NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5 Review: Divided We Fall

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Finally, we got something of a spotlight on Admiral Kilbride.

The effort to humanize Kilbride continued on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5.

Many have found the contrast between Hetty and Kilbride to be jarring.

A Difficult Decision -- Tall - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

Hetty has been the mentor/mother to everyone in the OSP (except Roundtree since he came on after she's mainly been MIA).

Kilbride has been nothing resembling parental. He's been a grouch, truth be told, who acts like he's being held against his will in Los Angeles.

Choice to Make - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

But he's been emoting much more this season. He's kept the badmouthing of Hetty to a minimum in the house that she built.

He went to the hospital to visit the beaten Japanese-American veteran on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 2. He gave Fatima a line on a landlord on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 4.

It's like he's decided to make the most out of this "road-to-retirement" job. Such a position has got to beat shuffling papers at the Pentagon.

And now we got to meet his surrogate daughter, who has never come up before, if only for a short time.

Agent in Trouble - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

Having an ONI investigator look into Laura's death after the fact was an effective way to tell her story. Examining the narrative from multiple perspectives is an enjoyable form of storytelling that stretches back 70 years to "Rashomon."

Also, keeping the agents separated didn't allow them to compare notes and realize that something strange was going on around Laura.

I mean, it was almost like she didn't want to be protected, even though that was exactly what Kilbride had ordered the team to do. She gave off warning signs, though, but the action was too fast and furious for the agents to realize that.

Laura was charming and very good at her role, getting the hardened agents around her to open up.

Callen Draws a Bead - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

Laura compared mentors with Callen and parenting strategies with Sam. Even though she seemed clueless about the threat against her when they picked her up, she too quickly shifted to expecting that her undercover career was over, which should have been a clue.

It turned out that Sam and Callen were wise not to give her a gun when the attack began and not just because she had been drinking. At least with Laura unarmed, they knew from where the assailants were coming.

Fatima and Roundtree shifted quickly from boredom to action, rescuing Laura only to have her lock them on top of the nonfunctional elevator.

Even Deeks and Kensi, after talking to Lily, noticed strange behavior from Laura after her husband was killed in an accident.

Mission Gone Sideways - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

Kensi could relate to a girl who lost her father too young while Deeks couldn't make sense of a parent who would rush back to dangerous work, leaving her daughter alone at boarding school.

But unfortunately, because they were kept separate so they wouldn't contaminate one another's recollection of events, they weren't in any position to put the clues together to understand Laura's true story.

Laura knew she had been compromised but not at all in the way that the OSP squad thought. 

Only Ali managed to put things together, but it took all of their accounts for that to happen. And, afterward, he was indeed sorry that he had been made privy to the big picture.

Op Gone Awry - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

For, as Kilbride revealed, his team was kept oblivious to what was truly going on. Only he was aware of that and wished he wasn't.

Even Kilbride didn't learn the whole truth until just before he shot Laura. He just thought that she had turned and become a double agent for the Chinese. His goal for bringing her in was to find out why.

Sadly, the lonely older man with the fractured family discovered that he had been targeted by Laura, who had been working for the Chinese the whole time.

That had to hurt Kilbride, who has been playing these spy games for a long time, deeply. He still carried around a photo of the daughter he never had.

Deeks Grilled - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

But he had to stuff his feelings down and go along with SecNav's plan to cover up Laura's deception, like the good little sailor he is.

Ali, who discovered he was only doing the investigation to conform to the protocol, got sucked into this coverup as well.

Yes, the intelligence game is a need-to-know operation.

But hasn't Kilbride kept enough secrets from his team, such as the arrest of his old friend for gunrunning on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 3? Doesn't there need to be some basis for trust?

Being Interrogated - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

Granted, Hetty never told them all she knew. Who has enough time for all that?

But at least she gave them enough intel so that there weren't many surprises (unlike a good-sized Chinese tactical team rushing their safehouse).

Look at the downside. If the team continues to be haunted by Laura's death, maybe they will compare notes and figure out what happened.

Sure, Kilbride didn't know what was going to happen. But afterward, he should tell them enough to put their minds at ease, strengthening the bonds of trust among them.

Actions Questioned - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5

To revisit the evolution of Kilbride, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.

When did you start to have suspicions about Laura?

Should team members have caught on sooner?

What should Kilbride have told them?

Comment below.

Divided We Fall Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (18 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 5 Quotes

Roundtree: Correct me if I'm wrong.
Fatima: You know I will.

Deeks: That's another good point. You're en fuego today.
Kensi: I'm always en fuego.