It’s up to the team to figure out if a bartender’s estranged wife is selling Navy secrets or if he’s just desperate for money in this episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, which sees Kensi and Deeks go undercover at a Cuban club.

Also in “From Havana with Love,” Deeks challenges Kensi to see who speaks more words in a day, men or women, and it ends with a sweet moment for the couple. (Unfortunately, not the sweet moment that’s happened a few times already but is still not official.)

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There’s Being Suspicious of a Spouse and Then There’s This

A tourist is shot at a nightclub, but the real target appears to be the bartender, Victor, whose estranged wife, Rebecca, works as a defense contractor designing nuclear attack submarines. Two days ago, he texted a tip to the NCIS hotline claiming he had evidence that Rebecca is selling Navy secrets.

According to Victor, he received a text from her, meant for someone else, to meet in the north stairwell. And she just bought a new Porsche, something she can’t afford on her own. However, Rebecca argues that her ex just wants money and didn’t get what he wanted at the spousal support meeting. (Their divorce proceedings are moving very slowly over two years.) The text was just her and a colleague meeting to walk to the garage together for safety.

It is clear that Victor could use money, as he’s stuck representing himself after burning through his savings. He and Rebecca got engaged when he was the captain of his college baseball team, but then he was cut from the minors and never signed the $100 million contract she expected. He claims that she only cares about money and would sell government secrets for it if dating someone rich didn’t work out.

It seems she’s at least doing the latter, as a doctor from Cuba, Alonzo Raul, is the one who got her the Porsche, but he tells Sam and Callen that they’re together and soon to be engaged (as soon as her divorce is final). He grew up in Cuba, yes, but he’s never been back, and he claims to have never been to the club where Victor works. (It’s also a club that happens to be a hangout for Cuban expatriates living in LA.) He too says that Victor just wants money.

Kensi and Deeks go undercover at the club, and while he just has to prove that he can speak Spanish to get the job as a bathroom attendant, she has to impress Perez on the dance floor — and she does.

After Kensi finds a door marked ‘Private’ and picks the lock, she finds a hand radio inside, one that was popular in the ’60s. Hand radios are still used because every frequency can’t be monitored and there are no digital records. The KGB trained thousands of Cuban spies before the fall of the USSR, and as free agents they’re able to gather intelligence and sell it to the world’s highest bidder. Nuclear submarine plans, like those that Rebecca designs, are a big-ticket item.

Could Rebecca be talking to her Cuban doctor boyfriend? No, she insists, instead pointing the finger back at her ex. Victor knew all her passwords and even closed her AMC account so she couldn’t get into a movie. Could he have accessed her classified files and be looking to make a fortune? Could the attempt on his life have actually been staged to make him look like a victim?

Back at the club, Deeks does the whole “oops, bumped into you” thing as Kensi and Perez dance before heading into the back room to check out what’s in Victor’s locker. Along with self-help books to get through his divorce, there’s a hard drive taped to the bottom of a shelf. And since he’s already there, Deeks picks the lock of Perez’s locker, judges his cologne and throws out his condoms.

Speaking of Perez, they find proof that Alonzo met with him outside of the club, so there goes Alonzo’s claim that he’s never been there. Never been inside, the doctor corrects, eventually telling Sam and Callen that he brought him medication to get through a show because of his bad back. Still, he’s suspicious enough for Sam to slip a tracker on his car, while Callen distracts him by spilling his coffee on his shoes.

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Take-Downs in an Alley and on the Dance Floor

After Deeks tackles Victor when he spots a bomb in a trash can, they discover that it wasn’t sophisticated or lethal, which puts another mark in the “Is Victor really in danger?” column. (As for the hard drive from his locker, Nell found recipes, canine profiles and a journal full of pain and heartache on it.) Victor insists he’s not the bad guy but thinks that Perez could be because he borrowed $10,000 for legal fees — and with interest, he now owes him $40,000.

It’s what Deeks found in an unlabeled locker that’s most important: a one-time pad, used to translate the codes over the radio. After breaking today’s code, they know there’s a meeting going down that night, but they have to wait for the next message for the location.

And while they wait, Victor, who’s willing to wear a wire and get Perez, offers to give Deeks salsa lessons after the detective tells him he’s a terrible dancer amidst Victor’s grumbling that he’ll never find love again.  

While looking at security footage of Rebecca going into work, they notice that her sketches, which pass through all the time, change every day. And when Callen has Nell remove the colors and connect the dots, they realize that the schematics for the submarine are hidden in the drawings. But when they go to her office, even though she works until midnight every day, she’s already gone, as are the bird drawings that were hanging in her cubicle.

While Kensi and Deeks keep an eye on Perez at the club, Sam and Callen go to the location of the meeting and watch as Alonzo gets out of his car with Rebecca’s portfolio, ready to sell the schematics to two Asian men. They stop the buy and take down the buyers, Alonzo and his man, and then find Rebecca tied up in the trunk.

Meanwhile, Kensi’s in trouble at the club when Perez reveals that he knows who she is and takes out a knife in the middle of their dance. Deeks doesn’t have a shot, but Kensi just needs the right moves and a scarf to take down Perez.

It turns out that Alonzo went to medical school in Moscow and was trained by the KGB. He became a free agent and used his skills for personal gain after 2001.

It’s Not How Many Words, But the Right Words, That Matter

Deeks challenges Kensi to see who speaks more words in a day, men or women, with their counts tracked by an app on their phones. At times, Deeks tries to keep his word count down, but he also rambles on and on a lot, such as when he says Rebecca will relate more to a female agent and he narrates his findings in the lockers at the club.

And by the end of the case, he’s at over 14,960 words, while Kensi has … seven two-digit numbers? He suggests that she decode it using the one-time pad, and Sam does it for her: “WILL YOU…” “Dance with me,” Deeks finishes, showing her what Victor taught him (for the most part). She won, but will they try a best of three?

Did you expect Deeks’ “Will you” to end differently? Did you think Victor might have staged the attempts on his life? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

NCIS: Los Angeles season 8 airs Sundays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Meredith Jacobs

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

If it’s on TV — especially if it’s a procedural or superhero show — chances are Meredith watches it. She has a love for all things fiction, starting from a young age with ER and The X-Files on the small screen and the Nancy Drew books. Arrow kicked off the Arrowverse and her true passion for all things heroes. She’s enjoyed getting into the minds of serial killers since Criminal Minds, so it should be no surprise that her latest obsession is Prodigal Son.