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S08.E17: Queen Pin

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Sam assumes a former alias in a risky undercover operation to take down an elusive drug lord; Hetty interrupts Callen and Anna's romantic night to assign them a mission to escort a prisoner.

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From the most recent preview, it looks like quite a romantic evening: fire blazing, bedroll on the floor, barefoot. It'd be nice to actually see Callen being romantic (we've seen all the other team members). It also seems that Kensi and Deeks are assigned overwatch for Sam--and the undercover mission looks action packed.

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My lord, this was dull. Such a dud after the forward movement, at least character wise, of last episode.

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I'd swear the house where the wrong doer was arrested at the end of the show was used in an earlier season as one of Hetty's hideaways. Maybe she rents it out.

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I really liked this episode. Part of that is because I love Sam, but there were some good character moments for different characters woven in without feeling forced. Good plot, maybe not great, but it also felt like things were being set up for the end of the season, which also piqued my interest.

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15 minutes ago, enoughcats said:

It really bothered us that they left the sheriff lying on the ground and never checked on his being alive or dead.  

That bothered me too.  I did like the men in the diner joining in the gunfight.

But at least we got an update on Lt. Whiting or whatever her name is; I wonder if she'll be coming after Deeks again now.

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Well color me surprised. I thought for sure that Whiting had died. Of course this now leaves a massive sword of Damoclese hanging over Deeks' head. In a perfect world Whiting will just let.it.go but if that were the case there would be no reason to bring up that she survived and that Deeks had confessed to Doyle's murder.

My biggest concern here is that Deeks confessed to her, coupled with her threat to subpoena Kensi.  We know Hetty was behind his being arrested again and that whatever she did to prompt it was probably false, the same as she did to Callen and Sam. The problem is that while Callen and Sam didn't commit the murders they were arrested for, Deeks did. So now Hetty's machinations have once again shined a light on that episode and because she didn't loop anyone in before she did it, Deeks really confessed. Even if the confession isn't enough to proceed with charges, that still leave Kensi under threat of subpoena and if she is subpoena'd she'll either have to lie under oath or testify against Deeks, since she is aware he committed the murder. Neither of which are really great options. 

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Why all the concern over Kensi having to testify?  Deeks would  be facing a lot worse than a perjury charge if  things went south.  Besides, Deeks would confess rather than let Kensi have to testify.  He can plead justifiable homicide, since he killed Boyle to save Tiffany (just like he killed Sullivan to save Kensi.) Maybe AJ Chegwidden can be his attorney.

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Deeks isn't risking perjury, Kensi would be if she lies under oath. And of course Deeks would confess if it came to that. No way he'd put her in that position of having to choose between lying under oath or testifying against him. I think the problem would be that Kensi is a law enforcement officer and has been aware of the true circumstances of Boyles death for over a year without doing anything. 

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1 minute ago, anna0852 said:

Deeks isn't risking perjury, Kensi would be if she lies under oath. And of course Deeks would confess if it came to that. No way he'd put her in that position of having to choose between lying under oath or testifying against him. I think the problem would be that Kensi is a law enforcement officer and has been aware of the true circumstances of Boyles death for over a year without doing anything. 

If Deeks can't convince a court that the shooting was justifiable, then he's risking life in prison, or even the death penalty (it's still on the books in the state of California.). What I don't understand is how fans can criticize Deeks and condemn him for shooting Boyle to save Tiffany, but some of those same fans go all shippy when he shoots Sullivan to save Kensi.  Apparently killing to save someone's life is murder, unless it's Kensi's life, and then it's true love.

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I'm not condemning Deeks at all. Boyle had it coming. I'm just saying a court of law might not see it that way. Deeks took a big risk confessing to Whiting and it may come back to haunt him.

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Okay, I misinterpreted what you said. I've just seen the attitude I described so many times that I had a reflex reaction. My apologies.

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3 hours ago, anna0852 said:

We know Hetty was behind his being arrested again and that whatever she did to prompt it was probably false, the same as she did to Callen and Sam.

Actually, we do know what Hetty did, and that's the really scary part.  She gave up Tiffany's new identity and put the LAPD on to her.  And Tiffany is actually a witness who knows exactly what happened (and was likely an eyewitness).  If the LAPD really did want to put Deeks in jail, it's not hard to imagine that they could lean on Tiffany, threaten her with accessory charges, and get her to say whatever they wanted against Deeks.  Plus, I can't see Deeks letting Tiffany go to jail to protect him, after he killed Boyle to protect her.  So we either have to hope that Whiting has had a change of heart and drops it (which is certainly plausible), or that Hetty had thought this through and has an out for Deeks even after serving up a witness to his crime on a plate.   I still can't believe that Hetty dropped Deeks in it so hard just to get him out of the way in order to execute her ill-thought-out plan.

