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Review: NCISLA “In the Line of Duty” (S6E13)


We’re back to basics as the team investigates a terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Tunisia. Writer Tim Clemente and Director Karen Gaviola are teamed up again for this episode after previously working together on “Blood Brothers” in the first season.

No Answers….Just Conspiracies

You know things are serious when there is no fun banter to kick off an episode. It’s all business as the team races up the stairs to be briefed on the attack. The ambassador, Nancy Kelly, and her team are seen under fire and racing from the terrorists. Sam knows her Navy attaché, Tom Harris, who unfortunately does not survive the violence. After a briefing with the FBI, they are told the terrorists are in complete control of the compound and Callen is concerned that all the evidence will be destroyed. (Sam: Hell no.) You know this is not going to happen on Sam’s watch! But the FBI is firm that the country will consider any military force illegal action. But Callen has a better plan! Kensi and Deeks insist on traveling with Callen and Sam to Tunisia, but it’s not going to be a mission for the entire team this time. The senior partners need to go it alone.

That leaves Densi to interview Harris’ boss Captain Beck about his connection to the victims. Beck is sure that the military had no prior knowledge that an attack was imminent or of any activity that would arouse suspicion. The Captain is tired of diplomacy, he wants the team to find out who planned the attack and kill the perpetrators. The man doesn’t mince words.

What Does Not Kill Us…..Only Makes Me Want to Kill You!

Once in Tunisia, Callen and Sam survey the area with a little help from Ops. The partners covertly storm the embassy and head directly to the safe room where they find the bodies of the murdered consulate staff. While Callen is recording the evidence, the terrorists discover the team’s activity but not before they are able to escape with the invaluable photographic evidence in their possession. As they are being debriefed on the flight back, Callen and Sam find out that several members of the terrorist brigade are traveling to Mexico most likely to find their way into the States to completing their failed mission.

What I Really Need is a Hetty Bobble Head Doll

Kensi and Deeks check out the FBI’s 3-D printer working to reproduce the safe room and the evidence that was retrieved from the scene. Good to see Deeks is back to his silly self as he requests if the fancy machine can build him a Stretch Armstrong and Hetty bobble head doll. Nell also informs them that they found a hole in Captain Beck’s statement that proves he had visited Harris in Tunisia only a few weeks before the attack. Densi return to his office to demand the truth but he’s not talking. What’s up with this guy? Back in the gym, Callen and Sam are analyzing the safe room evidence that was recreated by the 3-D printer. Pretty impressive, huh? The boys find a key clue… there is no blood trauma or bullet wounds on the bodies. It actually looks like smoke inhalation killed both victims.

As Densi leave Beck’s office, Deeks spies what looks to be the infiltration of the bad guys on American soil. I just loved how Deeks calmly surveyed the street as he talked with Kensi… always the vigilant cop. As the partners take on the terrorists, a few still get away. I know Deeks was out there in the open, but boy was he lucky these guys were such poor shots with all that firing going on! All evidence is pointing back to the evasive Captain Beck who has been recorded having secret meetings with the CIA and Callen knows exactly how he can find the mysterious CIA operative.

This is Just Adorable Partner Banter

Kensi and Deeks are in rare form as they review the evidence at the recreated safe room. Yes, Deeks you both were adorable and Kensi was really enjoying the verbal barrage. It was the first really light scene in the entire episode. But it leads to an important clue and a piece of paper that is lodged in Harris’ hand. Dogleg? That’s the question Callen and Sam bring to their meeting with Wally the CIA operative who plays dumb until Sam pushes the envelope and forces the information from him. Dogleg is the code name for a top secret black op in Tunisia but that’s about all he’s giving up. (Callen: I can’t exactly hold him here, Huggs!)

The elusive mole reemerges in a conversation between Hetty and Granger, as Granger worries over Mission security before the Ambassador arrives to visit the crime scene reproduction. Eric has also found footage of her arguing with Harris in Tunisia. As Callen and Sam review the video evidence with Kelly, Callen speculates that the mission was a kidnapping event and not an assassination attempt. Kelly points out that she may not have been the target since not all of the images from the terrorist communication were of her. Harris was the common denominator and was probably the real target. Callen confronts Kelly and feels she may know the reason why they were after Harris particularly in regards to Dogleg. Kelly explains she argued with Harris because he wouldn’t tell her who was involved with the op. She also identifies Captain Beck as part of the operation and most likely the terrorists’ next victim.

