NCIS s04e08 Episode Script

Once a Hero

We're not here to eat.
We're here to protect the Director.
Ziva, this is probably the most secure building in the whole country right now.
CIA, DSS, ATF, FBI, the whole alphabet's here.
Not to mention state troopers, metro cops and NCIS's finest me.
And you.
But me is hungry.
These are public servants like us.
And this is free food.
Some are defense contractors.
Beltway bandits who make a career of stealing from the public trough.
You ever seen a skinny politician? Too late.
Our guest of honor has just arrived.
Ladies and gentlemen, the retiring Secretary of Defense of the United States of America.
I'm going to get something to eat.
Director! Morning, Gibbs, McGee.
Director Shepard.
Our gatecrasher was a marine.
Sergeant Brian Wright.
The hotel was in lockdown and he wasn't a registered guest.
He took a dive from up there somewhere.
SecDef staff are worried that it was an attempt on the life of their boss.
Are we worried? If it was an assassination attempt, he's a lousy assassin.
He used his body as a weapon and missed by 75 feet.
Ducky's doing preliminaries.
I've got Tony liaising between Metro and hotel management.
And we have a witness.
Andy Nelson.
Ziva's with him.
He's an aide to a congressman.
Nelson claims he was attacked by the deceased on the sixth floor just before the incident.
You believe him? He works for a politician, what do you think? I'm officially handing over.
I've got my own fires to put out.
This happened in our backyard.
It's making a lot of people nervous.
I'd appreciate a quick result on this one.
The question is: Did he jump or was he pushed? I guess that's what we're here to find out.
It's okay.
Nelson has been explaining how he got injured.
He just came at me.
He hit me, I fell down and he ran away.
You see him fall? I just got out of there.
I was down in the lobby to report it when he fell.
Why were you on the sixth floor? I was delivering a briefing paper to a defense contractor in one of the suites.
Norforce Systems.
I was walking towards the elevator.
You seen him before? Every day.
Congressman Getz.
Well, not the deceased.
Just sad souls like him.
The homeless.
And a war veteran, or we'd be talking to metro police and not NCIS.
Agent? Special Agent Gibbs.
And he was a marine.
We need to do more to help the ones who come back broken.
Yes, you do.
Let's get that X-rayed, Andy.
Unless Agent Gibbs has more questions about this unfortunate incident.
Did I just miss something? The Congressman thinks our marine was crazy and jumped.
DiNozzo - Boss? - Stop eating the evidence.
Right, boss.
Got preliminaries? I find the ones who fall are the saddest.
It's a long last moment to contemplate one's end.
And no chance to change one's mind.
Well, the injuries are consistent with a fall.
But scraped knuckles possibly in a fight before he went over the edge.
Missing a shoe.
No wallet.
Although he had some dollars in his pocket.
And a begging note asking for help.
The only real surprise is this.
A Bronze Star for valor.
And a Purple Heart.
With two Marine Stars.
It means he was wounded three times in battle.
I can't tell you why he died, but I can perhaps tell you how he lived.
The man was a hero.
Hey, boss.
Looks like this is where he launched.
The shoe must have come off when he went over the side.
Nelson said he was back downstairs when Wright fell.
The question is: What was Sergeant Wright doing? Deciding whether to jump.
Got it.
The stairs.
Maybe the Congressman was right.
Maybe Sergeant Wright was crazy and jumped.
Or the Director was right.
Politicians lie.
And we will need a copy of his medical records.
You're disgusting.
How can you eat that? You see, Ziva, the human body is a finely tuned engine.
None more finely tuned than mine.
Even the best engine needs oil.
Anything from the hotel registry? them Sergeant Wright.
Ziva, Congressman's aide.
No criminal record.
He worked for the Congressman for the past seven years.
And according to Norforce Systems,a briefing paper from the Congressman's office was delivered to their suite, but they can't put a time on it.
Boss, just got off the phone with Wright's doctor in Bethesda.
He did two tours in Iraq.
He was wounded three times.
The last time was the worst.
His Humvee was hit by an IED.
Suffered shrapnel wounds to the head.
He's been in medical leave for four months.
But according to the hospital records, he's missed his last three weekly appointments.
No one noticed? Said he fell through the cracks.
Family? Divorced, no kids.
