NCIS: Los Angeles recap: Callen and Joelle work together again

Callen And Joelle NCIS LA
Callen had to work with a deceptive Joelle on a new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles. Pic credit: CBS

A dramatic new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles aired Sunday night. Intelligence agents were being tortured and murdered, leading to CIA Officer Joelle Taylor joining the investigation.

Only Joelle wasn’t just there to help. Instead, she was put in charge by Langley, and she let the NCIS team know that she would be calling the shots.

Though Callen and Hanna were a bit suspect and cautious at first, they just wanted to get to the bottom of the murders.

The episode also opened with the NCIS offices getting a postcard from David Kessler as he hinted at a return to California in order to exact some revenge on Kensi Blye.

On the last episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, Admiral Kilbride tried to push Nell Jones to be more confident on the job. He was back again this week to share that he had a lot of resources that could help in the absence of Hetty Lange. Kilbride was also there to add some comedic moments during a rather dark episode.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12, Episode 17 recap

It turned out that a Ukrainian defector was tortured and killed by a task force of intelligence officers and that that he turned out to be the illegitimate son of Yuri Kirilenko (big Russian bad guy on the show). This entire episode seemed to be spent on Kirilenko trying to exact revenge, while, at the same time, an injured Joelle was also back on the job for that very same reason.

Elsewhere in the episode, another negative pregnancy test for Kensi had her feeling the blues. Marty Deeks was equally gutted that they had been unable to get pregnant, but he was doing his best to try to lift Kensi’s spirits. It didn’t help matters that intelligence officers were being murdered and that Kessler was on their radar again.

Later in the episode, it was revealed that the task force actually faked the death of Kirilenko’s son because he wanted to get out from under his father. That deception was explained as what led to a lot of deaths, but Admiral Kilbride had the idea to use the head of that task force as bait to lure in the elder Kirilenko and his crew into a trap.

In a bigger twist, it was revealed that the CIA had been faking the deaths of its own people, all as a way to get closer to Kirilenko and bring him to justice for other crimes. Callen, Hanna, the rest of the NCIS team, and Joelle had all presumably been used in order to convince Kirilenko that CIA Officer Michael Olmos had turned on the U.S. and was a true double agent that Kirilenko could trust.

When the episode was coming to an end, Kensi let Deeks know that she wanted to become a foster parent and put a pause on trying to get pregnant. They then went out to celebrate the decision that they had just made. But that wasn’t the final climax of the penultimate episode for NCIS: LA Season 12.

Callen figured out that Joelle had lied to him. This was all part of her revenge tour and she even admitted to having a taste for blood after her husband and kid had been killed. She knew what was going on the entire time and had been key in using Callen to get this end result.

NCIS: Los Angeles season finale

Next Sunday, the Season 12 NCIS: Los Angeles finale airs on CBS. That takes place on Sunday, May 23, with the closure of this NCIS: LA season leading right into the NCIS: New Orleans series finale.

NCIS: Los Angeles airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.

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