Megan Porter, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Sarah Porter, and her boyfriend Dean Campbell are on their way to school. Dean is afraid to kiss Megan in case her mother drives by, joking that she might send him to Gitmo. As Dean finally kisses Megan, a black SUV pulls up and the pair are grabbed by four masked men.
The NCIS team – minus Gibbs – is about to go on a mandatory training session, led by Regional Enforcement Action Capabilities Team (REACT) leader Valeri Page, a childhood friend of McGee's, when they get the call about the kidnapping.
They head to the crime scene, where Agent Fornell already has the investigation underway. While Gibbs is talking to Sarah Porter, McGee is able to reactivate Dean's phone. It is pinging at a location 5 miles away. They find Dean tied up in some bushes near the SUV, which was stolen. Abby goes over the SUV, but the kidnappers bleach-bombed it, which any DNA or prints they may have left behind.
After leaving the hospital, Dean is interrogated by DiNozzo and Bishop. He tells them he is sure the men were former military because of their language and their weapons. Valeri offers to help with the investigation. Gibbs says he will think on it.
Sarah Porter and her ex-husband Richard argue. He says it is her fault that Megan is in danger because of her job. Richard's girlfriend Justine Wolfe tries to calm them down. Sarah goes over her list of potential enemies, and one stands out: Commander Christian Brodrick.
McGee and Valeri interview Broderick, who says he and Sarah have had differences of opinion, but he doesn't harbor any ill will toward her. Brodrick's alibi checks out, and he doesn't need the money. His family is rich.
Finally Sarah gets the ransom call. The kidnapper demands $10 million and gives her 24 hours to pay.
Gibbs learns that Sarah recently took out a $10 million kidnapping insurance policy on Megan. Gibbs thinks it is strange that the insurance policy exactly matches the amount demanded by the kidnappers, and wonders if the abduction was an inside job.
Sarah gets a call demanding the money and asks to talk to Megan. The kidnappers say no. Gibbs hangs up the phone. The kidnappers call back, put Megan on, and set up a meet at 2 p.m. at the Haverford Mall, which has 22 entrances.
Sarah says she will drop off the money as asked. Gibbs says no, saying Sarah knows too much classified information. Richard volunteers to do the drop since the NCIS guys look like cops.
With the team on stakeout, Richard gets a call to go to the mall parking structure. A van with Megan inside pulls out. The kidnappers take the money, shoot Richard and keep Megan. As they drive by Gibbs and Fornell, a bomb goes off. Another bomb explodes when they pass McGee. All three are knocked unconscious.
After Ducky examines Gibbs, who refused to go to the hospital with McGee and Fornell, Gibbs and Valeri enter an elevator. He writes something on a paper and asks her if she can do it. She agrees.
It turns out that Richard Porter's company, D-Tav Biofuel company is in serious financial trouble. He is just an employee, but Justine invested $5 million in the company. If they go under, she will lose more than anyone.
When DiNozzo and Bishop go to Justine's house, they see exhaust fumes coming out of the garage. They find Justine's body with a bullet wound in her head.
Abby finally gets a DNA hit from the van at the mall. Megan smartly dropped her school ring after scratching one of her kidnappers. The DNA belongs to Owen Dixon, a former overseas operative who now works for Wynnewood Security Services. Justine used to be a member of Wynnewood's board of directors and knew Dixon had a history with Sarah and wanted revenge.
Fornell tells Sarah that Justine orchestrated the kidnapping for the money, which she planned to use to pull D-Tav out of its debt. She was targeted because she could identify the kidnappers. Dixon planned to shoot SecNav as well, but Richard showed up unexpectedly.
Dixon calls NCIS. He wants a private jet fueled and ready. Meagan comes with them, or he will trade Megan for her mother. Sarah approves the plane.
After combing through Dixon's calls and bank statements, Abby finds a weak link. One of the kidnappers made several calls to a helicopter pilot named Edmund Baylor. The plane turns out to be a decoy; the helicopter will smuggle the crew over the border.
The NCIS team is concerned that Dixon and his cohorts have a wide range of weapons at their disposal, but Gibbs says they have backup. The note he gave Valeri asked her to bring in her REACT team.
NCIS and REACT head to the helicopter location. When they arrive, Dixon threatens to shoot Megan and claims to have a sniper. That is when Dixon and his team find red dots on them from the REACT team's weapons. Dixon goes to shoot, but instead is shot cleanly through the head.
Gibbs gets Megan and the other kidnappers are arrested. With the case solved, the training class is back in session.
Sarah tells Gibbs she has to re-evaluate her priorities. Her daughter's safety is the most important thing. Gibbs agrees family is important before returning Megan's ring. He tells her dropping it was a smart move.
"I knew you would find it," Megan says. "My mom has talked about you."
The three go to visit Richard, who is out of surgery.
'NCIS' airs Tuesdays on CBS.