If you're a car guy, or girl, last night's NCIS: Los Angeles was right up your alley. If you're not, fortunately, there was still plenty of lighter fare to keep you entertained.
As we talked about in our NCIS review earlier, sometimes it's best when the mystery only comprises a portion of the episode, allowing the characters to carry the rest.
This was certainly true Tuesday on NCIS: LA, and hopefully is a sign of things to come. Check out our recap for the basic plot, then read our review of "Full Throttle" ...
The team investigates the death of James Rush, a young Naval officer killed when his car suddenly explodes in an apparent sabotage attempt during an illegal street race.
RACING TO THE SCENE: Kensi and Callen are on the case.
However, we learn that the suspected rival was Rush’s girlfriend, who raced under a male persona. Suspicious, sure, but she's shattered financially as well as emotionally.
Uncertain that the sister fits the bill, Kensi and Sam happen upon a real clue, discovering Rush had stolen two advanced lithium-ion battery systems from his military unit.
He had been working on a top secret power-boosting device and “borrowed” the equipment to test it, with a second device missing and a new wrinkle thrown into the case.
Not only is there a murder to solve, but boosted equipment to recover.
In the end, it was a bit surprising to learn that Rush’s death was indeed caused by his younger sister, who just wanted him to stop racing and tragically caused it by mistake.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, though, and whatever she did to his car reacted badly with the classified battery. Her confession was both moving and tragic.
While we weren't super into the street racing element or details therein, the NCIS: Los Angeles cast chemistry and the episode's structure were both at their best last night.
Also a nice change of pace was Callen having to complete two days of traffic school after running a red light. Kensi, a car buff, thus got to work much of the case with Sam.
Callen’s scenes at traffic school featured some nice comic relief, mostly in the form of Chris O'Donnell's facial expressions. Sometimes, less is more, and so little says so much.
Between that and Hettie cruising on Eric's segway at the end, it was encouraging to see these lighter elements intertwine with the main plot details. Very NCIS-esque that way.
It was especially nice to help balance out an episode that wasn't quite up there with "Chinatown," "The Bank Job," or "Missing" in terms of intrigue and edge-of-your-seat action.
Well done all around, NCIS: LA. Can't wait for next week.