. Alvin Thomas, shakes the recruit's hand, and asks the recruit how he can help him. The recruit says he's been thinking about it a little and asks Gibbs if he has any pamphlets. Gibbs hands him a pamphlet, leads him over to his (Gibbs's) desk, and proceeds to tell him what the Marines have to offer him. The recruit says he doesn't want to sit around in an office. Gibbs tells him he can't blame him and asks him if he's looking for something more active. The recruit says yeah. Gibbs tells him he seems like a combat arms kind of guy and proceeds to name off the different choices. When coming to the sniper choice, he turns his computer screen around for the recruit to see a picture of a sniper. The recruit appears interested in that, but says he doesn't know and he's not really sure and that maybe he should come back.

When he leaves, Kate nods at Gibbs and tells Tony to keep an eye on this guy and that he (the recruit) might be their man.

Gibbs goes over to the water thing to get a cup of water and finds a white feather. He looks at Kate and says that the sniper had already been there. Kate tells Tony to forget the kid and that the sniper is the water delivery guy. She, then, repeats that the sniper is the water delivery guy.

All of a sudden, a shot is fired and the bullet lodges itself in the bullet-resistant window glass. Kate and Gibbs look at the window in horror.

Back at headquarters, Abby says the mikes picked up the shot and upon triangulating on her computer, she determines where the sniper is: at a merchant building on the corner of 6th and Kay---10th floor. She also determines that the building has an alley in the back and that it's the most likely exit from where he's at. Tony takes off in his car, after the guy, and FBI Agent Freeman says that he and his team will take the southern entrance.

Tony catches up to the guy before he can get away. He gets out of the car, points his gun at the sniper, identifies himself as a federal agent, and commands the sniper to drop the weapon. The sniper tries to get away, going toward the southern entrance, where the FBI van comes speeding in. The sniper realizes he is trapped, turns to shoot Tony, but Tony fires his gun several times at the sniper, killing him.

FBI Agent Freeman comes walking up, with his team, thanks Tony, and says they'll take it from there. Tony goes over to the sniper's vehicle, looks inside, sees Marine brochures, a white feather, and some other junk.

Within minutes, Kate and Gibbs make their way to the alley. Tony says they got their guy and that the FBI is taking credit.

Then, Gibbs looks over at Kate, who is not wearing her cover (hat) and he asks her where her cover is.

Back at headquarters, Kate informs Gibbs and Tony that the sniper was Kyle Hendricks, age 22, rejected by Sgt. Gordon MacKenzie on 11 August 2002 at the Rockville Recruiting Center. He failed the personality profile assessment---sociopathic tendencies and anti-social behavior. His goal for joining the Marines was to be a Marine sniper. Gibbs says they have to admit that the sniper was one heck of a marksman.

He, then, proceeds to leave, addresses Tony, and addresses Kate as Captain. Kate looks in his direction and smiles.

Tony, then, asks Kate what it was like. She goes over to her desk to get her stuff and asks him, "What like?" Tony says being Gibbs's superior officer. Kate says, "You mean, did I get to boss him around? Make him salute me? Call me Ma'am?" Tony says basically. Kate says it was great. Tony laughs and says she's lying. She asks, "Am I?" Tony keeps smiling at her.

She, then, proceeds to tell him that Abby said he looked really good in his uniform, too. As she heads toward the elevator, she goes on to say that Abby also said he'd fit right in with the biker boy, the indian chief, the cowboy, and all the other macho, macho men. Kate, then, really laughs outloud.


This episode recap was written by me from notes taken from watching the episode on my season 1 DVDs.

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© 2010 April | Coding credit goes to Nikie.
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