The episode begins in a morgue in Tijuana, Mexico, where two morgue technicians are having lunch. They get a call and are informed about the arrival of a new body. The guys arrive and the technicians check the form that is handed over to them. They look slightly surprised. They hear some noise coming from one of the containers, and they go to check it. A man, who was hiding in the container, shoots them and walks away with the recently arrived corpse. At the precinct, Sam wants Kensi to babysit his kids on Saturday, since he wants to go to the clipper’s game with Callen. Kensi tells him that she is not good with kids.
Deeks agrees to help Kensi, but she is still reluctant. They label her as a “kid hater”. Eric announces that they have a new case. In Ops, Eric briefs them on Miguel Barbosa, the kingpin of the Barbosa cartel in Tijuana, Mexico. Nell tells them that Barbosa was gunned down in a shootout with the law enforcement, backed by the US Navy and DEA, but Barbosa’s corpse was stolen upon arrival at the morgue. Sam tells them that this is a regular occurrence with the cartels. While watching the video footage from the morgue, Callen figures out that the shooter knew that the corpse was coming in. They also figure out that the shooter was waiting in the container for two hours.
Deeks concludes that the shooter knew that the gunfight was going to happen and Barbosa was going to get killed. Callen thinks that their side has a leak. So, they need to find the leak and track down Barbosa’s body. Eric also tells them that this operation was headed by Agent John Ness, from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). Nell adds that the Tijuana Police have a high value informant, who is an expert on the Barbosa cartel, but they will only release information on him in person, and on their own turf. Callen and Sam decide to talk to Ness, whereas Kensi and Deeks head to Tijuana to talk to the police. At the DEA’s office, Callen and Sam learn that Ness chased Barbosa for ten years, and he also lost a leg.
Sam notices that this session is being recorded, and Callen assures Ness that they do not doubt him. Sam tells Ness that this case is not over until they locate Barbosa’s body. Ness shows them a picture of Barbosa’s dead face, and tells them that it was sent to him from the scene. The duo leaves. Deeks and Kensi are at a bar in Mexico. They meet Officer Sanchez from the Mexican Police Dept. They ask him about the informant, and Sanchez points out at the boy singing on stage. At that moment, Sanchez gets shot. Deeks manages to save Javier, the informant. On their way back, Javier tells them that he wants a lawyer. Deeks and Kensi continue their discussion on kids.
Kensi then tells Javier that he is not going to get a lawyer because “she said so”. Javier says that Kensi is crazy and she reminds him of his mother. Deeks assures Javier that he is absolutely safe with them. At the office, Eric tells Sam and Callen that Javier is a narcocorrida, a cartel singer. They make music that glorifies criminals like Barbosa. Javier was Barbosa’s personal songwriter and performer. It seems that Barbosa’s cartel was having problems because Barbosa’s right hand man, Pedro Moreno, wanted to take over. The men were taking sides and there could have been a civil war, but Barbosa died, and hence the war did not take place.
Callen thinks that Moreno killing Javier, would be the final nail on Barbosa’s coffin and his legacy forever. In the car, Kensi tells Javier that those men didn’t want to kill him. The shooters took shots at Sanchez, her and Deeks. They wanted Javier alive. Next, Callen and Sam go to meet Ness. Ness, offers them macaroni and cheese, but they pass. They tell Ness about the recent findings and ask him for his opinion. Ness, who is having his breakfast, chokes and falls dead on the ground. Sam thinks that Ness was poisoned. Callen orders the security to lock down the facility. Later, Sam tells Callen that there are no leads on Ness’s killer. Hetty arrives and tells the duo that the Secretary of Navy wants an after-action report on Ness’s murder.
Sam decides to go and meet him and tells Callen to go to Kensi and Deeks. In the interrogation room, Javier tells Kensi and Deeks about a song he wrote for Barbosa, he called ‘Resurrection’. Barbosa asked him never to sing that song to anyone because it could ruin a surprise. Callen concludes that Barbosa is alive. Later, Eric shows Callen and Sam the pictures from the shootout, and thinks that Barbosa faked his own death, it was a decoy. Callen thinks that Ness was so obsessed with Barbosa that he got tricked. This is why Barbosa had his body stolen from the morgue, before the officials found out that the dead body was a decoy.
Since stealing bodies from the morgue is a routine with the cartels, no one suspected a foul play. Hetty explains that Barbosa wanted Ness and Moreno to let their guards down, so that he could easily kill them. She says that they must find him soon. In the interrogation room, Kensi and Deeks tell Javier to help them find Barbosa and they could put him in witness protection, but there are no guarantees. They give him some time to think. Hetty is not too happy to use Javier to lure out Barbosa. She thinks that not only will they risk Javier’s life, but this will also put Kensi and Deeks in danger. Callen convinces her that this is their best option.
Later, Javier agrees to help the team. Deeks and Kensi drive down the road to witness protection when they see a silver Range Rover following them. Javier tells them that Barbosa has got people everywhere. Deeks tells Kensi to make a turn, but that road is blocked by a garbage truck. Deeks realizes that this is a trap. A gun fight ensues. Javier gets out of the car and runs. The silver Range Rover arrives and two men shove Javier into the car. They take Javier to Barbosa’s hideout. Javier is shocked to see Barbosa. The NCIS team has placed a button camera on Javier’s shirt. Eric and Hetty watch Barbosa talking to Javier.
Hetty is sure that Barbosa won’t keep Javier alive for long. Nell tracks the location through the camera’s GPS and sends it to Deeks and Kensi. They arrive at the building and they notice several security cameras. Barbosa asks Javier what he told NCIS. Javier says that he did not tell them anything because he himself didn’t know that he (Barbosa) was alive. Barbosa doesn’t believe this. His men beat up Javier. At that moment, Barbosa receives a call from Ness. He is shocked. He looks at the monitor and sees a man walking into the building. He cannot believe his eyes because he himself killed Ness. He threatens Ness that he will kill him again.
Barbosa tells his men to leave Javier and go after Ness. It is seen that the guy who Barbosa saw on the monitor, is Callen. Callen impersonated Ness very well and tricked Barbosa. Callen lures Barbosa’s men to an entire team waiting outside the building. Barbosa is about to shoot Javier when Kensi and Deeks enter the room. They manage to gun down Barbosa with Javier’s help. Javier hugs Kensi and cries. Case closed. Next, Kensi tells Sam that she will babysit his kids, but only if Deeks agrees to help her. Deeks agrees. The episode ends.