NCIS: Los Angeles: 4×05 Out of the Past: Recap and Review
NCIS: Los Angeles 4×05 Out of the Past: “A CIA agent who once worked with Sam is found dead of an apparent suicide, but Sam suspects foul play.”
Sam is in bed when the phone rings; he looks at the display. “Blocked call” Sam answers and hears that it’s Frank Turner; Sam asks how he got this number but it’s a recording. “It’s all gone to hell… Please try and see this through my eyes. You know where to find me.”
Sam pulls up at a darkened office building. He goes upstairs, piercing the darkness with a flashlight. The door to the office has been blown open. He goes in cautiously, panning the flashlight and sees a man hanging from a beam. Then he sees a white Standard Poodle come out from behind a book shelf.
He looks around the desks and sees prescription medication bottles, a report that says Cold War. G. Callen comes in and says he’s sorry. “Why’d he call you?” Callen asks. Sam tells him about the poodle, he put it in the bathroom. “Why breed a dog with an afro?” Callen looks around; Sam says “No ladder.” He doesn’t believe it was suicide. Callen shows him how Turner could have climbed up there.
Sam describes Turner as “Brilliant but a little nutty.” And says that he heard the CIA tossed him. Callen looks around at photos on the wall, asks if he always liked baseball. Sam says that he like crosswords, puzzles, word games.
Eric comes in carrying a tablet PC; he says that the transformer was intentionally overloaded in the area. If someone wanted to make it look like a suicide, why blow the door?
Nell calls in on the tablet, and Eric wants to tell her she looks nice, but he’s too shy. She says that the recorded call came from a service; it had to be reset manually or Sam would receive the call.
Kensi and Deeks come in and argue over dogs. Sam says that Turner was trained to work inconspicuously; he would never have a dog like that. Deeks offers to go in; he claims he’s a dog whisperer, and Kensi calls him on it. She says that dogs can smell fear. Deeks tells her that poodles are the pit bulls of France. He tells Kensi to stay away because dogs are sensitive to negative energy. He goes in and talks to the dog as if he’ll understand. Kensi says she can hear the dog growling. Deeks says he needs some bacon, well done, preferably organic.
Eric complains about going through all the paper and asks where the computer is; Sam says Turner didn’t trust computers. Eric quietly tells Nell over the tablet PC and says he wanted to tell her that she looks nice; hints at asking what she’s so dressed up for. “Perhaps I had a date…” she says. Eric is obviously disconcerted; “But you have bed head, so you were asleep; if you were home you would have changed before you came in…” Nell doesn’t answer. She’s found a name for someone they need to question; Megan Henley, she’s a flight attendant.
When Kensi comes back with the bacon, Deeks is sitting on the floor telling the poodle a story about his last experience with a poodle. “Her name was Coco Chanel, and she bit me right here.” He holds his arm up for the dog to see the scars. “That’s why I’m afraid of poodles.”
“I see you two have bonded.” Kensi says. Deeks takes the bacon and starts eating. He tells Kensi “He broke and spilled, his name is Chaucer.” He goes on to name the dog’s vet and previous owner. Kensi finds a scanner in Deeks’ back pocket; the dog has a microchip.
Sam and Callen pull up in front of a house and go to the door, with Callen commenting that she just got home. When Sam announces that they’re federal agents they see her going out the back into the alley.
Sam chases her but she disappears, then swings down from overhead and kicks him in the chest before landing and aiming her gun at him. Callen tells her to drop it, he’s behind her with his gun. “Something tells me you’re not a flight attendant.” Sam tells her.
Callen gets on the phone and confirms her story; she’s CIA. Sam questions her, asks why she was in Turner’s loft three times in the last two weeks. She says that they were lovers. She knows he’s dead; he was always paranoid; he called and left her a message that he didn’t think he’d be alive much longer. She says that sometimes you can’t choose who you fall in love with.
Megan tells them that Turner got thrown out of the CIA because he was obsessed with the “Sinclair Project” which supposedly put long term sleeper agents in America after the Cold War ended. The Agency thought he was a nutcase; wouldn’t even hear what he’d uncovered. He was too angry.
A call comes in; the medical examiner has something. In the M.E.’s office she tells them her findings; it’s all consistent with a self-inflicted hanging. Callen double checks, asking if it could be made to look as if he did it to himself; she says there’s no evidence of that, but that’s not why she called.
“Put your gloves on.” She tells them. “I found something in his stomach. There’s an ancient Yogic practice of swallowing a strip of cloth to cleanse the stomach.”
Sam looks and says: “Yeah, this isn’t that. We need to sign this out.”
Back at Turner’s office Sam says he’s looking for a cylinder, like a pipe. “If you don’t have the right circumference of tube you can’t decipher it.” Callen notices a baseball bat and they start to wrap the strip of cloth around the bat. A series of letters appear, out of order, and a message with the word “Punish” in it. Sam says that it was a way to pass on messages in battle. “This is for me.” Sam tells them. Callen now knows that’s why Turner called Sam; he was the only one who would recognize it.
Back at the office, Nell has looked up Chaucer; he’s led a big life, he’s been to Paris two times to breed. Deeks comments: “I should’ve been born a dog.” And then looks around and realizes he just walked into that one. Apparently Turner bought Chaucer to get into a dog show; he wanted to get close to another Poodle owner, Robert Pierce, a groomer and breeder.
