“Moonlighting” is the twentieth episode of “NCIS” Season 7. Its plot hinges upon a team-up between members of the NCIS and the FBI, which turns into mandatory to research the capturing dying of Naval Petty Officer Scott Roebuck (Andra Fuller). At one level, as instances involving a lifeless physique typically do, the investigation requires the experience of Chief Medical Examiner James Palmer (Brian Dietzen).
Over the course of a number of seasons of “NCIS,” DiNozzo refers to Palmer as “Post-mortem Gremlin.” This nickname notably follows the conventions of among the titular gremlins in “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” — for instance, The Brain Gremlin is the movie’s major antagonist, whereas one other gremlin named Daffy is commonly additionally known as “The Loopy Gremlin.”
DiNozzo’s “Gremlins” references actually start in earnest, nonetheless, when he jokes that Palmer, being like a gremlin, ought to be stored out of direct daylight. That is one in every of three guidelines, initially defined within the first “Gremlins” movie, that are mandatory for proudly owning a Mogwai, the benign creature that may rework right into a gremlin if a kind of guidelines is damaged. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) responds “do not get him moist,” referring to the movies’ second rule.
Afterward within the episode, upon noticing an allergic response Palmer skilled after getting a henna tattoo, DiNozzo remarks “expensive god, somebody fed him after midnight.” That is, after all, the third rule of Mogwai possession, bringing the sequence of references to a humorous conclusion.