NCIS: Los Angeles

Season 1 Episode 5


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 20, 2009 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
243 votes
  • Director Vance tracks an assassin from his past.

    This was a good start to a crossover episode between the two NCIS shows When a man is killed by a dangerous assassin who Vance has been tracking for twenty years he makes sure he gets to LA to stop her It was also good to see Abby in this episode when she is phoned to help NCIS LA However with the help of so many people Kai was able to escape but not without taking a shot and there is only one place this storyline is heading Maybe the original NCIS team can help Vance catch Kai.
  • I wanted to give this 6, and in many ways it deserved it but for the one flaw...

    In many ways this was a typical NCIS style episode, which means it was good. It was fast-paced, with some nice banter between Callen & Sam, good vignettes by Rocky Carroll as Director Vance (or, as we learned in NCIS itself, the man who may have been masquerading as Vance for several decades), some sharp scenes from Hetty and good work from the other characters - Eric, Kensie, Dominic, etc. There was a small but decent red herring in that the killer of the business partner wasn't who everyone thought, and we got character development in that Kensie is revealed to be able to lip-read. Unfortunately, I couldn't give it more stars because Vance said the assassin was a fanatical North Korean "who hasn't been home in 3 decades". 3 decades is 30 years and I'm sorry, she was patently too young. Unless her character was despatched as a literal child killer by Kim Il Jong, her character had to be at least 46 years old as we were supposed to believe her to be a contemporary of Vance. If he's said, "a decade," that would have been perfectly plausible, or even "two decades" - still believable if pushing it. But no way was she old enough to have spent 30 years living hand-to-mouth on the run across the entire planet. I know this is my soapbox a bit, but whether you a writing a novel a play or you're a scriptwriter for a TV show, you have to make your characters realistic according to the 'universe' in which they inhabit. There are great actresses that can play that age role - Mary Steenbergen in Back to the Future III was perfect casting - Susan Sarandon, Sigourney Weaver, Meryl Streep, etc, etc. NCIS is a good show, but Shane Brennan needs to keep his eye on things like this, which let down a fairly good episode. For example, rumour has it Pauley Perrette will guest-star and be kidnapped. Since we all know that LJ Gibbs will move the stars in their courses to protect his Gothic Girl, does that mean Mark Harmon will also guest-star - it would completely wreck plausibility for Callen and Sam to make the save and Gibbs (not to mention the rest of Abbie's friends McGee, Ziva, etc) not to turn up because he got stuck at Dulles airport. You have to make sure the writing is completely believable within the scenario you are creating - it's why shows like Stargate and Supernatural and Bones are so good, because they make it possible that, 'yes this could happen in the real world'.
  • Keep the action up, the comedy down.

    If NCIS: Los Angeles adds more action sequences like we saw tonight, and minimizes the "comedy roundtables" the show would be much better. NCIS is known for its characters often making wisecracks, but this show should be a little different, its a spin-off not a remake. A few good jabs are always welcomed from this TV reviewer, but that should not dominate the show. People tune into NCIS: Los Angeles to see LL Cool J go nuts, chasing down cars, shooting down bad guys, or at the very least that's why I watch. Make that the focus and my scores for this show will improve.
  • Finally, a real NCIS episode.

    Just when I was starting to fear that this show wasn't really about an NCIS team, but the Navy's answer to Starsky and Hutch, we finally get an episode that makes full use of the whole team.

    Up til now, unlike the original series of NCIS where each member of Gibb's team works independently of one another, to advance the goal of finding the suspect, in NCIS LA each team member's major role was to support Callen and Hanna in their efforts. I was almost going to argue, just call this show Callen and Hanna (hence the Starsky and Hutch reference) and let's have another NCIS spinoff, a series that makes use of the whole team as individual valuable assets.

    Then along came this marvellous episode, where all the members were allowed to shine. Finally! This is what I had been waiting for.

    (Anyway Callen and Hanna couldn't pull off a Starsky and Hutch, nor even a Cagney and Lacey, as I still think they haven't any real chemistry together, to pull it off.)

    Even Operational Psychologist Nate Getz, who has been to date quite underused –expect for the Legends episode- proved his worth. I hope the writers keep it up.

    As well, we finally found out Hetty Lange's role; so she is the team leader. Despite her mysterious past, she is no Special Agent Lara Macy, whom is still sorely missed.

    Now the team needs to get its own Abby and Duckie equivalent, and they'll be all set.

    An enjoyable story. Keep it up.
  • A decent episode, but nowhere near as good as some of the last few.

    I thought that this episode tried a little too hard2 to focus on the comedy aspect and didn't work enough on what could've been a great case.

    I did like the concept to the episode, with a killer from Vance's past, but I don't think it was all that easy to follow and in my opinion, it became quite confusing at several points.

    Moreso, I didn't find myself laughing, unlike the last few episodes, and in that sense, it was a double disappointment.

    I will recommend this episode, mainly because it ties in very closely to an episode of NCIS, and for that purpose, this one needs to be seen first. However, the episode in itself is not the best and I wouldn't recommend it too highly.
  • A foreign national from North Korea is shot and killed on a water craft. Later G and Sam find his business partner bludgeoned to death in their office. Director Vance arrives to persoanlly lead this investigation as a former nemesis is involved.

    Now I thought the premise and the story behind this episode was pretty good. There were some pieces that didn't seem to fit and to be honest my biggest complaint is that the story didn't end. It was sort of left hanging out there without a real resolution.

    I realize we know a lot more and we know who killed who, but we don't really know how all of the situations will be resolved or whether the nemesis is really dead. It's suppose to be a psychological approach to feel that if they never find a body there will never be closure for Director Vance? Also, aren't professional assassins pretty adept at finding resources to patch them up one way or another. The assassin was really the best part of the storyline but we never really saw anything of her substantial. With this setup I think a two part episode with a cliffhanger might have been in order!

    Abby solving the second murder was no surprise. We've seen her doing this for a long time. That story was sort of left hanging as well. I guess we are to suppose that the surviving brother will work with DARPA and the wife will go to jail for murder unless the technology savvy husband can work something out.

    In general I felt the acting was good, the storylines were decent, but the story was incomplete. The only people left without closure were the audience which in this case is the one group you can't afford to leave hanging.

    A real disappointment after a couple of really good episodes and this one had such promise as well. I guess they felt having the cross over was enough to finish off the story to everyone's satisfaction. Thanks for reading...
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