NCIS: Los Angeles 4×14 Kill House Recap and Review
NCIS: Los Angeles 4×14 Kill House Synopsis: Callen, Sam, Kensi and Deeks go undercover as an elite tactical force in order to investigate an ambush tied to a cartel kingpin with terrorist connections.
NCIS: Los Angeles 4×14 Guest stars: Nic Bishop as David Inman; Evan Gamble as Chad Parish; Erin Chambers as Jenna Parish; Misha Gonz-Cirkl as Civilian Woman/Non-Combatant; Ray Stefanelli as Operator 1; Bill Zasadil as Operator 2; Jay Hunter as Operator 3; Cody Bassett as Operator 4; Sal Velez Jr. as Sentry 2; Augusto Valvadere as Luis Cisneros.
NCIS: Los Angeles 4×14, “Kill House,” starts in Reynosa, Mexico. An elite tactical team is making a raid on a terrorist cartel run by Luis Cisneros. There are two guards at the front door. One lights a cigarette. “Those things will kill you,” one of them says. In response, the guy blows smoke in his face. Then the tactical team opens fire and both guards are killed. Guess the cigarettes didn’t kill him after all, the bullets did. The team members, dressed in fatigues, enter the house. They go room to room. They’re searching for Cisneros. They get to the bedroom, but instead of Cisneros, the bed’s got dummies in it. They’ve been set up. “It’s a trap,” one of them says. “Abort! Abort!” Somebody leaked info to Cisneros that they were coming for him. Each tactical team member, one by one, is taken out. Finally there’s one member left. Huddled in high grass, he looks up and is met with the blade of a machete. Now they’re all dead.
At NCIS HQ, Sam is seated at Deek’s desk. When he comes in he’s none too happy. “You can’t just sit in another man’s desk.” Then he spies a big box. It’s address to Kensi. When she comes in he wants to know what’s in the box. “Mind your own damn business,” she tells him.
“Maybe one day I won’t be the rain on your parade, but today’s not it,” says Granger, as he rains on their parade. They go to their video room and watch helmet cam footage of the raid on Cisneros’ home. He took over the Marlena cartel and helped Hasb e Haal set up training camps off the American border. They realize a leak set the elite team up to be ambushed. “The ambush was the symptom,” says Granger. “The intel leak is the disease.” Somebody had to have had top secret clearance to know about the raid. When they cross reference possible players they come up with a group of Tactical Role Players, TRPs, who role play the enemy and train teams for undercover ops. David Inman leads the TRPs that trained the elite team who raided Cisneros. So somebody on his team is the leak.
The team go undercover as the next team to go after Cisneros. “The only way to get through this in one piece is to work as a team,” Hetty tells them. They’ll use sim weapons so they don’t really kill anybody. They go to the “Kill House” that Inman and his team use for training. No welcoming committee. The bad guys and the good guys stay separate. “Trust your training.” They suit up and enter the “Kill House.” “Your unit has 90 seconds to secure sensitive computer technology located inside the Kill House,” a voice says as they enter. They go room to room. They have button cams to record everything. As they meet the “enemy” they shoot and stab. They go up the stairs and hear a woman’s cries. They break down the door. She’s a hostage. The “enemy” is upon them. They’re eliminated. The simulation is over. “Best of the best, huh?” smirks Inman. “Somewhere Granger’s laughing,” says Deeks. “We can’t hear it,” says Sam. “We’re dead.”
Outside they’re debriefed and scolded by Inman. Turns out the “sensitive computer technology” was the female hostage. Doesn’t that seem sexist to refer to a woman as computer technology like she’s some type of robot? Parish, one of the TRPs, mentions Cisneros’ name a couple of times. Now Callen, et al, thinks this is suspicious. Maybe Parish is the leak. Inman keeps telling him to shut up. “Your team fell apart, and you got smoked,” Parish says. “You were dead the moment you split up,” Inman tells them. “Fragmented force.” All they had to do is wait and see how they wanted to be killed. “We were set up to fail,” says Deeks. “I like to think of it as being set up to learn,” corrects Inman. Deeks tells him the drill was over. “That thinking changed your mind set,” Inman points out. It took a beat to change from assault to hostage rescue mode. “That beat was a lapse in team unity.” They were four separate operators, not a team, and that’s what got them killed. “Game over.”
