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The Only Easy Day is the second episode of NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1.

Synopsis

The OSP team investigate a raid on a house belonging to a drug dealer that a group of SEALs carried out with the case soon becoming very personal for Sam as the group are people that he originally trained. It seems to be a simple case but the team soon find that the double-crossing that took place at the house could run a lot deeper than originally thought and that it might be even involved a member of the Los Angeles Police Department who could also be a dirty cop.

Plot

At a mansion overlooking the ocean, it looks peaceful with a security guard keeping an eye on things before he heads back inside.

Meanwhile, another group of men emerge from the ocean, having swum there from an unknown destination.

Inside the house, a drug deal is occurring with two groups of men holding an exchange and ends with the main party satisfied with the purity of cocaine.

However, the group who were seen in the ocean creep into the mansion and subdue all the men in the house except for the two main guys with a gunfight breaking out.

Eventually, the group escape with the suitcase but not before one of their men is shot in the process.

At OSP, NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna is busy helping NCIS Probationary Agent Dominic Vail improve his skills with Sam's partner, NCIS Special Agent G. Callen watching at a desk.

However, the "training" ends abruptly when Tech Operator Eric Beale whistles, a signal to the team they've got a new case.

After Operations Manager Henrietta Lange has told Dom the whistle is the signal for the team to go upstairs and Dom has reached Ops, Eric briefs the team with Hetty rolling Eric to roll them.

Eric reveals that NCIS Director Leon Vance received footage from the LAPD which is the house-security cam feed from the scene of a homicide in Malibu that took place two days ago and three masked guys invaded the home of a suspected drug dealer, killed two people and stole a large sum of money, something that has Operational Psychologist Nate Getz wondering what is the world coming to when drug dealers aren't even safe in the comfort of their own fortified homes which has Hetty telling Nate his professional psychological analyst is an invaluable asset to their team with Nate thanking her for it although Hetty tells Nate his stand-up needs some work and to save it for open mic night which has Kensi going "Ouch" and Nate shushing her.

Hetty then leaves Ops, telling them to carry on.

Once Hetty's gone, Kensi wonders what this has to do with NCIS with Eric revealing the suspects came in and left from the ocean and they were using military hand signals.

Sam wants Eric to throw it over and upon Callen wondering what Sam's chasing, Sam reveals the men in question are SEALs with everyone wondering how he knows that with Sam stating he knows one of the men before revealing one of the man is Kurt Holgate.

Eric brings up Holgate's record which Nate calls "impressive" while Eric reveals Holgate and his team just returned from overseas and they've been stateside less than a month and they're no longer active service.

Dom states he'll look up the rest of Holgate's team while Kensi is puzzled, stating there's nothing in Holgate's history to suggest he's the kind of guy to get involved in robbing a drug dealer with Sam agreeing with her.

When Callen prompts further, Sam reveals he personally taught Holgate.

At his workstation, Dom reveals another member of Holgate's SEAL team, David Ramirez was shot and killed three weeks ago while walking out of a grocery store with police reporting it was collateral damage from apparent gang activity.

Kensi wonders if it's a complete coincidence with Nate telling her it could be a naval cluster bomb and they've got to proceed cautiously on this.

Eric reveals Holgate is completely assigned to a task force at the Federal Building with Callen informing Sam he thinks it's think they pay his old friend a visit.

At the Federal Building, Sam tells Callen he hasn't seen Holgate since Bosnia and that SEALs work together as a team but Holgate had a tendency to act like a wolf just like Callen.

When Holgate arrives in, Sam goes to talk to him while Callen retreats although he's secretly filming the meeting on his cell phone.

Holgate ends the meeting abruptly with Callen noting Holgate didn't offer to shake Sam's hand.

Back at Ops, Nate analyses the footage, determining Holgate's body language but when he suggests going to the Coroner, Callen gives Nate a ribbing, believing he's had a thing for the coroner ever since he worked on the Dickenson case and that Nate has a thing for her. This has Sam and Eric grinning while Nate condemns them, stating their herd behavior is unbecoming.

However, Eric soon finds another member of the SEAL team: Timothy Jackson who was also Ramirez's swim buddy and who has been missing since the 18th which Callen realizes is the same night as the shooting.

