"Eye Spy"

NCIS Season 1, Episode 11, first aired 01/13/04. James Morrison plays Assistant Director Rover of the CIA.

A young man sits in a satellite control room, watching a nude woman sunbathing on a Virginia beach. A knock at the door causes him to interrupt his viewing, but it's just his friend. He re-sets the satellite. The beach happens to be inside Little Creek Naval Base.

Suddenly, the sunbather starts to get dressed obviously someone else has arrived. It's a white SUV. Someone gets out. The lads look for the sunbather again, but she's gone. Focusing back on the intruder, they watch one person leave something on the beach and head back to the vehicle. Bringing the shape on the beach into close-up they realize it's the body of a man in scuba gear.

Special Agents Dinozo and Todd are verbally sparring, as Gibbs enters the control center. The phone rings and the team heads out to investigate a murder at Little Creek.

They arrive at the scene to be told that an anonymous tipper had called in to base security telling them that someone had been stabbed.

The body has been identified as Lieutenant Commander Thomas Egan, a technical adviser to Side Scan, a civilian contractor doing classified work on the base. Gibbs sets his team to work and Dinozo notes that the motive can't have been robbery – Egan’s expensive watch is still on his arm. But his dive knife is missing. Unfortunately, the tide is coming in and the team has to rush to get all the measurements and photos they need before the rising water damages the crime scene. Ducky wants the body kept dry so he can make his preliminary findings; so Tony throws himself down to form a human break water.

Gibbs has moved the investigation on to Side Scan where he and Kate are questioning two of the dead man's colleagues. It seems that Egan was heading out to do an underwater test with the hand-held sonar gun Side Scan has been developing. He was part of a Navy team evaluating the prototype gun, which has now gone missing. Gibbs has Kate start to check Egan's desk and confiscate the computer and anything else that may be relevant to the investigation.

Meanwhile, Dinozo is questioning the man on the desk who took the anonymous phone tip. He is told that the call came in at 09.32hrs; was made by a nervous sounding man who hung up abruptly when questioned further about his information. Tony notices that the phone system has caller ID installed, and although the call was ID blocked he thinks NCIS can trace it.

Rather than going through official channels - which will take too long - he takes the information to Special Agent McGee, who manages to trace the call through Little Creek's telephone exchange. However, the number is followed by an asterisk, which confuses both men. Dinozo tells McGee to find out what it means.

Having finished at Side Scan for the moment, Gibbs and Todd head over to interview Egan's widow. She is also in the Navy and although they have managed to be stationed together most of the time, after Egan's transfer to Little Creek, his wife had to wait 4 months until she had finished her assignment to join him there.

Lieutenant Egan had been away at Camp Jejune for a seminar and had arrived home to find the base commander and a chaplain at her door. She had spoken to her husband only the night before and is very upset, but Gibbs stresses the importance of her assistance to the investigation.

The Lieutenant pulls herself together and tells them that Tom was a decorated Navy SEAL and would go diving several times a week. She had no idea what he was working on however, as he was very strict about the 'need to know' policy of his assignments and didn't discuss them with anyone, even his wife.

While all this was happening away from NCIS HQ, Ducky and Gerald are preparing to autopsy Tom Egan when the body bag starts moving. They're a little freaked, but relieved when it turns out to be a crab that has been brought along for the ride.

Gibbs and Kate return to Little Creek and hook back up with Tony. It turns out that the phone used to make the tip off call was a restricted number with a 703 area code... Langley, Virginia. Which means its CIA.

Kate takes Egan's computer back to HQ for Abby to investigate while Gibbs tries to set up a meeting with the CIA to discuss the phone call. Ducky has set the time of death at approximately 09:30hrs and Langley is more than 200 miles from Little Creek. Which makes things a little iffy as far as the NCIS team are concerned. The only way that would be possible was if someone were watching the base via a high-def satellite.

