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'NCIS: Los Angeles' 'Windfall' recap: Partners

'NCIS: Los Angeles' season 5 episode 20 "Windfall"
'NCIS: Los Angeles' season 5 episode 20 "Windfall"Monty Brinton/CBS

The Tuesday, April 8 episode of "NCIS: Los Angeles," episode 520, "Windfall," sees Kensi return to work, but she has to crawl before she can walk and that means staying in Ops with Eric while Nell joins Deeks in the field for the case.

The case itself in this "NCIS: LA" episode was a pretty intriguing one. It begins with a guy picking up his car from the valet only to find someone in the backseat with a gun trained on him – and the valet joins the gun party as they demand to know where the money is. The driver crashes the car, shoots the valet in self-defense and leaves, and so the search is on for Adrian Davis, a former Marine and contractor who was caught trying to smuggle money back to the States. He was released last week, and now he's in trouble with terrorists and the cartel for that money.

As for his business partner, Gabriel, he insists he's clean, but he refuses to let Deeks and Nell search his wine warehouse because he doesn't want his workers distracted, something that just screams innocence, doesn't it? (No, it doesn't.) Sam and Callen check out the warehouse under the pretense of getting into business with Gabriel, but the place is huge, making finding shrink-wrapped money impossible. It turns out that Adrian and Gabriel were in contact despite Gabriel's claims to the contrary, but when they go to question him about his lies, he's already dead. That's what happens when the cartel gets involved. They do find some money in his house, but there's clearly more out there if the cartel is part of this.

The team finally gets a lead back at the warehouse thanks to a warehouse manager who is oblivious to everything and doesn't care what's going on there. In Gabriel's private stash, they find a box filled with not only wine but money as well, and the manager explains that Gabriel marked a box, sent a text and a woman picked it up once a month. He didn’t know more and didn't even find it unusual. Really not sure how this guy became manager, but okay. They follow the woman when she picks up a box and find Brian Foster at home in a hospital bed – and Adrian runs out the back of the house. Deeks tackles him, which is unnecessary since Sam's waiting at the bottom of the hill with his gun.

In the boatshed, Adrian explains that he didn't want to take the money like the other contractors, but after Brian was injured and the VA was only covering the basics, he and Gabriel wanted more for him. They had more hidden in a jukebox in a bar, but Gabriel moved it before he was killed and Adrian doesn't know where it is, so they set up the guys after Adrian and at the end of the day, bad guys are dead, the money is found (the big bottle outside Gabriel's company) and Adrian's punishment is considered time served because of his cooperation.

Meanwhile, Nell is back in the field with Hetty thinking Kensi needs to ease into things, something that doesn't make many people happy. While Nell wants to be an agent, this isn't the way she wants it to happen, and as we see in this episode, things go a lot smoother in Ops when it's Eric and Nell working side-by-side since there is only so much Kensi can do up there and giving Eric a shoulder massage is not going to solve a case.

Kensi's status is very much in focus in the episode, as Granger's hanging around HQ, reminding Hetty of a past agent she sent back into the field too soon, resulting in his partner getting killed, and bringing up the personal side of Kensi and Deeks' relationship. When Hetty asks Eric about how she's doing, he goes into a really weird analogy before declaring her "solid as a rock," emotionally. In the end, Hetty doesn't know for sure if Kensi is ready to return to the field, but that's something she won't know until she's back out there, and that means Kensi is officially back. As for Kensi and Deeks' relationship, so much about that is still up in the air, but one thing is certain: They're happy she's back where she belongs.

"NCIS: Los Angeles" season 5 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of episode 20 "Windfall"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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