That’s Not Good

Kensi and Deeks are sent to locate Beck but instead find an empty home that’s been ransacked. (Deeks: Wow it looks like your house after you clean it.). Beck was abducted by the terrorists and eventually the team sets off to storm their compound and rescue Beck. I had to laugh that with all that gunpower at their disposal, Deeks was able to take down the terrorist with a simple fireplace iron and save the day. (Deeks: I thought about hitting an eight but I decided to just choke down a seven iron.) My hero!

The final scene in the Mission was sweet despite the team ragging on Deeks. (Sam: What’s wrong with you? Callen: He’s a bobble head. Kensi: He’s more like a chchchchia pet.) Ah, but we love our slightly dysfunctional family, don’t we? Just remember folks, who saved the day!

Memorable Moments

  • Use your wizardry to make it work, Gandalf! Sam has found another way to tease poor Eric but of course we all know Eric is the Wizard of Ops!
  • Callen gets back at Sam in the name calling game: Huggy? Perfect!
  • Don’t you ever get sick of drinking that stuff? Granger is lucky he didn’t find a kitten with claws!
  • I loved the Walton reference at the end by Deeks and when he addresses Sam as John Boy, I thought I would lose it! Shut up Deeks!

Densi Moments

Oh, the team, definitely know what’s going on between these two:

Deeks: What’s up boys? How’s the honeymoon going?

Sam: Really, you two want to go there?

Kensi: Oh, no. Not us two. Keep me out of this.


Can I get an ahhhhh?

Deeks: Do you have my back?

Kensi: Always.


Deeks: Wow. Now I know how Mr. Magoo felt!

Kensi: Who?

Deeks: Magoo. Seriously? Oh, ho, ho Magoo. You’ve done it again.

Kensi: What?

Deeks: Seriously, nothing? It must have been before you time.

Kensi: My time is your time, so how is that possible, Einstein?

Deeks: Because you don’t have an appreciate for vintage animation.

Kensi: If by that you mean I don’t like old cartoons, no I don’t.

Deeks: First off, the word cartoon, is demeaning to the art form and secondly, cartoons are cool.

Kensi: Oh yeah, you think they are cool?

Deeks: Yeah, I think they are rad.

Kensi: How rad do you think they are?

Deeks: I think they are awesome possum.

Kensi: How awesome possum?

FBI: What is this?

Deeks: This? Aw don’t worry about this. This is just adorable partner banter. You’re going to come to love this!

Not a whole lot of Densi movement going on but we do get an acknowledgement from Sam that the team is quite aware of their relationship. Unfortunately, I wish it was a more interesting episode. There were moments of action and some drama but they never made me really care about the Dogleg mission and why it was so important and why the terrorists would risk coming into the US to kidnap or kill Beck. Although I would have liked to have found out more about the mole who was briefly mentioned and then promptly dropped again to my frustration. But we did get to see why our slightly dysfunctional team is such a great working unit. Nobody does it better and that’s why we love them.

We have another break next week but be sure to come back to wikiDeeks for our Team Roundtable Discussion. Our contributors review season six so far and what we hope to see in the future. (No surprise it has to do with wanting more Deeks in the future!) Don’t forget Deeks Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal later this week too! See you soon!

Title: “In the Line of Duty”
Writer: Tim Clemente
Director: Karen Gaviola
Original Air Date: January 19, 2015


Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi

About Diane (428 Articles)
Founder, Writer and Contributing Editor of wikiDeeks. Always wanted to put together a talented team of writers and graphic designers who loved NCISLA and Marty Deeks in particular! My dream came true! Hope you enjoy what we have created!

