Tag Archives: Eric Christian Olsen

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

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

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

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

S07E24 Talion

It had been teased by showrunner Shane Brennan last September, that the finale would see Sam’s family in jeopardy.  Sam’s only known enemy is Tahir Khaled who returned earlier this season in “Revenge Deferred”; his escape neatly setting up his imminent return in “Talion”.    Talion’ law is an old Babylonion principle along the lines of ‘an eye for an eye’ ‘a tooth for a tooth’, and therefore Tahir is not only out for revenge but has come to LA to destroy Sam’s family, as he perceives Sam has destroyed his. Continue reading

S07E20 Seoul Man

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After last week’s intense and immensely enjoyable The Seventh Child, any episode was going to struggle, but Seoul Man manages to hold its own with a light-hearted case, a standalone episode that showcases the team when Hetty assigns them to protection detail.  A South Korean Fleet Commander is in town and NCIS has been asked to assist in protecting him, an order which has Callen questioning why (he’s not done that for a while), and Deeks asking if he can have a cuff mic to go with his swish undercover suit.  But all is not as it seems and soon the team realise there is a mole in the South Korean team, a point which prompts Callen to again challenge Hetty; has she assigned them the case to flush out the mole?  Continue reading

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

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