The NCIS: Los Angeles mole investigation is still ongoing in this episode, “Sirens,” but they do manage to get another lead that will hopefully take them to the head of the snake eventually so that they can chop it off. It’s just a long journey to get there. (After all, as we’re reminded, they captured Carl Brown two years ago, and they’re basically still putting together the frame of this jigsaw puzzle.)
Meanwhile, Kensi is at home, though she’s dealing with both her mother and Deeks’ mother trying to be as helpful — perhaps too helpful — as they can be, but is she ready to return to work?
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Also, “Sirens” reveals that Garrison is staying with Callen (when he’s not in a secure location elsewhere and ruled out as the killer of the two fake sheriffs outside the agent’s home because there were bodies to be found) and Alex is still in the dark about her blood relatives. While Callen may be thinking twice about telling her what’s going on right now, Sam reminds him that keeping family secrets to protect loved ones is exactly what his father did.
And it seems that Callen may have finally found a place he wants to settle now that he has to move since his address has been compromised. “It’s four walls and a roof,” Callen insists. “I can find that anywhere.” Sam doesn’t quite believe him.
Callen May Not Want to Move But His Neighbors Probably Want Him To
A sheriff chases down a woman to Callen’s front yard, only for her to turn and kill both him and his partner then drive off in their car. (She also burned the car, leaving them with no evidence there.) However, as Sam and Callen learn from a deputy, they weren’t actually sheriffs. Was the person who killed them there to help Callen? Kill him? This can’t be a coincidence after what’s happened to Hetty, Granger and Sam.
Though there’s some fun banter about Joelle being a possible suspect — Callen did keep her dining room set — and taking keying a car to a whole new level that no one recognizes the shooter in the surveillance photos that the fake sheriffs had of her on their phone. Since it looks like she was going to Callen’s front door, could she have been trying to warn him?
Nell gets Hetty to let her take another crack at Carl Brown, and this time she has a plan. Since Carl won’t give them anything on Natalie Grant, Nell tells him about the bad boy she started dating after high school who stole DVD players and ended up in jail, where he was killed by a group of inmates. There’s still a price on his head, she reminds Carl, and while he may be in solitary, there’s always the possibility of a crooked guard making a deal with an inmate to split the money.
When that doesn’t work, she points out that word’s still getting out that feds are visiting him, and what’s to stop the inmates from thinking he’s a real Chatty Cathy and talking? Snitches get stitches, right? Who’s to say that next time someone wants to talk to him, he won’t be in the infirmary, perhaps with his tongue cut out? While Carl can’t tell her who Natalie was working for, he does reveal that he met at a dive bar at the promenade and they went to the pier the following day.
That (and the fact that Carl bought tacos at a food truck that night) gives Eric something to work with, and he and Deeks come up with a tentative timeline of when the two could’ve met, considering Carl was captured in November and Natalie had to turn him in. He had to leak Hetty’s information and poison Granger. Looking back to June, two years ago, Eric narrows down the food truck, but really, it’s just a whole lot of waiting after that, much to Deeks’ annoyance. “Welcome to Ops,” Eric says. It’s a place without its own AI, even though it really should have one.
Fortunately, Deeks doesn’t have to sit around and wait since Eric does manage to get IDs on the fake sheriffs, Perry and Dexter, supposedly working for some solar roof company. After following up with a neighbor who claimed to have seen something (but is really just sweet on Callen and wants someone to talk to), Sam and Callen meet Deeks at the company’s address, and it’s pretty clear it’s a bogus front before they see the empty office. The Directory board needed updating about a decade ago. There’s no video surveillance. There’s nothing installed to check anyone’s ID. The security guard, who dreams of becoming a federal agent and working undercover after watching a lot of true crime … well, Sam’s “Wow” reaction to him pretty much says it all. File this guy’s application for any law enforcement agency under “throw out immediately.”
Vinny the security guard does confirm that the two fake sheriffs did work there, and as Eric discovers, they were former military who worked as private contractors over in Iraq. Four other people worked out of the office. But at this point, the team doesn’t know anything more than they did when their day started.
“The wolves are at the door,” Hetty tells Eric when he finds her watching from the second floor at HQ. “I can feel it.” She’s not sure it’s safe to trust anyone anymore.
This is when the team starts getting somewhere, as it turns out (quite predictably, to be honest) that the woman who shot the fake sheriffs is none other than Natalie Grant.
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You Never Know Who’s Next to You at a Bar…
If Natalie was coming to kill Callen, who tried to stop her? Or could she have been coming to him for help? With Carl now talking, she could have become a target of the same people who hired her. She could have chosen not to come to HQ because the people she was working for know about it and are watching them. (That’s a scary, but probably true, thought.) Her hiding places are probably blown, but they realize she’s hiding out at Carl’s.
Hetty insists on going with Sam, Callen and Deeks to Carl’s house, and they find Natalie inside. She tries to run at Hetty when she sees her just standing there (because what else is Hetty going to do?), but Sam easily stops her. Natalie agrees to talk, but she wants a lawyer, protection and witness relocation. She needs them more than they need her, Hetty points out, pulling the “let’s just use her as bait to make her talk” card.
However, while transporting her back to the boat shed, they come under attack. And when she tries to run, Natalie is shot in the leg. The shooters drive off, but by the time Sam and Callen find her in an alley, she only has enough time to give them the name “Ray” and Lemon Grove Park before dying.
“Ray” turns out to be “Rae,” as Eric finds a photo of a woman in a car on the outskirts of the park, but Granger recognizes her as “Heather,” the woman who tried to pick him up a couple months ago (in “Belly of the Beast”). While Hetty may want to send them home (even though she can’t guarantee that that’s even safe), Sam, Callen and Granger aren’t waiting and instead try to bait Rae at the bar. But she doesn’t show. (We do at least get the bartender calling Granger “a bad-ass but also a little sad,” like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.) Finding the head of the snake and chopping it off is going to have to wait for another day.
Some Things Take Time
While Deeks may be able to escape the “too many moms” situation going on at his and Kensi’s house, Kensi can’t when both Roberta and Julia try to help her a bit too much by cutting her food and brushing her hair. She ends up having to kick them out.
Sullivan then stops by (with beer) to thank her for making his time in the hospital bearable and saying goodbye before he left. He’s going back to his unit. I like that at no point did I feel like Sullivan was a threat for Kensi and Deeks’ relationship but rather someone that Kensi needed while in physical therapy.
But while Kensi may be making progress — she’s home, she’s running and she’s able to shoot with her dominant hand — she’s not quite ready to come back yet, as Hetty observes when she sees her at the shooting range at work after she thought everyone had left. Hetty doesn’t think she’s ready to come back just yet, especially since she can’t shoot with her left hand. Just take your time, Hetty advises her when Kensi says she just needs a little more practice. We know that Kensi’s going to come back, but I do like seeing her struggle with the reality of how much time it’s taking.
What do you think of the pace of the mole investigation? Are you sad to see Sullivan go? Do you wish we’d gotten a scene with Kensi, Deeks and both their mothers in this episode?
NCIS: Los Angeles season 8 airs Sundays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of CBS)