You Better Watch Out (NCIS)

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"You Better Watch Out"
NCIS episode
Episode no. Season 10
Episode 10
Directed by Tony Wharmby
Written by George Schenck and Frank Cardera
Original air date December 18, 2012 (2012-12-18)
Guest appearance(s)
  • Robert Wagner as Anthony DiNozzo, Sr.
  • Danielle Bisutti as Secret Service Special Agent Ashley Winter
  • Rose Rollins as Navy Lieutenant Commander Megan Huffner
  • David Dean Bottrell as Assistant Director of Operations Donald Linder
  • Joe O'Connor as Pat Gillespie
  • Diane Robin as Jennifer
  • Devin McGinn as Stewart Dorfman
  • Ted Baker as Navy Lieutenant Joe Baker
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Devil's Trifecta"
Next →
"Shabbat Shalom"
NCIS (season 10)
List of NCIS episodes

"You Better Watch Out" is the tenth episode of the tenth season of the American police procedural drama NCIS, and the 220th episode overall. It originally aired on CBS in the United States on December 18, 2012. The episode is written by George Schenck and Frank Cardera and directed by Tony Wharmby, and was seen by 19.59 million viewers.[1]


The NCIS team investigates the murder of a man found dead at Patuxent River Station by his wife who had just returned from six months at sea on a deployment. After discovering the man had a $100 bill that has not been put in circulation yet, they team up with the Secret Service to find the rest of the money. They discover that the bill belonged to a batch that was scheduled to be destroyed, and that it was stolen from the landfill. Using that information, the team tracks down the culprit responsible for both the theft and the murder.

Meanwhile, Tony's father, Anthony DiNozzo, Sr. (Robert Wagner), comes to stay with Tony for Christmas, causing some friction between the two, and tries to get him into the spirit of Christmas when he notices that Tony does not have a Christmas tree. Tony then kicks his father out after catching him in bed with a neighbor. Tony and his dad eventually reunite for NCIS' annual tradition of watching It's a Wonderful Life.


"You Better Watch Out" is written by George Schenck and Frank Cardera and directed by Tony Wharmby. This was the fourth time Robert Wagner guest starred as Tony's father, and in the episode the writers "thought he should just be himself and come to visit Tony for the Christmas holiday".[2] It's the second "Christmas episode" for Schenck and Cardea together with director Wharmby, the first being the season 6[note 1] episode "Silent Night" in 2008. "We thought it was the perfect time, after ten seasons, to finally see where Tony, Jr. lives", the writers said.[2] "The apartment is kind of like Tony himself; it has all this potential, but then it just stops short of the mark", according to Michael Weatherly, who portrays Tony.[3] Executive producer Mark Horowitz "was a single man for a long time, and [...] lived very much like this for a number of years", which also is the "theme" for Tony's apartment. "He’s a single man and, really, getting married really isn’t in his plans".[3]

It is also revealed that Tony has a pet, the Goldfish named Kate, which refers to NCIS special agent Kate Todd who died in the season two finale "Twilight". As for the name Weatherly said "we had two 13-year-old girls on set one day visiting [...], [and] the girls came up with "Kate", so we made it so".[3]

The premise for the episode, "uncirculated new U.S. $100 bills", is based on a true story. "Years ago we heard the Treasury Department would be putting them out in 2011 and, when that didn’t happen, we researched their fate and thought it would make an interesting story if our NCIS team came across a hundred-dollar note before it was supposed to go public".[2]


"You Better Watch Out" was seen by 19.59 million live viewers following its broadcast on December 18, 2012, with a 3.3/10 share among adults aged 18 to 49.[1] 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, "You Better Watch Out" easily won NCIS and CBS the night. The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles drew second and was seen by 15.48 million viewers.[1] Compared to the last episode "Devil's Trifecta", "You Better Watch Out" was up in both viewers and adults 18–49.[4]

Douglas Wolfe from TV Fanatic gave the episode 5 (out of 5) and stated that "Simply put, this was one of the best NCIS Season 10 episodes so far. And it was almost exclusively the Tony show too. The bigger surprise was a visit by Tony Sr., who blithely chose to bunk with his son instead of staying at a hotel. End result: we got to learn so much more about them both.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Kondolojy, Amanda (December 19, 2012). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'NCIS: Los Angeles' Adjusted Up; No Adjustments for 'The Voice' Finale, 'Happy Endings', or 'Don't Trust the B'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Schenck, George, Frank Cardea (December 20, 2012). "INSIDER'S BLOG: "YOU BETTER WATCH OUT"". CBS. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Gonzalez, Sandra (December 18, 2012). "'NCIS': Behind the scenes in Tony's apartment – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Bibel, Sara (December 12, 2012). "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'The Voice' & 'The Mindy Project' Adjusted Up; 'Happy Endings' & 'Take It All' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Wolfe, Douglas (December 19, 2012). "NCIS Review: Be It Ever So Humble...". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  1. ^ stated as season 7 in the reference, but the episode occurred in season 6.