S08E14 Under Siege

Last week’s  episode left the team in dire-straights as planted evidence meant the men (bar Eric) were arrested by different agencies and Granger was fighting for his life.  The rest were left holding the fort and finally inroads were made to identifying the mole or at least who is behind their security breaches; the CIA.  In Under Siege the focus again is on individual predicaments as Hetty deliberately separates herself from her team and then Kensi is kidnapped.  There are numerous threads and sub plots and all of it is worthy of attention, from the men in jail to Hetty’s daring plan and Kensi’s ordeal.  And that is before tackling why the CIA want to bring down the team.

The excellent character study of how Sam, Callen and Deeks each cope with their imprisonment continues from Hot Water.  Deeks uses his charm and charisma on the tough tattooed thugs deliberately housed with him, his easy going personality and people skills shining through to turn potential threats in to allies.  A sneaky jailhouse kiss was the only ‘Densi’ scene for the shippers, vlcsnap-2017-01-31-23h11m26s176which later paled into insignificance when Deeks offered to incriminate himself to negotiate his release to rescue Kensi.  Sam turned the tables on DEA Officer Sanchez, literally interrogating him to the point he was sleep deprived, using intelligence and reasoning to secure his own release. Deeks’ jail scenes may have been amusing but so was Sam’s interrogation.  In direct contrast to Deeks’ lightheartedness and Sam’s intellect, Callen resorts to lies, trickery and deception. He grabs ATF Officer Morgan gun, pickpockets his phone and deliberately antagonises him.

“I sexted your mum.”

Interwoven with the plight of the incarcerated men is the escape of Carl Brown and the disappearance of Hetty Lange; of course the two are connected.  Hetty is on top form with her intricate planning and manipulation of both people and situations, although not all of it sits comfortably.  She planted the evidence that led to the arrests of Callen, Sam and Deeks to ensure they were safe and could not intervene in her plans.  vlcsnap-2017-02-01-20h48m48s224The two agents were fine (although Callen will need to beg forgiveness for escaping custody and assaulting Morgan) but Hetty whispered a clue to Internal Affairs about Tiffany, and Deeks did kill his former LAPD partner. Does Hetty have a backup plan if IA uncover hard evidence?  Hetty also orchestrated Carl’s escape, caging him and using him as bait to draw out his CIA bosses.  Like a grand chess master, she planned the game many, many moves ahead.  She knew she would be imprisoned and replace Carl as captive in the cage.  She knew the CIA would reveal the reasons for their actions, and that she would have to blow up the building whilst protecting herself with a bomb/flammable resistant blanket.

“Men are so predictable.”

Kensi is left in charge of Ops (rather than Nell) and with Eric’s discovery that CIA Officer Sabatino planted a Trojan Horse in an email to Kensi during the White Ghost mission, she and Nell set about securing the boys release. vlcsnap-2017-02-01-23h02m17s421Unfortunately it is an action that leaves Kensi exposed. Enter her rehab buddy Sullivan.  In a neat twist, he turns out to be a bitter, revenge driven psycho who kidnaps Kensi, drugs and ties her to a wheelchair.  The transformation of Sullivan who was a easy going, slightly arrogant cheeky chap, to his real identity of nasty CIA Officer Ferris is amazing.  And clearly Kensi hasn’t already been through enough this season – she now faces having her leg chain-sawed off!

The exposition in the scenes with Hetty, Sharov and Sabatino, and the closing scene between Kensi and Ferris, is required to make sense of why the CIA want to destroy the team.  There have been no previous hints of this, although Hetty, Granger and Callen regularly vlcsnap-2017-02-01-20h50m33s234piss off other agencies.  Amusingly, Sharov tells Hetty that their job is to chase after drunk sailors and wayward Marines.  Apparently the Office of Special Projects repeatedly venture into the Middle East where the CIA are most active and (unwittingly) interfere with clandestine operations.  It could all lead back to the White Ghost of season five, as sniper Kensi shot Ferris thinking he was Taliban one Boxing day.  The confusion arises as his says her team were with her but since the show started this is the only time anyone has been in that area during Christmas.  The rest of the team though, were in LA.

