That wasn’t a bad place from which to head into another hiatus.
As one storyline reached its inevitable conclusion, two other mysteries popped up on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 9.
Sabatino ended up leaving town largely empty-handed. Then again, he wasn’t even supposed to be there in the first place.
So no harm, no foul.
Obviously, his presence was no great secret as Kilbride was aware of Sabatino’s being in town and tracking down the counterfeit superbills.
He was great as the butt of jokes, both by Kensi and the goth store owner. It was possible to see Sabatino as a suburban dad going through a midlife crisis.
It was hilarious to think that Sabatino was an aspiring heavy-metal musician before joining the CIA, quite the career change.
All that time with Deeks has allowed Kensi to roll with whoever her partner is on a given day.
The superbills case certainly took a dogleg turn. Suddenly, it went from Chinese agents smuggling counterfeit cash to fund terrorism to Chinese agents using that money to buy U.S. military secrets.
Despite all the red herrings, it was evident that the nice-guy Nigerian engineer wasn’t selling the secrets. Instead, it was his seemingly oblivious boss.
The case was too weak to be stretched out over a couple of episodes as it was. That’s probably why it got wrapped up so early, to leave time for dealing with other developments.
It’s always good to see Kilbride, the best of the Hetty substitutes, even if his visit made absolutely no sense. Did hetty ask him to check in on her team? Hetty seems to know what her team is up to at all times, regardless of what war zone she’s visiting.
Kilbride appeared to be pretty up to date on what the OSP had been doing lately. Except, of course, for Eric. But then nobody seems to know what Eric is doing anymore. Ghost in the machine, I’d guess.
At least Kilbride got to go out into the field with Sam since Callen was off on “personal business.” For once, Sam was the less gruff partner in an NCIS pairing.
It was also fun to see Kilbride and Sam shooting the breeze like a couple of old salts. I suspect Sam, and maybe Callen, are the only members of the team that Kilbride respects.
Where’s Nell been the past couple of episodes? Too much guest cast or an outside project?
We also found out that Fatima came to the world of law enforcement from acting on a night-time soap. It’s good to see Roundtree making an effort to find out more about his partner, and it would be enjoyable to see more clips from her show.
I also thought the Porsche came from the motor pool to better blend into L.A. traffic. After all, there appears to be no Crown Vics in their fleet.
It’s admirable that the newbies aren’t meeting with unnatural easy success but are working hard for small gains as they learn.
Eric’s presence allows Fatima more time in the field, especially with Nell absent.
On NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12, the only sure combination is Sam and Callen, with circumstances driving the other pairings.
Of course, Kensi and Deeks are about to be reunited professionally now that Deeks has survived his laughable stretch at FLETC.
Rumor has it that Deeks’ whole storyline losing his job with NCIS was Eric Christian Olsen wanting some time off to spend with his newborn. That made sense and was laudable.
However, it didn’t work from a narrative standpoint.
I guess the point was that, despite his decade on the job, Deeks still had to jump through the same hoops as any other candidate.
This was the case even though Hetty pulled strings to get him into, and out of, FLETC.
We even got a few “look at old Deeks” jokes out of those episodes. Then there was Hetty punking him in the end, with Kensi in on the joke.
But did anyone believe Deeks was going anywhere or that he would just be the owner of a bankrupt bar? No.
Does this mean Deeks is back full time (whatever that means) after this next hiatus? Or is that busted rib going to take a few episodes to heal?
Now on to Callen. The two flashbacks to young Callen choosing duty over love were informative and explained a lot. Young Callen was quite believable, but younger Hetty looked like a waxed figurine.
The storyline about Anna going off to do a Habitat-for-Humanity project seemed a little wonky from the start. She was elusive when leaving Callen and ever since.
Now that Callen has chosen love, he found out that she’s been lying to him all along. But why?
Callen will have to figure that out soon, or we won’t be getting a milestone episode this season. But with sporadic production, we likely wouldn’t have anyway.
We also found out why we’ve gotten more appearances by Kam this season, after only a handful throughout the series. She was being set up to be abducted.
So with Kensi’s stalker, Anna’s disappearance, and Kam’s abduction, the show should be all set for storylines whenever production does begin again.
To follow Deeks’ travails, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Were you glad to see Kilbride again?
Was there any point to the counterfeit-superbills case?
What’s up with Anna?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.