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NCIS: LA - Fool Me Twice - Review: “They Deserve to Know the Truth”



We open on a warehouse of some type where a woman is sitting in the middle of a room with a bag over her head. Her feet are bare and she’s wearing a prison jumpsuit. There’s a very southern man asking her some questions. “All things considered darlin’, you’ve been treated pretty well, I think you’ll grant me that.. So just tell me what I want to hear.”

She’s not going for that, so she headbutts the guy and more men rush in and chain her feet to the floor.

The main guy goes to clean off the blood streaming down his face and discovers that that collar stick is missing from one of his lapels. (Which the internet has just told me is also called a “collar stay” and can be made of anything from plastic, brass, stainless steel, even mother of pearl. Um… I honestly didn’t know this was something anyone used anymore, ever, and I never realized they could be anything but those cheap, flexible plastic strips.)

Southern dude realizes that the girl grabbed it when she attacked him, so he runs back into the room and sees all his guys on the ground with their eyes stabbed, a bloody collar stick on the ground nearby.

Ew.

She ran off and left the mask behind.

The girl, whose face we still haven’t seen, is now picking the lock at someone’s house and sneaking in. Suddenly Callen is there! Wait, it’s his house!!

He pulls his gun and yells at the girl, still barefoot and covered in blood, to put her hands behind her head. She does as he says, turns around, and… It’s his ex-girlfriend Joelle!

“I need your help, Callen,” she says.

Now THIS is how they should’ve started the 200th episode.


Callen, who has absolutely no patience for anything that’s going on, calls Kensi to catch her up, then he tells Joelle, freshly showered and dressed in his shirt and what she assumes are Anna’s jeans, that Deeks and Kensi is keeping eye on her family

“The only reason I’m doing this is because there’s a kid involved,” Callen spits out. “Anything beyond that, I seem to recall you’ve got a lot of friends in the CIA.” Okay then. I think it’s safe to assume that Callen has definitely not gotten over Joelle’s betrayal.

Joelle rushes to clarify that she hasn’t worked with the CIA in months when they disavowed her. Callen SUPER doesn’t believe her, and when she asks for food, he just gives her a granola bar. I don’t know if that means he doesn’t have any food or he’s just that level of bitter. Unrelated: Callen is barefoot this whole time and I find that… somehow… attractive? I don’t know why. But there you go. I guess we all learned something about me today.

Ahem. Moving on.

Callen, in full bitter ex mode, has one final thing to say before sharing his enticing granola bar: “Just so we’re clear, I don’t believe you. Not a word. I’ll get you to your family. Whatever trouble you’re in, it’s got nothing to do with me.”

Me-OW!

Joelle clarifies that yes it does, it has to do with national security. Which is apparently all Callen needs to hear to bring her in to the boat house for Sam to share in his misery.

At the boat shed, Joelle tells her story: “They” grabbed her at a stop light and the entire time she was captured she was wearing a hood, so she can’t ID anyone. They kept asking for intel, including Naval intelligence, which is why she went to Callen.

“I’ll admit, I gave them what I had,” Joelle says, “But it was all at least 6 months out of date.”

Oh. I don’t know how I feel about that - I think the agents on this show have skewed by expectations since they’re all of the “rather die than give up any intel” mindset. But 99.99% of the rest of the world would give up intel while under torture, and I suppose 6-months old intel is safe-ish to divulge.

Either way, Callen looks disappointed.

By the time she tells the story of escaping with a collar stick like some kind of CIA MacGyver, she says she knows they don’t believe her. “That’s a given,” Callen snorts.

Y’all, bitter Callen is pretty darn entertaining to watch.

She pulls the sticks out of the collared shirt she’s wearing (Callen’s shirt still?) to make them feel safer.

SINCE WHEN DOES EVERYONE ROCK SUPER SHARP COLLARS.

By the way, there’s a random dude just hanging out in the background during all of this, covering the interrogation room - is someone in there? Or is he guarding the exit? Oh, wait, we almost instantly get an answer, it’s a dude named Agent Wilson whose entire role this episode is escorting people to and from places.

Like taking Joelle to the interview right now, so Sam and Callen can compare notes with Mosley who’s been watching this whole thing through the TV. Mosley thinks that Joelle wouldn’t have admitted to giving up info unless she feared something much worse, which is a valid point.

Eric shows up to share the security footage he found of her being taken at the red light she described, so at least we know she was telling the truth about that.

So they agree to take Joelle’s warnings seriously, but with reservations. “She fooled you once boys, don’t let it happen again,” Mosley says.

WAIT SINCE THE TITLE OF THIS EPISODE IS “FOOL ME TWICE,” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Is she lying to them?

In the interview room, someone gave Joelle new clothes, makeup and a nice mirror, so she’s busy covering up her bruises. She assumes all of this came from Anna - why wouldn’t this come from Kensi? - and tells Callen to pass along her thanks.

