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S08.E15: Payback

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An NCIS agent is held at an unknown location and tortured by the mole, and another agent discovers he was betrayed by someone he least expected.

How many moles are there anyway?

You know the rules; no posting until after the episode has aired.  Hetty's gotten pretty strict about the rules these days.

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Thoughts, so many thoughts!

Granger isn't dead! But we know it's coming. I got the sense that it was Renee talking in the hospital room tonight, not Nell. There seemed to be a finality to that scene and a definite sense of sadness from her.

So the sawzall got put to good use after all! That's a unique form of therapy Callen found there. Wasn't expecting Joelle to turn out to be a CIA but it did make sense the way they wrote it. Monitoring the bigwigs kids at her school and then able to seize the opportunity to monitor Callen when it came along. No wonder she was hooking up with him after they officially broke up. I'm really wishing Aunjanue Ellis wasn't on Quantico at the moment, cause it would have made a hell of a lot of sense for her to be there. At the very least I'm betting Michelle and Sam had an immediate 'did you know' conversation when he got home! 

I was yelling a big 'hell yeah' at the screen when Deeks gave Hetty that well deserved Reason You Suck Speech. It's about time somebody outlined exactly how playing chess mistress was screwing with people's lives. I just wished she'd paid more attention. Deeks was definitely channeling his dark side tonight, even more than he did in Spoils of War back in Season Five. No hesitation on that double-tap at all. Plus wailing on Sabatino like that. Man, when he's pissed he's really pissed. Interesting that it's really only threatening Kensi that brings out that side of him. And Kensi shows that same streak when Deeks is threatened. 

So proud of Kensi for not being damsel in distress but actively working to rescue herself from the get-go. I forgot how good she is at playing head games. I think she's ready to return to field work now.

A couple of loose ends though: what happened to Detective Whiting? Is she dead? And why did Sharov/Balinski turn on the OSP team so easily? They popped him out of Russian jail, I would think that was worth a little hesitation to turn on them.

So Sabatino is loose again. They must really like having Erik Palladino around, given that he goes back to a one-off guest shot back in Season Three (Granger's introductory episode, actually). They've really been going to the well for that character.

I'm guessing Hetty's job offer to Chegwidden is how they will ultimately fill Granger's slot. I'm not looking forward to when we have to lose him but I do think it's rather brilliant to bring a character not from the parent show but the *grandparent show*. It's so easy to forget that NCIS started as a spin-off of JAG. Forget trying to get LA to have more crossover's with the Mothership, they'll just mine the Grandmother ship instead! I really hope we see more of Chegwidden, even if it's a guest role rather than Granger's full time part.

And props to Eric, for not only getting the drop on the Admiral with the gun but working that tablet one-handed to verify his identity and that neat kneel down he did to retrieve the ID. Kept the gun on him the whole time!

Edited by anna0852
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"Is she dead?" "I didn't hit her that hard."  <beat> "Could go either way."

I heart Admiral AJ!! Am in denial about why he's been brought out of retirement tho. MF's speech during the whole episode was heartbreaking. (But badass with a gun under the blanket!)

WHY would NCIS have an LAPD officer to protect Granger and not an agent???????

I wonder if we will see the criminal daughter when  she learns of his death.

Michelle has some 'splainin to do.

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I hope this arc is finally over; if we get even occasional appearances from the Admiral that will have made the endurance worthwhile. I doubt any other character from JAG is likely to appear on any NCIS show so AJ (the J is for Jethro, as in Leroy Jethro Gibbs) is most welcome. How a retired Navy admiral can go on the NCIS payroll with the snap of Hetty's fingers is beyond me, but I'll hand wave whatever hand-wave they come up with.

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1 hour ago, betsyboo said:

 

WHY would NCIS have an LAPD officer to protect Granger and not an agent???????

 

A small agency and the LA office is  supposed to be black operations, except when they are not and working a case like normal law enforcement. Over on New Orleans they do say that the local police and joint federal agencies provide their backup 

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I figured from the moment he walked in that Adm. AJ is the likely replacement for Grainger.

Those scenes with him were heartbreaking.  Esp now we know it's some form of cancer from Agent Orange, that the character is suffering from.

Good on Kenzi working to get herself free. Though you could see her favoring that weak arm.

For once I have to say, "Go Derek's!"  Hetty's starting to piss me off to no end.

Nell has really become quite the investigator.  I see her as the real successor to Hetty & Callen..

And is Sabatino really a double agent?  He seemed to have no residual affect of the bombing.  

Yeah, what happened to Whiting?

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I loved this. And I hate saying I hope Chegwidden (two d's!) stays because I hate that we have literally lost someone for that to happen, but I think he will be an amazing addition. 

The lines tonight!

"you guys are a mess." 

"Welcome to NCIS Los Angeles."

I would love a throw away line from Vance about how it's so cray in LA he had to send someone who could handle it lol. 

Deeks interupting the villain speech with death was awesome. 

