Can Harm, Mac & the Team Stop a War in the ‘NCIS: LA’ Season 11 Premiere? (RECAP)

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Spoiler Alert
Erik Voake/CBS (2)

NCIS: Los Angeles

Let Fate Decide

Season 11 • Episode 1

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 11 premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles, “Let Fate Decide.”]

When NCIS: LA picks up, everyone is still in the same trouble they were at the end of the Season 10 finale. But the ISIS fighters attacking the mobile CIA unit and the ISIS spy holding hostages on the USS Allegiance are the least of their problems.

Even though they’re able to stop the missiles from reaching their targets with the missile defense system, they have to worry about retaliatory strikes and a potential war. While they do have people who can help them ease the situation through back channels in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, everyone wants proof first.

That’s where Kensi (Daniela Ruah), Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), Sabatino (Erik Palladino), and Wallace (Don Wallace) come in, once they escape their own perilous situation.

Plus, what’s in the future for Harm (David James Elliott) and Mac (Catherine Bell)? Do they have one together?

Taking Care of Business

Kensi, Deeks, Sabatino, and Wallace gun down the ISIS fighters in and outside the unit, and thanks to the way the CIA has wired it, are able to escape and kill those who come in after them. All it takes is sniper Kensi, a remote-controlled gun, and the explosives Sabatino sets off.

Meanwhile, Skinner (Guy Wilson) kills at least three hostages inside the Damage Control Center on the USS Allegiance before Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) can even get eyes inside. Once they do, they simply use the same hole they used for the camera to introduce a 70% nitrous/30% oxygen gas into the room and put everyone to sleep. The hostages are saved, and Skinner’s taken in for questioning. He refuses to talk.

(Erik Voake/CBS)

Sam and Fatima (Medalion Rahimi) are headed to Iran to speak with Laleh (Sara Amini), whose father is an influential mullah. Callen and Harm are headed to Israel to see Mossad Agent Eliana Sapir (Natassia Halabi). And Hetty (Linda Hunt) and Mac are headed to Saudi Arabia to talk to the leadership. But those three groups all need proof from the French journalist and Chechen defector it was a false flag operation. That’s where Kensi, Deeks, Sabatino, and Wallace come in (if Deeks can stop worrying about wild animals teaming up like the Avengers to attack them).

On the Ground

Seeing each other over a video link is one thing. Seeing each other in person is another for Harm and Mac, who reunite when they, Hetty, Sam, Callen, and Fatima regroup in Saudi Arabia before going their separate ways. The others give them a moment, and while Harm goes for a handshake, Mac hugs him. But there’s no time to discuss the fact that they haven’t seen each other in nine years or their relationship fell apart.

And Harm’s not the only one seeing an ex during this mission. Callen has a past with Eliana, who asks if he’s seeing anyone when they meet. “That’s complicated,” he says, because this isn’t the time to get into the Joelle or Anna debacles. She’s not seeing anyone either, she informs him.

But they have more important matters to discuss (and not whatever happened in London, which we’ll hopefully find out about at another time). She brings them to someone who won’t try to bury the information for his own agenda, Noam, who agrees to help them once they take out his guards.

In Iran, Sam and Fatima wait for Laleh’s coworker to leave before approaching her. The only problem? She hasn’t spoken to her father in two years because he doesn’t agree with some of her choices. And she, too, wants proof.

(Erik Voake/CBS)

And in Saudi Arabia, Hetty and Mac meet with Prince Kamal (Ritesh Rajan), who remains indebted to Sam, Hetty, and the team, but he, too, needs proof before he can circulate the message to his family.

Meanwhile, Kensi, Deeks, Sabatino, and Wallace find the coordinates of the journalist and defector’s last known location. There are ISIS fighters there, and after they take them out, they find a campfire, footprints, and ATV tracks. Following the tracks, they find a couple, truffle hunters who helped the journalist and defector.

They manage to track down their targets and take out the ISIS fighters about to shoot them just in time. And after they upload the defector’s information, everyone agrees to help. (Laleh and her father even seem to be on better terms.)

One Door (Case) Closes, Another Opens

After that, all that’s left to do is celebrate. Hetty closes down a restaurant in Saudi Arabia for the night, and everyone reunites for a relaxing night. This is also the first time we get an update on Nell’s mother; her condition hasn’t changed. The SEALs don’t find any more sleeper cells on board the USS Allegiance, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some out there. (That’s a problem for another day.)

And then comes the moment everyone’s been waiting for: Harm and Mac discussing their past and (possible) future. Why haven’t they seen each other in nine years? “I thought you were happy in DC,” Harm says. “I was deployed.” But she knows it’s more than that.

(Bill Inoshita/CBS)

“We’re scared,” Mac says. “It’s the only reason that makes sense. We never gave it a shot, a real try, ever, put our all into it, because we were scared to.” But she’s not asking him to be with her now. “I just want us to acknowledge why we’re here tonight as colleagues and not husband and wife,” she continues.

So what comes next? Hetty suggested Harm put in for a leadership role at an NCIS division, such as one in San Diego. Mac thinks it would be good for him to plant roots, which is hard to do on a carrier. As for what’s next for them, “we’re way past letting fate decide,” she says. And we’ll have to wait to see what that means, but it does sound like there’s a strong possibility we could at least see Harm again in the future on NCIS: LA.

But with one case closed, another is about to begin. Everyone’s flying home soon, except for Sam and Callen, Hetty reveals. But she’s not calling it an assignment, since that makes it sound so official.

Do you think there’s hope for Harm and Mac?

NCIS: Los Angeles, Sundays, 9/8c, CBS