S08E13 Hot Water

Hetty’s self-imposed deadline for a successful mole hunt has just expired and Under Secretary of Defence Duggan arrives at NCIS to accept her resignation.  But it seems that the mole is also aware of the deadline as bang on the ninety days, the team is sent in to disarray when Granger, Sam, Deeks and Callen are all arrested by different agencies and for different crimes.The offensive on the male characters takes place early in the episode, opening with Granger, groggily waking up and finding a woman – Heather, who the team have been searching for in connection with the mole – beaten and unconscious on the floor.  The blood Granger has already discovered on him means he is the prime suspect and LAPD arrest him on sight.  vlcsnap-2017-01-16-22h59m42s138Deeks, sent to LAPD to check on Granger, is stonewalled and subsequently arrested.  Internal Affairs Detective Whiting delights in advising she has new evidence implicating Deeks in the murder of his former partner.  Just as this information is relayed to Sam and Callen in the field, the DEA turn up.  When Sam approaches them, he’s also arrested when a dead body and drugs are found in the trunk of his Challenger. Callen sneaks off to his neighbour’s house (for milk and cookies) to run surveillance on his own home.  Cue the ATF who are tracking Callen through his cell, and chase him down using a dog; they’ve found a dead body and explosives on his property.  (Maybe he should have taken Sam’s advice and moved.)

It was interesting to see the different interrogation techniques employed by vlcsnap-2017-01-16-20h39m47s510each of the agencies, the different types of rooms used and the behaviour adopted by the agents.  The DEA interrogation room is warmly lit with an orange hue, with Sam gently but firmly dancing around DEA Sanchez, their dialogue bouncing back and forth with the camera perpetually swirling round them.  vlcsnap-2017-01-16-20h47m59s648Both men are seated and there is mutual respect between them.  The next cut is to Deeks in a small, drab and dreary interview room. There is more of a verbal spar between Deeks and Detective Whiting with less of the bite from season seven, and despite Deeks being under arrest, he almost has the position of power. vlcsnap-2017-01-16-20h56m23s161He remains standing, prowling around the front of the box-room and literally thinking on his feet.  He makes Whiting smile but she still has the upper hand.  Like Sam, who requested DEA Agent Talia Del Campo and was refused, Deeks’ request to see his Captain is also denied  The next scene is Callen’s interrogation by ATF Agent Morgan.  His room is sparse but light, with a two way mirror, quite reflective of Callen himself.  He is seated to Morgan’s standing and he bluntly plays to sensibilities which initial garners the respect of Morgan, who sits down opposite him.  But his words fall on deaf ears and Callen does well to rein in his emotions and not lose his temper.

Day turns to night and the second round of interrogation scenes again all follow each other, this time starting with Deeks who seems to be going stir-crazy, slamming the walls to get attention.  vlcsnap-2017-01-16-22h26m36s862The mutual respect between Sam and Sanchev has worn thin for Sam who demands his phone call.  The biggest contrast is in Callen’s interrogation.  Like Sam, he is sitting in the same position but is much less relaxed.  vlcsnap-2017-01-16-22h28m33s946His room has turned dark and Morgan is bouncing a ball against the floor and walking behind Callen, creating tension which is reciprocated in Callen’s passive aggressive attitude; he tells Morgan to let him out so he can do his job and Morgan’s.  Deeks may be acting like a caged beast but Callen’s stillness belies a man that loathes to be cornered.  He is simmering beneath the surface. Several times now Callen has been shown escaping from handcuffs and from custody, which is a theme set to continue, judging by the promo for the next episode.

Kensi has made great progress and even though she is not cleared vlcsnap-2017-01-16-22h31m37s636to return to the field, she happily jumps in the deep end when all the guys are arrested, liberating Heather from the hospital so she can be safely interrogated in the boatshed. Kensi overpowers a guard and saves Heather from a targeted drive-by shooting, and later convinces Heather to reveal who’s behind the attacks on NCIS, recognising the morse code used.  Heather is working for the CIA!  Is another agency really trying to take down NCIS?  With Hetty watching, Kensi must surely have justified her position back on the team.

