At the close of Season 8, the team suspects they have found another port-to-port killer who is bound to target someone at NCIS next. Upon finding answers, they discover secrets that could make or break the team. As Season 9 begins, the team is back at work in the field, and some of their cases hit close to home. One of McGee's family members may be involved in a murder, and we find Tony working on a special SecNav case that takes a dangerous turn.
Tony, working on special assignment from SecNav, is discovered shot with blood on the scene. Gibbs informs Tony that he shot an NCIS agent but, unfortunately, Tony has no memory of that night. While Tony tries to regain his memory, the team works to figure out what Tony's special assignment actually is, fearing he may have been the actual target in the shooting and the killer is still out there.
The NCIS team uncovers a startling surprise after a young Marine shows up to his homecoming party with a fatal stab wound.
The line between McGee's personal and professional life is blurred when NCIS uncovers a connection between his grandmother and the murder of a Navy lieutenant. Lily Tomlin guest stars as McGee's Grandmother.
The NCIS team searches for the person and motive behind a contract killer targeting a Navy Lieutenant Commander. Meanwhile, Abby uncovers new information about her family after undergoing tests for a kidney donation.
A Coast Guard Petty officer is shot and killed in what looks to be an abandoned ship. When NCIS arrive they discover Farid Bawali and his family of four, seeking asylum, locked behind service panels on the ship. Through stool samples Abby determines that there wasn’t anyone else on the ship other than the Bawali family. They weren’t being held captive and one of them is our shooter. Further investigation yields that Farid is wanted in connection with a 1984 bombing in Lebanon. His wife, Miriam, confesses to shooting the Petty Officer but it’s clear she’s covering for someone. Ziva connects with Miriam and we get a glimpse of the mother she always yearned for. Farid accuses his rebellious son, Rafiq, as being the shooter in an attempt to deflect all the attention on their other son, Hakim, who is planning to carry out his father’s wishes to bomb the Norfolk port in a suicide bombing mission. The team tries to find the perfect woman for Gibbs.
NCIS investigates the death of Lt. Jason Simms when his body is found on the side of a remote highway. Toxicology results indicate ‘ecstasy’ in his system and an abnormal amount of water in his body. Our victim was drowned in his own skin. Simms’ wife left him after he cheated on her one too many times. Suggestions of a serial killer arise when another victim, Samuel Alcott, is found in the same manner nearby. Alcott also cheated on his wife and both he and Simms were seeking counseling through the military. Ducky’s new lady friend, Dr. Mary Courtney, has the team gossiping about his love life. In a coincidental and disturbing turn of events it’s revealed that Ducky’s new girlfriend was the killer. Dr. Courtney was the administrator for the family service center that Simms and Alcott were treated in. In her psychotic reality she killed for Ducky in an attempt to show him something he’d never seen before.
NCIS investigates the mysterious disappearance of Victor Sterling when his abandoned car is found outside a drive thru that was just robbed. In the restaurant the team finds the two employees shot to death and put in the freezer. To complicate mattes, Victor’s wife, Diane, happens to be Gibb’s and Fornell’s ex-wife. Gibbs and Fornell bicker on how best to handle their very opinionated ex-wife. Victor, a Homeland Security paper pusher, was last seen on surveillance entering a housing facility that stores employee data that he would audit monthly. Unbeknownst to Diane, Victor had millions of dollars stored in an offshore account. In the end it’s revealed that Victor’s was kidnapped and forced to steal data, from the Homeland Security storage site, that contained the ingredients for making a virus that if airborne would kill instantly. Abby gets information that leads our team to a Armed Forces football game where it’s believed our killer is about to release the virus. Our team is stunned when they track down our killer to find out that it’s none other than Victor’s boss, Thomas Pearce, who was seemingly so helpful throughout the investigation. Diane tells Gibbs that she still loves him.
