'NCIS': Gibbs' Team Investigates Gruesome Hot Tub Discovery in New Preview

Desperate times call for desperate measures in a new sneak peek for Tuesday's new episode of [...]

Desperate times call for desperate measures in a new sneak peek for Tuesday's new episode of NCIS.

Gibbs' team is on the scene of a gruesome murder in the new episode, titled "Love Thy Neighbor." The clip opens with a series of somewhat comical interviews in a suburban cul de sac, but soon turns dark when the team goes into the backyard. There, an unfortunate victim — a Navy lieutenant — has been dismembered and left in a hot tub, making for a very messy investigation.

"A submerged body is one thing," says Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen), "but a timer came on each night and turned on the Jacuzzi and the heater, which only accelerated the de-comp."

The only identifier in the mess is a Navy ring on one finger, which seems to indicate that the resident of the house is the one in the water. However, Palmer notes that it is only a "tentative ID" until they get something more conclusive in the lab. To do that, the team has an unfortunate task ahead of them.

Gibbs instructs them to call in a flat bed truck and a crane, in order to take the entire tub back with them as it is. Obviously, if they were to drain the tub or pull the victim out of it, they would risk losing chemical evidence — including solvents that may have been used or a clue about the timing of the murder. Still, the whole team is weary, leading Gibbs to give McGee his only alternative.

"Would you rather dig through the chum?" he asks, holding out a pair of rubber gloves.

NCIS got off to a strong start last week, managing an impressive 1.4 rating in the key demographic of adults from ages 18 to 49. The season premiere boasted nearly 12.6 million viewers, and overall it was up from last year. Still, the real test will come in the next few weeks, as the show finds its footing with the consistent audience that will stick with it beyond premieres, finales and big events.

NCIS lost one of its core cast members last season when Pauley Perette bid farewell to her role as Abby Sciuto after 15 years. The actress had a fittingly heroic goodbye, sending her character off in style, and drawing a lot of new or lapsed viewers to the show in the process.

Undoubtedly, last week's season premiere got some extra eyes on it as well, with fans looking to see what the show would be like without Abby. As they move forward into business as usual, hopefully the numbers will stay high.

NCIS airs every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.