For the Densi fans, there is talk of the proposal from both Deeks and Kensi on separate occasions, albeit to the same stonewalling LAPD Officer.  They may have only shared one scene in Ops, and it certainly felt that after the uncertainty of Kensi’s state of mind, her chat with Nate last week has pushed her forward again.  Their relationship may still take a back seat for a few episodes though, until the mole is flushed out.

In between the arrests and interrogations, there were several shock moments, particularly one involving Granger at LAPD, and later with Duggan.  It had earlier been suspected that Duggan could be the mole, until Hetty tested the waters and realised his true motives. When the face of the van driver shooting at Kensi and Heather is revealed, for a few seconds it became vlcsnap-2017-01-16-21h23m06s762entirely possible that Eric could be a mole. It is only when he blows across the barrel of his gun and nearly burns his mouth, is it confirmed that the shooting was a ruse.  It was a delight to see Eric was effective and normal in the field.  There may not have been many laughs, yet there were amusing lines such as Deeks complaining the coffee has still not improved since the last time he was arrested by Whiting, and then there was the in-joke that Kensi would make a terrible sister-wife…

The episode closed with the men still locked up, and Kensi and Hetty escaping through the hatch ofthe boatshed’s interrogation room, after an assault by SWAT.  The mole’s net is closing fast and cruelly there is a two week wait until the part two.  First time episode writer Anastasia Kousakis (daughter of executive producer John Peter Kousakis) has done a grand job in displaying the true characteristics of the team when under extreme pressure. Intermingled with small pieces of action was a fast paced narrative which cut between the different interrogations and the investigations by the women.  The stakes have certainly increased and a high bar has been set – parts two and three have a high standard to reach.

What were your thoughts on the episode?  How many red herrings will be thrown our way during parts two and three?  And who will be outed as the mole(s)?

14 thoughts on “S08E13 Hot Water

  1. jsm

    Thank you for the review. I am not sure what is going on. It moved quickly and I liked the set up of the interrogations. I don’t like waiting for two weeks. It will seem even more drawn out.


  2. Donnamarie

    I thought the episode was all over the place. Kensi didnt seem to be worried about Deeks arrest as much as she was in Internal Affairs episode. It was so annoying and frustrating to see them finally in a scene together and not one word was said between them I dont understand why the writers are doing this. Kensi did a lot of running around. I felt sorry for Granger as I come to like him. Will be interesting in the next episode when Deeks finds out about Kensi being kidnapped. I hope Deeks is the one who rescues her and we FINALLY get a Densi scene. This engagement has been dragged out for too long. Just do it!!


  3. Ryan C.

    Kensi can’t win can she? It seems like no matter what she does its never good enough, smh!. In OPS they were more concerned about Granger being arrested and simply didn’t have time to talk, besides the scene changed as soon as Callen & Sam left. She was plenty worried about him. She was begging the cop working the desk then Detective Whiting to let her see him and if she acted even more worried she would have given Whiting even more of an upper hand than she already has. Kensi knew the only way she was going to get him and the other guys out was to take down the mole so her, Hetty, Nell & Eric had to focus on Heather and the case. Also unlike “Internal Affairs” she wasn’t caught off guard and a trip to county was imminent for Deeks this time. She might be his fiance that loves him very much, but forgive her if she doesn’t kiss his butt like a god! She isn’t perfect but neither is he. Im a huge DENSI fan myself, but I acknowledge that the name of the show is NCIS: Los Angeles NOT the DENSI show! Sorry for the rant, but I think all the hate on Kensi is BS and at times is a double standard. Deeks & Callen do the same things she has done and no complaints

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Donnamarie

      I wasnt being nasty to Kensi at all. She has been through alot but so has Deeks. I am just frustrated with the lack of Densi scenes lately.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ryan C.

        You weren’t being nasty, but saying “Kensi didn’t seem to be worried about Deeks as much as she was in Internal Affairs episode” felt like an unfair criticism of her. And I’m sorry but for someone who claims to be such a DENSI fan you seem to have little faith in her. Based on some of your posts this season over on wikideeks, you were actually worried that she was going to cheat with Sullivan.
        Have a little more faith, is all I’m saying.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Donnamarie

        This is why I dont comment anymore. My opinion s are always targeted. So thank you. And I am a huge fan. I have my own site on them. Take care.


