NCIS: Los Angeles recap: The team investigates the murder of seven ATF agents

Kilbride And Sam NCIS LA S13
Kilbride and Sam were at odds for a new episode of NCIS: LA. Pic credit: CBS

A new NCIS: Los Angeles episode called Indentured aired on Sunday night.

The show jumped right into the action, as a gunfight was taking place between ATF agents and a group of criminals.

ATF Special Agent Francisco Reyes (played by Juan Monsalvez) called out for the help of any other agency over the radio, leading to Sam and Callen responding right away. But the NCIS team couldn’t get there soon enough, and seven ATF agents were killed.

When they got back to the offices, Sam and Callen went right to Kilbride to update him on the situation and indicated that they had friends among the people who were killed. They were adamant about solving the case for their “brothers and sisters,” and Kilbride gave them a wide berth to do so, at first.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13, Episode 3 recap

A substory within the episode emerged right away as well, as Deeks let Kensi know that the body of Michelle Boucher (the girlfriend of villain David Kessler) had been found in Florida. They suspected that Kessler was already causing trouble again. There was nothing tying it to Kessler, though, so their hands were tied.

Early into the investigation into the gunrunners, it seemed that they were trying to attain weapons for Retired U.S. Army General Richard Collins (played by veteran actor Michael O’Neill from The West Wing). Due to his political power, Kilbride became very hesitant within the case and wanted everyone to tread lightly. He basically benched Callen and went with Sam to interview Collins, saying it was for the comfort of Collins.

Later, we learned that Collins was getting ready to run for Senate, raising the stakes on the investigation, and, according to Kilbride, possibly putting his and Sam’s careers on the line if they misstepped. Sam was not happy about any of it, from benching Callen to not pressing the suspect after the deaths of the seven agents.

Kensi and Fatima went undercover at a rehab center where the girlfriend of one of the killers was staying. They planned to try to get close to her and figure out what the plan was for guns that had been smuggled into the country.

Kilbride knew Collins before working at NCIS

Meanwhile, Rountree figured out that Kilbride had known Collins for a long time and that they had not only been on professional committees together but had also been friends who went fishing together. It got Callen and Sam worried that Kilbride was covering up for a friend.

After Kilbride squashed a warrant to tap the phone of Collins, Sam got even more concerned. He began carrying out the investigation without his new “partner” and ended up figuring out a warehouse where the guns could be located. When Sam got there, though, Kilbride was already in the process of arresting Collins.

It turned out that Sam and Kilbride had each kept details from the other person due to some distrust, but that they began to trust each other when the case was closed.

Regarding Kensi being undercover, it turned out that the girlfriend of the killer had been beaten up by him a lot, pushing her toward drugs and the rehab stint. After gaining confidence from her interactions with Kensi, the girlfriend went home and murdered the boyfriend, who had been the guy behind killing the seven ATF agents. It also turned out that he had delivered the weapons to Collins before NCIS even began investigating.

Kilbride takes Hetty’s job

At the very end of the episode, as Kilbride, Callen, and Sam toasted some scotch over their newfound trust for each other, Kilbride let them know that he was the new Operations Manager.

For any NCIS: Los Angeles fans who hadn’t heard already, former cast member Ravil Isyanov has died. He played Russian mobster Anatoli Kirkin on the show.

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

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