After the murder of Dr. Haber on the U.S.S. Borealis and the arrest of Lt. Carlton Mane, Admiral John McGee's illness was unavoidably revealed to his superiors. At the precise moment the words are spoken aloud, any possibility of whatever cabinet position he had hoped for, and his career in general, is blown away. His responsibilities are reassigned and he is placed on medical leave. His condition is terminal. The Admiral, after many years of hard work and total dedication to the US Navy, to the point of alienating his family, now finds himself seemingly on the outside. Along the way, he finds he has lost his wife and his children have grown up, grown away and flourished without him.

The Admiral and his son, NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee, continue to work on their relationship, trying to put something back together that had been shattered many years before. This is difficult, however, as Gibbs' team is extremely busy with back-to-back cases. Tim does his best to stay in touch with his father and begins to think about what he can do to spend the little time remaining with his father.