A Twitter-savvy NCIS 11.3 last night, in which the social medium played a crucial role in nabbing LTJG Terrence Keith in the small plane he was flying, laden with explosives and heading for the USS Benjamin Franklin.

The title of the episode - "Under the Radar" - captures NCIS's problem: this small plane is able to fly under the radar and therefore NCIS's detection.  McGee, who's in the doghouse because he lost his credentials, comes up with a brilliant idea: let the Twitter-verse know about this plane, and ask anyone who sees it flying overhead to tweet about it with an appropriate hashtag.  We get a good laugh at Gibbs' expense for not knowing what a hashtag is - DiNozzo does - but, more important, the tweets allow NCIS to track the plane and identify its intended target.  I love examples of social media and crowdsourcing can be put to such good use - it's something to throw in the face of critics who yearn for the 19th century and its world of newspapers and telegrams as the fastest modes of communication.

This was also the first episode without Ziva, and I thought her absence was handled well and naturally. Everyone is a little upset, in their own way, but they're able to get on with the business at hand. DiNozzo was especially good at this - given what he went through last week with Ziva.

And just for good measure, we get some laugh-out-loud humor from Vera - Franks' old partner - who's retiring, just looking to "park" her "ass" somewhere for her last week on the job, but gets sent out by Gibbs (she still calls him probie) with DiNozzo with some hilarious results.   Like its younger sibling NCIS-LA, NCIS knows to tell a dangerous story interspersed with laughs.  Definitely something to tweet, and, in this case, blog about.