When a military plane, carrying the remains of six Marines killed in Afghanistan, goes down killing all but one of the crew, NCIS is on scene to investigate if it was an accident of foul play. Lt. Commander Chaplain Danielle Burke comes in to assist the team with reaching out to the families of the deceased. What they discover is that the remains of Lt. Emilia Flores, which was supposed to be on that plane, is not among any of the DNA recovered after the crash. Flores was attached to a male infantry unit and would go into sensitive regions to interact with the Afghan women. Her latest mission was to help build a school for girls which went against the customary belief that girls should not be educated. Insurgents blew up the school and all that was found of Flores was her dog tags. We also learn that she fell in love with American contractor working in the region who tried to convince her to leave. In a recent class photo that Flores took, Gibbs notices a mysterious inscription on a ring that one of the Afghan teachers wore. The inscription is discovered to be the symbol of an insurgent group who was sending female suicide bombers into the school posing as teachers. Live surveillance video shows Flores escaping with some of the children and heading towards the mountains. However, we watch as she’s caught trying to escape. Commandant of the Marines, Charles Ellison, tells Gibbs to go to Afghanistan to rescue Flores and not to come home without her. Gibb’s has flashbacks of his younger Marine years when he had to compete against women. To be continued.
With the hope that Lt. Gabriela Flores is still alive, Gibbs and Ziva fly to the military base in Afghanistan to investigate Flores’ whereabouts. Their primary mission is to find Soraya Zoranj, the terrorist who, disguised as a caring teacher, orchestrated all the recent attacks on the girls’ school. Her religious ideology condemns girls being educated. Tony and McGee tell Gibbs that Soraya has two siblings: Osman, an older brother who died in an I.E.D. explosion, and Asa, a younger brother who’s studying law in Washington D.C. Through Asa’s interrogation, it is revealed that he is involved in the same terrorist organization as Soraya. Back in Afghanistan, Gibbs and Ziva question Kinah and Lala—the girls saved by Flores. They tell Gibbs that Flores is definitely alive. Using the oil residue found on the bottom of the girls’ shoes, Abby compares its chemical makeup to the OPEC database and pinpoints the exact location of origin of the oil. Using this information, Gibbs and Ziva rescue Flores and arrest Soraya. However, Flores’ Captain is killed in the attack. Back in D.C., Gibbs interrogates Soraya and Asa, who reveal that their brother, Osman is still alive and in America. The team discovers that Osman’s next target is domestic, he’s planning on blowing up school busses transporting girls to a field trip at a local museum. By torturing Asa, Gibbs finds out that Osman is continuing Soraya’s work by detonating a bomb very soon. Although Asa doesn’t know the exact details, Gibbs determines that Osman will detonate bombs on school buses filled with school girls returning from field trip. Just in time, the NCIS team arrives at the scene and Osman is arrested.
When Tony’s father, Tony DiNozzo Sr., is found passed out in a Rolls Royce with the dead body of Lt. Brian Massey in the trunk, the NCIS team investigates. Although Tony wants to prove his father’s innocence, Gibbs commands him to stay away. Tony Sr. was involved in a land development deal with Massey, and Massey cheated him out of a huge finder’s fee. With a strong motive and no alibi (he was drunk and doesn’t remember much), Tony Sr. is the prime suspect. Ducky and Abby find a sliver of glass stuck in Massey’s head and discover that he was killed with a very expensive bottle of wine owned by Tony Sr. Meanwhile, Lt. Cdr. Stephanie Wallace arrives to the squad room and explains that Massey wanted to provide her with incriminating information on a case she was currently working on. Lt Dennis, a hot shot pilot was involved in plane crash where he ejected safely but his navigator was killed, claimed it was an accident but it’s soon revealed that it was pilot error and Dennis is to blame. Dennis admits to his pilot error mistake but is adamant that he had nothing to do with Masey’s death. Against orders, Tony discovers that his father left a bar last night with a mysterious girl. When Abby finds out Senior was drugged with roofies, his innocence is finally proven. Linda, the girl at the bar, is an employee of Massey who was working with her boyfriend and co-worker, Craig Hunt. When Massey fired Hunt as his lawyer and cheated him out the executor’s fees, Hunt murdered him and framed Senior. With the culprit finally arrested, Gibbs, Tony, and Senior enjoy a nice Thanksgiving dinner.