The next day, Callen and Sam arrive at Jackson's trailer and upon getting inside, begin searching for evidence with Callen soon finding a photo of the SEAL team.

Sam recognizes Holgate, Jackson and Ramirez but doesn't know who the forth is, prompting Callen to use his cell phone to take a photo of the team, particularly the unidentified forth man.

Sam is adamant that the SEALs wouldn't steal money from anyone, not even drug dealers with Callen theorizing that maybe they decided to steal the money as something for their retirement.

Once they're finished, they leave.

Meanwhile, Dom and Kensi are on a stakeout with Dom placing a GPS tracker on the man's Jeep.

Back in the car, Kensi tells Dom Homeland Security told Eric Holgate is working with them on a human-trafficking task force with Kensi hoping for Holgate's own sake, he's not involved.

When Dom voices his feelings about being on Sam's bad side, Kensi tells him Sam expects the best from himself and it's hard for him to accept anything less from anyone else with Dom telling her it's just hard being the new guy.

Kensi then tells him about being the new girl and that they used to make her crawl into air vents, under houses just because she was the smallest one before stating when was the last time any of them had to wear a bikini for an assignment?

As Dom grins, Kensi goes, "Yeah, that's right. Try hiding a gun in your thong".

Eventually, the two spot Holgate returning to his vehicle with Kensi looking through her binoculars while Dom films it via a camera but it soon becomes clear it's a meeting as the forth man arrives to talk to Holgate.

As Dom stays put, Kensi heads into the parking lot to get more information but upon realizing they're keeping an eye out, improvises by pretending to be an angry woman suspecting her boyfriend of cheating on her which has the two men surprised.

While Kensi takes her anger out of the car, Holgate ends the meeting with the two going their separate ways.

Once they're gone, Kensi tells Dom to have Eric run the plates of the car whose door she just snatched.

As Callen and Sam arrive at Ramirez's house, Callen is getting information via his cell phone before he hangs up, informing Sam the forth man is named Morris Raspen which has Sam believing that if Raspen was a member of the team, then Ramirez's widow will know him.

During a talk with Gail Ramirez, Callen and Sam learn that Ramirez didn't know who shot him but that they were drug dealers.

When Callen asks about Timothy Jackson, Gail tells him he was supposed to arrive on Friday but he never showed up and that Jackson shows up on Fridays to check on her and her young son with Gail revealing her husband and Jackson went through BUDS together.

Eric then calls Sam, informing he's got nothing on Jackson except for the fact Jackson used his credit card at a place called the Sunset in Malibu the day of the shooting.

Sam thanks Eric and hangs up.

Meanwhile, Nate is talking to the coroner, Rose and soon learns one of the victims was in fact a cop with the LAPD and that the guy was in so deep undercover the morgue didn't get the information until today with Rose calling them cowboys which has Nate remarking he knows the type.

Arriving in Malibu, Callen is getting the information from Nate and after ending the call, tells Sam one of the guys killed at the drug deal was an undercover cop with Sam stating "This just keeps getting better and better" before noticing Jackson's motorcycle.

They head into the restaurant's parking lot and meet a waitress who confirms three members of the team were there and that they got in an argument which they then took outside but that she never saw them leave.

Re-emerging from the restaurant, Callen notes the drug dealer's house is a couple miles down the road and that it's a short drive.

"Or a short swim", Sam replies.

As they head back to the Challenger, Callen receives a call from Eric and ends it, informing Sam a body just washed up at Point Dume, one that matches the description of Timothy Jackson.

At Point Dume, a Sheriff tells Callen and Sam a lifeguard pulled Jackson in, tried to revive him but it looks like he's been for the last couple of days with the two agents examining the body with Sam realizing there's a single gunshot wound to the side.

Stepping away to look at the ocean, Callen notes the surf has been pretty big lately and the current could have taken Jackson out for miles with Sam agreeing.

Back at Ops, Callen, Sam, Eric and Nate are looking at the footage from the Sunset restaurant on Saturday with Callen noting Holgate and Raspen took Jackson out at 2:11pm.

When Eric wonders how they know they're not leaving, Sam tells him they didn't close out their tab and that SEALs wouldn't leave an unfinished bill if the place was on fire with the footage revealing Holgate and Raspen did return to the restaurant but without Jackson.

Even though Nate expresses concern over Sam, Callen tells him not to worry.

