Category Archives: TV Reviews

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S08E13 Hot Water

Hetty’s self-imposed deadline for a successful mole hunt has just expired and Under Secretary of Defence Duggan arrives at NCIS to accept her resignation.  But it seems that the mole is also aware of the deadline as bang on the ninety days, the team is sent in to disarray when Granger, Sam, Deeks and Callen are all arrested by different agencies and for different crimes. Continue reading

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S08E10 Sirens

During the last few episodes, the hunt for the mole has taken a back seat but the chase is on again after an unknown female assailant shoots dead two men masquerading as sheriffs, outside Callen’s house late at night. The scene is set extremely quickly, allowing the episode to focus on the team’s investigations, and it is indeed a team affair.  Sam and Callen work the crime scene, Deeks spends time with Eric in Ops and later partners with Hetty in the field.  Once again Nell is allowed out of Ops, this time to interrogate the ‘original’ mole Carl Brown, something she has apparently done before.  Even Granger pops up with a key piece of information.

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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’.  Continue reading

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S08E03 The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit picks up a day or so from the previous episode. Hetty has sacrificed herself as the mole to safeguard the rest of the team’s jobs and Kensi is still in a coma, having arrived in the States and been successfully operated on.  Even with two of the team out of action, it is business as usual and the others are tasked with investigating the kidnapping of a Muslim by a female Marine. The first thing of note is that this is a proper Marine related case – yes there turns out to be a loose terrorist connection – but the Muslims are not the bad guys, and NCIS is asked by the Marine Corps to investigate. Continue reading

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S8 Premiere: E01 High Value Target & E02 Belly of the Beast

The season 8 premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles was a treat, with the first two episodes merged together to create a two hour movie; an epic adventure that ends in tragedy.  There may have been no cliff hanger at the end of the previous season but there were plenty of threads to be pulled, the main one being the mole, who has been floating around since season six.  That mole may have been captured but there is another at large, one that has infiltrated the Office of Special Projects.  And that is where the opening episodes take us, running in parallel with the team’s investigation in to stolen radioactive material which leads them to Syria and a mission to capture a high value target.  And incidentally this target was in US Naval Intelligence, a Syrian born American national, who betrayed his adoptive country and defected to Syria. Continue reading

Looking Ahead to Season 8

To date there have been very few snippets of information as to what will await fans in September, but one thing is certain – I would like to see a continuation of the quality that season seven brought us.  The character driven episodes are clear winners as they allow for development and emotional engagement.  When the episodes are written well and with a great guest cast, original characters can also be just as rewarding.  The references to older episodes and cases, and the continuation of old, previously unfinished storylines are also a pleasure and very much heightened the enjoyment of season seven.  The balance between the personal and professional lives is currently at about the right level.  Too much of ‘Densi’ at home turns the show into a soap and so far the show has resisted this. Instead of seeing the partners investigate in pairs, team based episodes allow a different level of interactions, as do partner swaps.  Changing the dynamics allows the show to remain fresh, maintains audience interest and hopefully allows new viewers to become fans.

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S07E19 The Seventh Child

Callen and Nadir hugSometimes it is the simplest storylines which are the most rewarding. Without complex plot twists, the narrative can focus on character development, the themes and most importantly, the story itself.  This is the case with The Seventh Child; a child suicide bomber is talked out of blowing himself up.  The pre-opening credit sequence sets the mood and tone for the entire episode. Twin boys decide to run away from the men forcing them to blow themselves up. They inadvertently split up but one twin is hit by a car, his suicide vest instantly detonating.  The FBI call on NCIS as the explosive is Binetex, which the team investigated earlier this season in ‘Unspoken’. Continue reading

S07E17 Revenge Deferred

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Several episodes in season seven have set the foundations for the return of Tahir Khaled, warlord brother of Jada, whom Sam romantically befriended in season three.  Sam tricked her into leaving her home land, and destroyed her dreams when he abandoned her upon arrival to the US; Jada had to testify against Tahir or return home, where her brother would kill her.  In ‘The Long Goodbye’, Jada managed to escape witness protection and returned home, leaving the storyline open for her brother to finally seek revenge upon Sam, hence the title ‘Revenge Deferred’.  Continue reading

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S07E16 Matryoshka Part 2

 

“Matryoshka Part 2” – the episode which promises to reveal Callen’s name.  For the audience, it has been seven years in the making but for G. Callen, it’s been forty odd years – as long as he can remember…

Hetty has sanctioned Sam and Callen to rescue CIA Agent Sharov from the same Russian prison holding Arkady Kolchek, and part two sees the action move to Russia. Yet surprisingly this episode isn’t really about the prison break, even though a reasonable amount of time is devoted to planning the mission; in fact there is very little action at all during the episode. Continue reading

S07E15 Matryoshka Part 1

 

vlcsnap-2016-02-11-21h46m49s721‘Matryoshka’ is the name given to the Russian nesting dolls.  Each time a doll is opened, a smaller one is found inside until an entire family is revealed.  The dolls are an analogy to the mysterious past of Callen.  Every time a secret is revealed, he is a step closer to discovering the truth about himself, his family and the past he cannot remember.  When he does encounter someone with information, they usually die (Eugene Keelson, Alexa Comescu, Hans Schreiber), and during the season six finale, Arkady Kolchek is also removed from his reach.  Arkady is a tantalising link to Callen’s past; he’s met his father. Continue reading