This episode could have used a lighter touch.
The OSP retried Eddie Gallagher on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 22.
There's nothing wrong with using "ripped-from-the-headlines" cases as storylines.
Hell, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has ridden that formula to become the longest-running drama in American TV history.
The secret is tweaking the case just enough that the viewer has an "a-ha" moment when he or she figures out upon whom the storyline is based.
There's some subtlety involved.
When Mac, Kensi, and Deeks agreed about halfway through that Argento is just like Eddie Gallagher, it scraped away even that tiny bit of pretense.
So far, there hasn't been a grandstanding Commander in Chief meddling in a matter that should be handled by military justice, although Mac did hint at political pressure from above already.
But there's always next season because this will be one of many storylines left hanging because of the coronavirus-caused early production shutdown.
I probably just missed it, but when last we saw Mac on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 1, she was working for the State Department. This episode, she was back in uniform in some unspecified military capacity, with nary a word of explanation.
Is she back at JAG?
Not that that was a dealbreaker. Let's assume she's in the Reserves and got called up for some reason.
Likely because showrunner R. Scott Gemmill is continuing with guest spots by Catherine Bell and David James Elliott in an effort to resurrect JAG in the revival/reboot-happy world in which we live.
Hawaii Five-0 just got finished, so there's an opening on the CBS fall schedule for a known quantity with nostalgic undertones.
Despite The Good Witch, I'll sure Bell could make time. And the rest of the JAG cast is eminently available.
It was evident this was going to be another Hetty-less episode when it opened with Callen complaining about paperwork and Sam chiding him about falling behind because he spends too much time with Anna (who hasn't been seen for a month).
Roundtree's job shadowing of Sam continued as he was just chilling while Sam and Callen bantered. I guess the FBI doesn't need him any more than LAPD requires Deeks.
Then came the top-secret call from Mac that required everyone but Sam and Callen to leave the room.
Yes, the charges against Argento were a nasty piece of business, and Sam was a natural choice as investigator, since SEALs everywhere still worship him, even though he's been with NCIS for more than a decade.
Of course, Sam's partner (and team leader) Callen would be part of the investigation as well, because we know how well Callen handles politically delicate situations.
But here's the thing: once Sam made the decision to go to Afghanistan, why take Roundtree?
Wouldn't Fatima, a Muslim woman and a more proven NCIS agent, been a better choice to go with Sam and Callen?
Especially after it became clear that Argento had Kandajar wired and that the OSP team would continually be a step behind.
Also, I'm betting Fatima wouldn't have run headlong into a trap after spooking a witness.
It was good to see Frank Wallace again, even if he was used sparingly. Maybe one of these episodes he'll show what he can do in a firefight (but not as the target).
Instead, thanks to Roundtree, the quartet ended up spending most of the episode chained up in the basement, trying to prove their value to their Afghan captors.
(Was I the only one remembering the older Afghan man as driver Ranjit from How I Met Your Mother, making him hard to buy as a vengeful, grieving father?)
Testimony from the Afghan boy and the two SEALs accusing Argento was an effective way to detail his crimes.
It was evident throughout that Mac would have been just as happy if this case could have definitively been disproven because it was a major headache.
It was understandable that Argento had war-hero status among the men of his unit but shouldn't someone have asked questions rather than just taking his word there was a dozen hostiles in the basement of a building?
Then, after the Afghan shouted out about having American prisoners, shouldn't that have gotten more investigation than Argento proclaiming that they were lying? Especially after Frank stuck up his head up in the window?
No, instead it took SEAL legend Sam Hanna, coming out to negotiate, to sway the members of Argento's team. His fame proceeded him.
Why the Afghans felt the need to hold Sam in gunpoint, when they had his three comrades as hostages, was hard to understand. If they hadn't been there, Argento couldn't have made his Taliban story hold up.
And didn't you want Sam to just slap the cocky off of Argento's face?
Well, at least next season, Argento's trial will be a good excuse to resurrect a JAG lawyer or two once again.
Now, what about Roundtree joining the team?
It's been clear such a proposal has been coming. What isn't obvious is what he brings to the team, besides youthful impetuousness.
We had more of a concept of what Fatima was about in a shorter period of time.
But he gives Sam someone to train while Kensi can keep training Fatima.
Here's hoping, in addition to the two young agents, we get more of Hetty next season as well.
To revisit NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
What did you think of this season finale by default?
What hanging storyline do you want sewn up first?
Will Roundtree be a good addition to the team?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.