NCIS - Los Angeles Database
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Identity is the first episode of NCIS: Los Angeles as a stand-alone series, though the first appearance of the characters occurred in the twenty-second and twenty-third episodes of the sixth season of NCIS with the episodes being titled Legend (Part 1) and Legend (Part 2).

The episode also marks the debut appearance of Agent Dominic Vail and Operations Manager, Henrietta Lange.


Having successfully recovered from his near-fatal shooting at the end of the pilot episode, Legend (Part 2), NCIS Special Agent G. Callen rejoins the NCIS: Office of Special Projects team whose headquarters have since moved to new surroundings. His first case back involves a Naval Commander who was kidnapped by a drug cartel and eventually killed in a shootout between the cartel and members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The team investigate and soon discover that the Commander's actions might have jeopardized a highly-classified military operation against various drug cartels in Mexico and also put the life of his young niece in great danger, forcing the team to race against the clock to find and save the young girl before it's too late but all is not what it seems....


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
Nate Getz Peter Cambor Operational Psychologist, NCIS:OSP
Dominic Vail Adam Jamal Craig Special Agent, NCIS:OSP

Recurring Characters

Name Portrayed by Occupation
Eric Beale Barrett Foa Tech Operator, NCIS:OSP
Leon Vance Rocky Carroll Director of NCIS

Guest Characters

Name Portrayed by Notes
Helen McGuire Clare Carey A housewife who is the sister of murdered Commander Frank McGuire.
Bobby Nixon Matthew St. Patrick A paratrooper who tries to save Emma Perez but is left injured in the process.
Luis Perez Alex Fernandez Helen McGuire's ex-husband and Emma's father.
Emma Perez Ariel Gade A young girl who is the daughter of Helen McGuire and drug kingpin, Luis Perez. She is also the niece of Commander Frank McGuire.
Emilio Daniel Edward Mora A member of the drug cartel who is killed in a shootout with LAPD officers at the beginning of the episode.
Frank McGuire Nelson Rockford Murder victim, uncredited.
Paramedic Vincent De Paul Uncredited
Suburban Diver Eddie J. Fernandez Uncredited
Tailor Arne Starr Uncredited
LAPD Officer Peter Weireter Uncredited

Detailed Summary

The episode opens with the newscasters reporting in on traffic and the police chasing down a SUV on the highway. As the chase exits the highway and the police demand that the two suspects get out of the car, the suspects and police exchange fire. The two suspects end up dead and the police discover an officer dead in back of the SUV.

Callen, having recovered from being shot multiple times, reunites with Sam and together they head to the office. Callen takes a sweeping glance around the new office as Hetty and Sam square up on expenses. Sam introduces Callen to the new team member, Dominic Vail, while Kensi, Eric, and Hetty welcome him back. The team heads upstairs to the operations room as Director Vance introduces a new case.

Vance reveals that the new case involves Commander Frank McGuire who works for the Office of Naval Intelligence until he was kidnapped and killed in a crossfire with LAPD. The kidnappers have been identified as Mexican nationals which has caused worry regarding a coordinated military operation on the Mexican border involving the drug cartels. The team watches the footage and concludes that McGuire was murdered, as opposed to having simply been killed in a crossfire.

Sam and Callen head to check out McGuire's apartment and decide to use a cover by posing as a real estate agent and a client. The pair search McGuire's apartment and notice that his phone messages have been cleared, he has a daughter named Emma, and that his apartment doesn't show any intruder disturbance. As the two exit the house, Callen notices a gardener and discreetly asks questions about any notable habits, using his cover as a client interested in the apartment. The gardener reveals that McGuire has been getting picked up by some friends in a blue Tahoe everyday the past week and then dropped off three hours later. Meanwhile, Sam notices a suspicious white sedan examining the situation and begins to approach until the white sedan speeds away.

At the office, Kensi, Dom, and Eric look up McGuire's details, revealing he was the top 1% of his class, had a stellar career, and specialized in satellite-image analysis. Callen and Sam return to the office and review what the team has discovered. They identify McGuire's sister, Helen, and Kensi and Nate head to her home to talk to her. The team further discover one of McGuire's friends, Bobby J. Jenlow, a Special Forces paratrooper and owner of a private security firm, has frequently been calling McGuire raising suspicions.

