In the beginning, there was Hawaii Five-O, which begat Magnum P-I, which begat Quantum Leap, and NBC saw that it was good; the Peacock created JAG, which moved to CBS, who created a spin-off called “NCIS.” CBS saw that it was good… now comes the spin-off of the spin-off. Here’s hoping (success-wise) it’s more like Good Times than Joanie Loves Chachi.
So the Spoilers shall be written, so it shall be done.
Team Los Angeles is shadowing a random guy: LL Cool J and the youthful Kensi Blye are walking the beat with Special Agent Macy running the show from the Operations Center. Out of nowhere, shots are fired. Our two on the scene give chase to the escaping Blackbird, but he flies the coop before he could be captured. Back on the East Coast, Team DC arrive at the scene of a Marine hanging with limbs stretched to form an X. PFC Nick Chandler suffocated by sustained electric shock (harsh!), so being the model soldier makes the death all the more curious. Even more curious is why the LA branch of NCIS has a BOLO out for him. Road trip!
It seems ol’ Jethro and Macy have a bit of a history, which might be why he brings McGee along for the ride, leaving a disappointed DiNozzo to tend the farm. However, Tony has issues of his own… namely, who’s on the other side of Ziva’s mysterious Hebrew-filled phone calls.
Once on the left coast, McGee and Gibbs get a tour of the Office of Special Projects, greeted by Vance on videoconference ordering everyone to play nice. Abby insists they be careful out there because the last time they visited, one never came back. Later, the two Type-A personalities catch each other up to speed, but neither can seem to locate the mysterious Callen.
As it turns out, the good PFC was on his way to meet up with a fellow named Liam. LL’s Sam Hanna lays out the plan to meet up with a contact of Liam’s named Talia. Once everyone in the OSP is in the loop, they get Callen on the horn… who just happens to already be meeting with Gibbs in Venice Beach (or perhaps Santa Monica?) Either way, Callen puts on his game face and sits down at Talia’s table. All is well until a note passed to Talia blows Callen’s cover. Bummed his cover is blown, Chris O’Donnell sulks away.
Meanwhile, DiNozzo is utilizing every tool at his disposal to extract more info on Ziva’s mysterious “Michael.” Ducky tells him b-roll exists of an injured Ziva while she was undercover in Morocco after the temporary disbanding of the gang. Next stop is Abby, who helps Tony by utilizing the facial recognition software to finally nail down the mystery guest: Michael Rivkin, sent to the US (and earlier photographed with) one Eli David… the head of the Mossad and, yep, father to Ziva.
LL utilizes the CNN “Magic Wall” technology to gain additional viewpoints in hunting down the shooter(s). Ain’t technology grand? McGee stops drooling long enough to help pull up an ATM camera from across the street that just happened to snap a photo of what might be Liam. At the same time, Ziva and DiNozzo follow an actual lead on the Kass brothers, suspected in an eerily similar case years prior. Once at their job site, our dynamic duo easily captures the brothers, with DiNozzo discovering the tell-tale rope burn that incriminates him in the murder of PFC Chandler. To no one’s surprise, they were working for Liam.
Speaking of, Team LA happen upon video of Liam setting up a meet-and-greet with a guy named Mattie. The merged Gang Team rush downtown to intercept, only to find it’s a hit. Macy and her crew take out the baddies, leaving Liam dead and introducing us to an operative on the inside. They also find a key (yes, an actual key) to a motel room on the Sunset Strip. The room belonged to Liam… guns and all. Since dead Liam was a veritable ghost to the higher-ups in the bad guy organization, and to ensure the operation continues, Callen takes the role of Liam. Because in the end, that’s what the OSP is all about: fake jobs, fake names, fake lives… it’s all a legend to see the job through.
Lest we forget the growing tension between DiNozzo and Ziva. What will become of those two?
Next week, part the second… the undercover operation is compromised, but is it because of Ziva? What are your thoughts of this backdoor pilot? Does this spin-off of the spin-off have legs?