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NCIS:LA - Into the Breach - Review: "Every Good Agent Makes Mistakes"


We open on a skinny dude who could be Deeks’ cousin crouching in the woods. He and a friend are watching something in the distance, talking as though they're about to do something very evil, before you figure out that they're bird watching. Funny! The pair's ornithological expedition is interrupted when they hear a screech in the distance.

The run toward the sound to discover a car has run off the road.

A woman who looks like Meredith Grey is dangling upside down in the car, murmuring something that sounds like “Hire Mackenzie,” but I’m not sure. Our bird dudes call 911.

Meanwhile, Kensi and Deeks are wedding planning at the bar. Deeks is kinda freaking out and Kensi talks him through it, a fun reversal of the typical wedding planning dynamic.

Deeks’ mom shows up freaking out that her dress for the wedding has been tailored way too short. Deeks is freaking out about health inspector. Kensi continues to be super unconcerned about everything.

She gets a call and heads into work, leaving Deeks at the bar since he took the day off for the health inspection.

It is at this point that we learn that Deeks' mom has absolutely no plans to do a mother/son dance with him at the wedding.

Callen and Sam are walking into work while Callen tries to guess what secret plans Sam had the previous night. Agent DeChamps shows up and Sam is smiling a lot, at which point Callen discovers that they met for drinks last night. Callen is smiling, so pleased.


It turns out DeChamps is in town to testify on a case and filling in while Deeks is out.

Eric, with the help of Special Prosecutor John Rogers, walks them through the case of the week. The Meredith Grey lookalike was named Rebecca Frazier - and looks nothing like Meredith Grey right-side-up. Apparently her last words were "find the candy."

Meh, I was close.

Frazier was a journalist writing about a classified Marine op, so Kensi calls in her editor to the boat shed. The editor apparently knows very little about the story Frazier was working on, and what she does know, she is unwilling to share since she doesn't know who she can trust within NCIS.

The editor does admit that Frazier had recently been trying to reach out to retired Marine Sergeant Odell Ikande. Kensi - in a leap that I myself would never have made - figures Frazier's last words were actually "find Ikande."

At the site of the wreck, Callen and Sam realize there was just one set of skid marks, indicating this could've been a mechanical failure, sabotage, or swerving to avoid something long gone.

While they're investing, Eric calls with Ikande details: He was a Purple Heart winner ready to reenlist when he abruptly withdrew his paperwork after being injured in a redacted mission.

Sam discovers a homemade cell site simulator in the wrecked car's wheel well - a hacker hijacked the car’s auto-steering system and drove it off the road. And wouldn't you know it, but Ikande had gone through cyber training.

Eric and Nell say that whoever was operating the cell simulator had to be nearby.

I just keep thinking of the Office episode when Michael Scott drives into a lake because that’s what the GPS tells him to do.

At the bar, Deeks is not letting go of the fact that his mom doesn't want to do a mother/son dance with him at his wedding. She says every song would be creepy and inappropriate for the occasion, which is a ridiculous answer. Something else is going on.

But we don't have time to figure it out because the health inspector shows up.

Kensi, who has thankfully braided her out of control hair, is paired up with DeChamps for the week. They approach Ikande's door, which is open. They enter the house, guns drawn, and don’t find him. A woman walks in - Ruya Ghanem - saying she's his roommate.

At the office, Rogers is talking to a Marine via satellite, trying to get info on Ikande's last mission. The Marine can’t share too many details, but explains a little: “In the broadest terms, we had intel on high-value target in Afghasnistaan. Ikande was going to go in, but they were pulled out to rescue civilian contractors." This allowed the high-value target to escape. Ikande saved the contractors, working for a CA-based company named Schenley Electrical, but lost his four-man team and disappeared afterward.

We learn that Ghanem recently immigrated from Afghanistan and has no interest in revealing any information about Ikande.

Eric and Nell have located a white van that was following Rebecca’s car, during the crash, and thus where they assume the saboteur was operating. Sam and Callen pull up to see two guys changing plates.


This, of course, turns into a shoot out. After taking out the bad guys, they realize they had been planning to torch the van. Eric does a quick ID of the men and says they have ties to the Azteca gang.

The van is filled with parking tickets from a nearby doughnut shop, so Sam and Callen head over to check it out.

Kensi and DeChamps go to Schenley Electrical to meet with the owner, Philip Beckett. He's hesitant to discuss Ikande, which is odd, since he saved Beckett in Afghanistan. After pressing why Beckett would be the last call on Ikande's records, he's even less interested in talking. He claims Ikande called him that morning, rambling something about a car crash, and hung up.

The girls leave, but DeChamps is certain Beckett is hiding something, so they wait. Sure enough, he runs out of the office shortly thereafter and jumps in his car. The agents follow him.

Back at the bar, Deeks is basically glued to the health inspector's back. Mid-inspection, he asks the health inspector if it'd be weird if he attended a wedding without a mother-son dance.

"Somehow, I don't think this is really about the music selection," health inspector Jeffery, who is being much more patient with Deeks than I would right now, says.

So Deeks confronts his mom again, who finally admits why she's reluctant: She has two left feet and all the other women in the wedding party are great dancers. She's afraid she's going to be embarrassed.

Oh, come on. That's so dumb. ALL YOU DO IS SWAY. You just sway. You could do that with two left feet, or on crutches, or in a wheelchair. You simply sway while Deeks puts his hands on your shoulders. Am I the only one who thinks this is kind of out of character for tough as nails Mama Deeks?

Meanwhile, Callen - who is still grilling Sam on his non-date date with DeChamps - and Sam hit up the doughnut shop. Sam says intent is what makes a date a date, not location. I'll agree with that.

