Navy Seaman Apprentice Brian Dokes (in civilian attire) enters an illegal sporting bets shop and robs the place, using a fake grenade.
NCIS is called in to investigate when he later shows up dead along a road, with his eye gouged out. His car had crashed and he had crawled away from it.
After testing the DNA under Dokes' fingernails, Abby concludes that he gouged his own eye out. She also discovers that his blood contains LSD.
The team discovers that Dokes' father had been attending an expensive rehab clinic, one that they couldn't afford. This provides a possible motive for his son's intent to rob the betting place.
Former NCIS Agent (and ex-con) Kip Klugman shows up at NCIS posing as an informant to Dokes' murder. He used to work with Vance before being busted for stealing evidence out of Camp Pendleton: cash and drugs. Vance had investigated him.
Klugman tells Vance and Gibbs about the robbery at the betting place. He gives them the fake grenade that was used in the theft. He identifies the owner of the betting establishment as Kobe "Beef" Carver.
He tells them his "source" told him Carver followed Dokes and then killed him.
He tries to convince Vance that he's changed; he's turned over a new leaf and is coming to them in order to do some good. Neither Vance nor Gibbs believe him.
Klugman offers an apology for framing Vance years ago, and for trying to make the investigators think Vance took the money instead of him.
Tony and Bishop pay a visit to the betting establishment, which is disguised as a lingerie store. They meet Laura Strike-DePalma, Carver's attorney. She agrees to let them into the back room, as a courtesy.
Tony attempts to lift some boxes so he can see the floor safe. Carver and Strike-DePalma stop him and order him and Bishop out of the store.
Vance is working out at home when Klugman shows up at his door. He looks beat up. When Vance asked him who did this to him, Klugman says "you did this, Director."
Gibbs tells Vance that Klugman phoned 911 and claimed Vance attacked him.
Secretary of the Navy Sarah Porter arrives at Vance's house, and tells him that Klugman is prepared to hold a press conference, alleging that Vance made good on his threat in the squad room. She says his lawyer states that this will all go away if Vance steps down.
Vance tells Gibbs he would like to participate in the investigation. Gibbs agrees.
Gibbs and Vance tail Klugman to an office building. They get made by Klugman's lawyer who happens to be the same lawyer representing Carver. She tells them she's on the phone to Vance's boss complaining about harassing her client.
Alexandria P.D. Stradivarius arrives at the bullpen to grab the files for the investigation in order to effect a case transfer. Gibbs tells Tony to stall her.
SecNav Porter shows up at the lawyer's office, apologizing for Vance and Gibbs' behavior. She asks to have a private moment with Strike-DePalma. Gibbs and Vance use the opportunity to search the lawyer's office.
They show the security footage of the robbery to Porter, but it's not enough to exonerate Vance. SecNav Porter tells them they have three hours to finalize the case. Failing that, she will announce Vance's retirement the next day, as well as ensuring that the case gets transferred to Alexandria.
Abby shows Tony that Dokes' backpack had a passive Bluetooth tracker in it. It's designed to send out a signal to anyone who is attached to it via a Bluetooth seeker, usually a smartphone.
Abby tells him she was able to reverse track the tracker to the place where the person who placed the tracker is currently located. Her map shows him that the person is back at the lingerie shop/betting establishment. This information is used to ensure evidence toward getting a search warrant for the place.
Tony brings in Carver and accuses him of doping Dokes by placing some skin-contact LSD infusion stickers on his arm.
Tony tells him about the Bluetooth tracking device but Carver says he never uses them. He then realizes that "Lump" is the only other person who would have the opportunity to place a tracker in the bag.
Lance realizes that "Lump" and Klugman are working together, and that Klugman is planning to get his money back when the case is transferred (along with the money).
Gibbs and Vance pretend to transfer the case and money. Klugman and "Lump" cause them to get a flat tire. "Lump" points a gun at them and tells them to get out of the truck. Gibbs puts a gun in the back of his pants.
Vance is disappointed that Klugman isn't there with "Lump" so he decides to let him rob them, in hopes of tracking the money back to Klugman using the Bluetooth tracker.
Vance is adamant that they need to allow the robbery to happen so he tells Lump that Gibbs has a gun. Lump tells him to get rid of it.
Then Lump tells Vance to get rid of the tracker too.
Lump drives away and Gibbs reveals he also put his phone in the box so they can track everything back to Klugman.
Everyone tracks the money back to the lawyer's office.
Klugman, Lump and Strike-DePalma discuss the details for their flight. They find Gibbs' phone in the box. Lump shoots Vance but hits his bulletproof vest instead. Lump gets shot.
Vance announces to the team that he gets to keep his job.