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
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
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