Hetty wants to know who Inman is. He holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, former Force Recon Marine, started submitted bids for TRP contract work five years ago, and he’s the group leader. Granger asks if there are any service weak spots, but there aren’t. “Keep looking,” he says. “Everybody’s got a weak spot. You just have to keep cutting away until you find it.” All team members are single except for Parish, who’s married with a kid on the way.
Their next mission is offsite. The location will be sent to their cell phones. They talk about Parish. He could be the leak or know who is and wants a way out. They’ll try to separate him to find out. They go to a converted restaurant that’s been repainted and the windows covered up. It used to be Cisneros’ favorite restaurant. Their objective is to enter the restaurant, locate Cisneros, and take him alive. He’ll be the team member wearing a red vest. When they go in the “diners” freak when they see guns, and sim-bullets whiz back and forth. Some people get sim-dead. They see the red vest, worn by Inman. They grab him. They put a black hood on him. They drag him out of the restaurant. They get in their van. Sam turns the key. The van is dead. Suddenly the van is pelted with “bullets.” Tear gas is in the van. They cover their eyes and get out of the van. Dang! Dead again.
A TRP member starts yelling for a medic. Parish is dead for real. Somehow his neck was broken. They think it might have been a bad fall. But it could also have been murder. Since he probably wasn’t the leak, if he knew who was that could have been why he was eliminated. Nell is there and she notices the area where Parish died wasn’t covered by a camera so there’s no footage of what could have happened to him. “Parish wasn’t the most popular guy in the tribe,” says Inman. “But he was still one of us.” Inman is cutting the contract short and wants to conduct his own investigation before going back to work. “For the record I hope you nail Cisneros,” Inman says. “Those men he killed were friends of mine.”
“Are you going to ask, or are you going to wait until I melt under your Gorgon stare,” asks Granger. “Men don’t melt under Gorgon stares,” says Hetty. “They turn to stone.” Granger tells her he’s bringing Inman in. She points out that if he knows they’re investigating him “it compromises our mission.” “This mission was compromised the minute Parish got his neck broken,” he tells her.
Callen tells Kensi and Deeks to follow Inman “to see where he goes.” Inman goes to Parish’s widow. When he breaks the news she goes into hysterics and runs back into the house. Inman drives away. They decide to go and talk to her. “If she’s angry at Inman now’s a perfect time to ask for her help.”
When they’re in the house with her they ask for all the info she knows about her husband and the TRPs to try and prove his death wasn’t an accident. She says her husband was the black sheep of the group because of his personal life. He was the only one married. He was the only one with kids (well really a kid on the way). “All they care about is their so-called tribe,” she says. When they’re not training the military they’re training each other. Twenty hours every day there’s a new skill to learn or a new scenario to design. He talked about quitting every day but they needed the money. Things were going to get worse with their new training center in New Mexico, where Inman was building it. It was Inman’s dream project.
At the “restaurant” Nell discusses why there were no cameras covering the place where Parish was killed. Then she asks them when do they stop being afraid of “busting into places guns blazing.” “When you trust your training,” Callen tells her. “Easier said than done,” she says. Sam and Callen tell her the story of Hetty’s friend who was a headhunter of the Calinga tribe. His father trained him. His grandfather trained his father. The way they fought was passed down for hundreds of years. Everything he taught was battle tested. The tribe spilled its blood until they got it right. That’s why the Calinga have no fear. He trusted his training. When he drew his weapon it wasn’t just with one hand; 10,000 hands drew that weapon with him. “There was one camera blind spot in this room,” she tells them. “And Parish died in it.” If she can access the network she might be able to see who was closest to him when he died. Hetty calls them and tells them to get back because Granger has taken Inman to the “bug shed.” They go and leave Nell at the “restaurant.”
In the “bug shed” Inman wants to know what’s going on. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you a warrior wouldn’t be caught dead in a tailored suit?” he asks Granger. “Yeah, you did,” says Granger. Then they shake hands and hug.
