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NCIS: LA - Se Murio El Payaso - Review: "You Know a Lot About a Business That You Know Nothing About"



We open at a party on a docked yacht. Sam, wearing a fancy outfit and glasses, is exchanging gunfire with some guys chasing after a woman he’s with. He hides her and is able to hit one guy, but they keep advancing on him. They're trapped!

Roll credits...

5 Hours Earlier

A woman is walking out of a gym to her car when a guy grabs her, stuffs her into her own car, and drives off. So this is a carjacking and a kidnapping, all in one.

Meanwhile, Callen also just had a workout - he returns to his place and wanders through the empty rooms, throwing out some flirty lines about breakfast and watching YouTube tutorials on how to make cereal, yelling for Anna. He hears her yell from a back room and he rushes back with a gun to discover his girlfriend safe, perched on the bed, yelling at her Halo 5 teammates via headset. They are adorable together until Nell calls them both in, which prompts Anna to share that she’s meeting with ATF soon and expects to get a job. Callen looks a little like a hurt puppy that their life as it is could change, but all he says is that ATF would be happy to have her.

Back at ops, Nell and Eric debrief Anna, Callen, and Sam about the case: Secret Service Special Agent Nicole DeChamps has been running an undercover op targeting the Alfonso family. Marca Alfonso is a renowned counterfeiter and it's widely believed that his daughter Lucila is running the production/distribution end of the family business. Lucila was picked up by NCIS because it’s believed that a few Marines are smuggling the counterfeit bills into L.A. DeChamps has also requested NCIS help because she suspects Alfonso may have paid off some agents in the Secret Service.

Sam goes to meet DeChamps and the pair pause in checking each other out just long enough for her to reveal that she wants to get him in on her undercover identity. She needs him to play her financier, meaning he has to look the part. So a wardrobe update is in Sam's future.

Nell’s looking over Eric’s shoulder, who seems to be blatantly using government resources for his own use as he looks at satellite footage of the Panamas Canal, looking for Hetty.

Cut to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where Hetty seems to still be hanging out. She meets with a man in a back booth of a dim bar. Based on the backpack full of money she gives him, she’s looking for information.


Back in L.A., Callen and Anna meet up with a Secret Service guy who turns out to be an old buddy of Callen's named Tom. They’re to support one another however possible on this op.

Kensi - with hair curlier than usual - and Deeks arrive to the boat shed to interview Lucila. who is apparently in a very pleasant mood. There are a lot of good one-liners this episode, and Deeks has one of the best, saying Lucila looks like “Leo’s next girlfriend.”

Anna and Callen go to a clothing store that they believe has ties to the counterfeit production. They pose as a shopaholic girl and her tired, over it boyfriend. Callen makes it into a big production, complaining to the sales girls about his insane girlfriend, which the girls instantly see as their chance to take care of him. While the girls are fawning over her boyfriend, Anna collects evidence of counterfeit manufacturing in the backroom and runs off. Once she's in the clear, Callen makes a quick getaway, but not before one of the employees gives him her phone number.


At the fancy hi-rise apartment they've secured for his cover, Sam is all dressed up and waiting with Nicole for Alfonso’s men to vet him. Sam plays an autistic savant, rambling off numbers and figures. He rocks back and forth, doesn't make eye contact, and answers all questions as clinically as possible.

Deeks and Kensi are interviewing Lucila, whom Deeks finds very easy on the eyes. Lucila is very pleasant and says multiple times that she’s happy to cooperate, yet never actually answers any of Kensi's questions. After sending Deeks off to get her some water, she hits on Kensi, offering her the chance to leave this job and live the life she always wanted with unlimited funds. Kensi looks like she may play along with it for a moment before asking Lucila again if she’s in L.A. to help run her dad's counterfeit business.

Back at the apartment, Sam and Nicole are catching up as they wait to see if Sam's got the green light. Nicole says she likes undercover work and left protection services because she lost a protectee. Sam suggests that if she’s not going to do protection anymore and likes UC work, she should go to an agency where that’s valued. Which is an excellent point, because I've been confused this episode since I thought Secret Service agents exclusively do protection work.

The pair's chat is interrupted by a video call - it looks like the guy approved of Sam.

Back at the boat shed, Deeks and Kensi are still interviewing Lucila who is running circles around the usual interview trip-ups. She says her family lives in the shadow of her father's illegal business, so talking to law enforcement is nothing new, then claims that her father is a legit businessman. Kensi and Deeks keep pulling out more and more proof that she was here for illicit purposes and Lucila just keeps flipping the script every time with a smile, admitting nothing. I like this girl.

