NCIS: Los Angeles Recap, Season 13, Episode 7

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS: Los Angeles opened with a horrifying scene. A young officer was in the midst of a fire aboard his ship. He runs down the hall, trying to escape.

In the next scene, we see Adrian Vargas on the top of his apartment building. He falls backward off the roof and lands with a thud on a van. Did he commit suicide? What happened?

This NCIS: Los Angeles episode, which was the first after a five-week holiday hiatus, focused on the pain of one sailor. But it also featured the very real story of PTSD and some treatment options that include LSD. In fact, micro-dosing was going on with sailors of Vargas’ ship, the USS Allegiance.

And as the episode ended, Kilbride revealed that he figured out Fatima was faking the need for a cane. She, too, was suffering from PTSD after getting shot in the leg during a November episode.

Callen Works on Hetty Case From NCIS: Los Angeles Season Premiere

In another side plot that started in the NCIS: Los Angeles season 13 premiere, Callen also found another grown-up foster child that Hetty groomed for spy work. He asked her out using the name Greg. “My friends call me G,” he told Leah. He already knew she had worked for Homeland Security, but that her information had been deleted from the database.

Daniela Ruah, who plays Kensi, was missing from the NCIS: Los Angeles evening. That’s because she directed the episode.

Getting back to the case of the evening, an autopsy revealed that Vargas had 10 times the amount of a recreational dose of LSD in his system when he died.

“He took enough yellow sunshine to float a whole damn boat,” Deeks said, admitting that he worked undercover at Burning Man.

Sam and Callen interviewed a sailor who was arrested in a drug bust on board the ship. It was assumed Renfro was the supplier, but in interviews at the Boat House, he confessed a very bizarre scheme.

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Renfro, like Vargas, worked in Intelligence. But he said he was encouraged to take LSD because it would make him focus on intricate problems and patterns. Vargas said he never knew who supplied him with the drugs. He first picked up unmarked packages for other sailors. Then, he started finding the packages under his pillow.

Renfro insisted that Vargas would never use LSD. “He’s one of the most by-the-book sailors I know,” Renfro said of the dead sailor. “I never gave Adrian any drugs and I don’t have a supplier.”

Vargas’ boyfriend found Rountree and Deeks when they were searching Vargas’ apartment. He said the Navy killed Vargas, explaining how his boyfriend was on board a ship during a fire. But the Navy, rather than dealing with his trauma, transferred him to another assignment.

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Defense Contractor Was Secret Dealer for Sailors

The rest of NCIS: Los Angeles explained Vargas’ journey of seeking help for his PTSD. He paid $500 for a spot in a weird religious retreat. And he saw a therapist two times. But the therapist told Sam and Callen that Vargas wouldn’t come back. So she said she recommended he go to a clinic that used LSD as a treatment.

The agents also figured out who might be supplying sailors with drugs. Fatima tracked down a defense contractor who handled printing for the USS Allegiance. He worked in Navy Intelligence five years ago, when the first on-ship drug bust happened. The contractor was not only dealing, he was manufacturing illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Vargas visited his therapist hours before he died. She gave him a gift basket of products that she said could help him. The gift basket included gummies laced with LSD. Vargas had no idea he was ingesting a drug.

“I see soldiers, sailors and veterans every day (who are) in pain,” she said. “They deserve to be helped. They deserved to be healed.”

But as Sam and Callen told her, Vargas’ death was on her hands.