After the big wedding episode on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10 Episode 17, it was back to what the OSP does best.
What that means is a relatively easily solved case, replete with a goofy guest star, on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10 Episode 18.
That guest star was Nell's bossy older sister Sydney, who kidnapped Nell to assure her help with the trouble into which her high-school crush Andre had gotten.
I'm still not sold on Sydney. I'm in favor of anything that brings Nell to the forefront of an episode.
Also, I realize that Nell has issues to work out with Sydney, but her value as a recurring character took a nosedive.
I got that Andre, a Navy engineer, was in over his head after being set up by Kang and getting attacked. So he naturally approached someone he knew in the intelligence branch of government -- Sydney.
What I didn't understand is why Sydney instantly reverted to a schoolgirl instead of helping Andre herself.
She's a specialist for Homeland Security, so yes, she had assets of her own she could access, right?
It makes no sense for her to shanghai Nell since Andre was afraid someone connected to a Navy project was after him, and Nell works at the NAVY Criminal Investigative Service.
But with Sydney being useless, she, and by extension Andre, became Nell's burdens to bear.
Rather than merely explaining to Nell what was going on so Nell could formulate a plan, Sydney destroyed both their cell phones, eliminating Nell's most obvious form of communication.
So that slowed Nell from reaching out to her team, who she knew she could trust. Much of what happened to the Jones sisters and Andre could have gotten avoided if Sydney had talked first rather than acted.
I was disappointed that the Nellverine couldn't come out to play again and wondered why she didn't have her firearm in her car.
I guess being in Ops, she only picks out a weapon when she's going out into the field. And since Sydney gave her no warning what was up.
At least the analytical Nell was present. I loved the shoutout to M*A*S*H with the "Suicide is Painless" reference painted on Hayley's car.
Still, the way Eric was acting, I'm surprised he picked up on it. He was knocked off his game by Nell's absence, then reappearance with the suspect they were hunting.
Fortunately, Nell being with Andre gave the squad pause, as they trusted her judgment even though she hadn't checked in with them. And once they rethought what they knew about the case, things didn't add up.
Everything was just too convenient: Andre's keycard being used twice, the deposit into his account, his being missing.
And since Kang was the person spoonfeeding Andre to them, Sam and Callen were right to switch to her as a suspect.
But couldn't Kang have waited until the heat died down a little to deliver the hard drive to her Russian contact, instead of leading Callen and Sam right to her? Or at least come up with a more plausible excuse than going for a walk?
Then Kang and Natasha led Sam and Callen right near the site where Nell, Sydney, and Andre were hiding out? I'd say that was pretty damn convenient.
That's not to downplay Kensi's genius idea of chasing the Russians on motorcycles on horseback.
The funny part was having the horse owner argue when Kensi first tried to commandeer it. That somewhat explodes one of the biggest cop-show cliches.
It was also enlightening that Sam and Callen were faster on foot than a motorcyclist. I guess you have to know the shortcuts.
Now let's talk about the tiny elephants in the room.
I guess we're just going to have to accept the loss of Hetty, at least for this season.
I have to believe Linda Hunt's car accident was worse than initially publicized because I think she would be there if she physically could.
That being said, Rogers, the least likable of the three fill-in leaders, is who we're stuck with for the rest of the season? Seriously?
Team members grudgingly accepted Kilbride and Ochoa, but have treated Rogers like the joke he is, so far. And that almost cost them.
Granted, he's done little to earn their respect.
But if he's there, he's got to be kept in the loop, so that mixups such as telling the prime suspect where her target is hiding don't happen.
Could Rogers be helpful? While certainly not at Hetty's level, he does have connections that could get exploited.
But how can he assist them if he doesn't know what's going on?
Working around their leader is what got them in trouble during Mosley's reign of terror, so haven't they learned anything?
The whole performance review idea, which everyone laughed at, was a comedic opportunity lost.
Whether tongue in cheek or not, Deeks was starting to open up to Rogers when his visit got cut short.
And none of the others were shown, although Kensi got briefly called in. Instead, team members kept making up excuses to get out of it.
Although no one bullshits like Deeks, it would be fun to see what Rogers could pull out of the others.
But I don't expect to happen.
Rogers was officially welcomed to the OSP at the bar, so let's see how that relationship develops over the tiny bit of the season that remains.
To evaluate Rogers' performance, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Did Sydney add anything to this episode?
Was solving the case a little too easy?
Since they have no choice, should the team accept Rogers?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.