Season 3
NCIS - The 3rd Season.jpg
Season 3 U.S. DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes24
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 20, 2005 (2005-09-20) –
May 16, 2006 (2006-05-16)
Season chronology
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Season 2
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Season 4
List of episodes

The third season of the police procedural drama NCIS was originally broadcast between September 20, 2005, and May 16, 2006, on CBS. The third season opens in the aftermath of "Twilight", with the entire team in shock and Gibbs on a vendetta to seek revenge for Kate's murder. Matters are complicated by the intervention of Gibbs' former lover and new NCIS director Jenny Shepard, and Mossad officer Ziva David.

This season begins to drop little hints about Gibbs' past, and is the first to reference his first wife, Shannon, and his daughter, Kelly. The season finale introduces his former boss, Mike Franks (Muse Watson), who assists Gibbs in recovering from a near-fatal bomb blast. The season ends with Gibbs retiring, leaving DiNozzo in charge of the Major Case Response Team.




Guest appearances


See also: List of NCIS episodes

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
471"Kill Ari (Part I)"Dennis SmithDonald P. BellisarioSeptember 20, 2005 (2005-09-20)30215.48[1]
The team struggles to cope with Agent Todd's death while searching for her killer.
482"Kill Ari (Part II)"James Whitmore Jr.Donald P. BellisarioSeptember 27, 2005 (2005-09-27)30415.09[2]
Gibbs' determination to kill Ari in revenge for Kate Todd's death increases after he mounts attacks against various members of the team in his sadistic game with Gibbs.
493"Mind Games"William WebbTeleplay by : Jeffrey A. Kirkpatrick & John C. Kelley
Story by : Jeffrey A. Kirkpatrick
October 4, 2005 (2005-10-04)30116.87[3]
NCIS television prop (19 September 2008) 39.jpg
Death row prisoner Kyle Boone is a serial killer whom Gibbs arrested ten years ago. Having been placed on death row and due to be executed in a few days time for killing several young women, carving a mark on their backs and taking their tongues as his trophies, he insists that he will disclose the location of the missing bodies of his murder victims to Gibbs alone, forcing the reluctant team leader to meet with him due to SECNAV personally ordering him to do so. When Abby and McGee locate the place where the victims had been murdered, the team, assisted by Agent Cassidy, finds that the latest four victims in Boone's scrapbook had been killed in the last three years, meaning Boone has an accomplice who has been carrying on his work. But the investigation turns serious when Agent Cassidy goes missing, having been kidnapped, the team is forced into a desperate race against time to prevent her from becoming victim number five of the copycat killer.
504"Silver War"Terrence O'HaraTeleplay by : John C. Kelley
Story by : Joshua Lurie
October 11, 2005 (2005-10-11)30516.78[4]
A deceased Marine is found encased in a Civil War—era tomb at the Smithsonian museum and evidence later comes to light suggesting that he was probably buried alive. In the meantime, Ziva David returns to NCIS, having been assigned to Gibbs's team as a liaison officer for Mossad by the new director of NCIS, Jenny Shepard. Gibbs is angry she did so without consulting him, but Jenny insists that the team needs Ziva. She is forced to prove her worth to the team as they track down the people responsible for the staff sergeant's death, which is linked to a Civil War treasure and a lone rogue group who are working behind the scenes. When Ducky and Ziva are placed in a difficult position, Ziva shows her value by saving both their lives and as such, is finally accepted into the team, officially replacing Kate Todd.
515"Switch"Thomas J. WrightGil GrantOctober 18, 2005 (2005-10-18)30317.69[5]
The team is called to investigate the murder of a petty officer who was gunned down while driving on a freeway. While visiting the sailor's commander to inform him of the death, the team discovers that another man claims to be the petty officer and that his identity may have been stolen. Secrets in both men's lives are revealed, but it is Abby's shrewd observations that end up solving the case. Also, McGee discovers his credit card has been stolen and was used to buy porn videos amongst other items while Ziva must quickly learn to adjust to Gibbs's leadership style.
526"The Voyeur's Web"Dennis SmithDavid J. NorthOctober 25, 2005 (2005-10-25)30618.01[6]
Jamie Carr, a Marine sergeant's wife, is thought to have been abducted until Gibbs and his team found evidence to suggest that she may have been murdered live on the internet. Carr and her neighbor, Leanne Roberts, had been making money by running a live internet sex site while their husbands were deployed abroad. Roberts's body is later found but the team is still unable to find any trace of Carr. With the help of her new assistant, Chip Sterling, who Director Shepard has hired for her, Abby determines that the video of Jamie might not be all it seems.
537"Honor Code"Colin BuckseyChristopher SilberNovember 1, 2005 (2005-11-01)30718.08[7]
Gibbs befriends a young boy after his father, a lieutenant commander, is kidnapped. The lieutenant commander had been working on a classified project named Honor and is the only person who knows the code keys to the encryption. The release of the code keys can pose a serious threat to national security. Although the evidence gathered by Gibbs's team suggests that the lieutenant commander was a part of the scheme, Gibbs believes otherwise due to the strong bond between the lieutenant commander and his son. While they solve the case, each of the team members take turns babysitting the boy.
