NCIS: Los Angeles delivers the most emotional episode of the season so far and the two most emotional scenes for Kensi and Deeks of the entire series with “The Silo.” (And to think the episode starts with her angry at him for criticizing her grilled cheese.) It’s never a question of whether or not Kensi is going to survive what she does in this episode, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful.

Three Air Force officers (Miller and Ross in one, Zindower in another) take over two launch control centers. And when two launch control centers work together, a launch from either one can’t be countermanded. Kensi dated Miller for a few months a decade ago, but she’s one of two people who are the best shot at getting him to stand down and stopping the launch of 50 nuclear missiles.

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This Can’t Get Worse … Can It?

While Kensi’s transported to Colorado, Mosley tries to follow orders and keep the team as in the dark as she can while having them dismantle the lives of the three officers (though they do put the pieces together). She does confirm that the Air Force OSI believes they’re part of the Patton Project, a group within the military that believes in a more aggressive and violent military action, like condoning genocide. The team finds that a psychology professor taught at all three officers’ universities.

Ross basically confirms that they’re part of the Patton Project when she tells FBI Special Agent Monroe that they want a statement released to the press; they want to end the Muslim problem in one day. It may be extreme and brutal, but in their eyes it will end the danger by launching the missiles to Muslim-dominated areas. Kensi tries to talk to Miller, but it’s clear that Ross is the one in charge down there, cutting off their conversation.

Kensi coaches Tiffany when it’s her turn to talk to her brother. And it seems to be working; Kevin’s at least responding and recalling the childhood memory Tiffany brings up. However, when the officers hear the work being done to excavate a tunnel that leads to the launch center, Ross sets off an explosive. So much for the plan to get in the way.

Back in LA, the team finds the professor, Ted Holmes, who has been posting on dark web right-wing websites under pseudonyms. When his attempt to ask for a lawyer doesn’t go his way, he tries to run, but Harley stops him. Holmes gave out surveys that revealed the psychology behind his students’ political beliefs; it’s how he figures out who to recruit.  

Once Callen gets unofficial confirmation from Mosley that the officers can launch multiple missiles, he and Sam join Deeks in the interrogation room with Holmes. But as Holmes points out, how many men or women would someone need to recruit to put three in positions to launch those weapons? Some could lose the nerve. Some might not end up at the right base. What if this is just one of many missions?


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Kensi Takes a Risk

Nell accesses Holmes’ teaching records and finds that 72 officers enrolled in ROTC programs where he taught. And thanks to his surveys, they have 17 possible recruits. They’re pulled from duty. However, Holmes had to pass those names off to someone else. Who’s the handler?

That would be an NSA analyst, Curtis, and there’s footage of him meeting with the three officers at a hotel. Sam, Callen and Harley head to his address, with Deeks staying behind to try to reach Kensi because he’s the best shot at getting her out of there if the situation gets worse. If the officers try to launch the missiles, because a plan is in place to make sure that doesn’t happen, and if it comes to that, Kensi won’t survive if she’s anywhere near the base.

Though Tiffany would be the best shot at getting through to Kevin since he seems to be listening to her, they can’t reach him. However, then he reaches out to them on the computer and admits that he wishes there was another way. He’s showing remorse, which is a good thing. And he does seem to be trying to at least delay the launches since Ross wants to launch when they haven’t finished targeting all of them, but Miller says they should make their one shot count.

And that delay is exactly what Kensi needs because Monroe comes up with a plan: for her to go through the freshly excavated tunnel into the launch center and take out at least one of the officers. The opening is too small for her to take anything more than a gun and a grenade or for her to wear a vest.

But before she goes down there, she calls Deeks. He wants her to just get in her car and drive away, but she can’t. “I love you so much,” she tells him. “I’ll love you ’til the end of time and back.” And then she hangs up. (To think, that scene has nothing on their final one.)

Back in LA, the rest of the team takes out the handler, and while he manages to destroy one hard drive, they do get the other that shows they still have six men from this Patton Project to hunt down (and kill if need be, Mosley tells them).

On the base, the hatch to the launch center is blown, and as Kensi makes her way down the tunnel, Miller refuses to send the launch command, even as Ross pulls a gun on him. Kensi drops the grenade, and both officers go down. The center is secure, and both targets are taken out.

Once back, Kensi finds Deeks on the roof and tells him that making that call to him was the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. How long are they going to do this for? she asks. And he reminds her that she’s the one who wanted to stay in. What he does know is that he can’t go through what Sam went through. “You’re everything for me, and I hate feeling like this because you’re my world,” he says, a sentiment she echoes after the two finally hug and kiss.

Something tells me this isn’t the last time they’re going to have this conversation on NCIS: Los Angeles.

Do you think that last scene was the most emotional one we’ve had yet in the series for Kensi and Deeks? And do you think this might be setting up an eventual exit from the team for both of them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

NCIS: Los Angeles season 9 airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS. Want more news? Like our NCIS Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of CBS)