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NCIS Los Angeles Episode 12 "Overwatch"

NCIS: Los Angeles poster

Written by : published Sunday 26th February 2012

NCIS Los Angeles  Episode 12 "Overwatch" main image

A coroner performing an autopsy finds a microscopic USN tag inside a body. When she steps out to call someone, an intern gets shot down by a pair of men stealing the body. One of them is hiding under a sheet on a gurney and sits up with a silenced gun to shoot. The woman grabs her cellphone and flees when she sees the intern in the doorway dead. She hides under a body bag with a corpse to evade the chaser. The shooter and his partner leave.

Meanwhile Hetty(Linda Hunt) slaps down Callen(Chris O'Donnell) verbally for grading all the colleagues at NCIS the same in their performance evaluations: great, perfect, fabulous. She challenges him to a feat of athleticism to get him to redo the reports and she bluffs and wins. He must evaluate the team for strengths and weaknesses. Did she really beat a Sherpa to Everest with a broken arm? Deeks rejects fitness and drinks too much coffee.

The residue on the body is at the center of the mystery. The tag may been involved in surreptitious Naval activity. The coroner, a young female, was calling Nate at the time of the shooting. This sounds classified to the NCIS staff, who review the closed circuit surveillance. LAPD hands over the case and the NCIS crew ponder why a half autopsied body was stolen. The coroner van taken is found on the street. Deeks and Kensi find a bomb inside, showing planning and advanced skills on the part of the thieves.

Yusef Afzal, the dead guy, is researched by the NCIS team. Born in America, no Interpol, no record. The bomb destroys traces of the body snatcher's identities. They analyze why a dead body is stolen. Proof of death, Satanaic ritual, the list goes on. They find no answer. Police call the event a home invasion that killed the dead man. He is a hospital employee, by the way.

Deeks and Kensi arrive at the dead man's home where neighbours reported a disturbance. The homicide is a 'cold case" with no suspects. They enter the dwelling to find a woman there. She challenges them on their identity and they do the same. She claims to be Yusef's girlfriend removing keepsakes, which she offers to them freely. The girlfriend is emotionally upset about any inference Yusef was a zealot or terrorist.

Deeks and partner conduct an interview. She says she met him at the hospital, where she works. They were friends for years. Yusuf's parents fled Beirut but he holds no religious ties or affiliations. His girlfriend becomes emotional when they suggest he might be a sleeper. She says she was working the night Yusef died. She says he rocked the babies in the ICU after his shift with her. Deeks and partner are frustrated nobody seems guilty.

The NCIS crew track the tiny numbers on the microscopic residue tag. The substance is a crystalline classified number identifier. This tracking system is a Special Ops experiment called "Overwatch". Navy officer Rearden briefs Callen and Hanna further. Counter insurgency was the goal, says a Naval contact they visit. Planet-wide satellite tracing is the objective. The naval contact says the half life gets adjusted for the length of tracking required. Rearden says the big problem with the technology is the man hours required to analyze the data dump. Afghan terrorists are the focus.

Hanna (LL Cool J)  points out that the human intel needed to set up the residue tagged targets is the key. They ask after why Afzal is being tracked but Rearden looks him up and denies having any tracking program for him. Rearden says there are no tracking targets Stateside but Nate demands he look up Los Angeles on his satellite tracking program. The screen fills with targets. Rearden claims it is a glitch but Nate and partner know better. 112 targets show up.

Rearden says the data is encrypted and some has hijacked the Overwatch software. The Pentagon goes on high alert. The NCIS can't crack the hacking but says a mosque in Westchester is filling up with targets. The team finds a rogue private security agent masking an IP address using the Overwatch software he helped build for the government. The NCIS team made a deal to get the cracked code.

After a few twists and turns, they break into a hospital lab where nuclear residue materials are being held. Some have been stolen. Callen and Hanna realize the stolen residue tag was a plan to frame the "terrorist" and access the lab. Nuclear medicine has been stolen, enough to make a dirty bomb. Hetty speaks to the CIA and FBI regarding the materials theft. LAPD is notified that 4 canisters are gone. The radio tracking of a local hospital shows the team the material is in Venice.

Callen, Hanna, Deeks and Kensi go on-site to a Venice farmers market, where detection devices register the material faintly. They narrow in on their target while local cameras follow the crowd's movement. Kenzi and Deeks chase a perp, then Kensi gets run knocked off the hood of a rushing car. She gets up and turns around the car is gone. Callen and Hanna footrace the man with the bag.  Deeks tackles one of the men on a footbridge over a Venice canal. He gets knocked into the water and almost shot but for Kensi.

Hanna and Callen, chasing the suspect with the bag, overtake him on the Venice board-walk, where he pulls a woman into a hostage situation with a gun. They capture the perp with the canisters. The squad determine through cellphone tracking the region of the central planners, the Blue Ridge mountains. The coroner makes a urn for the dead intern killed during the theft. Hetty tells Callen the missing canister "will turn up".


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