When two burglars enter a home in Arlington, Virginia, in the burbs of Washington, DC, they find the hanged body of a man; the victim proves to be that of a psychologist (with a PhD degree), who was also a Naval Reservist on active duty, and who held a high-level security clearance for his work, which included consulting with the US Department of Defense (DoD) on a psy-ops program; while Gibbs and company investigate, they soon encounter Dr. Rachel Cranston, who was a colleague of the victim, and with whom they've dealt before. Another mind-gamer shows up, and Abby finds a mind game. McGeek plays with some electronic toys, and the other members of the gang pursuit other leads; Gibbs orders the team to concentrate on paper, and he kills a bug. Despite much interference and misinformation, the gang solve the puzzle and bust the people responsible. A payroll clerk discovers a number of mistakes, and Gibbs receives an interesting phone call at 04:00.