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NCIS: LA - Where Everybody Knows Your Name - Review: “Honorable to the End”

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We open on two people in a morgue - morticians, I assume? They’re loading a body into the into the wall of coffins… Is there a name for that? There must be a name for that. The woman is lecturing the younger guy, who is clearly new, on how to do his job.

Oh, I guess they’re actually nurses, as she “trains” him by comparing their jobs to Grey’s Anatomy. As they walk away, a women with short short blonde hair and flashlight sneaks into the room and opens a drawer in the Wall of Coffins (that’s my official name for it) to pull out a guy with Semper Fi tattoo.

After the credits, we seE WAIT WHAT OH MY GOSH NELL AND ERIC ARE IN BED TOGETHER. SERIOUSLY. THEY ARE IN BED TOGETHER. They’re all dressed up with hair and makeup and costumes, which makes me assume they were just at a cosplay convention the night before. And maybe they just crashed in bed after a long night of fandom partying. But, NO it’s possible they were just dressed up for a little - ahem, personal cosplay, if you will - because they reference being hungover and when Eric says “Can we kick it,” Nell is like, “well, duh,” and nods at the bed.

Wait, WHAT!?!

So it turns out the reason Eric said “Can we kick it” is because he has an app on his phone that goes off every once in a while to remind him that they can all kick the bucket at any time. 

Well, that’s dark. Also, the fake eyelashes on the painted side of Nell’s face match the face paint well the other ones are normal. That’s dedication.

So….. These two are definitely together. That was an unexpected start to the episode.

Cut to a couple we are familiar with. Kensi and Deeks are doing some odd workout I’ve never seen holding these weighted bars, talking about their wedding. The workout looks silly and only in L.A. could you get away with doing something like this in public and not get made fun of.

Deeks spills some truth, “Baby, I want a bar.” At Kensi’s snorting, Deeks goes in with his pitch, “This is the American dream; you love hot appetizers, I love a good dive.” Kensi essentially rolls her eyes and calls it unrealistic. If Deeks is serious about this, he’s going to be a bit more serious in his approach.

On to our final couple, Callen and Sam stroll into work making fun of a hipster coffee shop. Mosley chimes in on the light-hearted zingers WTIH THE FIRST REAL HUMAN CONVERSATION SHE’S HAD ALL SEASON. 

Dang, where did this Mosley come from?

Callen gets a call from Agent Zoe Morris, and it’s clear she’s not easy to work with. Morris says the FBI has found the dead body of a former Marine and would like to work the case with NCIS. WHY IS MOSLEY ACTING SO NORMAL IN THIS SCENE

Zoe, who it turns out is the short blonde chick we saw at the Wall of Coffins, is waiting for them at the boat shed. I definitely can’t stand her already. She seems very annoying. And, I think we’ve seen her before in previous episodes? It’s clear that Callen also finds her annoying when he says “hard pass” at her offer to send him a link to her blog.


Anyway, Morris thinks the Marine died because he came in contact with a nerve agent, but she has no evidence to back it up. Sam and Callen go with her to the morgue, where the body in question is gone.

The sheet that had been covering his body was left behind by whoever took him, so they send that off to the lab to get it tested for any nerve agents in order to confirm or disprove Zoe’s theory.

Zoe, I should point out, continues to be the annoying, overeager college roommate you wanted to kill about five minutes into orientation week.

Nell and Eric have somehow gotten ahold of the missing Marine’s backpack and are going through it in the lab. It reminds me of the “You’re Beautiful” music video by James Blunt because they’re just laying a handful of small items in a row. He didn’t have much to speak of, no ID or credit cards, no jewelry or watch, and just had jeans and a plain white t shirt. 

While everyone else is eager to throw him under the bus for being involved with something drug-related, Kensi romanticizes his lifestyle. She says she’s going to continue defending him, because she’s rooting for him since he was a Marine.

In his pocket they find a napkin for a coffee truck and obviously they head out to investigate. The shocked cashier identifies him as Gabe and gives them his address. Just once, I’d love for a clue to be for a restaurant someone visited like three days ago for the first time ever, and it is in no way their regular spot, and none of the waiters have any pertinent information.

Back at the Wall of Coffins™, the medical examiner is describing how he was knocked out when the Marine’s body was taken. Zoe flirts with him to get information, and it’s unbelievably cringeworthy. Also are M.E.s in TV shows are always so, so, so weird.

All he’s able to reveal is that the guys who took the body had Spanish accents. Great. So their suspects could be almost anyone in L.A.

Mosley drives up in her Porsche to drop a bomb on them: word has just come down that dear little Zoe is working an unsanctioned FBI case and she’s convinced Sam and Callen to go rogue with her.

Zoe scrambles to explain: The FBI received an anonymous tip that someone was moving an opioid through port that was just as destructive as the nerve gas she described. The M.E. called her when the Marine’s body showed up, showing signs of overdose. 

Callen talks out the Zoe situation with Hetty. They debate if what Zoe did was right, but Hetty pretty much shuts him up when she reminds Callen that he’s done the same thing a bajillion times. 

Nell pops up with lab results, and honestly I don’t care, because EXPLAIN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ERIC. Turns out, Zoe was right: Gabe was died of exposure to the opioid. When Zoe’s boss shows up to drag her back to the FBI, Callen steps up to defend her, saying that she’s already an important part of their joint task force.

