NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 13 Review: Red Rover, Red Rover

Someone has gotten exactly the result that he or she wanted. The question remains who.

Anna did the noble thing sacrificing herself to save Joelle and was in a world of trouble when NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 13 ended.

But the question that has yet to be answered is who exactly has her.

Someone wearing a dog/wolf mask and using a voice scrambler abducted Joelle as a way of flushing out Anna.

But so little of this storyline adds up. Why take Joelle rather than someone important to Anna such as Arkady or Callen? Yeah, that about covers the people who matter to Anna.

What did make sense was someone feeding intel to the suspicious Carlson that Callen was a Russian spy, to keep him busy while this plot was being hatched to capture Anna.

It’s also likely that a mole on the American side is helping whoever is after Anna.

But I’m beginning to think that Katya is a red herring since we have yet to see her over the past couple of episodes even though everyone is invoking her name. It’s like she passed the Hetty Lange course for Dwelling in the Shadows with flying colors.

Since neXt was sadly a nonstarter on Fox last fall, Canadian actress Eve Harlow, who plays Katya, should be available. And yet there’s been no sign of her. 

Sure, it makes perfect sense that Katya would want revenge on Anna, who betrayed her while performing an undercover role back on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10.

But this could all be one big misdirection play. Katya likely isn’t the only Russian who would seek vengeance on Anna for past “misdeeds.” 

It sure feels there must be more than one rogue agent (remember the Russians have a contract out of Katya) involved in this conspiracy.

Her two academy mates, whom she didn’t recognize, showing up where she was being held near the episode’s end really came out of the blue. What’s their connection to this plot? Just out-of-work muscle or something more?

By spilling over into a third episode, this storyline about what Anna has been doing all season already feels too long. Actually, if you count all the episodes on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 with some kind of Russian tie-in, it’s a lot more episodes than that, isn’t it?

The pacing of this episode just felt more leisurely than urgent under the circumstances.

Anna was forced to endure a repetitious interrogation by Carlson, which was sure to make her appreciate the quiet of captivity later on.

The high point was the too-brief appearance by Arkady, which can be said about most of the Arkady episodes.

Arkady was a natural target, being beloved of Anna while simultaneously being so loud and public. But as a favorite recurring character, it just never felt like he was in peril. He hasn’t stayed alive this long without knowing how to protect himself.

Of course, his panic room consisted mainly of vodka and bar snacks, just like you envisioned it.

There was the obligatory Arkady driving Kensi and Deeks crazy with his idiosyncrasies. His Zoom sessions with Bobby would likely have been more entertaining than much of this episode.

Alas, too soon he was stashed away in a safehouse, although the ominous talk about Katya going out to find insurance makes me wonder how safe Arkady actually is.

One question that never really got answered was why take Joelle? She and Callen have history, which really shouldn’t be an incentive for Anna to trade herself for Joelle.

Joelle has value to the CIA but that agency was cut out of the rescue effort, in part due to a concern about a Russian mole.

I’m guessing that, based on the abuses she has taken recently, it was just time to take Joelle off the board. There are so many recurring characters on NCIS: Los Angeles now that it’s time to thin the herd. I don’t see her being written in as an analyst or a training officer in future episodes, which is the direction in which she is now headed.

At least TPTB didn’t do for the cheap shock value of blowing her up.

Mostly, there was a good deal on moping while waiting for leads to appear.

In case it was possible to forget during the show’s spotty, on-again, off-again 2021, Kensi and Deeks are still working on having a baby. Also came a reminder of Kensi’s stalker Kessler, last sighted back on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 5.

Anna wanted to explain but Callen didn’t want to hear it. No sense clearing the air before she leaves on a suicide mission.

Then there was Nell’s crisis of confidence during the futile search for Anna when she realized, yet again, that she wasn’t Hetty. Poor Kensi must be getting tired of having to give everyone pep talks. But someone has to do it with no Hetty around.

And, of course, Roundtree and Fatima were dreaming of escaping to Hawaii, getting away from the workaday world. I’m sure many viewers wanted to be right there with them as they waited for a break in the case which wasn’t going to come this episode.

So, maybe this gets sewn up on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 14?

To follow the Russian developments, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.

Is Katya behind this plot or someone else? Who then?

Did you also find this episode a little pokey between explosions?

Is this it for Joelle?

Comment below.

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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