NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Red Herring

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A fish market is bombed! Not really a prime target for a terrorist attack, right?

On NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 16, the team investigates whether or not the bombing has terrorist ties or not. While at the fish market, they meet an undercover DEA agent, Talia. She's been working there to find out if drugs have been moved through the market or not.

The fish market bombing case was one of my favorite this season. The investigation unfolded in a logical manner, while having a slight tone that something wasn't quite right. Seriously, why would a fish market be targeted by terrorists?

When Talia was poisoned and the bombing was attributed as a hit, it seemed unlikely that there was something bigger at play. Instead of moving on, the team pushed on and it's a good thing they did. It was the work of a extremist terror cell. They were well integrated into society with impeccable covers.

While I found the case engrossing, I didn't really care much for Talia. I get what the writers were trying to do by creating that specific character and then having her partner with Deeks, but it was too forced for my liking. Deeks has a complicated relationship with Kensi and he misses her. It's not necessary to have him partner with someone like Talia to exacerbate the situation. 

Hetty was on top of her game (though when isn't she?) with this one. She put Talia in her place and then showcased her computer skills to uncover Raul's true identity as Massil Al-Hawati. NCIS has chased formidable foes before, but none with a cover story as believable as Al-Hawati.

Though, I did question his story when he told it to Sam and Callen. If his mother was an American in the Peace Corps, why was he attending college on a student visa?  The death of his father and being raised by an English speaking mother was believable though. His withstood the interrogation in the boat shed without flinching.

When Sam was ready to let him leave, I believed him. Though, again it seemed a bit off. No one is supposed to know where the boat shed is located, so why would Sam call him a cab and give him money for a ride home? He wouldn't. Instead, he caught the Al-Hawati in a moment when his guard was down. A good-bye in Arabic (I'm assuming.) and a response from Al-Hawati was all it took. Slick move!

Talia had her own slick move when she had the chemical tested from Mateo's car. That was a break that led to the prevention of a major terrorist explosion. The team all had their roles to play and did so perfectly. The truck exploded, but without any loss of life. Case closed.

And, Talia's DEA case at the fish market was worthwhile as well. Drugs weren't going through the market, instead it was large amounts of money to fund the terrorist cell. With that many bills being transferred, it was inevitable that traces of drugs would be detected.

It was good day in Los Angeles! In Afghanistan, it was an entirely different story.

A helicopter was taken down by a RPG and the occupants were not found. Dead or alive, the US military members had been taken. When a nearby convey was detected, Kensi left to take care of business. She was going to take out the White Ghost. Only when the time came to do it, she couldn't.

It wasn't Sabatino. it was obvious that Kensi recognized him. Who was it? And, why did she shoot and miss him on purpose? The only person I can think of that it could possibly be is Jack. He was a Marine and he left her due to his PTSD. At least that's what she's said about him. He was based in Fallujah.

Could Jack be the White Ghost? Or, is it possible that it was Jack, but he's not actually the White Ghost? If it is Jack, I have to wonder if there is more to the story. I wouldn't want to see someone Kensi cares about being a traitor. If that was Jack, maybe the sniper he killed was actually the traitor. Maybe...

Who is the White Ghost?


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.2 / 5.0 (93 Votes)

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


I think the banner for NCIS: LA should be changed, considering I'm pretty sure that's a shot from Season 2.


Who's Jack?


Thank you! Densi page on Facebook:


I'm going to assume that the guy was her former fiancee and that he isn't the white ghost but somehow involved in a undercover op with a different agency. From reading press releases for other episodes, it seems as if he will be involved in a love triangle with Deeks and Kensi. He may even save her from danger in Afghanistan. It's obvious the feelings are still there and I think it's a good idea. I don't think she'll choose either guy and the will they/ won't they dynamic continues for another season. If I am a show runner or writer, I try to keep that dynamic going as long as possible. Doing this at the end of season five is too early. The show seems to revolve around these two being together, and while I do think it would be nice, it's extremely unbelievable that they can make this work as partners. I already have a hard time believing that they haven't botched a mission due to their constant flirting. One of them would have to leave the agency of this happened and we all know that isn't a possibility, nor should it be. Also, once they are together, fans will be antsy for their relationship to take the next step. I think that Castle has suffered the same flaw in that you satisfy the fans too early, and the show suffers for it. In my opinion, they really haven't explored a lot about Deeks personal life outside of the episode with his childhood friend. These characters need to have an identity that isn't dependent on their partner. Giving Fallen a love life is a good idea and it helps take the focus off them as a couple. As for the episode, it was fine. I thought introducing Del Campo was a nice touch in theory, but failed in it's delivery. It would've been better to do this in a arc than a single episode. I guess it's purpose was to introduce turmoil in the Deeks/Kensi relationship. Hetty was great as always, but is there anything that this woman hasn't been a part of? I'm glad the The White Ghost storyline is wrapping up, I'm just not that interested. The main case was par for the course in an NCIS episode: terrorists kill someone to hide a big plot and the team foils it through Nell/Eric and the field agents.

@ vontrapp

I think your wrong, there will be no love triangle the actor playing jack has only a small part in one more episode then he is gone. also we will find out he has a family over there. I agree what you say about Castle but they are the whole show where as deeks and kensi are only about 30 percent of this show. They are one of tvs favorite couples and in a survey more than 85% of the fans want them together. The writers need to keep everyone happy so they will put the together. That means fans will see less of their banter and flirting next year and there will be more time for good crime solving and Callen or hetty stories. It keeps everyone going that way. They will be together but we will see less of them next year.

@ JJ+

I hope you are right, but after seeing last week's show and the comments made to Deeks at the end by Del Campo, it seems like they're going to hold off on it. I hate love triangles in shows more than the "will they be together" trope, so that's good.


we will see him look into THE BOX soon and iam guessing it could be two things. She had the box delivered then took it home and then gave it to deeks. the box is light so my guesses are . 1 she ordered him some comic books then added her dads
collection to it or 2 . black socks ,red shorts and white tee shirt along with the jeans ,black tank top and bag across the shoulder. That's what they had on when they first met.


I'm kind of surprised that Kensi didn't take anybody out. If you have a chance to take out a bad guy, even if it's not The Target, take him out. Then it wouldn't tip off the American amidst the bunch.
I don't know who Jack is, but I do know Kensi's father is dead. The guy in the group Kensi shot at is Kensi's age. Way too young to be her dad.
I don't like how Hetty plays with Deeks. I think she's deliberately attempting to sabotage the relationship between Deeks and Kensi. They are grown ups, no one should tell them what they can and can't do off duty. They're smart enough to realize that a relationship can only go so far without causing problems with their work relationship.
Hetty should mind her own business--I notice she never interferes with Sam and Michelle's marriage, nor does she stick her nose in Callan's singleness, and she leaves Eric and Nell alone.

@ Pippa

Jack is Kensi's ex-fiance. He was a marine stationed in Fallujah, and when he came back he had severe PTSD. He left her on Christmas morning, and she never heard from him again.


I'm looking for the name of the actress who played Talia in last night's episode. I'll win a $50 bet with my husband when I prove to him that she isn't the same as the actress playing Shaw (Sarah Shahi) on Person of Interest!

@ Lydia Bosley

The actress is Mercedes Masohn. Enjoy your $50.


the rest were not americans only the ghost is. big question is WHATS IN THE BOX?


How did Kenzi know which of the men was the white ghost?


Who's Jack?

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