When Hetty (Linda Hunt) realizes that the suspect who's accused of kidnapping a VA administrator is a man she and Granger served with in Vietnam, she calls her other Vietnam colleagues, Ret. Admiral AJ Chegwidden (John M. Jackson) and Admiral Sterling Bridges (James Remar) to help track down their friend, who -- like Granger -- is suffering from the effects of Agent Orange.
Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (Chris O'Donnell) are skeptical about their temporary counterparts, even when Hetty tells them that she, Granger, and the other three men were a tight-knit group of soldiers who were left in Southeast Asia after the war was over with no government resources. She believes their colleague, Charles Langston (Carl Lumbly) is using misguided methods to demand better care for veterans and get revenge on the government.
Unfortunately, Langston runs into a villainous pawn shop owner, who ends up breaking into a storage unit shared by the veterans and stealing $40 million worth of gold bars with it -- which they've been holding onto since 1978, trying to figure out how to best use the money.
That cliffhanger will carry us over into next week's episode, but in the meantime, it seems like there's still some more story to tell when it comes to Granger, despite Ferrer's death in January and on-screen departure from the show in March.
References to Granger abound in the episode, from Sam and Callen comparing Bridges and Chegwidden unfavorably to their former boss, to Kensi (Daniela Ruah) tearing up when Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) points out a wedding veil he likes in the pawn shop, confessing that she was hoping Granger would be able to walk her down the aisle in her dad's absence. And Hetty tells Bridges and Chegwidden that she hasn't heard from Granger since he disappeared from the hospital. They all acknowledge that if the illnesses from Agent Orange haven't killed him by now, it's only a matter of time.
It all feels a little too meta, to be honest, although it's likely that the show may be putting the pieces in place to give Granger (and Ferrer) a proper, final goodbye at the end of the season.
Elsewhere, Beale (Barrett Foa) is struggling with the fact that he killed a man when he and Nell (Renee Felice Smith) were on their undercover assignment a few weeks ago, and hasn't been able to fire his gun since, even in target practice. Sam counsels him to not forget about the death, but to honor it as something he had to do -- but it will be interesting to see if this continues to eat away at Eric in future episodes.
NCIS: LA airs Sundays at 8/7c on CBS.
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