Well, at least we found out what Kensi has been up to recently.
As is her wont, Kensi found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 8.
In this case, that meant that she was pretending to be a coyote leading migrants to the promised land on the U.S.-Mexican border.
But instead of being caught by Customs and Border Production, Kensi’s travel party was cut down by a militia unit killing illegals.
That had nothing to do with Kensi’s mission. She was investigating a group of Marines suspected of participating in human smuggling.
How does this keep happening to Kensi? Unlucky, I guess. Fortunately, she’s durable as well.
Her absence got quickly noticed. She missed her check-in with Deeks. Also, there were a lot of dead bodies found in the area where she was last known to be.
In this case, law enforcement on the ground, an indifferent Border Patrol agent, just assumed the culprit was a cartel. If any massacre happens near Mexico, it’s got to be cartel activity.
Back in Los Angeles, everyone jumped to the conclusion that it might be Kensi’s stalker Kessler.
That’s promising. Since the team kept mentioning Kessler, maybe that storyline might get resolved at some point. The question is whether that will be before or after Hetty’s next cameo appearance.
Both were good guesses, but both were wrong, as it would turn out.
I’m not sure what to make of this, but a new agent, NCIS Supervisory Special Agent Aliyah de Leon, was introduced. Sam and her father go way back, and he’s known Aliyah forever.
The question is, why is Aliyah seemingly hanging out around L.A.? Just how temporary is her temporary attachment to the OSP?
The answer to that question wasn’t at all clear. There was no “it’s been fun but bye!’ Instead, it was more like, “I’ll be around for a while if you need me,” which makes me think they’ll need her.
Usually, some character is doing something offscreen because the cast is too large to service narratively effectively.
But this time, it was the opposite as Kensi was on assignment and Callen and Roundtree were off on personal business. So with the team being three agents down, it made sense to bring in a substitute.
So how did Aliyah work out? She did fine, considering that she was thrown into a developing mission. She trod carefully as she knew she was a guest in an emotionally fraught situation.
Frankly, little effort was put into developing her character since the theme was essentially “Rescue Kensi.” It was almost like TPTB said, “We’ll tell viewers more about her throughout the rest of the season.”
That kind of thought wouldn’t be invested into a one-time character if that is the case. So is a hot young female agent being brought in to replace another hot young female agent? Especially if, as it seems, Kensi is about to don those mom jeans.
Is this, plus Fatima’s ever-increasing hesitancy, mean that Fatima is on her way out? Or is she maybe stepping aside for a time?
In this all-hands-on-deck situation, Fatima brought her A-game, not just in Ops but also in the field.
But afterward, the usually ultra-confident Fatima exhibited some out-of-character insecurity, requiring another spirited Kilbride pep talk. That’s supposed to be her PTSD talking, but is there something more going on?
Aliyah and Fatima did an adequate job of teaming up to take down the human-smuggling Marine. Then they got handed tablets in Ops and were sent to the background, only to offer up crucial intel in a rescue mission that came together way too quickly.
Soon after Jan. 6, a redneck militia hunting illegal immigrants made for an appropriate villain. It made sense to have a female leading the militia against the female federal agent.
Kensi did all the heavy lifting, rescuing and taking care of Rosa, leaving clues for her teammates, helping Rosa escape.
Sam had the different part of the rescue, continually talking down Deeks. Beyond that, those two just had to find the militia hideout than track down the gunfire they had heard.
It almost didn’t seem fair, three agents taking on four militia members (including a couple of redshirts). Their leader shouldn’t have shot down that dissenter; they could have used his gun.
The whole rescue appeared anti-climatic, with the team matching wits with a handful of bigoted weekend warriors.
No, this was about Kensi’s interactions with Rosa, to whom Kensi quickly became attached.
The race through the wilderness was an opportunity to watch Kensi being maternal, to show that she deserves to be a mother.
A point was made to show that Rosa had first lost her mother, and then the big guy who treated her like the daughter he had lost.
In the end, Deeks went over the difficult road that Rosa faced on the road to being allowed to stay in the U.S.
The last gasp toward staying was Rosa being adopted. Might Kensi and Deeks be looking at adopting a much older daughter?
To follow Fatima’s journey, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Was Kensi’s fate ever in doubt?
How did you like Aliyah?
Might Fatima be on the way out?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.