The cast and crew of NCIS: Los Angeles have been feeling the weight of losing main cast member Miguel Ferrer. The man was not only a member of their television family, he was a Hollywood legend in his own right. Because Ferrer knew he had little time left, a storyline was prepared to write him off of the show before he died. Now finally his death will be addressed on the show. Ferrer was an actor more deserving of a simple tribute episode or the like. To pay tribute to his work, NCIS: Los Angeles decided to use his character’s onscreen sickness as part of a larger storyline which will carry out until the rest of the season.
VA Administrator Robert Bryant is kidnapped by a homeless veteran on his way to work, or who he thinks is a homeless veteran. The veteran is actually Charles Langston, a comfortably retired Vietnam war vet who had a specific agenda for kidnapping Bryant. Not that I necessarily blame the guy when you see the kind of salary Bryant makes while dozens of veterans can’t even get a doctor’s appointment. The way he talks about veterans, the guy deserved a heck of a lot more than a broken nose and an arrest!
Hetty recognizes Langston, so she calls in the cavalry. Admiral Chegwidden returns, along with retired Admiral Sterling Bridges (guest star James Remar) to investigate the case. Unfortunately, Hetty remembers too late that boys will be boys, and thus walks into the middle of a bunch of puffed out chests marking who could and could not go after Langston. The good news is that no one really wants to arrest Langston, they just want to find out what his end game is. If it’s dropping a bunch of money off at VA hospitals, that’s fine, but his methods can’t go too far. Chegwidden and Bridges explain how they, along with Langston, Hetty, and Granger, were all apart of a team of operatives who stayed behind after the war to rescue any captured or injured friends, and on their own time and money no less.
This is how the rest of NCIS finds out Owen Granger is not coming back. He has been afflicted with Agent Orange, and it’s anyone’s guess if he is still alive. Kensi and Deeks are already in introspective moods before they hear about Granger. Going back to the VA hospital brings up painful memories for the both of them. Kensi had to work her way back from a trauma, and in a way so did Deeks. Spending weeks not knowing if Kensi would recover took a toll on him too. The both of them are already emotional, and when they find out Granger may already be dead, it’s too much. Because Granger was close to Kensi’s father, she wanted him to walk her down the aisle. That right there is too much for me to take. Sam and Callen can only smile reminiscing about the first time they met Granger, and how they’ll never be another like him.
Granger certainly doesn’t deserve to be dealing with the nonsense Langston has unleashed while he’s on his deathbed. I was inclined to think that Sam was being too hard on Chegwidden and Bridges, treating them like they were retired renegades looking for a taste of their old life. Yet Sam was right to be suspicious. The old crew was able to rescue their friends without any of the ransom money they had gathered, but left them with a lot of gold bars they couldn’t get rid of. Worse still, Langston wrote down the location of where the bars were because the Agent Orange has been affecting his mind. He wanted to use the bars to help people, but now they’re in the hands of an opportunist who will sell them to the highest bidder, even terrorists.
Owen Granger, and Miguel Ferrer, will be missed. I’m looking forward to seeing them both honored for the rest of the season.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Episode 21 Review: "Battle Scars"
NCIS: Los Angeles addresses Owen Granger’s (impending) death when his unit from Vietnam reunites.