548"Under Covers"Aaron LipstadtL.D. ZlotoffNovember 8, 2005 (2005-11-08)30817.79[8]
When it is discovered that two married assassins, who were fatally wounded in a car crash, were planning an assassination at the United States Marine Corps birthday ball, Gibbs sends Ziva and Tony to pose as the married assassins in order to find out who the couple had planned to assassinate and who had hired them. After the team finds out that the couple were expecting a baby and might have been planning to retire, they realize that the assassination plot could have been a set-up and that the married assassins were potentially the real targets. Meanwhile, an attraction between Tony and Ziva surfaces and Gibbs and his team get a surprise when they find out who has been spying on Tony and Ziva.
559"Frame Up"Thomas J. WrightLaurence WalshNovember 22, 2005 (2005-11-22)30916.43[9]
A pair of legs are found on a Marine base, and the team is dumbfounded and shellshocked when every piece of evidence in a murder points towards Tony as the prime suspect. In an effort to help their colleague, the team compiles a list of people who may have grudges against Tony, providing them with a long list of suspects. Abby is upset that she may have incriminated Tony through the forensic evidence she provided and refuses to give up until she's proved his innocence.
5610"Probie"Terrence O'HaraGeorge Schenck & Frank CardeaNovember 29, 2005 (2005-11-29)31018.17[10]
While the team is on protective detail for the Chief of Naval Operations, McGee spots an argument taking place in an alleyway. He shoots one of the men, who he believed was aiming a gun at him. The deceased turns out to be a D.C. Metro police detective who was working undercover. When the team is unable to find any weapon or bullets left behind by anyone other than McGee, it appears that McGee may have made a probie mistake. McGee begins to doubt himself but Gibbs is suspicious of the detective's meeting, which took place that night. After speaking to the decedent's partner, the team realizes that McGee's story may be more accurate than any of them thought.
5711"Model Behavior"Stephen CraggDavid J. NorthDecember 13, 2005 (2005-12-13)31117.11[11]
A supermodel is found dead after having overdosed on phencyclidine at a Marine base, where the reality TV show in which she was participating was being filmed. Her ex-boyfriend is also found dead in a motel nearby having overdosed on heroin, leading the team to believe that their deaths may have been related to their relationship. However, when it is discovered that the Marine drill instructor in charge of the TV show was romantically linked to the dead supermodel, the team look closer at the others involved in the show. When the Marine boyfriend begins to overdose on the same thing that killed his girlfriend, it appears that someone may have disapproved of the relationship, even going to extreme lengths to end it.
5812"Boxed In"Dennis SmithDana CoenJanuary 10, 2006 (2006-01-10)31317.19[12]
While investigating a naval stockyard for a container with illegal weapons, Tony and Ziva are ambushed and forced to take cover in a container, where they subsequently become locked in. Gibbs, McGee, and Abby attempt to search for them with the help of the port security office. Meanwhile, Tony and Ziva discover that the crates of DVD movies inside the container served as a cover for hidden crates, which contain millions of dollars of counterfeit money. But they both find themselves in a gunfight after the container is later taken away to a warehouse guarded by terrorists, forcing Gibbs and McGee into a race against time to find their location before Tony and Ziva end up dead.
5913"Deception"Leslie LibmanJack BernsteinJanuary 17, 2006 (2006-01-17)31217.74[13]
A Navy lieutenant commander, who was in charge of a shipment of nuclear weapons, is thought to have been abducted leading to Gibbs and his team being called in on a Sunday to investigate. The team discovers that the lieutenant commander had had a meeting earlier in the day at a shopping center and that she did volunteer work at an organization dedicated to combating online pedophilia, meaning that her abductor might not have been a terrorist but a pedophile she was tracking.
6014"Light Sleeper"Colin BuckseyChristopher SilberJanuary 24, 2006 (2006-01-24)31416.97[14]
Two Marine wives, both originally from Korea, are found gunned down in a house. As NCIS searches for the killer, they discover that the one remaining woman and the two victims are part of a sleeper cell with links to North Korea.
6115"Head Case"Dennis SmithGeorge Schenck & Frank CardeaFebruary 7, 2006 (2006-02-07)31516.05[15]
While arresting a group of Navy sailors who were operating an illegal automotive chop shop, Ziva finds a severed head in the trunk of a recently stolen car. Abby later matches the head to a Navy captain who died four months previously. Things go from bad to worse when Abby discovers that the ashes that the captain's wife and young daughter have been looking after since his death are bogus, sending the team on the hunt for a possible "human chop shop" operating illegally and the captain's remaining body parts.
6216"Family Secret"James Whitmore Jr.Steven D. BinderFebruary 28, 2006 (2006-02-28)31615.14[16]
An ambulance carrying the body of a young Marine who died suddenly explodes without warning, destroying the body and also rendering it unrecognizable. But things take a strange turn when Ducky later discovers that the DNA lifted from the body does not match that of the dead Marine.
6317"Ravenous"Thomas J. WrightRichard C. ArthurMarch 7, 2006 (2006-03-07)31717.21[17]