His doctor said he stayed with friends, at hostels sometimes on the street.
What kind of doctor? Psychiatrist.
- Treated for? - Depression.
Some way to treat a war hero.
Thought marines looked after their own.
How does a homeless man get past the security agents, local cops, hotel staff, into a locked-down building? Maybe he was already there.
Luis Romero? Yep.
Special Agent Gibbs.
Is this about the jumper? So you saw him jump? No.
- But you saw him.
- No.
Corporal Luis Romero, United States Marine Corps.
One tour Afghanistan, honorable discharge 18 months ago.
Since then, hotel maintenance supervisor.
So I'm a former marine.
A lot of guys are.
Not at this hotel.
We look after our own, don't we Luis? All right.
We served in the same unit three years ago.
He didn't have a place to sleep.
So where did you put him? We've always got a couple rooms down for maintenance.
I didn't see any harm in it.
How long had he been here? A couple times a week for the last month.
Didn't cause any trouble.
Semper Fi, you know.
Show us the room.
Wait at the door, please.
Anyone else been in here? No, just him.
Luis! Luis! Yeah.
Luis, algo ha passado! Tienes que venir pronto! Um something's happened.
No lo creo, No lo creo! Luis, ahi, ahi, en el cuarto, en la cama! Dios mio que! I understand, Chief, but we believe the two cases are linked.
NCIS have any proof? No, not yet, we're still collecting evidence.
You'll send us a report? Yes, absolutely.
And if anything changes, we will hand over everything we have.
So if you can't tie it together, you'll turn it over to my people.
That's right, and cause of death hasn't been determined yet either.
Fair enough.
Let me know.
Thank you, Chief.
I will.
Thank you.
You get all that, Jethro? Got it.
Metro police will want to see results.
Add him to the list.
It's a long list.
And it's getting longer.
Working on it.
There's something on her cheek.
Looks like saliva.
Kiss and kill.
Well, no bag.
Maybe the killer took it.
Maybe she just didn't have a bag.
Every woman has a bag.
Do I have a bag, McGee? No, but you're not a I mean, you're a woman.
You're just, you're not a not a normal You're right.
Every woman does not have a bag.
How old? No I.
, no pocketbook and no bag either.
The room was booked to Michael Lo.
Sounds Asian.
Single occupancy.
Room was paid for in cash in advance.
Sounds fake.
They're gonna review the security tapes to send us what they got.
Boss? Mr.
Romero, recognize this? It's, um, key card I gave Sergeant Wright.
It's a master key.
It opens up every room in the hotel.
You okay? Never better.
You look run-over.
The term is "run-down.
" I do? Maybe you need servicing.
Clearly, we're still having some problems with the idiosyncrasies of the English language.
The "finely tuned engine," I think you called it.
You should see a doctor.
No, it's not a bad time.
This afternoon would be great.
Well, I will see you then.
Okay, bye.
Two cell phones, huh? Uh, one for each ear.
No, it's a spare.
This one sort of been on the fritz.
That's another word you probably don't know the meaning of.
Acts up? I'm impressed.
All right.
I'm heading out to go see the doctor about being run over down.
Don't forget Fritz.
Oh-ho-ho-ho! Fingerprints solve ten times more cases than DNA.
Did you know that, McGee? Yeah, I told you.
You did? Yeah.
You did! Got to love fingerprints.
Especially this one from the key card.
Pristine index with an almost perfect whorl and three, count 'em, three, McGee, equally spaced deltas.
It's a work of art.
Then we have the short and curlies.
The hair, there's no follicle and no DNA, so I am checking it for drug history.
If it is Sergeant Wright's, considering his extensive medical records, this should read like a drugstore inventory.
And if it doesn't, he ain't our man.
What price valor? For real.
I looked it up on eBay, Bronze Star, 18 bucks.
No wonder he got depressed and started living on the streets.
And begging.
One minute you're a hero, the next you're a suspect.
But don't give up on him yet, McGee.
Where's Gibbs? What am I looking at? Nothing.
Nothing's good, right? Oh, yeah, nothing is very good.
If this was Wright's hair, then it'd be like looking in a window of his drug history, but all this shows is Unknown trace elements.
Too minute to be picked up by the mass spec equipment.
So it's probably not Wright's.
