Sam's former SEAL life has left his heart scarred, especially after Moe's death. In "Lokhay," Sam was called on to help an Afghani elder, Yusef, find his missing nephew, Amir. Yusef was responsible for saving Sam's life, so there was nothing that Director Granger or Hetty could have done to prevent the agent from investigating the disappearance.
Sam has a strong sense of honor and obligation, plus a big heart. Those traits help him as an agent, but in this situation they put him at odds with his job initially.
Eric ignored the orders to leave the investigation alone, reviewed the traffic camera footage, and traced the abduction to a highly sought after terrorist known as The Ambassador, Haakim Habib. This evidence opened the doors for Hetty and Granger to assign an official case to Sam and the NCIS team.
When Sam was at Yusef's laundromat questioning him, they were attacked and the place was shot up. Sam felt responsible for Yusef and couldn't let anything happen to him. Instead of shipping him off, Callen convinced Sam to have Yusef stay at the boathouse where they could protect him.
The investigation was a confusing set of clues. Could Amir's American girlfriend been involved? Did Amir get recruited by the Ambassador? And, with the terrorist leader in America, was an attack planned?
Sam and Callen tracked one of the abductors to a hookah bar, which led to the best car chase in NCIS: Los Angeles history. Or, at least the one that will stick in my mind for a while. Callen's driving at first was erratic and I feared he was going to crash the car. When they were attacked from behind, Callen made an awesome spin out that allowed Sam to shoot the car following them.
In a rather serious episode, the fact that Callen was driving Sam's car, had the window shot out, and then showed off his superb driving skills provided for a few lighter moments. Hetty was all over Sam this episode threatening to punish him for attempting to use government resources for personal reasons, but even worse was saying she was having his car fixed ... and he would have pay for it.
Then, Eric commended Sam for his Callen's driving skills. Hilarious salt in the wound: Callen offering to pay for half the repairs.
The big twist was that neither Yusef nor Amir were the actual target, instead Haakim wanted Sam dead. He came to America to finish what he didn't in Afghanistan. Yusef was played by his nephew and led Haakim to the boathouse to wait for Sam.
Kensi and Deeks got to Amir's girlfriend in time to save her life and to uncover a picture with Sam's face circled. The team rushed to the boathouse and successfully saved Sam, but there wasn't a happy ending.
Yusef saved Sam's life once again, but this time it cost him his last family member, Amir. Yusef's family was killed in Afghanistan for helping save Sam and he couldn't let that sacrifice be in vain even if it meant losing Amir. Wow. It's amazing that Sam isn't overwhelmed by feelings of guilt over those lost and those who have lost on his behalf. He is a teddy bear with a big heart, but it's a wonder that it isn't made of steel.
The episodes that deal with specific team members are generally some of the strongest and this wasn't an exception. We got another look into Sam, his past, and his intense loyalty. Next week is another Sam-centric story when his wife resumes her former CIA-cover.
Odds and Ends
- How do Deeks and Kensi get themselves into misunderstandings like the financial seminar? Oh, right, they care about each other and don't want to hurt the other's feelings. It's actually touching.
- Oh, Deeks ... you don't read a girl's diary memoir without their permission. Big no-no! Though, it was worth it to envision you as an exotic dancer/stripper!
- "Best day ever!" -- Kenzi
- Isn't the boathouse connected to the NCIS offices? In tonight's episode, they made it sound like it was in a remote location away from any help for Sam. It was confusing that no one was closer to help Sam.
- Sam's punishment: A bottle of the finest scotch whiskey. At least he got to have a taste of his punishment. With the car repairs and the whisky, his wife may have to go back to work to cover their household bills.