At an area in the building, Sam is taking his frustrations out on a punching bag when Hetty arrives in, comparing the situation to a Elizabethan tragedy.

When Sam tells her not to mock him, Hetty points out she criticises, scolds, chastises and has even thrown someone a new one but she never mocks before telling Sam he's more than this job and much more than a SEAL.

At the parking lot, Kensi and Dom are still on the stakeout with Kensi needing to pee, something Dom's uncomfortable over.

However, they're interrupted when Holgate emerges, get into his jeep and drives off with Kensi and Dom following him while Eric and Nate watch from Ops.

Kensi soon realizes Holgate wants them to reveal themselves and has Dom pull over while Eric brings up a nearby traffic camera, learning Holgate isn't in his jeep.

As Dom asks Eric if he can get a location on Holgate's cell with Eric telling him he's trying, Kensi calls Callen and tells him Holgate ditched his car and they're gonna try and track him on his cell phone.

Meanwhile, Callen and Sam are at an apartment complex, Callen telling Kensi to have Eric shut off Holgate's phone and if Holgate knows, he's going to warn Raspen who the two agents are just about to pay a visit with Callen even grabbing Sam's arm and directing him upstairs before the two parties end the call.

Callen tells Sam Holgate's in the wind and just as they get closer, Raspen emerges but flees immediately, prompting Callen and Sam to give chase.

Sam aiming his gun at Navy SEAL Morris Raspen.

In the parking lot, Holgate tries to flee in his van but Sam catches up with him and the two SEALs engage in a fight that ends with both men aiming their guns at each other in a stand-off with Raspen surrendering after discovering Callen is behind him, allowing the two to arrest Raspen.

In the Interrogation room at the Boatshed, Callen presses Raspen for more information but Raspen isn't saying much.

Frustrated, Sam leaves the Boatshed to go look for more evidence.

At Ops, Hetty is enjoying listening to Bach but finds it being interrupted when she hears someone working out on the punching bag.

When she gets to the stairs, she believes it's Sam, only to discover it's Dom, causing her to remark, "Oh, for the love of Gucci".

She then gives Dom a pep talk to cheer him up, even going as far as to make up stories about Callen and Sam screwing up before telling him to pivot on his back foot when he punches, otherwise he's losing all of his power with Dom nodding.

As soon as she's gone, Dom tries out Hetty's advice and smiles upon discovering she was right.

At the drug dealer's house which is still closed off with crime scene tape, Sam creeps in but draws his SIG upon hearing something.

He then heads into the living room, only to come face to face with a LAPD officer, Douglas Grozen who tells Sam this is his crime scene.

The two eventually lower their weapons with Grozen remarking he knew the Navy was behind this but Sam states it wasn't in any official capacity.

Unsurprisingly, Grozen isn't convinced by that statement, telling Sam that the dead guy who washed up on the beach was one of theirs and that his partner died right here in Grozen's arms, shot by one of Sam's men.

"They're not my men", Sam remarks, prompting Grozen to wonder why Sam's here.

Sam tells Grozen surveillance video doesn't tell the whole story and he wanted to walk through it for himself before wondering what Grozen's excuse?

Grozen informs Sam he was hoping to find something that might lead him to his partner's killers and it looks like he did. He then tells Sam he wants names and addresses, full Navy cooperation, unless he wants the media over a story about going rogue SEALs going off the reservation and killing a cop.

At the Boatshed, Callen is emerging from Interrogation when Nate ends a call, telling him that was Kensi and there's still no sign of Holgate with Callen revealing they've either got to charge Raspen or let him go.

Sam then returns with Callen dismayed at the fact he didn't bring back doughnuts with Sam revealing he went back to the beach house to walk the crime scene before showing Callen and Nate a photo of Grozen with Sam telling them there were two undercover cops there.

With this new information, Callen heads back into Interrogation as Nate and Sam watch outside via a monitor.

In Interrogation, Callen shows Raspen Grozen's picture while revealing there were two undercover cops at that drug deal but Raspen reveals that Grozen is a dirty cop as he saw the LAPD Detective kill his partner which has Callen, Sam and Nate stunned.

Back in Interrogation, Callen wants to know everything but Raspen still refuses to say anything.