But we can't be sure they're not there unless we get a better microscope.
We're talking nanoparticles here, Gibbs.
We need a An infrared microspectroscopy unit.
It's the only thing that gets down to the nano level.
Okay, get one.
They cost about a hundred grand.
Yeah, so? So it's not in the budget.
Maybe next year.
She needs one now.
I could haggle.
My Uncle Horace, he was a great haggler.
They used to call him Horace the Haggler.
I could borrow one.
I'll try and borrow one.
It's the fingerprint from the key card.
It's not good.
It puts him in the dead girl's room.
Sorry, Jethro.
Find out who owns that.
Come on.
Don't start.
Do you know how many people want money from me? Did I say anything? How are you going to get loaned an infrared microspectroscopy unit? Good question, McGee.
Good question.
I love playing windows-shopping.
How about you? Oh, yeah, me, too.
Only when I'm with you.
Cold? It's invigorating.
Oh Poor Tony.
I drag you out here to go window-shopping.
Next time maybe you should choose.
Hot tub.
I know something else we could do to stay warm.
- Really? - Mm.
- I wonder what that could be.
- One cappuccino, one latte.
Coffee? Mm, dancing.
Dancing would make you warm.
Then tonight we dance.
Tonight? Don't tell me you have to work.
Tonight, dancing, tomorrow, work.
You don't seem too happy about that.
I'm worried.
Worried about what? Well, we're going dancing tonight and I haven't got a thing to wear.
Has anyone ever told you you're an idiot? Yeah, my boss, all the time.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
- Sorry.
Excuse me.
²² Yes! Just leave it on the table.
That's not juice.
Well, the coffee bean comes from the coffee cherry, so that's technically a fruit, so the case could be made that coffee is more fruit than bean.
It's coffee juice.
Caf-Pow!? Yeah, two words hyphenated in the middle.
Can I help you with something? I was hoping to get a demonstration of your infrared microspectroscopy unit.
You don't work here? Like this place would hire me? Sorry.
I'll set up a sample.
No, no, I have one.
I brought my own.
I work for NCIS in D.
, but we don't have anything that can get down to the nanogram level, which is what I need to figure out what the hell is going on with my sample.
You don't mind that I said "hell," do you? Hell, no.
Oh, good.
I mean, some people do, then you get into the whole hell and death and dying mortality thing and it freaks them out.
Can you help me? If you want to leave it with me No, I can't.
Chain of evidence.
I have to do it with you.
Uh, not with you, but alongside you.
I have to be with you.
I have to be with you while you do it.
While you test it.
I normally like to know who it is I'm working with.
Marty Pearson.
Abby Sciuto.
Nanograms, eh? Yes.
Pesky little nanograms.
- Is that a? - Yes, it is.
Wright, Sergeant Brian.
Records, medical.
Oh, splendid.
Uh, I'm a little post-autopsy.
Palmer will sign it.
We must get you down here more often, Agent Lee.
Always room for another bright young mind.
Not that there's anything wrong with the legal department.
It's an essential cog in the engine, so to speak.
It can't be much fun for a hands-on type like you.
You think? Done? Done indeed.
Intrigue, mystery and a surprise or two.
Yes, I've estimated our victim's age at about 14.
Death was due to strangulation.
She had bleeding in her throat and the hyoid bone was fractured.
Some bruising on the sternum that has me a bit puzzled.
Possibly postmortem.
Conscious? Superficial scratching and ante mortem bruising suggests that she put up a struggle of sorts.
But toxicology indicates that she was drugged and for some time.
Hours? Possibly days.
There are traces of sedatives and Rohypnol, the drug of choice for date-rapists.
And before you ask the question, yes, she was, but he must have worn a condom.
The really good news is that I've identified her.
By name? No, by country.
She's Chinese.
Yes, you're less than impressed.
But what if I told you that four weeks ago, she was working on the family farm in a coastal region of southern China in Fujian province, to be precise? Well, now you have my attention, Doctor.
It was her extremities that gave her away.
The Chinese dentistry is quite distinctive.
Her dental work is very new.
Five or maybe six weeks ago and her feet are calloused.
Indicates that she was a farm worker.
We also found traces of chromium six in her digestive tract.
It's a byproduct of chlorate.
Causes cancer and respiratory problems.