Kensi and Nate talk to Helen regarding her brother, Frank McGuire, her daughter, Emma McGuire, and her husband, Luis Perez. Nate comes to the conclusion that Helen is lying.

Callen and Sam meet Bobby at his office and discuss his relationship with McGuire. Callen and Sam determine that Bobby is putting together a team to go after the cartels and could compromise the upcoming military operation.

When the team returns to the office, Hetty takes it upon herself to update Callen's bio-metrics, official paperwork and documents, wardrobe, and car. Hetty alludes to Callen's past as an orphan revealing that Callen is unaware of what his first name is, only knowing that the first initial, G.

The team evaluates the new details that have sprung up as Kensi reveals that Helen seems like she's still enduring the situation and that it seemingly did not end with McGuire's death. Kensi also explains that Emma has been kidnapped and that is the leverage that's been held over McGuire. Dom and Eric determine that the cartels want satellite access and Callen and Sam make the connection that McGuire told Bobby Jenlow and Jenlow was going to try to rescue Emma.

Callen and Sam go after Jenlow and exchange gunfire with an SUV they block off. The pair exchange gunfire with the passenger and driver of the vehicle and realize that neither of them are Jenlow. The passenger and driver of the vehicle are killed and Sam and Callen search the house finding Jenlow injured. Jenlow requests that they find Emma as the paramedics load him onto an ambulance. Sam and Callen search the house, the men they shot, and the car finding an address from the GPS in the car. Eric pulls up details on the address revealing that the house is owned by Manny Cortez, a drug lord that controls one of the largest Mexican cartels.

Kensi returns to Helen's home revealing that her team put the pieces together. Helen reveals how Emma was kidnapped and how the cartel then used her kidnapping to force McGuire to do whatever they wanted. Helen receives a call from her husband Luis, handing it over to Kensi who identifies herself as NCIS and explains the current situation.

Callen and Sam head over to Manny Cortez's house and evaluate how they may be able to get in. Nate determines that Emma is running out of time as she's become a liability with her father's murder. Eric and Dom go over potential possibilities and covers that may get Callen and Sam into the house to which Hetty enters and explains that the easiest cover would be to give them what they want - satellite access. Following this plan, Callen pose as a lawyer with satellite access and Sam as his bodyguard. Once inside, Nate identifies that the man Callen and Sam are dealing with is not Manny Cortez, but rather Luis and that he already knows NCIS is involved compromising the operation.

Emma runs out to meet Luis, her father, and heads to the pool at his suggestion as he reveals his knowledge about NCIS and having worked for Manny Cortez for seven to eight year. Luis pulls a gun and aims it at Callen's head as Callen receives a phone call revealing that McGuire wasn't really dead. Callen then knocks the gun from Luis' hands as Sam takes on Luis' bodyguards. A fight ensues with Callen and Sam gaining the upperhand. Callen and Kensi connect Emma with her mother, Helen, through the phone and they make plans to immediately reunite back at Helen's home.

Back at the office, Hetty rats out Callen for not catching up on his paperwork, allowing him to do it the following day. Kensi, Nate, Dom, and Sam leave the office, as Callen begins on the paperwork. Later in the office, Hetty finds a sleeping Callen and draws a blanket over him.

Major Events

  • Callen returns to work a month early.
  • It's shown that Callen has the scars from his near-fatal shooting.
  • It's revealed that the OSP have moved to a new location, presumably due to security reasons or in the aftermath of Callen's shooting and according to Sam Hanna, they've been there for three months.
  • It's revealed that Kensi is fluent in Portuguese while Callen is fluent in Spanish and both Dom and Hetty are fluent in Latin.
  • It's revealed that prior to joining NCIS, Callen worked for the FBI while Sam was a SEAL.
  • Operations Manager Henrietta Lange and Special Agent Dominic Vail are both introduced for the first time.
  • It's also stated that Hetty has known Callen for three years.
  • Callen reveals that Kensi is a Marine brat.


External Links

CBS Press Release for NCIS: Los Angeles episode 1.01 Identity