NCIS Los Angeles Mole Reveal

NCIS: LA Recap: Mole Hunt Ends With Another Betrayal, Hint at Big Exit

CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles concluded its long-running mole storyline on Sunday night, but not before raising the curtain on another snitch, letting one shady sort slip away and seemingly setting the stage for a cast member’s sad swan song.

When last we tuned in, “Sullivan” aka CIA Officer Ferris had taken Kensi hostage, drugging her and wheeling her off to the basement of a church in Koreatown. Determined to exact “payback” for his lost leg, he revved up an electric saw, but Kensi bought herself a bit of time by using Ferris’ feelings for her against him. After Eric gets a lead on Kensi’s whereabouts, Callen for some reason (to “buy time,” but still!) phones Ferris to announce that they are en route. Ferris drugs Kensi and throws a hood over her, preparing to wheel her off to somewhere else. By the time Sam, Callen and a hot-headed Deeks arrive, the find someone bound and hooded in the basement — but it’s Joelle, Callen’s ex. She claims that she herself got accosted and drugged, and had just come to there, strapped to the chair.

Back at HQ, Hetty and then a boiling-over, punch-happy Deeks take turns trying to get intel out of CIA Officer Vostanik Sabatino, but he A) insists he has none, and B) maintains that he was working for NCIS’ interests and against Ferris and the other “bad apples.” Sabatino offers to help NCIS draw out Ferris (to which Callen says a firm, “No thank you”), and then warns the team that Ferris is a very bad egg, not someone who joined the Agency “for love of country.” Sabatino also echoes that had NCIS never gone to Afghanistan and in doing so unwittingly cost the spooks money, this never would have been an issue.

Meanwhile, Sam assures Deeks that Kensi is “tough as nails” and will make this “bastard” pay, but Deeks is still wired enough to rip Hetty, saying that since she sent Kensi to Afghanistan in the first place, “If anything happens to her, that’s on you.”

Amidst all of this, Admiral A.J. Chegwidden (of JAG) arrives, giving Eric a brief scare. Having heard the team is up to their “ass in alligators,” he came to help Hetty and her team fix things. Hetty meanwhile checks in on Joelle,ncis-la-joelle who says she is feeling a bit better after the day’s events. Hetty remarks that is surprising, seeing as Joelle — aka CIA Officer Taylor — lost three of her colleagues today. Found out, Joelle explains that she was originally assigned to keep an eye on Callen, until the op changed and she got dragged into it. Pressed by Hetty, Joelle (unconvincingly) whips out a gun, only to get KO’d by an oar-wielding Admiral Chegwidden.

Now being held at a house in Studio City, Kensi begins violently choking on blood (having bitten down on her own tongue), leading Ferris to free her enough that she can knock him down with a kick. Snipping her zip ties with a carpet knife, a fight ensues, during which Kensi slashes her captor across the chest. But just then, two more of his accomplices show up to detain Kensi, again.

Back at the boathouse, Callen and Joelle have “the talk,” during which she claims that she was trying to protect him when she broke things off. Callen says he can forgive the lying — “That’s part of the job” — but not her betrayal. She shoots back, “If you can’t forgive me, how will you ever forgive yourself for all the times” you did same?ncis-la-densi

When hospitalized Granger guns down an assassin who’d been sent to his room, Eric uses a chain of text messages on the dead woman’s phone to locate Kensi. Arriving on the scene, Sam and Callen take out the other operatives, while Deeks cuts Ferris’ “If you take one more step….” speech with a double-tap to the head, which Kensi finds to be quite the romantic gesture. The reunited duo then order “dad” (Callen) to get out of the room as they embrace.

As Deeks carries Kensi out, the fellas realize that Sabatino, whom they had handcuffed to the SUV, has vanished. Back at HQ, meanwhile, Hetty invites Chegwidden to stick around and help clean up her legal mess. Later, Hetty pays Granger a visit at the hospital, imploring him to get some rest. ncis-la-hetty-granger“I dreamt there was a buzzard and he kept circling me,” Granger shares, to which Hetty replies, “Don’t be a smart-ass, Owen.”