As for the rest of the episode, I really liked it even though it was another disjointed one where the team were all running in separate directions.

I'm actually starting to buy Callen and Anna's chemistry, especially now other considerate posters have pointed out that she is not as young as she looks, so the actors (and, I guess, the characters) are closer in age than I had thought.  The karaoke scene in the car was genuinely charming, even if it seems to guarantee that we will never see an NCIS:LA musical episode ;)

I always enjoy Sam going undercover, and I think it underscores that LL Cool J is a genuinely good, and underrated, actor.  Sam as himself is such a well-defined character, and along with his rigid moral code and hardcore decency, he is also funny, sweet and kind.  When he goes undercover, he abandons those characteristics, turns his moral code on its head, and metamorphasizes into a truly convincing hardcore gangster.  Since he looks the way he does, it's easy for his marks to buy his persona.

And with Kensi and Deeks, I loved the conversation in the van, where Deeks acknowledged the seething lava pit of anger and violence that he nurtures inside, and that seeps through the cracks in episodes like "Spoils of War" and "Payback."  It was nice to see him own that and share it with Kensi, and her response was just lovely.

I have to say, I'm loving this season as a whole.

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I want to sit down all writers of OTP's and have them watch Densi s7 and this one. B/c this is how you do it. Particularly writers of procedural-esque shows. 

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I'm going to back off the Deeks-is-in-it-now for now, because until we see what happens with Whiting's recovery there is no way to tell what is going to happen.  Well, I mean we know what's going to happen since there is no word that ECO is leaving the show but still....

I'm not the biggest Anna fan but I actually dug her this week. I was glad to see the Callen clearly told her what happened with Joelle and that it's done a number on him. I thought it was very sweet that her response was that she got it and she could deal with him needing to deal. And that she's aware he doesn't trust easily and won't push. I did have to mute during the singing though. Bad voices coupled with music I hate was just too much!

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6 hours ago, Jaybird said:

Maybe AJ Chegwidden can be his attorney.

Heh. After some of the stuff that Mac and Harm put Chegwidden through over the years, a murder trial would be a walk in the park for the ex-Admiral. Speaking of Chegwidden, none of the Scooby-gang other than Eric know he's been around, right? 

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I'm feeling pretty over the IA storyline. Unless they're going to use this to reveal something we don't know about Deeks' past, I think it's time to move on. Also, that seemed like a really good opportunity for Deeks to tell Hetty he had confessed to Whiting. And yell at her for digging up actual evidence or his actual crime that could easily convict him. Way to go, Hetty. 

I liked the Grease singalong. I took a while to come around on Anna, but COD seems to have fun with the actress, which helps with the chemistry. 

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9 hours ago, enoughcats said:

It really bothered us that they left the sheriff lying on the ground and never checked on his being alive or dead.  

Seconded!!!

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8 hours ago, anna0852 said:

We know Hetty was behind his being arrested again and that whatever she did to prompt it was probably false, the same as she did to Callen and Sam.

Do we know that for sure?

5 hours ago, mtmjr said:

Actually, we do know what Hetty did, and that's the really scary part.

When did this come out? The only thing we saw in the episode was that Hetty had put the body in Sam's car and the body at Callen's.

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7 hours ago, Jaybird said:

If Deeks can't convince a court that the shooting was justifiable, then he's risking life in prison, or even the death penalty (it's still on the books in the state of California.). What I don't understand is how fans can criticize Deeks and condemn him for shooting Boyle to save Tiffany, but some of those same fans go all shippy when he shoots Sullivan to save Kensi.  Apparently killing to save someone's life is murder, unless it's Kensi's life, and then it's true love.

There's a big difference (and the death penalty is not on the books in CA) between killing Boyle and killing Ferris. First, Deeks is a cop. As an officer of the law, his duty is to follow the law. Killing a person--even a reprehensible person like Boyle--because he's threatened to kill someone is against the law. There were other ways Deeks could have handled it. As I recall when Deeks talked about this, there was no imminent threat to Tiffany; if there had been, the killing of Boyle would have been justifiable and Deeks wouldn't have covered it up. Obviously, in the case of killing Ferris, Kensi's life was in imminent danger, so the killing of Ferris was justifiable. They are completely different, and as both a cop and an attorney, Deeks understood that very well. Maybe killing Boyle is just the first indication of what a short fuse Deeks has and may lead to other issues this season.

9 hours ago, enoughcats said:

It really bothered us that they left the sheriff lying on the ground and never checked on his being alive or dead.  

