NCIS: Los Angeles

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NCIS: Los Angeles Review: The White Ghost Lie

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The truth about the White Ghost and why Kensi was sent to Afghanistan to hunt him down were both revealed in NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 19.

Once again, Hetty kept secrets and it ended up to the detriment of her agent. When will she learn that sometimes knowledge is much more important than secrecy? She's repeatedly put her agents in harm's way without providing them important details about their mission.

The White Ghost that Kensi was sent to kill never existed; instead, the CIA pegged Jack Simon as the White Ghost as a cover to kill him.

Jack was working for them and knew many of the CIA assets in the area, but when he decided to stay and live among the locals he became a liability.

I'm not sure why Hetty thought it was a good idea to send Kensi to assassinate the White Ghost, aka her ex-fiance. What did Hetty expect Kensi to do? Hetty's decision would have made more sense if was Kensi was briefed on the true nature of her mission and given guidance about how to proceed once she found  the "White Ghost."

Also, it's still not clear who killed the previous sniper assigned to the case or why he was killed.

While I found "Spoils of War" to be an intense episode that was action packed, while pushing the characters to new limits, I have an issue with the storyline as a whole now that it's been revealed. I hope we get more answers when Kensi and the team return to Los Angeles.

Hetty shouldn't be let off easily by any of them. I doubt Granger will let it go. Could this be the move that does Hetty in?

In Afghanistan, the team members were forced to examine their humanity with crucial decisions. Deeks held strong at first. He wasn't going to cross the line to get answers from the Cleric. He withheld sleep and food, but didn't resort to torture initially.

As someone who was tortured, it was uncomfortable to see him turn into someone who would harm another like that. He didn't pull teeth or cause unbearable pain, but he did water board the Cleric. He was emotionally broken by the picture of a "dead" Kensi and reacted from that pain.

It was good to see that he quickly gave up that method of questioning. It wasn't in him to do it. He crossed a line, but never to the point of no return. His humanity was intact and that ended up allowing him to see the answer to their problem.

Meanwhile, Sam and Callen showed their own humanity by protecting the young girl helping the Taliban. They saved her and brought her with them as they followed the Taliban. It could have been costly decision, but ultimately it worked in their favor.

Callen went against Granger and used the girl to keep the Taliban group from heading into Pakistan. Instead, it was a face off and the Americans almost lost. Deeks came to the rescue with a hostage exchange: the Cleric for Kensi and Jack. While the NCIS team made the exchange in good faith, the military saw an opportunity to take out their enemy. And, once again their humanity succeeded and they saved the girl from death.

The lesson of the hour seemed to be that humanity is lost during war. The NCIS team maintained their own, but it almost cost them their lives. Was the CIA right in wanting Jack dead to protect their assets? Or, were they wrong? Based on the short amount of time we saw him, I'm not sure. Kensi believed in him, but she doesn't really know him now. He thought he found freedom in the Afghan village, but he would always be a threat.

I'd like to see more of this story and find out what ends up happening with Jack. Will the CIA let him be? Or, will he be forced back to the US where he can't hurt them? And what does that mean for Kensi? 

The reunion between Kensi and Deeks was heartfelt, yet Jack was there between them. She couldn't stop looking at her ex even as she hugged her partner. Just as Deeks had recover from being tortured, she will likely have to do the same.

Kensi was Deeks' salvation after his horrific experience. For Kensi's sake, I hope he will be her's as well.

Will Kensi and Deeks stay together?



Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (130 Votes)

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

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I totally agree with you Carla. The ones who take Hetty's side must be totally forgetting what just happened out there. U guys say Hetty just wanted Kensi not to shoot Jack huh? Hello?? That's exactly the reason why Hetty's actions were stupid and mean. Why can't she just simply tell her that before she left? Kensi and Deeks even thought it was because they fell in love that Kensi was shipped to Afgan it caused a lot of misunderstanding. And Hetty intended on making Kensi fail on her official duty directed from above. Do you guys seriously think that would not affect Kensi's career? And we all know what a soft-hearted person Kensi is. She has trouma about her late boyfriend and her father. And our dear Hetty gave her this hard mission of having to point guns at her ex Fiance, What would have Kensi felt just at the moment she saw Jack through her glass? Hetty practically gave Kensi another hard time and trouma for that. If Hetty just told her that she actually doesn't have to kill Jack and this is all hoax, Kensi wouldn't have been shocked and she surely wouldn't have followed Jack and almost died. So? Do u guys really think this is still not Hetty's fault??? Kensi fell to rock bottom as an innocent victim because of Hetty, and i think Hetty really should be sorry about that.