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Don't forget the next line:  "Double tap to the head.  You must really love me."  Awesome scene!

Actually, the whole episode was really fun.  The Joelle revelation actually made a wee bit of sense, though the fact that she fooled Callen, Sam, Michelle and the whole team for literally years kind of reinforces Chegwidden's comment about what a mess they are.  I'm still not sure that I get why she was tied up in the church, though.  Was it to get her on the inside of their investigation?

So, we are to believe that the so-called mole was in fact a CIA operation to get rid of the Office of Special Projects once and for all, starting after all the trouble they caused in Afghanistan?  That actually makes sense, since our team ruined the CIA's plans to take out Jack, and haven't exactly keep their noses out of Agency business since.  I can certainly see leaking Hetty's information as part of that plan.  The attack on Aiden's school, though, seems awfully personal.  And why take out Under-Secretary Duggan?  They can't possibly have known that Duggan was going to start helping Hetty, since he just made the decision the moment before he got taken out.  Before that, he was all for shutting down and/or re-staffing the OSP, which would seem to have been the CIA's goal.

Anyway, maybe we have to hand wave these things, or maybe there is another level to uncover (I note that Nate is in the cast for the next episode, and I still haven't completely given up on him being involved in some way :)

 Overall, though, it was a very satisfying episode.  Loved Deeks seething with fury and finally telling Hetty some home truths.  Loved Callen taking a chainsaw to Joelle's table.  Loved, loved, loved that badass Granger taking out his would-be assassin, though all his scenes made me so sad.  Still, it's a pretty satisfying way  to make an exit -- for the character and for the actor.

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I don't think Joelle knew about the 'kill people' angle but was rather used for intel gathering on the team. Remember, she met Callen when Kensi was in Afghanistan and this whole mess was just starting. And her presence in the church was a delaying tactic. Now they have to figure out how she got there, how she ties in and if her cover is blown then that will cause even further delays. 

I did think it was interesting to Deeks go instantly from 'ready to kill' back to 'goofy surfer' the second Kensi was safe.

Edited by anna0852
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I thought that was a really good ending to this arc. Good acting all around, and it made more sense than not, which doesn't always happen on this show. 

Yay for truth-telling Deeks! And really, the fact that Kensi is okay shouldn't change the fact that Hetty's plans(s) were not only the reason she got kidnapped and almost tortured but also the reason she was targeted in the first place. I know that the premise of this show is that they work for NCIS and Hetty is their operations manager, but if I were Deeks, I'd look at Hetty's long history of manipulating Kensi and putting her in danger and suggest it's time to form their own private security company. 

I liked Kensi playing mind games with whatever-his-name-actually-is. And I think she was onto something when she suggested his attraction to her was mixed in with his anger. 

I think Chris wins this episode with his reaction to Joelle's true identity. However, and I assume this was calculated and intentional--no guilt now for moving on with Anna. 

Nitpicks and loose ends: I wish they hadn't dropped the Whiting thing, because my fear is we won't hear about it again for ten episodes but when we do, it'll be "Whiting goes after Deeks" round three and I'm not up for it. I feel like they've played this one out and it's time to move on. Hetty called Joelle "officer Taylor," implying that she uses her real name rather than an alias. How, then, could Sam, Michelle and Callen all have missed the fact that she was CIA? Don't expect me to believe that the Hannas don't vet their daughter's teachers. 

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I'm thinking Joelle was pretty backstopped. Probably legit trained as a teacher and recuited by the CIA after being hired at the school. Not something that's going to show up in a background check. And its not like Michelle knows every single agent. She left the Agency after having kids and she doesn't have reason to think her daughters teacher is an agent.

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As awesome as Deeks speech to Hetty was it'll all be forgotten next week and she will contain to be the most awesome operative the world has ever seen. Ugh, I'm so over her.

As much as I love this show do they even watch week to week? As others have mentioned before, what about Duggan's shooting, what about Whiting, is the FBI at ask in trouble for killing an unarmed man who is identifying himself as a fellow federal agent (and a rather high ranking one at that)? Does Vance know or care what is happening? 

Props to Eric for getting the drop lb the admiral!

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I have watched so many damned prodedurals where the police or FBI are facing down some villain with a knife or gun to the head of some potential victim, and they all stand around with guns pointed doing NOTHING.  Finally (Hooray Deeks!) a cop who realizes that the bullet(s) fired from his gun will be rattling around inside the villain's skull before that bad guy can even begin to react and harm his hostage.

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It annoyed me that they all got pissy with Joelle, saying she "betrayed" Callen. Like she said, she only did what Callen has done countless times. It's like, how dare anyone play us, but we can play others hypocrisy. So I'm glad she called Callen out when he tried to get huffy and take the moral high ground.

Also glad Deeks laid it on Hetty. Her chess games have become so obnoxious. I didn't like the way she dismissed him, "Do you feel better now?" The writers try to make her this unflappable, know-it-all spymaster, but it can be too much. A bit of humility wouldn't hurt her.

