NCIS season 21, episode 7 recap: Who shot Director Leon Vance?

NCIS celebrated its 1,000th episode with a trip to the beginning. Find out what happened in our recap and how past and present characters were connected.
“A Thousand Yards” – Monday, April 15 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)
“A Thousand Yards” – Monday, April 15 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) /

NCIS celebrated its 1,000th episode with a bang in "A Thousand Yards" that took us all the way back to its beginnings. Plus, we also got to meet Director Leon Vance’s son, Jared, played by Spencer Moore II. Find out what happened in the episode when Vance was targeted in an attack that would spell danger for the rest of NCIS.

Director Vance was visiting his late wife’s grave when his son arrived. The two got into a tense argument before Vance was shot from behind. He was rushed to the hospital to repair the damage the bullet caused to his lungs. With the director recovering, McGee was made Acting Director, something that Jared thought his dad pressured him to take on.

The team immediately got to work figuring out who the shooter was. Since Jared didn’t hear the shots, they deduced it was a sniper. As soon as Torres and Knight found the sniper’s next, they also discovered a note that meant the person knew they were coming. Suddenly, they could see three separate explosions in the distance.

All of the explosions occurred in places that were connected to past agents, including former Director Tom Morrow’s grave, the office of Agent Caitlin Todd’s sister, and the cemetery where Vance was shot. Former FBI Agent Tobias Fornell was also targeted at his new home. The team made sure other NCIS agents, including those such as Kensi Blye and Jane Tennant, remained safe.

They also began getting alerts from Bandium that all of the NCIS employees’ families were attacked, but it turned out to be a hoax. While Curtis from the Tech department got to work to find the source of the hack, Jared was brought in to help figure out if he remembered anything about the shooting.

A Thousand Yards
“A Thousand Yards” – Monday, April 15 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) /

Eventually, they figured out the only person who knew about his dad’s trip to the cemetery was his online girlfriend, Lindsey Wexler. She seemed like she had no connection to NCIS, but they would eventually figure out that she was in town, not having informed Jared. When Jared went with Torres to see her, Torres found boots that had tar on it, the same type found at the sniper’s nest.

Lindsey was the one who shot Director Vance and she had a longtime grudge against NCIS. It also appeared that someone in a forum convinced her to direct her anger at Vance and NCIS by sending her bogus documents that were conspiracy theories about crimes they committed. It turned out to be the Bandium CEO Fletcher Voss, but he claimed he didn't plan for her to kill anyone.

While the team is questioning her, she quotes something that makes Fornell pause. He remembered reading this quote in manifestos belonging to a man named Leonard Rish. Fans of the show may remember Rish being the terrorist aboard Air Force One in the pilot episode of NCIS when the show began. 

They figured out that Lindsey is Leonard’s daughter, and she blames NCIS for his death. When McGee confronted her, she informed him she will not fail like her father did. He realized she used a code that would shut down the program that was powering the current Air Force One.

A Thousand Yards
“A Thousand Yards” – Monday, April 15 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) /

The team was able to prevent the plane from taking off with the President inside. Jared was with his dad watching the news, and they talked once Vance woke up. He realized while being at NCIS why the job was so important to his dad. He remembered his dad talking to him about work and why he did what he did. It was great to see that Jared and his dad came to an understanding and we hope to see more of Jared in the future.

The scene was intercut with flashbacks from not just NCIS, but every single one of the NCIS franchise shows. It was a beautiful way to incorporate the history of the series and how it expanded to other parts of the globe, from Los Angeles to New Orleans to Hawaii, and to Sydney, Australia.


All in all, this was a touching tribute episode to celebrate 20 years of the series. It brought us back to the very first episode and how those events continued to shape those who lived it. We’re looking forward to many more episodes of NCIS.