If there’s one thing Callen hates more than seeing Joelle again, it’s Joelle discussing Anna.

“You bring her up again and we’re done here,” he threatens.

Instead of talking about Callen’s love life, he wants to talk about Joelle’s. Is her husband real? Or is he just a cover?

She wants to know why he can’t be both. “He knows enough not to ask me too many questions… Marriage requires trust, Nick trusts me,” she says. Well, that’s not… Super healthy. He’s used to her disappearing at a moment’s notice. Callen feels sorry for the guy.

Joelle is fed up with Callen’s anger. “You’re not upset because I betrayed you, you’re upset because you didn’t figure it out,” she calls him out. She’s totally right. And for the record, Sam, who thinks that Callen needs some space from this, is also right.

Time to catch up with Deeks and Kensi, who are watching Joelle’s house. As they’re chilling in the car, Deeks is reading something on his phone about spiders and what they represent. Turns out, it’s overbearing mothers. Also, if you’re dreaming about your ex, it means you’re thinking a lot about your current relationship.

Deeks finds this amusing since his research was inspired by Kensi’s dream the night before: He dreamed she was about to get married to her ex-fiance Jack and when he put ring on her finger it turned into a spider.

The cop determines that this means Kensi is anxious about the fact that Deeks’ mother is driving her crazy over lack of wedding plans. I gotta be honest, I’m kinda wondering about those wedding plans too. I’ve never understood long engagements - you agreed to get married, so why not go ahead and get married?

That seems to be the conversation they’re inching towards having, but the banter stops when Callen and Joelle pulls up to the house and intercepts her husband Nick getting ready to send their kid to school.

Now it’s just a big pow-wow on their driveway with three NCIS agents, a member of LAPD, a former CIA operative, and her husband and child.

That seems safe.

Joelle explains - without explaining anything at all - that she’s sending the son and husband off with Deeks and Kensi. Nick looks unhappy but accepts it, and Callen is watching the entire interaction with interest.


When Joelle kisses Nick goodbye, Callen looks away, which is sign numero uno that you’re not over your ex.

The family safely tucked away, Callen brings Joelle to Sam’s half-remodeled boat for safe keeping. Only the team knows about it, it’s the last place anyone would think to look for her… Uh, yeah, unless they followed you there from her house.

Meanwhile, Sam and Hidoko have tracked down the abandoned warehouse where Joelle was held. They spend the majority of their time in and around the warehouse discussing how it’s probably a waste of time to trust anything she says.

The pair find the room where she attacked her kidnappers but it’s empty, save for some remaining evidence that seems to support Joelle’s story. Sam notices a camera in the corner, and right as he does, a steel door slides closed and the room catches on fire.

Oh my gosh. I would FREAK OUT. Like, it INSTANTLY catches on fire. Absolutely no time to wrap your brain around it before it’s already happening.

The flames are already licking the ceiling and the agents start ripping the padding off the wall. I assume they’re going to use them to smother the fire, but Sam literally SHOULDERS through the wall and they get out. Good thing that man is basically the Hulk, otherwise they’d both be BBQ at this point. As Hidoko thanks Sam for getting them out, I’m struck with how much I like her.

More Hidoko, less Mosley, I say. Also… I want more scenes with Sam and Hidoko. They have a nice, easy chemistry. I like it!

Sam calls up his partner to say he almost died, and Callen has about a 0.01 second lag time between hearing that scary news and immediately blaming Joelle for it. She denies that she had anything to do with SETTING THE ROOM ON FIRE WHILE SHE WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY, but he doesn’t care. He is crazy, crazy bitter, y’all.

Back at the Boat Shed, Deeks is playing catch with the son and Kensi is talking to Nick, who refers to his wife Joelle as “Beth.” Sure!

He complains that Beth never shared anything, including her thoughts and feelings, which prompts Kensi to tactfully ask, “Is that why you had the affair?”

Nick, barely even surprised by anything at this point, simply says that Sarah is not a threat and he confessed everything to his wife.

“It always killed me when she slept with other men, that was her job; but she didn’t stop me. She could’ve tried but she didn’t,” he says sadly. Man, this is messed up. I’m wondering how I would feel in his shoes - I think I’m on Callen’s side here. I’d rather know what my spouse did - I wouldn’t expect to be told national secrets or anything, but I’d at least know the danger they faced everyday - than be in the dark. Better to know and worry than to live in complete ignorance.

Anyway, Nick is starting to realize he’s not as okay with the life of lies as he used to be, and I’m going crazy because this guy looks vaguely familiar. He’s got the same mannerisms as this Broadway actor named Corey Cott - I’m cultured, y’all - and he looks like he was a kid on some Disney show who’s all grown up now and has a goatee… So, his role isn’t listed on IMDb yet. Well that’s not helpful at all.

