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NCIS: LA - Under Pressure - Review: "Do Your Job"

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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. Double-check to make sure you’re about to read the recap of the episode you’re interested in. This recap is for “Under Pressure,” which aired January 7.

We open on a guy motorbiking through the mountains. He looks vaguely like the guy from I’ll Be Home for Christmas who has now started his own cult. He gets off the dirt bike and is walking around then trips over a rock and… OH DANG dude just spontaneously burst into flames.. Okay, then.

I have just now realized that Deeks makes direct eye contact with camera in the opening credits.

At the office, Deeks and Kensi are arguing; there’s a game that Deeks says will make them all better agents and Kensi is super not into it. He proposes a riddle and it basically involves everyone figuring out what’s going on with this dude pushing a car up to a hotel. The gang throw some suggestions around, but no go.

We’ll have to put the riddle on hold, as they’ve got a case. Mosley is posing in the corner as Nell talks them through the brush fire that we saw in the opening credits. The cause of blaze is military-grade napalm, which turns this from a small fire to a giant problem.

What’s going on with Kensi’s hair - it’s all tousled and fun. I just go my hair permed (yeah, that’s right,) and the fact that my hair looks somewhat similar to Kensi’s right now is thrilling me. I’m more proud of this than I can properly explain.

Deeks has to rush off to an LAPD mandatory training course, making this yet another episode he’s missing for most of the plot. I’m enjoying the Hidoko/Kensi partnership, though! Deeks grumbles about LAPD protocol, but he sticks with it because of the dental plan. I can’t be the only one who thought of his torture at that comment, am I?

Sam and Callen are searching the torched field and find the bike’s VIN number. Callen calls it in, activating the Wonder Twins powers, and they discover it’s registered to Zack Fuller, age 20.

Kensi and Hidoko go to visit Fuller’s landlord, who lets them in without a search warrant. “The boy is dead, do your job.” I bet cops wish they heard this all the time.

He kept a tidy room and ran an aquarium cleaning business, most of the supplies for which he bought off of the landlord. Huh. That’s kinda cool. The agents find ingredients in his closet to make huge quantities of napalm… So the question is, who has the napalm now.

Nell and Eric are still flying through their research about Fuller. The most interesting fact they’ve found is that he has absolutely no digital footprint whatsoever. No credit cards, no social media, he even paid his income tax in cash at a 7-11. Okay, whoa. I had no idea you could do that.

The only way to contact him for aquarium cleaning jobs was through his landlord or meeting him at a coffee shop - he had standing availability at the local coffee shop at 8 am every morning. Interesting.

Side note: Apparently the entire team is on coms with each other and with Mosley literally the entire episode. She can somehow see and hear every single thing any of them do. That’s… Okay, it’s time for her to go.

Sam and Callen head to the coffeeshop where they encounter a barista whom I do not have one single positive word for. He’s like 100,000 Mosleys, all together. That’s how awful he is. But he finally says that Fuller would sometimes sit with this girl Amanda, who’s currently enjoying her morning coffee.

The men go to introduce themselves and break the news of Zack’s death. Amanda is upset, but says she shut him down every time he tried to talk to her. She’s just a student working on her philosophy paper, nothing to see here. Callen and Sam can instantly tell she’s lying.

Meanwhile, Kensi and Hidoko are paying a visit to a solar panel installation company that Zack was a client of. And WHOA OH MY GOSH YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Y’ALL. THIS GUY WAS IN I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS I’M NOT KIDDING. OH MY GOSH. What are the chances that the sole time I’ve mentioned that movie in the last decade happens in the same recap where an actor from it actually shows up. Oh my gosh. Oh my GOSH oh my gosh.

Ahem. Sorry about that. But dang that’s a weird coincidence.

Anyway, I’ll Be Home for Christmas guy is named Gavin and his son is Carson. Carson is cute. Cute Carson vaguely remembers dropping off some solar panels for Zack to install himself (which is very difficult to do,) and spotted a book on his desk that “might’ve been the Quran.”

At the office, Sam and Callen are looking through security footage and they discover that Zack and Amanda often had very long conversations at the coffee house. They zoom in on Amanda’s laptop and see she’s logged into an anonymous chatroom called Hot Mirror.

… That’s a very specific fake name. Is that supposed to be a fake version of a real website that I don’t know about?

They check it out to see that Amanda is getting torn to shreds on this site and is dealing with all sorts of cyber bullying. Which is awful and may also be motivation for her to convince Zack to bomb the school… Wait, the high school? This chick is in high school? No way. That’s a college sophomore, at least. C’mon.

The agents go to Amanda’s house where her mom, a firefighter, answers the door. They share the Hot Mirror comments with the mom who is absolutely heartbroken at what’s being said about her daughter. She knew kids teased her about her weight, but figured if Amanda ignored it, it’d go away.

“We’re sensitive to her situation,” Callen explains, “Butt our concern is Amanda might be looking to get some sort of revenge.” By burning down the entire school.