However, when Callen threatens to turn Raspen over to the LAPD, Raspen cracks, revealing Jackson learned one of the suspects in Ramirez's death lived there and the guy in question was linked to one of the Mexicali cartels with Callen believing that was the reason Jackson chose the Sunset restaurant because it was close to the house.

Raspen then states Jackson even wanted to plan an operation to go after the guy but Holgate tried to talk him out of doing anything stupid, causing Callen to believe Holgate obviously didn't do a very good job.

According to Raspen, Jackson said the president had declared war on drugs, that was what he was gonna bring them and then, boom, he bailed off into the water.

"And you followed him?", Callen says.

Raspen notes they didn't have a choice and they figured a cold swim would sober Jackson up but he was so fired up they couldn't even catch him and by the time they did, he was at the house and had secured a weapon.

Sitting down, Callen voices his disbelief at the fact they went into the home of a drug dealer, knowing full well they were outnumbered and outgunned.

Raspen tells him it was a little improvised and that the team knew they had weapons which they could take, causing Callen to remark, "Gotta love SEALs" before asking Raspen where Holgate is.

Raspen tells Callen he's done him enough and despite Callen saying Holgate could be in serious danger, Raspen isn't worried about Holgate and he's not saying anything else until he's seen a JAG lawyer.

"Fair enough", Callen replies.

He then gathers up the files and leaves the room, returning the main area with Sam then heading to Interrogation.

Despite Nate believing it's a bad idea, Callen tells him sometimes they've gotta let the big dogs work it out.

Sam who's very pissed off has arrived in Interrogation much to Raspen's surprise.

He then shares his disgust at the fact they broke the most sacred vow of all: never leave a man behind with Raspen even revealing that Holgate took the money because Jackson was struggling with it and that Jackson had planned to give the money to Ramirez's widow.

Further pressing reveals the team searched for hours for Jackson but couldn't find him and they didn't even know he'd been shot.

Eventually, Sam has Raspen give up the information they need: Holgate is holed up at a motel in the valley with the team conducting an operation that will have them giving what Grozen wants: Holgate.

Sam arrives at the motel and manages to wake Holgate up by pressing the alarm clock beside his bed which has Sam remarking, "Wake up, sunshine. Time to go to work".

A while later, at the motel, Grozen and his new partner have arrived at the motel with Sam delivering Holgate into their custody before he leaves.

Once in the car, Grozen and his partner demand Holgate tell them where the money from the drug deal is with Grozen even threatening to kill Holgate before the SEAL tells him the guy they're looking for is named Morris Raspen and he's at a golf course.

At the golf course, Callen who's gone undercover as Raspen has arrived with Eric informing him Grozen and Holgate are coming up on his right while Nate tells Callen there's one bogey, Grozen's unnamed partner by the clubhouse with the partner aiming a sniper rifle at Callen.

Eventually, Grozen arrives and gets his hands on the golf bag with the money before ordering Holgate and Raspen/Callen to stand side by side, presumably intending to kill Holgate while his partner shoots Callen/Raspen but it's stopped by Kensi who orders Grozen's partner to put his hands up and drop but the partner instead refuses to do so, forcing Kensi to shoot while Dom flinches, obviously hesitating.

The sound of gunfire has Grozen realizing it's a set up and he tries to shoot Callen, only for Holgate to get hit in the left shoulder.

As that happens, Sam emerges from the pond, wearing goggles and a snorkel while also armed with a rifle.

He then proceeds to shoot Grozen twice fatally in the chest, the rounds hitting Grozen's left arm and chest before the corrupt LAPD detective falls to the ground, dead.

On the hill, Kensi and Dom secure the scene.

Sam emerges from the pond, calling on Callen who's drawn his own gun telling Sam he's good.

Kensi's next, telling Sam the shooter's down and they're good.

Sam approaches Grozen's dead body, removing the magazines from Grozen's weapon while Callen tends to Holgate, telling Holgate to hold it tight and calls on Eric who informs him the ambulances are en route.

Sam then joins Callen as Holgate asks Sam what happens now?

"Only easy day was yesterday", Sam replies.

Callen looks at Sam while Kensi and Dom arrive, Dom holding the sniper rifle.

Once they've arrived, Sam silently nods with Dom nodding back.