  4. skippy

    What a great review. Thank you.
    I have noticed the different interrogation rooms set up also. Though I don’t know if this has a certain meaning or not.
    Yes it was a good episode, almost non-stop high speed and really interesting to see what might happen next. But I think this was easier to write than the previous episodes since they had to build up a case plus some character development plus some more leads regarding the mole story arc (and of course some Kensi/Deeks specials). And all these aspects in one episodes did make most of them overloaded and not very tense but rather boring.
    So yes the writer did a good first script but a pretty easy one IMO (showing us everything we have seen so far regarding the mole and setting the stage for the next two episodes). You mentioned it before family is the overall theme for this show, so this in not only in front of the camera but also behind.

    Some more thoughts:
    – The drugs in the dumpster weren’t really believable. The planning overall was so meticulous and they just trashed the drugs in the nearby dumpster?
    – Callen was in his house to change his jacket but didn’t check his house after he has seen the planted body and drugs in Sams car. Sorry but this is pretty unlikely.
    – Is there a coincidence that Callen was arrested by the ATF and Anna is working (or will be) for this agency?
    – Hetty knew she had no idea who the mole might be and how to catch him/them but still didn’t ask the team for help? That is not only selfish but also extremely dangerous.

    Your reviews are always so good and a great read. The last couple of episodes I just totally disagreed with your opinion so no comment from my side. But thank you for your thoughts on each episode.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. robin1028

    Hot Water,
    this episode was over the top unbeilevable and bad…. this show has gone so far downhill this season its a shame, what happened to the writers that started NCIS Los Angels?? has anyone ever seen a show were the complete cast was arrested at one time, It kind of made a mockery out of your veiwers via your thinking we are so stupid as to beleive it, how sad!!!! the mole,, the. soap’s brings things to a faster fruision then this is being done, having Hetty hide her face all this time ??? the only time she has been the old Hetty in many of the last weeks is when she told Kensi and Nell about the women and a tea bag… showing strenght !! I think I speak for the greater part of your veiwers when I say we all expected so much more from this season not this chid’s play were seeing, so very phony…. we waited a long time for Callen to finally meet his Father and yet instead of seeing what we were all waiting for we get phony run around….how about real beleivable scenes, the cast is talented and well liked, Callen is supurb in any situation ,he actually makes you feel like the hour is real, Deeks, Kensi, Anna, Hetty Granger they are all right there with Callen in the acting professionalism, and I would also like to include Eric, these people make up your best cast.. they are the best cast of any other TV series in that king of series… only once equal is Mark Harmon (gibbs) Abbey, McGee, Sivia, (before) Elly, and now of course J Eposito,, realizing of course it is still a ncis seies, but there are a lot of series that are not connected but along the same line, and there cast can not hold a candle agaist your cast, please think your writing out


  6. Linda Wigington

    Thanks very much for your review. I enjoyed it as always. I really liked this episode. I found it tense and exciting. However, I had the feeling that it was only the first step in our journey to find the mole. Which of course it was. I don’t know why the mole search wasn’t taken more seriously earlier or why all these different agencies were involved. Does it matter to take note of the different interrogation rooms? I think that all three, Deeks, Callen and Sam all acted according to their characters. Duggan seems to have been eliminated as the mole which leaves us looking for clues to his/her identity. Who knows what will unfold in the next episode?


  7. monty

    I would bake cookies Grisha every day!
    Damn: the lady goes to get milk but when she comes back, she does not have milk in their hands.
    Scene assistants: remember that you pay to do your job.

    Eric shooting, nothing new. The good/bad is a expedient already used. Something new?

    I’m not Densi. In fact, I do not like them at all! I think that Densi is the stupidest thing in the series.
    Detective Whiting is strong, Kensi is too weak when it comes to Shaggy. She is so vulnerable that Whiting eats her in one bite.
    Silly Shaggy: your threat to Withing is stupid and inconsistent. You do not scare anyone. You’re a poor puppet Shaggy.
    Wake up, back to being who you really are. You remember Martin, you remember Max. Maybe you’re still in time! Maybe.



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