The team are given the case of the murder of a retired colonel and all the evidence seems to point to his drug-addicted son, but there is no concrete proof.
Bringing the suspect, Nick, in for interrogation, Gibbs and DiNozza play good-cop-bad-cop, telling him that witnesses can place him near the crime scene at the time of the murder. But, after refusing the services of a lawyer, Nick insists he did not kill his father – he loved him. Seeking information about his history of drug use the team visit his therapist who she says that she does not think Nick is capable of murder.
However as team dig deeper, Gibbs begins to question Vance's motives after finding inconsistencies in an investigation that suggest that the accused teenage drug addict is innocent of murdering his father...
A dying message from a naval officer leads the NCIS team to a manuscript that threatens national security.