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K9 + Smugglers + New Recruit Recap

Mac gets out of the shower and finds a woman waiting for him in his kitchen eating his chips. She says that Jack sent her and introduces herself as Desiree Nguyen, and her friends call her Desi. Desi explains that she's been assigned to protect Mac, and informs him that his security sucks. She says that she thought that she'd hate babysitting Mac and his friends, and now she's sure of it. Desi tells Mac that she owes Jack but doesn't say why, and puts a bang sticker on Mac's head and says that he's dead.

Later at Phoenix, Riley complains to Wilt and Leanna that Desi tracked her down at the gym and slapped a bang sticker on her forehead. Wilt and Leanna had similar experiences, and Riley says that she's going to do some digging into Desi's background. Mac comes in, followed by Matty and Desi. Matty formally introduces Desi to the team, and Desi says that Matty follows counter surveillance protocol. She promises to get Matty eventually and Matty accepts the challenge. Desi insists that the team's security is her top priority and gives Riley a flash drive with her file. She knows that it will be an adjustment and says that she's not there to be popular but to keep them safe.

Desi sits down and Matty lets Mac brief the team. He says that his old Army friend Maria Ramirez called him. She's now an ATF field agent, and Maria and her partner Cody have been failing to take down a group of weapon smugglers who are always a step ahead of them. The smugglers are running "ghost guns" with no ID numbers, and Maria has received a report that a shipment is coming in at the docks. Maria wants the team as a backup because she suspects a traitor in the ATF. Mac figures that they can not only stop the operation but smoke out the smuggler, and assures them that Cody isn't working with the smugglers.

While Wilt and Leanna stay with Matty, Mac, Desi, and Riley meet with Maria and her partner: her drug-sniffing dog, Cody. Mac and Maria hug and Mac explains that she trained bomb dogs in Afghanistan. Maria says that Cody is the best dog she's ever worked with, and demonstrates by having him sniff out the guns on Desi. She whistles him back and explains that all they have to do is walk through the terminal and Cody will find the guns.

The group goes into the dock terminal and Riley and Mac discuss Desi. Riley admires her honesty, and Mac wonders what she owes Jack for. She's the first female graduate from Ranger training and has dozens of medals. Desi parkours up some cargo containers to get a vantage point, and Cody sniffs something. He leads them to a cargo container, and inside they find an empty container with gun oil heating up on an oven to draw the dog's attentions.

Smugglers move in and open fire, and Desi jumps down and knocks one out. More come in, and Cody's leash is shot. The dog panics and runs off into the nearby woods, while Maria tries to hold the smugglers off but warns that she can't do it forever. Mac finds a forklift and goes into the oven.

Desi takes out two more smugglers.

Mac has Riley start the forklift, and he takes the gun oil and pours into the forklift gas tank.

One smuggler shoots Riley in the chest with a shotgun.

Mac lights the gun oil and sends the forklift at the smugglers, and it explodes. The smugglers drive off, and the others confirm that Desi was wearing Kevlar and is okay. Mac finds a photo of Cody in one smuggler's discarded jacket and figures that he was the target.

The team head into the woods to find Cody after Wilt and Leanna lose Cody on satellite surveillance. Maria explains that the smugglers will kill Cody because he's interdicted more gun shipments than anyone. She discovers that she lost her dog whistle so they call for Cody. Mac congratulates Desi, who says that he wasn't bad himself with his forklift trick. She says that Jack told her that Mac is the best U.S. government agent and she should never give Mac her phone. Mac wonders why she didn't draw her gun, and Desi says that she doesn't like guns and only carries one because of regulations.

The group continues searching and Riley finds fresh dog tracks. Mac makes a whistle out of a stick and a plastic bag, and Riley takes Desi to look for a plastic bag. Desi figures that Riley has a question, and Riley says that her dossier is incomplete. Desi went AWOL for four days in Afghanistan, and when she got back she was demoted and transferred. Riley wants details so she's sure that Desi doesn't bail on her new team like she did with her old one. Desi explains that her team was working with a local contractor, Ibraham, and his wife Lina took Desi in. one day Lina asked Desi to help find Ibraham, who was taken by militants in front of his family. When Desi put in a request, her superiors said that there weren't sufficient resources so Desi went after Ibrahim on her own. Ibraham has stayed in contact with Desi since she rescued him. They find a plastic bag and Riley assures Desi that she doesn't miss much.

Once they give him the bag, Mac makes a whistle using the bag as a bellows. Cody barks in the distance and they follow the sound. The group find an empty stretch of ground and Cody's paw prints, and tire tracks indicating that someone took him and drove off.

