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NCIS Season 20 Episode 4 Recap “Leave No Trace”

Don’t miss Celebrity Myxer’s recap of NCIS Season 20 Episode 4 “Leave No Trace.” Agent Knight’s past resurfaces when her ex-boyfriend, a National Parks Service agent, teams up with NCIS to investigate a campsite murder. Here’s what to expect!

Air Date & Time: Monday, October 10, 2022, at 9 pm ET, 8 pm CT, and 6 pm PT on CBS.

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Rolando Boyce talks The Chi & P...
Rolando Boyce talks The Chi & P-Valley on Celebrity Myxer

Watch NCIS Season 20 Episode 4 “Leave No Trace”

Previously on NCIS Season 20 Episode 3, When a dead body is found at an ancient burial site that is thought to be cursed, the team tries to determine the motive and the symbolism behind the crime. Also, as Torres continues therapy with Dr. Grace, he discovers that their lives are in danger.

Warning… Spoilers below!

On NCIS Season 20 Episode 4, while telling scary stories in the woods with a group of campers, one of them leaves to go to the bathroom and finds a dead body.

Bears Don’t Use Knives

The team is discussing their plans for the weekend, and Palmer invites Knight away for a spa weekend away. Parker interrupts the discussion with a message about the dead body found in the woods. The victim is Petty Officer Third Class Aaron Thomas. The caller believes that Aaron was attacked by a bear. Palmer recognizes stab wounds, and bears don’t use knives.

There are no witnesses, but Knight finds a trail leading down to the water and investigates. While down by the water, the team finds a pile of clothes and is surprised when a naked man pops up out of the water. They are even more surprised when the man recognizes Knight. Knight introduces the team to US Park Service Investigative Service Branch Special Agent Gage Winchester, her ex-boyfriend!

Tripsie

Torres is short with Gage, and McGee seems uncomfortable. Gage explains that he is based in Colorado, but he jumped on the red-eye to make sure he was the first one on-scene when he heard about the body. When Palmer arrives to investigate the body, he is introduced to Gage. It becomes really awkward, really fast.

Gage informs the team that there have been 3 dead bodies in the past 8 weeks at 3 different National Parks. No one has been caught in any of the three cases. As the team splits up to investigate, Gage calls Knight “Tripsie” and Palmer is horrified to learn that they used to have cute nicknames in their relationship.

Director Vance informs Parker that they will conduct a joint investigation with the National Park Service. Special Agent Gage will partner with them to help solve the case. Parker is very mad and holds a grudge against the National Park Service for his trespassed years ago. Parker heads to talk to Palmer about how mad he is Gage will be on the team. Palmer disagrees with Parker and thinks that Gage will bring good insight and all that matters is the case getting solved.

Advice

Palmer tells Parker that all three victims have been stabbed by the same style and size of knife. If it is all by the same weapon, then there is a serial killer in the National Parks, killing people. When Gage and Knight are investigating the woods, they find a fake bear print and realize that someone is acting like a bear in order to move around the woods unnoticed.

Knight stops Gage from stepping on a poisonous snake, and for one moment, he leans in like he was going to kiss her, Knight turns away and sees smoke coming from the forest. When they find the fire in the woods, it is already going out, but there’s a map of the park and Gage’s picture. Director Vance and Parker inform Gage that he has become a target of the suspect. They question why he rushed to join this investigation and whether it was to solve the murders or just to see Knight.

Torres and McGee give Palmer some advice on dealing with Gage. Palmer assures them that he is not worried about Gage or Knight. Greg Walsh is the suspect, and they just found his credit card run at a motel near the airport. As the team heads out to get Greg, Parker tells Gage that he can’t go with them. Palmer asks Ducky for some reassurance. Greg walks up to Ducky and Palmer, and neither of them knows he is the suspect. Greg lays handcuffs on the counter.

