A man on death row, Gabriel Hicks, insists that he's innocent of the murder of a Navy lieutenant and that NCIS framed him. His lawyer, an enthusiastic public defender named Jennifer Schafer, is convinced he's telling the truth about his innocence.
After she finds no evidence of a frame job by NCIS, she approaches them for assistance in re-investigating the case, which was a joint operation between NCIS and the FBI.
The original investigating NCIS agent died several years ago, but the FBI agent in charge was none other than Gibbs's long-time friend, Tobias Fornell -- and Fornell is convinced that Hicks is the guilty party.
Ducky's new autopsy, however, reveals that the lieutenant was killed by a left-handed blow, and Hicks is right-handed, so the team delves further.
They search for a missing witness who could identify, or at least describe, the person who kidnapped the lieutenant. When they do locate her, however, she describes the suspect as black, not white like Hicks -- and she says that she told all this to Fornell a decade ago.
Fornell admits that he did interview her but covered up the evidence because his gut told him that Hicks was guilty and that the witness was coerced into lying.
When Gibbs is put on the stand by Hicks's lawyer, he tells what the witness told him, and Hicks is released from jail while Fornell faces dire professional and personal consequences.
However, Gibbs catches Hicks in a lie. Later, he and Jack Sloane watch Hicks from a distance and realize he's a switch hitter... he can hit a ball from both the right and the left.
Gibbs realizes that Hicks played them all and just got away with murder. But the game's not over yet...