If you’ve been disappointed in how NCIS: Los Angeles has been handling the mole hunt, you’re not alone. But this episode, “Hot Water,” ups the game — with multiple team members arrested, one of them in the hospital and pretty much every other agency after them. In other words, to borrow a phrase from another TV show, trust no one.
All of this happens just as Under Secretary Duggan returns for Hetty’s resignation because those 90 days she had to find the mole are up. But could he also be behind the troubles tormenting the team or can he be trusted to perhaps help them out of these sticky situations?
Four Team Members Arrested — Before Lunch?!
When Granger comes to, groggy, one morning, it’s with his knuckles bloody and bruised, vague memories of Heather at a bar and Heather, beaten and zip-tied on the floor in her house, just as the LAPD bursts in and arrests him.
Quip-free, Eric summons the team to Ops to fill them in. Someone called LAPD about gunshots at Heather’s house, but LAPD won’t cooperate. Deeks heads to LAPD to see if he can get answers, while Sam and Callen check out the crime scene. Kensi, meanwhile, finds Duggan with Hetty at her desk, in town to oversee Hetty’s departure from the agency. Granger is to be in charge until Duggan finds a suitable permanent replacement, but the Under Secretary isn’t going to hear about his location from either woman.
Deeks tries to see Granger, and not only does he end up going 0-3 with LAPD Officer Chan when it comes to her proposal and marriage, but Detective Whiting interrupts to inform him that the Assistant Director is the least of his worries because there’s new evidence in his cold case. Deeks manages to text Kensi before his phone is taken and he’s cuffed.
It feels offensive, Hetty agrees when Kensi tells her. They’ve been hunting the mole, and now the mole is headed straight at them because it can’t be a coincidence that two members of the team are arrested on the same day for different crimes. But this is just the beginning.
While Sam and Callen can’t get access to Heather’s house, the LAPD detective there does let them walk around the yard. When they find nothing in her trash bins, they check the street and find a pack of roofies to explain Granger’s grogginess. And just as Kensi has informed them of Deeks’ arrest, DEA agents pull up to Sam’s car. Callen ducks behind a tree and watches as the agents find a dead body and drugs in the trunk and arrest Sam. It’s a good thing for the mole that none of these DEA agents think it’s odd that a federal agent would bring a corpse and cocaine to a crime scene.
Kensi makes a stop at LAPD to try to find out if Granger is still there and where Deeks is, but she gets nowhere with Chan, and Whiting only notes that Kensi probably knows more about Deeks’ case than she did last year and thinks it might be a good time to subpoena her. She updates Callen, who’s hiding out at a neighbor’s house, but then ATF shows up for Callen. They’re being targeted by different agencies, meaning whoever’s doing this has a lot of pull and connections — like Duggan. Kensi ditches her phone, and Callen tries to run, but ATF gets him.
As Hetty keeps Duggan in the dark (“In this business, nothing is unusual,” she tells him when he questions why no one knows where Granger is), Kensi, Eric and Nell hide in the burn room to talk. They have to operate offline to stay one step ahead, so what do they focus on first? It started with Granger. They need to figure out what exactly happened with Heather, and while they can’t get near what is likely just her safe house, there’s a bit of good news: she’s awake. However, she also identified Granger as her attacker.
But here’s some really bad news: Granger is stabbed while in police custody.
Sam, Deeks and Callen all basically get nowhere during their interrogations. Sam tells DEA Agent Sanchez he wants another agent and requests Talia, but she’s away on assignment. Deeks asks for his captain, but Whiting tells him he’s not available and says she knows he’s paying Tiffany off to keep quiet about what happened to Boyle. He even tells her she’s being used, pointing out that she just happened to get this new information on the same day that Granger was framed and arrested, but she just brings up Kensi stopping by. He tells her to leave his partner out of it.
As for why Callen’s been arrested, ATF Agent Morgan informs him that 500 pounds of stolen explosives and a dead body were found on his property. Callen tries to appeal to him, bringing up Sam’s arrest. He knows the bodies have been dead for more than 12 hours, meaning they were killed somewhere else. It’s a set-up, he tells him, but Morgan just calls that a convenient theory. Look into it, Callen suggests, giving him Sam, Deeks and Granger’s names. They’ve all been arrested on the same day by different agencies. It’s an attack on NCIS. But Morgan’s only concerned with Callen and his crimes.
Can Duggan Be Trusted?
After learning that Granger was stabbed, Hetty admits to Duggan that she hasn’t been entirely honest with him and fills him in on everything: Granger’s arrest and stabbing, as well as the other arrests. If this isn’t news to him, bravo, he wins, she says. But he isn’t behind it, he insists, wondering why she didn’t tell him sooner. She didn’t realize what he had to gain, she explains. Taking Hetty down would be big for his career, yes, but not as big as finding the mole. It’s time to tell him everything.
Kensi poses as a nurse to get Heather out of the hospital and has to subdue a hospital security guard who asks to see her ID. When Heather asks who she is, Kensi tells her there’s credible intel that there’s a hit out on her, and just as they reach the car outside, a van speeds by and the driver shoots at them. Kensi protects Heather and shoots back before driving off with her. When the van stops, it’s revealed that Eric was driving. Nice one, team.
Deeks creates a fuss in his interrogation room until an LAPD officer comes in, but he too says that his captain is not available. Sanchez tries to give Sam a sandwich, but all Sam wants is his phone call. As for Morgan, he says that the evidence is telling him something different from what Callen is. Callen suggests that he just let him out of there so he can do both of their jobs.
And poor Granger is in the hospital, cuffed to the bed and hooked up to machines. He doesn’t look good.
As for Heather, Kensi has her cuffed in an interrogation room in the boat shed. They know that she was working with Natalie, who was working with Carl, and that she’s taking orders from someone. Someone had to tell her to pin the attack on Granger. However, Duggan notes, as he and Hetty watch the interrogation, that she took a beating for the cause, so she’s not going to be easy to break. Heather looks up at the camera in the room. Kensi points out that whoever she’s working for no longer needs her services, meaning that she needs their protection. She can either end up in a high-security prison like Carl or dead like Natalie. It’s her choice. Heather taps on the table and says she has nothing more to tell her.
Kensi joins Hetty and Duggan and tells them that Heather’s working for the CIA. (Morse code, Duggan. Learn it.) It feels like the entire alphabet is after them, Hetty says. And she would be right because then Eric and Nell inform them they’re being swatted. The FBI is outside the boat shed. They could be after any one of them. Duggan decides he’s going to do his job and take care of it and goes outside, introducing himself to the SWAT team. But then he’s taken down by a sniper, and they have no idea where the shot came from. But by the time the FBI enters the boat shed, Kensi and Hetty have gone out the trap door.
Which agency holding one of the team members do you think is going to realize there’s more going on than they know? Will it be LAPD, DEA or ATF? Did you think Duggan had orchestrated everything or did you think he’d end up caught in the crossfire? And How do you want to see Deeks propose next time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
NCIS: Los Angeles season 8 airs Sundays at 8/7c on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)