Labels

Parker and Gage meet up with Ducky and Palmer. Greg wants to turn himself in and tells Parker that they don’t understand half of what’s really going on. When Parker starts to ask him what he means, a car drives by, shooting and kills Greg. Gage heads to Palmer’s lab to ask about Greg’s autopsy and to let Palmer know that he is wanting to get back with Knight. Palmer informs him that there was a weird substance found on Greg’s hands and Hines is testing it.

Knight asks Palmer if they need to have a talk about Greg and Palmer says no. He is desperate for her to put a label on him, though, and is so focused on what he is to her instead of appreciating just being with her, he might lose her.

Gage informs the team that the substance on Greg’s fingers was oil from a small flower. When Gage doesn’t show up for work, Torres realizes that he has gone off on his own with a tip. Knight calls Gage and all she can hear is a bear growling in the background.

Pablo Eskobear

Knight works with her Ex (Agent Gage Winchester who is portrayed by Caleb Alexander Smith) on NCIS Season 20 Episode 4. Photo Credit: CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Knight works with her Ex (Agent Gage Winchester, who is portrayed by Caleb Alexander Smith) on NCIS Season 20 Episode 4. Photo Credit: CBS Broadcasting Inc.

When the team finds Gage in the woods, he’s already taken the bear down, but it took three tranquilizer darts, and Parker says it sounds like the bear is addicted and high on some drugs. Hines tests the bear, and it comes back positive for cocaine. The bear is being used as a mule to drop cocaine in the woods, and Greg is picking the cocaine up and taking it to his boss. Now the team needs to figure out who hired Greg.

The team finds connections to Greg from his service days, Mateo Romero and Quique Morales. The team raids and arrests Mateo and Quique and recovers 30 kilos of cocaine! Parker calls the National Park Service and tells them how cooperative and helpful Gage was. Gage pulls some strings and gets Parker’s records cleared with the National Park Service.

Torres is meeting up with another single dad whose kid goes to the same school as his. He is shocked and surprised when it turns out that the single dad, Max, is really the single mom, Maxine! Knight and Palmer make plans for when they get back from their weekend spa getaway and solidify that no matter what label they call each other, they are in a relationship.

What did you think of NCIS Season 20 Episode 4? Let’s talk about NCIS in the comments below!

NCIS Cast

  • Gary Cole as NCIS Special Agent Alden Parker
  • Sean Murray as NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee
  • Wilmer Valderrama as NCIS Special Agent Nicholas “Nick” Torres
  • Brian Dietzen as Medical Examiner Jimmy Palmer
  • Diona Reasonover as Forensic Scientist Kasie Hines
  • Katrina Law as NCIS Special Agent Jessica Knight
  • Rocky Carroll as NCIS Director Leon Vance
  • David McCallum as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard

Guest Starring

  • Caleb Alexander Smith as USNPS ISB Special Agent Gage Winchester
  • Norman Lehnert as Greg Patrick Walsh
  • Michael Petrone as Camping Guide Carl
  • Nicola Posener as Maxine Lautner
  • Tiffany Dion as Eye Roll Girl

WRITTEN BY: Chad Gomez Creasey

DIRECTED BY: William Webb

Catch a new episode each week on CBS, check out listings dates below. Stay right here, stay mixed for NCIS Season 20 Episode 5, stay tuned! Drop your email to get insights into your inbox…

NCIS Season 20 Episode Guide

Season Episode Title Air Date
20 10 “Too Many Cooks” NCIS Crossover Event! January 2, 2023
20 9 “Higher Education” Mid-season Finale December 5, 2022
20 8 Turkey Trot November 21, 2022
20 7 Love Lost November 14, 2022
20 6 The Good Fighter October 24, 2022
20 5 Guardian October 17, 2022
20 4 Leave No Trace October 10, 2022
20 3 Unearth October 3, 2022
20 2 Daddy Issues September 26, 2022
20 1 A Family Matter” NCIS Season 20 Episode Premiere (Crossover event with NCIS: Hawai'i) September 19, 2022

Photo Credit: CBS Broadcasting Inc.

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A fun-loving writer who loves her family, writing, and animals. A true unconventional conventionist who loves celebrating unbirthdays. I'm always on the hunt for the next big show to tell you all about.
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