NCIS: Los Angeles 4×10 Free Ride Recap and Review
NCIS: Los Angeles 4×10 “Free Ride” Synopsis: “Callen, Sam, Kensi and Deeks spend Christmas aboard an aircraft carrier, investigating the death of a fellow NCIS special agent. Back at NCIS: Los Angeles Headquarters, Nell and Eric enjoy the holiday and Hetty takes a trip.”
Christmas music plays in the enlisted men’s mess hall of an air craft carrier. Navy personnel serve themselves from a buffet; suddenly a fight breaks out between two men and others try to break it up. On deck, the commander and the Master Chief meet to discuss the altercation. They are both waiting for a report from the NCIS agent afloat but he is nowhere to be found. As Special agent Niles is paged, he’s seen lying at the bottom of the stairs, in a pool of blood.
Nell tries to fit an elf hat on Eric’s head, when Hetty catches the two of them. Nell quickly explains that Eric is going to help her with a toy drive, but Hetty says that will have to wait. They have a case.
Nell finds Kensi and Deeks who are talking about Christmas plans. Kensi doesn’t have any and Deeks is trying to get her to go to Tahoe for snowboarding. When she says she already promised to spend the holiday with her mother, Deeks invites her too; he has rented a three bedroom cabin. If he hadn’t mentioned the fact that two of the bedrooms were adjoining, he almost had her. Deeks can’t dig himself out of it; Nell says they’re needed I Ops.
Sam and Callen are looking for something when Nell finds them; Mr. Hanna refuses to go to Ops until he finds the Christmas gift he bought in the summer and hid here. He won’t make the same mistake as last Christmas when his daughter wanted the one toy that was impossible to find. He asked her early, but now he can’t remember where he hid it; Callen reminds him that the memory is the first thing to go.
Up in Ops, the NCIS: Los Angeles team is briefed on the death of Special Agent Jason Niles. There was an altercation between two enlisted men and they were in the brig when the body of the agent afloat was found. Petty officer Simon Allen and Jefferies both tested positive for cocaine.
Hetty has organized transport to the ship which is already on its way to South East Asia. Callen will go in as the new agent afloat; Kensi and Sam will go undercover as Marines; and Deeks will be a civilian contractor. He wants to be in uniform too, until Hetty offers to get her clippers.
Callen notices that Sam is uneasy and mistakes it for a desire to spend Christmas with his family. Sam says that he would give up every holiday, graduation, birthday, etc for this job; he’s worried that Sederov will come back while the team is away. Callen assures him that Criminals take Christmas off too.
Eric has gathered disciplinary reports to see if anyone may have had a grudge against agent Niles; he notices that Nell is not herself. She says that the team is like a surrogate family; it’s hard being away from family at the holidays. Now the team is away too. He says they’ll be fine; he’s going to wear the elf hat and help her with her toys for tots. Then Nell tells him about the ears; Eric says he didn’t agree to ears.
The team arrives on board the USS Van Buren, and each gets their own escort. Deeks is posing as Mr. Coulter, a data entry analyst and is escorted by Petty Officer Smalls; while Kensi ends up with Lt Abernathy. Deeks is clearly jealous of the man. Callen finds his own way to the brig and questions Allen and Jefferies separately. Neither of these men seemed to have anything against agent Niles and both claim they didn’t do any cocaine. Jefferies even offers to take a lie detector test.
Smalls explains the signs on board the ship to Deeks, but he is making banter during the tour and soon wanders away from her. He lies down on the floor where agent Niles was found and takes photos with his cell phone; then he notices something on the floor. He’s caught by two big guys in blue uniforms. They don’t believe any of his lies about what he was doing and start to beat him up. Sam catches them and they explain their actions. Deeks thinks Sam has saved him, until Mr. Hanna puts his fist into Deeks’ gut. Sam dismisses the other two men and says he’ll handle this. Deeks tells Hanna that he found something.
Neither of the men who attacked Deeks were on Niles watch list. Deeks explains to the team that he found spinach on the floor. He thinks Niles was killed somewhere else, and then dragged to that location. Spinach would be found in the stores or galley, which is on the opposite side of the ship. While they’re together, Sam and Callen try to make Deeks more jealous of Kensi’s escort.
Kensi and Abernathy tour the ship and he mentions the fact that the men aren’t happy because their mission was suddenly extended. While they’re talking, a man goes crazy on his crew with a pipe wrench. Kensi and Abernathy get him under control but he’s the master chief. The medical officer says that it was cocaine toxicity that caused the incident.
