Phumph of Gibbs looking bemused.
Cold opening on parents walking their baby in its pram, with mother singing "Hush little baby dont say a word" (the song that Kelly played for her piano recital: see episode Ex-Files). It is 2am. The parents are trying to get the baby to sleep. This is spoilt by gunshots. The man goes over to a woman who is screaming for help, over a man on the ground.
Squadroom. An ecstatic Tony arrives in the squadroom. Ziva assumes he has just lined up a date. Tony agrees and says it is with Kirosawa. Ziva then has to have it clarified that Tony is going to attend a Japanese film festival. Ziva is at her desk studying the Declaration of Independence, so that she can pass citizenship exams with "swimming colours". McGee arrives, tired, and corrects her that it is "Flying colours". She'll settle for any colours. Tony inquires into McGee's tiredness: he proudly announces that he has given birth to a fully wired-up home, where even the microwave will be controlled by one remote control. Tony is impressed.
Gibbs arrives, announces a death and says move out. McGee asks for time to grab coffee. Gibbs says no but throws him a boiled sweet/candy and tells him to suck on it. McGee is startled at the language. Tony says "suck it up, McGee".
Crime scene. Palmer is looking at his phone, excited. Ducky reprimands him about etiquette but Palmer exclaims that the local mortuary attendant has said yes to a date. Ducky is delighted for Mr Palmer. Tony starts giving advice. Gibbs tells him to focus. Tony notices the attention that the local LEO gives to Ziva and starts issuing orders, to impress the LEO. Gibbs quells Tony. Local LEO gives brief details and mentions that there is a witness,- the fiancee, -to the marine's shooting.
Park bench. Ziva is already with the witness when Gibbs arrives. Ziva introduces Gibbs to the elderly woman who is sitting with downbent head. At the name, the woman looks up and says "Jethro?". (Gibbs has flashbacks of the woman holding a baby) "Hey Joanne". And Gibbs introduces Ziva to Joanne, his mother in law. Joanne promptly asserts "ex-mother in law". And Gibbs clarifies "Shannon's mom" and Joanne says "Kelly's grandmother". Ziva asks when did they last see each other. "At the girls' funeral".
Squadroom."All right McNosey, what have you got?"
McGee reveals what he has worked out is that Joann Fielding is Gibb's motherinlaw. Gibbs and Joann are very estranged. Ziva urges sympathy for Joann who has lost her daughter, grandaughter and now fiancee to murder and her son in law is investigating the latter. Tony ponders whether she is cursed like the Kennedys. That leads to Ziva noting that Kennedy's shooter was in the "books suppository". Tony winces and corrects her to "depository". "That's what I said".
Gibbs arrives. Team reports that there is no killer seen on CCTV. Victim was a marine, near retirment, never married, worked for the supply division. The engagement ring is a clue to trace. Tony says what they will do as follow-up investigation. He gets two compliments from Gibbs. Director Vance arrives to tell Gibbs that his motherinlaw is in the conference room and then he is to come and see the Director. Gibbs leaves. Tony expresses concern over the compliments and declares that they have to keep an eye on Gibbs. Director Vance reminds Tony who gives the orders.
Conference room. Gibbs catches up on family news with motherinlaw: his fatherinlaw and she divorced two years after the killing. She inquires as to Gibbs' dad ("Stubborn. But I guess that's a good thing"). She tells him he didnt have to go through it all alone. He says that he called and she didnt return calls. She says she remembers differently. Gibbs moves on to the crime and what happened. They attended a party, then wanted to walk by the water and ask her something. "He proposed to you". She says she didnt see the killer because she was looking at the engagement ring. Then the killer ran. It was dark. But she could do an identikit picture of a white male in his 20s. Ziva interrupts and announces the sketch artist is here. Gibbs solicitously asks whether Joanne wants to do this, and she says she wants to do anything to help.
Director's OfficeGibbs walks into Vance's office, and declares that he knows that there is a conflict of interest. Vance asks him to step off the case. Gibbs asks to speak off the record and says (with a rising inflection in his voice) "I need to do this for Shannon. She would have wanted it". Vance agrees but warns that if he steps out of line, Vance will remove Gibbs from the case.
Men's room. Gibbs is bent over the basin, splashing water on his face, straightening up, looking into the mirror and the past, remembering, in flashback, the trauma of the day when he took Shannon and Kelly away from granny Joanne. "You've already decided" "I dont have a choice Shannon" Joanne pleading, angry at them going away. Shannon saying "Mum! Please." Gibbs defiantly answering Joanne that he is a marine and has to go. They get in a pick up truck and drive away from a very upset Joanne. Everyone is tense and miserable.
Back in the present, Gibbs swipes at his eyes and nose, as Tony walks in to announce that the local LEO is here, Gibbs looks at Tony via the mirror, reaches over and grabs a tissue, wipes his eyes and nose as Tony asks "You need anything?", to which Gibbs quietly replies "You to, ..ah..to leave" and straightens up again as he glances at Tony in the mirror.
What can we do for you detective? Witness statements. Gibbs signed off on them, they're fine. You sure about that? Joanne Fielding told you the same thing as us, that she was wearing a size 4 ring when she was robbed. LEO points out that her fingers would not fit a size 4, due to arthritis. Ziva says her own is size 5 ("Every woman knows her ring size, just in case"). Gun shot residue? They havent done tests on Joanne as she was so close to teh shooting that it wouldnt prove anything. LEO says "Maybe, maybe not". They check the sketch artist result against the database and get a result immediately.
Conference ROom. An irritated Gibbs slams the sketch on the table and asks who it is because it is the image of Kyle Buckley with whom Gibbs went to school and he has been dead for years. So he asks whether Joanne saw anyone or not.
At Joanne's homeShe is escorted home by Tony who takes the chance to pump her for info on Jethro when young. "You know, I dont think I ever understood Jethro". She was happy that he married Shannon, we made a very nice family. She gets a bit sad and apologises for dragging it up. Tony looks sympathetic.
Squadroom McGee has traced the marine captain's computers and some burn phones. Why would he need a burn phone? They realise that the marine has been involved in drug smuggling and banked the money (10 million dollars). Captain bailed on the drug business when he ceased to be on the South American navy routes and moved to a desk job. The marine was involved in the same drug cartel as the one that murdered Gibbs' wife and daughter.
Autopsy room Palmer is smelling of overgenerous spray of aftershave cologne, rehearsing what he will do for his date. He is wearing contacts too. Ducky and then Gibbs tell Palmer to use the hazmat shower. Gibbs, having described Palmer as smelling of a French whorehouse, says Palmer should use the shower "twice". Palmer leaves. Ducky holds up the marine's heart in a jar and expresses the hope that Palmer wont "end up with a broken one of these".