Overall the ep was enjoyable, but I'm glad this mole storyline is over. It has been a misleading let down imo.

Also glad that Sabatino is still out there. Love his duplicity and gruff voice.

Oh and the appearance of the Admiral. I never watched JAG, but it's nice to have that crossover. He fit in very well imo.

Edited by greenbean
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I never realized how much I missed and enjoyed Admiral Chegwiddon's slightly exasperated tone of voice until now! I hope we get to keep him. I'm gonna miss Granger though -- shanked in the spine, dying from Agent Orange, but still a boss with a gun in his hospital bed. Nice.

I was with Deeks pretty much the entire episode, from calling out Hetty on putting Kensi in danger to his "Oh Snap!" about "CIA Officer" Taylor. If Whiting is still alive, she better not be going after Deeks still. I'd like for Deeks and Kensi to be safe and happy for a while.

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...so who was the mole?  Or were there several of them.

I was hoping Joelle was going to be The Big Bad.

Oh Granger/Miguel.  :(

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I am sooo hoping Chegwidden is joining the show, even though it sort of seems crass to be hoping this since Miguel Ferrar just died.  

Various takes:  

  1. I was glad Granger was tough enough to kill his would-be assassin
  2. Nell was pretty much speaking for everyone when she went to Granger's hospital room
  3. the NCIS guards who were finally posted were addressed by name(!) and forming a wall was a reasonable thing to do
  4. it's nice to see all these ghosts, even though I didn't recognize most of them
  5. that Joelle played the players is a sort of karma that works for me
  6. that Deeks didn't bother to converse with what's his name and just Indiana Jones'd him is oddly satisfying
  7. taking a power saw to the Joelle table was oddly and pithily illustrative
  8. Chegwidden's relaxed response to Eric's challenge was really good, as
    1. if you know who Chegs is, you know he's a retired SEaL, and if you know anything about SEaLs you know he could have disarmed Eric at any point
    2. he was evaluating Eric all the way through this, and finished with bonding over a video game 
  9. telling off Hetty by anyone is long overdue, but her response was both arrogantly in character and efficiently ok, now perhaps you can focus on the crisis at hand

Overall this five-week-long trilogy seems to be Show dealing with Miguel Ferrar's impending medical exit (they were not expecting him to die, or I think it would have been written differently); acknowledging that NCIS's LA Office of Special Projects seems to feel no limit on their mandate, and the other alphabets are really really pissed about it; both Joelle and what's-hiz-name (Sully), who apparently are not fan favorites, have been made bad or bad-ish in Show's Official Canon; lots of lingering characters are now dead; and the overall mess has been acknowledge at least twice.

I'm going to do something I don't believe I've done in eight seasons of this show: I'm going to re-watch these three episodes.  Well done, Show!

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Considering that the Undersecretary of Defense (not the "assistant undersecretary of the navy for being a dick") was assassinated in Los Angeles, and that a subcabinet member is a major position that the violent death of the holder would be major headlines around the nation (if not the world). One would expect, that Hetty would be off to an undisclosed location and the people who were there the last time the UsecDef and his crew came for a visit would be back in force to clean up the situation for the rest of the season.

Maybe Hetty was planning a coup against Trump or something....

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5 hours ago, callie lee 29 said:

As awesome as Deeks speech to Hetty was it'll all be forgotten next week and she will contain to be the most awesome operative the world has ever seen. Ugh, I'm so over her.

As much as I love this show do they even watch week to week? As others have mentioned before, what about Duggan's shooting, what about Whiting, is the FBI at ask in trouble for killing an unarmed man who is identifying himself as a fellow federal agent (and a rather high ranking one at that)? Does Vance know or care what is happening? 

Props to Eric for getting the drop lb the admiral!

The FBI didn't kill him.  Their tactical team was on sight to arrest the rest of the team, when he was taken out by a sniper (probably one of those CIA baddies).  But why?  What was his role they had against him?  Because he gave Hattie 90 more days?

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It's too convoluted imo. The mole should have been a real mole inside NCIS, and the story should have been mostly contained within NCIS too. Especially if they're happy to bring JAG characters back. The main perp could've been someone from way back who had a grudge against Hetty.

All this stuff about the CIA and Afghanistan, blah. I mean Sullivan came and went, he's so meaningless. The Joelle thing is interesting, but I don't consider her to be a mole. Seems she was on assignment and didn't know the motives were sinister.

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Having just re-watched the last two episodes, I have to say that I commend the new show runner, Scott Gemmill, for making a real effort at plot coherence.  Given the protracted and erratic nature of the "mole" storyline, I think the answer -- that it was not one individual but an entire pissed-off government agency -- made a lot of sense.