Sam and Hidoko return to the office and Sam goes to have a chat with Mosley in her new office that she finally finished… which is literally a GLASS TOWER THAT OVERLOOKS THE ENTIRE BUILDING.

So many thoughts here:


  1. That’s so obviously the polar opposite of Hetty, it’s ridiculous.
  2. That’s a SIGNIFICANT structure built into the middle of the office. You mean to tell me no one saw or heard construction at any point over the last nine episodes?
  3. I have had bosses who would use offices like that and they are the ABSOLUTE worst.
  4. All of the point Mosley earned last week by being cool are officially gone.


Anyway. Sam ventures into Princess Mosley’s tower. He immediately says, “I guess we can say goodbye to Hetty’s open door policy.” HA! Good for you, Sam.

“Did you ever consider how Hetty’s door was always open but she always kept secrets?” Mosley shoots back. “She gave you the illusion of access but it was never really granted. Here, it’s the opposite. I just ask that you knock.” Okay… So…. Okay… Whatever, lady.

While these two stare each other down, Sabatino texts with breaking news: Joelle is still active in the CIA.

On the boat, Callen is feeding Joelle a hotdog and chips which makes me miss baseball and I think looks DELICIOUS right up until they say it’s a veggie dog.

Callen is grilling Joelle/Beth about her real name. She confesses that it’s neither, “When I joined the CIA they scrubbed my original identity.” She hasn’t been herself in almost 20 years.

“Well, we have time. I’d like to hear about her,” Callen says, surprising both me and Joelle.

Philosophical question: At that point, isn’t your cover just your real self?

Sam shows up and breaks up the temporary peace these two have found by revealing that she’s still in the CIA. Callen starts shouting and friggin’ PULLS HIS GUN on her.


“What’s it like Joelle, to have no allegiance, no trust, no loyalty to anyone but yourself?!” Dang, he is going off on her.

Joelle is pleading that she needed his help, she just lied because she was afraid he wouldn’t help her if she told him the real reason.

“Oh come on Jo, really? Are you even capable of fear? How about love, huh? Because I know her husband has some doubts about that one.” He’s losing it on her. And what’s her big secret?

OMG her kid is Callen’s. Is that it? Is that her secret? Her kid is totally Callen’s! (I don’t even know if the timing would work on that, but I don’t care.)

… Oh wait, no. The truth is way less exciting like that. She was kidnapped by a rogue CIA group she used to belong to that want her to help rebuilding the group.

“How many times do I have to say it? I don’t need you to trust me? I need you to keep my family safe?” She yells back.

“Okay, I believe you,” Callen suddenly says, lowering the gun. JUST LIKE THAT. It’s like he flicked a switch. The whole thing was an act to get her to reveal the truth.

While everyone is reeling over Callen’s acting skills, he gets an alert that the CIA is currently searching his house. Wait, did I miss something? Where’s Anna?

Sam goes back to the office where Mosley’s ready to unload the entire case back onto the CIA. The agent says not so fast, “If the rogue CIA group is still active, they’re a threat to us. You’ve read the report.”

Mosley has and she thinks she’s learned something, “While Hetty’s methods were effective, they also bread chaos and almost destroyed this office.”

Well, that’s the widest I’ve ever seen Sam's eyes.

Eric walks in and I don’t know if it’s because I was just thinking about Sam’s face, but he does this half-smile thing that I find adorable in a way I never have before.

Adorable Eric has done his tech magic to find out who owns the camera and warehouse, which Sam jumps on.

Under no circumstances can they stop investigating the fire since it almost killed two NCIS agents, Sam point out. Mosley doesn’t like being told to do like at all but she relents and gives them two hours to wrap this thing up.

Is that giant white thing in her office a lamp? It’s certainly… unique? It looks like… Um… Do y’all know in Agents of SHIELD when Simmons was on Maveth and she killed that creature that lived in the lake to eat? … Yeah, it looks like that.

…. Am I just really, really, a little TOO hyped from the new SHIELD on Friday and therefore it’s coloring everything I think or do? That’s not important.

Moving on. The team is infiltrating an office that Eric has connected to the warehouse. Hidoko and Sam are surveilling from a car, Callen and Jo are in a food truck, and Deeks and Kensi are inside acting as employees.

In the food truck, things are getting serious as Callen really doesn’t understand how she could put her family through this. “It’s your life Jo, but it’s also their’s.” She doesn’t like that one bit, and I feel like she should tell him to stop calling her Jo.

… BUT HE HAS A POINT, JO.

Deeks and Kensi have 3D mics set up so they can let Joelle hear everything around them - remember, she heard her captors talk so she should be able to recognize their voices. Deeks is delivering mail to desks and Kensi is… something. Serving coffee in meetings?

Wouldn’t the office notice totally new people just wandering around?