Gibbs has got his interview with an Assistant Director Rover. The man is defensive and un-helpful. "You're accusing the Agency of spying on a US Naval station... It didn't happen Agent Gibbs." When pressed he admits he's not denying that they would be capable of doing it, just that they didn't do it. "... But you know as well as I do that it would be a violation of CIA mandate to operate domestically."

Gibbs sarcastic remark that the CIA never does anything illegal does not go down well with Rover. Even when he asks outright for assistance with his case, he is told, "There is nothing I can to help you Agent Gibbs, if you'll excuse me..."and is shown the door.

As he hasn't had any luck doing things the official way, Gibbs has Abby contact an old NASA friend to see if he can help with their problem. He checks the satellite activity for them and finds what they need, even being able to tell which office in which building controlled the bird that was used. After a little more digging, they find the name of the man they want and go out to pull him in.

He turns out to be Jeremy Worth, a satellite analyst, so Gibbs and Todd go on stake out in order to pick him up. At first he is just as un-helpful as Rover had been, but once Gibbs gets in his face, the young man tells them about the nude sunbather. He can't help with the murder investigation, as the picture resolution was bad. Gibbs isn't sure he believes the young man. Worth volunteers to show them exactly what it was he saw, but that as he is under investigation for the un-authorized use of the government’s equipment he cannot get access to the stored files at Langley.

Gibbs calls AD Rover. "What the hell are you up to, Gibbs?" Rover asks. Gibbs explains that he wants the recording of the satellite transmission. Rover still isn't very helpful. "I don’t know what you are talking about." Gibbs starts to play hardball. He explains that technically, Worth was spying on a US Naval Base and that he is sure one of the many Congressional Oversight Committees around these days would be very interested in talking to the young analyst. Suddenly AD Rover becomes much more accommodating. "How do we handle this?" Gibbs replies, "I'll be there in 15 minutes."

Meanwhile Ducky is hard at work on the autopsy. It appears that Egan was stabbed with his own, still missing, dive knife. It's a deep wound probably inflicted by a left-handed assailant.

Abby is also hard at work - on Egan's computer, and trying to ignore Dinozo. Gibbs and Todd arrive with a copy of the stored satellite transmission for her to work on too. While they set the file up for enhancement, Abby tells the team that Commander Egan's notes reveal he was unsure about the sonar gun saying that the test results may have been altered. Tony wonders if Egan was killed because he was about to blow the whistle. Gibbs says it's a possibility. Then Tony is distracted as Abby enhances the image from the satellite and the sunbather becomes identifiable.

Back at the beach, divers have failed to find the sonar gun.

Abby now tries to discover the identity of the person who dumps Egan at the beach. However the image keeps distorting and cannot be made clear enough. But, as the beach is on Navy property, and therefore a restricted area, the odds are that the sunbather is Navy and works at Little Creek. Tony offers to track her down, and Gibbs, surprisingly, accepts his offer. It's decided that Tony should try the base gym as a first port of call, based on the sunbather's excellent muscle tone. Abby prints him a 'face-only' copy of the picture to take with him.

Kate is detailed to help Abby go over the files on Egan's computer and learn all she can about the sonar device. Ducky arrives to tell Gibbs about the findings of the autopsy. Due to the fact that the commander didn't make it into the water, Ducky has found what may be the assailant's DNA on the corpse. It's from a female.

Gibbs goes back to see Lieutenant Egan. He asks about the commander's state of mind recently; whether the Lieutenant knew any of the people at Side Scan; how long Egan actually spent at work. He's obviously working up to something but Mrs. Egan seems nervous and doesn't really answer his questions. She says she has to go and make funeral arrangements. Gibbs leaves.

Tony has arrived at the gym and is looking for the sunbather. He shows the picture to a man who says it might a Petty Officer Second whose name is Gina who gets to the gym about noon every day. Since that’s only 20 minutes away Tony decides to wait.