Anyway, the doughnut shop is manned by the actor who plays the slow mouth-breather guy in every single thing you've ever seen. He was the slow mouth-breather arcade employee in Stranger Things, and the slow mouth-breather park employee in Jurassic World.

When the partners show him a picture of Ikande, slow mouth-breather does not recognize him. But after Sam drops a threat of calling the health inspector, he finally admits that there are frequently members of the Azteca gang hanging around. He thinks they're planning a race war since he hears them say "blanco" a lot which, according to his high school Spanish, means "white."

Well, that part of what he said is correct. But just like Sam and Callen, I'm not so sure about his brilliant race war theory.

Just a side note about the doughnut menu they have on the chalkboard on the wall: It lists dozens of doughnut flavors with little squares next to them, and the boxes are filled in next to flavors that are available that day and empty next to flavors they don't have.

Super cute and effective idea. Only problem: The boxes are WAY too small. If you ran out of a flavor, you'd have to erase the entire box - not just the scribble on the inside - and then redraw an empty box. Unless of course the box is in marker or something and won't erase when you erase the scribble.

Am I thinking too much about this? Yes, yes I am.

Moving on.

Kensi and DeChamps are tracking Beckett through Venice Beach. DeChamps still freaking out about testifying and asking Kensi for advice. She's worried she got it wrong and her entire career will be judged by one wrong move in a fraction of a second.

"Every good agent makes mistakes. And you are a great agent,” Kensi says. She’s always coming through with the steady advice.

Beckett continues his stroll and surprise! He's meeting up with Ikande. Good hunch, DeChamps. You are a great agent!

But before the agents can jump on Ikande, a dude walks up with a knife and starts swinging in a way that clearly indicates he has no idea what he's doing. Kensi takes him down in about 10 seconds.

DeChamps is able to grab Ikande and Kensi has the knife guy, but Beckett escaped during the fight.

Nell and Eric identify the man with the knife as Juan Hernandez, a suspected assassin with ties to Azteca. This leaves the agents wondering why someone in the Azteca would go after Ikande - maybe a deal went sideways or Ikande was never connected to the gang at all.

Sam and Callen talk to Ikande in the boat shed who says he ran because he didn't know who to trust.


He claims not to know what the Azteca is, and swears that he didn't kill Rachel Frazier because he was working with her. He's a spiritual, non-violent man who feels guilty about the innocent blood that was shed during the disastrous rescue mission. He claims he was working with Frazier to tell the stories of the innocent so their deaths will not be forgotten.

He says he was abducted from the mosque where he worked, but he escaped, saw the news about Frazier, and contacted Beckett. Ikande figures someone's trying to keep the story from getting out.

The partners ask for specifics about the rescue mission, and it just sounds like it was a nightmare. There was no cover, no exit strategy, and the enemy was oddly skilled. Ikande comments that they were a lot better trained and armed than a group of ill-equipped rebels.

Sam and Callen figure out that’s because they weren’t fleeing rebels, they were fleeing from heroin suppliers.

The electricians are drowning in money, even after losing their military contract. They had set up a monthly repair schedule on a generator that wasn’t broken so that they could regularly smuggle drugs out of the country. The local warlords figured it out and went after them.

All of the “broken” equipment was rerouted to a storage place in Inglewood. So NCIS swarms the storage facility, take out a bunch of armed guards, and wouldn’t you know it! Drugs are everywhere.

At this point, Ikande receives a video from Beckett in which he tells him that he’s kidnapped his roommate Mariah. Who is, as it turns out, not just his roommate, but also a survivor of the attack and someone Ikande rescued.

Surprise!

Mariah was visiting her aunt in the village when it was attacked and she lost most of her family. She found Ikande and Frazier when she immigrated and he felt he owed her. Frazier was writing her story and Ikande was taking care of her.

They set up a time to meet Beckett at an old zoo. Ikande volunteers, gladly willing to give up his life to save hers.

I really liked them filming at an old zoo - it was really kind of cool. Also, a part of me was hoping the wild animals were still hanging around, ready to pounce out from behind a rock or something at any moment.

Both sides arrive at the zoo, each touting a bazillion guns. While Ikande starts chatting with Beckett, who is an awful person by the way since he feels no shame for anything that’s gone down, DeChamps is able to find Mariah and sneak her out.


Beckett wants to know why Ikande just couldn't let it go, pulls a gun, and Kensi snipes him. Callen and Sam take out the rest of the firing squad. Ikande picks up Beckett's dropped gun and Beckett dares him to shoot him, but Ikande spares him.

Mariah and Ikande reunite and hug. Everyone's happy.

Except Deeks' mom, but we’ll deal with that in a minute.

Now that the case is wrapped up, it comes out that the electricians straight-up invented the Azteca street gang to have someone to blame the sudden influx of heroin on.

But most importantly, DeChamps thanks Sam for drinks the previous night and offers to be a sounding board for him if he ever needs one. It sounds like there’s a possibility for them to get together in the future, which I’m on board with! There’s just nothing going on right now.

Now, back to Deeks’ bar. They pass the health inspection and then, in the most television moment ever, Deeks turns down the lights and starts slow-dancing with his mom right then and there. Sure, people are playing pool and drinking beer all around them, but Deeks is just making sure that his mom will dance.

He then volunteers to intentionally trip so as to draw the attention away from her if she needs him too. Which is sweet and all, but… Again… She is swaying. That takes absolutely no skill, at all, whatsoever.

But I’m going to have to get over my aversion to sweet moments, because you know what happens on the next episode!

The Kensi and Deeks wedding!!

(Do we think Hetty or the creepy serial Frankenstein killer from earlier this season will return? I’m just waiting on that. I bet we do find out what’s in the box, though.)

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