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The Fifth Man - Recap

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The episode begins with three men at a diner, and a fourth one enters. They assume that he is the one who invited them; but it turns out that the new guy was invited as well. He confirms the code “Echo 1” and then takes the seat. The waiter comes to take the order and the new guy orders in Spanish. But the waiter doesn’t follow Spanish and so he translates it into English. One of them clicks a picture of the group and the last guy isn’t too excited about being on a blog or the internet. Just then they notice that there is no one in the diner and seconds later the diner explodes. At the office, Deeks is running late and Kensi tells them that he went to Vegas last night.

She ratted him out! Deeks arrives and starts sparring with Sam when Callen receives a call from the ops. Eric briefs them about the latest case. He shows the team the pic the guy took at the diner and tells them that the four bodies were pulled out from the diner. Sam knows that the diner was closed down last year and now it has been open without the land owner’s permission. So, who are these guys and who did they piss off? The group consists of a millionaire, a college student, a grandfather, and a guy who was licensed to drive a bull-dozer. Connections? They all followed a twitter account linked to the naval intelligence. Eric states that they all got invited to the diner which either means that there was an ambush created by the navy or their account is being hacked.

Why is the naval account on twitter? Navy was working on a project and the intelligence was hiring high IQ individuals to check the integrity of the project. Operation Wide Awake is classified and the four victims were the elite on the project and they were referred as Group Echo 1. Callen and Sam go to meet the man behind the project who also wants to brief the two of them. The guy tells them that on the surface, Wide Awake looks like a strategy game, but it is actually designed to check the possible ways a lone person or a group of people can pose a threat to the nation. He four people did not know each other and it is surprising that despite the precautions, their account id hacked. But he also reveals that the Echo 1 group consisted of five members; so the fifth member, Mike Hoffman is still out there.

Next, Deeks and Kensi go to Mike’s apartment. Deeks plans to go to Vegas with Kensi. Initially she refuses but when he challenges her, she agrees. When they arrive the building, a girl runs past them. They go to the apartment and they see bloodstains on the wall. Kensi’s jacket is also stained. Kensi follows the girl while Deeks heads to the apartment. Kensi loses the girl and Deeks finds a man lying dead on the floor. There is no id on the man. Deeks feels that given the circumstances, the girl looks pretty guilty. But Kensi says that they don’t know anything about her. Callen and Sam arrive at the scene. Kensi finds out that this man isn’t Hoffman.

Callen says that since Hoffman wasn’t killed at the diner like the rest, maybe this man was sent to finish the job. Kensi sees a photograph pinned up on the board and states that the girl’s name is Astrid and she clearly knew Hoffman. Eric calls in and states tha Hoffman was a loner. Nell confirms that the group did not know each other; so this makes Hoffman the next probable victim. Callen and Sam go to meet the head of Wide Awake, Mathers. He doesn’t recognize the picture Sam and Callen show him. He tells them that he has been getting some help from one of his friends, George Toretto, who is an analyst at Pentagon. He was supposed to compare the pentagon’s classified threat matrix results with the results of Wide Awake.

But the problem is Toretto didn’t give him the results. They tell him that they are going to raise the security of the building. On their way out, they see Astrid at the security check. But when they call out to her, she runs and manages to get away. Nell tells Kensi and Deeks that the neighbors started seeing Hoffman and Astrid together a couple of months back but they kept it to themselves and nothing of importance was found in her apartment. Kensi thinks that she might be carrying a gun and she might have not been aware of security protocols. That is why when the metal detector went off, she ran. Eric says that Hoffman’s laptop has been wiped clean by a pro but he did find Wide Awake’s latest gaming application in it.

Callen and Sam find out that Torreto’s bank account shows a deposit of $100,000, 5 days ago; all cash! Sam thinks someone is paying Toretto to sabotage the program. They arrive at Torreto’s building. Someone seems to have tipped him as Toretto escapes and the guy who was following him, rams into a truck, and gets killed. At the office, Nell identifies the body in Hoffman’s apartment, as Max Naylor with some priors and the driver who was killed also had some experience in demolition. Kensi states that Astrid might know something about Wide awake and hence she showed up at the naval office. Eric tells them that he has got a signal from Hoffman’s phone. They dial the number and Astrid answers the call and then disconnects it.

Kensi is very empathetic towards Astrid. She talks to Astrid and tries to befriend her. Astrid mentions something about poker and tells her where Hoffman is at the moment. They lose her once again. Callen asks Nell to check Hoffman’s financials and it appears that Hoffman has a bit of a gambling problem; seems like a motive! Hetty tells Nell to play operation Wide awake as she has a high IQ and she could figure out what those four men did, after which they got killed. The team then heads to the Casino from where the last withdrawals were made from Hoffman’s account. They find Hoffman in the casino and get hold of him. Eric calls Callen and tells them that Mathers is gone. Next, Kensi and Deeks interrogate Hoffman and find out that Astrid was the one who used his laptop and also probably the one who played Wide Awake as she is extremely intelligent.

She also never lost a game of poker. He thinks she is his daughter. Sam doubts that Astrid suffers from asperger’s. Callen points out that only two people had access to Hoffman’s data; Toretto and Mathers. Nell tells Hetty that once the final level is reached, operation Wide Awake doesn’t work. Hetty finds it unlikely that Mathers did not know about this. Callen and Sam go to Mather’s house and find that someone broke into Mather’s house. It is Toretto. Toretto tells them that Mathers is trying to kill him. He says that Hoffman realized that Wide Awake was a failure and he had emailed Mathers about it.

Mathers was worried that the rest of the group would learn that as well and so he lured them into the diner and killed them. Since Toretto was supposed to compare the results, he too knew about the failure. That is why Mathers paid him to keep quiet. But now, he doesn’t know where Mathers is. Eric and Nell tell Deeks and Kensi that Astrid tried to reach Mathers. Kensi knows that of Mathers finds her, he will kill her. They figure out that Mathers is at the same casino where Hoffman was found.

The team arrives at the casino and the find Mathers. They follow him and they are shocked to find Astrid aiming her gun at Mathers. Kensi takes charge and convinces Astrid into lowering her weapon. Mathers is arrested. Case closed. Next, Kensi and Astrid bond over a game of poker. Hetty joins them. She asks Astrid whether she is feeling lucky. The episode ends.

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