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NCIS: LA - Forasteira - Review: "Intercontinental Hot Potato"

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Note: Yes, I missed a few reviews over Christmas and New Year’s. But instead of skipping reviews, you know what I’m doing? POSTING ALL OF THEM. So here you go. I’ll be posting the few episodes I’ve missed in chronological order over the next few days, so double-check to make sure you’re about to read the recap of the episode you’re interested in. This recap is for “Forasteira,” which aired December 10.

We open on a woman wiping down a bar, I’m assuming she’s the owner or bartender based on her behavior. There’s a charming, good-looking college boy lightly flirting with her over a beer, as college boys who know they are charming and good looking often do.

The song “Baby” that was featured in Baby Driver is playing in the background. BTW, watching Baby singing and dancing around in his apartment is the moment I decided, “Okay, fine, maybe I don’t hate Ansel Engort after all.”

Back to the show: The buzzed kid is confessing his love to bartender Ellie and then heads out. Ellie checks on a drunk woman at the bar that for a good 30 seconds I think may actually be Kensi. She helps the woman into the bathroom, rolling her eyes at the men in the back who won’t leave.

Ellie suddenly stumbles out of the bathroom and collapses onto the businessmen - uh oh, what happened to Ellie!? I like her! - WAIT, NOW THEY’RE PLAYING “TEQUILA,” THAT’S FROM BABY DRIVER TOO. THE SAME EXACT REMIX. Y’all, the person picking music for this show clearly just saw Baby Driver.

So it turns out, drunk girl isn’t so drunk after all, and she pulls her best Mockingbird from Agents of SHIELD and absolutely takes those guys OUT in a glued-on red dress that I need in my life, NOW. She smiles and walks off, leaving an actual bomb in her wake. Bye, bye bar.


At the office, Kensi and Deeks are in the weapons room. Deeks is on the phone with his mom’s “special friend” - whose name is pronounced “Gi” (soft “g”) but spelled “Guy” - who’s been mugged and had his bag and laptop stolen. Deeks freaks out, thinking that maybe there’s pictures of his mom on there, and Kensi either agrees or plays along to watch him get flustered.

He runs off and demands his fiancĂ© cover for him because Mosley definitely can’t find out about him jumping ship in the middle of the day, which Kensi is super not into. Eric walks in with a case and Deeks heads out, telling them he hearts them both. It’s cute, but not cute enough for Kensi to forgive him for leaving her hanging.

Kensi explains away Deeks’ sudden departure to Eric with a very belabored shrug and an unconvincing, “It’s an LAPD thing.”

They head to the briefing room and Kensi explains that Deeks is at “LAPD sensitivity training” that’s supposed to take all day. I hope the lie snowballs and she’s got a thorough, 30-minute long backstory about his training by the end of this episode.

The Wonder Twins brief everyone on the fire bomb that went off in the middle of a popular bar in Hollywood and that two of the three victims have been identified as former marines. This is when Kensi drops the fact that gangs often recruit former military members for their fighting and weapons skills, and that’s a terrifying fact we just all collectively learned together.

At this point Mosley and her push-up bra stroll in and say Kensi and Hidoko should go to hospital to talk to someone who survived the explosion.

At the bar, Sam and Callen are picking through the ashes when Sam sees fuse from a thermite grenade. Well, that sounds pretty serious. Callen conveniently spots a nearby burned up hard drive, meaning there’s no security footage and that whoever did this knew exactly what they were doing.

The girls are at the hospital to visit Eleanor - OH IT’S ELLIE! YAY, ELLIE SURVIVED! She’s in full hair and makeup and acting like she’s reading to host a daytime talk show.

Ellie has cabin fever from sitting in bed through six episodes of Tiny House and she’s over it, so she quickly describes what happened the night before, focusing pretty primarily on the hot firefighters who saved her.

“Go get ‘em girls,” she cheers on Kensi and Hidoko as they leave.

I demand an entire show focused around Ellie, please and thank you.

The girls put together that since the bomber put Ellie in a fridge for the explosion, she was trying to protect innocents. Sam and Callen are busy at the crime scene developing man crushes on the insanely talented assassin who pulled this whole thing off, and…. Wait, dang, Callen’s eyes are really blue in this scene.