When Cpt. Jake Marsden is assassinated in a hotel suite on Christmas Eve, the NCIS discovers that there was a woman traveling with Marsden and attempts to track her down. By tracing phone calls made from the hotel they find Lt. Elizabeth Reynolds, nine months pregnant, hiding in a fitting room at a local mall. On the way back to NCIS the car carrying Gibbs, Ziva and Elizabeth breaks down forcing them to find shelter in a closed gas station. Elizabeth reveals that she was involved and got pregnant with a local fisherman named Amir when she was stationed in Afghanistan. Amir was killed a few months later and following his death Elizabeth was sent home to work stateside. In the past week she noticed three black SUV’s following her which prompted her to call her friend Marsden for protection. He wasn’t the target, Elizabeth was. Abby discovers that Amir was actually the sole heir of the Mayat tribe, a very wealthy and powerful family that controlled a critical piece of land right outside Kabul. If Elizabeth has a baby boy he would be the sole heir to the land. McGee speculates that the Department of Defense wants Elizabeth’s baby to use as a bargaining tool for a piece of land the US military wants to build a highway through for weapon shipments. We ultimately discover and track down the men who are after Elizabeth and they turn out to be trained Russian mercenaries hired by the Mayat tribe hoping to use the baby a bargaining chip to keep the land. Elizabeth goes into labor at the gas station and Gibbs helps her deliver the baby, who turns out be a healthy baby girl. Wendy, Tony’s ex-fiance, invites him to Christmas dinner. Palmer finds the courage to stand up to his soon to be father-in-law when he comes to visit for the holidays.
When Navy Commander James Barnway is found shot in a crashed pick-up tuck, the NCIS team investigate the case and quickly learn that a mysterious blonde woman was with him. Barnay’s wife explains that a navy friend called him asking for help. Using the GPS, Abby finds the truck’s point of origin, leading them to a motel where its surveillance footage guides them to the woman’s whereabouts. Much to their surprise, she’s former NCIS agent EJ Barrett, who is on the run from Stratton. EJ identifies Barnay’s murderer as Marcellus Dane, a former navy seal turned assassin who works for Stratton. Lathan identifies Stratton as Phantom Eight member Cpt. Jonathan Cole. However, Latham is working with Cole and he tells Cole that EJ and Tony are in a cabin in Old Rag Mountain, and Cole kills Latham to avoid any loose ends. Cole fires a grenade launcher at what he believes is the safe house, but he is tracked down and arrested. All of it was a trap: Latham was fed fake information and EJ and Tony are actually at a completely different location. EJ is finally at peace and Jarvis offers her a position as a secret NCIS agent.
When Naval Commander Maya Burris is found dead from a sniper’s bullet, the NCIS realize the killer’s aptitude for cleaning up the crime scene indicates a familiarity with police procedure. A likely suspect is her husband, Nick, a D.C. homicide detective who benefits from her death with a $400,000 life insurance policy. However, he appears devastated by the murder and Tony helps him cope by promising to bring his wife’s killer to justice. Ziva tries to avoid her boyfriend, CIA Agent Ray Cruz, after being stood up on a date, but when he later proposes to her, Ziva seriously considers marriage even while Tony seems conflicted by the news. Meanwhile, the team discovers that Maya was trying to bring down a renowned terrorist organization and she frequently met with Barry Norton, a former embassy liaison turned traitor who was selling government secrets to the terrorists. The NCIS believe that Norton killed Maya after she threatened to expose him, but things take a turn when Norton himself shows up dead and the team realizes he was the target all along – Maya was simply collateral damage. Tracing Norton’s cell history leads them to the actual hitman: Ray, who was sent to kill Norton as a matter of national security. Ziva is devastated and calls things off with Ray, even as his career is now ruined.
During a routine stop for his morning coffee, Gibbs finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun, forcing him to question choices he has made in the past and present, on the 200th episode of NCIS. Guest stars Muse Watson, as Mike Franks, Ralph Waite, as Jackson Gibbs, Joe Spano, as Senior FBI Agent T.C. Fornell, Darby Stanchfield, as Shannon Gibbs and Rudolf Martin, as Ari Haswari, return for the milestone episode.
NCIS investigates the mysterious death of two vigilante community activist who were shot and killed in a flower shop. It turns out that our victims were part of an organization that would dress in superhero costumes and canvas neighborhoods to weed out crime. Wendy Morgan, a local newspaper reporter, tells NCIS that one our victims Cpt. Jack Wallace called her and wanted to meet with her regarding classified information about nuclear energy. Vance gets Morgan to hold off on going to the press regarding Wallace’s death in exchange on being the first person they contact when new information is made available. Morgan also happens to be Tony’s ex-fiance. Wendy’s life is also threatened when someone tries to go after her. Some of the superhero crime fighting was posted online and Abby tracks it down to Clarence Tobbett, trust-fund baby who runs an anti-gang outreach group. It turns out that Clarence’s father, Wayne Tobbett, was a slumlord and would buy buildings for cheap in gang related neighborhoods. The super-heros would clean up the area and with crime down property values go up. Unbeknownst to Clarence, his father was eliminating the very people that he emulated. Wendy was also working on fluff piece exposing the real estate scam in the area which prompted Wayne to try and get rid of her as well. Tony struggles with his unresolved emotion toward Wendy and why she broke up with him.