I think the whole three episode arc also played beautifully to the characters.  Callen was snarky and vicious, then completely thrown when Joelle seemed to be collateral damage.  After he found out the truth about her, he seemed to pretty much shut down, only to act out his anger, misery and betrayal by carving up the table.  Sam was a rock, as he always is when it isn't his own family that's in the cross-hairs.  Kensi kicked some serious ass in her fight with Sullivan -- girl is back!  And Deeks zig-zagged from crazed to calmly lethal, which seemed very consistent with what we've seen from him when Kensi is in jeopardy.

I know there are loose ends -- Whiting seems the most pressing -- but I'm going to give the show the benefit of the doubt that it won't leave them dangling.

And Chegwidden could be a real asset to the team.  I haven't watched a lot of JAG, but I do remember him defending Gibbs on NCIS.  The actor and character seem like a good fit.  It's not like the show is using him to oust Granger or Miguel Ferrer, so I certainly don't resent him.  On the other hand, I do think that role needs to be filled to maintain the balance of the characters, and I think he seems a sound choice.

I have to say, though, that I'm ready to get back to some "filler" type episodes.  All of the characters doing their thing, having some witty, culturally "in the moment" banter, solving some non-personal crimes, and going out for a beer afterwards.  I didn't fully appreciate how much I like the routine in this show :)

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I do really appreciate the show's efforts with this story. And kudos to the writers! If this arc hasn't been planned out for years (I'd love to find out if it was or wasn't) then they did a heck of a job going back through their established continuity and history to pull this off.  The OSP team has massively overstepped bounds all over the place and for a long time now. I get that it's not out of malice but soon or later that was going to come back to bite them. I appreciate that fact being acknowledged. And really, who else but the CIA could muster these kinds of resources? I am choosing to believe that Joelle really didn't know what was going on, that she was just being used for information. And the girl has skills! Fooling Callen and the team for literally years is no small feat. 

I'm also snickering to myself that ultimately this all comes back to Daniela's first maternity leave back in Season 5, which is why Kensi was sent to Afghanistan in the first place. The direction of the show might have been very different otherwise.

I'm really dreading that we have to lose Granger but bringing in Chegwidden is a stroke of brilliance. A great way to maintain the character balance (as said by @mtmjr above) and maintain connections to the bigger universe that started with JAG.

Until I'm proven wrong I'm choosing to believe that Sabatino was really pulling the strings here and set this whole thing in motion. I think (with no proof, just a theory) that he blames the OSP team for getting his partner Snyder killed back in Season 4, Wanted

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10 hours ago, kassygreene said:

...the NCIS guards who were finally posted were addressed by name(!) and forming a wall was a reasonable thing to do

I liked Nell (in charge) in that hospital situation.  She didn't hesitate to tell (not ask) those guards to form that wall for privacy  and then she didn't get all weird about the dead assassin but said "He got ya good!" before calmly using dead girl's fingerprint to open her phone (who uses a ring finger?).   She did a good job working the crime scene solo and finding the information that the rest of the team used to kick butt.

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I have a question.  They were tracking Kensi by looking at numbers that had called her kidnapper's phone, and tracking where they were, right?  Then they called Kensi's phone, and the kidnapper answered it.  So why couldn't they track where she was by her own phone?  What did I miss?

Otherwise, a good episode.  It's hard to see Granger in the hospital scenes, knowing what happened to the actor.

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19 minutes ago, lh25 said:

I have a question.  They were tracking Kensi by looking at numbers that had called her kidnapper's phone, and tracking where they were, right?  Then they called Kensi's phone, and the kidnapper answered it.  So why couldn't they track where she was by her own phone?  What did I miss?

They weren't tracking GPS. They were tracking where the phone was when it made or received a call. (Now, that said, I don't know how they did that.)

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1 hour ago, rainsmom said:

They weren't tracking GPS. They were tracking where the phone was when it made or received a call.

Was that a 'triangulation' by telling which cell phone towers were receiving/transmitting the signal and how strong it was, assigning a number to the strength and then going for intersection of the strengths?

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3 hours ago, rainsmom said:

They weren't tracking GPS. They were tracking where the phone was when it made or received a call. (Now, that said, I don't know how they did that.)

I guess I don't get why they could do that with other phones, but not hers?

2 hours ago, anna0852 said:

They didn't call her phone

I thought the kidnapper answered and said something like "Kensi can't come to the phone now".

It could be I'm just overthinking this as well!  :)

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On 2/20/2017 at 0:04 AM, Bobbin said:

"Don't take another step or...!" [Bang!!]

Now THAT'S how to deal with terrorists! Go, Marty Deeks!

It was nice that there was a previous episode at the shooting range the established Deeks was actually a really really good shot.  But what exactly was the "rouge" CIA guys end game?  At first it seemed to be just all personal and wanting to cut off Kensi's leg.  Then it looked like it was some sort of legit op to kill all of NCIS?  But then when they were being stormed, they were like, oh instead of setting up firing positions, lets run around and then somehow hold Kensi for a standoff for what end?  Was the idea to slice her head off in front of the entire time to make it more traumatic?

