Core Values is an episode where the title really does have a meaning – in this instance, a dual meaning. In the literal sense, the title refers to the radioactive nuclear core but it also refers to the core values of NCIS, which in essence, is their (nuclear) family.
The case of the week is an investigation into how Marine Gunnery Sergeant Hugh Patterson suffered radiation poisoning, and yes this episode is a rare example of the Los Angeles team actually going back to their roots in the traditional NCIS sense. Patterson was exposed to radiation after moonlighting as a security officer at a decommissioned nuclear power plant. When Sam and Callen get the ‘PR’ tour of the plant, Kensi and Deeks go undercover to find the real story. It turns out that Chief Engineer Leon Chadmont, was extremely bitter about taking a hefty pay cut and also concerned about safety levels, so he decided to fake a nuclear accident to demonstrate his point. Unfortunately, Patterson was patrolling the pool area during the time the cores were exposed. Continue reading →
A challenging day forces Callen to recall his past and revisit one of his better foster homes.
The team’s most recent case had proven to be tough on all of them, including those behind the scenes in the Operations Centre. Marine Intelligence Officer Southerly was suspected of feeding misinformation to his superiors about terrorist activities in Iraq and the case had been assigned to NCIS after the suspicious death of Southerly’s co-worker the previous day. Their first task had been to locate and arrest Southerly, which had proven to be easier said than done. Information on his whereabouts was secured by Nell and Eric, who had advised the team to go tactical at zero seven hundred hours that morning. The raid had yielded no results; there had been no sign of Southerly and no evidence he had ever been present in the leafy suburban house by the beach. Nell had subsequently found a small office space in the name of O’Kiefe, which was his mother’s maiden name, and she directed the team to an address twenty miles west of their current location. Again the raid was fruitless. Continue reading →
It’s been a long time since the last Deeks centric episode. There has been little detail on Deeks’ past, his background or his real character. This may not have been the eponymous “Deeks, M”, however the knowledge that Deeks had been arrested for murder and the question of how he would be freed, set expectations high and gladly, ‘Internal Affairs’ did not disappoint. There is drama and intensity, plot twists and subtleties, with a healthy dose of humour and some terrific acting by Eric Christian Olsen. Continue reading →
‘Defectors’ is the episode rescheduled from last week due to the ISIS terror attacks in France. The story centres around a note found after a car crash, which has the phonetic spelling of Luqman Badr Al Din, an elusive yet charismatic key ISIS member, who’s responsible for youth recruitment and propaganda. The team discover the man killed in the crash was an Uber taxi driver, and one of his passengers from the previous day was Iraqi Jahmir Yacoob, who was Special Forces during Saddam Hussein’s regime. The team turn tactical to assault his house and arrest him, only to find that his eldest daughter Zahra has been reported missing to LAPD. The parents confirm the note found at the crash is written in Zahra’s hand, and that she had access to her father’s Uber account. A photo on display from a recent model agency shoot suggests ISIS are using the studios to recruit girls, and Kensi goes undercover to obtain evidence of their involvement, whilst the team seek the girl and the terrorist. Continue reading →
The atrocious terror attacks in Paris on Friday meant the scheduled episode of NCISLA (“Defectors” – teenage girls recruited by ISIS), was withheld. The teasers had shown Deeks being arrested by LAPD, which led into the following episode “Internal Affairs”, and the re-jigging means both episodes have been pushed back by a week. Instead is “The Long Goodbye”, written by Dave Kalstein and originally scheduled to air after Internal Affairs at the start of December. The beauty of NCISLA being a procedural is there is a mixture of standalone episodes, two-parters, and those which contribute to an overall season arc. “The Long Goodbye” can be viewed on its own, but may well contribute to the Sam-centric finale (as teased by Shane Brennan). Continue reading →
It’s been quite a while since an episode centred around Special Agent Sam Hanna. He’s the most normal character on NCISLA; he has a stable marriage, two children, a former SEAL who takes pride in his morals and work ethics, and is a perfectionist. A real team player. There is no mystery, no challenging childhood, no absent parent, and so Sam centric episodes need to call on external circumstances and characters to question his high moral standards and character judgements. Continue reading →
The story behind why ‘Hetty + Mechanical Bull + Tequila = Bar Fight’.
Set at the karaoke bar, post S01E12 “Past Lives”.
Dusk fell over Los Angeles as the NCIS team from the Office of Special Projects made themselves at home at the karaoke bar on the edge of Venice. The bar was becoming busier by the minute, and the waitress had struggled to manoeuvre their tray of drinks through the crowd without spilling too much.
“Gentlemen,” Hetty said, holding her glass of cognac high and proud in front of her. “And of course, lady…”
Kensi raised her own bottle of beer and tilted her head to one side, acknowledging her boss with a smile and glancing surreptitiously at her male colleagues.
“What are we toasting?” Nate asked with a slight slur. He knew he hadn’t had any more to drink than the rest of the team, but he had a sneaky suspicion that Callen had been furtively spiking his drinks. Continue reading →
“Blame It On Rio” is a standalone episode filmed at the end of season six, and as such, there were no expectations the IA investigation into Deeks or Callen’s search for Arkady would progress, nor would there be any development into who burned Callen and Sam in the previous episode. But the promise of Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo visiting from the NCIS DC headquarters, does guarantee an episode full of fun and shenanigans. Continue reading →
Command and Control was an apt title with a familiar premise, and felt like a mini-movie squeezed in to forty three minutes. The show’s 150th episode opened with a BOOM that set the tone for everything that followed. There is mystery, excitement and a detour from the usual formula, but that is still not enough to make this special or memorable.
The opening scene shows a truck being chased by the police, driving in to a car park. The driver and passenger abandon the vehicle and then shoot the equipment in the back to trigger an explosion. Sam and Callen are seen calmly walking away. Continue reading →
Model Catalina Diaz is the suspected survivor of a Peruvian massacre eighteen years ago, and DNA samples are required to confirm that Presidential candidate General Alfredo Silva was responsible. Silva is aware there is a potential witness, and so Diaz’s life is in danger. Kensi and Deeks go undercover as Catalina’s agent’s assistant and driver respectively, whilst Callen and Sam work with Global War Crimes investigator, Alex Elsmlie, to plug the leak and prevent attempts on Catalina’s life.
The plot summary does not promise or even suggest any movement regarding Deeks and the IA investigation, nor that any tension between Hetty and Callen will be explored. Instead this is a recipe for a fun, filler episode, which does not disappoint at all. The gloriously formulaic structure is utilised to the full, from Sam and Callen’s bromance, to Deeks flirting with Catalina. There is the obligatory gun battle and fist fight, and a slight divergence from the norm with Hetty out in the field, directing the photo shoot. Continue reading →