The episode begins with two girls walking out of a room of a rich, old man. Dex calls him and tells him that Seattle is breathing down his neck. We learn that this old guy is a secret agent and that the ongoing lawsuit would not really affect his financial status as much. He then disconnects the call and goes to the balcony to enjoy the ocean view. He tries to light his cigar with his lighter and his head gets blown off! At the HQ, we learn that Deeks had borrowed an album from Sam and Callen tells Kensi that borrowing anything from Sam is not a good idea. Deeks tells Sam that his dog ate the album.
He tries to give Sam an mp3 player and Sam debates that vinyl has a richer sound. Eric whistles; Hetty wants them in ops ASAP. Nell briefs the team about the recent death; Victor Potter, an ex-CIA who was killed in an explosion at his beach house. The security footage is from the neighboring house. The explosion was caused by the lighter. Potter retired three years ago and then made millions by consulting directors, gaming companies, etc. The Black Bag is his game. Taking up this case was Hetty’s decision. Then why didn’t she brief them? Callen tries to talk to Hetty but she blows him off.
He finds this weird and Sam tells him that something is always up with Hetty. The four go t Potter’s beach house. Sam thinks it is ammonium nitrate. Callen figures out that Potter had company. The computer has a firewall so they will need Eric’s help. They then get hold of the tablet in which Potter had recorded some kinky videos of the girls who gave him “company”. Deeks recognizes one of them; Nicole and she works for LA’s high class escort services, Seven Star Oasis. Nell runs the faces but none of them are listed; maybe they are here illegally. Kensi and Deeks go to Seven Star and Kensi poses as someone looking for work. Wendy who takes a liking for her tries to get fresh with her.
Meanwhile Deeks transfers the database from Wendy’s computer and they manage to get out of there. Nell goes to get Hetty as there is a message for her. Hetty is looking at a picture of Potter and Granger together. Callen is there and Hetty senses his presence. He wants to know what is in the box. She tells him that it is the past which is securely locked away. Nell arrives telling Hetty that there is a message from Granger. Nell then tells Callen that they have ided the girls who were with Potter. Callen wants Nell to keep an eye on Hetty for him. Callen and Sam then arrive at a house and they find two bodies of the girls who Nell just ided. One of them is still breathing. They then talk to Nicole.
She tells them that one of their clients wanted them to meet Potter; something like a side business where the girls could make more money without involving their agency. The client didn’t seem to care about them sleeping with Potter. He only cared about some prank with Potter’s lighter. The client then came back to their place to pay them; by trying to kill them. Nicole tells them that his name is Ruiz. She tells them that Ruiz wasn’t a prick like the others and she sort of liked him, till the time he tried to kill them. At the ops, they learn that Ruiz does anything for people with money. They get a location on Ruiz. Callen wants to know where Hetty is; but Nell has no idea.
Granger arrives and tells Callen that Hetty’s whereabouts are her own concern. This means that he knows where Hetty is. But he doesn’t divulge anything. The four then go to the café where Ruiz is. A woman who is sitting in a van tells Ruiz that he has company; she sees the team walking towards Ruiz. She tells him to stay where he is. She then drives towards Ruiz and shoots him and drives away. They lost the van. Eric too could not get anything as everything happened too quickly. Callen is upset. They defied a direct order to stand down from Granger and now they have nothing to show for. Hetty tells them to take a case and then she disappears and then Granger is all over them and he too disappears. A lot seems to be missing! Callen thinks he knows where to find the answers.
They tell Nell to open the safe and take out the box as the answers are in that box. At first Nell refuses to do it but then later on she agrees. They take out the box and look at the picture. It appears to be taken about a decade ago, somewhere in the Middle East. In that picture, Hetty is with Potter, Granger and a third man. Looks like Hetty is gone looking for the third guy. Nell tells them that the third guy is Barry Brooks, another CIA. They all know each other from Afghanistan from the 80’s. And then they worked together for the CIA-NCIS task forces. Brooks seems to have had some conflicts with Potter as he accused Potter of embezzling their missions for profits.
Brooks was filing a multimillion dollar lawsuit against Potter asking for his share in the profits from the video game. Potter emailed Hetty asking for advice; this happened the previous day. So, Hetty must have visited Brooks. They go to Brooks’ place and find him dead. There are bloody drag marks on the floor and Brooks has written ‘Nogales Bo’ with his blood. Nogales is a town in Arizona; it is also Spanish for walnuts. But what is BO? It looks like the old man took beatings from a couple of men. Sam then sees a trip wire and pulls a drawer to find explosives in it. This was meant for Hetty. Later, the bomb squad disables the device. The team then brainstorms about what is going on and why is Hetty making it so difficult for them. Callen finds a walnut on Hetty’s table.
He points out that Hetty is allergic to nuts. So what is it doing on her table? He tells Eric to search Hetty’s computer and pull up Hetty’s last search. Eric finds out that her last search was for Casa De Nogales, a safe house that was used for any government organizations that needed it. They go to the safe house. Hetty, Granger and dale Farmer are there. Farmer is CIA and used to be Sam’s recruiting leader. They tell them that after Potter’s death and Brooks being silent, they thought staying at the safe house would be a better idea. Hetty doesn’t know who is after them as they had made a lot of enemies over the years. They tell them about Brooks ‘death. Just then five shooters arrive and open fire; Farmer is hurt. The woman who killed Ruiz is one of them.
The team manages to shoot down all of them and as the woman tries to drive away once again, they get her as well. She tells Callen her name is Fatima Khan. She is about to shot him, when Hetty takes her shot and kills Fatima. Hetty knows Fatima Khan. Her father used to be a cab driver and when she was 12, her father started driving for Noreen Haseeb, a founding member of Al-Qaida. Haseeb had a meeting and Fatima’s father was driving Haseeb to the meeting when the cab exploded.
CIA was behind this explosion. Fatima then became a computer engineer and then she became a part of ISI-CIA task missions. This gave her access to classified files. She had her own agenda of avenging her father’s death. she wasn’t born a killer, they made her one. Later, Granger and Hetty have a drink. Granger tells her that Potter planted the bomb and it was her finger on the detonator. The episode ends.