A comic knows she's had a bad set when, instead of killing, she almost gets killed.
Rhea Moretti found out comedy is hard enough without someone gunning for you on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 21.
For a former NCIS tech operator, Rhea certainly held her own when attacked, using a chair to the head to get away from her would-be killer.
Rhea would be a fun character to have recur in the future. She dripped sarcasm over everyone she met, even outdoing Deeks, no mean feat. (He does look like he's waiting for the Hanson reunion tour.)
Admittedly, there probably isn't much call for a fledgling comic/former techie. Also, NCIS: Los Angeles already has, what, several dozen recurring characters. So where's the room for her?
Still, Rhea didn't throw away her shot. She made this appearance count.
Rhea also had a heart under that wiseass exterior. Rather than run after the attempted murder, she was more concerned about her former partner, Robert Forbes, who coincidentally NCIS was tracking as well.
No wonder hijinks ensued.
After a couple of weaker episodes, this case of the week was an enjoyable comeback, full of twists and turns.
The only thing that was certain was that the case that Rhea and Robert had been building against a Mexico arms dealer had fallen apart.
Then Rhea made her ill-chosen (based on her routine) career switch and had little idea about Robert's current investigations (nor should she have had any).
All she knew was that if Vargas came after her, a former agent, he would definitely go after Robert. And so she kept the OSP's collective feet to the fire so they could find Robert.
The team had trouble pinning down Robert. Was he an alcoholic or a wine lover? Was he a victim or a collaborator or a hero?
Even Rhea came to realize that she didn't know him as well as she thought.
The squad had to dig deep to find a plumber/gun supplier and a wine dealer who helped out other abused women in order to set up that final showdown.
Fortunately, there was plenty of room left around the case of the week for character interplay.
As is usually the case, the best was between Sam and Callen.
This time out, Sam kept nudging Callen about his atypical interest in real estate. Considering Callen's past aversion to permanance of any sort, this was unusal to say the least.
Sam prodded and Callen, usually all too happy to overshare, resisted. Back and forth and back and forth.
Until finally the truth came out: Anna enjoys checking out various properties.
First she gets Callen to buy furniture and now to look at houses.
That's a sure sign things are getting serious. Unfortunately, with a shortened season, any logical next step in their personal relationship won't happen until next season.
The same goes for Anna's next move professionally.
It's a safe bet that a lot of storylines are going to be unavoidedly left hanging.
Then there was Kensi and Fatima who were again partnered together.
Their relationship has smoothly taken on a big sister-little sister dynamic, with Kensi having lots of experience to draw upon when offering advice.
Fatima has had a rough few months, precipitated by her being abducted back on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 16.
Maybe moving back in with her parents wasn't the best move since it sounds like she's getting smothered.
So it's understandable Fatima's mentally exhausted, especially since she's the type to throw herself into her work as therapy.
Kensi was correct in suggesting that Fatima needs a better work-life balance. Kensi should know since it took her forever, and a couple of major injuries, to take a step back.
So naturally Kensi threw a laundry list of activities at Fatima, hoping to find one that sticks, and even offered to go along with her.
I think Kensi is enjoying her limited breaks from Deeks.
Those Eagles concert tickets were Fatima's way of saying "Thanks for caring" to Kensi, since it's the rare twentysomething that's going to bliss out on classic rock.
And now to the nails-on-a-chalkboard portion of the episode: Deeks' and Eric's dueling neuroses.
After riding high from Anna's Yelp review of the Squid & Dagger, Deeks was brought low by a negative review, to the point that he half-seriously suggested Eric hack into the web site and remove it.
Eric was tied in knots preparing a speech to his fellow techies, in which he wanted to explain why he does what he does.
And so the running joke was agents walking in on Eric while he tried out the latest iteration of his speech. This would have been an ideal spot for a Hetty cameo, but no such luck.
Fortunately, Deeks got off that topic long enough to attempt to interrogate Rhea, who was every bit as good at deflection as he was.
In the end, the review meant less than nothing, as the bar was still packed. And Deeks even found time to break down Eric's essence for him, giving him the hook he needed for his speech.
Mac's back for NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 22, as the series finale does a fictional spin on the Eddie Gallagher case.
To go back over the season, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
How did you like Rhea?
Which of the pairings did you enjoy most?
Are you looking forward to Mac's return?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.