Tag Archives: Review

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

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

S08E15 Payback

The mole storyline has been ongoing for three seasons now but just as it starts to reach a crescendo, US TV scheduling meant the third and final part of the arc to flesh out the mole did not air – for three weeks.  There was also a two week delay between parts one and two which has caused some of the intensity to be lost.  There would have been a good argument for NCISLA to have had a mid season break (a la Arrow and Blindspot), which at least would have allowed the  momentum to build and viewers to know where they stood each week.  Regardless, the disjointed build up was soon forgotten as Payback picked up exactly where Under Siege left off, with Kensi about to lose her leg. 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 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

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

S07E23 Where There’s Smoke

‘Where There’s Smoke…’  is an episode which has whetted the appetite of many a fan girl (and maybe some guys).  Yes it’s the one where Sam and Callen go undercover as firemen, much to the chagrin of Deeks, who fancies himself as Mr November.  And even Nell shares that common fantasy, sighing at the screen in ops each time a fireman appears. Continue reading

S07E22 Granger, O

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

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane is an intense drama that covers a multitude of genres, including drama, thriller, comedy, horror and science fiction.  The film opens with a young woman, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) contemplating ending a relationship.  She then leaves her engagement ring and keys in the apartment and drives in solitude down long and winding country roads.  The music is loud and almost overbearing with little natural background noise and with no words spoken.  Her ringing cell phone and fiance’s voice are the first real sounds heard.  Michelle has run away after a minor argument (a sure indication of an abused childhood).  Shortly after, the sudden loud noise of a car crash shocks the audience out of their reverie of a broken relationship and Michelle wakes up, handcuffed and in a basement – a drip attached to her arm and a splint on her knee. Continue reading