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“The Queen’s Gambit” is a chess move in which a pawn is sacrificed to gain a strategic advantage over the opponent.
Last week, Under Secretary of Defense Corbin Duggan (guest star Jackson Hurst) arrived at NCIS: LOS ANGELES with a deliberate, possibly hidden, agenda. His first move was to announce the replacement the NCIS: LA team.
Dissatisfied that Hetty and Granger had not yet found the mole in the organization, Duggan told the staffers that they had a few days before a new team would be replacing them.
Duggan took the reins from Hetty (Linda Hunt) and Granger (Miguel Ferrer) and seemed to have a particular bias against Hetty and encouraged Granger to name her as the mole.
Having just a few days left, Callen (Chris O’Donnell), Sam (LL Cool J), Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) continued their efforts to locate a terrorist ring that was arranging to send radioactive material to terrorists.
Duggan ordered the four agents to keep his team in the loop as they chased the ringleader to his home where Deeks was forced to swallow the engagement ring that he had bought for Kensi.
The agents went off-book and followed a lead to Syria, putting their lives and their jobs in jeopardy. They located the terrorist leader, but during the extraction, Kensi was injured in a helicopter crash that sent her to hospital in a coma (assumedly to hide Ruah’s real-life pregnancy).
Despite the team’s success, Duggan continued his vendetta, locking Eric (Barrett Foa) and Nell (Reneé Felice Jones) out of Ops and forcing them to work in the boatshed to help the team in Syria. Eric and Nell broke into Ops and hacked Duggan’s phone to send an order to pick up the team in Syria against his knowledge.
Knowing in her gut that something was awry with Duggan’s intentions, Hetty initiated “The Queen’s Gambit” to gain the advantage over her opponent and free the team to go back to work. She sacrificed herself by proclaiming to be the mole.
That sacrifice finds Hetty being held in D.C. for questioning, in tonight’s episode, also titled “The Queen’s Gambit.” Certain that Duggan has an ulterior motive, she submits to an inquiry to try to find out what he is planning.
With Kensi still in a coma in ICU, Nell gets the chance to show off her “ninja skills” when she joins the field team’s investigation of an abduction.
Written by new showrunner, R. Scott Gemmill, “The Queen’s Gambit” was directed by Dennis Smith. Joining Hurst as guest stars on tonight’s episode are Laura Harring, Alyssa Diaz, James Sayess, Mayank Saxena, Lisa Maley, Anne-Marie Johnson, James Shanklin, Shannon Wilcox, Katherine Kamhi, Micky Shiloah, Salem Mikhael and Anthony Ma.
As always during football season, viewers who are not on the West Coast should set their DVRs for overrun in case the football game goes into overtime. NCIS: LOS ANGELES can be seen tonight in its eighth season Sunday slot after 60 MINUTES and at 8:00 p.m. in the west. NCIS: LOS ANGELES airs on CBS the U.S. and Global TV in Canada.