Devil's Triangle (NCIS)

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"Devil's Triangle"
NCIS episode
Episode no. Season 9
Episode 7
Directed by Leslie Libman
Written by Steven D. Binder and Reed Steiner
Original air date November 1, 2011 (2011-11-01)
Guest appearance(s)
  • Joe Spano as Senior FBI Agent T.C. Fornell
  • Melinda McGraw as Diane Sterling
  • Tom Gallop as Victor Sterling
  • Meredith Eaton as Carol Wilson
  • Seth Peterson as Thomas Pearce
  • J. Claude Deering as Curtis Hubley
  • D'Anthony Palms as Ticket Taker
Episode chronology
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"Engaged (Part I)"
NCIS (season 9)
List of NCIS episodes

"Devil's Triangle" is the 7th episode of the ninth season of the American police procedural drama NCIS, and the 193rd episode overall. It originally aired on CBS in the United States on November 1, 2011. The episode is written by Steven D. Binder and Reed Steiner and directed by Leslie Libman, and was seen by 19.71 million viewers.[1][2]


Gibbs and Fornell are approached by their mutual ex-wife, Diane, when her current husband Victor, a CIA employee, disappears from a drive-through under suspicious circumstances. NCIS is officially brought into the investigation when a dead employee from the same drive-through is revealed to be a Navy reservist. They soon realized that he was kidnapped to create a lone virus for distribution at a charity football game involving all five branches of the armed forces. Based on the level of pathogens in the equipment used to manufacture the virus, Abby is able to determine that the target is actually the VIP box, where some of the most powerful people in the armed forces are present. The kidnappers are led by a Department of Homeland Security agent, who was paid off by someone inside the military-industrial complex. With the threat over, Fornell and the FBI take control of the case.

Tony is concerned that he is going prematurely bald. He, Ziva and McGee are amused by Gibbs and Fornell's awkward behavior around Diane and attempt to find out more about their boss's marriage. During the investigation, Gibbs' team discovers that Victor had $2 million in banks in the Cayman Islands. An enraged Diane finds out and Vance, the NCIS team, Gibbs and Fornell find themselves in an awkward position of having to deal with her wrath while continuing their investigation.


"Devil's Triangle" is written by Steven D. Binder and Reed Steiner and directed by Leslie Libman. According to Binder and Steiner, "This is an episode of discovery for long-time viewers of the show". The theme for the episode is the relationship between Gibbs' and his ex-wife Diane (Melinda McGraw), who's also Fornell's (Joe Spano) ex-wife. "Everyone who watches the show knows that Shannon was Gibbs’ One True Love. He may have lost her, but he never let go." The writers "breakthrough moment" was when they realized Diane felt the same about Gibbs, and "it was also a breakthrough moment for Gibbs himself".[3]

On September 28, 2011, TV Guide announced that Melinda McGraw was cast as Diane Sterling, who portrays one of Gibbs' ex-wives. Joe Spano also reprises his role as Tobias Fornell, Gibbs friend from the FBI who also share Diane as an ex-wife.[4]


"Devil's Triangle" was seen by 19.71 million live viewers following its broadcast on November 1, 2011, with a 12.2/19 share among all households, and 3.9/11 share among adults aged 18 to 49.[2][5] A rating point represents one percent of the total number of television sets in American households, and a share means the percentage of television sets in use tuned to the program. In total viewers, "Devil's Triangle" easily won NCIS and CBS the night, while the spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles drew second and was seen by 15.52 million viewers.[2] Compared to the last episode "Thirst", "Devil's Triangle" was down in viewers and up in adults 18-49.[6]

Steve Marsi from TV Fanatic gave the episode 4.7 (out of 5) and stated that "It was excellent from beginning to end, but the most moving, unexpected and emotionally loaded scene in "Devil's Triangle" was its very last. Gibbs was Diane's "Shannon," the one love she'll never replace."[7]


  1. ^ "(#907) "Devil's Triangle"". CBS. The Futon Critic. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Seidman, Robert (November 2, 2011). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'Last Man Standing,' 'Glee,' 'New Girl' Adjusted Up; 'Body Of Proof' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Binder, Steven D., Steiner, Reed (November 2, 2011). "SEASON NINE: DEVIL'S TRIANGLE". CBS. Archived from the original on 9 December 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Bryant, Adam (September 28, 2011). "NCIS Exclusive: Get Ready to Meet Another of Gibbs' Ex-Wives!". TV Guide. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 8, 2011). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Ravens-Steelers, LSU-Alabama, 'Modern Family' Top Week No. 7 Among Adults 18–49". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 26, 2011). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'X Factor,' 'NCIS,' 'Biggest Loser,' 'Dancing,' 'Man Up!' Adjusted Up; 'Body Of Proof' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Marsi, Steve (November 2, 2011). "NCIS Review: Can Diane Be All Bad?". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 5 December 2012.