Guess where the biggest chlorate chemical factory is in Asia.
Fujian province.
Well, there you have it, the body as road map.
Anything else? Yes.
Her likely killer Sergeant Brian Wright.
We had a positive DNA match from the saliva we swabbed from her.
I'm afraid our hero is more than a little tarnished.
How does a homeless guy staying illegally in a hotel order room service? This wouldn't be a trick question, would it, Probie? No.
He calls room service.
Room service, hi.
This is the homeless guy staying illegally in room 607.
Yes, the room shut down for maintenance.
I'd like to order some breakfast.
That was definitely a trick question.
So give me a tricky answer.
Somebody brought it to him.
Not very tricky.
I got to talk to Ducky.
I'm gonna go talk to Ducky.
What is with everybody today? Hallway camera D.
The title needs work, who's in it? Hopefully, the Asian guy who booked the room.
Looks like the doctor kept you Busy waiting room.
Lot of sleeping sickness going around.
Or lack of sleeping sickness.
Ducky thinks our victim is a Chinese national.
Probably in the country less than a few weeks.
Well, her fingerprints drew a negative on the immigration database, so she's here illegally.
Smuggled in, maybe for the sex trade.
Asian, cute, underage.
It's a gold mine.
Pimp pays cash, sets her up in a room during a nice, big convention, feeds her clients.
And then one of them kills her.
Sergeant Wright doesn't fit that profile.
Wright didn't need to pay to get into the room.
He had a magic key.
He saw an opportunity, he took it.
Perhaps because of his mental state, he lost control, and afterwards, regret, and he took his own life.
Fits the facts, boss.
Only the facts we know, DiNozzo.
Any word from Abby? Not a peep.
I've got to get one of these babies.
Looks like trace elements of aluminum hydroxide and formalin.
Aluminum hydroxide stimulates the immune system and.
formalin is a preservative.
It's also used to initiate antibody formation in vaccines.
- Did I just say something funny? - No.
No, I-I just it's just that we're having this conversation about stuff that usually makes people run screaming from the room, but we're talking about it like it was last night's football game.
You don't like football, do you? - No.
- Oh, good.
It's just nice that you understand without having to go find a dictionary.
So you said vaccines? I said vaccines.
That's got to be it.
A vaccine for what? Aluminum hydroxide is used as an adjuvant in hepatitis A and Lyme disease.
There's traces of chloride.
Not just any old chloride.
Benzethonium chloride.
It's a preservative.
Aluminum hydroxide,formalin and benzethonium chloride.
I know that combination.
- How do you know that combination? - I don't know.
It must have come through my lab or something.
The only thing I can think of using benzethonium chloride for as a preservative is anthrax vaccine.
Ooh, anthrax.
Breathe in the spores and you die.
You don't have an unhealthy obsession with death now, do you? Oh, no, no, it's just a hobby.
Anthrax vaccine, that's why I knew it.
I got one right here.
Ow, pain-memory response.
So, good or bad for your Marine? It's bad.
It's very bad.
A lot of Marines were vaccinated for anthrax after 9/11.
I have to make a phone call.
Boss, hey.
Sergeant Wright's autopsy report? Yeah, just, um, checking something.
Something didn't fit.
It's just a theory, but it's about what Wright ate.
What'd he eat? Nothing.
Not since the night before.
I asked Ducky.
But the room service tray on the bed was half-finished, which raises another question.
How did he get room service if he wasn't supposed to be in the room in the first place? Yeah, go on.
People leave trays outside their doors.
I think that he found one that was half-finished.
He took it back to his room.
Something must have happened before he could eat it.
Wright's begging note.
Or somebody else's.
Hidden under a plate on the tray? And he found it.
Must be why he went back to the room.
Once a hero, always a hero.
McGee, it's Abby.
I need you to pull Wright's medical records.
One second.
Got it.
What do you need? Check it for an anthrax vaccine.
Let's see.
It's a negative.
Yes! Oh, McGee, it's not Wright's sample.
I'll tell him.
Thank you.
A hair found on the victim indicates the killer had an anthrax vaccine.
Wright never had one.
Chalk another one up to science.
Ah, I could not have done it without the IMS.
And and you.
So who do I make the receipt out to? Oh, um Well, I feel really bad, Marty, and you worked really hard on this.
