The finale of season nine of NCIS:LA comes on the heels of a long, exhausting and entirely tumultuous journey for the avant garde naval law enforcement team. The disappearance of Hetty was the major focus of much of the season, and it feels like a stain has been tightening among the team for awhile now. That tension, quickly escalates in this seasons finale.
The finale comes to us in two parts: S9E23 A Line In The Sand, and S9 E24 Ninguna Salida. Part 1 opens with the team involved in a shootout, where Sam takes a shot to the leg, and the rest of the team takes in a suspect. When they interrogate the suspect, a name comes up: Spencer Williams. The man who took Director Shay Mosley’s son Derrick five years ago. The case quickly goes from procedural and “typical” to off the books and illegal as Mosley sees this as the way to get her son back. Her intense focus causes increased tension with the team who at first, is not aware of the full scope of what is going on.
The episode feels incredibly tense – perhaps even more than one might expect for the typical season finale. I feel like that’s saying something considering the show and what the team has been through in the past year. Director Mosley has always been a force to be reckoned with, but she’s like a fire storm in this finale. The woman is stubborn on a good day, and seeing a window of “opportunity” to get her son back, she’s down right ruthless.
When the team tries to compromise with her and think before they act, Mosley gets even more aggressive, firing Deeks from the team and telling him to head back to LAPD. When he doesn’t pack his things quick enough for her, she has him escorted from the premises. On his way out, Deeks and Kensi have a tough conversation. One I’ve personally seen building in recent episodes. I’m afraid that I’m a bit of a pessimist, but honestly, I sensed this conflict rising between them. Deeks doesn’t want to keep risking their lives. He wants a life – a family. Kensi is in many ways, married to her work and she isn’t ready to step away from it. Deeks suggests that they can’t marry if they can’t even figure out what paths they want to take. It’s clear to see that this shatters Kensi just as much as it does Deeks.
The team is essentially forced to head to Mexico – Callen wants to go alone, but Sam, despite his leg wound, is insistent on going with. Kensi decides to go to Mexico with the rest of the team to try and get Mosley’s son back – perhaps in part out of anger of her relationship issues with Deeks. As they are preparing for takeoff, Deeks comes to join the team on their mission abroad.
As is expected, Mexico is inhospitable and threatening and they’re reminded of this fact when they arrive unable to find Special Agent Harley Hidoko who went ahead of the team. It’s more or less assumed that she was potentially captured and killed – burned alive after torture. Though the records don’t confirm this before the end of the finale – so perhaps it was someone else?
While the team is in Mexico risking their lives for Director Mosley, the director herself goes missing. It seems that she has headed to Mexico on her own accord.
The team takes on heavy fire when they finally breach William’s compound, but are able to get to Mosley’s son. While Sam and Callen take on more fire, Kensi and Deeks take him to the helicopter for transport back to the US. When they reach the chopper, Derrick has second thoughts about getting on, until Mosley steps off of it and they are reunited. Deeks tries to urge Kensi to get on the chopper, insisting that he will go to rescue Callen and Sam, but she suggests that they stay together. While they’re able to get to the rest of the team, on their way to their air transport, they encounter a military (potentialy…) blockade, and are attacked by a rocket launcher. Their vehicle suffers a direct hit and is in flames – and we see the team unconscious amidst the wreckage.
Of course, this is where the episode ends, leaving us on a cliffhanger until next season. As I watched the minutes slip away, it’s exactly what I expected. We don’t know if Hidoko is alive, or whether Shay and her son made it back to the United States safely, and of course, we have no idea if any of the team members in the truck survive. From a realistic standpoint, it seems hard to believe that they would all die. Perhaps Hidoko is alive and comes to save the rest of the team (or to try anyway)? Given the conflict the team was immersed in prior to the explosion, any loss of life with weigh even heavier than it would have otherwise. If Sam dies because he was already injured – it will leave his kids orphans and really take a toll on the team. If Callen dies, the team looses an anchor and as Hetty stated in the finale, she will lose the man who is the closest she has ever had to a son. If Kensi or Deeks dies, it will wreck them. If I had to make a guess, I worry the most about Deeks. I don’t really know why exactly, but I just have a feeling and I truly hope that I’m wrong. I hope that despite my anxiety and pessimism, the team somehow makes it out alive, and together. They’ve all been through so much and while it might be unrealistic to expect them to all survive this, they really do their best work together as a team. If Deeks survives though, what does that mean for his future at NCIS? Is there one? Will he leave for the bar, even if given the opportunity to return?
This finale was quite intense, as can be expected for a show like this, but I feel like these episodes really kicked it up a notch or two. One of the things that I liked the most about the finale was how much Hetty came back to the top. She is the leader whether labeled as such or not. When Mosley asks her why she’s not doing anything and she states that she is thinking, truly highlights one of Hetty’s assets: She is methodical. She thinks before acting purely on emotion. Mosley was acting on adrenaline, anger and love. A cocktail that wasn’t allowing her to pause and think critically about what she was doing, or what she was sending her team to do.
I also liked that the Kensi and Deeks storyline was an undercurrent to the overall episode. I like this coupling, don’t get me wrong, but I also appreciate balance and sometimes it can feel like their relationship takes center stage. If anything, I’d love more of Nell and Eric!! 😉
When the season returns, there’s going to be a lot of people to answer to over everything that went down in these two episodes. Whoever survives is going to have a lot to deal with back home.
I’d love to know what you thought of tonight’s finale. Did you enjoy it? Why or why not. What do you think is the outcome of this season’s cliffhanger! Give me your guesses in the comments!