A Navy petty officer is found eaten by a bear after a group of teenagers found his dog tags in bear feces in a national forest. However, an autopsy reveals that the petty officer was killed by a blade to the chest before his corpse was eaten. Evidence also shows that he was camping with a woman, who is now missing. Things then take a even more horrifying turn when the team discover that all the accidental deaths might not even be natural or accidental at all, leading Gibbs to suspect that there's a serial killer on the loose in the park, one who's using the deaths to cover up something much worse: murder.
6418"Bait"Terrence O'HaraLaurence WalshMarch 14, 2006 (2006-03-14)31817.55[18]
The teenage son of a Marine major arrives in school with a bomb strapped to his body and takes his classroom hostage. Gibbs enters the classroom as the negotiator and is taken hostage too, leaving Tony in charge much to the chagrin of Director Shepard. The teenager has one demand: bring his mother to the classroom before sunset. The team soon discover that she's dead, having seemingly drowned in a boating accident the year before. Tony and the rest of the team are put to the test as they try to get everyone out alive while secretly communicating with Gibbs.
6519"Iced"Dennis SmithDana CoenApril 4, 2006 (2006-04-04)31915.52[19]
While exploring a frozen pond, two young boys discover the body of a Marine in the pond. When Gibbs and the team are dispatched to the scene to investigate, they find three more bodies who are high-ranking members of a notorious Central American street gang, "La Vida Mala" or LVM for short. The team must find out who's responsible for the killings while enduring heat from the deceased Marine's unit who are being held in Iraq until the case is closed, fearing the other Marines might seek retribution. Abby and McGee find a trail of text messages that reveal a shocking truth while Ziva, McGee, and Tony take turns interrogating their main suspect.
6620"Untouchable"Leslie LibmanGeorge Schenck & Frank CardeaApril 18, 2006 (2006-04-18)32015.90[20]
A Navy lieutenant working at the Pentagon's cryptography department is found dead in her home, having seemingly committed suicide by shooting herself in the head. However, Abby later discovers that there was someone else with the lieutenant when she died and, as such, the team attempt to find her killer while also searching for the mole. When evidence links the lieutenant to Venezuelan diplomat Simon Roca, the team must find a way around the red tape in order to find out what really happened. While they race against time to tie Roca to the lieutenant, Ducky is held up by his mother, who is suffering from dementia.
6721"Bloodbath"Dennis SmithSteven D. BinderApril 25, 2006 (2006-04-25)32115.56[21]
A couple checking in at a motel near Little Creek Naval Base find their room covered with bloodstains and slices of human tissue in what appears to be a drug deal gone horribly wrong. The team realizes that they have been set up after Tony notices discrepancies in the bloodstains, Ducky identifies the slices as discarded tissue from surgical procedures and Abby and McGee barely escape being poisoned after she realizes the drugs she was testing were rigged. They must dig into Abby's past to find out who wants her dead and their search leads them to the main suspect in the embezzlement trial Abby is testifying in, the suspect's lawyer, and Abby's ex-boyfriend whose obsession with Abby is a grave cause for concern.
6822"Jeopardy"James Whitmore Jr.David J. NorthMay 2, 2006 (2006-05-02)32214.95[22]
A routine drug bust goes wrong when the suspect dies while in Ziva's custody. The victim's brother then takes Director Shepard hostage, demanding that his brother and the drugs be returned to him in exchange for her. With a deadline of just two hours and the clock racing against them, the team, with the help of Cassie Yates (Tamara Taylor), must find the Director before it's too late.
6923"Hiatus (Part I)"Dennis SmithDonald P. BellisarioMay 9, 2006 (2006-05-09)32315.17[23]
A bomb explodes as Gibbs contacts an undercover government agent on a suspicious foreign ship, killing the agent and placing Gibbs in a coma, in which he has flashbacks of the murder of his wife Shannon and daughter Kelly many years earlier and of his wounding in Desert Storm. Meanwhile, Tony becomes the temporary head of the investigation team as the group attempts to track down Pinpin Pula, a missing crew member of the ship suspected to be an Abu Sayyaf member. The episode ends with Gibbs awakening from his coma with no memory of Ducky, who is in the room with him.
7024"Hiatus (Part II)"Dennis SmithDonald P. BellisarioMay 16, 2006 (2006-05-16)32416.49[24]
Gibbs wakes up believing it's 1991 and he was recently wounded in Kuwait, with no memory of the last fifteen years. Director Shepard contacts Gibbs's NCIS mentor and partner, Mike Franks, in hopes of helping an amnesiac Gibbs regain his memory. Only Gibbs knows the details of an impending terrorist attack, and he remembers up until 1996 when Franks retired after his warnings about the impending attack on the Khobar Towers were ignored. She also delves into Gibbs's past and shares information with Ducky about his murdered wife and daughter. The team discovers that the agent was dead before the bomb and realizes that Pinpin Pula killed and impersonated the agent and then used his credentials to board another ship. Meanwhile, Tony and the team discover that Pinpin Pula wants to blow up the ship Cape Fear. Ziva, who had appeared nonchalant about Gibbs's situation, visits Gibbs in a desperate and emotional attempt to revive his memory by telling him about their shared connection with Ari. Gibbs recovers his memory and is taken back to NCIS headquarters. The director in charge of the frigate's shipment refuses to heed warnings from Gibbs, Jenny, and other Navy officers, leading to disastrous consequences. Finally, Gibbs hands his badge to Tony and resigns before heading to Mexico to stay at Franks's house.