There is further food for thought when previous episodes are recalled.  Granger originally introduced Sabatino to the NCIS team in S3 The Watchers.  Both he and Hetty are ex-CIA, as is Callen.  Michelle Hanna was also CIA and worked with Sabatino.  vlcsnap-2017-02-01-22h46m53s975Sabatino could have taken Callen down in S6 Active Measures, and Sharov could have done the same to Callen and Sam in Russia last season (S7 Matryoshka Part 2).  Who can really be trusted?  Even Ferris’ reference to Lex talionis is a call back to S7 finale Talion, where an ‘eye for an eye’ directly impacted Sam and his family.  The location of Kensi’s captivity seems to be a former classroom or possible children’s home. Joelle Taylor (Callen’s ex) is a school teacher as she makes an appearance in the next episode with the press release teasing that Callen is betrayed by someone close to him.

Among the multiple twists, was the predictability of Internal Affairs Officer Whiting’s shooting.  vlcsnap-2017-01-31-22h59m31s403Her fate was sealed when Deeks volunteered to confess all if she released him to save Kensi. Will she take Deeks’ confession to the grave or remain silent, knowing that he did a bad thing for the right reasons?  (Note that Deeks said he shot Boyle with his own gun as he was going to try and kill that girl (Tiffany) – does that make it premeditated? Deeks’ dance with Internal Affairs may still live to see another day once the mole arc has been put to bed.

There were so many great lines and scenes in Under Siege, ranging from witnessing how three different character deal vlcsnap-2017-02-01-22h46m29s080with being in custody, to Hetty’s spectacularly manipulative ways and Carl’s monkeying and knocking himself out.  The acting was excellent from all but especially Adam Bartley (Carl), Kurt Yeager (Sullivan / CIA Ferris) and Linda Hunt. Their scenes were enthralling.  Carl’s unhinged, egotistical arrogance is creepy and Ferris sent send shivers down the spine.  Hetty’s subtle facial expressions during her scenes where Carl talks incessantly are wondrous.

It is a cruel world though, when CBS make viewers wait three weeks for the concluding part of this three episode arc.  Kensi’s screams as Ferris moves a chainsaw towards her legs is reminiscent of Deeks’ screams in the S4 finale – at least there is not a summer hiatus to cope with…

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think – what ever your views.
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17 thoughts on “S08E14 Under Siege

  1. robin1028

    for the first time we actually saw movement on the show , fruastion to a very long drawn out and boring mole situation ,Lets just hope the writers can see how easy it is to predict the next Kensi outcome, and how all over it, we are from keeping one of the best cast members on the sideline,It was good to see the infamous Hetty actualy move again ,refreshing to see after months of the statue, (non speaking) Hetty just sitting there ,, Bravo,,, come back to life again
    And as usual very little credit went to the best actor on the show “Callen” Decks played a great part as did Kensi ,Hetty, Eric… they where all played down except the worst “Sam”
    Hopefully this show will get back on track again and be the show it was for now several seasons…..

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  2. Angela Moore

    A this is what “Spec Ops” and a crime drama are supposed to be, not the personal lives taking over, except for Densi, which has taken many episodes to form a great office relationship. This episode was was right on track with the shows title. Had almost given up as the mole has taken so darn long and no real action in special ops, except for Callens complex personal life, which remains unknown except he has a girlfriend now, but that pales in comparison to his father, half sister and nephew which is something I feel needs to be addressed. Hopefully they do something with it. Glad he has a girlfriend but they should keep her as they did Joelle, heard about but not seen. Keep it a crime drama, not a romance drama. Loved this last episode and a few others, hope they keep it in action mode for the most part. And get Densi engaged, taking too long.