Sorry, back to the plot. So Kensi texts Callen to reveal that the assassin was a girl, and Sam and Callen basically fall in love.

Back at the office, Eric is eating a jelly powdered doughnut with the same intensity that I go after bacon cheeseburgers. Turns out he’s stress eating about how it’s completely impossible to find the mystery woman on any cameras.

He explains all this to Kensi and Hidoko, using his elbows to operate his tablet since his fingers are covered in powdered sugar. He has found where the thermite grenade originated; a case of them went missing about a year ago at a marine base and ATF suspected a guy named Jackson Horton.

I’m sure that was really important exposition, but I was too distracted by Kensi’s AMAZING ponytail in this scene. That volume, y’all. It was basically sticking straight up.

Still wading through the disaster zone, Sam and Callen are trying to figure out this woman got such amazing assassin skillz. Callen says he met a girl at a “bar like this” in Georgia, and I hope he means the state and not the country (I know he means the country), because that would be hilarious.

Oh, wait a sec! Time to see what Deeks is up to! He meets Guy at a park bench, where he is meditating in floral pants. Deeks treats his mom’s boyfriend with all the love he shows a hostile witness - he won’t touch him, keeps correcting him, etc.

Guy calmly tells Deeks the story of how he was mugged and says he’d like to get his laptop back because it has some workouts that he’s filmed with a “very special client.” Deeks looks like he wants to wash his brain out with bleach before insisting that he’ll do everything he can to find the laptop, since they wouldn’t want those “workouts” to end up online.

I’m assuming Guy knows exactly what Deeks suspects and is intentionally being vague just to freak him out.

And you guys, I just have to say it: Deeks needs a shave. He's extra shaggy this season, and this is one of several episodes where he’s off doing his own thing, so is he filming a movie or something?

Anyway. Sam and Callen are about to knock on the door of a person of interest in the case - as Callen clarifies that it was, in fact, Georgia the country where he met that chick at a bar - when gunfire starts flying through the windows out onto the street at them.

The partners run and duck behind a car and I’m assuming call for backup, because after the commercial break suddenly there’s a full squad NCIS bulletproof vest-clad guys with Sam and Callen banging down the door - that was fast.

The team breaches the home and contain the men who were shooting at them, interrupting their busy day of… Packing up drugs. And by “drugs,” I mean “A LOT of drugs.”

If I’ve learned anything from TV about packaging drugs, it’s that there should be a warehouse somewhere near here full of woman clad only in undergarments, wearing face masks and weighing drugs on an assembly line of fold-out tables.

The bad guys have left behind a phone that Sam pockets - the contact list only contains two names. Well that’s a heck of a phone case to use on a burner phone.

Kensi and Hidoku pull up to house and Hidoku suddenly opens up to Kensi how her new job was more than she expected. I like these rare moments where we get to learn more about Hidoko.

The women knock on Horton’s apartment and instead find him tied up in a nearby trailer. They untie him and he’s craaaaazy - he flirts, jokes around, says that a woman with a Spanish accent tied him up, and at no point does he feel the need to button up his shirt past his belly button.

They see a nearby open storage locker and check it out, and… Surprise! Mr. Flirtatious sure didn’t do a great job of hiding those stolen military weapons. There’s a huge stash that was recently raided by the mysterious woman, and judging by the fact that she stole MISSILE LAUNCHERS, she means business.

After all, as the agents explain, “Women only steal what they intend to use.” INTERESTING. Very interesting. Gonna file that one away, along with the whole “women use poison to murder” fact. (I’ve been listening to the podcast “My Favorite Murder” a lot lately, so I instantly latch onto every murder fact I hear.)

Back at HQ, Eric is going through all of the bar’s social media feed from night before and the mystery girl’s face is hidden in every single picture. Dang. I wish I had skill like that. The Wonder Twins have also finally ID’d the third victim, who was an employee at the Brazilian consulate.

Kensi assumes this means maybe the woman spoke with a Portuguese accent rather than Spanish and you just know she’s dying to show off her Portuguese language skills.

Mosley just casually strolls in, hands on her hips as always, and is suddenly in charge again. She happens to know the Brazilian Consulate General, so it’s time for everyone to put on their “big boy suits” as they go pay him a visit.

Cut to a dressed up Mosley walking into the consulate, flanked by Sam and Callen in suits and glasses.

