Review: NCISLA “Plain Sight” (S9E04)
Not every episode of NCIS: Los Angeles can be chock full of recurring storylines and dramatic moments of character development. After all, it is technically a procedural. This week’s episode “Plain Sight”, written by Joseph C. Wilson and directed by Dennis Smith, offered up a typical case of the week that held my attention- but just barely.
Deeks Falls in Love… with a Car
I can’t say I blame the guy. That Porsche Deeks drove throughout the episode was indeed a thing of beauty and surely a contender for “the world’s most awesome car.” It’s hard to believe Kensi let him drive it. She’s the car aficionado and I’d have expected her to be citing statistics about cc’s and torque and horsepower and other car stats I don’t pretend to fully understand. I was happy for Deeks, even if it couldn’t last. But Mosley can’t blame him- she did leave the keys right there!
Deeks: See now that- was awesome.
Kensi: And of all the cars in the motor pool, you had to pick this one?
Deeks: What are you talking about? The keys were in it. The universe wanted us to have it. You think Mosley’s gonna let me keep it?
Kensi: Keep it? It’s not practical.
Deeks: Wanna see practical? [Pulls sunglasses from glovebox] Put those on. Come on, put ‘em on. Show me whatcha got. Know what that is? That is op-ready.
Kensi: Really? Where am I supposed to keep my long gun, and a suspect at that?
Deeks: There’s a backseat… It’s kinda got a backseat. Listen, if we have a suspect in the backseat, they don’t deserve to be comfortable.
It would seem that the beautiful automobile might have been the highlight of the episode for me. The good news is that Densi was busy, out and about and not stuck at the boatshed as in “Se Murio el Payaso.” They even took down quite a few suspects, but with the exception of their last bad guy the kidnapper, there was never a real sense of danger. Kensi tackled Tony, who didn’t even look strong enough to take on Eric (although he was nimble enough to leap the Porsche). And while fully acknowledging that I’ve often complained about team members taking on bad guys without reinforcements (as recently as two wees ago!), I will also turn around and complain that when Deeks and Kensi arrested the weapon-buying bad guys with a full back-up squad and without a shot being fired, the scene felt lacking in excitement or danger (although most of us will always be thumbs up on the tactical gear). Instead, it just felt like more exposition for the real story centered in Malibu with Sam and Callen.
The New Gals Go into the Field… and They Can Shoot
We got to see Mosley and Hidoko in the field for the first time. Harley acquitted herself nicely, working undercover, smoothly obtaining an intel-filled tablet and then saving Callen’s life when the shooting started. She just may have more ability than first impressions had indicated. Mosley was, well, Mosley. She showed off her shooting skills at the range but didn’t get involved in any of the takedowns. I’d sure like to see her moving around, fighting some suspects. Her UConn basketball experience indicates that she has major athletic ability and it would be fun to see her show it off. It would be even more interesting to see her play an undercover role that’s different from her stiff EAD self. Just how well can Nia Long play a character that differs from Mosley? And how adept is Mosley at loosening up if the job requires it?
Perhaps more importantly, Hidoko took out a bad guy in deadly OSP fashion. Sam appeared to have killed the sniper, and Deeks the kidnapper. More bodies for Mosley to count. But will she hold Hidoko to the same high standards and criticize her for using deadly force? Will she worry she’s being turned to the dark side by her time in L.A.? My guess is that your perspective changes when you find yourself in the middle of the action, and given Mosley’s first-hand observation, I don’t expect any repercussions for Hidoko.
Sam Trusts His Gut… whether It’s Right or Wrong
The most interesting dialog of the episode belonged to Sam and Callen. Their banter about Sam’s new home provided a fun start and finish. Their discussion of whether we ever really know anyone gave us the episode’s looming question about whether Sam’s friend Byron was as guilty as he appeared. But when Sam spoke about his radar rarely being off, my mind flashed to his previously malfunctioning radar towards Deeks. Maybe it’s due to a recent re-read of some post-“Ascent” fan fics, but I couldn’t help but think back to how wrong Sam had been about Deeks’ character. When Callen repeated Sam’s own words that, “Sometimes when people show us who they really are, we need to believe ‘em,” it prompted thoughts of all the years Deeks spent trying to prove himself to Sam, to show him who he really is. At least Sam acknowledged a need for balance, so maybe he’s learned his lesson?
- Hetty sure has been scarce so far this season. It’s as if they’re going to use this slowly continuing story as a way to provide Linda Hunt with extensive time off. I hope all is well with her and that she’s enjoying a well-deserved break .
- I’d actually vote Yes on the man-bun. Maybe Deeks can try it out for an undercover assignment?