One way or another, that moment would seem to, by coincidence or design, open the door for any number of exit storylines for cast member Miguel Ferrer, who passed away last month, made his final appearance in this episode and will be written out of the CBS drama/paid tribute when it next airs on Sunday, March 5.

What did you think of the mole hunt climax, Joelle getting busted and the possible ways Granger could be written out?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Craigers says:

    So is John M. Jackson joining the cast?

  2. Kate says:

    I am still not sure what to think about Sabatino. It didn’t really make sense that he would be working with Ferris since Sabatino was on the mission where Ferris got shot. I thought pulling Joelle in was weak. There’s no way they had that planned out that far in advance. As soon as she showed up in the episode you knew it was a reason.

  3. Nicole says:

    Isn’t it a little odd how sam’s wife knew two people who happened to be trying to bring down Ncis and she was completely in the dark?

    • JamiesLies says:

      This whole story arc made no sense. NCISLA is unwatchable. I just watched my last episode.

      • Kay says:

        Millions, , including me, disagree. But you are entitled to your opinion.

      • georgee says:

        Every time you hear of a story arc things go down hill fast. Just go back to Castle last year, all we heard about from the two show runners was the big arc. But they had a train wreck of a story line , one of the biggest reasons we no longer have Castle. I was hoping that CBS would be smart enough not the go down the same set of tracks that ABC went down.

      • Maggie says:

        If the next few episodes are as bad, I agree. The season started out really strong, but this mole story line was horrible. It could have been great IF the writers had taken a chance and had the mole be one of the team members (like Nate or Deeks). At least Shane had the guts to kill off a main character in the first season–even though I really liked Dom, those were two terrific episodes. To be honest, Jordana tends to be one of the weaker writers, so maybe she wasn’t the right one for this episode . . . or maybe they need some new writers (although Military is one of my favs). Wilson wrote the next episode, so I hope that’s up to his usual standard.

        • jj says:

          I would hardly consider Dom a main character seeing that he disappeared in midseason of S1. He was just a weak character. The mole arc was rather unsatisfying, a bunch of CIA agents (not very good ones) taking revenge. Hetty should have been able to flush them out and crush them like a bug that they are with little to no effort.

  4. TrapperCat says:

    The NCIS/NCIS LA, etc, writers have the tendency to write these long story arcs that seem impossible to finish in the final 6 minute section of the last show only to wrap things up in the blink of an eye. Harper Deering, Port-to-Port, etc, and again this mole arc. The whole plot line was exciting and interesting but full of holes and “why’s”. The main question I’ve had during this whole are is “WHERE WAS VANCE???” This would have been a great spot to get the NCIS cast in to help these guys, since Gibbs and Callen are good old buddies. So many things could have been done.

    Still it was enjoyable, and the JAG admiral would be a good replacement for Granger (RIP Mr. Ferrer.

    • Daniel says:

      Vance is a regular on the mothership. It’s not easy to bring out the regulars from Ncis while they’re both shooting seasons at the same time. Harmon produces NOLA and NCIs so it’s easier to do them there.

  5. Greta says:

    Get your stories inline NCISLA. You already said Callen broke up with Joelle and now its the other way around? What a waste of time to make Joelle the mole. Like she mattered since you already made it clear Callen didn’t give a rats *** about her.

    • Kay says:

      She was not THE mole. She was part of the group

    • Maggie says:

      I agree. Sometimes it’s as if the writers don’t even remember what happened last week. I wondered why Deeks was yelling at Hetty since Hetty had told Kensi to stay at OPS with Eric and Nell. Wouldn’t she have told Deeks and the others? That made no sense; Hetty’s not responsible if Kensi didn’t follow orders. And if it was about Afghanistan, well, that makes even less sense. No way Kensi wouldn’t have gone to save Jack.Besides, she took off on her own–again. She seems to have a hard time following orders and then always has to be rescued. Maybe she should retire. lol

    • Stefanie says:

      The way I remember it and I could be wrong was that Joelle initiated the breakup with Callen. At the time she said she did not want to be in a relationship with someone who had such a dangerous job and might not come home. They spent christmas together ( Cancel Christmas episode) but had agreed to separate after New Years. Callen at some point said to Sam , he had to let her go , even though he cared greatly for her . So I took that to mean she wanted the break up and he finally gave in.

