NCIS:LA is called in when two U.S Marines are kidnapped and one murdered along the U.S-Mexico border. The team initially believes drug cartels are involved so Sam risks using a no longer viable cover to meet a former contact, Memo, who may have info on the missing Marines. Sam knows the Marines don't have much time but Memo isn't cooperating. Callen photographs a limo leaving Memo's shop which leads them to a distingushed businessman, Donald Wexler. Wexler tells them he has been paying off Memo for protection against the drug cartels; says it is the price you pay for doing business across the border. Meanwhile, Kensi and Deeks are in the desert following the SUV tracks that lead away from the scene. They are tracking for hours, with Kensi leading a reluctant Deeks through the desert, when the tracks lead to a desert compound. Kensi spots the two missing Marines being hustled into a waiting plane and knows that if they get on that plane they will never see them again. She calls it their coordinates then Kensi and Deeks move in to rescue the Marines. Deeks creates a diversion and Kensi pulls the Marines to cover but they are trapped unless they can get to that SUV. Callen, Sam and the Marines arrive in time to take out the kidnappers. The kidnappers were not drug cartel members but mercs that were hired by Wexler. Wexler thought if he could frame the drug cartels for the attack on the U.S Marines, the U.S military would then get involved in taking out the cartel. In turn, this would mean better business for Wexler across the border.
Kensi and Deeks spend a lot of time together in the desert. Both open up about their relationships with their fathers and learn to work together as a team.