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NCIS: LA - Vendetta - Review: "The Entire Cake Crumbles"

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I guess we’re not revisiting the horror show of last week, because we open this week Sokolov’s sister walking to a private room at a fancy restaurant. Turns out, her lovely brother is security waiting for her. He knows she did something to betray him and she freaks out and texts Arkady.

Cut to Callen in bed at home, where he still hasn’t gotten around to buying furniture. He wakes to someone banging on the door. It’s the man in question himself, Arkady! He asks if Anna is there, which is a valid question because, YEAH, NCIS:LA WRITERS, WHERE IS CALLEN’S GIRLFRIEND? It’s like she’s the child on a sitcom and they’ve conveniently forgotten she.

Arkady tells Callen that Vladlena Sokolov texted him. When Callen wants to know why he was woken up so his invisible girlfriend’s dad could brag about a booty call, Arkady is insistent this was a cry for help. Callen’s knee-jerk reaction is that Abram Sokolov is out of the country, and they know that since they’re tracking him.

Nevertheless, he brings Arkady to the Boat Shed and calls Mosley in. For reasons I can’t figure out other than comedic effect, Arkady takes a shower there and spends the majority of this scene wearing a shower lady-style (wrapped around his chest,) which shows off his farmer’s tan.

It turns out the Overwatch spray that was tracking Sokolov has worn off, but the last location they had for him was out of the country. Mosley doesn’t bite on Arkady’s whole text message theory, but she gives Callen permission to track it down before she peaces out.

Callen Skypes into the office where everyone is grossed out from seeing shirtless Arkady, especially Hetty, whom Arkady apparently likes to visit while drunk and sing at her door. Once the team is caught up on what’s going on, they determine that Leah Winters - the woman who helped them catch Arkady last time - it in trouble. Hetty suggests they send Eric in undercover at the bank where she works to watch over here. “What’s the worst that could happen,” she asks when everyone reacts in surprise.

A rousing endorsement.

Even though they have no proof Arkady has entered the US, Ops tracks down a likely hotel he would visit if he were to return. Eric gets nervous and anxious that he’s going undercover so he begs Sam and Callen for help, and their main advise is that he should cut down on the caffeine.

Kensi and Deeks have gone to the restaurant where Vladlena was last seen, and it’s clear Deeks is familiar with the place. Kensi gets all worked up that he took a woman there for a date once - or many times, based on the hostess recognizing him - but it turns out he was scoping out potential venues for their wedding. Chagrined, she follows Deeks into the private room where Vladlena dined. When the spot blood spatter on the curtain, they decide to believe Arkady’s story and assume Abram Sokolov is really in the country. Which means Leah Winter is definitely in danger.

At the bank, Eric (sans glasses) introduces himself to Leah Winters and starts working on her computer. She’s clearly distracted by something and keeps fiddling with a lighter. When she leaves, Eric talks through everything on her computer with Nell via coms.

Callen and Sam, plus a day-drinking Arkady, is lounging the lobby of the swanky hotel where they think Sokolov would frequent. And I’ve either been in this lobby or seen this lobby in another TV show, because this looks very, very familiar.

They spot a suspicious man carrying a gun, so Callen starts following him, as do Sam and Arkady. The gun guy runs into a stairwell, and I’m sorry, but at this point it’s very obvious they’re following him. He enters a hotel room and when Callen and Sam follow him in, where they find - oh, surprise! It’s Anna! His girlfriend! She’s hanging out with shady gun guy in a room with a map on the wall.

Callen reasonably asks why his girlfriend is chilling in a hotel room with some dude and she says she’s working with her partner Gary on a case for the ATF. After the introductions are made, Gary seems surprised that Anna has a boyfriend. S they’re working the same case. No one seems happy about this.

Side note: Nell pronounces the banker’s name as “Lea,” but some of the other characters pronounce it “Leah,” so I’m not sure what her name it.

