Season 4: Episode 3 - The Fifth Man
Posted on Oct 10, 2012 12:00am

Four seemingly unrelated individuals are killed in a controlled bombing at a restaurant in Pasadena. The NCIS: Los Angeles team gets involved when it is revealed that all four men were participants in Operation: Wide Awake, an experimental strategy game being developed by the Office of Naval Intelligence. Callen and Sam discuss the project with Dr. Olive Mathers, the project manager, who informs them that a fifth player named Mike Hoffman was involved with this particular subject group, but he was not at the diner. Kensi and Deeks go to investigate at Hoffman's apartment and discover a dead hitman, along with a teenage girl covered with blood who flees the scene. It appears that someone is out to kill all of the people associated with Operation: Wide Awake. Hetty has Nell play through the Operation: Wide Awake program to learn more about it, but Nell determines that the program itself is flawed and does not work. When the team finally tracks down Hoffman, he informs them that he was never involved with the project, but it sounds like something his teenage daughter, Astrid, would like. Eventually, the team learns that Astrid, a high functioning autistic, played the game under her father’s name. She informed Dr. Mathers that his program was flawed, but he didn’t want to lose out on the money he could earn from it and he set out to kill all of the participants. They track Mathers down and arrest him before he manages to catch Astrid.