That was kind of a headscratcher of an episode.
Not that there's anything wrong with a case that just happened to get solved on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 20.
Again the case was very much secondary to what was going on in the agents' lives.
The episode was such a big "huh?" that I didn't even realize Hetty didn't make an appearance, either conversationally or in person, until it was finished.
Is it a bad thing that we're getting used to Hetty not being there?
Nell wasn't there either.
Just ask Deeks, who hammered that point home over and over again, in case anyone had forgotten her leave of absence/resignation on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 19.
It was Deeks' turn to be the odd person out who substitutes in Ops. It's good to see that Fatima isn't going to be Nell's full-time replacement.
Instead, Deeks got sidelined with a broken toe. How he broke that toe was sadly the biggest mystery of the night, although Kensi hinted pretty early on that it was her fault.
So all the comic relief got thrown into Ops, with Eric having to take on the role of straight man.
Eric opted to throw himself into work to get over Nell's departure whereas Deeks chose to push him to emote.
Poor Eric. Instead of a quiet day in Ops with his thoughts, he got Deeks, who is rarely connected with either "quiet" or "thoughts."
So they went back and forth, back and forth. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Surprisingly, Deeks was of help in Ops, tracking down the Venezuelan soldiers seeking to abduct Patricia.
Was anyone buying that he had suddenly picked up tech skills?
It was a sweet scene in the end when, after Eric revealed his desire to follow Nell out the door, Deeks let him know how much the team appreciated him, and they finally hugged.
And how appropriate was it that Deeks' injury was a result of tripping over boxes Kensi left in his way, not once, but twice.
That certainly rings true. That, or tripping over Monty.
Then, in case you missed it, Callen came back from the vacation with Anna that he took on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 19.
First, I agree with Kensi that driving an hour away to Laguna Beach just qualifies as a staycation.
The joke that got set up is that Callen never takes a vacation. So TPTB, in the form of Callen, made a big deal of it.
Sam handled Callen's return entirely properly. He asked Callen how his vacation was and then moved on.
Why Callen was waiting for a medal for going on and returning from a vacation, I'm not sure. It wasn't worth beating into the ground.
That being said, the pair worked smoothly together as always, despite Sam not showing an abnormal amount of curiosity about Callen's trip to the beach regardless of how often Callen tried to bring it up.
Callen never did get his vacation story told as Deeks' latest pratfall interrupted his telling Kensi about it.
It would have been great to have had more of the banter among Sam, Callen, and the female fire chief, offering energy drinks all around.
It was heartening to see that Sam's relationship with Katherine continues to blossom. She's the rare woman who can stand up to the force that is Sam Hanna.
Here's hoping we find out Anna's future plans by aborted season's end.
Kensi and Fatima continued to work well together, in kind of a mentor-trainee relationship. Kensi almost seemed free from not having to be with Deeks 24/7.
It's an interesting change to see Kensi in that role, after being the agent learning for much of her NCIS career.
Also, it's apparent that the two women are at very different stages in the lives.
That was evident when they were questioning Agent Rush while she was pumping breast milk. Kensi was fascinated while Fatima was thrown by it.
Kensi also appeared ready to become a mother, shown by the maternal questions she was asking Rush, back for the first time since NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 13.
I enjoy most of the series' recurring characters but I don't see what Rush adds, I'm afraid.
The case of the week was a real muddle.
The OSP was asked to help out by the DOJ, apparently suspecting there was a leak in the local FBI office that led to the arson at the safe house.
It would have been nice if the DOJ had clued in the local FBI that NCIS was running the case. That way, Rush's jerk of a boss couldn't just waltz in and leave with Patricia, who was supposedly being protected.
Fortunately, Patricia's pursuers were inept, getting tricked into a meeting with two agents and a fake Patricia. There are Venezuela's black operators?
And the arson was a total red herring, performed by a firefighter that viewers have never met. That's unsatisfying.
Patricia got the asylum she was seeking, despite all the limited cloak and dagger. The end.
Just in time for some leisurely unwinding at the Squid & Dagger followed by Sam's date.
So, some enjoyable character interaction and not much else. Let's hope it's just a breather episode.
To follow the season nearing its end, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Which pairing did you like the best: Kensi and Fatima or Eric and Deeks?
What was up with Callen and his vacation?
Are you enjoying Sam with Katherine?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.