Gibbs goes under the knife while aboard the U.S.S. Daniel Webster, situated in the Persian Gulf as Dr. Cyril Taft works to save his life. This happens on May 14.
Gibbs hallucinates Mike Franks telling him "I told you so" regarding his soft treatment of Luke Harris who shot him. Franks tells him that he shouldn't have trusted him.
Homeland Security confirms that the Supreme Court justices were safely evacuated from their retreat. "The Calling" terrorists were unable to harm them.
Prior to surgery, Taft explains to Gibbs that the bullet that hit his chest exploded on impact, leaving shards throughout his chest cavity, causing multiple areas of bleeding.
Joanna Teague tries to get Tony to stop blaming himself for not being closer to Gibbs and preventing the shooting.
Tony wants to stay near Gibbs as he undergoes surgery, but Vance orders him instead to go back on the offensive to find Daniel Budd and The Calling.
While being operated on, Gibbs hallucinates that he's back at NCIS, barking orders at his team but no one's paying him any attention. He looks over at a wall and see pictures of people close to him who have died, including his father, Dorneget, and his wife.
He see his little girl Kelly as still alive. She greets him and he smiles.
Kelly takes him to the beach where they revisit a memory of him teaching her how to fish. She tells him he needs to stop thinking about the past, and consider the future.
Taft finishes the surgery successfully as Gibbs begins to breathe on his own. They close him up.
The timeline reverts to present day. Gibbs shows up to the bullpen and surprises McGee and Bishop.
Bishop informs Gibbs that Tony and Officer Teague are on assignment, as they hunt down Daniel Budd.
Vance tells Gibbs that Tony and Teague arrived in Shanghai, as a result of intel received from one of Teague's CIA contacts which indicated that Daniel Budd had moved his entire operation there.
Vance tells Gibbs he is limited to administrative duty, and that he can't go work in the field.
Gibbs goes to a prison to visit with Matthew Rousseau - a member of "The Calling".
As Rousseau taunts him, Gibbs reaches across the table and stabs his pen into Rousseau's hand.
Rousseau shouts for the guard. Gibbs gets up to leave and says he has to talk first before he gets a deal.
After Tony and Teague meet with CIA officer Kenny Young, Tony receives a taunting phone call from Daniel Budd.
Gibbs, Vance, Bishop and McGee head to MTAC and get in contact with Secretary of Defense Errol Coyne.
Coyne tells them that they have indications that a North Korean submarine is arming a nuclear warhead in the Sea of Japan.
He says that NCIS is being contacted because out of the many computers linked to the North Koreans, one belongs to NCIS.
McGee traces the computer information and zeros in on Dorneget's laptop. The team discovers that it was being hacked to make it look as though the North Koreans were arming a nuclear warhead.
The Secretary of Defense tells Vance he's ready to take the situation with the North Koreans to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Vance says that his team is certain there's better intel.
McGee tells Vance that they're confident the North Korean signal is not real; that Dorneget's computer was used as a back door into their defense alert systems in order to simulate the North Korean arming of its nuclear warhead.
The simulation shows that the nuclear launch codes are being fed to the North Korean nuclear missile. The Secretary of Defense calls the President, while McGee feverishly works to break the hack.
He finally does and the simulation ends.
Vance asks Gibbs about his visit with Rousseau, and then tells him that Rousseau was found hanging in his cell.
After an autopsy, Ducky informs Gibbs that Rousseau was murdered.
Tony and Teague check out a location where they believe Daniel Budd and his group are holed up.
They burst into the place and find members of The Calling - including Luke Harris - working on computers. The gang activates a series of bombs to destroy the place, and then attempt to escape.
Tony and Teague follow Harris to a rooftop. They convince him not to jump, telling him that Gibbs is alive.
Harris tells Gibbs that Budd has two more computer hubs, and that he's meeting with the Chinese to make a deal. He says that The Calling was his way of proving his power to the Chinese.
Tony hunts down Daniel Budd and then confronts him. Budd shoots CIA Officer Young. Tony stops to provide medical support but Young tells him to keep going after him.
Tony confronts Budd in an alley and shoots him dead.