Maybe the CIA should get Joelle a therapist.
Joelle was back but not for the better on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 17.
What could possibly return her to the field so shortly after having a leg amputated following the events of NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 14?
Well, since Joelle is CIA, nobody found out too quickly, not even her former paramour Callen and NCIS, even if they should have had jurisdiction.
After all, the victim was a Navy intelligence officer. Or was she?
Since the CIA was involved, assume nothing was as it seemed.
Callen was correct to ponder how Joelle was possibly allowed to go back to work so soon after such a traumatic life change.
Joelle was just off.
She hadn't been warm and fuzzy toward Callen and the OSP since she was revealed to be a CIA officer. But she was particularly icy and all business to the people who had rescued her.
Some of Joelle's elusiveness could be chalked up to general CIA secrecy. Also, she could have been just getting back on her feet after a period of hospitalization.
Eventually, Callen was able to get her to admit that the Sorensen murder resembled that of an earlier killing of a CIA officer.
Since that agent had been a friend of hers, Joelle was able to leverage her way into an investigation of the two cases.
And, thanks to interagency cooperation, she was able to steer the direction of the investigation.
How realistic was it that someone in Joelle's condition, who is still adjusting to her prosthetic leg, would be back in action so soon?
It seems more likely that she would have to undergo counseling before being reassigned to maybe an instructional or analyst role. Anywhere but in the field.
But in the NCIS world, she was able to pull some strings and be put in charge of an investigation that grew to have more and more importance to the CIA.
Should the NCIS team, especially Callen, gotten a hint that something was amiss, that they were being led around by the nose by the CIA, particularly Joelle?
Yes, but although the CIA isn't supposed to operate domestically in the U.S., its officers just keep popping up.
The OSP squad, especially Callen and Sam, just shrug it off and say, "That's the CIA being the CIA."
Fortunately, Kilbride was still hanging out in L.A. and was able to cut through red tape and get Nell and Fatima access to intel they normally wouldn't have enjoyed.
He also took Hetty's omnipresent, eye-in-the-sky role seriously, comically materializing on screen to take part in the team's conversations.
I'm going to miss Kilbride when Hetty returns in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 17 finale. Nell will certainly be relieved, particularly if Hetty is around for more than a cameo.
Kilbride's connections helped Callen and company to fill in the blanks fairly quickly, to determine that the murders of the CIA officers were revenge for a CIA task force torturing and murdering a Ukrainian defector, who inconveniently was the illegitimate son of an important Russian intelligence officer.
The bodies kept piling up until the squad set a trap, only to learn that they've been being used the whole time by the CIA to lend credence to a series of faked deaths meant to establish a U.S. double agent inside of Russian intelligence.
They had been so busy trying to prevent future deaths that they didn't stop to wonder about how a Russian hit squad was so easily locating CIA officers inside the U.S.
Callen really should have made those calls to his CIA contacts sooner so he would have found out Joelle was involved with this whole facade.
At least Callen and Joelle had a couple of meaningful conversations. Hopefully, Callen heard her when she urged him to hang onto Anna.
Joelle likely didn't want to hear it when Callen questioned why she got involved with this hoax, just as a way to strike back against the Russians she blamed for her recent maimings.
Joelle was right that everything has been taken away from her because of her position with the CIA, and she appears to be more reckless now.
Deeks and especially Kensi were having a bad few days.
Their attempt to become parents has sputtered out. She was totally fried from all her body has been going through during this process.
Kensi made the right call when she decided to take a break from trying to have their biological child. Maybe adoption or fostering is a better way to go for them.
This storyline has been instructive as it's emphasized that natural childbirth doesn't always work out for everyone.
Having Kessler in the back of her mind can't have helped Kensi.
Her stalker popped up again (sort of) for the first time since NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 5 when he sent a postcard to Kensi featuring himself at the Santa Monica Pier.
Deeks has been amazingly supportive throughout the efforts to start a family and Kensi's being stalked by Kessler. He nailed it when he suggested that she could benefit from a therapist.
With the shortened season, both of these storylines promise to carry over to NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13.
To revisit Joelle's evolution, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Will things end up badly for Joelle?
How soon did you catch on to the hoax?
Will Deeks and Kensi get a child?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.