Well, while they were in the gunfight was not the time to check, but in the subsequent scene, the sheriff was being loaded into the ambulance and was conscious (the shots were to his shoulder).

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I thoroughly enjoyed the opening scene with Callen and Anna--and Hetty. It's not easy to mingle sex and humor, but that scene really worked. OMG, I loved the ringtone Callen has for Hetty. It's little things like that that make scenes work. And Hetty's comment as she's leaving (Looks like you're gonna need another one [bed]). Now I'm just waiting for a scene with Callen, Anna, and Arkady. Also enjoyed the road trip scenes (although the "singing" was not the best).

Enjoyed Sam going undercover as Switch again, but doubt he can use that dude anymore. Still, it was nice to see him in action. Kensi's definitely back, and liked seeing her in the field (someone asked why Nell went along, but it's policy for them to go with a partner). Deeks seemed off his game: jumpy when Kensi entered the van, complaining about "cleaning up" after Sam, questioning Sam's decision making (more than once Kensi had to tell him they should wait for Sam's word because he [Sam] knew what he was doing. Maybe these signs are nothing or they portend more problems--along with Whiting--for Deeks down the road.

All in all, enjoyable. Looking forward to the rest of the season and to seeing where Callen and Anna go from here (as well as Nell and Eric next week and Kensi and Deeks on the 26th).

Edited by 123BP
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On 3/14/2017 at 1:08 AM, 123BP said:

When did this come out? The only thing we saw in the episode was that Hetty had put the body in Sam's car and the body at Callen's.

It was actually in the first episode of the three-parter.  When Whiting started interrogating Deeks, she held up a photo of Tiffany/Julie and said that she had a new witness to Boyle's shooting.  Later, Deeks asked her where this new witness came from and she admitted it was an anonymous tip.  So I think it's pretty safe to assume, as Deeks eventually did, that this was part of Hetty's plan to get the team out of her way.  Which is one thing when you're constructing bogus cases out of nothing, as with Sam and Callen, and quite another when you are re-igniting a case against someone who actually committed the crime, as with Deeks.  I still think Hetty has some 'splaining to do.

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17 minutes ago, mtmjr said:

So I think it's pretty safe to assume, as Deeks eventually did, that this was part of Hetty's plan to get the team out of her way.  

You may be right about this. I just find it hard to believe that Hetty--knowing that Deeks actually did kill Boyle--would provide the evidence needed to strengthen the case against him, especially when she's said multiple times in different episodes that even though he's LAPD, he's part of her team. If she did do it, I think there would have been some kind of confrontation or discussion between Deeks and Hetty about it after Kensi's rescue. I hope Hetty didn't do it. It's also not impossible to believe that Ferris and his crew had the connections and the info necessary to provide the anonymous tip. Either way, I'm sure we'll know for sure before the season ends.

Edited by 123BP

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That's an interesting thought! I mean, we know that Hetty didn't set up Granger -- the CIA moles did!  So maybe they set up Deeks too.  Because I agree that it would be really reckless for Hetty to set up Deeks as he was, so maybe it wasn't her.  I wonder if we'll ever get an answer to that.  Either way, I like your thinking.

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On 3/13/2017 at 7:37 AM, Jaybird said:

If Deeks can't convince a court that the shooting was justifiable, then he's risking life in prison, or even the death penalty (it's still on the books in the state of California.). What I don't understand is how fans can criticize Deeks and condemn him for shooting Boyle to save Tiffany, but some of those same fans go all shippy when he shoots Sullivan to save Kensi.  Apparently killing to save someone's life is murder, unless it's Kensi's life, and then it's true love.

Taking it from a purely legal perspective, shooting Sullivan was justified because he had a gun to Kensi's head, thus shooting him was immediately necessary to prevent force that would cause serious bodily injury or worse.  In the case of his partner, my understanding is he shot him as he was about to go hunt for Tiffany and kill her?  I don't remember the story.  Of course if the partner was about to kill Tiffany or beating her and wasn't surrendered, then yeah, it would be the same equivalent situation.  I just thought Deeks shot him because he knew the partner was going to kill Tiffany soon/some point in the future/once he found her, and killing him just seemed the easiest thing to do at the moment? 

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The urgency of the circumstances regarding Boyle's death haven't really been spelled out. I tend to believe that Deeks shot because Tiffany's life was in imminent danger, as in Boyle was in the process of beating her to death when Deeks took the shot. I say this because A) Tiffany was a witness to the shooting and B) the Deeks we know is not a cold blooded killer. The only times we've seen him lose it and cross the line was when Kensi was in danger. While he certainly wouldn't want Tiffany to be harmed, I can't see him hunting down Boyle and executing him unless Boyle had a gun (metaphorical or otherwise) to someone's head.