At Ops, Eric is fully nerding out at how cool the 3D mics make it feel like you’re in the room with Kensi and Deeks and wants Mosley to try them.

“You said it’s like being in a room with them? I’ve been in rooms. I’m in a room now.”

Man, she is stone cold.

Mail carrier Deeks is chatting people’s ears off in order to get them to talk to him so Joelle can hear as many voices as possible. Coffee deliverer (honestly, what is her role here?) is delivery coffee and snacks to a big board meeting and Joelle recognizes one of the voices. Her button cam pics up on his face and she confirms it’s him.

Oh look! It’s darlin’ guy! Turns out, darlin’ is Colton Leach, VP of Operations at this office. No indication he’s CIA, but he has interest in the middle east. Callen proposes next steps, but Mosley says the two hours are up.

And that’s a shame since a bunch of cars full of men in black hoods - is this all one big tie-in to Riverdale? - drive up and box in the food truck. Sam and Hidoko take out as many as they can and Callen goes to defend the door, reluctantly giving Joelle a gun. She jumps out immediately and runs inside the building to go after Leach.

Well, that trust didn’t last long. Callen keeps yelling for Jo.

Then there’s a quick commercial break where they run a Target commercial featuring with minions saying “bananas” over and over. A friend I’m watching this show with has now given the minions an elaborate backstory and proclaimed that they’re all yellow because they eat bananas. Sure, why not. Neither she or I have seen any of the minion movies, so for all I know, that’s accurate.

Sorry, focus. Back to the show. Callen taking out a bunch of guys at the scene, tells Kensi and Deeks what’s going on, then runs in behind Joelle.

Kensi grabs Leach and shows him her badge, but he’s flanked by two guys. That pretty much puts an end to that, and the three men leave, passing Deeks who is also unable to stop them.

Back outside, Sam and Hidoko are still exchanging gunfire and then they have a weird exchange where Hidoko says “He’s retreating,” and Sam says, “Push forward, watch for traps!”

… The whole thing looks like she’s in training or something. Then she sees a car with a burning rag sticking out of the tank and she yells “IED!” instead of bomb? Wouldn’t you just naturally scream bomb?

They run off away from the explosion, then she hits the ground and just stares at a car as it comes towards her. Sam shoots the driver and drags her out of the way. The whole thing was very bizarre and just a series of Sam saving the day.

On the roof of the building, Joelle is facing off with Leach, who’s shot in the stomach. I’m pretty sure she took out his security team and shot him. Callen shows up just in time to try to talk her out of point-blank killing the guy.

“As long as he’s alive my family will never be safe!” Joelle says, but Leach makes it clear that even if he dies, there’s an entire syndicate of people who are out to get her. They were never a group of CIA rogue operatives, the CIA was just a part owner of the group because it helped them secure overseas business ventures.

They wanted her to be a part of their group, not the CIA, Leach says. Civilian life doesn’t suit her, it’s all such a drag. He’s totally right and this plays into what she’s been arguing with Callen all week.

Leach suddenly draws his gun and shoots at Joelle, but Callen shoots him and takes him out.

Too late! Joelle was shot - in the EXACT same place as Leach - and she just instantly crumples to the ground and flutters her eyes. How. How?! Dude got shot in the same place and was able to deliver a whole evil soliloquy and she can’t even stand up straight for 3 seconds?

Callen grabs her and does the whole “stay with me, stay with me” routine, and she corrects him. Her name isn’t Jo… It’s Jane.

… Oh. I guess she’s dead then. Callen’s face can’t decide if it’s heartbroken or furious.

Later that night the entire team is back at the base except Callen, whom Sam informs the team is at the hospital with her body. As the team files out, I see that Kensi has apparently spent the last hour drawing in some unbelievably intense eyebrows.

Hidoko reports to Mosley that Leach’s team found Joelle’s location through Nick’s mistress, wrapping the case up neatly.

Why does Hidoko always wear shoulder holsters like Lara Croft?

“Nice work, Harley,” Mosley says… I just feel like there’s a history of something between these two that we don’t know about. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that these two aren’t fully on the up-and-up and they’re trying to do something bad to NCIS from within. That’s my big prediction.

The next day, Callen is parked outside Nick’s house again and as the camera pans past him, WAIT JOELLE IS IN THE CAR! Oh my gosh, I definitely did not see that coming.

“They deserve to know the truth,” Callen insists again.
“They deserve to be safe,” Joelle responds. “My death ensures that.”

Well lady, YOU NEVER SHOULD HAVE MARRIED HIM THEN. You just put your husband and kid through so much heartbreak. She’s literally watching her son cry over death… I’m not a mother, but I can’t imagine that a mother would be able to calmly sit there and watch that.

Joelle thinks the truth will come out after she’s hunted down the syndicate, which basically ensures we’ll see her again.

No new episode next week - so see you in two!





 
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