  6. LMM says:

    Felt so bad for Callen in this episode. His face when he found out about Joelle, and then the cutting up of the table. :-(

  7. Kate says:

    Did I miss where we find out whether the LAPD detective lived or not after Deeks confessed? Or is that one of those things that will resurface months from now out of nowhere?

    • Chloe says:

      Good question. My impression was that she was going to die, but in TV, you never know.

    • Gordon Rick says:

      IMO it will resurface in a couple of months to give Chedgewidden (sp?) the opportunity to defend Deeks in court.

    • Another Poster says:


      At NCIS Wikia They do confirm what happened to Officer Ellen Whiting (Karina Loque), who was shot in the neck by Carl.
      Perhaps they did not mention in last night’s episode because of time constraints, or what really happened to Miguel Ferrer in real life. Reality makes her fictional fate seem minor by comparison.
      I agree it should, and probably will be, mentioned in a future episode.

      On a related note, NCIS: LA improved on the lead in from The Good Fight’s numbers, and since it’s ratings have improved since Sept. 2016, along with Hawaii Five-O, (the only CBS programs to see an increase in ratings from last year), means it’s renewal is 99.99% certain. Moving from Monday night at 10 PM to another night of the week is not as bad as it sounds.

  8. JC1 says:

    They wrote themselves into a corner, dragging out this mole storyline as long as they did. It should never have gone on this long. So it became a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” situation. It wasn’t really believable that any of our long-time team members could be the mole. At the same time, anything less sort of feels like a cop out, since they dragged it out so long. I guess Joelle was as good a character as any to throw out there, though it does beg the question of how Michelle, a former CIA agent herself, didn’t know about it.
    I love that they’re bringing Chegwidden back though, even if it’s just for awhile.
    As far as Granger goes, I’m guessing they’ll just have someone in the next episode, probably Hetty, announce to the team that he passed away in the hospital. It’s so sad though. :( RIP Miguel Ferrer.

  9. Anna Bowers says:

    I like the addition of AJ.

  10. Bobby says:

    I think they foreshadowed Chegwidden coming on. Wasn’t Hetty on the phone talking to someone named AJ earlier this season? It’ll be interesting if they continue to use him. With the whole CIA mess, Steven Culp should have his agent pitch the return of Clayton Webb. He had great chemistry with the Admiral back on JAG.

  11. Stefanie says:

    This was a great arc, lots of action, fast paced , great acting,and involved the entire team. Loved Deeks in this , loved the reunion with Kensi. NCIS LA is definitely the best of the three NCIS shows in my book.

  12. Ryleigh says:

    I miss JAG so much.

  13. Vicki says:

    I enjoyed the episode. The real surprise was Joelle being an agent. Prayers to Miguel Ferrer and family.

  14. Independent says:

    Love John M Jackson and the character of AJ Chegwidden! I hope he stays!

  15. em says:

    Meguel will be missed may he Rest In Peace. I figured Joelle was involved in this some how. Wonder if the actor that was on Jag will become a regular. This was a good one keep up the good work

  16. MARY H PELLOW says:

    NCIS LA ROCKS!! It is such a good show, holds my interest to the point that I wish the episodes were longer! Love Kensi and Deeks together, Hetty plays her part brilliantly and of course Sam and Callen are the anchor. All the characters have depth and dimension thanks to great acting and superb writing. I stopped watching NCIS with the exit of Zeva and Dinozzo – it just wasn’t the same. BUT NCIS LA is still my favorite so keep it comin!!!!

  17. QueenB says:

    NCIS LA has several strong leads and the screentime and storylines utilize all of them without it feeling forced like when Abbie is forced out of the lab or on Criminal Minds when Garcia is forced out of the lab

  18. Patricia says:

    Rip ferrel

  19. Patrick McMullan says:

    I very much like the Ideal of Admiral AJ Chegwidden coming in as a replacement for Owen Grainger (Miguel Ferrer). He would be a compliment to Hetty. Besides you could tell the difficulty that Ferrer was having to say his lines. As for Callen/Joelle situation, I was wondering why she just showed up. Those spooks are everywhere.

