S08E05 Ghost Gun

Ghost Gun had the daunting task of interweaving three plot lines within a forty three minute episode.  There is the continuing story line of Kensi, the usual case of the week and the search for the mole starts in earnest.  This week, the team investigates a Navy machinist’s rooftop murder, leading them to a custom auto parts fabricator shop which is a front for the manufacture of ‘ghost guns’.  Already one delight of this episode is that NCIS investigates a murder that is connected to the Navy, something which the Los Angeles team seldom do.  The flip side is a lack of any undercover, something which has been missing from recent episodes.  To a certain extent this is understandable, as to establish an undercover alias would mean dedicating a large portion of the episode to case, resulting in less team time (and mole time) and less (if any) screen time for Kensi.

The team needs to split, to enable three simultaneous stories to develop and that also allows character development through new and changing dynamics.  Hetty sends Deeks to Kensi’s bedside, sends Sam to interrogate the season six mole, Carl Brown, and invites Anna Kolcheck to partner up with Callen.  vlcsnap-2016-10-25-21h23m22s729Granger and Nell also partner up in the field.  Eric remains focused in ops.  As usual Granger has the best lines, confirming that Nell’s first name is “Special”, in response to an admirer’s question, and whacking a running suspect with a bicycle wheel, stating he prefers a bat. Anna Kolcheck has moved to LA having applied to the ATF, supported by recommendations from Hetty and her former Chicago PD boss.  This allows a little focus on Callen’s personal life and as usual, he doesn’t give much away.  Anna’s question to Callen, if her working part time with NCIS is weird, implies they do have some sort of relationship, supported by the ease of their conversation.

Callen says it’s not weird and Anna pushes him to say how he feels.  His answer, that he is happy she moved to LA, is said without his usual sarcastic lilt, so is this truth, a lie or uncertainty?  Or maybe just frustration that he’s had to admit his feelings to her.

Already a week has eaten in to Hetty’s deadline and the starting point of her mole investigation is Carl Brown.  Sam surely has to be the only person not potentially under suspicion, as the mole obtained information that directly targeted his family.  Face to face, he quizzes Carl in a quiet and controlled manner, correctly guessing that he turned traitor for love.  In the opening scenes Sam tells Callen he enjoys spear fishing without a tank so he can learn to control his emotions, his breathing…This practice of self control pays off when Carl openly admits his son was attacked simply because Sam is his father.  Although the interrogation was not as clever as in last season’s The Long Goodbye, Sam again employs psychological tactics.  Eventually the blunt truth of a bounty on his head forces Carl to reveal the name of the woman who employed him – Natalie Grant.  Hetty and Sam now have a name to take the next step in the investigations.

The drama of Kensi’s coma continues from last week, where she subconsciously obeyed Hetty’s order to squeeze her hand.  Deeks’ mum Roberta has also witnessed this, as well as Kensi opening her eyes and trying to speak, and she calls her son, blatantly exaggerating her prognosis.  This is a real eye opener in to the character of Mrs Deeks.  She outwardly appears strong but she is clearly over compensating and cannot cope well in times of stress.   vlcsnap-2016-10-25-21h21m45s522She turns to smoking, makes inappropriate comments (e.g. about men not being nurses) and is generally living by her own rules, regardless of others (persisting in using a mobile in the hospital).  This begins to explains Deeks’ character, how his mouth often runs away from him and he can at times make improper comments under the guise of a joke.  His mother however, goes to the extreme.  Her inability to cope and her defence mechanisms could either be residual guilt she could not protect her son or that her husband’s brutality has made her unable to cope in times of emotional stress.

Deeks is unable to talk seriously to his mother, with her behaving childishly and would rather stay at work than visit Kensi and witness her awakening.  Instead he turns to Hetty and opens up, revealing his deepest fears that he won’t be strong enough to support Kensi.  In direct contrast to his mother, Hetty remains calm, instilling self belief and confidence into Deeks, and sending him to be with Kensi.  vlcsnap-2016-10-25-21h19m48s421He is rewarded in the closing scenes with Kensi waking from her coma and seeming to recognise him (so hopefully no amnesia subplot).  Despite encouragement, she is unable to move her left hand, and the expressions in her eyes convey how clearly she understands the implications.  Kensi is partially paralysed and the tear that runs down her face confirms they both know there is a long road ahead.

Music video director Benny Boom directs his first NCISLA episode and as well as conforming to the show’s established look, also provides his own flamboyant touches.  Particularly noticeable was the stunning three hundred and sixty degree camera movement around a walking, talking Sam and Callen on the roof top.  And veteran writer Kyle Harimoto has turned in a solid script, greatly improving on last week’s episode.  The intertwining of three plot lines worked although the case would always be secondary to the mole, and Kensi/Deeks.  It was great to hear that Sam and Callen visited Kensi, and that she has now emerged from the coma shows an understanding of how impatient viewers are.  For a crime procedural, it would be extremely boring to have Kensi comatose for too many episodes.    This contrasts with the convoluted and drawn out  mole plot.  Last season there were brief references, more obvious ramifications for Sam and periods of nothingness.  It can only be the DOD investigation into the Office of Special Projects that prompted a hit on Carl Brown, and Hetty’s self-imposed deadline now means this WILL end.  But like Kensi’s recovery, it is a work in progress.