Later, at Ops, Sam is in the bullpen, cleaning his rifle when Callen arrives in with two beers, placing one on the table with Callen wondering what the word is on Holgate.

Sam tells Holgate's out of surgery and the doctors figure he'll have a full recovery.

Callen notes that's still not a lot of fun although he does appreciate Holgate taking a bullet for him as Callen is trying to give up on getting shot so much.

Sam agrees, noting it's the least Holgate could have done.

When Callen wonders if everyone went home, Sam tells him it's for the most part: Dom and Eric are at a club, Nate is debriefing Kensi about her shooting over a Pink's chili hot dog but he doesn't know where Hetty is.

"I'm sure that little ninja is lurking around here somewhere", Callen replies.

As this goes on, Sam is busy assembling his rifle with Callen believing he'll bet Sam was really good at Legos as a kid with Sam noting he knows what Legos.

When Callen asks Sam if he's still mad about what Holgate and his men did, Sam tells Callen he gets what they did, he gets why they did and when you're in combat together, you trust someone with your life, it's a brotherhood forged in fire.

Callen notes they've been shot at, a lot of times.

"I didn't mean it like that", Sam replies.

Callen's stunned at the fact they don't have a brotherhood forged in fire with Sam telling him to stop.

Callen notes he even brought Sam a beer to cheer him up.

"Don't make me break this rifle out again", Sam says.

He then takes the second beer bottle from Callen with the two clinking their boots together.

It then cuts to show the Bullpen in its entirety as Callen tells Sam he loves him with Sam wishing him a good night and leaving while Callen takes another sip of his beer.

Trivia

  • The episode title, "The only easy day" or "The only easy day was yesterday" is an old SEAL motto which essentially means that things will get harder from here due to the fact that the SEALs training is one of the most toughest and hardest training systems in the world.
  • This is also the first episode of the entire NCIS: Los Angeles series to have Linda Hunt (Hetty Lange) credited as a Series Regular with Hunt also receiving the "With" credit.

Cast

Series Regulars

Name Portrayed by Role
G. Callen Chris O'Donnell An NCIS Special Agent in charge of the Office of Special Projects field team and who is partnered with fellow NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna.
Nate Getz Peter Cambor Operational Psychologist with the Office of Special Projects.
Kensi Blye Daniela Ruah An NCIS Special Agent with the Office of Special Projects and who is partnered with NCIS Special Agent Dominic Vail.
Dominic Vail Adam Jamal Craig NCIS Probationary Agent with the Office of Special Projects and who is Kensi Blye's partner.
Henrietta Lange Linda Hunt The Operations Manager for the Office of Special Projects.
Sam Hanna LL Cool J An NCIS Special Agent with the Office of Special Projects and who is partnered with NCIS Special Agent G. Callen.

Recurring Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Eric Beale Barrett Foa An NCIS Tech Operator with the Office of Special Projects.

Other Cast

Name Portrayed by Role
Douglas Grozen Rodney Rowland Detective with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Mekowitz Albert Garcia Detective with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Detective (The Only Easy Day) Cory Patt Detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Uncredited role.
Morris Raspen Brian Goss Navy SEAL.
Kurt Holgate Matt Battaglia A Navy SEAL and a friend of Sam Hanna.
Gail Ramirez Seidy López A woman who is the wife/widow of deceased Navy SEAL David Ramirez.
Waitress (The Only Easy Day) Whitney Anderson A waitress.
Heather (The Only Easy Day) Kinga Philipps A woman who appears in the episode. Uncredited role.
Sheriff (The Only Easy Day) Barry Levy Sheriff.
Rose Shwartz Kathleen Rose Perkins Medical Examiner.
  v - e - dNCIS: Los Angeles Season 1
Identity (episode)The Only Easy Day (episode)Predator (episode)Search and Destroy (episode)Killshot (NCIS: Los Angeles episode)Keepin' It Real (episode)Pushback (episode)Ambush (episode)Random on Purpose (episode)Brimstone (episode)Breach (episode)Past Lives (episode)Missing (NCIS: Los Angeles episode)LD50 (episode)The Bank Job (episode)Chinatown (episode)Full Throttle (episode)Blood Brothers (NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1 Episode)Hand-to-Hand (episode)Fame (episode)Found (episode)Hunted (episode)Burned (episode)Callen, G. (episode)
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