    And what is up with Deeks, going all Andy Sibowitz (NYPD BLUE) on CIA Officer Sabatini in front of Hetty???

  20. Diane says:

    I had mixed feelings about this episode, it was goofy and over dramatic, in some parts. Then other parts were spot on, like the kensi deeks reunion, the intro to the admiral and granger taking that chick out when in the hospital bed.

  21. Cordell says:

    So John Jackson is joining this spin off oh my god so excited please tell me you guys are not joking

  22. Trina says:

    PLEASE Keep AJ Chegwidden! I Miss JAG and he’s awesome!

  23. Sheena says:

    During the scene towards the end of the episode after the other two come to Ferris’s aid, who was the 2nd photo on the phone that Ferris showed Kensi? The first was Granger’s.

  24. AnneS says:

    Really didn’t like that they did this to Joelle, didn’t feel believable. Loved Kensi and Deeks and happy that Deeks saved her (and not Sam and Callen for once).

    When Deeks saves Kensi she starts joking right away, how did she know photos were fake and Hetty and Granger are alive? (When they showed her the photos she seemed to start become emotional and you could see it really affected her). Too many open questions remain.

  25. Maggie says:

    Weak story line; weak episode. Only one mole (Carl). CIA connection–dumb. Characters were not interesting or connected to the team. Deeks was even more annoying than usual (definitely NOT agent material). Hetty told Kensi to stay at OPS (Kensi left). Joelle as CIA? Really weak. Why not have Kensi kill Ferris (guys have to save her to prove their prowess)? Feel sorry for Callen; more trouble coming his way. So tired of Kensi and Deeks; ruining the stories. Liked AJ, but how did he help? The season started well; maybe it’ll get back on track.

  26. Gayle Robinson says:

    I am so sadden by the exit of Owen Granger and passing of Miguel Ferret. I so hope the show does him justice.

  27. It would be cool if Granger like retired to go spend time with his daughter (she didnt visit him in the hospital), i would like it if character lived, RIP Miguel Ferrer it was soooo sad listening to him i had to download the subtitles go be able to understaind what hes saying. They r probably just gonna kill him off :(

  28. Maggie says:

    OMG, this was the WORST episode all season! What a stupid story line and a dud of an ending! There were so many holes in the plot, you could drive an Imperial cruiser through it several times. The season started out really strong, but this mole story has just been horrible. What’s happened to the writers–and especially Jordana? Where is Dave Kalstein when you need him? If the next episode is as bad, I’m giving up on this series as much as I like the actors.
    Problems: 1) Callen calling on their way to rescue Kensi (Who DOES that? There was no point to that–let the bad guy know you’re coming. Really?) 2) Deeks railing at Hetty–uh, Hetty told Kensi to stay at OPS; Kensi left on her own. Don’t blame Hetty if Kensi takes off. As for Afghanistan, does anyone really believe Kensi wouldn’t have gone to save Jack (besides, again, she left and went on her own looking for him and it’s her job to save people)? 3) Joelle as CIA? Seriously? That was just lame. And if she broke up with Callen because the op changed, why wouldn’t she tell him about it now? Why keep it a secret if she wants to help? 4) And who were the goons with Ferris? More CIA? Boy, they sure get a lot of time off from work. 5) And why keep Kensi alive if Granger and Hetty are dead? That didn’t make any sense. Is she bait for the other team members? They’re coming for her anyway, so killing her wouldn’t matter. 6) I liked seeing AJ, but what help did he actually offer–besides knocking Joelle out?

    The best scenes were between AJ and Eric (cute), the scene where they find Joelle (but her part in the story was stupid), and the scene when Callen saws the table in half. The other stuff was just too unbelievable. The death of Ferris would have been good IF Kensi had killed him–but, no, one of the guys had to save her. Ho hum–boring.