 

Anyone else thought that the assassin in the hospital was Granger's daughter?  And THAT was what Hetty meant by stepping up protection for Granger?  I had a feeling Miguel Ferrer was going through real life health problems and this was kind of his good-bye from the show (I don't follow Hollywood news so didn't realize he actually died), but it will be interesting to see how the "team", especially Callen and Sam, feel about his future death, especially the way crappy way they kept treating him, just because he was actually trying to be an actual "superior" to them rather than a "fun" babysitter like Hetty was being to them.  Seriously, the lack of respect they gave him, in spite of him proving to be not only capable in the field buy pretty much right every single time was annoying as heck and kept wanting to see them get fired.

Edited by HawaiiTVGuy

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1 hour ago, HawaiiTVGuy said:

what exactly was the "rouge" CIA guys end game?  At first it seemed to be just all personal and wanting to cut off Kensi's leg.  Then it looked like it was some sort of legit op to kill all of NCIS?  But then when they were being stormed, they were like, oh instead of setting up firing positions, lets run around and then somehow hold Kensi for a standoff for what end?  Was the idea to slice her head off in front of the entire time to make it more traumatic?

The way I see it, the whole "mole" thing was not a single person, but rather a number of CIA operatives whom NCIS OSP pissed off by interfering in their projects and costing them money, sometimes costing them life and limb (literally), and sometimes, in the CIA's view, threatening national security.  So they decided as a group that it was best if NCIS OSP ceased to exist.  They started by targeting Hetty (Head of the Snake and all), and when that failed, moved on to leaking vital information to ruin the agents one-by-one.

Among these pissed off agents was Sullivan/Ferris, who, as Sabatino inferred, was kind of a sicko to begin with.  He targeted Kensi because of his leg.  But Ferris was seriously deranged, because what kind of a human being -- an amputee himself -- befriends a woman in rehab in order to set her up to kidnap her and threaten her with mutilation?  So as for an endgame, I guess he was hoping to torment Kensi and her loved ones for as long as possible, and them leave her mutilated dead body for them to find, before slinking back into the darker reaches of CIA torture sites and assassination squads.  I'm not sure we can look for more logic than that, because he was a serious psycho.

2 hours ago, HawaiiTVGuy said:

it will be interesting to see how the "team", especially Callen and Sam, feel about his future death, especially the way crappy way they kept treating him,

I completely disagree about the team and Granger.  Sure, way back in season three the team all hated him and with good reason.  I remember when he said to Hetty that he would be sticking around for a while, because the Director like the job he was doing, and I'm yelling at the screen, "Excuse me, a-hole, but every single operation you've been involved with you've effed up!"  I mean, he let the CIA get away with killing a civilian; pegged Kensi as murdering her Dad's old team; and introduced Janvier to the team as a supposed ally, all in his first few episodes.  It's a tribute, though, to the writers and the actor, that he evolved dramatically from there.  Certainly by Season Six, the whole team had come to admire, respect and appreciate him.  I think his finest hour was in "Belly of the Beast," this season, where he basically put everything on the line to save the teams' lives in Syria.  I think everyone is going to be devastated by his loss, and rightly so.

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Granger was introduced as a foe and over time became a friend. The audience's reaction towards him is mirroring the characters - let's not forget that Hetty tried to kill him once as apparently did Admiral Chegwidden, he!

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2 hours ago, HawaiiTVGuy said:

But then when they were being stormed, they were like, oh instead of setting up firing positions, lets run around and then somehow hold Kensi for a standoff for what end?

Oh, and as for this, well seriously :)  This show :)  If any of the bad guys they encountered had any sense of tactics, strategy, aim or even self-preservation, then our heroes would have been bullet-riddled and six feet under by the end of the first season (well, Deeks might have lasted till Season Two, but that's only because he joined late:)  That, you really do have to hand-wave or you won't enjoy it at all.

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I understand the group of CIA agents wanting to end the NCIS group that had caused them so much trouble and kept messing about where they shouldn't have, but I would think most normal agents would just work to kill them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Why on earth would these other agents be cool with Ferris kidnapping Kensi and then torturing her by cutting off her leg with a sawzall? Why would you give the team the opportunity to track you down? Why not take them out instantly? Ferris was a sadistic asshole, but why was everyone else so dumb? Joelle in particular ought to have known that they were just asking for trouble by delaying. 

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29 minutes ago, KAOS Agent said:

I understand the group of CIA agents wanting to end the NCIS group that had caused them so much trouble and kept messing about where they shouldn't have, but I would think most normal agents would just work to kill them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Why on earth would these other agents be cool with Ferris kidnapping Kensi and then torturing her by cutting off her leg with a sawzall? Why would you give the team the opportunity to track you down? Why not take them out instantly? Ferris was a sadistic asshole, but why was everyone else so dumb? Joelle in particular ought to have known that they were just asking for trouble by delaying. 

