S08E18 Getaway

The trend of season eight has been to shake up the partnerships, to bring back characters from previous seasons and to allow Nell and Eric the opportunity to develop outside the safety of the ops centre.  Much of this has been due to Daniela Ruah’s pregnancy  and the influence of new showrunner Scott Gemmill, and the result has reinvigorated the show. Getaway not only sees the return of Anna, but also reintroduces NCIS Agent Dave Flynn, last seen in season four’s failed backdoor pilot of NCIS Red.  Dave is now with the Cyber Division in San Diego and Hetty ‘borrows’ him to run ops, which allows Nell and Eric to work together on their first undercover assignment – as a couple.

Such a storyline could have gone one of two ways; it would either be an overwhelming success or embarrassingly awkward.  Luckily it was the former.  The most logical pair to go undercover as a couple is Kensi and Deeks, who naturally leapt at the opportunity.  Their eagerness was shot down by Hetty who reasoned that the wonder twins would be better suited, as they were targeting a married couple with highly technical knowledge, suspected of hacking the US Treasury Department.  The undercover assignment took place at a woodlands couples retreat and bearing in mind Hetty’s reasoning, it was surprising that none of this came in to play.  There was a few ‘geek jokes’ when Nell and Eric introduced themselves to the couple, Tara and Paul Nelson but no other remotely techie conversations.  Kensi and Deeks could easily have been assigned the mission instead of being on overwatch duty.

Writer Erin Broadhurst has treated all the characters in Getaway with respect, particularly the wonder twins.  Gone is most of Eric’s ever increasing oddness and Nell’s superiority and in its place is a genuine revelation of emotions.  As part of the couples retreat event, Eric is asked to tell Nell about the moment he realised he was in love with her.  The scene was reminiscent of S3 Neighbourhood Watch, when an undercover Kensi and Deeks recalled what they were each wearing when they first met.  The recollections elicit real feelings and for Nell and Eric, it is the first step towards taking their relationship further.

The show’s established couple have been reunited in the field for the last few episodes and Kensi and Deeks have immediately slotted back in to the patter of their partnership.  There is banter, jokes, a few innuendos vlcsnap-2017-03-24-16h54m32s928and a conversation about how easily Deeks makes friends, a talent of which Kensi seems envious yet interested in the skills required for this. Together they provide the light relief, listening in to Nell and Eric via comms yet they really have no involvement in the case.  Admittedly they do give chase to the bad guy in their rickety old RV, which has little effect apart from to add some comedy.  Nell and Eric have been fully-blooded in their first undercover mission, and it is Eric who shoots the explosive container on the rear of the bad guy’s vehicle, causing it to explode.

The case itself seems overly complex when vlcsnap-2017-03-24-16h53m49s085Nell and Eric gave their usual briefing to Sam and Callen in Ops, only for this to be repeated in the boatshed by Deeks’ friend, NSA Agent Mike Donaldson, but in a more simplified manner.  That in itself should serve as a reminder to writers that the case should not require repeated explanations, and there also seemed to be a disconnect between the two men dining in an up market restaurant in the opening pre-credits sequence.  With the partners split, Sam was paired with Anna to follow up on leads from the murder.  They encountered the usual bad guys and once again demonstrated that Anna can fight any man just as well as Kensi.

The most interesting aspect to their partnership is how Anna (as does Kensi and sometimes Deeks), turns to Sam for advice and guidance.  This time, she is concerned about Callen who seems to vlcsnap-2017-03-24-17h26m34s865be blowing hot and cold in their relationship.  Sam reassures her that Callen’s furniture purge is in-character, although using the dining set for firewood is odd! The reveal though, could be when Anna asks Sam how he copes.  Sam talks to Michelle who understands exactly what he goes through.  Is there a little foreshadowing here?  After all the mole storyline is not over and Sabatino is still out there.  And once again it has been teased that Sam will be greatly impacted during this season’s finale.

Callen is clearly struggling to cope with the revelation of Joelle’s betrayal and Anna is not the only one worried about his mental health.  The opening bullpen scene has Sam using his replacement Challenger Jennifer as an analogy, as the loss of his former Challenger Charlene was like a gut punch, and Jennifer was in the garage for a year before he got over it.  Callen checks if they’re still talking about the car – subtly is not really Sam’s style. Hetty too is worried and takes a ‘tough love’ approach, sending Callen to an address which turns out to be Joelle’s home, which she shares with her husband and son.  vlcsnap-2017-03-24-17h01m31s297The confrontations with Joelle (aka Beth) are painful and cruel, as Callen realises the depths of her deceit.  Joelle bluntly admits she was married with a three year old child when they were sleeping together and she warns Callen not to show up at her house again, as it makes him look desperate.  In the closing scene Hetty is on the sofa in the bullpen rather than at her desk, allowing for a different perspective.  Hetty’s point is that forcing Callen to  confront Joelle enabled him to view her differently and to cauterise his wounds.  Luckily this wasn’t counterproductive as it could easily have caused Callen to continue rebuilding those walls that Hetty, Sam and Anna have noticed him reconstructing lately.

The change of perspective has not only been for Hetty and Callen but also for Nell and Eric. By forcing them to act as a couple, their relationship seems to have been sealed with the kiss which took place just after Eric shot the bad guy’s car (and with Kensi and Deeks watching).  To reiterate the opening points, the return of characters such as Anna Kolcheck, Dave Flynn and others such as Callen’s father, together with Kensi’s absence from the team and the continual references to past cases, allows for a fresh perspective of the show.  The dynamics of the partnerships fluctuate and the show, whilst maintaining its procedural nature, has become more serialised.  There are still episodes such as this, which work reasonable well on its own for the casual viewer, but season eight does seem to be rewarding the long-term viewer.

