NCIS - Los Angeles Database
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Borderline is the third episode of NCIS: Los Angeles Season Two as well as the 27th episode of the entire series.


Kensi and Deeks take the lead in the field when a group of Marines are ambushed in the desert. Meanwhile, Nate returns from his mystery assignment.


Main Characters

Name Portrayed by Occupation
G. Callen Chris O'Donnell Special Agent-in-Charge, NCIS:OSP
Kensi Blye Daniela Ruah Special Agent, NCIS:OSP
Sam Hanna LL Cool J Special Agent, NCIS:OSP
Henrietta Lange Linda Hunt Operations Manager, NCIS:OSP
Eric Beale Barrett Foa Tech Operator NCIS: OSP
Marty Deeks Eric Christian Olsen LAPD Liaison to NCIS: OSP

Recurring Characters

Name Portrayed by Occupation
Nate Getz Peter Cambor Operational Psychologist

Guest Characters

Name Portrayed by Notes
Donald Wexling Alan Ruck
Allen Reed Billy Magnussen Corporal, USMC
Orley Bruno Gioiello Major, USMC
Edward Mintoya Walter Fauntleroy Lance Corporal, USMC
Liam Walker Zachary Stockdale Private First Class, USMC
Shelly Hastings Ashanti Brown Lance Corporal, USMC
Guillermo Torres Vincent Laresca
Jerry J. Dusty Sorg
Quinn Graham Shiels
Thompson (Borderline) Mark Kubr
Henchman Eddie J. Fernandez
Investigator Adrienne Rusk Uncredited
Webb Gunter Simon Uncredited

Detailed Summary

Several Marines roll up to a spot on the road and they spot a person running in the hills. It turns to be an ambush as the marines in the car are blown up by an IUD with the others exchanging gunfire with their attackers.

Kensi spots a homeless looking Deeks coming off an undercover operation as she drives into the office while Callen and Sam discuss the efforts to recycle while boxing. They spot Nate in the shooting room and talk about Nate's assignment.

Hetty briefs the team on the Marine ambush on the California/Mexican border which they suspect were targeted by the Mexican cartels. Three of the marines are missing while one marine managed to escape.

Kensi and Deeks head to the scene of the crime while Deeks mentions his reluctance about going to the scene given his fair skin and how Sam might be better suited to go out into the desert. The marines, Kensi, and Deeks find Mintoya's dead body with a note declaring war and discover that there are tracks heading north into California. Deeks and Kensi follow the tracks on bikes and learn that the suspects are heading west and learn a little more about each other. Deeks learns that Kensi knows how to track, play poker, shoot guns, etc. and that her and her dad were close while Kensi learns that Deeks has had some issues with his Dad as well as snakes.

Callen and Sam briefly try to pry into Nate's assignment with Hetty who gives no leads. The pair and Nate then interview Reed who explains the situation and reveal that Mintoya showed up dead from a headshot. Reed takes responsibility for Mintoya's death as he led them into the ambush and also reveals that Hastings is pregnant with Mintoya being the father. Nate, Callen, and Sam discuss the angles of the case with Sam and Callen suspicious while Nate believing Reed's story.

Sam and Callen talk about quicksand vs tar pits on their way to talking to JJ. They ask JJ about the Mexican cartels who gives them the name Guillermo Torres, Emilio Ortega's replacement in the cartels.

Hetty talks to Nate about his impression about Reed. Hetty gives Nate some advice about making decisions, which is sometimes better than simple indecision. Nate confirms to Hetty that he wants to go back on assignment and requests that he tell the team rather than Hetty.

Hetty spots Sam trying to go undercover as Tyrell Ellis again in order to find the missing marines. Sam's cover knew Torres when he was just a lower ranking member and this may be the only way to find the marines. Hetty disapproves, but Sam goes under nonetheless.

Sam goes to encounter Torres who is initially suspicious about how Sam managed to escape prosecution. Meanwhile, Callen receives a call from Hetty who notifies him about Vance's request to be updated and showing concern for Sam being back undercover. Callen quickly ends the call with Hetty when he sees a man fly out of the store front Sam was in just to find Torres in a headlock by Sam and a few other men shot.

While Deeks and Kensi continue following the tracks, Sam and Callen interview Torres until Nate walks in and informs them that they have nothing on Torres. However, an associate of Torres, Donald Wexling, may give them a lead. Sam and Callen talk to Wexling who reveals that he's paying extortion to Torres to protect his business in Mexico and then stops answering their questions.

Kensi and Deeks spot the missing marines, who appear to be injured and in the custody of the cartels. Deeks leads several of the suspects on a chase as a distraction while Callen and Sam arrive via helicopter on scene. Kensi takes out the guards and rescues the missing marines. Deeks falls off the bike and shoots one of the pursuers. Deeks, Kensi, and the marines exchange gunfire with the cartel members until they're pinned down behind a piece of construction equipment. The cartel members bring out a grenade launcher as Kensi and Deeks make a plan. Deeks draws their fire while Kensi and the marines head to the SUV. Kensi hot wires the SUV. The cartel members launch the grenade at Deeks and begin shooting at the SUV Kensi's in, but Reed, Sam, and Callen arrive and manage to help Deeks, Kensi, and the marines finish the cartel members off. The team learns that their supposed cartel members were actually missionaries paid for Wexling.

Sam and Callen interview Wexling about paying off missionaries to kidnap marines and trying to send a message regarding military decisions. Meanwhile, Hetty and Nate discuss Nate's upcoming assignment as he packs and moves his stuff. Hetty gives Nate advice and good tidings. As Nate leaves, Callen gives him a name to follow up with if he gets in trouble, Urick

Major Events

  • Nate returns from his assignment and it's shown that he has improved his shooting skills.


  • The song Kensi is listening to at the beginning of the episode is Kaskade feat. Dragonette - Fire In Your New Shoes.