The episode opened with Ziva in temple, praying — as well as questioning G-d, “Why should I not be angry, with all that has been taken? Show me, why I should not lose hope?” Tony interrupts, having had McGee do his “ping” thing to locate her. “Sympathy is the last thing I want right now,” she says. Rather, she needs “revenge.”
At NCIS, Jarvis says the Secretary of State has given them 48 hours to find the man who ordered the assault before Israel gets looped in. He then grumbles that he should have been told that Eli was in the States, since a lot of finger-pointing and wagon-circling will happen once word of his death gets out. In the morgue, Ducky tells Gibbs that the shooter, a Swede/former Special Forces guy named Ames, was dying anyway, so Gibbs, McGee and Tony deduce that he must have left someone behind for his payday to go to.
HOWDY, DEPUTY | Deputy Director Craig (played by Greg Germann) arrives, introduced in such a way that we are led to believe Gibbs & Co. deal with him intermittently (even though we are just seeing him for the first time). Vance wants to be involved in the case, but Jarvis maintains that Craig must handle the day-to-day. Similarly, Ziva tries to pick Abby’s brain about the bullets, to no avail, being on the same “too close to the case” list.
Gibbs brings Eli’s Iranian liaison, Kazmi, to NCIS to share the news of the Mossad director’s death. Gibbs suggests that the gents’ plan to make peace was the perfect set-up for Eli’s murder, but Kazmi argues differently and in that spirit he will have his VIVAC files (intel) sent over. Meanwhile, McGee (aka “Timmy”) strikes up a video chat with Gavriela, who (when she’s not brushing off DiNozzo) says that a group called First Wave, funded by an American millionaire named “Gustafson,” might wish Eli harm.
Soundbite break: “So help me, McBlivious, if you don’t pounce on that hot Israeli action I’ll never forgive you… She’s caught the McFever and you’re the only cure.”
THE MOSSAD COMES KNOCKING | Tony brings in Gustafson, who makes no bones about backing First Wave or the problems the likes of Eli cause, but argues, “My feelings [about the Israelis] are strictly business.” Vance interrupts to ask the suspect his feelings about “collateral damage” and innocent blood spilled. After Tony and Gibbs hold Leon back, Craig is forced to ask him to take administrative leave.
Ziva visits her father’s drawer in the morgue, but declines Ducky’s offer to see him. “Farewells are always difficult; closure even more so,” Ducky notes. Recognizing her religious need to bury her father within a matter of days, Ducky promises to do his best to release Eli’s body ASAP. Gibbs urges Ziva to “go be fine, just not here,” so she makes camp at Tony’s. When Tony says he’ll grab an air mattress, she asks about the couch — and Tony says it’s already taken, by Shmiel. A pleased Ziva mouths “Thank you” to Tony as she hugs her old friend.
At NCIS, Mossad Deputy Director Ilan Bodnar (played of course by Oded Fehr) storms in, looking for his mentor Eli and asking to see the man in charge. McGee breathes deep and tries to step up, but Bodnar wants the SecNav! Meanwhile at Tony’s, when he tries to console Ziva after a bad dream, she rebuffs, saying, “Leave me alone…. I’m fine. Really.” Back at NCIS, Craig beliefs Bodnar, who refuses to “stand by and wait for [NCIS] to do your job.” Craig says Oh yes you will, that NCIS gets dibs on the manhunt, while the Mossad can handle prosecution. “I make no promises,” Bodnar responds. “You do what you must; we will do what we must.”
THIS MEANS WAR…? | Gibbs meets up with Vance, whose kids want answers about their mother’s death beyond random “intruder.” Vance admits to Gibbs that this ordeal “made me better understand your choices…. I never wanted that kind of justice before, but now it’s all I think about.” What Gibbs did with his own loss “had to be some relief.” Vance’s parting words: “Do me a favor: Get these bastards.”
When Tony finds Ziva covertly emailing from his laptop, she reveals that she was communicating with her father’s protegé Ilan, then lashes out about Tony not saying Ilan had been briefed. “What do you want me to say? The guy is Mossad,” DiNozzo explains. “I was Mossad!” Ziva retorts. Tony: “And now you are the daughter of a dead man — let yourself act like one.”
McGee and Abby trace the bullets to an Iranian arms dealer whose name was conspicuously missing from Kazmi’s VIVAC files, so Gibbs smells a rat. Craig concurs that it could be a cover-up, yet both he and Gibbs take Kazmi at his word. Bodnar then shows up, having discovered Eli’s real reason for being in the States. Further infuriating him is the news that Kazmi, “Eli’s killer,” is in NCIS custody. He storms off to alert his prime minister: “If the result is war, it is your fault, not ours.”
BLOWN AWAY | As Ziva later takes a video call from Ilan, Kazmi relays to Gibbs that there was a conspicuous six-hour delay from the time they sent the VIVAC files to NCIS and when they were received — and thus they likely were hacked to redact the arms dealer’s name. When the money trail to the shooter leads to an account nicknamed “Virtue,” Ziva reveals that in Hebrew that is Ilan’s middle name! Gibbs and Tony race to DiNozzo’s place, while Ziva fetches the gun Tony keeps strapped to the back of the toilet “Godfather-style.” Bodnar doesn’t show, however, and instead is “in the wind.” Shortly after Gibbs commends Kazmi on what he and Eli tried to do, Kazmi’s transport SUV is blown to bits.
That night, Ziva is at the airfield waiting to take Eli’s body to Israel. “Someone has come to see you off,” Shmiel notes — Tony. “You did not have to come,” Ziva says. Tony assures her that he and everyone will find Bodnar, then urges her, “Don’t do this,” seeking her own revenge.
“I’m going to a funeral, to deliver my father’s eulogy,” she responds. “He was not an easy man to understand, and yet…. Tony, I….” Ziva leans forward into a warm embrace, her face behind Tony displaying a sense of comfort. “Aht lo leh-vahd,” Tony whispers in her ear. You are not alone. “I know,” she smiles as she walks away. A closing montage, set to Patty Griffin’s “You Are Not Alone,” alternates between Ziva in Israel picking olives, planting a tree and leaving a note at the Wailing Wall, and Jackie Vance’s funeral.