NCIS: Los Angeles

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 22, 2009 on CBS

Episode Recap

A high-speed car chase on a Los Angeles freeway is in progress. The police corner the suspect once he is off the road. After the suspect and his partner get out of the car, they begin shooting at the cops. The cops ends up shooting both suspects; after opening the back seat of the car, they discover an officer who has been tied up and killed.

Callen wakes up in his motel room by the Santa Monica Pier with healing wounds on his back. After picking up a cup of coffee, Sam asks Callen if he's ready to come back. The two drive off to the new office, a building that had been deemed unsafe after the Northridge earthquake, but the inside of the building is bustling and busy. Sam goes to talk to Hetty, the operations manager and she says that he owes her money. Sam pays up and Hetty spots Callen. She says all his biometrics need to be updated as well as other things, especially his wardrobe. As the team prepares for the meeting with the director, Callen catches up with the rest of his colleagues.

The director calls in and is surprised to see Callen present. He reminds him that his case is still active and that they will catch the shooter. The reason he called in for a meeting, however, is to discuss the dead naval officer, Officer McGuire, from the car chase. The officer was evidently shot in the crossfire. Vance informs the team that the suspects involved were Mexican nationals. He is extremely worried because in less than twelve hours, there will be a military operation on both sides of the US-Mexico border against the drug cartels. The dead officer had a lot of information about this operation. They need to make sure the intel has not been compromised. After a deeper analysis of the video, Callen determines that Officer McGuire wasn't killed in crossfire, but he was executed.

Callen and Sam go to check out McGuire's residence, pretending to be a realtor and his client. As they walk into the apartment, they hear a message being deleted form his answering machine. Callen calls Eric to get more intel from his phone logs. Kensi looks up background information on McGuire and sees that he graduated in the top one percent of the Naval Academy. The guys find a photo of McGuire with his niece and a lot of birthday cards as well as his encrypted laptop. They determine that there was no real damage done at the house and that it must not have been a struggle when he was kidnapped. Callen goes to speak to the gardener, asking if the neighborhood is safe and if he knew McGuire. The gardener informs him that McGuire was a nice guy and that he saw him just this morning with some guys. He says that they were friends and they had been over to the place every day this week. While Sam is waiting for Callen to finish the conversation, he notices in the side mirror of his car that they are being watched. He begins chasing the car on foot, but it gets away. Sam does notice though that the car did not have any plates.

Back at the office, Callen revealed that the kidnappers would pick up McGuire every morning and drop him back off 3 hours later, causing him to be perpetually late to work that week. After more research, they discover that the only living relative he has left is a sister and her daughter, Emma, who live nearby. Kensi says she'll go to investigate and brings Nate along for help. Eric digs up more info on a friend of McGuire's – a Special Forces officer, who is also the same guy who's been calling McGuire's phone repeatedly, and deleting his messages. Callen and Sam pay a visit to Bobby J. Jenlow, the Special Forces officer and notice the same license plate –free car parked out front. They go inside and have a brief discussion with Bobby, but they get nowhere. Sam believes that Bobby's putting a team together to get back at the cartel.

Kensi and Nate go to speak to Helen McGuire, Officer McGuire's sister. She said she's noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Nate says that Helen seems on edge and he believes that everything she's been telling him has been a lie. Hetty gives Callen his new gear after he updates his hand and retinal scans and tells him he needs to update his wardrobe. Though he grew up in an orphanage, she says that he needs to dress more appropriately now. Callen asks her why she never calls him "G," what most people call him. She says it's a letter and not a name. She asks him what it stands for and he says that he never knew.

The team has assembled to try and crack the case. After deliberation, Kensi concludes that McGuire betrayed his country for the love of his niece; she reasons that the enemy is most likely holding McGuire's niece hostage in order to ensure his cooperation. Eric cracks the encryption on McGuire's laptop [found in his home] and figures out that the brilliant and loyal McGuire had been sending encrypted emails to himself, thus notifying whoever is assigned to investigating his case about exactly what data had been stolen. They also figure out that Bobby Jenlow is probably going to try to rescue Emma. Kensi goes back to Helen McGuire's house in order to get more information from her. While Kensi is there, Emma's dad, Luis Perez, calls from London and says that he's on the first flight out to see them. Perez claims that he had no idea what was going on until that morning when Helen called to let him know. Kensi reassures him that they are NCIS and will do whatever they can in their power to bring Emma home safely. Sam and Callen go to help Bobby rescue Emma. After a shoot-out by the cartel house, Bobby is shot, and Sam and Callen discover that Emma is not there. They check the GPS on the cartel car and see that the only repeat trip it had taken was to a house in Malibu, which is owned by Manny Cortez, a drug lord.

Sam and Callen drive up to the Malibu house and debate how to get inside. The team decides to give Manny, the drug lord, what he wants – satellite access. The men go in under the cover of a lawyer and his client/bodyguard . Callen says that McGuire provided some potentially-damaging information before his death. For a price, Callen will "forget" that information. Calley asks about Emma; Manny replies that he knows nothing. Callen offers him full satellite coverage of the Mexican border. Manny, obviously suspicious, asks how Callen could possibly arrange such coverage within the hour. Callen lifts his phone to face level and replies that a simple phone call would do the trick . Unbeknownst to Manny, Callen takes Manny's picture with the phone; Eric, who is using video surveillance, quickly realizes that the man with whom Callen is speaking is NOT Manny Cortez.

Just as it seems that Callen and "Manny" are about to strike a deal, Emma comes running downstairs and runs into the arms of her father. At the same time, Callen is alerted that "Manny" is really Emma's father, Luis Perez; even worse, Luis knows they are NCIS -- their mission has been compromised. Emma's father sends her off to the pool and brings out his gun. As Emma's father points a gun to Callen's head, Callen's phone rings. Callen tells Emma's father that the caller is McGuire and that he's not really dead. While Luis is temporarily distracted by such news, Callen goes for Luis' gun and a quick, deadly struggle immediately ensues. Sam handles the thugs inside the house; Callen handles "Manny." Perez's men are shot.

Going to the pool where Emma is playing, Callen gets Helen on the phone to speak with Emma; Helen weeps with gratitude and relief. Once the team members return to the office, Hetty nags Callen about catching up on his paperwork. Everyone leaves the office except Hetty. When Hetty discovers that the exhausted Callen has fallen asleep on an office couch, she quietly pulls a blanket over him and quietly leaves the office.