They’re told to get to the dog show and locate Pierce. Kensi says that Deeks needs sprucing up if he’s going to be seen with Chaucer; he doesn’t want to work with the dog.
Hetty is sitting on the couch with Chaucer and lays down the law for Deeks telling him that there’s much to be learned. “He will have your back under cover. Stand tall with your new partner, Mr. Deeks.”
In the meantime Callen is explaining the concept of a “Spy Ring” to Eric and Sam; he tells them you could decode messages with it, and that it had an outer ring and an inner ring. You line up the letters… Eric finds a picture of one and Sam says he knows what to buy Callen for Christmas.
They need to find the cypher that Turner used or it won’t work. There are hundreds of thousands of documents in that room.
At the dog show Deeks asks Kensi for her hair brush so he can make Chaucer look good. He tells Kensi to get close to Pierce while he gives the dog a pep talk. It’s his first show. When they go to the competition it is Deeks who needs the pep talk; it’s an obstacle course and the dogs are timed. He watches Pierce take Uma through the course and then nervously talks to Chaucer. He tells the Chaucer that he needs the dog’s help with this. The dog sits for him, but he can’t get the dog to go through the course. Finally when Deeks says the word “Start” the dog goes through exactly as he has seen Uma do it as Deeks ineffectually shouts commands.
Kensi tells Pierce that Chaucer is her dog and asks if he wants to breed Uma and Chaucer. Pierce is spooked and leaves quickly with his dog. Deeks and Kensi catch him in the parking lot and take him in.
Back at NCIS Los Angeles Headquarters Deeks comes in with two Standard Poodles, Uma and Chaucer. Both are obedient to him and he tells the guys not to say anything. He says Up and Sit and the two dogs get up on the couch and sit down together. “No inappropriate licking.” He says as he leaves to meet with Kensi and question Pierce.
Pierce had hired a detective because he thought his ex-boyfriend was stalking him, only to be given a picture of Turner. Callen says that Pierce is too young to be part of the Sinclair project so why would Turner follow him? Then they wonder about his parents and go to see them. Pierce’s father tells them his wife has Alzheimer’s, his son takes care of rent, mail and bills so his father can take care of his mother.
Leaving Sam says that maybe Turner was crazy; his girlfriend said he was paranoid. “Would you call me paranoid?” Callen asks. “Did you catch those guys in the car back there?”
They get in their car and drive away slowly, Callen is watching as they round the corner. The big black Hummer pulls up in front of the Pierce home. A bunch of guys get out and Sam comes back; he and Callen get into a gun fight with the men from the black Hummer.
James Pierce comes out with a gun and starts firing at the enemy too. When the Hummer races away, Sam and Callen go to question James. He is taken in in hand cuffs.
Back at the boat house, James asks “Do I look like a Soviet agent to you?”
Nell and Eric have news for them about the car and the men, Coslov is an ex-FSB agent. If the FSB is interested in Turner, then the Sinclair Project is real. Sam recognizes one of the men too. “Isaac Sederov also FSB, is an arms dealer.”
They go back to question James again. “The FSB is never wrong; a CIA agent was tracking your son to get to you and you don’t know why?”
“My wife and son are all I have in this world.” James tells them. Sam and Callen threaten to send his wife and son back home. James wants to go in case the men come back but they tell him he isn’t going anywhere. He still refuses to talk.
When the call is made to release them, James crumbles; he wants immunity for his wife. Callen says he can’t promise that but Hetty says to give him what he wants. They guarantee safety and immunity for his wife and son.
“Who were those men, James?” Sam asks.
“Do you know what it’s like to live with a secret your entire life Agent Hanna? Where do I start?”
James takes them to a storage space in a warehouse and shows them what he has been hiding. “It generates a seventeen kiloton explosion. Can you imagine the burden of carrying this secret agent Hanna?”
“What would make you betray your country?” Callen asks.
“You assume I am an American. I was born in Somalia.” James tells them the story. He and his wife were children, nine years old. They had excelled in their language class, they could speak English. They were taken to Russia and were trained, then given passports and brought to America as husband and wife. No one would have thought a Russian agent would be black.
When asked if he would have done it, James says yes, he was conditioned to do it. After a few years he had a wife and a son; he could never have done it then. “Love, family, turned out to be much stronger persuaders than fear.”
Sam concludes: “Turner was right, there are more agents here. Sederov wanted the bomb to sell. He gets Turner he gets the list, the bombs. Turner needed me to find it before Sederov.”
Sam continues, “The names, he had the list ready, he swallowed it but he knew they’d torture him, he had the list in his head. He did kill himself; he called 9-1-1 himself so they wouldn’t have time to search.” Then a thought comes to him. “See through my eyes.”
Eric, Callen and Sam go back to Turner’s office and Sam climbs up to where Turner was hanging. The stacks of books make a circle. There are twenty-six stacks and bookmarks in each book. Sam and Callen open books and read the first letter from each one, as Eric enters them in the computer. They realize that every other letter is blank so they read off the second letter in each until the names appear. They have a sleeper list.
Nell takes Eric aside in Ops and says that she was out with Hetty; “She drank me under the table and I was asleep at her house.”
Pulling up the names Hetty, Sam and Callen look at the locations and realize that they were all the largest cities at the time; there is a bomb in each one of those US cities. That’s what makes the arms so valuable to the dealer; they’re already in place all over the country. Hetty tells Nell to get her the National Security Department of the FBI. She’ll speak to anyone who will pick up the phone. “Quickly.”
To be continued…
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