Inman was Force Recon and Force Recon was Granger’s unit of choice for black ops. Looks like Granger and Inman are closer than they should be. Granger covered up some stuff Inman did in Iran. Callen calls Granger in the “bug shed” and tells him to come out or he’s going to walk in there and ask him face-to-face. Granger comes out. Granger tells them he knows they don’t like him so he wanted them to investigate Inman on their own, without involvement from him. Have a seat and keep watching, “you just might learn something,” he tells them.
Beale tells them the construction in New Mexico has indoor and outdoor shooting ranges and two large buildings and everything’s being paid for in cash. So far Inman has paid $2.3 million. He can’t find where the money is coming from. Ah ha! Bet it’s Cisneros!
In the “bug shed” Granger tells Inman that they both know he didn’t have anything to do with Parish’s death. Accidents happen in high-risk training. Granger points out that they know Cisneros knew they were coming for him and asks him if he might know who leaked the info. Inman says he doesn’t know. Granger tells Inman the team he was training were his people and they were ordered to keep that information from him. After the Cisneros fiasco they weren’t going to give Inman another contract but Granger vouched for him. He needed Inman to get his “people sharp” because “they’re deploying soon.” Granger blows up. He knows where Cisneros is going to be in 72 hours but thanks to him he doesn’t have a team to go after him.
Callen and Sam figure Granger’s playing Inman the way he was playing them in the hope that Inman would leak the info to Cisneros. “Granger’s a son-of-a-bitch,” says Beale. “Yeah, but he’s a tricky son-of-a-bitch,” says Callen. Then they learn that Cisneros just landed in Los Angeles at John Wayne Airport. When Granger joins them he says he cut Inman loose but he put residue on him so they could track him from outer space. They look at the monitors and see where Inman’s going. “Told you you might learn something,” Granger tells them. Inman is heading back to the Kill House. They figure Cisneros gave Inman the money for the new facility and the rest of the guys are probably in on it. But they still have to prove that Inman killed Parish. They wonder if Nell has found anything, but Nell’s phone is offline. Inman’s got Nell.
They go to the Kill House. They know they have the cartel guys and the TRP guys in there to knock them off balance. They exit the van and close the doors quietly, then go into the Kill House. No sims this time. The real thing. They work as a team. They go room to room. Shooting and knifing as they go, they come to a set of doors and bash it in. Inside is Cisneros. They cuff him. More shooting and knifing. The machete guy comes and aims at Deeks. He grabs a chair and stops the machete from slicing him. “Really?” he asks. “A machete?” They continue looking, shooting and knifing. Everybody looks like they’re dead. Then they come to Inman, holding Nell hostage. They don’t have a shot. Suddenly Nell grabs the magazine out of the gun and ducks down. They blast Inman away. “That has got to be the first and last time a hostage has ever demagged her captor during a standoff,” Kensi says. “How’d you do that,” asks Deeks. “I trusted my training,” she tells them.
Back at NCIS Nell and Beale hug each other. She knows she’s not ready to go into the field yet, but she hopes one day she’ll be able to. Beale tells her she’ll get her chance and when she does he’ll “be the first one to tell you to take it.”
“It’s over,” Callen tells Hetty. “Granger almost got Nell killed today.” As much as she’d like to blame him, “It wasn’t entirely his doing.” Callen still doesn’t want him around his team. “Your team?” she asks. “Our team,” he says, correcting himself. “You look at Owen Granger and you see a ruthless manipulator,” Hetty tells Callen. “I look at him and I see a man who’s spent so many years alone he’s forgotten how to ask for help.” “It’s hard to find good friends in our line of work,” Callen says, to which she responds, “It’s hard to find them anywhere.”
Granger apologizes for putting them at risk. “Fair enough?” But it’s not their place to accept his apology. That belongs to Nell. “It’s all good,” Nells says. “Good!” says Granger. “She’s got that Gorgon stare,” he says. I think he’s talking about Nell.
Kensi takes the box and they all walk out. So what’s in the box? Hetty watches them leave as she sips her tea. “All good indeed!”
Cecelia Lawshe is a web developer/programmer and has won two Webby Awards. She can be contacted via Cecelia Lawshe on Facebook.
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