NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Operation Wide Awake

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A new crowd-sourced side of Naval intelligence was explored on NCIS: Los Angeles when a diner blew up with four men inside.

The cold war days of recruiting cryptographers with a difficult puzzle in the newspaper was updated to the 21st century through a computer game called Wide Awake. It's a rather cool idea, except for the whole getting killed thing.

Kensi at the Casino

It was pretty obvious from the beginning that Astrid, not Hoffman, was the game's missing elite player. She definitely didn't make it easy for NCIS to find her. The most informative part of her character wasn't about her at all; it was about Kensi.

The back stories of the NCIS boathouse crew are given out slowly and only in tiny bits. In "The Fifth Man," we found out that Kensi ran away after her father's death and lived on the streets for a year. That explained why Kensi was able to get through to Astrid more than others. She understood her in a way that nobody else could.

While Kensi and Deeks have the banter down between them, they also clearly care for each other. The kindness that Deeks showed Kensi proved that. I've written it before and I'll write it again: I'm not a member of Team Densi. They are professional partners and I don't want that to change.

The writers were playing to those fans tonight. Not once, but twice their relationship was brought up. As the team walked through the casino, one of the women at a table mentioned that they made a cute couple . And then the big one ... Astrid asked Kensi if she loved Deeks, after which Kensi conveniently changed the subject.

I found the case compelling and it held my attention. I didn't have a clue that Mathers was the murderer until Toretto outed him, but it made sense. Mathers' career was on the line and he did what he thought was necessary to save his project. He probably thought the ends justified the means. With a fixed program, he could save many more lives in the future.

Odds and Ends

  • Bad sushi excuse! Hilarious that Sam and Callen claimed they invented that excuse. 
  • Good question -- why would the Office of Naval Intelligence have a Twitter account?
  • I could go for a John Hughes marathon. 80s movies rock!
  • Kensi's reaction to the girl on the train tracks was enough to give away that she felt a connection to her.
  • I'm not exactly sure what the purpose the car chase served, but it was a decent action scene. The victim had to be decapitated, right?
  • Learned something new: Art of Civilized Bushwhack
  • I knew Deeks had a softer side, but Phantom of the Opera? That was a shocker.
  • The roles of the women at the poker table were played by the cast's real mothers.
NCIS LA Cast, Moms


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.0 / 5.0 (447 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I watch this program most of the time because I really like the characters and the actors and actresses who play them but normally I don't really care for the story lines. This episode was an exception. The best one yet.


AWWWWWW! I just LOVE that the cast's moms played the poker table ladies! I knew there had to be something about them for them to comment like that about Kensi and Deeks. To be honest, I think Kensi and Deeks are a cute couple, too, and would love it if they'd hook up ala Castle's Beckett and Castle. I think Kensi feels safe and cared for with Deeks, and I think Deeks carries a torch for Kensi, and I think they could heal one another and would be good for one another. Plus, I'd be happy to get a glimpse of naked Deeks, who is just yummy. Not that LL Cool J is any slouch, of course. But the thing I loved most about this ep was how tender and gentle Kensi was with Astrid. I really loved the poker game with Hetty at the made me misty. Such an awesome ep!


How can anyone watch this blatant S**t and call it TV?? you people make me sick.


To start out Kensi and G with the sticks, and then Deeks and Sam were cool. And as my son pointed out later.,Sam and the poker was him doing the same thing.
The bad sushi joke was ok, especially when Sam and G invented it. But Deeks at Phantom was surprising.
Operation:Wide Awake was interesting and Nell Being picked to Play it was nice. Surprised Eric didn't want to try it to see if he could beat it.
At the casino I didn't know it was their moms until I read the review in today. No one in my house knew it either. I figured it was a women's group that were ogling the younger men. But it wasn't played up enough that way and now I know why. I figured Deeks would be embarrassed or revel in the attention. I also read CBS reviews to help put my notes in perspective.


That ending with Astrid,Kensi,and Hetty totally had me tearing up.Loved it.Great episode.


Can we all agree these might be NCIS LA best season ever


That is so cute that the cast's real mothers played the ladies at the poker table! :-)


Phantom of the Opera does't surprise me that much...on an episode last season (I think it was last season) Deeks was the only one on the team that knew all about The Sound Of Music (other than Eric).


What I loved most was when Sam went all bruce lee on Deeks and on Toretto. And I'll agree I find Kensi/Deeks to be more of a professional partnership kind of like a boy and girl version of what Callen and Sam are.


Great episode really liked it can't wait till the next one.

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