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NCIS: Los Angeles episode 19 "Vengeance" recap

NCIS: Los Angeles poster

Written by : published Saturday 31st March 2012

NCIS: Los Angeles episode 19 "Vengeance" recap main image

Chief Hanna is met with suspicions and hostility when the death of a Navy SEAL on leave comes to his attention. But the missing man is part of a team ready to go and rescue civilians in a cave in Iraq.

Eric plays computer games in OPS and complains that another player, Hotshot 7, follows him into every theater It is Hetty, who has warned him about playing games again and again. Eric whines as Callen and Hanna take away his X-Box. Eric jokes that war is hell.

The dead man is a mystery. The men on the squad all claim to have gone to a movie together. But they all say the same thing about how the movie ended, leading Callen to believe they did not stay and exchanged notes about what to say. Task force Delta won’t break.

Ensign Aaron Powell’s body was found wounded and killed. He was  a communication specialist working in Afghanistan. A lot of classified information passed through his hands. Hanna is confounded to discover he was a Navy seal. He had a wound which was cared for and then died.

Kenzi and Deaks find that Powell had a mailbox and did a dead drop. There is an account in a bank with $300 and a safety deposit box for one of the men. In it there are envelopes with cash inside. This is now deemed a terrorist operation. But the leader of the unit puts pressure on Hanna to let the men go to save the two civilians. 

A special knife was used to make the first wound. Signs of torture are seen. Because they have previous experience in-theater, their knowledge precludes a replacement team while the murder is investigated. Sam identifies a knife of this type as a navy SEAL type of thing to have.

The death of one of the men of a team ready to re-deploy means Hanna has only hours to break the case. The NAVY SEAL team refuses to work with Callen, turning away questions. And Sam pleads with Callen to let him question the men on his own. Hanna asks Callen to back off.

Callen investigates whether the men actually stayed at the theater. One of the men actually dated another man’s girlfriend. They look at this for motive. Ensign Powell’s murder ruffles a lot of  arrogant NAVY SEALs handed to the Hindu Kush rescue mission. 

The commander is using the imperative of the mission to get the SEALS away from the investigation. Even though protocol demands they stay for the murder investigation, knowledge exclusive to the few men means they have to go themselves. The Taliban are moving Rowe and Davis every few hours.

The men refuse to talk to anyone except Hanna.

Sam does so, but the men remain as a tight knit group to their alibi. Callen discovers the men are lying and went through the fence into the post. They find a blind spot in the cameras where the fence is ripped. Sam says there is no physical evidence. There is no motive.

Hetty calls a meeting. Powell’‘s safety deposit box links him with foreign national and espionage. Callen points out that even if NAVY SEALS don’t kill for jealousy they would kill a traitor. Hanna agrees. 

Hanna must then question the men again. Kenzi  says it like watching someone question their family and Deaks agrees. Hanna claims the men are SEALS and answer to a different code.

Meanwhile Deaks and Kenzi finds the packet of sensitive information and cause it to upload to its destination. This is the secreted information about the mission the men were going to be on.

“The DoD wants this taken care of now.“ The commander can barely make his men cooperate.

Kenzi asks to call the MPs when the agents needed for questioning bristle and insist they need to get on a plane instead of answering Callen’s questions. Sam asks no questions and points out that only he can get information.

Slowly Hanna is the only one who can deal with the SEALS. They lie to Callen about where they were and what they did. 

When Hanna finally gets all the men together in the room at the boat house, he turns off the cameras and microphones and deals with the men privately. Hanna finds out that they captured the dead man and wounded him to find out where he was selling information about the mission. The man didn’t think the prisoner would die.

The men wait to see what Hanna will do. Presumably because they were acting out of loyalty to the SEAL code the shouldn’t be charged with murder.

The men acted together and threw the body away. The man who wounded him with the knife dressed the wound. But the coroner finds later that asthma and a panic attack caused him to choke. But Hanna must decide if they acted out of rage or malice. He lets them leave for the mission.

Hanna is tasked by Hetty about letting the men go. Hanna says there was not enough information to charge anybody. He says the confession of one of the men was a malfunction of the microphone and could not be used. Hetty says this cannot stand, he let them off.

Callen and Hetty listen on the hot mike to the mission in Hindu Kush in real time. One by one the men are are hit while the leader calls for a sitrep (situation report). Finally they get the two civilians free.

Only when the hostages are rescued at great personal loss of life to the team does Hetty relent and tell Sam she agrees with his assessment and can close the case.

About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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