DVD special features

NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Services- The Complete Third Season[25]
Set details Special features
  • 24 Episodes
  • 6-Disc Set
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)
  • Audio Commentaries
  • The Real N.C.I.S. Declassified
  • Hit the Head Montage
  • The Women of N.C.I.S.
  • N.C.I.S. Season of Change
  • The Round Table
Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
April 24, 2007 (2007-04-24)[26] June 18, 2007 (2007-06-18)[27] March 15, 2007 (2007-03-15)[28]


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  2. ^ "CBS Is America's Most Watched Network For the Second Consecutive Week of the New Season". CBS PressExpress. October 4, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "And the Streak Goes On..." CBS PressExpress. October 11, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "CBS Sweeps the Week in All Key Measures Placing First in Adults 18–49, Adults 25–54 and Viewers". CBS PressExpress. October 18, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "CBS Winning Streak Extends To Key Demos". CBS PressExpress. October 25, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "CBS Streaks On!". CBS PressExpress. November 1, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "CBS Moves Into First Place (Tie) in Adults 18–49 For the Season While Continuing To Dominate in Viewers and Adults 25–54". CBS PressExpress. November 8, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "CBS Posts an Across-the-Board Victory". CBS PressExpress. November 15, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "The Season...The November Sweep: CBS is First in Viewers, Adults 18–49 and Adults 25–54". CBS PressExpress. November 29, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "In Another Viewer Victory, CBS Spreads the Wealth As 9 Programs Post Series or Season High Ratings". CBS PressExpress. December 6, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "CBS Makes It a Lucky 13!". CBS PressExpress. December 20, 2005. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Sweet 16!". CBS PressExpress. January 18, 2006. Retrieved November 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "CBS Sports' Coverage of the Afc Championship (Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos) Attracts 39 Million Viewers". CBS PressExpress. January 24, 2006. Retrieved November 28, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "CBS Places First in Viewers For the 17th Time in 19 Weeks". CBS PressExpress. January 31, 2006. Retrieved November 28, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "CBS Places Second in a Week That Included the First Three Nights of the Winter Olympics". CBS PressExpress. February 14, 2006. Retrieved November 28, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "CBS Has the Top Four Scripted Programs of the Week". CBS PressExpress. March 7, 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "CBS Places a Solid Second in Viewers, Adults 18–49". CBS PressExpress. March 14, 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Mid-Season Hits "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "The Unit," College Hoops Lead CBS To First Place Finish in Viewers and Second in Key Demographics". CBS PressExpress. March 21, 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "CBS Places First in Viewers For the Fourth Consecutive Week". CBS PressExpress. April 11, 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "CBS Places First in Viewers For Sixth Consecutive Week". CBS. The Futon Critic. April 26, 2006. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  21. ^ "CBS'S Total Viewer Winning Streak Hits Seven". CBS PressExpress. May 2, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "CBS'S Viewer Winning Streak Reaches 8 Weeks". CBS PressExpress. May 9, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "CBS Streaking to the Season's Finish Line with Its Ninth Consecutive Weekly Win in Viewers". CBS PressExpress. May 16, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "CBS places first in the last full week of the season extending its winning streak to 10". CBS. The Futon Critic. April 23, 2006. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  25. ^ "NCIS Naval Criminal Investigative Service – The Complete Third Season". Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  26. ^ "NCIS: The Complete Third Season (2003)". Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  27. ^ "NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) – Season 3 [DVD]". Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  28. ^ "NCIS – The 3rd Season (6 Disc Set)". EzyDVD. Archived from the original on July 18, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
General references