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  3. skippy

    This is such an excellent review. Thank you. Is this slightly longer than the previous ones?

    Yes I also love the different techniques Sam, Deeks and of course Callen used to get out.
    Sullivan/Ferris, wow this acting was so so good. From nice guy to creepy bastard. The cliffhanger though is kind of lame since we all know Kensi won’t loose her leg and the scream was used in S4 finale. (Actually I am kind of over with all the Kensi stuff. Too much for my liking but that is just me.)
    Hetty’s plan is good but somehow there are also things that she didn’t planned and these could/should have consequences (Dugan is dead, Granger in hospital and what if the ATF agent Callen hit during his escape would have used his gun to shoot him? I mean he had his gun and had the chance to use it and usually all these guys use their weapons.).
    The most disturbing scenes had Deeks. First he took Whiting with him to the secret OSP. This shows clearly that he is not capable of having a relationship with his working partner. Nobody brings anyone to the OSP (only when vetted). Even not in this situation. What about the boatshed or somewhere else?
    Second what he told Whiting when she was shot. Seriously, he shot someone but still thinks he is a good guy? So he is judge and jury and above the law? To me it sounds wrong. He is a coward! Because if he thinks what he has done was the right thing, why hasn’t he turned himself in? Sorry but this was a strange move from the writers. A guy who used torture and killed someone (self-defense or not) is NOT a good guy.

    There are still so many questions e.g. What about Brunson and Khaled? How did they get the information? CIA sold it to them? I doubt that all of these questions will be answered.

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    1. snoopgirlz

      Agree with Deeks bringing IA person to OSP ESPECIALLY given the mole story line. As for Deeks shooting his ex partner to save Tiffany – I still think he is a good guy. Why does what he did make him a bad guy? He was saving Tiffany from certain death. How is that any different from what happens on the show in every episode? The team saving people from the bad guys. Deeks’ situation was brought to light because Boyle was a police officer and IA got involved. Given all of the Agents (including Granger & Hetty) and their pasts, surely Deeks is not only one to have encountered a situation like the one with Deeks & Boyle.

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      1. writeisnice

        Agree that Deeks shouldn’t have brought Whiting to OSP. He was able to communicate with the team; they should have met somewhere else. As for him being a “good guy,” he may have good intentions, but he killed a man. As I remember, Tiffany wasn’t in danger of being killed by Boyle when Deeks killed Boyle. That makes what he did murder. And, no, I don’t think the others would murder someone (maybe Granger). Even Hetty when she was being pursued in Endgame told Callen she wouldn’t fire first; that would be murder. And even Callen didn’t kill Janvier when he could have (after he blew up Hunter). And Kensi didn’t kill the man who murdered her father. So, good guy or not, Deeks isn’t as “good” as the rest of the team–and that makes a difference.

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      2. snoopgirlz

        Deeks clearly stated -can’t remember episode -that he killed Doyle because Doyle was going to kill Tiffany. So yeah, he had justification to kill Doyle. He also reiterated it (his confession of what happened) to the IA Detective who had just been shot in Hot Water.
        Deeks just killed Sullivan/Ferris in Payback because Ferris was going to kill Kensi. Was that murder? We didn’t actually see what happened with Deeks/Doyle/Tiffany so we are relying and what Deeks says about the incident.
        The incidents you pointed out would have been murder had any of the team killed the ‘bad guy’ in question.
        My point was that the team kills people in every episode to keep innocent people safe. Deeks did just that with Tiffany. It’s because he’s a cop and Doyle was a cop and IA used the word murder,that an investigation ensued.
        Deeks also said in IA episode that he would enter a plea (can’t remember exact term) and that malice would be impossible to prove.
        Deeks did NOT murder Doyle.

