Tag Archives: Chris O’Donnell

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. Continue reading

S08E17 Queen Pin

It seems to be a common trend that whilst Sam is always present and quite often a force to be reckoned with in each episode, he rarely gets a chance to shine.  When he has, his integrity has been called in to question.  Think of the episodes involving Jada Khaled, his former NCIS partner (pre-Callen) and even when he was framed for murder.  Queen Pin is Sam’s turn to demonstrate his undercover skills and importantly, he gets to do that without Callen present and without doubting his honour.    Continue reading

S08E16 Old Tricks

Season 8 has been fairly serious.  Kensi has fought her way back to full fitness, Deeks has struggled at times to support her, Callen was forced to confront the reality of his father’s abandonment and Granger’s deterioration has been heartbreaking.  It was only fitting that after the intensity of the three episode mole arc, that Old Tricks should be heavy with amusement.  It’s such a shame that this fails to live up to its potential, a rarity for writer Andrew Bartels who has created gems such as Allegiance (S5), The Grey Man, Humbug (S6), Angels & Daemon (S7) and this season’s Glasnost, which reunited Callen with his newly found father.  It has frequently been proven that the case becomes irrelevant when the focus is on character development.  But here the case is not particularly interesting, and on the surface at least, is in no way connected to the development of Callen or the exploration of Nell and Eric’s relationship, or even the psychological impact their work. Continue reading

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

S08E12 Kulinda

The case of the week sees the team investigate a private security firm who are under suspicion of being in cohorts with criminal gangs, and Sam is sent undercover as himself, to investigate the security firm, ‘Kulinda’, from the inside.   Continue reading

S08E11 Tidings We Bring

This year’s festive offering centres around the search for a missing Navy Lieutenant who’s been working with the NSA on cyber threats.  The team discover her boyfriend is missing too, and make the connection that she has been kidnapped due to his journalistic involvement with drug cartels.  

The case itself is not particularly memorable; what does make this episode is the discussion of Christmas traditions between the characters, and they are each given their chance to shine.  The notable exception is Assistant Director Granger who is absent throughout. Hetty puts in an appearance at the start and close, bracketing the episode as she and Callen discuss the thirty day countdown to D-day in the mole investigation, and finally by wishing everyone a merry Christmas. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

S08E09 Glasnost

‘Glasnost’ is Russian for openness and famously coined by Gorbachev towards the end of the Cold War in the 1980s to promote a desire for increased transparency in Soviet politics. It is an ironic title choice for an episode pivotal to Callen’s life long quest for answers. Openness is the one thing seriously lacking and there are streams of lies and deceit, for good reasons and bad, that are unravelled as the narrative progresses.

Artem Fedor, arrested as a favour to Pavel Volkoff in return for helping Arkady escape a Russian prison (Matryoshka part 2) wants to exchange information on an assassination, for a transfer to a minimum security prison.  Fedor was hired to track down Russian Katerina Polumin, who now goes by the name of Mary Reynolds.  Katerina was poisoned four days earlier and as Deeks and Eric interrogate Artem in prison, Sam and Callen visit Katerina in hospital, an encounter that later leads to the discovery of Callen’s father Garrison in her room, having killed a would be assailant.   Continue reading

S08E08 Parallel Resistors

The high standard of episodes in season eight continues with Parallel Resistors, where the case of the week concerns the safety of national security, after a graduate student working on a classified navy project is electrocuted.  The investigation is dealt with in an intelligent and interesting manner, full of twists, but it is the underlying theme of family and the intriguing child guest character (superbly acted by Shree Crooks) which really lifts this episode.  Kensi is finally making progress, demonstrating the well thought out sub plot and the timing of each phase of her recovery, which is so much better than the white ghost story line from season five, which was so far removed from the agents in Los Angeles, there was little investment until the team had to rescue her. Continue reading

S08E08 Crazy Train

NCIS Los Angeles is an office that specialises in undercover work and it’s been a while since any of the team have been on assignment.  Recent cases have focused on the investigative side but watching various team members adopt different personas differentiates this show from the mothership.  Episode writer Frank Military (Spoils of War, Rage, The Seventh Child, An Unlocked Mind) has set the bar high for dark, character driven episodes and once again, he does not disappoint.  NSA Analyst Gary Dill has gone missing whilst investigating an ISIS cell who’s using a Mexican drug cartel to infiltrate the US.  Using information from two fellow analysts, the team believe Dill may have been committed to a mental health hospital under the name of Noah Leipzig, and Callen is sent undercover as a fellow patient to make contact.   Continue reading