What did you think of this episode?  Please leave a comment and air your thoughts and opinions (now I’ve had my say).

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7 thoughts on “S08E18 Getaway

  1. snoopgirlz

    Although I really dislike the pairing of Nell & Eric as couple, I enjoyed their undercover assignment a lot more than I thought I would. I especially liked how you pointed out that Kensi & Deeks could have easily done the assignment. I was waiting for Nell & Eric to get into a ‘heated’ intellectual discussion with another couple but it never happened. Another great review.

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  2. robin1028

    Lame is the only way to describe Get away, Nell and Eric as field agents are so very unbeleivable, that in it self is a embarresment to the show…. Hetty and her little evil ways of pairing Anna with Sam (a horrible part) Throwing Callen into a situation with Joelle, her jealousy of any of the actors having a relationship is clearly demonstrated look what she did to Kensi and Deeks ,,,Callen could just as easily called joelle to ask about Sabatina… and how long is that going to drag out?? for another season or two?
    When are we going to start seeing more of Callens family, when is the light going to be turned on as to who is hiding Sabitino and Sam and Michelle finally confronted with being the double spies that every one is quite sure of,, getting Sam of the show would be in the shows best interest, I think we have all had enough of his holier then thou attitude ,his big mouth and jealousy of Callen and putting Callen down all the time, and his absolutely no comprehension
    of a real Navy Seal, having 3 veteran Seals in the family it is infuriating to see him so blantly say things about the Seal’s and try to make people beleive he knows what Seals are all about!!!!! very Sad,, also are we ever going to have a funeral for Granger?

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  3. EH

    Thanks for your review. I think you’re right on the mark about these changes this season being the result of Gemmill’s leadership. I get the feeling that he’s trying to tie up lots of the loose ends and “harvest” the seeds that Brennan planted throughout the years he was at the helm. Maybe he’s looking to start with a new perspective in season 9.
    I thought the case was okay, but I don’t think it was about the case as much as it was about the characters–again. I get the feeling that this will be true for the remainder of the season. So much has happened that it wouldn’t feel right to have the characters continue as if nothing had changed.
    I thought Kensi’s comment about Deeks being able to make friends so easily was an interesting juxtaposition to Callen–who keeps building and rebuilding walls around himself. The scenes in the RV were cute and they showed their distinct personalities (Deeks wanting to listen to Eric and Kensi not, as well as Deeks’ discomfort in the woods and Kensi’s embrace of them). The mention of Jennifer was a good intro to this episode about relationships, and I liked the conversation between Anna and Sam; he’s the natural one to talk to about Callen being his partner, but the comment about Michelle did seem like foreshadowing. The scene between Joelle and Callen was well done IMO because it was so undramatic; it seems as though he’s finally gotten the answers that he needed to move on. And I loved the scene between Hetty and Callen at the end; I’ve missed those the last few seasons (it seems as though she often had those ending converstaions with Granger, and those were wonderful, too).
    I like both Eric and Nell and don’t mind them as a couple. All the couples seem quite different from one another which makes it bearable having so many. And it was nice to see David again (although I really couldn’t stand the Red episodes).
    Again, thanks for your review. You do so much more than a simple recap.

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  4. susan grabon

    I liked everything except the Joelle expose. I thought it was odd that she would have a two year fling with Callen and still have a husband who didn’t wonder where she was all the time.

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  5. monty

    This episode marks the old 305 (Jennifer) and 322 (remember you?). The plot is very weak; usual is a list of names to be saved. The same old stories!
    Nell and Eric say nothing to me; the Densi are boring as ever; and, as always, Kensi should listen: Shaggy not like camping!
    OSP is no one can replace Nell and Eric. Really? I like Dave Flynn and I am glad he came back. I hope to revisit him in season 9.
    Anna talks to Sam. All right … she does this even though she is not familiar with Sam. I find this very silly and childish.
    Grisha saw the true face of Joelle. He feigns indifference but we know that he suffers still much (Anna says that G burning wood in the fireplace). In the end, Joelle left him a phone number. I find this very interesting.
    The episode is titled “Getaway” but had to call “Red Hair”: Nell, Dave, Joelle, Michael, Hetty and Shaggy … (they have the wrong color tint).
    I love red hair, though …
    Perhaps Anna does not like the public, perhaps like Joelle, maybe Dave is joining the cast. I “see” many maneuvers.
    I want to return to Joelle, scuffle with Anna, Dave in the office, Kensi camping alone and Shaggy killed by Max Gentry. This season 8 has disappointed me so much.
    Ciao.
    Monty
    P.S. Michael… Martin’s secret friend. I love these mysterious things! M.

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  6. Linda Wigington

    Thanks for a very interesting review. I liked this episode very much but for me it wasn’t the old # NCISLA. Maybe it is, as someone said, a way of establishing a new direction for season 9. The case wasn’t particularly interesting and I agree it is more about character. There was humour but little of the Callen/Sam banter which I miss. Deeks and Kensi were hilarious and so really at ease with each other despite their differences. Camping/not camping etc. I did not enjoy the scenes with Eric and Nell. I like them both very much but not out in the field. Once in awhile is fine but they are not believable in my opinion. I don’t care whether they are in a romantic relationship or not. Why is it that everyone must be paired up? I am glad that Callen saw Joelle for what she was. I think he finally realized how ruthless she was. I am glad he burned her furniture and now he is free to move on with Anna. I don’t believe that he will go back to being closed up again. He has come so far. That said, I suspect we will see her again b/c of Sabatino as the ” mole” story is not yet finished. I don’t know what to think about Hetty. She is hard to trust but maybe this time she really felt for Callen and tried to help him get over Joelle. I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.

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