Along with that, I think Deeks would technically be legally in the clear but that would be predicated on a fair trial and unbiased investigators. At the time he shot Boyle, Deeks has been seeing very dirty cops running rampant and unchecked in the LAPD for who-knows-how-long. He caught a lot of blow-back when he did the right thing and reported Boyle. He probably covered the death up because he thought he'd never be believed. And now it's far too late to back pedal.

Edited by anna0852 · Reason: I should check grammar before I post
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2 hours ago, anna0852 said:

I think Deeks would technically be legally in the clear but that would be predicated on a fair trial and unbiased investigators. At the time he shot Boyle, Deeks has been seeing very dirty cops running rampant and unchecked in the LAPD for who-knows-how-long. He caught a lot of blow-back when he did the right thing and reported Boyle. He probably covered the death up because he thought he'd never be believed. And now it's far too late to back pedal.

This is exactly how I see it too.  Deeks joined LAPD because he wanted to help people, and we know from multiple episodes that he has always been especially focussed on protecting vulnerable women and girls, particularly sex workers.  Boyle was notorious in the force for particularly victimizing sex workers, and had Tiffany in his sights.  Plus, by the time he killed Boyle, Deeks already knew that LAPD wasn't doing a great job of policing itself with respect to violent and corrupt cops.

At the time he killed Boyle, I absolutely believe that Deeks did it because he believed it was the only way he could stop Boyle from beating a 17-year-old prostitute to death.  And he covered it up because Boyle had friends in the LAPD and Deeks didn't, and because Tiffany, as a witness or eyewitness to the killing, was incredibly vulnerable to pressure from those friends to say whatever they wanted her to.

At the time, if he could have been guaranteed a fair hearing, Deeks would have had a great case that killing Boyle was justified.  However, as a lawyer, he judged that he would have been railroaded by the Department, by Boyle's friends, and by a coerced Tiffany, and I think he was right.  Hence the cover-up, including paying Tiffany off.  And hence the predicament in which he now finds himself.

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14 hours ago, mtmjr said:

At the time, if he could have been guaranteed a fair hearing, Deeks would have had a great case that killing Boyle was justified.  However, as a lawyer, he judged that he would have been railroaded by the Department, by Boyle's friends, and by a coerced Tiffany, and I think he was right.  Hence the cover-up, including paying Tiffany off.  And hence the predicament in which he now finds himself.

The circumstances of Boyle's death were never made clear except that he was not--at the moment Deeks killed him--in the act of harming Tiffany. The idea that Deeks may have felt he might not have received a fair hearing is not supported by anything specific Deeks has said, even to Kensi, about the incident (he's never mentioned a fear of not getting a fair hearing). Maybe he should just tell Whiting everything--and not in a confessional way--and accept the consequences. As much as viewers may dislike Whiting, there's nothing about her that indicates she is corrupt or unfair; she "dislikes" Deeks because she thinks he got away with murder--which he did--and her job is to catch and prosecute cops who break the law.

17 hours ago, anna0852 said:

He probably covered the death up because he thought he'd never be believed. And now it's far too late to back pedal.

It's never to late if Deeks was justified in his action and Boyle has been proven to be a dirty cop who harmed others.

17 hours ago, HawaiiTVGuy said:

I just thought Deeks shot him because he knew the partner was going to kill Tiffany soon/some point in the future/once he found her, and killing him just seemed the easiest thing to do at the moment?

That's my understanding, too, because if Boyle had been physically threatening Tiffany with bodily harm or death at the time Deeks killed him (as was Ferris with Kensi), there would have been no need to make up a story about Boyle's death (I think Deeks even indicated he had committed suicide or someone else had killed him).

Edited by 123BP

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Well I did make it clear that those were only *my* personal thought son the issue.

Edited by anna0852

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3 hours ago, anna0852 said:

Well I did make it clear that those were only *my* personal thought son the issue.

Of course. I didn't mean to imply otherwise nor did I mean any disrespect by disagreeing. These are just my personal thoughts, as well, so they're not better or more right than anyone else's thoughts; they're just a different perspective.

Edited by 123BP

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I think at this point we're all conjecturing:  filling in blanks in the narrative based upon what we think we know about the characters and can infer about parts of the story we haven't seen.  That's one of the fun things about procedurals - they let the audience elaborate upon things that the show brings up in passing but doesn't focus on.  That's why I like this board so much - it lets us do just that.

I also think we'll have more fodder to debate soon, because I don't think we've heard the last of this story . . . 

Edited by mtmjr
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