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    2. mistri

      I beg to differ with you. You can kill a person in self-defense and still be a good guy. If you kill to protect someone else, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Life is a series of gray, not black and white. For me, Deeks is a good guy. He is a complex man who it’s shown strives to help the less able and risks his life to make the world safer. As a police officer who fortunately never had to take a human life, I refuse to believe that taking a life makes you a bad person. There are many scenarios out there that disproves your theory that taking a life is evil. That’s why the law differentiates “justifiable” homicide from murder one. I do not believe the Deeks character is written to have people think he is the judge and jury and above the law. But, you’re entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

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      1. writeisnice

        But his killing Boyle wasn’t in self-defense and as a police officer, there were other ways to handle it. As I recall, Tiffany wasn’t in immediate danger, so to kill Boyle was extreme and, maybe even unnecessary. He acted outside the law. I’m not saying Deeks isn’t a good guy, but that’s what happened, and he should be brought to account someway. Otherwise, it’s saying we’ll give you a pass if you murder someone because you’re a cop and your motive is good. None of the other characters would do that–and they’ve all had the chance.

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  4. snoopgirlz

    Great review! I liked the episode overall and Sullivan was freaking creepy (and awesome!)
    Sullivan wasn’t using a chain saw, no chain. Not that it really matters to Kensi. Deeks said “I shot him with his own gun” meaning he used Boyle’s gun, not his own. Sullivan’s comment to Kensi re “your team” – I took that as the people she was working with in Afghanistan, not Callen, Sam & Deeks.

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      1. snoopgirlz

        It was the “does that make it premeditated?” that had me thinking you meant Deeks brought his gun with him to the hotel room in case he would need it (to take out Doyle). I REALLY hope Officer Whiting recovers so this IA investigation on Deeks can be closed. Permanently. 🙂

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  5. F4llon

    Thanks for the great write up. I can finally read it now I’ve watched it. Finally! And Sabitino was one suspect, but we also think that Joelle is working on it. I can’t wait to watch the final part of this three part mole revealing episodes. It’s an interesting use of rogue agents within the CIA being behind all of this. I really thought Marcel Janvier was the main player in all of this, but instead it’s revenge on Kensi for shooting Ferris and him losing his leg. Although plausible, I’m disappointed, especially when Sabitino had been with Kensi at the time of her stint in Afghanistan.

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    1. writeisnice

      I thought it might be Janvier, too, and I’m disappointed it’s revenge by the CIA because there was no indication in any previous episodes that anything had been amiss in Afghanistan with any other operation–and it’s hard to believe somebody wouldn’t have said something for two whole years. I mean, if a CIA operative had been wounded by “friendly fire,” wouldn’t there have been some kind of an investigation? That seems really unbelievable.

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  6. Linda Wigington

    Thanks for your review. I loved the episode even if I felt like I was run over by a steam roller trying to assimilate all the new information. I was surprised by the reason for this whole mess. The CIA doesn’t like someone else playing in what they consider their territory. I thought that NCIS had offices world wide and therefore, had the right to operate where needed. These rogue agents were acting like children in a school yard spat. The results were deadly though. Hasn’t Kensi suffered enough? Sullivan/Ferris is being personal in the extreme. Great acting but enough is enough. I am glad Carl Brown is gone but I really will miss Granger/Miguel Ferrer. He should have been around to see the end of the story. Hetty was terrific even if she did arrange for the arrests of the team. The scene in the cage showed how well she had planned everything out, and it was interesting to see how Callen, Deeks and Sam each used a different way to escape or be released. I can’t wait to see what they have planned for us in the next episode.

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  7. monty

    I read your thoughts and think that you have forgotten Max Gentry.
    Martin is capable of doing terrible things. He is a wonderful person, he is a good man but also a man who has great darkness. He is not just Shaggy-stupid-with-yellow-suit.; he can be very bad.
    In this episode I found the cop. Here, more than ever, Shaggy has ceased to exist and the real Martin came out. He is the man that I would come back.

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