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NCIS: LA - Season 9 Wrap-Up - Review: “At Least One Last Time”

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Welcome back, NCIS: LA fans! I am so excited for the team to come back tonight, and I know you are, too. Here’s a quick recap of the final episodes of season nine to refresh your memory before tonight.

Episode 22, “Venganza” mostly served as a set-up to the upcoming big two-part finale. In addition to the team solving the case of the week, the plot revolved around relationships. Sam reconnects with Nicole, who is now working at NCIS: San Diego. Callen and Anna finally address the elephant in the room when Anna tells him that when he’s called in by Internal Affairs for questioning, he should be completely honest: When he arrived at the scene, Sokolov was already dead and Anna was holding the gun. He seems reluctant, knowing what this will do to her career, but she kisses him goodbye and walks away. In the meantime, Deeks and Kensi have a close call that brings up yet another conversation about their expiration date with this job. They’ve had enough of these discussions that it’s got to come to a head at some point - at this rate, their only options for the finale are to either break up or quit NCIS.

And now we come to the two-part finale, “A Line in the Sand” and “Ninguna Salida.” I can’t recall a more explosive - pun intended, but it’s still an appropriate descriptor - finale than this one. My season-long dislike of Mosley - read literally any recap from this season for a reminder - disappeared as we saw her go completely off-book to do whatever was necessary to save her son. Including firing Deeks after the LAPD detective is acting particularly testy.

It’s no surprise to regular viewers that Mosley finally got fed up with Deeks - a boiling point she’d been slowly reaching all season - but I never thought she’d actually fire him. I honestly figured Mosley would be fired and gone long before that ever happened.

Deeks and the rest of the team appear equally astonished, and when a frustrated Kensi runs out to talk to Deeks in the parking lot as he’s being escorted off of the premises, we witness another blow-up. When Deeks asks, for maybe the fifth time this season, when are they going to stop doing this - this being their life-threatening jobs - Kensi provides another evasive answer. But Deeks presses forward. When? In a year? Five years? When they have kids? And both are finally facing reality: Kensi isn’t ready to leave this job, and may never be ready to leave this job.

C’mon, Deeks. You always knew that was the answer.

When he wisely suggests that they should determine the answers to these very important questions before getting married, Kensi is furious that he seems to be asking her to choose between him or the job. That’s not what he was saying, but it is kind of how this has to play out if they’re going to have kids. Both of them will have to pick safety and family over the job at some point.

Meanwhile, Mosley has found a way to get her son home, but she has to go to Mexico. So she sends Callen, which of course means Sam tags along, despite a bum leg. Kensi’s not about to be left out as she jumps on the plane, eager to work out her anger. Deeks joins at the last minute, insisting that he’s still her partner, “at least one last time.”

And thus begins a very tense flight.

Things get even tenser once the team arrives in Mexico and discover that Hidoko, who allegedly was sent ahead of them, is nowhere to be found.

After risking their necks and enduring a lot of fire, the team locates Mosley’s son and rushes him to the safety of the helicopter, where Mosley herself is somehow waiting. Deeks tries to get Kensi to go back with them, but she insists on going back with him to find their teammates - no man left behind.

The partners eventually locate Sam and Callen and the team packs into a car and starts racing toward their plane when a rocket launcher takes them out. The car blows up with the entire team inside and Hetty, Eric, and Nell watching in horror back in LA.

And that’s the end of the season - the team knocked out in a burning car, Mosley and her son in a helicopter hopefully on their way to safety, and Hidoko missing.

I can’t recall a season finale in which the fate of the entire team is left so unknown like this - even if they’re fine physically, we still have a lot of emotional wounds that have to be resolved.

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