Okay, honestly. This woman. This is the second time she’s done this - she goes in the field exclusively when she can dress up, flaunt her power, and get the two buff, attractive men she’s the boss of to serve her every beck and call. This is a woman who buys midnight screening tickets to all the Fifty Shades of Grey movies.

I’m… not impressed with her. At all. I haven’t been all season. Bring Hetty back. She at least sees the men as more than eye candy.*

*Yes, I recognize that like five seconds ago I remarked that Callen had really amazing blue eyes, but I also recognize that he’s a capable agent, and what else, oh yeah, I’M NOT HIS BOSS.

Anyway, the Brazilian Consulate General proves my point when he refers to Sam and Callen as “her sidekicks” and she just smirks. Ugh. She’s the worst. Sam and Callen are becoming increasingly obvious with their negative opinion, too.

With the guys hanging back in the hall, Mosley and the General slip straight into flirtation mode. (I just want everyone to know that my notes for this episode at this point read: “Mos & General flirt. Mos is the worst. I should be nicer! ...She has a lovely smile.”)

So Mosley, who has a lovely smile, tries to steer the conversation to the employee who died at the bar. General Souza says they discovered he had been spending time with “unsavory individuals” and they believe he was at the bar planning the Souza’s assassination. Interesting!

Meanwhile, the partners are still hanging in the lobby, grumbling about how they hate life without Hetty. Two guys stroll in whom Callen and Sam instantly assume are connected to all of this, so Sam excuses himself to walk around the corner and dial one of the two numbers on the blinged out cocaine phone. Sure enough, a phone starts ringing in the pocket of one of the guys in the lobby. Sam returns to the lobby, having been not gone nearly long enough to make his excuse for leaving the room seem plausible. You’re slipping, Sam.

Time to see what’s up in Deeks’ world! He’s at a juice bar - that seems about right - with Guy when he receives a call that the bag and all the stolen items have been recovered. Hooray! Guy is also happy, especially that his sketchbook has been recovered. When Deeks grimaces and asks what type of things he likes to draw, Guy says he likes to “dabble in nudes.”

Deeks’ reaction is appropriate, “Seriously, it just does not end with you!” as is Guy’s answering grin. He knows exactly what he’s doing to Deeks.

They transition into a brief moment of seriousness: Guy says Deeks’ mother worries about him, making this yet another episode in which either Deeks or Kensi are forced to face the reality of dangerous their jobs are. He also says that he really loves Deeks’ mom, so he’ll watch out for her. They share a moment of understanding what they’ll do for the woman they love before the cop stands and decides he’s had enough bonding for one day.

Also, the mango juice he bought Guy was $14, which is a) absurd, and b) $14 more than anyone should ever pay for anything mango-flavored. (Feel free to fight me in the comments section, I think it’s one of the worst flavors.)

Callen has returned to the office at this point while Sam and Mosley are still at the consulate trying to convince the General it’s not safe for him to stick around. Eric briefs the team on a bombing that Souza blamed on a man named Carlos Rey, so they start postulating that maybe Rey is mad he’s been blamed and wants to assassinate Souza, or there’s something even darker going on. No matter what, they are “playing intercontinental hot potato,” says Kensi, subbing in for her absent partner’s antics.

During all of this, there’s a random scarf that’s just hanging from the wrought iron next to Kensi’s desk and it’s odd. Why is it there? I’ve never once seen her wear a scarf.

They decide to use Souza as bait for the assassin and come up with a plan: Sam will drive a motorcade to attract the assassin’s attention, while Souza will actually be snuck out in a food truck, driven by Nell. Eric and Mosley, who exclusively stands with her hand on her hips and HAS A LOVELY SMILE, are watching footage of the whole thing at headquarters.

The plan goes off without a hitch, right up until our mysterious assassin stands in the middle of the road and straight-up FIRES A ROCKET LAUNCHER at the car Sam is driving.

Kensi, who was in the car with Hidoko behind Sam, fires at her and takes off chasing her. Sam, for reasons I will never understand, is absolutely fine. Just temporarily knocked out. Okay, then.

Kensi chases after the girl and they end up in a high-rise that’s under construction and start a fantastic fistfight. Because what else happens at construction sites in TV shows. Both women are BRUTAL and this is really intense and very fun to watch. The assassin has beautiful, big eyes and looks a little like a Portuguese Emilia Clarke. Pause it, you know I’m right.