I, um Hmm.
Do you bowl? Are you kidding me? I am the queen of the alley.
You know, they got a bowling alley right downstairs.
In the hotel? Right next to the indoor pool.
Or we could do dinner.
Oh, no.
You're just afraid of getting your butt kicked on the lanes.
You are on, lady.
I can't believe you bowl.
Why not? Well, it's just, it's such a coincidence.
Are you a three-quarter or a full-roller? Makes no difference to me.
I got a delicate touch.
So the hair wasn't Wright's, but the saliva definitely was.
DNA match.
He was kissing the girl.
There's more than one reason to kiss a girl.
There is? Autopsy.
- Got a question for you.
- I can't guarantee I got an answer.
The bruising on the girl's sternum could it be from CPR? Very possibly.
This is most probable when you weigh all the other evidence.
It would explain how Wright's saliva came to be on her.
I'll have to confirm that, of course, but yes, that could be your answer:CPR.
Which means Wright wasn't trying to kill her.
He was trying to save her.
Let me know when you get a confirmation.
So we're looking for someone with an anthrax vaccine.
Instead of one suspect, we now have half a million, all of them military.
Maintenance guy? Fixing a leak in the kitchen.
Chefs were tripping over him all day.
Scratch Romero.
After 9/11, anthrax was sent through the mail.
Most people at risk were vaccinated.
Pentagon officials, senators, congressmen.
Everybody at the reception.
And people who open their mail.
Yes, I had an anthrax vaccination, Along with most everyone on the Hill, Agent Gibbs.
They were troubling times.
They still are.
After you delivered the briefing papers to Norforce Systems, what did you do? I walked down the hallway toward the elevator and that's where Wright attacked me.
Norforce Systems' suite was right next to the elevator.
Do you want to try this again? Do I need a lawyer? Only if you're feeling guilty.
You were walking towards the elevator, because you were not coming from Norforce Systems, you were coming from a room down the hallway.
- No.
- Yes, a room where an underage girl was killed.
And you think I'm responsible? If you're not then you won't mind giving us a hair sample.
The killer left a calling card and we think your name is on it.
This is outrageous.
I was attacked by a violent, unstable man.
If you're looking for a murderer, you should be looking at him and not me.
Are you refusing to voluntarily give us a hair sample, Mr.
Nelson? 'Cause if you are, we can just get a court order.
I didn't kill anyone.
They're all reacting to the same thing.
Wright dropping in for breakfast? Nelson might have killed the girl, but there's no way he killed Wrigth, boss.
I want to make a phone call.
Lawyer? Someone much more powerful.
Your boss? Underage, illegal, dead.
You really think your boss wants to talk to you? Did you kill her before or after you pushed Sergeant Wright? I didn't kill her.
I didn't push Sergeant Wright.
I was on the ground floor when he jumped.
He went to the room.
Trying to save her, you attacked him.
You raped her.
You killed her.
You threw Sergeant Wright off of the balcony.
I never saw Sergeant Wright! Then how did he attack you? She hit me with the lamp.
I was just trying just trying to stop her.
I - I had to explain this somehow,so I said Wright attacked me.
Who took you up to her room? No one.
I, uh I met him o-outside the hotel.
Pais him, and he gave me the key card.
Regular client? Different girls every time? Different girls.
I ran into him downstairs at the elevator.
And I told him she was dead.
He went up.
Name! Davey Chen Importing Company.
Kept himself pretty clean.
A couple of misdemeanors, no felonies, nothing to suggest he was involved in the sex trade of underage girls.
Got enough to arrest him for murder? No physical evidence.
His word against Nelson's.
Let's go kick his door down and find some evidence.
We do that, Tony, we lose those girls.
Could have lost them already.
Slave traders move their girls all the time.
They could be on their way to Vegas now, or dead.
Send someone in undercover.
I'll do it.
We need someone closer to home.
- DiNozzo.
- Boss.
Give me $25,000.
Check or plastic? - Cash.
- On it.
Palmer, where did you and? Oh, sorry, Doctor.
Where did you and Agent Lee go? I didn't go anywhere with Agent Lee.
I signed Sergeant Wright's medical records and then she left.
Did she sprint out of here? She was in a hurry.
Well, evidently so were you.