Yep. I can understand the CIA wanting to take then out. They fixed up their ops and for some of their people killed/maimed. Hell, if the rules were reversed, NCIS would be doing the same. 

The Callen/jolene thing I see as Sam/jada in reverse. She was doing a job, sucks, but that's what your signed up for dude.

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I thought this was one of the worst episodes this season because there were so many holes in the story--like a giant fishing net. The worst thing was the writer didn't seem to understand how the CIA operates, and that just made the whole thing ridiculous. A CIA officer would never be undercover at a US school or "keeping an eye on" a US federal agent--it's illegal for the CIA to conduct surveillance on US citizens (that's the FBI's job). The whole premise that it would take these CIA agents 2+ years to revenge a botched mission was another idiot device--and wouldn't their bosses realize that they were not completing assignments? What if Kensi hadn't been injured on the mission? How would Ferris have gotten close to her then? And why kidnap her in full view of a police station when he could have easily taken her when he went to her house and she was alone? How did he even KNOW she was going to the police station then? And the NCIS team calls Ferris while they're on their way to rescue her? Seriously? Who would do that? Why would Ferris keep Kensi alive after he thought Hetty and Granger were dead? And why didn't Kensi ask if they were alright when she'd been rescued? If she could tell the photos were fake, why couldn't Ferris? There were just so many problems, it was painful to watch, but I'll watch the March 5 episode to see the tribute to Miguel--and Bartels is a better writer.

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On 2/20/2017 at 1:10 PM, greenbean said:

It annoyed me that they all got pissy with Joelle, saying she "betrayed" Callen. Like she said, she only did what Callen has done countless times. It's like, how dare anyone play us, but we can play others hypocrisy. So I'm glad she called Callen out when he tried to get huffy and take the moral high ground.

Also glad Deeks laid it on Hetty. Her chess games have become so obnoxious. I didn't like the way she dismissed him, "Do you feel better now?" The writers try to make her this unflappable, know-it-all spymaster, but it can be too much. A bit of humility wouldn't hurt her.

Overall the ep was enjoyable, but I'm glad this mole storyline is over. It has been a misleading let down imo.

First, I don't think Callen has ever "betrayed" anyone. When you deceive someone on an undercover assignment, that's not a betrayal. If it is, they've all been guilty of doing that. Callen has, however, been betrayed by others, especially Hetty--who lied about knowing his mother for years even though she was her CIA handler. Callen takes the high moral ground because he is a very moral character.

Deeks yelling at Hetty was just stupid. If he was yelling at her because Kensi left OPS, that was Kensi's doing, not Hetty's. Hetty told them all to stay at OPS. If he was upset about her being sent to Afghanistan, that was stupid, too. There's no way Kensi wouldn't have gone to help Jack (she loved Jack before she'd ever met Deeks). Like Kensi said in episode 1 this season, helping people is who she is, that's why she's an NCIS agent. Hetty's response to Deeks was perfect--the response of an adult when a child is having a tantrum. As for her "games," they get elaborate (and I thought the writing for these last three episodes was abysmal), but Hetty said in Sirens that she didn't know who she could trust anymore--so she wasn't trusting anyone, she was doing this on her own. She felt responsible because she'd been in charge when this happened. I'd actually like to see Deeks given a "time out" and sent to the corner for his behavior. He acts like a spoiled child too often, and if he can't get his emotions in check, he shouldn't be carrying a gun.

I thought the episode was silly and totally unbelievable. The whole "mole" story line was stupid, but it was probably tough to focus with Miguel in failing health. Jordana often sucks as a writer, so maybe the remainder of the season will be better.

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On 2/20/2017 at 8:31 AM, Jillibean said:

Yay for truth-telling Deeks! And really, the fact that Kensi is okay shouldn't change the fact that Hetty's plans(s) were not only the reason she got kidnapped and almost tortured but also the reason she was targeted in the first place. I know that the premise of this show is that they work for NCIS and Hetty is their operations manager, but if I were Deeks, I'd look at Hetty's long history of manipulating Kensi and putting her in danger and suggest it's time to form their own private security company. 

Truth-telling Deeks? Not at all. Hetty wasn't responsible for Kensi getting kidnapped. Hetty told Kensi to stay at OPS. Kensi left. Getting kidnapped was Kensi's fault. And Hetty knew Kensi wasn't ready for field work which is why Hetty hadn't reinstated her. Does anyone really think Kensi wouldn't have gone to Afghanistan to save Jack, her first fiance, even if Hetty hadn't sent her? Kensi got targeted because SHE made a mistake and shot off Ferris' leg. That wasn't Hetty's fault. Hetty was back in LA. As for Kensi and Deeks leaving, I think that would be great. There cutesy talk and actions at work are really annoying--and it's been great to have had so little of it this season. Sorry, but not everyone wants to hear about where you hang your underwear, whether or not you want to have kids, your body odor, and that you fart at night. Seriously? TMI

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I think Deeks was referring to the whole Afghanistan thing, sending Kensi over there, which started Sullivan's hate and NCISLA's intrusion on CIA's turf/missions, which go to find out, they don't really appreciate. 