Anyway, the woman are giving it their all - which would probably be even more if they weren’t wearing heeled boots. Hidoko hasn’t quite made it in to help Kensi yet, who gets thrown against a wall. Dang, Deeks is gonna be mad when he sees her injuries.

Kensi is just really showing off how awesome she is at this point, and I’m loving this. Can we just do a solid hour of Kensi and an equally-skilled girl just fighting each other? Atomic Blonde-style, fight until no one can even stand up straight?

The assassin starts to strangle Kensi and says she’s trying to kill Souza because he’s poisoning her people - at least I think that’s what she said, there’s a lot going on. She escapes and runs off.

At the boat shed, Sam helps Kensi wrap up her ribs as the gang all tries to figure out why the assassin didn’t just kill her. (Again, another reference to how dangerous their jobs are.) There’s also a fair amount of comforting Kensi, who is a bit ticked she didn’t win the fight. Hidoko seems to be part of the team now, fully on the agents’ side.

Apparently part of what the assassin said that I didn’t understand was that Souza is, or was, selling cocaine - that’s the poison she was talking about. Eric calls in with a discovery: the assassin’s name is Pietra Ray, her father was gunned down in 2002 and she believes Souza is responsible for his death. She got her deadly skills training with a militia group.

Mosley and Souza show up to the boat shed and she loudly announces their presence. They bring Souza into the interrogation room and Mosley perches in the corner, overseeing everything. Souza says he doesn’t know Pietra but he knows her father was a dangerous man. He denies all involvement with the Brazilian drug trade, but I’m not so sure I believe him.

Right as Eric discovers that Kensi’s phone - which Pietra took during their fight - is only half a mile away, Pietra calls in. She wants everyone out of the building because she’s going to send another missile at the place.

As Callen starts barking orders, Kensi decides she can handle this and runs off to talk Pietra down. The team escorts Souza upstairs, which is apparently the safest part of the building because Hetty reinforced the walls up there... Really? Why wouldn't they just jump through the hole in the baseboards of the interrogation room and swim away? Pietra wouldn’t see them leave.

Kensi has found Pietra and runs up behind her, gun drawn, and starts trying to talk down the assassin with amazing cheekbones. She tries to stall for time as there’s a situation at the boat shed - Souza has flipped the script. Turns out, I was right not to trust him about the whole drugs thing.

He’s got Mosley hostage and she gets Sam to drop ropes on his head to knock him out. Yay! Glad she could do that.

Kensi is still talking Pietra down and telling her how when she was a teenager, her dad was murderd. Wait, what?!?! Did we know thi- oh yeah, we did. Okay, nvm. She’s spilling her guts to this girl, saying that the anger no longer has any control over her.

“I know you believe this is the moment you’ve been waiting for your entire life, but if you make this decision, it doesn’t change anything. Making the right decision, right now, that will change everything.” Well said.

Kensi speaks to her in Portuguese - I knew she was just waiting to do that - and eventually Pietra surrenders.

Callen is impressed, but I don’t know why, since Kensi’s always been awesome. Everyone says they’re good, except Mosley, who says that she broke a heel. The writers are doing this on purpose now, right?

The case is wrapping up as Souza and Pietra get carted away. She’ll testify against him and help him go away for a long time. Which is great, but she also committed murder, so… It’s not gonna be all sunshine and rainbows for her.

Sam and Callen offer to take Kensi out for a drink and she says thanks but not thanks, and says “love you” as she bids them adieu for the evening. I know they all love each other, but I was surprised - it’s not usually just so casually tossed around.

Kensi heads back to the office, where Deeks finally shows up, sees that her face is completely destroyed, and is concerned that she know looks like Owen Wilson. (His words, not mine.)

His fiancĂ© is just happy she saved a life today and got to use her Portuguese. Called it! Deeks thinks it’s sexy.

Speaking of sexy, he presents Kensi with Guy’s sketchbook and wants her to take a gander. She flips through a few pages before seeing something and freaking out. Deeks was right! There are naked drawings of his mom!

He grabs it and rushes to the incinerator, with Kensi chasing behind him, begging for him to spare the art, which she compares to Rose in Titanic.

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