Callen talks to the commander and is basically threatened. The commander tells Callen that accidents happen all the time and an air craft carrier is a very dangerous place. When the team meets to discuss the case, Callen warns them of the threat. “Let’s be careful; we already lost one NCIS agent.”
Kensi and Lt Abernathy search the ship with a German shepherd while Callen questions the master chief in the brig. The Master Chief says that he always takes full responsibility for his actions; but he has no idea what happened. He can’t explain attacking his crew or two officers. Callen checks his arms for injection sites. The Master Chief says that he doesn’t do drugs; doesn’t smoke or drink, he doesn’t even eat red meat. He claims that he has to be a good example for the crew.
In Ops, Nell gives Eric a package; he thinks it’s a gift. It’s the rest of his elf costume. He pulls out a pair of green “panty-hose”, and says no way. Nell corrects him, they’re not panty hose; they’re leggings. He’s afraid of it getting onto video and going viral. Hanna would call him “Elfie McBeal.” Nell gives up on convincing him.
Back on the USS Van Buren, Sam tells Callen that all flight operations are grounded. The pilots have waited their whole lives for this opportunity. They wouldn’t cover up for others and no one has asked for a JAG lawyer yet. They speculate that maybe someone unknowingly drugged them. He also tells Callen that he can’t get in touch with his wife.
Deeks has another run in with the two men who beat him up. He tells them that the other guy (Sam) is in the infirmary. That scares them off of hitting him again. Their boss says they’ve been having trouble with the refrigeration, and had to have a unit flown in. Deeks says he’s going to take a look. He finds the place where Niles was murdered and sends the photo to Eric for confirmation. Suddenly a big arm is wrapped around his neck from behind. Deeks is unconscious when the man lays him on the floor.
When Sam and Callen meet to find out if Eric sent the car to his house, they learn something more disturbing. Eric has a positive ID on the photo that Deeks sent from his phone; it’s definitely what killed agent Niles. Eric doesn’t know where the valve is; and he hasn’t been able to get Deeks to answer his e-mails.
Callen sends Sam to find Kensi while he goes to the brig to see the Master Chief. He asks the chief where the valve is that is in the photo, but they all look the same. Callen asks if there’s one in the food stores and the chief leads him to it. Sam and Kensi come in; Sam recognizes the two guys who beat up Deeks. They say that they saw him earlier, but don’t know where he went.
Suddenly a man is spotted down the corridor; he’s pushing a trash can on a dolly. When they yell for him to stop, he moves faster; when they chase him, he drops the can and runs. Deeks is inside. Kensi sends Sam and Callen ahead as she tends to Deeks.
The man they’re chasing starts firing on them and then runs away. Eventually Sam does his signature “around the corner” shot and the man goes down. When Kensi and Deeks catch up, Callen says the man’s not talking, he’s dead. They go back to the food storage area, but can’t find any evidence of cocaine. Kensi says that the dogs were already in here. Sam says he smells fresh paint. The cocaine is in the paint.
Sam gets a call from his wife; he tells Callen that Michelle was at a friend’s house, finishing costumes for the kids’ Christmas Pageant.
Eric fills the team in on the final outcome; the contractor was Leonard Wall and he undercut all o the other bids for produce to get the contract. The paint was a highly concentrated level of cocaine and other chemicals, which leached into the produce.
Hetty sent the “Red Team” to intercept the unit and follow it to the ultimate destination. Now for the bad news; Eric tried everything he could to get them home but there’ nothing he can do. When the team says to ask Hetty, Eric says she’s already gone on vacation. The soonest he can get them home is December 27th.
The master Chief invites the NCIS: Los Angeles team to join the crew for Christmas dinner. They aren’t happy but will make the best of it. Suddenly Hetty shows up. She tells Sam that if he leaves now, he’ll make it home for Christmas. Sam picks Hetty up as if she were a child and hugs her. His teammates tell him to get out of here. Hetty asks where the egg nog is.
Back at the NCIS: Los Angeles headquarters, Eric is in the hall when Nell comes downstairs in her elf costume. He says that she looks “Elfin amazing” and she comes downstairs; grabs him and kisses him. Eric says “What’s all this?” and in answer, Nell looks up at the mistletoe overhead. She starts to leave, saying “Have a nice holiday, see you next year” but Eric has had a change of heart. “You wait; I’m just gonna get my tights” he says, running for the stairs. “They’re Leggings!” Nell calls out “And don’t forget your ears.”
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