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
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
After the excellent three episodes which opened season 8, the fourth episode Black Market was rather disappointing. The case of the week was not particularly memorable and did not really allow for any character development, with the possible exception of Nell who ventured in to the field as Deeks’ partner again. Instead there were questionable moments with various team members that luckily were balanced out with the B plot of Kensi’s coma and the reactions of different characters. Continue reading
To date there have been very few snippets of information as to what will await fans in September, but one thing is certain – I would like to see a continuation of the quality that season seven brought us. The character driven episodes are clear winners as they allow for development and emotional engagement. When the episodes are written well and with a great guest cast, original characters can also be just as rewarding. The references to older episodes and cases, and the continuation of old, previously unfinished storylines are also a pleasure and very much heightened the enjoyment of season seven. The balance between the personal and professional lives is currently at about the right level. Too much of ‘Densi’ at home turns the show into a soap and so far the show has resisted this. Instead of seeing the partners investigate in pairs, team based episodes allow a different level of interactions, as do partner swaps. Changing the dynamics allows the show to remain fresh, maintains audience interest and hopefully allows new viewers to become fans.
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.
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
Sometimes 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
“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
‘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
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