Moses McClaine, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, visits Vance, his old friend. A reporter is looking into Gibbs' suspension and McClaine wants nobody to comment about it. The other NCIS agents are hazing Torres, Bishop, and McGee because they've been taking off the duty rotation. Vance assigns them to COVID compliance duty at McClaine's summit with the Yemenis as punishment. The suspended Gibbs is having coffee at his diner. He meets investigative journalist Marcie Warren. She's there to interview Gibbs about his suspension. He figures out who she is and leaves. Torres and Bishop learn details about the current murder case, Lance Cpl. Jesse Flint, by eavesdropping. Bishop meets Yemeni representative Nasser Al-Kamal. McGee gets the same color paint on his jacket as the murder victim. Sawyer tells them Flint worked as a house painter around town, including McClaine's home. Torres pushes McGee to unofficially investigate. Gibbs calls Vance and they get into it on the phone. Bishop finds an address among Flint's items. It's an old theater. Torres finds weapons and photos of SecDef's house. McGee discovers a trip wire to a bomb. They call in Vance. McClaine was the target. He tells them Sawyer and Tyler still have the lead. Marcie visits Gibbs at home. She asks Gibbs to read her work first but he refuses. Bishop asks McClaine about his enemies. Kendle the piano player is also a conspiracy nut. But he was dead by suicide when Sawyer and Tyler got to his place. Sawyer declares the case closed. Kasie processed the syringes from Flint's van. She finds out a bottle of wine at SecDef's party has been injected with potassium, which will kill him with his kidney condition. Al-Kamal was behind the assassination attempt. An accurate article about Gibbs is in the newspaper.