The “Quran” that Carson saw on Zack’s desk turned out to just be a Hindi book describing reef fish of the Indian Ocean, so there ya go. But Hidoko and Kensi found a torn receipt for another nepalm ingredient in his room… And they’re basically teaching us how to build a bomb at this point.

Mosley literally freaking yells at Kensi about the missing piece of the receipt. “Find it! That piece of paper might solve the case!” Ugh.

Amanda gets home, where she has absolutely no interest in discussing her bullying with her mother and two attractive military agents. I don’t blame her.

Sam wants to know if Zack talked to her about burning down the school, but she denies it. She’s absolutely shocked. Yes, they occasionally talked at the coffee shop and he would get mad that she was being bullied, but that’s it.

Sam and Callen assume that maybe we’ve got a Romeo on our hands; Zack independently decided to blow up the school in order to defend his crush.

Kensi and Hidoko are still at Zack’s place, going through the trash and recycling piece by piece. Which makes me wonder why they think the receipt is even there - maybe it ripped off at the store’s register.

The girls compare stories about how they were bullied in high school since that’s this week’s theme, and oh look! It’s the receipt! Surprise. They track down security footage of him purchasing this napalm ingredient and see that he’s with another guy - betcha it’s Carson, who tried to turn this thing into a terrorist witch hunt.

As Sam and Callen leave Amanda’s, they’re casually strolling down the driveway and joking around, which you know means something is about to happen. And that something is a GIANT EXPLOSION IN THE BACKYARD.

When the firefighters show up, they blame it on a natural gas leak, but Amanda grabs the agents to lead them to a potted plant in the backyard. They lift the pot to reveal a giant hole Zack had drilled down 30 feet. Turns out they were going to get back at her bullies: he wanted to tap into a natural gas pocket to make a slow leak into school. There wouldn’t be an explosion, just nausea and headaches.

Callen and Sam decide Zack was planning on pouring nepalm down the hole into the natural gas pocket to turn the entire city into a 4-mile blast crater. Yikes.

After a bit of Wonder Twins magic, they find that Zack’s helper is… drumroll please… Carson! I win. Eric makes a “Is that your something-or-other or are you just happy to see me?” joke, which makes Nell giggle and Mosley say, “Don’t make me send you to HR. Inappropriate.”

Okay, so vaguely dirty jokes are out. In twelve episodes, the only thing we know that Mosley actually enjoys is getting dressed up and lording her power over the men on her team.

Sam and Callen (whom I’ve started to refer to as Cam and Sallen in my episode notes, for some reason,) head off to the solar panel company, which is called “Gavin and Sun.” Okay, that’s pretty funny.

The father/son team isn’t there, but a model rocket engine is, which means these guys are prepared to fire napalm into that natural gas pocket. Bye, bye, LA.

Eric and Nell discover that back in the day the dad had a few radical protest incidents under his belt, all connected to protecting the planet. It seems he believes it’s worth a few thousand people losing their life if it extends the life of the planet. They also find a dark web site the dad contributes to in which he basically warns residents of Bayside to flee by sunset.

Nell has some insane cheekbones that are very obvious in this scene. I want to see what she looks like without bangs. Is that rude? I don’t mean to be rude. I think she’s lovely as she is. I just am jealous of the cheekbones and I want to see just how jealous I should be, basically.

The team heads to Bayside - Nell flying a drone to oversee the whole thing. Meanwhile, Amanda has gone missing. As everyone starts to panic, Mosley casually reveals that she has a friend of a friend who has a map of all the old oil well sites, which really narrows down where the Bayside Boys may be targeting.

They fly the drone over one of the oil wells and see three people are on top of it in a detached garage. All the agents (minus Deeks, of course) pull up and surround the place. Kensi goes to talk to the nearby construction crew as Sam and Callen head into the garage.

Sure enough, Gavin and Sun are in the garage, poised over a hole with a rocket launcher aiming down. That’s scary. Amanda is tied up in a corner, crying her eyes out. Man, that girls gonna need some help when she gets out of here.

Callen and Sam try to buy time and demand to know why they’re doing this. Gavin’s plan is to wipe out LA’s natural gas supply so they have to convert to solar and wind. When thousands die, it’ll just thin out the herd of people using Earth’s resources. They think they’ll live as martyrs. Oh, gosh.

Just as Carson goes to light the rocket, a stream of concrete comes pouring in through the skylight (do people in LA usually have skylights in their garage?), extinguishing the flame and filling the hole. Guess talking to those construction workers really paid off.

Everyone is chilling back at the office when Deeks returns, showing off his wounds from air soft guns used in training. And by “showing off his wounds,” I mean “uses everything as an excuse to flex and grin.”

In his absence, the team has solved his riddle, which is that the person pushing a car to a hotel was playing Monopoly. Deeks’ pride in his team’s abilities is short lived as they confess that they just Googled the answer. I can’t be mad at that; I tried to Google an answer for HQ Trivia last night. But there isn’t enough time! It’s almost as though they put a time limit in there on purpose.

The team goes out for drinks and pause, thinking they should invite Mosley. Callen shuts that down immediately, “Mmmm, she looks busy to me.” Ha!

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