Zoe beams, and after hearing that Callen is backing her up, she’s significantly less annoying the rest of the episode. 

Densi and Hidoko head to Gabe’s apartment and see a dude with a gun sneaking out of it. They chase after him and as they handcuff him, we learn that he has great chemistry with the two agents. Honestly, these three could have a show of their own. They drag him to the boat shed, where Deeks is now telling the entire team that he’s buying a bar. 

Kensi continues to roll her eyes at her fiancé’s plans, saying not to take him seriously. “There’s been a lot of ideas before, and there’ll be a lot after.” 

Kensi, I don’t think he’s kidding with this one. Also, Deeks would be an excellent bartender.

Meanwhile, Callen and Sam are grilling the guy who was sneaking around Gabe’s apartment. He finally cops to what he was doing, which was searching for drugs. Apparently, someone stole drugs from his boss Raul, and he had been tasked with finding the drugs. So, Gabe stole the opioids that ultimately killed him. But whY/

Raul apparently owns a nursery, so it’s time to hunt him down.

Back at the office, Nell and Eric, WHO STILL HAVEN’T LOOKED DIRECTLY AT THE CAMERA AND EXPLAINED ANYTHING TO THE AUDIENCE, are still discussing the idea of bucket lists. Nell has a sudden crises that she’s never seen any beautiful, historical art, like the Sistine Chapel, etc., and Eric says they can go see it together, and leans in to kiss her.


Hetty walks in, interrupting, but I’m sure she’s known what’s going on this whole time. The Wonder Twins - who are going to have to get a less incestuous nickname - brief her on Gabe: Gabe Schroder was an successful and respected Marine squad leader who had a really rough time after returning home. He was in and out of jobs, and in and out of rehab, and this serves as a somber reminder that this isn’t unusual in our country. “He was a decorated war vet who died with nothing,” Eric says sadly.

Schroder was a security guard at Raul’s nursery, so there’s our Raul connection. Deeks and Kensi check out the nursery with Zoe. At one point, Zoe references an ex-boyfriend, and Deeks calls him, “the one that couldn’t get away.” That’s fantastic.

Deeks and Kensi distract the employee at the nursery while Zoe searches the back for the drugs. She doesn’t find any, but she does find a truck with a bunch of take out menus stuck in it’s windshield wipers. One of these is for a restaurant called “I’m Ok, You’re Poke,” and I get a good chuckle out of it. 

On a hunch, Zoe adds a tracker on the truck and sneaks off, very proud of herself.

In ops, Nell and her very serious boyfriend, I guess, Eric, have gotten into the nursery’s accounts and found a payment connected to a storage facility. It’s always the storage facility! Callen and Sam check it out and get into a firefight with a bunch of guys wandering through the halls. They spot Raul, but he runs off with a duffle bag in hand. That must’ve been the drugs! 

The partners go back into the storage room and find evidence that someone had been living there. They make a VERY big leap and decide that Schroder must’ve called in the anonymous tip to the FBI, then when they did nothing, he stole the drugs himself to keep them from getting on the street and just sat on them. That’s how he wound up getting exposed to the drugs.

That is - again - a HUGE leap, but it turns Schroder from a villain into a hero, so I’ll take it. They describes him as “honorable to the end.” 

They know Raul was opening a restaurant downtown but don’t know the exact location. But Zoe remembers all of the menus stuck on the truck, and Nell triangulates all of their locations, and they figure Raul’s restaurant must be in that area. SO “I’M OK, YOU’RE POKE” WAS INTEGRAL TO SOLVING THIS CASE. 

The team breaches the restaurant and it’s very, very clear as Zoe follows Sam and Callen in that she has absolutely no training on this sort of thing. They spot Raul with the bag of drugs and exchange gunfire inside his fancy restaurant that will now never actually be a restaurant.

Raul somehow - is this dude just impervious to bullets? - runs off but Callen’s got this under control. They have this amazing tire spike thing that is spring-loaded so he can’t stop until it’s too late. Right as he drives in front of him, they hit the button, lay the spikes out, and he runs over them and skids to a stop. Raul gets out and brings the drugs with him, ripping open the bag as they shoot at him. 

So he collapses in the drug as the team backs away, covering their face so as not to ingest the drugs that - quick reminder - have the same affects as a nerve agent. Fun!

Quick note: That spring-loaded spike strip thing was cool, but when Callen yanked it out of his trunk, the rest of the trunk was completely empty. So you mean to tell me that out of what must be a dozen different very cool and very handy hi-tech toys NCIS could be stashing in their car at any given moment, they just happened to be carrying the exact one that they needed? Cool.

As the case is wrapped up, they give Schroder a funeral worthy of a Marine, with military salutes and all. The give Hetty the folded up flag - which seems odd, but I guess it’s just another reminder that this was yet another vet who was coming home to no one - and the team decides to go out for drinks together. 

And wouldn’t you know, Deeks has this really great place in mind…

He takes them into what is clearly an empty, deserted bar in a recently condemned building. It also happens to be his bar. That he bought. With that Ethercoin money from a few episodes ago. 

Wow. Deeks did it, y’all. He bought a bar. And he looks good with that towel over his shoulder.

He’s also very nervous about his fiancee’s reaction to all of this, as he calls Kensi “baby” about 15 times until she finally gives in and agrees that they bought a bar! The team clinks glasses, saying cheers for both the couple and in memory of Schroder.

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