Need to Know (NCIS)

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"Need to Know"
NCIS episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 17
Directed byMichelle MacLaren
Written byGeorge Schenck & Frank Cardea
Original air dateFebruary 28, 2012 (2012-02-28)
Guest appearance(s)
  • Tamer Hassan as Agah Bayar
  • Matt Jones as Probationary Agent Ned Dorneget
  • Katia Winter as Ava Baransky
  • Adam Kulbersh as Alan Katzenbach
  • Robin Sachs as MI5 Inspector Andrew Challis
  • Michael Edwin as TSA Officer Perkins
  • Erin Beaux as DIA Officer George Roca
  • Ashton Moio as Michael Reardon
  • Travis Joe Dixon as Navy Chief Petty Officer Leland Wiley
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Psych Out"
Next →
"The Tell"
NCIS (season 9)
List of NCIS episodes

"Need to Know" is the 17th episode of the ninth season of the American police procedural drama NCIS, and the 203rd episode overall. It originally aired on CBS in the United States on February 28, 2012. The episode is written by George Schenck & Frank Cardea and directed by Michelle MacLaren, and was seen by 18.20 million viewers.[1]

In the episode, a Chief Petty Officer is murdered right before Gibbs' eyes when he is about to reveal information connected to an international arms dealer.


When Chief Petty Officer Wiley is murdered before he can divulge information about infamous arms dealer Agah Bayar, Special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is immediately on the case. As he and his team investigate, they discover that Wiley sold top secret information about America's stealth communication network to Bayar. However, Gibbs is then approached by the DIA and ordered to halt the investigation. Gibbs then decides to pursue Bayar's mistress.

Meanwhile, the young and bumbling Probationary agent Ned Dorneget tries to butter up Gibbs in hopes of joining the team. Gibbs decides to send him and Special agent Timothy McGee to pick up the mistress, but it is revealed that she is an SVR agent, and quickly escapes custody. A disgruntled McGee accuses Dorneget of getting seduced by her, but Dorneget counters by admitting that he is gay. Gibbs and Director Leon Vance then deduce that the entire case was a DIA plot to leak faulty information to the Russians in order to sabotage their stealth communication research, using Wiley as the patsy. The plan began to go awry when Wiley was busted for drug possession and tried to talk to Gibbs forcing the Russians to kill him to save their operation. Bayar, who was aware of the plan, acted as the middleman while the SVR agent was the courier.


Tamer Hassan guest starred as Arms Dealer Agah Bayar.

"Need to Know" is written by George Schenck & Frank Cardea and directed by Michelle MacLaren. Schenck and Cardea was given the task revisiting NCIS agent Ned Dorneget (Matt L. Jones), as the new "probie", by showrunner Gary Glasberg.[2] Dorneget was introduced in the episode "Sins of the Father", which aired in November 2011. This is the first episode directed by MacLaren on NCIS, who has previously worked on shows like "Breaking Bad", together with Jones, "The X-Files" and "The Walking Dead".[2][3]

The Arms Dealer in the episode, Agah Bayar (Tamer Hassan), has appeared in the episodes "Broken Arrow" and "Kill Screen", both from Season 8, and now returning to "[make] a great foil for Gibbs and the team".[2]


"Need to Know" was seen by 18.20 million live viewers following its broadcast on February 28, 2012, with an 11.3/17 share among all households, and 3.5/9 share among adults aged 18 to 49.[1][4] 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, "Need to Know" easily won NCIS and CBS the night, beating FOX's American Idol for the first time ever, having 16.11 millions.[1][5] The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles drew third and was seen by 15.85 million viewers.[1] Compared to last week's episode "Psych Out", "Need to Know" was down a bit in both viewers and adults 18-49.

Steve Marsi from TV Fanatic gave the episode 4.5 (out of 5) and stated that "last night was terrific [...]. The crime under investigation was both serious enough to keep you interested and detest the bad guy(s) but not so serious that the team couldn't let loose at times", and "overall, an excellent episode from start to finish, blending just the right portions of all the things we've grown to love about the show. I hope we get more like it coming down the home stretch of this season".[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Gorman, Bill (February 29, 2012). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'NCIS,' 'Last Man Standing,' 'Body Of Proof' & 'Cougar Town' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Cardea, Frank, Schenck, George (February 29, 2012). "Season Nine: "Need to Know"". CBS. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Neuman, Clayton (September 19, 2011). "Dispatches From the Set - Season 2 Director Michelle MacLaren". AMC. Archived from the original on January 26, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  4. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 6, 2012). "'NCIS' is the Week's #1 Scripted Program and #1 Drama in Adults 18-49". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  5. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (February 29, 2012). "Ratings: NCIS Outdraws American Idol for First Time Ever, While Fox Dominates Demos". TV Line. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  6. ^ Marsi, Steve. "NCIS Review: If You're Not Need to Know, You Don't". TV Fanatic. Retrieved March 21, 2012.