NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Vulture, Eggnog and a Christmas Call

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An Ambush! Gunfights! A Car explosion! Christmas... what?!?

It's just another day in Sam and Callen's life, except this time they actually ran out of ammo!

On NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 12, the show ended the year with an action-packed episode. The boat shed must have felt abandoned. 

Deeks and the Senator

A Senator's daughter, Lily Lockhart, was attacked at home. NCIS was called in to protect her and figure out why she was targeted. At first, the team thought it was related to the Senator's investigation and interest in Chinese hackers, but it was much more personal than that.

The initial attack on Lily failed after her dog went after the attacker, but the pursuers became even more determined to get her. Sam and Callen took her into protective custody, but were ambushed on the way back to NCIS. In order to save her they had to ditch the car and blow it up. Nice move by Sam to put a flare into the gas tank. 

A gun fight and explosion didn't stop the attackers. Instead, they came with guns blazing. Sam was took out one of the men. Lily identified him as the one that came after her at home. It was the clue they needed in order to get break in the case. It wasn't the Chinese that were after her, it was a Bosnian group RODA.

After being tailed, Sam and Callen wiped their phones and ditched them after they realized that the Bosnians were tracking them with a program called, Stingray. It was an episode of waste management. They put Lily in a dumpster during a gun fight and used the sewer lines to get the Bosnians to track a fake signal. Slick!

My favorite part was that Sam and Callen actually ran out of ammo. On NCIS: Los Angeles, it always seems like they have an endless supply of ammo with them for their gun fights. The hidden caches around Los Angeles were a fun, intriguing addition. Though, why haven't they accessed them before? For one of their rogue missions (they seem to do that a lot!), perhaps?

While Sam and Callen were trying to keep Lily safe, Eric was able to tie the attack to the Bosnian, Ludomir Susic. They still weren't sure why RODA was targeted the Lockharts. NCIS also uncovered a foreign account that had $200,000 deposit. This led them to believe that Senator Lockhart was working for Susic and backed out which led to the attack.

After everything, NCIS was able to track the targets fairly easily. The team was there for Lockhart and Susic's meeting. It wasn't at all what they thought. Susic wanted retribution for his father's death. Lockhart was part of the military force that killed Susic's father, a warlord, in Bosnia. The deposited money was insurance to make Lockhart look like a traitor. And it almost worked.

The NCIS team took down Susic and his associates and saved the Senator. It was an intense few minutes when the team thought they were observing two threats rather than one. It was a great Christmas win! The Lockharts were safe and the Senator was reunited with his estranged daughter.

That wasn't the only happy ending for the holiday. 

In Afghanstan, Kensi and Granger weren't the only ones secretly there. CIA Agent Vostanik Sabatino (Erik Palladino) was also there on special mission and something that was important enough to pull him off the search for the three missing nukes. He was surprised to hear why Kensi was there.

At first she was offended, but then he explained what happened to the previous sniper assigned to take out the White Ghost. He was captured and beheaded! Kensi was furious at Granger from keeping that from her, though he was right that it wasn't information that would help her.

That bad news was erased by a special Christmas gift from Hetty. No, it wasn't a regifted Christmas cake. It was access to the outside world and information that would help save her life. Hetty warned Kensi that the unit may have a leak and that she needed to test and vet those around her. Scary stuff indeed.

The real gift was for both Kensi and Deeks. Hetty gave him a secure line as well. A Christmas call! Aww. Hetty does care about them and isn't trying to keep them apart. The call as perfectly awkward. Merry Christmas, Densi!

A happy moment to close out the year!

Odds and Ends

  • What do you do with your Christmas cards? 
  • Nell in the field again! Awesome. I miss Kensi with the LA team, but it's great to see Nell in the field and training for more. Is she being groomed to replace Hetty?
  • Vulture for dinner? Never had it. It looked like a turkey.
  • If the phone is Kensi's lifeline, does that mean she shouldn't trust Granger either? 
  • Sabatino is definitely suspect.


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (220 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Good Christmas episode to end the first half of the season. I thought Kensi would be off the show for the rest of the year but they have found a way to keep her in it in a limited role while Daniela is pregnant. That way people like me don't have to go through withdrawl due to her absence. Very nice touch at the end. Both NCIS and NCIS LA had nice Christmas shows this year.


Good episode. I loved the senators daughter her conversations with Callen and Sam were funny. The hidden caches were really cool and Nell saying she heard a rumor about them but really looking at a file she wasnt supposed to was funny. I love seeing Nell in the field she's great. Love the ending were Kenzi and Deeks got the phones. Can't wait till the show starts again.


Nell took over when Hetty was "away" mysteriously another time. She proved to be quite the hard-nosed junior version, and Hetty demurred when G asked her if Nell was being groomed as her successor. I can totally see Nell running things once she gets a little more experience and develops the all-important contacts.


I have to admit. I teared up at the end. Those two are perfectly unprepared for one another. As much as I love Kensi in the field with the team, having her away from Deeks is the best thing that's happened to the show in awhile. I legitimately care how they handle it. Good stuff! The rest of the episode was also good, but I can't get that phone call out of my head. Too great.


I'm I the only one who think the CIA guy from last season might be this year bad guy

@ Michael

Seems too obvious... but then again... Hetty's team has done a lot of 'housecleaning' for Langley in prior episodes.


As for the 'bearded vulture'..AKA as.lammergeiers, 'bearded vultures' are on the endangered species list. They probably wouldn't taste very good.


I have never trusted Granger, he's a seagull manager...flies in, shits all over everything, and then flies out. He's far too ambitious and willing to throw his subordinates under the bus in order to look good.
But in this case, I'm sure he's not the leak. They have to keep him in the show. I don't know about Sabatino being the leak. That's just too obvious. I bet it's Booker. If they make a female the leak, that will NOT work in the misogynistic culture of Afghanistan.


FYI: Stingray is not a program but a system that creates fake cell towers. When a cell phone connects to a Stingray tower as opposed to a legitimate Cell Company Tower, the Stingray can track the phone and play "Man In The Middle" to listen in on the call. It is real technology see


all they are doing with nell is filling the gap afterall kensi in real life chose to be pregnant. i think nell doing good job!!!!!!. i also liked how hetty gave phones to deeks and kensi. it was a great episode to finish out the year


Nell cannot replace Kensi. Kensi is a woman and Nell is still a girl.

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