Tag Archives: Review

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

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

S07E18 Exchange Rate

vlcsnap-2016-03-16-18h02m38s998The 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

S07E17 Revenge Deferred

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Several episodes in season seven have set the foundations for the return of Tahir Khaled, warlord brother of Jada, whom Sam romantically befriended in season three.  Sam tricked her into leaving her home land, and destroyed her dreams when he abandoned her upon arrival to the US; Jada had to testify against Tahir or return home, where her brother would kill her.  In ‘The Long Goodbye’, Jada managed to escape witness protection and returned home, leaving the storyline open for her brother to finally seek revenge upon Sam, hence the title ‘Revenge Deferred’.  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

S07E15 Matryoshka Part 1

 

vlcsnap-2016-02-11-21h46m49s721‘Matryoshka’ is the name given to the Russian nesting dolls.  Each time a doll is opened, a smaller one is found inside until an entire family is revealed.  The dolls are an analogy to the mysterious past of Callen.  Every time a secret is revealed, he is a step closer to discovering the truth about himself, his family and the past he cannot remember.  When he does encounter someone with information, they usually die (Eugene Keelson, Alexa Comescu, Hans Schreiber), and during the season six finale, Arkady Kolchek is also removed from his reach.  Arkady is a tantalising link to Callen’s past; he’s met his father. Continue reading

S07E14 Come Back

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Last week’s episode focused on Callen’s character, but this week the attention is clearly on Kensi, with Deeks also under scrutiny.  Kensi’s back story has been explored during earlier seasons; investigations into her father’s death led Kensi to be accused of murder and to the subsequent reconciliation with her estranged mother.  Kensi’s spell of living on the streets as a teenager was also touched on in last season’s ‘The Grey Man’.  She was previously engaged to a marine named Jack who suffered with PTSD and left her on Christmas day.  Hetty used this to her advantage when she sent Kensi to Afghanistan on the ‘white ghost’ mission.  She knew that when Kensi found and recognised Jack, she would not be able to pull the trigger, and would instead investigate.  But Kensi deliberately allowed herself to be captured and found Jack was also being held hostage (and that he had found peace in himself and moved on). Continue reading

S07E13 Angels & Daemons

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Angels & Daemons is another strong standalone episode from the solid combination of Andrew Bartel’s writing, and James Hanlon’s direction.  The pair have previously collaborated to bring us the important character based episode, The Grey Man (S6) and earlier this season, Driving Miss Diaz.  Bartels’ episodes may not (yet) form part of the season’s arc, however they do provide amusement (S5 Allegiance) and key insights to the main characters (also think S6 Humbug and Fighting Shadows). Continue reading

S07E12 Core Values

vlcsnap-2016-01-08-21h20m33s976Core 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