Don’t you hate it when the woman you’re working with decides to turn on you and put a price on your head while you’re already sitting in prison for the crime you committed together? Oh, I’m sorry, that’s just what’s happening to Carl Brown right now on NCIS: Los Angeles.
The team is divided in this episode, titled “Ghost Gun,” with Anna joining Callen, Nell and Granger to work the case, Sam doing some digging mole-wise for Hetty, and Deeks continuing to be the fiance every girl would want in the hospital. Also, Anna gets some real estate advice from Callen, who’s probably the worst person to get real estate advice from. But if she turned to Sam, she’d probably get his philosophy on it, so maybe it’s not a bad choice on her part.
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Roof-Topping, a Roid Raging Debt Collector and Back Room Manufacturing
Where better to take photos than on rooftop ledges? That’s apparently the hot new thing in Los Angeles (though the girl is standing on a bench in front of a ledge, not the actual ledge itself, so I’m not sure what her complaint is). But before the security guard can overreact to the camera in the guy’s hand, someone shoots someone else on a rooftop nearby.
The victim is navy machinist Brandon Noah, and he was working on a classified drone project, so of course, alarms are sounding everywhere. At the crime scene, Sam and Callen find a crankset from a bike with blood on it, but they don’t know if Noah was attacked, or the attacker and someone shot him in self-defense. Where did the fight start?
Noah’s roommate gives them a good lead on a suspect: a roid rager defense contractor, Neil Lott, who came banging on their door and threatening to kill Brandon.
The crankset is made by a company that only sells its parts through one bike shop in southern California. The worker there, Rex, is very clearly interested in Nell. Granger, however, shuts that down at every turn. What’s her first name? Special, he answers. Does she ride? No, she doesn’t, he replies. Does she want to grab a beer when she returns to the hard drive with the security camera footage on it? No, she doesn’t, Granger tells him. It’s hilarious and kind of sad that Rex doesn’t give up.
As for Neil, he reveals that Brandon owed him money, but he recently started paying it back, $500 a week. And there’s the missing piece: wherever he was getting that money from had to lead to his death. There is a custom auto shop in the area that needed a machinist with his skills, and the shop is run by Beth Kelley, who has a record for extortion and smuggling. If Brandon found out she had an illegal side business, she could have silenced him.
The security footage from the bike shop shows Brandon out back, a van pulling up and the shooter attacking him and then chasing him. While Eric works on identifying the shooter, Callen and Anna check out the custom auto shop, with Anna going in pretending she wants work done on her car. Callen sneaks around back and sees the backroom business — manufacturing parts for AR-15s — and while Anna’s able to flirt her way into the back, Beth catches her snooping around the office.
Nell and Granger arrive on scene to draw fire from the front, while Callen sneaks in through the back. While those three take care of Beth’s men, Anna chases after Beth and stops her. So does that mean that Granger will have her back? Maybe, he offers, which, as Callen and Nell assure Anna, is “high praise.”
It’s Always About a Woman
Hetty fills Sam in on the deal she made with the Secretary of Defense (though it’s been a couple of episodes, so shouldn’t she have told the others about this before now?) before asking if he believes that Carl was the mole. No way, Sam says, because he’s not an idiot. But Carl basically is, so he had to be working for someone much smarter, more connected and more dangerous. Hetty sends him to talk to Carl and makes it clear: “He must tell you everything he knows about the mole.”
Carl tries to sell that he was the mole, just him, no one else, but that’s about as likely as Hetty being the mole. “This wasn’t about money for you,” Sam realizes, crossing ideology off the potential motive list as well. “Oh, she was beautiful, wasn’t she?” And poor Carl thought she loved him. If she loved him, how come she hasn’t been by to see him or even called him?
Eric calls Sam to let him know that an inmate attacked Carl in the mess hall the day before, so Sam pays that inmate, Vincent Garvey, a visit and offers to get him more time in the yard. Vincent admits that word has it he’d get $50,000 for his family, but he doesn’t know who was going to pay it. So he tried to kill Carl just for a rumor? As Vincent explains, for men in there, that money represents a chance at redemption, maybe forgiveness, with their families. Someone will finish the job.