At the office, Mosley visits Hetty, who assures her that Eric is up to the task. “How do you know when someone like Eric is ready,” Mosley asks, which is fair. Hetty admits he’s an outlier, but just as important as the rest of the team. “You leave one ingredient out of the recipes and the entire cake crumbles.”

In the hotel room room, Anna’s awful accent is explaining how they think Sokolov has stolen a lot of cigarettes and that sale is going to be his money-making scheme in this episode. Her partner Gary is dumb and hilarious.

At the bank, the jig is up. Eric explains what’s going on to Leah, who is upset this she has to deal with all of this. They bring her into the Boat Shed, where she keeps messing with that dang lighter. Is is a USB or something?

They still have to find Vladlena, but Arkady has a suggestion: a friend of a friend of his knows a psychic who said they saw Sokolov this morning at a spa. Amidst all of this is a quick convo between Sam and Callen about the state of Callen’s rocky relationship with Anna. Good, I’m glad they finally addressed it!

Sam and Callen go to the closed spa where Sokolov was “spotted” and Anna and Gary pulll up. The four split up to search the spa, with Sam taking Gary so Callen can grill Anna about her partner under the guise of making sure he has her back. He says it’s been a while since they’ve hung out, but Anna says not to read too much into it. Well, alright… I don’t know about this…

The four agents enter the spa with weapons drawn, and they find Vladlena tied up in a sauna. She confirms it was her brother and admits that she told him everything… Including that Leah Winters helped put him away. So she went from probably to 100% definitely in danger.

There’s a quick scene at the office where Nell explains like 12 hours work too investigative work to Mosley in about 10 seconds. Suffice it to say, Nell’s brilliant and basically running the show on her own, and Mosley’s impressed.

WHAT IS ANNA’S ACCENT. It’s switched like 5 times in this episode.

Vladlena and Arkady jump in an ambulance to take her to the hospital, but her beloved brother runs them off the road and pulls a gun on them. He calls up Anna in the Boat Shed and proposes a simple exchange: Her dad for Leah/Lea.

The setting of this exchange will be Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Yay! Cool scenery! The team figures out that he doesn’t really care about Leah - he just wants money. Which means the bank is the next target and the exchange was just a distraction.

Eric tries to evacuate the building, but hilariously, absolutely no one believes him or listens to anything he says. They even call security on him. So Hidoko walks in, flashes her badge, and everyone books it out of there.

… Couldn’t he have just pulled the fire alarm?

The only person left in the building when Sokolov arrives is Eric, who is very chill until they pull a gun on him. So… HIDOKO PULLS THE FIRE ALARM!!

Dang, I am good this episode. I called Anna and I called the fire alarm.

This may shock you, but the bad guy ignores the fire alarm, and tells Eric to transfer $13 million into his account.

Callen and Sam peel into the parking lot with Anna and Garry. They join Hidoko and run in to take down Sokolov’s men. Eric and Solokov, alone in an office, are surprised by the action in the lobby. Sokolov drops the gun and runs off. Anna gives chase and Callen follows.

People are still firing in his direction, so when Eric sees the abandoned gun on the ground, he grabs it and fires back, taking them down. The camera slows down and everything’s in slo-mo, so this is obviously a big moment for Eric. I don’t know that he’s ever shot anyone before? For some reason, I really thought we had already done this as an entire storyline at some point.

Anna and her accent reach Sokolov and make him get on his knees. When he reaches for his waistband - and presumably a weapon - she shoots him. The camera cuts away so we don’t see exactly what happens here, but Callen arrives shortly after the shot… And discovers that Anna just killed an unarmed man.

At the bank, everyone is complimenting Eric on his job and calling him Bulletproof Beale. When Nell checks on him, he says that he’s cool, so clearly he’s made peace with what he had to do. When they ask Callen what happened to Sokolov, he merely grimaces and says, “Anna got him.”

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