When I looked up from washing my hands, both you and she had disappeared and Agent Gibbs was standing here.
Where did you hurry off to? The restroom.
And you've been in there all this time? I have a gastrointestinal challenge.
Oh, well, I believe there's a bottle of subsalicylate I drank that.
What? All of it? I didn't want to spend the whole day sitting in the restroom.
That won't hurt me, will it? Well, no, but you're going to feel as if you've been on bread and water for a week.
Pardon? Well, the old naval punishment of bread and water for a week was not to punish by depriving the offending sailor of food, as much as to plug up his gastrointestinal tract.
Oh! that is awful! I aw! Mr.
Palmer, I'm not deaf.
I'm sorry, Doctor.
It's just the thought of punishing someone that way, just sound so uncivilized.
Did those doors just open and shut? I don't think so, no.
Very strange.
It's just that she's never been undercover, boss.
She's a highly trained NCIS special agent.
She's more probie than even Probie.
She's got excellent back-up.
Me? Ziva.
You are causing quite a stir on the Hill.
Underage dead girls and congressional aides make people nervous.
She looks the part.
Just like a Whore? Courtesan.
Are you sure you're ready for this? I saw the girl in autopsy.
Yeah, I'm ready.
Separate radio transmitter and GPS built into the lining.
Pressure switch on the handle turns it off if they sweep for bugs.
Turns it back on when they're finished.
Chen's going to be suspicious of everyone.
Particularly if someone like Agent Lee shows up.
We need something else, McGee.
Got just the thing.
- Hey, Jimmy.
- Hey.
DiNozzo In position, boss.
What's the problem? Don't worry, I'll fix it.
But tell me this Why is he asking you about this? How can you be so stupid? You have to listen to me! Target has entered the building.
GPS locked on.
MTAC standing by, Agent Gibbs.
It's your call.
We are in play.
Excuse me.
We're closed.
Even for a cash customer, Mr.
Chen? What do you want? And who are you? I don't know you or your sister.
Maybe this will help you remember.
Lee's killed the transmission.
They're sweeping her for bugs.
She'll resume the transmission when it's clear.
Stand by, Tony.
No contact in 30 seconds, we're going in.
Got you, boss.
Come on, Lee, turn us back on.
Another 25 when I get my sister back.
And what makes you think I have your sister? Must be another Davey Chen I'm looking for.
What's her name? She's 14 years old from Fujian Province.
I don't know what you call her, by my family calls her Xiu Mei.
You're a long way from home.
So is she.
But I wasn't abducted off my parent's farm.
Too old.
That's a lot of money for the daughter of a farmer.
I work in Shanghai.
I'm good at what I do.
American businessmen show their appreciation.
Do we have a deal? Come with me.
Game on.
We've lost the signal.
She turned it off? I can't tell.
Who do you work for? I'm here for my sister.
Talk to me, McGee.
Yeah, working on it, boss.
FBI? Police? You don't think I came alone, do you? You're alone now.
They can't hear you.
This room is protected against bugs.
That's her back-up camera.
There's interference.
They're in a screened room.
It's jamming the signal.
Gibbs, we've got a problem.
DiNozzo, cover the back door.
We're going in.
Got it.
She's moving.
Exiting a door.
DiNozzo, they're gone.
Anything? Nothing, boss.
They didn't come out this way.
We're only getting intermittent video signals.
Aerial surveillance is negative.
They're definitely on the move.
Gibbs, check for a basement entrance.
They've gone underground.
What exactly are we looking for? Trapdoor.
All right, we're getting picture back.
Maybe some kind of tunnel.
Playing it back.
T- O-L-L something.
Could be an I.
Maybe a K.
Toll Toll Bridge Trading.
Women's shoes.
Street Northwest.
Jethro, 2570 - Third Street, Northwest.
- Gibbs.
Tony, go, go.
We've got the tunnel.
Okay, two minutes, boss.
What is this, a warehouse? He's shutting down his operation.
Where are the girls? Put her in the truck along with the others.
Federal agents! Freeze! Stay down.
Put the weapon down.
Nice work, Probie.
They're in the truck.
"The bum tried to be a hero.
" Brian Wright.
Sergeant Brian Wright.
Bronze Star, Purple Heart, United States Marine Corps.
He was a hero.