Season 9 - Episode 1: The Nature of the Beast


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Tony tries to piece together what led to him being in a hospital bed, having been shot in the chest through a bullet-proof vest. He struggles to recall the precise chain of events under the guidance of therapist Dr Rachel Cranston. But a flashback fills in one of the gaps – Tony was picked from on high by Secretary of the Navy, Clayton Jarvis, to work on a secret mission, but none of the team knew exactly what he was doing.

Ducky gives the them a lead when he reviews security footage of the autopsy of Levin, the slain member of EJ Barrett's team, carried out by EJ herself. Ducky sees her slice into Levin's arm and surreptitiously remove a micro chip from his wrist. This incision matches one found on the wrist of Captain Felix Wright, who tries to reveal something to Jarvis before dying from wounds sustained elsewhere. Tony decides that he has to track down his ex-lover EJ Barrett. He believes her to be guilty but she explains that Levin, before his death, asked her to remove the chip and pass it on to Captain Wright.

Meanwhile Abby comes up with an explanation for the chips, saying that they were probably inserted into Wright and Levin at about the same time and that they are both ID tags allowing the agents access to something. But what? Gibbs and Vance are then introduced to Sean Latham, described as Director of the Watcher Fleet. He is responsible for a group of agents who spy on fellow agents. He says that both Levin and Wright worked for him and that the information stored in the chips they carried is highly sensitive – many terrorist groups would love to get their hands on it. Latham wants Levin's chip to go with the one he has from Wright...

On the therapist’s couch, Tony's memory becomes more lucid as he recalls being lured to an alley along with EJ and her team member Cade, the agent Tony was supposed to spy on. Tony recalls drawing his gun on Cade, but Cade was shot by a bullet from elsewhere. Who pulled the trigger on Cade and can Latham be trusted with the microchips?



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