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Dr. Cyril Taft (Jon Cryer), decorated Gulf War veteran and former Chief of Trauma at Walter Reed, is the surgical devil aboard the USS Daniel Webster in the Persian Gulf. As Gibbs dreams of Kelly, Dr. Taft saves Gibbs (it is alluded Taft worked on Mike Franks back in the day.) Vance calls and orders DiNozzo and Teague (Mimi Rogers) back on the trail of Daniel Budd and The Calling. They go to Shanghai to meet Joanna's CIA contact. Gibbs loses a fountain pen. The Secretary of Defense contacts NCIS regarding a North Korean Sinpo-class submarine arming P-8 nuclear warheads out of Misawa in the Sea of Japan. The Intel was monitored by active sonar. NCIS is being included because, supposedly, one of their computers is linked to the NK computers; McGee learns it is Dorney's old laptop, which was never deactivated. Tony gets antsy trying to follow Rule 45; and he, Joanna and Agent Kenny Yong find Luke...and more trouble. Abby, McGee and Bishop race the clock to break Dorney's code. Can they prove Daniel Budd found a back-door to the Pentagon through Ned's laptop and that WWIII is not about to begin? Or will the trigger-ready PACFLEET attack North Korea?