NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 18 Review: Vendetta

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Anna finally returned. But how long before she's back again will be really hard to say.

That's because of the events during a team-up between NCIS and ATF on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 18.

Eric Goes Undercover - NCIS: Los Angeles

More of that later. But first, props to Eric. He went undercover and didn't blow up anything.

As soon as Hetty intoned, "What's the worst that could happen?," you just knew that many things would. "It's his turn" truly wasn't reason enough to send him out into the field.

Sam and Callen did their best to help him roll back his nerves.

Related: NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 17 Review: The Monster

Based on what showed up in Eric's file, I couldn't blame Mosley for double-guessing Hetty, Hetty's cake metaphor notwithstanding.

Still, playing the IT guy wasn't much of a stretch. That part he could do with his eyes closed.

All he had to do is straighten out what he had messed up earlier, then talk to Leigha privately about Abram, who was back in the country for the first time since NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 5.

Paying Respects - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 18

I really expected more from Eric. But Leigha's firm had little to do with Abram's master plan until near the very end.

No one at the firm bought Eric as an agent undercover, and I truly didn't blame them. Hidoko had to clear the room for him.

That was why he was still in the building when Abram and company arrived. Eric did manage to type really slowly waiting for the cavalry to get there. I thought he would do something like setting up the sprinklers by sending the appropriate command.

Related: Watch NCIS: Los Angeles Online: Season 9 Episode 17

No, instead it was just the obligatory firefight. At least all those shooter games paid off for Eric, as he was able to take out one of Abram's henchmen before the professionals brought the shooting to a close.

This was little Eric did that for which he could be faulted. At the same time, I don't think this outing will earn him more opportunities. He just doesn't have that killer edge which Nell has.

This episode was as much, if not more, about Callen and Anna as it was about Eric.

It appeared there is a fissure forming between Callen and Anna. Their jobs keep them busy and they are drifting apart.

On a Mission - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 18

So that made for a wicked awkward air when Anna and her aw-shucks ATF partner ended up in the same room as Callen, Sam, and Arkady.

First off, I have to admit I'm up for any excuse to have Arkady drop by. He's kind of the Huggy Bear of NCIS: Los Angeles, brightening up any scene he's in. He can even make a bath sheet and a head wrap work for him.

Related: Get CBS All Access via Amazon Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals & Live TV!

Take, for example, the surveillance video of a drunk Arkady singing "Hetty Davis Eyes." That's sheer gold.

Granted, with Arkady, the first question that must be asked is "What's in it for him?"

But this time, he only wanted to help Vladlena, of whom he's obviously grown quite fond. He kept pushing until NCIS discovered there was something to his concerns.

On Stakeout - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 18

It was quite the scheme the ATF had uncovered, with Abram stealing cigarettes, converting them into cash back in Ukraine, then using that cash for weapons, or whatever.

But I was wondering if that part was just a scam, to misdirect NCIS and ATF, like the exchange of Arkady for Leigha. Was the main idea to transfer funds from Leigha's firm to his offshore account? It would have been simple to convince someone there to send the money under threat of death.

Even before he broke Vladlena for what she knew, he seemed to be a step ahead for the law. How else would he know where Vladlena's ambulance was going, in order to intercept it?

Related: CBS Cheat Sheet: Is Criminal Minds Really in Danger?!

Too bad he couldn't anticipate Anna shooting him. I'm not really sure why she did that, other than he had threatened Arkady. 

But with Abram having no weapon, how will Anna be cleared, even with Callen backing her up? I'm guessing that will be a story for another episode, probably next season.

I think she's good for Callen, and I'd like to see them remain together. With his stateside family recently dissolving in NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 16, Callen needs some stability outside of work.

And once Anna gets suspended from the ATF, they should have lots of time to hang.

To catch up on the season during the hiatus caused by the Academy of Country Music Awards, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.

What will happen with Callen and Anna? Were you happy to see Arkady again? How did Eric do in the field? Comment below.

Vendetta Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (57 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 18 Quotes

Mr. Deeks, I was locked in a cage with a starving tiger, not under a rock. I know who Abram Sokolov is.

Hetty [to Deeks]

Maybe you could buy a little furniture or something.

Arkady [to Callen]