A SEAL lieutenant falls to his death, due to a failed fitting in his gear, while rappelling during an exercise; Gibbs and company investigate; the CIA expresses intense interest. Abby and McGee provide answers, and the team solve the case.

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Father Larry Clannon
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CIA Agent Andrew Kramer
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Petty Officer Porcaro
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Petty Officer Vengal
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Lt. Commander Folsom
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Young Pregnant Woman
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Storyline

A SEAL lieutenant dies while he and his team rappel during an exercise to prepare for a classified operation; he falls to his death due to a failure of a fitting in his rappelling gear; Gibbs and company investigate; a special agent of the CIA expresses intense interest. The phony part is an inferior fitting, intended to fail, which someone substituted. A number of factors do not add up right. However, Ducky provides ice cream, and Kate does something she's never before done. Meanwhile Abby and McGee have some ups and downs, and they hack into a server and enter a secret e-mail account. Gibbs and the team eventually put the pieces together and reach a conclusion. Written by DocRushing

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18 May 2004 (USA)  »

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Trivia

This episode contains not one, but two actors from Joss Whedon's "Buffyverse" (specifically Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)'s spin off Angel (2004)." Actor Adam Baldwin as Cmdr. Michael Rainer in this episode and Marcus Hamilton in Angel. (Also Jayne Cobb from one of Joss Whedon's other show's Firefly (2002).

Julie Benz played Darla in both "Buffy" and "Angel" See more »

Goofs

When leaving the victim's house the second time, Gibbs puts away his notebook twice in succession. See more »

Quotes

Denise Johnson: Well a lot of husbands leave a trail when they come home. I was constantly picking up after him.
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Connections

References Halloween: Resurrection (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Sasha is the weak link
11 August 2011 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

They killed Kate (Sasha Alexander) off after two seasons of NCIS, and it is nice to see her back in the TV saddle as 1/2 of "Rizzoli & Isles" after five years of being away from acting as the wife of Sophia Loren's son Edoardo. But looking back at this recently aired early episode it is clear that like the title, she was the weakest link in the series.

Of course hindsight is 20/20 and her replacement Cote de Pablo is a dream -adding so much to the show. But THE WEAK LINK points up other fumbling around that occurred before Harmon & co. hit their Nielsen chart-topping stride.

The romantic banter and confusion between Pauley Perette and Sean Murray is clumsy in this segment, with latter not yet in command of his pivotal comic relief character. But it is the Michael Weatherly/Sasha relationship that stands out as faulty. As DiNozzo he razzes her in a way that is unappealing. My guess is that De Pablo's acting and her forceful physical appearance & personality can easily weather any taunting from Weatherly, while Sasha simply does not play off him well.

As a result, this episode seems remarkably thin, stuck with a rather perfunctory story of a secret mission led by always-reliable guest star Adam Baldwin in peril as the team investigates the death of one of his navy seals. I found the ending wholly unsatisfactory and the relentlessly inverted-red herring dangling into the plot of a priest (smarmily played by Doug Savant) quite annoying.

But Sasha as Kate just doesn't fit in. Her interactions with Harmon are almost ludicrously one-sided, as if the team's (and show's) boss can't stand her. I'm glad everybody lived happily ever after in her absence.


4 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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