When Navy reservist and psychologist, Robert Banks, is found hanging in his home, it appears to be more than just a suicide after the NCIS learn that the man was working on a highly-classified case for the Defense Department and someone on the inside was using subterfuge to slowly drive him insane. While Gibbs goes toe-to-toe with Dr. Samantha Ryan, the ambiguous director of PsyOps, who seems to know more than she’s letting on, the team tracks down Banks’ field operator, Brian Mitchell, who points them in the direction of a PsyOps lieutenant dismissed by Banks six months prior. The team links the lieutenant to Banks’ death, but realize that the man is being framed by another PsyOps liaison – Mitchell. In the end, Banks’ death was for far more personal reasons than they originally believed: Mitchell was obsessed with Banks’ teenage daughter and killed her father for her so she could receive his $4 million life insurance policy.
The NCIS investigate the murder of Leland Wiley, a naval officer who meant to disclose classified information about an arms dealer in exchange for a plea bargain. While they track down the man who killed Wiley, the team also keeps surveillance on the arms dealer, Agah Bayar, who visits Washington with an alluring model, Ava Baransky. After learning that Wiley stole stealth technology schematics and meant to sell them to Bayar, Gibbs sends a nervous Dorneget on his first field assignment to detain Baransky for questioning about Bayar. However, Gibbs runs up against the DIA, which tries to close down NCIS’s operation without disclosing why. When NCIS locates the man who murdered Wiley, he reveals that he was hired by a female Russian intelligence agent, Ava Baransky, and she is the one buying the stealth technology. After Baransky escapes the country, Dorneget sweats over failing his first mission, but Gibbs learns that it was all part of a DIA sting to sabotage Russian stealth communication research. Dorneget reveals to McGee that he’s gay.
When the Secretary of the Navy is shot, it turns out to be an elaborate ruse by PsyOps and NCIS to draw out a hacker who is blackmailing the Navy into renewing their contract with Philip Wickes’ shipbuilding company, which faces bankruptcy. The NCIS hope that Wickes will be left vulnerable thinking his old friend, the Navy Secretary, was killed, and he will confess to the blackmail. While Samantha Ryan works with Gibbs to interrogate Wickes, the rest of the team becomes aware of their attraction. Meanwhile, with the hacker releasing files from the Navy’s research lab, AUTEC, Wickes reveals that former employee Lawrence Ridgeway had a connection to AUTEC, but the man is killed before NCIS can question him. The team eventually tracks down the hacker, who was hired to steal $300 million from a government account in Ridgeway’s name; it turns out Ridgeway was the actual target, the AUTEC blackmail just a distraction. In the end, Wickes helps expose the real culprit: his half-brother, who hired the hacker and shot Ridgeway in order to save the family company from going under.
When a petty officer is found dead and Vance’s brother-in-law, Michael Thomas, becomes a murder suspect, Vance puts pressure on Gibbs to prove his innocence. Meanwhile, Tony is disgruntled by a negative performance review and is determined to prove it wrong by being less chatty in the field...however unlikely a mission. At first the murder case looks to have clear motive when NCIS discover the officer’s best friend was sleeping with the officer’s girlfriend. But when the team uncovers an underground gambling ring that the officer lost all his money at and which Thomas was a part of, they’re able to link the murder back to him: the two got in a fight and Thomas accidentally killed him. Thomas begs Vance to help him out, but the director realizes he can’t save him this time; however guilty he feels for letting his brother-in-law down, sometimes you have to let people go.
When a Marine lieutenant’s body falls from the sky, NCIS link the crime to the disappearance of a Navy chaplain – both were on a medical outreach mission in South American cartel country. Believing the chaplain may still be held by Columbian rebels working with the cartels, Ziva and Tony jet off to South America and work with Ziva’s friend, retired Interpol agent Monique Lisson, to assist in a rescue operation. Meanwhile, Gibbs discovers that the missionaries leading the outreach mission were actually CIA agents, and Ryan is forced to confess a secret: the medical outreach programs are actually a CIA ruse, used to acquire DNA samples to track down known cartel leaders. In South America, Ziva, Tony, and Lisson locate the CIA agents, who assist them in a successful rescue operation of the chaplain. Finally, Jimmy stresses over whom to pick as best man for his upcoming nuptials, but decides to go with Abby, while Gibbs steps up his relationship with Ryan and asks her to stop playing mind games with him.