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7 thoughts on “S08E05 Ghost Gun

  1. robin1028

    so great to see Kensi coming out of her coma, loved seeing anna, she will be an excellent addition (hopefully she will be) the show seemed to get back some of what your followers loved about the show for the 1st 7 amazing years, and again nell does not bode well as a agent not beleivable at all, its actually commical and somehow I don’t beleive that is what the writer is going for, get her back to opps that is were she does well

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  2. skippy

    Wow, what a great review. So well written. Thank you.
    You covered all my thoughts about it. Just one thing I would like to add. In this episode the Densi srory took more than 10 minutes. I just hope that the producers will reduce this big time because there won’t be much time in the next episodes to show a case which really makes sense and is intriguing. And not much time for other character developments if this would be all about Densi. I would love to see Kensis development due to the injury but that doesn’t need 10 minutes or even more.

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  3. monty

    Is beautiful and fun to have different ideas: I hope for amnesia subplot.
    Expressions in Kensi eyes? Really? Ms. Ruah can not act; I in his (beautiful) eyes did not see anything.
    Now we have discovered the reason why we have not met Ms. Deeks in all these years.
    Mum, no; Hetty, yep. Shame on you, Martin, are you a man or a child? Need you mom hold your hand? Shaggy, you’re a whining!
    Stop the deadly bore. I want MartyParty!
    The mole? Yet? This NCIS office is not very good! No, no.
    Ciao da Roma, Italia.
    Monty

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  4. Linda Wigington

    Thanks very much for your excellent review. I basically agree with your thoughts but I have just a couple of things to say. To me the whole show, all three plots felt very controlled. No real over the top banter between Sam and Callen for example. Granger and Nell together also felt muted but I enjoyed their partnership. I also was happy to see Anna back with Callen. He was quite different with her than with Sam. It was different hearing him discuss with her where she should live. A very normal discussion! The scene with Kensi and Deeks was also controlled. We all know how hard this is going to be for Kensi to accept. I did think that you could see the anguish in her eyes. Deek’s mother was manic. I didn’t find her behaviour attractive at all. You can see how Deeks is the way he is. The best part for me was the scene between Sam and Carl Brown. Very controlled and menacing. Sam was terrific! He got a name but who is she? I would like to know why this was not done a long time ago if they were seriously trying to find the mole. Great episode!

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    1. robin1028

      I agree with most of your observation, Exception Nell out in the field with Granger its a joke at best, she is totally unbeleivable when she runs in those make beleive tiny baby step’s for one,hopefully they will keep her in ops where we can tolerate her a little better, There are 10-12 of us in our neighborhood that always watch NCIS LA together at my house, and when ever there is a scene with her everyone just laughs or we all get something to eat until she is of screen,
      Bringing Anna back great move, your correct about Deeks Mom, who would do and say what she did, horrible plot, ,Callen by far outshines everyone, no phony no matter what script they throw at him,I have seen him in a couple of movies and I have to say that young man has talent he not only stars he makes the rest of the team better, no jealousy, no I am the greatest attitude,totally and thankfully completly different then his partner, we all agree he reminds us of Mark Harmon on the 1st NCIS and that has held the number one spot for a very long time and is still loved by all there Fans, Kensi absolutely needs to come back as Deeks partner the 2 together, Great..little bid of humor,compassion, don’t try to out shine each other or others,
      they bring a lot to the show, Sam has his moments though they be seldom, he definitly is not all that which he truly believes he is, and the licking and twitching his lips/mouth when he is in the presence of women, or slamming his fist and kicking doors when not called for, he is not scoring a winning touch down,the rest of the charactors acting skills far out weight his, Also,
      sorry but he is a far cry from a Seal I have a husband and 2 brothers that were actual seals 8 to 12 years each, and they do not find Sams action’s and mannerisum very amussing at all. the writers need to tune him down a bit, we are all aware that in the last decade or more we have been honered and protected by many many great Seals, Sorry, Sams attitude no no no, kind of is a slap in the face for actual Seals, Real True Seals, they never use that to there advantages or brag about it, you really never hear that come out of there mouths and I can tell you personally they all have a chest full of medals and walls and desk ful of accomadations
      We all love the show and its rarly that a new TV series comes out and except for one or 2 actors the show receives great reveiws and goes into its 8th season, find yourselve back to the some of the previous season’s… we all waited with antcipation on Callen finding his Father and you guys did not dissappoint, it was in the top 100% of all the shows, everyone loved it, Callen was spectaclar , so very beleivable, Now when do we get to see Callen and his Father getting to know each other,?? and Kinsi and Deeks wedding??

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  5. hoopsdiva

    Lovely review. I have to admit I did a double take when you said that Deeks would rather be at work than with Kensi to witness her awakening. After all, the minute Hetty gives him permission to leave, he is out the door and thanking her as he goes. To me, it’s clear that he wants to be there for her once she’s awake and there’s something he can actually do to help (even while his self doubt is making him question his capacity to help.). And if he uses up all his time off before she’s awake, he won’t be able to take time away from work to do that. I’m kind of chuckling at the difference in the way people see this from across the ocean: I think most if not all Americans understand that you have to hoard your time off carefully because you don’t get much of it. Also, in most states, you are entitled to time off to care for a sick relative, but a fiancee is not considered a relative. So as much as Deeks wants to be there when Kensi wakes up, he knows he has to sacrifice now to be with her later.

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    1. I Am Me Post author

      Hi hoopsdiva, I meant that Deeks would rather be at work that with his mother, at the hospital, plus the doubts circling in his mind. His talk with Hetty gave him the boost he needed to go back and with a better frame of mind too.
      PS – time of for a sick relative (or not) would be the same here in the UK too!

      Many thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

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