It’s easy to see how someone was able to manipulate Carl like they did, as he tries to insist that the people who were targeted deserved to be. He says this to Sam, whose 17-year-old son was targeted. Yeah, good luck there, Carl. Gotta love how Sam makes brushing imaginary lint off Carl and an arm around the shoulder seem so threatening. Sam knows that whoever this woman is, it was all her planning. But Carl thinks he knows Sam and knows that killing him, an unarmed man in prison, isn’t a line he’ll cross. Well, maybe Sam won’t have to, considering the price out on his head. Upon hearing that, Carl wants protection ASAP.
“You, Carl Brown, are what they call a loose end,” Sam has to explain to him. (And the fact that he has to explain this to him is a sign that even if he wasn’t connected to the mole, Carl probably shouldn’t have lasted as long as he did in NCIS.) What’s her name? Natalie Grant is the name Sam brings back to Hetty, so now they have someone to find.
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A New “What’s Going On with Them?” Couple
Anna is back in LA, after what sounds like a stint as a Special Deputy US Marshal with a Chicago task force — and she’s planning to stay in town. While Callen thinks that she should choose a place to live based on proximity to work and traffic patterns, she’s leaning towards the beach.
It’s not weird, her working there part-time. She checks with Callen, and he assures her it’s not. In fact, he’s happy she moved to LA. Let’s just hope this works out better for him than things did with Joelle. (It should.)
Deeks is “That Guy”
First of all, thank you, NCIS: Los Angeles, for mentioning that Sam and Callen have been by to see Kensi. I know there’s only so much time in an episode, so I didn’t expect to see those visits, but I am glad for that one line that they are going to see her.
Roberta calls Deeks from Kensi’s hospital room, despite a nurse trying to get her to take the call outside, and tells him that he has to be there when she comes out of the coma, citing about 10 different movies in her explanation. And while everything we’ve seen from Deeks since Kensi got hurt has shown how much he wants to be by her side every moment he can, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have concerns.
What if, when she wakes up, Kensi needs a lot of help and he doesn’t know how to help her? “I want to be that guy,” he tells Hetty. “I want to be that guy, but what if I can’t do it?” Hetty assures him that won’t be the case. “You’re going to give her everything she needs to get better,” she says before sending him to the hospital. He doesn’t have to work.
Upon arriving at the hospital, Deeks finds his mother smoking outside and telling everyone that her son and his fiancee are secret agents. And after correcting that — Kensi’s a special agent and he’s a cop — he doesn’t really do a good job of calming her nerves. People die stepping in the shower, he says to I think try to make her feel better about their jobs involving people shooting at them. He kind of deserves that “Martin!” after that.
Deeks continues to try to be the optimist when it comes to Kensi’s condition. Her color seems better. Her GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale), which is used to describe the level of consciousness in a person after a traumatic brain injury, is a 12; she was 8 out of 15 when she got there. What can he do to help? he asks the doctor. Be there, talk to her, touch her; all of that can help her find her way back, the doctor says. So he does just that, staying at her side and telling her it’s time to come back to him. Deeks may have doubts that he can be “that guy” for Kensi, but everything we’ve seen from him shows that he can be.
It’s when Deeks is going over the possibilities for their now cleaned-out garage — rent it out, make a man cave, turn it into a nursery — that Kensi begins to come around and opens her eyes, all while he encourages her and reminds her of the helicopter crash in Syria and tells her she’s in the hospital in LA. He has her squeeze his hands, and while she can squeeze with her right, the same cannot be said of her left hand. It’s okay, he says; she just has to be a “patient patient.” “I love you,” he continues as he assures her she’s okay. “Welcome back.”
Are you worried about what will happen while Kensi recovers? Do you like seeing Anna work with the team? Do you want to see what can develop between her and Callen? What do you think of what’s going on with the mole?
NCIS: Los Angeles season 8 airs Sundays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of CBS)