Wilt is unable to identify the tire track but it's too commonly used. Mac comes up with a plan to find Cody. Desi tells him to tell them what they need, and Mac says that he needs an older car that he can hotwire and has a sunroof. He plans to use Cody's implanted chip to find the dog. Maria knows about how they have to activate the chip with a RFID detector, and Mac needs the parts from a truck and an AM radio antenna to broadcast a RFID signal powerful enough to activate the chip. They buy air time at a local station, and they'll activate every RFID tag within a hundred miles.

The team drives through the local suburbs with the antenna on the stolen truck, identifying every dog that they pass by its chip. Riley filters out all signals that don't match Cody's info, and as Desi drives Riley apologizes to her for doubting her earlier. Desi says that she was right to check her out, and refuses to explain why she owes Jack.

Riley gets a hit on Cody's chip and Desi speeds to the location. They approach the house and hear Cody barking. Desi and Maria go in, guns drawn, and find a little girl dressing up Cody as her parents look on. They explain that the dog belongs to the ATF, and the father says that Cody ran up to him and says that he couldn't leave the dog out. The father tells them that they put a post online and they got an email from someone claiming to be the owner. The smugglers pull up outside and more come up the past. Desi confirms that they're different guys, and Desi greets them posing as the mother. She invites the two lead smugglers in and says that they put the dog in the tub, while Maris sneaks out the back with Cody and the family.

Cody notices a family photo and Riley sneaks over and turns it down while Desi distracts the smugglers by offering them water. Riley brings hair dryers to Mac, who rigs a device to interfere with the electric charge. Meanwhile, Desi knocks on the bathroom door.

Riley and Mac climb out the window and sneak over to where the other smugglers are waiting in their two vehicles. They attach the devices to the cars/

Desi opens the bathroom door and looks in, and the two smugglers shove their way in. Desi knocks them out, and Maria drives away in the family SUVs. The smugglers are unable to start their vehicles, and they get out. Desi tosses the smugglers in the house out the window, and Riley and Mac tackle the others from behind. Riley takes one down with a sleeper hold, and Maria reveals over the radio that the remaining smugglers captured her. Mac, Desi, and Riley run over just in time to see the smugglers escape with Maria and Cody. They call Matty, who wonders why they took Cody instead of killing him. Riley traces the email the smugglers sent and locates where they are.

The trio drive to a building and Mac peers in the vent. The smugglers are vacuum-wrapping guns but there's no sign of Maria and Cody. More smugglers bring Maria and Cody in and tell Maria to have Cody sniff out the guns. He can't because of the airtight plastic wrapping, and they realize that they could bring anything into the country if they can fool Cody.

The smugglers grab Cody and beat Maria, and prepare to shoot her. Cody breaks his leash and charges the smugglers, and one of them accidentally shoots a fuel tank. It explodes and the leader runs off, and Cody goes after him. Mac realizes that fire and rescue won't make it before the warehouse blows up, and goes in. He finds Maria, who says that she has to find Cody. They hear gunshots and Cody barking, and Desi follows the sound.

The lead smuggler tries to climb out a window, and Cody grabs him. Desi arrives and knocks him away, and the rafters come down. The smugglers get out the window, and Desi carries Cody out. Mac and Riley get Maria out, and Mac goes back in for Desi and Cody. He finds them surrounded by flames, and he makes fire-fighting foam out of baking soda, liquid soap, and vinegar that he finds, then uses a hose and pump to put out the flames and make a path for Desi and Cody to escape with Mac.

That night at Mac's house, the group gets together with Maria and Cody. They sit around the empty fire pit, and Mac says that the Phoenix tac team rounded up the smugglers and confiscated the guns. The smugglers gave up the turncoat ATF agent, and Maria thanks them for their help. Wilt and Cody get along, and he suggests to Leanna that they get one of their own. Desi arrives late with replacement and says that Jack made her promise to come to at least one of them. She then says that she saw them and leaves, and tells Mac that she isn't into the whole debrief thing. Mac suggests that she has one beer and they celebrate after a mission. Desi tells him that it's hard enough to bury coworkers and it's harder when they're her friends. Mac points out that it took effort to find the chips, and Desi leaves. He tells the others that it's going to be interesting how the situation develops with Desi, and they share a toast to Cody.

As Desi leaves she spots a wrench on the floor. When she kneels to pick it up, Desi slaps a bang sticker on her head, tells her that she's going to have to up her game if she's working for Phoenix, and leaves.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 16, 2019

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