Last week’s episode left the team in dire-straights as planted evidence meant the men (bar Eric) were arrested by different agencies and Granger was fighting for his life. The rest were left holding the fort and finally inroads were made to identifying the mole or at least who is behind their security breaches; the CIA. In Under Siege the focus again is on individual predicaments as Hetty deliberately separates herself from her team and then Kensi is kidnapped. There are numerous threads and sub plots and all of it is worthy of attention, from the men in jail to Hetty’s daring plan and Kensi’s ordeal. And that is before tackling why the CIA want to bring down the team. Continue reading
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
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
‘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
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
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
Season seven has been a roller coaster of a ride for all the main characters. Each has been allowed the opportunity to develop a little further and to shine in their own right. There has been no focus on one single character. And true to the show, the best episodes of the season have been the character driven ones such as Citadel, Internal Affairs, The Long Goodbye and The Seventh Child.
Like most NCIS Los Angeles episodes that feature a name in the title, the eponymous “Granger, O” focused on one character; the Assistant Director. Owen Granger first appeared in the season three episode “The Watchers” and was instantly disliked and not trusted by the team. He used them for his own means and investigated Kensi as a possible murderer, even ordering her to be held under house arrest. And in Kill House, he was responsible for Nell being captured by the bad guys. As a result, viewers generally have a love/hate relationship with Granger. Since season four, he has gradually warmed to the team and vice versa, and has even softened slightly since his poisoning last season in Traitor, occasionally showing a slightly more human side to him. Continue reading
Operational psychologist Dr Nate Getz has always been the soft-hearted good guy, and the press release for “Head Of The Snake” promised some high jinks with Nate, along the lines of ‘has he or hasn’t he turned bad’. From season two, Hetty has been cultivating Nate as a field operative, sending him to various corners of the world. He occasionally returns to the LA office to offer counsel, such as after Deeks and Sam’s torture and was last seen in season six, helping Nell after she made her first kill. Nate has also been the butt of Callen’s sometimes cruel jokes; in season four’s Paper Soldiers, he turns Nate’s caring question about his well-being back on him, by asking about how to find someone and how long he should wait before asking that someone out (Callen knowing full well that Nate spent a few years wooing Rose before they actually started dating). Now Nate has failed to check in from his undercover operation for three months, is a bad-ass and nasty, and this really does not sit quite right. But having been missing from the show for a while, anything is possible…
The case of the week began with a simple premise; a prisoner exchange goes wrong. Cuban prisoner Ricardo Pena held in America was to be exchanged for an former US Naval Officer held in Cuba. When Pena escapes the team are called in to investigate and quickly discover that it was Anna Kolchek who sprung him. The case then becomes increasingly complex, with the team challenging why Pena escaped rather than head home to Cuba, why the Department of Justice had two separate records with Pena’s details and why it was imperative that Pena be imprisoned. Eventually Callen and Anna realise Pena is actually a Russian spy who was keen to complete his mission and return to Russia. Continue reading