6 Comments on Review: NCISLA “In the Line of Duty” (S6E13)

  1. I agree 100% with your review. Loved the team action and their interactions but the case itself never really picked up any momentum. Felt almost like a filler ep. The little Densi we did see was nice though. Love loved Sam’s response to Deeks’ honeymoon comment – I’ve always felt that if/when Densi took that personal leap that the team knowing/finding out wouldn’t be some huge, drama-filled, big-brother-talk event. I’m glad to see the writers worked that in to basically let us know that the team knows.

    That little scene outside Beck’s office with the shoutout was such an understated, but good scene. With Deeks relaying his observations in such a calm but serious manner and then probably one of my favorite small exchanges between Deeks and Kensi with the “you have my back?” “Always” – so many meanings there and her tone and look when she responded gave me butterflies.

    I don’t think I even care what happens in the next ep because I believe the ep after that is when we see Ray come back and I assume the previously revealed spoiler of Deeks returning to LAPD unfolds. I’m hoping for a Deeks-heavy ep and some great Densi moments out of Kalstein!


  2. Great review Di! The episode was total filler to me but I did like the Mr. Magoo scene a lot.


  3. Great recap! Loved the team banter, especially the Densi banter. Sam’s line. “Really, you two want to go there?” was awesome! Great job, Di😄


  4. In this episode I liked the usual Densi banter and the Mr Magoo scene was pure gold.
    Kensi keeps on being softer on Deeks (except in Kalstein’s episodes…), he touches him more and smiles a lot. But I am honestly wondering: if an NCIS LA viewer had been sleeping for a month and had totally missed Humbug, would he/she understand Deeks and Kensi are “All in”? I don’t think so. We do understand it because WE KNOW and we see things in that “All in” wonderful light!
    This doesn’t bother me much at present but it may in the long run considering we are halfway through Season 6.

    What I really really liked (in both the two episodes after “Humbug”) is that Deeks and Kensi still work very well together, so they are proving (to themselves and the rest of the team who may or may not know about them) that they can have a personal relationship going on and still be capable and kickass agents/detectives. In fact I’m scared to think that Deeks will be sent back to LAPD basing on some mistakes that he makes. Why? Why? Why? After being so competent half the season?

    A last curiosity: did anyone notice that Nell was wearing a small stone ring on her left ring finger? Just Renee’s slip or Neric’s new stage after the Christmas holidays? It would seem unlikely, anyway, that even if they were together, Nell already wore an engagement ring at work. How much have we missed?


    • Cladani – I agree that if you didn’t see Humbug, you probably wouldn’t know that Deeks and Kensi had moved into a personal relationship and while I am really liking the Densi we see right now, I agree that they’re going to need to start showing us a little more or else it’s going to be a little off and I fear we’d be heading back into that unknown territory of just making assumptions.

      And yes, I am quite fearful of the whole storyline with Deeks going back to LAPD. What’s going to send him back? I feel like we can guess that it won’t be a covert plan like in The Debt because it’s already been done. My hope is that it’s just some case they need help on (need Max Gentry?) and that it will push him to turn in that NCIS application because he doesn’t want to get pulled away from Kensi and the team. I was thinking that while I don’t like the idea of it, it does make sense just from a show logistical standpoint that he may go back for a case or something. For a cop who’s “just” a liaison, he sure hasn’t left NCIS for anything in years (that we’ve seen or heard about anyway) and I feel like that’s probbaly unrealistic (maybe not though).


  5. I just wonder if it’s a bit hard on the show to be so critical – it IS a police show – what is the term “procedural”? I wonder if the densi drama those here wish for would really fly in this prime time slot and hold out against stuff like Castle and Blacklist? I was impressed with the lose ends – the guys get ID’d going into a bank that has nothing to do with the original issue, the reason they are after “somebody” is revealed – a twist/turn, the stories really do “make sense”. I don’t think I’ve ever had to ask how did they get from point A to B. I know I for one like more “character” stuff, but too much does it become a drama(?) rather than an action show – and that is really not what it is, isn’t it? A whole kind of different audience. Their stories are logical, make sense, don’t have holes in the “who/how done it” … a bit more long-term-plot-line for the season would be nice. I thought it was a pretty good story with good action, beautiful filming and logical plot lines all held together with some pretty good “personal” stuff to keep us in the family.
    I saw the ring on Nell too??? Nay Nay is that a new nickname?


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