Meanwhile, Nell gets the results back on the evidence Ana collected at clothing store and calls Callen - they match the supplies needed for making Euros, not American dollars. Callen and Ana see guys pulling out the clothing store with the supplies and follow them to an alley behind an abandoned hotel.

Sam and Nicole arrive at the meeting point where they’re forced to give up their weapons and electronics. And I believe we're at the yacht we saw in the opening scene! It's still a party on a DOCKED yacht, by the way. What's the point of partying on a yacht if it's going to be docked? I mean, I don't have a ton of experiences with yacht parties myself, but it seems to me that the whole experience would be vastly improved if you, I don't know, actually leave the dock.

Anyway. At the boat shed, Lucila is still calm and still hasn't asked for an attorney and I just think she'd be a great double agent if they could flip her. But there's not enough time left in this episode for that. Deeks and Kensi are wracking their brains on how to break her, so Kensi calls up Nell and Eric in hopes that they can dig up some dirt in her family history.

Back on the boat, we see that Callen's friend Tom is watching the whole scene across the street, ready with a sniper rifle if things go south. Tom calls Nell and Eric to report that it looks like the plan is to take the yacht out on the water and the meeting will happen out on the open sea, where Sam and Nicole will be stranded without backup.

Which, I'm sorry, but NONE OF YOU thought that the yacht would leave the dock at any point during this party?!? Like I said, THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF A PARTY ON A YACHT. Gosh, it's like none of you have ever seen a single paparazzi photo of Leo DiCaprio in your life.

So we're back at it again the boat shed, where Lucila is still a tough nut to crack. Eric and Nell call Kensi to share their research of Lucila's family history and Kensi gets confused - the research says that Lucila grew up in the family estate but in her interview, the woman herself that she remembered seeing the estate for the first time. The three examine pictures they found of young Lucila and she’s with the same friend in every picture - the daughter of one of the maids on the estate. Something falls into place for Kensi and she gets them to pull Deeks out of the room immediatley.

Now we're back on the boat, where everyone is rocking some great summery suits. Sam and Nicole are talking deals with Marca's stand-in Michael, who wants details on how he’s going to fence the money. Sam comes up with a plan and Michael seems like he’s about to agree.

Anna and Callen are searching the apartment they were parked behind and decide to go with hand-to-hand combat to avoid gunshots. They take out the three guys they’d been following, and Callen's stunt double ends up falling down about 200 stairs.

Kensi and Deeks return to the interrogation room. They’ve figured it out - the woman in front of them isn't Lucila, is Celia, the maid’s daughter. Once caught, the girl finally explains - Marca had the idea for them to switch once it became clear his actual daughter wasn’t cut out for this life. So Celia simply poses as Lucila and creates a myth about a daughter taking over her father’s industry. Yet she actually isn’t at all involved with the business, she’s simply something for law enforcement to waste their time on while Marca does the real dirty work.

Here’s the twist: she has to check in with her security team every 3 hours and she hasn’t checked in today. The security team is going to get an alert that something’s up and figure out their new friend Sam is actually an undercover agent. And since he doesn’t have his phone, he’s a sitting duck.

On the still-docked yacht, Michael gets a phone call that gives him the heads-up. He shoots Nicole in the arm and tells Sam not to bother threatening him since NCIS doesn't have Marca's real daughter to hold over his head. Sam and Nicole manage to get out of the room and run towards the galley on the boat, and now we’re at the scene from beginning of the episode with Sam exchanging gunfire. He runs out of bullets and Nicole is still bleeding, so he grabs some knives from the galley, but he doesn’t need them since Tom’s team rushes in as backup. Nicole is being carted away to the hospital, Sam reminds her that her skills could be used elsewhere.

Anna and Callen finally stumble across something in the apartment building: the entire counterfeit assembly line. After a quick fire fight, the pair arrest everyone before joking about Halo. They return to the boat shed to meet up with Deeks and Kensi and discuss grabbing a quick beer.

Eric has fallen asleep at the computer, trying to find Hetty (is he the only one on the team actually trying to find her?) and Nell talks him into leaving it alone for now.

Meanwhile in Vietnam, Hetty visiting a prisoner. It’s the guy that was in the picture we saw last week - he says his name is Harris King and he was in the helicopter crash with Hetty. Hetty doesn’t remember him and says she was the only survivor of that crash, but he insists that she's wrong. He survived and was captured by the Vieit Cong. The two start to compare horror stories of what happened after their helicopter went down.


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