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If he was angry about Afghanistan, that makes even less sense. Does anyone seriously think Kensi wouldn't have gone to help Jack? What happened in Afghanistan--Kensi shooting off Ferris' leg--was her own fault. Like she told him, SHE made a mistake. I don't mind people getting angry with Hetty WHEN she deserves it; this time, I don't think she deserved it and her response to Deeks was spot on--like she was talking to a 10 year old.

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6 hours ago, BethH said:

If he was angry about Afghanistan, that makes even less sense. Does anyone seriously think Kensi wouldn't have gone to help Jack? What happened in Afghanistan--Kensi shooting off Ferris' leg--was her own fault. Like she told him, SHE made a mistake. I don't mind people getting angry with Hetty WHEN she deserves it; this time, I don't think she deserved it and her response to Deeks was spot on--like she was talking to a 10 year old.

Kensi didn't know she was going to help Jack. She got sent over there as a sniper - Hetty's betrayal is that Hetty didn't tell kensi before she got there that she would be hunting Jack as the "White Ghost" or whatever the dumb code name was. EVERYONE on the team should still be mad that Hetty sent Kensi into such a tenuous situation without telling her Jack was potentially involved. Season 5, ep 18.

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14 hours ago, BethH said:

First, I don't think Callen has ever "betrayed" anyone. When you deceive someone on an undercover assignment, that's not a betrayal. If it is, they've all been guilty of doing that. Callen has, however, been betrayed by others, especially Hetty--who lied about knowing his mother for years even though she was her CIA handler. Callen takes the high moral ground because he is a very moral character.

Yeah Callen hasn't betrayed anyone, that's the point. Neither has Joelle. So the promos and the reaction from the other characters, saying that Joelle is a "betrayer" and "bad guy", is hypocritical. Considering they have all done the same, which she rightly pointed out when Callen got huffy with her.

Mainly though, I think the reaction to her was ott and a let down, because the person who betrayed Callen should have been someone more meaningful than Joelle. It's like the writers are really trying hard to turn her situation into something more dramatic than it actually is.

I agree that Hetty has betrayed Callen, and that's yet another reason why I'm glad Deeks called her out. The show often frames Hetty's manipulations as noble and caring, and while I do enjoy her character I find these tendencies annoying. She can also be rather patronising imo.

41 minutes ago, betsyboo said:

Kensi didn't know she was going to help Jack. She got sent over there as a sniper - Hetty's betrayal is that Hetty didn't tell kensi before she got there that she would be hunting Jack as the "White Ghost" or whatever the dumb code name was. EVERYONE on the team should still be mad that Hetty sent Kensi into such a tenuous situation without telling her Jack was potentially involved. Season 5, ep 18.

Exactly. She sent Kensi there with no real back-up, knowing she wouldn't kill her ex-fiance who was the target. And stuff like that is why the CIA is now so mad with OSP. Basically Kensi's been caught and tortured twice, because of this dubious mission that Hetty sent her on.

Edited by greenbean
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I never got the impression that "The CIA" was responsible for attacking NCIS.  Seems to me that there were some rogue CIA agents in Afghanistan who were were profiting personally from some of their contacts with the Taliban and warlords.   It was never explained HOW they were profiting, but Sabatino told the team that the CIA Agents were pissed at NCIS because Kensi's actions in Afghanistan were costing them money.  If it were really "THE CIA" and legitimate operations that were being stymied by NCIS, that would likely be handled at the highest levels--far above Hetty's pay grade, and CIA bosses would work with Leon and even SECNAV, who could intervene and tell Hetty and her little crew to ABORT!

It took Ferris & Co. months to work their little scam operation because they were working outside of the normal CIA clandestine network, and therefore did not have access to all CIA resources.  Seems to me that if the Director of CIA was part of the deal, there would never have been a long, drawn-out series of events--the Los Angeles OSP would have just disappeared one day.

If Sabatino was really undercover to expose some "bad apples" in the CIA, he was likely on assignment and not part of the mole group.  Ferris and his band of criminal CIA buddies were acting on their own to protect and avenge their illegal profiteering.

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Hetty's 'spygames' (for lack of a better term) are really the heart of the issue here. All she had to do three years ago was say to Kensi that her former fiancee was being targeted by the CIA and that Hetty wants to prevent that. Can they quietly help him out? Maybe it's still awkward to see for Kensi to face the dude (I'm mean, he did run out on her) but there would be almost no chance at that point that Kensi walks unarmed into a bunch of Taliban in order to find out what's going on. And if that op doesn't go tits up the way it did, then maybe the CIA wouldn't coming after them now.