Out on the docks, Gibbs puts more questions to Tyler - Egan's female Navy colleague from Side Scan. He asks about Egan's mission on the morning of his death and mentions that Egan had reservations on the project. She finally admits Egan had doubts and that if they had proved true, Side Scan would lose the contract and it's owner a fortune. However, if the device cannot be found the company would probably get an extension to their deadline, which would enable them to correct the shortfalls Egan suspected if these proved to be present. Gibbs then asks if the woman would submit to a voluntary DNA swab saying he wants to eliminate her as the dead man's lover. She reluctantly tells him that there wouldn't be much point; she had been seeing the commander for months.

Back at the gym Tony spots the sunbather as she enters the gym. She is hostile to his questions until he shows her his ID.

Kate and Gibbs take a team back to Side Scan to collect all the files on the sonar device project. The boss, Overmeier, is understandably upset, but admits there were a couple of glitches with the device which he states would have been corrected before the thing went into production. Gibbs asks why there was only one prototype. Overmeier says he couldn't afford to fund more than one. When Gibbs seems to suggest that Overmeier might be involved in the murder in some way, the man goes to call his legal counsel.

Kate notes - after watching Overmeier sign the receipt for his files - that the man is left handed. Yet Gibbs noticed that Tyler wears her watch on the left - like most right handed people. They can check her file. Kate speculates that Tyler and Overmeier could be in it together. Gibbs agrees with her. Just then Tony rings to tell Gibbs he has found the sunbather.

Gibbs and Kate join Tony at the gym to question Gina. She tells them that she knows nude sunbathing is against regulations, but didn't think she'd be caught in winter on the beach. That was why she left hurriedly when she heard a vehicle pull up and saw a guy wearing a wet suit get out. At first she had believed the man to be alone, but had heard voices arguing and had glanced round to see another person. She revealed the second person was female and in the military.

The investigators now know that the killer is a left-handed female and in the military. This rules out Tyler as her records confirm she is right handed. This also eliminates Overmeier. The team has just ruled out its two best suspects. Gibbs thinks that they had focused too much on the espionage and whistle-blowing plot. After all, it is more interesting - perhaps - than the other possible scenario involving an upset partner. Egan's wife is military and plays golf left-handed. She also had an edge to her voice when telling Gibbs that things with her husband had changed in the last few months. However, there's no proof that she even knew Egan was having an affair with Tyler.

Gibbs and Kate go to visit Lieutenant Egan once more. They lead her to believe that their suspect for her husband's murder is Tyler. They then ask if the Lieutenant knew her husband was having an affair with the woman. They ask a couple more questions then head for the door. Lieutenant Egan asks if they know why her husband was killed. Gibbs explains that they believe Egan and Tyler confronted Overmeier about their doubts on the project. He offered them money to keep quiet. LT Egan says, "And Tom refused. He would never take money." Kate says that they believe Tyler wanted the money, so killed Egan and had to hide the prototype quickly. Gibbs adds that they need to find the device otherwise they don't have much of a case, as it is the only conclusive proof they could have of defects in the project.

As they leave the house, Kate asks if Gibbs thinks Mrs. Egan took the bait. He thinks it would be hard to pass up the chance to get away with murder and frame your husband's lover for the crime at the same time. Kate isn't sure they did the right thing - if the lieutenant isn't guilty, they were just awfully cold to a new widow. Gibbs says they have a way to find out. He calls Abby and tells her to contact her friend at NASA.

Abby is chatting to her NASA pal via video link when he spots movement at Egan's home on the surveillance satellite he is borrowing - technically it's down for maintenance. Gibbs, Kate and Tony are on stake out, so Abby calls them and re-directs the satellite data to them. She also guides them by voice and they follow their suspect from a safe distance. They briefly lose the satellite signal, but Abby's friend gets it back up in time for them to re-find Lieutenant Egan and follow her to a spot in a wooded area where she recovers the prototype sonar gun. She is then arrested for the murder of her husband.


This review and captured pictures is provided solely as a record of James Morrison's work as an actor, and does not intend or imply any infringement of any copyrights or trademark.

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