NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Find My Car, Eric!

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This week's episode of NCIS: Los Angeles found the team scrambling, on edge and searching far and wide for Sam's car. And a link between a Mexican drug cartel and Al Qaeda, of course.

While not as compelling as the search for Gibbs' ideal woman on NCIS, Sam's missing prize possession offered a fun, lighter element throughout the night as the agents did their thing.

Their thing, as "Sacrifice" proved over and over again, is extraordinarily dangerous. These men and women aren't just investigators, they're increasingly front-line anti-terrorism soldiers.

If you counted the number of times Sam, Callen, Kensi and Deeks are shot at compared to their D.C. counterparts, it would be astounding. No wonder Sam takes solace in car restoration.

Sam Hanna in Action

­After a shootout at a pawn shop uncovers an unlikely alliance between Al-Qaeda and Mexico's Molina drug cartel, the team had to discover the connection and assess its risk to national security.

Not an easy task, and one complicated tenfold by a female Mexican police chief, working undercover, who was appointed after every other police chief in Laredo had been murdered by the cartel.

Watching her fight Kensi in full martial arts mode was a lot of fun, along with her interactions with Deeks, who clearly sympathized with her as a fellow cop. Deeks, at his core, is pure LAPD.

The Kensi-Deeks interplay is always one of the show's highlights, so anytime you see one of them start to get defensive or protective, a new and complex layer is added to their relationship.

Kensi clearly had a hard time being upstaged by someone so similar to her in many ways, and Deeks' connection exacerbated her insecurity. Very well played by Daniela Ruah, as expected.

Another interesting wrinkle came in the form of the two FBI agents investigating the case, who always seemed to be one step ahead of NCIS. It turns out they were CIA ... and knew the link.

The agents were trying to cover their mistake in allowing Al-Qaeda to steal a highly sophisticated predator drone which they intended to sell to the drug cartel to fund their terrorist activities.

When the Mexican police chief called out one of the agents as a dirty cop working for the cartel, tempers flared and all hell broke loose. Shots were fired and both of the CIA agents ended up dead.

It was neat how you still had no idea who to trust even after that. Despite being much more of an action-based series than NCIS, the spinoff weaves complicated enough plots to keep you guessing.

Fortunately, as they always do, the team discovered who was lying and reclaimed the drone from enemy hands before it sold. More significantly, Kensi can now reclaim her swagger, as well.

The highlight of the episode, however, was Callen's constant needling of Sam and describing the many stages of grief over his lost love. Callen's seemingly encyclopedic knowledge is hilarious.

LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell have such a great rapport, but rarely do we see it turned on its head like this, with the former trying to maintain his tough exterior and the latter "comforting" him.

Eric and Nell's role in the car caper was wonderful, too. As the resident nerd, Eric's remark that he fears Hetty intellectually and Sam viscerally was priceless ... and Nell is an amazing sidekick.

It's great to have Hetty back, even just on the periphery. Her role in this episode was relatively small, but just knowing she's lurking is enough to please fans (and spook Eric just a little).

The characters are all consistently good at being dramatic and comedic when the scene calls for it. I also enjoyed the passing reference to Nate, too, with longtime viewers may have picked up.

Another solid episode from a show that may not match its parent series most weeks, but never disappoints. The characters' continued evolution will only help in time, and it's on the right track.

What did you think of this week's NCIS: Los Angeles? Discuss below!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.5 / 5.0 (234 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


It's nice to see so many other people that also like Deeks as the favorite. I really liked the show when it started, but began to lose interest and was almost ready to give up on it. It was clearly missing something, and Eric Christian Olsen definitely filled the void with his acting skills. I recognized the actor from supporting and background roles in movies that I really liked, such as cellular, so I figured I would see how the show worked out with his addition. Best choice ever. He makes me laugh out loud far more often than any of the other characters.


I love NCIS:LA and deeks and kensi in particular. I definitely want to see them grow and bond more, the look that kensi had whenever deeks was hugging that mexican cop was priceless. I must say that I let my imagination get the best of me at the end, when deeks put his finger on kensi's lips, my heart raced as I swore he leaned forward (foreshadowing!!!) ...And then kensi totally kicked his ass. Lol! Love these two together- the entire team collaborates soo effectively.


This show just keeps getting better. The addition of Deeks and Nell have made a good show a "not to be missed" show. There is still so much to learn about all the characters. We still don't know much about Sam except that he is an ex-seal and very principled. We are learning bit by bit about Callen's past and trying to second guess the writers is half the enjoyment. I can't believe I have to move NCIS to 2nd place because I love the show, but if I could only watch one, it would be NCIS: LA.


i loved this episode it was funny and dangerous.i loved the part were nell was talking to eric and was like who is the rebel that ate cookies in ops without a napkin and who beat a video game on the big screen and who broke the internet and she said all that because she wanted him to use federal equitment and stuff to find sam's car.i also liked the part where eric and nell went to go and see sam's car in person and when they got there it didn't look good and they decided not to tell sam.i also liked how callen was describing the stages of grief to sam.i also liked seeing kenzi and the other girl that was alot like her fight.can't wait till the next episode it looks good.


@AK Agreed. Deeks is one of those complicated yet underrated characters because it's so much more to him then the comedic side. I love that about him. I also agree that I started off watching because I'm a fan of LL and Chris and NCIS is one of my fave shows. I started watching but never being as into it but over the course of the seasons it has only grown and become unbelievably good. It now stands out from NCIS which is nice. I love Deeks, my favorite character. I love Nell and Hetty and honestly it's such a great dynamic overall that I can't not like any of it's main characters. Great chemistry among them. I loved Callen's stages of Grief thing. I love Kensi fighting it out with the Mexican cop and I like that they actually fought, none of that cliche hair pulling crap. I love the pairings on this show, the partnerships. Deeks and Kensi always are fun to watch. The banter between Callen and Sam is hilarious, Nell makes Eric more likeable to me, and how Hetty is interwoven between them all and connects them. It was a great episode, and yeahh you think about just how dangerous their job is in comparasion to the DC office. My only thing is for them to be such a covert unit they probably call entirely way too much attention to themselves with randmom shootouts and explosions.LOL!


I am glad to see more shows that are nationally seen about the violence and connection between the Mexican drug cartels and Al-Qaeda. Because we have an unsecured border we don't know who is coming into our country. The drug cartels control the border in Mexico and their violence is coming onto American Soil. We need to know who is in our county and get rid of all those who do not legally belong here.


I had a hard time liking this show when it first started..and I so wanted to because I loved both Chris and LL and was a big fan of NCIS. I made myself keep watching it even though I wasn't all that impressed at first. I am so glad I did! I have come to love this show and the way the characters have developed. Great cast and love the additions of Deeks and Nell. They really add to the show.


Love, love love Deeks!! the way him and kensi interact is fantastic....:o)


I loved it when Deeks said 'That guy makes scar face look like Justin Bieber'
The meowing was also awesome


Deeks is without a doubt my favorite character on the show (and that's saying something, considering how much I love the other characters!). Eric Christian Olsen's ability to shift so suddenly yet smoothly between comedy and drama - and the way he conveys so much emotion in his eyes - is commendable and underrated. I also loved how Callen and Sam mentioned Nate with no explanation or backstory on who that character is - it's a nice little nugget for long-time viewers.

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