When NCIS investigate a mysterious fire at United Equinox, a Navy-contracted electronics company, Gibbs recognizes the fire’s victim as a former member of Watcher Fleet (NCIS black ops). There’s a connection: four years ago, United Equinox developed a secret Fleet project called Aquamarine. While the team tries to identify what Aquamarine is all about, the arsonist sets his next blaze on a cargo ship, with the fire ignited by the ship’s faulty wiring. However, it turns out the wiring is supplied by United Equinox, leading Gibbs to conclude that the Aquamarine project is about the wiring in naval warships. Whoever knows this wiring is faulty can easily incinerate a ship, even the whole fleet. The team races to track down the arsonist, only to discover that the man is a hired gun used to acquire the Aquamarine secret for his employer. Believing a terrorist threat is now loaming, NCIS nervously await the next attack. Meanwhile, Tony is confronted by a secret from his past when a Baltimore arson investigator joins the case.
With the Navy on high alert to a terrorist attack, NCIS get news of the thermite explosion aboard the USS Brewer and learn that the arsonist, a civilian mechanic, was killed in his own blaze. Meanwhile, as the team continues to investigate the Bruce Johnson case, they discover Korean-scripted documents in Johnson’s house as well as in the mechanic’s quarters aboard the Brewer, thereby connecting the two attacks and suggesting the North Koreans could be behind it all. However, the team realizes the Korean script is merely a front for coded instructions of where to attack and when by an unknown employer. NCIS Agent and former Gibb’s protégé Stan Burley (from #106) contacts the team about the discovery of thermite in Italy and suggests the next attack might go down onboard a nuclear aircraft carrier stationed there. Tony and Ziva jet off to Italy and pose as crewmen aboard the ship in order to capture the arsonist, who admits to being hired by Harper Dearing, CEO of a technology empire. When Gibbs tries to arrest Dearing at his corporate office, it turns out the man hasn’t been seen or heard from in over a year, and suddenly, Dearing has become NCIS’ most wanted man.
While at the dentist NCIS Probationary Agent Ned Dorneget discovers a bug that was implanted into one of his fillings. The patent of the bug leads them to none other than the newest member of NCIS’ most wanted list, Harper Dearing (established in #208). It turns out that the dentist who performed the implant was forced and paid to bug Dorneget by one of Dearing’s henchmen. Vincent Maple, President of Dearing’s company, complies with NCIS and reminds us that he hasn’t had contact with Dearing in over a year. While questioning the dentist, NCIS gets a call from Dearing in MTAC and it’s clear that he’s targeting the Navy, specifically Navy ships. Tensions rise when the team discovers that Dearing was just in the Navy Yard and by the time we get there all that is left is a model boat with Gibb’s daughter’s name on it, Kelly. Dr. Ryan reveals that Dearing had a son in the Navy who was killed in an attack on a Navy ship. The early warning system in place was defected which could have stopped the attack. Dearing is trying to teach the Navy a lesson by blowing up Navy ships with the same defected systems. We track down the call that Dearing made and it leads us to the warehouse where we believe he’s keeping the materials used to blow up the ships. However, we discover an empty warehouse with just a watchman and duffle bag full of money to be delivered to a local address. The team stages Palmer’s bachelor party near the drop location to try and squeeze out Dearing, however it’s Vincent Maple who arrives to pick up the bag of cash. Maple was running his own con by having Dearing’s money sent to a warehouse as accounts payable then picking it up and sending it to his overseas account. Dearing knew what was going on and used it as a decoy to distract our team and to rat out Maple. The team tries to figure out Dearing’s next attack until they get a call that Director Vance has gone missing. To be continued...
Terrorism threatens to shake the foundations of the Navy and NCIS, when the team continues to be eluded by the newest member of the NCIS Most Wanted Wall. Meanwhile, Jimmy Palmer's destination wedding is impacted by the case. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Samantha Ryan, Scott Wolf returns as Jonathan Cole and Richard Schiff returns as Harper Dearing.