The episode begins with Sam receiving a call from a blocked number. It is from a guy named Frank Turner and he needs his help. He tells Sam that he knows where to find him. Sam then arrives at an old building and enters a dark room full of books and files. He then sees the man hanging from the ceiling. Just then a poodle walks out from behind one of the desks. Next, Callen arrives and Sam tells him that they were together in the joint task force eight years ago. He has no clue as to why Turner called him. Sam wonders how he managed to hang himself as there is no ladder around. Callen suggests that he could have used one of the shelves; but Sam knows that Turner wasn’t an athletic guy to use that shelf.
He wasn’t a CIA field agent, but more of a researcher. Just then a record starts playing and lights get turned on. Sam mentions that Turner was a lot into crosswords and word games. Eric arrives and isn’t too pleased to see the hanging man. That’s why he doesn’t leave ops. Eric tells them that the street cameras and the security cameras went out when the power went out. He then says that LADWP’s computer system is designed to stop a cyber terrorist attack. Callen notices the blown door knob and wonders why someone would do that if he wanted to make this look like suicide. Nothing is adding up! the transformer had blown up and Callen asks Eric to check the camera on that site. Deeks and Kensi arrive. Deeks sees the poodle.
Sam knows that Turner was a highly trained CIA and was trained to live conspicuously. There is no way the poodle could be his. Nell is looking for any missing reports on a poodle. Deeks goes to send sometime with the poodle. Kensi finds it weird. Ever heard of the dog-whisperer? Next, Eric looks at all the papers and wonders if there is a computer he could search. Turner was a hard copy sort of a guy. Callen states that despite having retired, Turner was still gathering intel on Al-Qaida, North Korea etc. Nell tells Callen that she went through the camera footages before the power cut and noticed that Turner had a visitor that came over three times. She tracked down the visitor; it is Megan Hendley, a flight attendant.
At the office, Deeks has scanned the microchip on the poodle and finds out that his previous owner was Jason Young from Tarzana. Next, Sam and Callen go to Megan’s house and they see her trying to escape. they follow her and she places a strong kick on Sam’s chest and aims her gun at him. But Callen arrives and announces himself. She surrenders. Something tells Sam that she isn’t just a flight attendant! Well, he is right. She is CIA and Callen confirms it. She tells them that Turner has worked for the Agency for the last two years and they were romantically involved. She knows that Turner is dead as she confirmed it from the morgue. Turner called her yesterday and left a message. He also felt that she was in danger.
Megan tells them that Frank felt he was being surveilled. She tells them that Turner was working on the Sinclair Project which was on during the end of the Cold war where the disclosure of sleeper agents took place between the Presidents of US and Russia. So, this project was a mission to find the sleeper agents and collect their weapons. She says everyone thought that Turner was mad and no one wanted to hear what he had uncovered. Callen asks Sam the mission he was working on with Turner. It was about an arms deal and he says that Turner was spooked by something. The ME calls Sam. In the morgue, she tells them that she didn’t find any signs of a struggle and all signs indicate a suicide.
But the headline is that she found a strip of cloth in Turner’s stomach. It has a code on it. They take the strip back to Turner’s room and they find a baseball bat. Sam wraps the strip around the bat. This was the technique used to send secret war messages and Turner knew that Sam was studying warrior cultures! This message is indeed for Sam. Nell updates Deeks and Kensi about Chaucer, the poodle. He was flown to Paris twice to breed and Turner bought him a month ago and entered him into a dog show. This leads her to Robert Pierce, a dog groomer. Maybe Turner used Chaucer to get close to Pierce. Pierce is one of the contestants in the dog show. So, Deeks is now going to take Chaucer to the show.
Meanwhile, Eric tells Sam and Callen that Turner used a cipher but changed it a little. So there has to be a key and since he didn’t use a computer and the message is for Sam, the key has to be somewhere around. At the dog show, Pierce’s dog Uma puts up a great show and Deeks is having a tough time. Kensi talks to Pierce. But then we see that Chaucer puts up a great show. Kensi asks Pierce if they could let Chaucer breed with his dog. But he gets spooked and rushes to leave. But Kensi announces herself and stops him. Pierce then tells them that his ex-boyfriend was stalking him and so he hired a detective. He hired a detective who tells him that a man was watching his house.
The picture is Turner’s. But Pierce is too young for Sinclair project. Eric then brings up another code and they infer that Turner was looking for Pierce’s parents. Sam and Callen go to meet Pierce’s parents and they talk to his father. His mother has Alzheimer’s. After a short conversation, they leave, thinking that Turner was indeed paranoid and no way could that man be a Russian sleeper agent. Callen notices a vehicle nearby and they wait around the corner to see what’s up. They see few men get down and walk towards Pierce’s father’s house; they are CIA. There is a gun fight and Pierce’s father comes out and takes down two agents. The rest flee. Sam then tells him that they need to talk.
James tells them that he isn’t a Soviet agent. Nell gets an ID on the man from the vehicle around Turner’s loft; Yuri Kozlov. Sam thinks that he s FSB. So something Turner was investigating made the Russians nervous. Sam then notices that in one of the pictures, Koslov was talking to Isaac Sidirov; the arms dealer the task force was monitoring when Turner and Sam worked together. He was former FSB and is now an arms dealer. Hetty announces that there is a problem as all this proves that the Sinclair project is real. CIA and NSA are already interested in their investigation. So, why go after James? Callen knows that the FSB is never wrong. James agrees to talk but he needs immunity and safety for his wife. Hetty grants it.
James then takes Sam and Callen to a room. He uncovers a nuclear bomb bigger than the one used in Hiroshima. Carrying this heavy secret throughout one’s life isn’t easy! James then tells Sam that he was born in Somalia and was taken to Russia when he was nine. Then he was sent to Seattle with a new identity and profession. He was conditioned to detonate the bomb but when he had a family he was persuaded not to. The agents take James away. Next, Callen and Sam deduce that Sidirov was after the bomb which means there were more sleeper agents and more bombs. Sidirov was looking for the agents and Turner wanted Sam to find them before Sidirov does. They then figure out that Sidirov had found out about Turner and he was going to kill him.
Turner had the names in his head and he knew he would be tortured. So he did kill himself. They then work the code and get the names of the sleeper agents. And the bombs are in eight cities; the ones that were considered the largest in the 70’s and the 80’s. One of the guy’s facial structures doesn’t match his childhood photo. Hetty asks Nell to call the national Security Division of the FBI. She will talk to anyone who picks up the phone quickly. To be continued.