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Sam's Biggest Mistake Ever On NCIS: Los Angeles

Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) is the fiery but experienced and collected center of gravity around which "NCIS: Los Angeles" revolves. After twelve seasons on the beat, Sam has suffered some serious losses (including the death of his CIA agent wife). Sam himself might state that his biggest mistake takes place in "Uncaged," where his wife Michelle (Aunjanue Ellis) is kidnapped and subsequently executed when the team fails to trade her life for that of a dangerous criminal being held in custody. Sam has since — with the help of his team and family — tried to get on with his life, and succeeds in remaining a lynchpin of his team and a caring though strict father to his kids, Kamran, called "Kam" (Kayla Smith) and Aiden (Tye White).

But Sam has made bigger mistakes during his time on the show, and the one we're set to talk about today took place in a fairly recent episode. This one also involves an error that Sam made involving his family. What do we think his worst mistake ever was?

Sam's overly-strict parenting ends up making his life harder

During Episode 10 of Season 12, "The Frogman's Daughter," Sam's daughter Kam is kidnapped after organizing and participating in multiple protests in the area by an unknown person who's looking to stop her activism dead in its tracks. Sam must go scorched earth to keep his daughter from being murdered by her mysterious assailants.

It all feels like a horrible flashback to Michelle's murder, but in this case Sam's family has been subjected to a wholly avoidable trauma. It turns out that Kam is keeping multiple secrets from her father — the fact that she's got a boyfriend, and the fact that she's been leading Students for Humanity protests on her campus. Kam had in fact been in the process of walking to Sam's house to tell him the truth when she's kidnapped and placed in a defunct jail alongside her fellow high-profile protesters. 

Sam has always been portrayed as a strict though caring dad, doling out "Hanna house rules" to his kids to keep them in line. But in this case, if Kam had felt free to be truthful with Sam about the fact that she's growing up and has an interest in activism, a lot of time might have been saved during the investigation. Kam might not have been subjected to physical and psychological torture. All of this happens because she feels the need to lie to Sam.

It's impossible to argue that Sam's a bad parent — his kids have turned out well and they love him. But even though Kam survives the day and subsequently insists on attending the protest in spite of the danger, one can't ignore the fact that Sam's strictness has added a few emotional scars to Kam's psyche, making it a big mistake.