NCIS Season 20 Episode 5 Recap “Guardian”

Don’t miss Celebrity Myxer’s recap of NCIS Season 20 Episode 5 “Guardian.” Agent Parker steps up to protect Director Vance after a terrifying home invasion. Also, the team detects advancements in Jessica and Jimmy’s blossoming romance. Here’s what to expect!

Air Date & Time: Monday, October 17, 2022, at 9 pm ET, 8 pm CT, and 6 pm PT on CBS.

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Watch NCIS Season 20 Episode 5 “Guardian”

Previously on NCIS Season 20 Episode 4, Agent Knight’s past resurfaces when her ex-boyfriend, a National Parks Service agent, teams up with NCIS to investigate a campsite murder.

Warning… Spoilers below!

On NCIS Season 20 Episode 5 “Guardian”, Director Vance stumbles upon burglars ransacking his home In the middle of the night. He attempts to fight them off, but one of them fires a gun at the Director.

The Director Fights Back

The whole team arrives at Director Vance’s house. The Director explains that when the shooter fired the gun, Director Vance snapped his neck. While the team is in the office working overnight, they notice that Knight is wearing Palmer’s t-shirt.

The shooter is a John Doe, as the team can’t find his prints in the system. A rented van drove by Director Vance’s house numerous times on the day of the robbery. Parker doesn’t believe that the robbery was random. He believes Director Vance was targeted.

Parker finds Director Vance packing for a conference in Berlin. The Director tries to convince Parker that he is taking this seriously and introduces him to the new bodyguards he has hired. Parker fires them immediately, saying he will be Director Vance’s personal security.

Director McGee

Director Vance bumps into Deputy Lena Paulson from the German Intelligence Department. They flirt and mingle together, but Parker rushes the Director back to the hotel room quickly. McGee is acting as Interim Director while Vance is away and heads to question Palmer about their John Doe’s status.

Palmer informs McGee, that as a former boxing champ, it’s no wonder Director Vance killed the man. The man uses hair plugs, outdated in the United States but still very common in Eastern Europe. Knight finds the robber’s getaway van abandoned in a motel parking lot. McGee orders the motel owner to be brought in for questioning.

Parker is staying in the adjoining room, and when he says goodnight to Director Vance, the Director tries to sneak away to meet up with Lena. Parker is waiting outside Director Vance’s door. He explains to the Director that they can go see Lena together, but Director Vance goes nowhere alone.

Operation Festung

The hotel owner, Mr. Sykes, is brought in for questioning. Hines interrupts Knight and Torres’ questioning by informing them that the credit card used to rent the getaway van was just used to buy airplane tickets to Berlin. Torres calls Parker to inform him just as Parker and Director Vance head to Lena’s room.

The room is a mess when the Director opens Lena’s door. Lena is bleeding out on the floor. Lena is in intensive care in a medically induced coma. Frauke Biedermann is the head German investigator into Lena’s attack. She gives the Director and Parker the tip that Lena kept repeating the German word for fortress.

Director Vance refuses to return home until he helps solve who attacked Lena. Director Vance tells Parker that Lena wasn’t saying fortress. She was reminding Director Vance of an operation that they ran together, 6 years ago, by the same code name, Festung. During this operation, Goren Umarov was shot and killed and this may be tied together.

Office Gossip

Parker removes the crime scene tape sealing Lena’s hotel room door, and the Director is impressed. After hearing how the Director talks about Lena, Parker realizes that she is someone very important to Director Vance. He admits to Parker that they are about to take the next step and move in together. Inside Lena’s room, the Director notices that her blood trail is going away from her phone.

When Director Vance and Parker follow the blood trail, they find a Bible with Bible verses noted on the front page. Director Vance tells Parker that Lena is a Buddhist. The team is giving McGee gruff to fill in for Director Vance. Torres brings up the question of why Director Vance would be in Lena’s room at night.

McGee would rather be in the field working than performing the Director’s duties. Hines messages Knight with the information that a retired NCIS Agent, Phil Newcastle, worked with Director Vance and Lena on Operation Festung. Torres and Knight head out to question Phil.

Missing Diamonds

Phil tells Torres and Knight that one of his guys accidentally alerted Goren, shots were fired, and all of Goren’s associates wound up dead. Phil tells them that they recovered two to three million dollars worth of diamonds inside Goren’s house, but the diamonds disappeared and were never logged into evidence.

When Knight and Hines looked into it, Lena was the only signature on the evidence report, and the report does not mention any diamonds whatsoever. Knight believes Lena may have stolen the diamonds. Maggie is sitting in the director’s chair when Torres and Knight bring him the new information about Lena and the evidence report.

Torres and Knight believe that Lena is traveling to Berlin so much because it is the diamond capital of the world. They run facial recognition on the two men who used the credit card to buy the flight tickets to Berlin, and one comes back as Goren’s older brother, Sergei Umarov. Sergei was doing time for sex and drug trafficking but broke out of prison 2 months ago. Torres doesn’t want to be the one who tells Director Vance that Lena is a thief.

Who Is Lena

Parker and Director Vance are talking about being single at their age while visiting Lena inside the hospital. Hines calls Parker explaining what Lena was trying to tell them with the Bible verses, it’s a bank account and routing number! The bank account’s name is in Elisabeth Wender’s name, not Lena’s.

The Director and Parker arrive at Elisabeth’s house, who is Lena’s sister, not her criminal partner! Elisabeth shocks Director Vance and Parker when she drops the bombshell that the Umarov brothers are not after the diamonds, they want Lena and her daughter, Heidi!

Elisabeth explains that Lena returned to Goren’s place after the raid and found Heidi abandoned, dirty, and starving. The Umarovs want Heidi back, Goren’s daughter. Director Vance is livid that Lena kept this a secret and calls her a criminal. When Heidi becomes too scared to leave with them, Director Vance speaks to Heidi in German and calms her down.

Leon Vance

Hines tracks the second car that the Umarovs rented with the same credit card. The Umarovs and Frauke Biedermann, who is working for them, are waiting at the safe house for Director Vance and Parker to arrive with Heidi. There’s a shootout, and the Director takes Elisabeth and Heidi to safety. When they are followed, the director sets a trap and takes out the man.

When Lena wakes up, Director Vance is waiting by her side. He tells her immediately that Heidi is safe and nobody will come after her again. Lena asks him if they still have a chance in the future. Director Vance never responds. As Director Vance leaves the hospital with Parker, he asks Parker to go watch a movie with him and to call him Leon.

What did you think of NCIS Season 20 Episode 5? Let’s talk about NCIS in the comments below!


  • 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

  • Jessica Gardner as Olivia Kahn
  • Marem Hassler as Lena Paulsen
  • Dustin Seavey as Larry Sykes
  • Elyse Levesque as Frauke Biedermann
  • Oscar Best as Phil Newcastle
  • Charley Rowan McCain as Heidi Umarov Paulsen
  • Marika Engelhardt as Elisabeth Wenders)
  • Ian Fisher as Sergei Umarov

WRITTEN BY: Marco Schnabel

DIRECTED BY: James Whitmore, Jr.

Catch a new episode each week on CBS, check out the listing dates below. Stay right here, stay mixed for NCIS Season 20 Episode 6, 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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