Maybe Hetty says to Callen and Deeks and Sam that she's trying to lure some corrupt CIA officers into a trap and she needs them to appear unable able to help her instead of getting them locked up. I'm sure LAPD, DEA and ATF were just fine with being used and having their resources wasted. Maybe she tells Kensi what she's up to and Kensi stays at Ops and doesn't get kidnapped. Of course Kensi is trying to get the guys out, she doesn't have the info she needs to do otherwise!

Maybe Hetty actually tells Eric that Chegwidden is on his way over and it's okay to let him in and get him up to speed. Then Eric isn't terrified and pulling his weapon on a potential ally.

Maybe Hetty realizes that even if those rogue CIA folks are coming after her, setting them up to be assassinated still isn't legal! No wonder she wants Chegwidden around, she might need an attorney pretty soon! The bodies of Carl Brown and Sharov will have to be accounted for. She didn't shoot them in a firefight, she lured into a warehouse she had pre-rigged with explosives and triggered the bomb herself. Last I checked, that was not okay. Does she think the CIA is going to just shrug off the loss of their operatives, rogue or not? She's just put a target on the whole agency's back!

Personally I don't think Deeks called her out hard enough.

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I never got the impression that "The CIA" was responsible for attacking NCIS.  Seems to me that there were some rogue CIA agents in Afghanistan who were were profiting personally from some of their contacts with the Taliban and warlords.   It was never explained HOW they were profiting, but Sabatino told the team that the CIA Agents were pissed at NCIS because Kensi's actions in Afghanistan were costing them money.  If it were really "THE CIA" and legitimate operations that were being stymied by NCIS, that would likely be handled at the highest levels--far above Hetty's pay grade, and CIA bosses would work with Leon and even SECNAV, who could intervene and tell Hetty and her little crew to ABORT!

It took Ferris & Co. months to work their little scam operation because they were working outside of the normal CIA clandestine network, and therefore did not have access to all CIA resources.  Seems to me that if the Director of CIA was part of the deal, there would never have been a long, drawn-out series of events--the Los Angeles OSP would have just disappeared one day.

If Sabatino was really undercover to expose some "bad apples" in the CIA, he was likely on assignment and not part of the mole group.  Ferris and his band of criminal CIA buddies were acting on their own to protect and avenge their illegal profiteering.

Thanks for this, it makes the most sense to me.  I was completely lost about what was going on. It is still a little muddled.

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The fact that this whole mole arc seems so muddled and confusing is proof that despite some supposed frictions this show shares DNA with the mothership. Muddled long arcs that get more confusing the longer they last are par for the course for this franchise. To this day I'm not sure who sent Ari with what purpose to DC, nor do I know why Mossad-Dad sent Ziva on a suicide mission or why she was upset when he got killed later (if there was a reconciliation I must have missed it).

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2 hours ago, greenbean said:

Yeah Callen hasn't betrayed anyone, that's the point. Neither has Joelle. So the promos and the reaction from the other characters, saying that Joelle is a "betrayer" and "bad guy", is hypocritical. Considering they have all done the same, which she rightly pointed out when Callen got huffy with her.

Mainly though, I think the reaction to her was ott and a let down, because the person who betrayed Callen should have been someone more meaningful than Joelle. It's like the writers are really trying hard to turn her situation into something more dramatic than it actually is.

I think the drama comes from the fact that Callen is a very closed-off person who lets in almost no one. For the entire time he was dating her, Joelle was probably the only personal relationship he had outside of work. For the ONE person whom he took a chance on and allowed past his walls to turn out to be a CIA spy has to sting, even if she didn't actually do anything to put him in danger. Though I think the extent to which she was mixed up in this mole/kidnapping plot is unclear. She might not have been the one spearheading, but she was clearly involved enough to take and respond to a call to come pretend to be kidnapped in a church to buy them more time to torture and kill a member of Callen's team. So depending on how much one infers she was in on all this, it could be considered an actual betrayal beyond the team's usual "make someone fall in love with them while undercover" gigs. 

2 hours ago, anna0852 said:

Maybe Hetty says to Callen and Deeks and Sam that she's trying to lure some corrupt CIA officers into a trap and she needs them to appear unable able to help her instead of getting them locked up. I'm sure LAPD, DEA and ATF were just fine with being used and having their resources wasted. Maybe she tells Kensi what she's up to and Kensi stays at Ops and doesn't get kidnapped. Of course Kensi is trying to get the guys out, she doesn't have the info she needs to do otherwise!

Personally I don't think Deeks called her out hard enough.

I love your entire post, but this part in particular--because yes, Nell, Eric and Kensi all (falsely) believed that the MOLE had set up the team and had them each taken into custody, so all their actions were misguided in what they thought was the service of rescuing their team members. Especially since Granger had been shanked while in police custody. 

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The fact that this whole mole arc seems so muddled and confusing is proof that despite some supposed frictions this show shares DNA with the mothership

Yeah, this show is a mess in terms of continuity and general logic. But I think they at least tried with this arc, which I appreciate, even though there are still gaping plot holes. 

Edited by Jillibean
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