NCIS: Los Angeles elevated Gerald McRaney to full-time cast for this season. And these last few episodes have revealed details of Kilbride’s mysterious past.
Sure, we all know that Kilbride is a retired admiral and that he worked with Hetty (Linda Hunt) in the spy world for decades. Kilbride also is quick with a biting insult. You don’t want to be on the other end of those comments. He doesn’t suffer fools.
But NCIS: Los Angeles gradually is filling in more details. On Sunday night’s episode called Sundown, Kilbride seemed to know a lot of details about how soldiers kill themselves. For more details about the episode, click it here for the Outsider recap.
The plot revolved around a grieving father, whose daughter killed herself two weeks before. Kara is the daughter. She was a Marine who didn’t receive an honorable discharge. Kara fell asleep while on guard duty. And while she slept, insurgents broke into the military base and stole a cache of weapons. The military determined that Kara had drugs in her system. And Kara couldn’t remember much of what happened but felt the overwhelming guilt that other soldiers suffered because of her slip up.
But the father didn’t believe that’s what happened. He also thought Kara was framed, then murdered. It seems that Kara came home to live with her parents. Then one day, she went to a local park and shot herself in the head. Later in the NCIS: Los Angeles episode, Fatima asked Kilbride about the suicide details, if that was unusual for someone to go to a park to take their life.
Kilbride, as if he had experience dealing with suicide, told Fatima these soldiers leave their homes to die because they don’t want their loved ones to have to clean up the mess.
The team discovered that some government contractors stole the weapons and had drugged Kara. But she really did kill herself. Kilbride made sure that the Marines changed her discharge and that they buried her with honors and awarded her a posthumous medal for valor.
NCIS: Los Angeles writers also revealed some tantalizing clues about Kilbride’s character in Divided We Fall, which aired Nov. 7. In the episode, Kilbride killed Laura Song, a CIA operative he recruited from the Navy when she was in her teens. She betrayed her country and Kilbride found out she was working as a double agent with China.
But before Song died, she taunted Kilbride.
“You didn’t choose me, I chose you,” she said. “You were the perfect mark, a man with a broken family, wanting a second chance.”
Earlier in the episode, Song told Callen (Chris O’Donnell) that she’d worked with Hetty and Kilbride for years. All the agents thought Song was killed by the Chinese. They never knew she’d turned against her country. Kilbride still was protecting her reputation. And, the information was classified.
And as the NCIS: Los Angeles episode ended, we see Kilbride in his office. He carries an old-school leather portfolio with him. He had a photo of Laura Song in the folder. Maybe the writers will reveal more details.