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NCIS: LA Wedding Recap: Who Were the Surprise Guests? What Was in the Box?

NCIS LA Hetty Returns Wedding

Leave it to CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles to throw a wedding that is equal parts tear-jerking and action-packed.

As Martin Deeks and Kensi Blye marched toward their wedding day, the groom found himself full of jitters — which he shared with Sam and then also Callen after boarding the former’s boat in the middle of the night. Deeks’ concern was that surely there is someone out there better for Kensi, and if he truly loved her he would not stand in the way of her finding that perfect partner. Sam and Callen, though, nipped that anxiety in the bud, assuring Deeks that whole he is, yes, a bit of a goof, he is Kensi’s goof.

Re-re-reaffirming Deeks of his place in Kensi’s life, though, was his seeking out of and long-awaited opening of the box she gave him several years ago. The box (which itself was once in a larger box) contained only spring-ing novelty snakes… and a key. Thanks to Nell, Deeks learned the key opened a locker in the armory, inside of which he found a tiny manilla envelope. By himself back at the bar, Deeks explored the envelope’s contents: a wedding band, which, an accompanying note explained, belonged to Kensi’s father. He would leave it with her when he went on missions, and when the time came that he wasn’t able to fulfill his promise to make it home, she held onto it as a reminder of how unsafe she felt and that loss of love.

“No one could live up to my dad. But I was wrong, because you came into my life and you showed me what it is to be truly loved and feel truly safe again,” the note read. “This ring was everything, and now it’s yours, because I cherish you…. I’m yours, now and forever.”

This is where you dab your eyes with a Kleenex, again.

Kensi herself was far more composed as the trading of vows neared, though she did lament to Deeks’ mom, while poring over photos of her father and Granger, that the important men in her life have a habit of leaving. Roberta, though, attested the depth of her son’s love for his intended, “with al his heart.” And if he does manage to hurt Kensi, she’ll kill him herself!

Yet while emotionally braced for the occasion, neither Deeks nor Kensi could have anticipated the uninvited guest they would have to contend with: Anatoli Kirkin. When ops realized that the Russian mobster had been kidnapped — by an actor whose credits include a guest spot Arrow — the thinking was that he was setting up Deeks to be his rescuer. But that guess was only half right. The abduction was orchestrated, but to draw out the dissenters in Anatoli’s organization who were scheming to make a power grab. Even so, this nasty business would up on the wedding venue’s doorstep, when a small mob of stone-faced strangers began streaming into the venue and were promptly ID’d via Nell and Eric’s “fake selfie” snaps.

Nell spotted Anatoli and whisked him away before the baddies could off him, while Sam and Callen made it their mission to deftly neutralize the interlopers one-by-one. All while trying to keep Kensi unaware, even the tech whizzes got in on the action. Eric, emboldened by some recent training, disarmed one grunt, only to get KO’d right after. Nell had more success in protecting Anatoli, by wielding a fire extinguisher. Kensi, alas, eventually got roped into the fracas when a goon stormed the bride’s dressing area. But thanks to her own badass, wedding dress-clad moves — and with an assist from her hormonal, pregnant bridesmaid — she got free and then partnered with Eric for another takedown.

It eventually boiled down to just one baddie, in a showdown with Sam and Callen. Things were looking dire, until a Mini Coop came barreling through the outside wall and mowed down the mobster. “I can’t leave you damn kids alone for a minute!”

Ladies and gentleman, Hetty Lange is back. Boy, does she know how to make an entrance.

From there, the bruised bride with bloodied knuckles and a fashionably torn gown made her way down the aisle to wed her groom, with Hetty serving as officiant. Though Deeks had also fretted over the vows (after reading Kensi’s tear-jerking note from the box), the words that poured out of both of them were perfect.

“You are the reason that I know that hope and kindness are real.”

“Because of you, I believe in happy endings.”

“The truth is that you are gunpowder, the kind that ignites those around you to do what’s right, the spark that pushes me to be better than I ever thought I could be.”

“You’re my best friend, my hope, my reason to keep going, and I vow to be the same for you.”

“You are my favorite thing. And this, right now, is my favorite moment.”

“I promise you love, understanding, patience, but above all I promise you my heart…. You were right, it turns out it’s a love story.”

After exchanging I do’s, the newlyweds kissed… and then each planted one on Hetty, as a bit of a “welcome back” gesture.

So, where was Hetty this whole time? (Actress Linda Hunt was recuperating from injuries suffered in an August car accident.) Sam and Callen lightly grilled their boss on that very topic, but the iron lady wouldn’t budge, explaining that some things are better left unshared with the people you care about. “This is a day to celebrate friends and family, and the love that binds us all.”