    • AnneS says:

      I understand Deeks railing at Hetty, if Hetty hadn’t manipulated things Deeks, Sam and Callen would had been there with Kensi and to protect her. (It would had been more difficult to kidnap/hurt Kensi if at least one oyhet tem member was with her). I have to admit I really liked that Deeks/Hetty scene. One thing I would like to know is that did Hetty have anything to do with Granger’s arrest and who stabbed him.

      • AnneS says:

        I apologize for my spelling oyhet = other :)

      • Maggie says:

        The problem was Hetty wasn’t sure who she could trust (she told Eric that in Sirens). Since she wasn’t sure who she could trust, she did her best to get them out of the way and keep them safe if they weren’t involved. What Deeks’ outbursts show me more than anything is that he definitely shouldn’t be an agent or in law enforcement, I don’t care how much he loves Kensi. Let’s see–he murdered his partner (a bad cop, true, but Deeks isn’t judge, jury, and executioner), he tortured a cleric (Spoils of War), and now he assaulted a prisoner in the presence of his superior. In any other show, Deeks would have been severely reprimanded or fired. In this day and age, we don’t need law enforcement that steps over those boundaries. None of the agents would have done those things. Deeks needs to resign and find less stressful work before his actions get someone on the team, or himself, killed.

        • Stefanie says:

          Totally disagree that Deeks has done anything that the other agents have not done . Sam, in protecting Michelle in “Wanted” disobeyed a direct order from his superior, Hetty and then Sam broke out of jail. In order to do that he assaulted a police office who really was an innocent victim just doing his job. The entire NCIS franchise allows their agents to do things that some reviewers consider questionable, we can certainly compare Deeks with Boyle to Gibbs in NCIS and his actions regarding his family, as a matter of fact people have. It is a fair complaint that folks make about the franchise, not one I make, however, if one wants to make the complaint they need to make it against the franchise not against a character they do not like.

          • Maggie says:

            Sorry, but that comparison between Gibbs and Deeks is just silly. Gibbs’ wife and child were murdered; Deeks killed Boyle because Boyle threatened to kill a hooker (Boyle hadn’t actually killed her). That’s not even close to the same thing. lol As for Sam getting out of jail, he did knock out the office with a choke hold–true–but that doesn’t come close to torturing a man like Deeks did in Spoils of War or physically assaulting Sabatino. Besides, Sam was still on assignment and undercover, so that act could fit with his persona. Deeks, however, wasn’t undercover in any of his instances. If you can’t see the difference between those actions and what Sam and Gibbs did, then . . . .

  29. Vivienne Breed says:

    That was clear as mud I think We are behind here but l don’t know how many episodes.

  30. Bill Gordon says:

    I wonder if people forget that NCIS is a spinoff from JAG?

    Also, more Nell in the field. #please

  31. scfp1952 says:

    Miguel Ferrer was a consummate professional; he long ago knew he was terminal, but wanted to keep on working as long as he was physically able. That he allowed his illness/decline to be written right into the NCIS LA storyline is remarkable, and a he testimony to this fine actor.

    RIP, Miguel Ferrer

  32. NANCY says:


  33. dekay11 says:

    I can’t think of anybody on JAG cast that I didn’t like. Recently we’ve seen “Bud” Roberts on NCIS, and now A.J. on NCIS-LA. Chegwidden will be an awesome addition to the NCIS-LA cast, if that’s the direction they’re going.

    I also think that they should have let Granger pass away peacefully instead of mysteriously disappearing. It would have been a lot more believable, considering how bad of shape Granger (and Ferrer) were in.

  34. Tyliese Schlitt says:

    I love the way they did the final storyline for Owen. They let him go with class. Now as for Chegwidden …. he definitely should become a regular. His style and class is perfect to become part of the ncis team!!!

  35. Suzanne Sullivan says:

    I’m sorry….i just can’t watch anymore when that annoying, terrible actress Anna is in the episode. She simply irritates me to no end. When she’s not on I will resume watching. Was my favorite NCIS. Was being the key word

  36. jackie says:

    I had a feeling it was him who befriended Kensi just something about him

  37. PatriciaLee says:

    Rotten choice of character exists! Boooo! Lousy writers or whomever decided to whack one of my most favorite recurring characters, you have greatly disappointed this viewer. I just have to vent, and this article was handy.