I hope that the Jack Simon character has not been introduced for the purpose of putting him between Deeks and Kensi. We keep hearing that Daniela Ruah may be leaving the show to be a fulltime mom and, if that is the case, the writers will need an exit strategy and maybe Simon has something to do with it. Hope not because if Kensi goes, I go.

@ Gregg

I don't think Daniela Rush is leaving she said she's happy they kept her during her maternity leave she said I definitely felt wonderful that he did that because I am very active naturally and, if I were to stay home for the most part of my maternity leave, I would have gone crazy. Daniela Rush did a Interview: NCIS: LA star Daniela Ruah talks Kensi's rescue, motherhood & more.

@ Gregg

According to things I've read elsewhere, the actor playing Jack was contracted for just two episodes this season.

@ Gregg

Supposedly, a cast member is leaving at the end of the season.

@ PatrickC

Vontrapp, I first heard that rumor in the middle of July or August. I think, if I'm remembering this correctly, that Shane Brennan said someone was leaving.

@ PatrickC

Where did you hear this? I heard that she was coming back next year.

@ Rachel

I never said it was Kensi leaving. It could be anyone. If you want to find it, google NCIS LA cast member leaving.

@ Rachel

There was an article that came out around mid-October, I believe for the 100th episode, where LL and Daniela Ruah speculated that a cast member might not make it into next season.


Does anyone think Nate could return to help Kensi recover?

Sue ann
@ PatrickC

Interesting idea. I do like having Nate pop up now and then. But considering how fast they had Deeks recover from the PTSD of being tortured, I doubt it.

@ Sue Ann

Good idea - but I think that Deeks' PTSD will come back and they both will go through it together - isn't it ironic how Deeks went through the torture then now Kensi? Hmmmm. I really am curious on where they are going with this storyline, etc. I've been loving NCIS L.A this season!


A very intense episode. Really good. I understood Deeks' actions. He loves Kensi and the thought that they may have killed her sent him over the edge. Fortunately he regained his senses before he killed the man. I was amazed at how well the actors did on this episode. Not to say they aren't always good, but this time, I think they excelled. I was sad for Deeks when he saw Kensi with her ex., but she partially redeemed herself when she kept holding onto Deeks.


Carla Day needs to rewatch the episode. Hetty's reason for sending Kensi was discussed in the episode.


That 13 year old girl look like a mini Ziva


I think that Hetty wasn't 100% sure that the White Ghost was Jack. If he wasn't, then Kensi would do her job and take him out. If he was, then Hetty trusted that Kensi would do the right thing and give Jack a chance. I thought it was odd, too, that Callen and Sam relied on the interpreter to communicate with the girl when they both speak Pashto. I hated the scene where Deeks waterboarded the cleric. I kept saying, "No, Deeks, no!" I felt bad that he was going to die in that airstrike that Granger ordered.

@ Leilani808

The whole White Ghost story was made up by the CIA, so they would have an excuse to kill Jack. Hetty knew that, and sent Kensi as the shooter, because she knew that Kensi wouldn't kill Jack.


If Deeks came to the rescue, is he a NCIS agent… or still a LAPD liaison to the team? Oy. I honestly think that if Deeks & Kensi get together - it'll be fine. Not a disaster.


Best dialog of the ep, hands down: Granger pickin' at Hetty for not telling him the truth about the mission....and Hetty reminding him that he's done that too many times to count. I'm back to thinking that wherever Granger goes, mess follows. I suppose that's logical given that he's the Assoc Dir and if he's directly involved, things MUST be bad. Still, Hetty's point is valid--he messes with the team's heads and well-being when he should have their backs.


What did Hetty expect Kensi to do? -- Exactly what she did. Not take the shot.