- It appeared that Eric Christian Olsen was having as much fun driving the Porsche as Deeks. I enjoyed that leap out of the convertible after Kensi tackled their suspect. And did anyone else but me channel a “yee-haw” from Kensi from a previous such tackle? I bet a number of you could even name the episode.
- Kensi never liked reality shows? I’m sorry, what?
Come back later this week for new installments of the Surf Log, Kensi’s Journal, and the Drabble of the Week. And next week Jericho Steele takes the reviewing reigns. I know his review will be fantastic, although something tells me he may not be quite as excited about that arm-wrestling scene as I will be. In the meantime, what did you think of “Plain Sight?”
Thanks for the good review.
You’re right about Kensi and reality shows. She loved America’s Top Model back in season 2. Come on, writers. Continuity.
Nia Long can’t act. Ok, let’s say she can’t act well. She can’t act to the caliber that is on this show. She’s slightly above Bar Paly but she has no depth and has only one note. So maybe she is on par with Bar. Just my opinion. But we’re due for someone to be an equal to this team. (Die, Anna, die.)
Can we please have Chegwidden back as Assistant Director out of retirement? Please? We need someone with the acting chops and sarcastic gravitas to play this leadership role.
It would be interesting to me to see them really develop Hidoko. And I was picking up some interesting chemistry between her and Callen that I don’t think they’ll explore which is too bad.
Deeks sure was pretty in this ep. And it’s amusing to compare how Kensi reacted to him now (oh he’s so cute and funny) and how she would have reacted to him a few seasons ago (eye rolls and can I have new partner). Also loved how he was Competent Deeks here, too.
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Didn’t read this until after I wrote my comment, but I agree with you about NIa Long (except I think she has two notes, not just one :-)). And YES, I totally thought about how Kensi would have reacted years ago relative to now. And it’s awesome to see!
I agree with your comments, it would had been so much more interesting to see Chegwidden as Assistant Director. The chemistry between Harley and Callen (and the whole team) is interesting and I,too, wish they would explore it.
Great review as usual Karen! I loved two points you brought up: Hidoko’s use of deadly force and your comments about how wrong Sam’s radar was in regards to Deeks.
Two good weeks in a row and I couldn’t be happier, I really enjoyed this episode: it gave every character a time to shine and I loved the conversations between Deeks and Kensi and Sam and Callen. I disliked Mosley a lot less this time so that made it even better; even though I still think her acting is not up to the level of the rest of the cast. That last scene about Deeks and the car was hilarious (big plus when we get to end the show with some good old Densi). My only complaint about the last two weeks, where is Hetty??? I wonder what she’s up to and how her storyline will connect with the team back in LA.
Densi scenes were fantastic in my opinion, they were traditional Densi at its best: funny, sweet, badass, and serious when they needed to be. The ep might not have shown much in terms of backstories and continuity, but I appreciated the noticeable change in the way Kensi responded to Deeks’ antics compared to earlier seasons. What else could I ask for, well just for more episodes like this! And I have to say Deeks looked particularly good in this ep and that Densi scene with the shades, just priceless… Can’t wait for the next 2 weeks that look like they will offer some great Deeks’ scenes.
Another great review, Karen. I too had the exact same thoughts about Sam’s radar, and may have actually said so out loud to him while I was watching (I’ll blame cold meds). Rarely certainly doesn’t mean never, and I hope that Sam’s mind went immediately to our detective when he made that claim of his. Nice catch about Hidoko using deadly force, and whether or not she ‘ll get called out for it. Probably not in either case, but a good question to ask. Like do you think there will actually ever be any follow-up to that discussion one way or another? (I’m not holding my breath.)
The Densi scenes were fun, and they were certainly better used than last week, but there’s something “off” about this season so far to me. Maybe it’s simply because there’s no great/big team drama since everyone is at work and conscious so we don’t get to see struggling/hopeful/worried/supportive Deeks and all that went into also supporting him *shrugs.* Have we had a good old, all-hands-on-deck ep yet this season (and should I be worried that I can’t remember? I’ll pin it on the cold meds again). I kinda miss those. For some rason I sometimes feel like I’m watching two different shows, with our main characters having very little interaction. I’m not sure what seems different this season compared to previous ones. Oh well, hopefully for #200 we’ll get a good whole-team ep.
As for Kensi and the reality show comment, clearly she considers Top Model a competition show and not a reality show. There’s a distinction, you know. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 😉
And I still have to say that I don’t know if it’s that Nia Long can’t act (don’t know or remember her from anything else) or that TPTB have written the character this way, but every line she speaks comes off in one of two ways to me: either flat/emotionless or smirky/snarky. Same with her expressions, too, IMHO.
Okay…I’ll admit it. I became just a tiny bit shallow when Deeks drove up in that Porsche. Okay…I fangirled…a lot. He looked awesome. The hair (especially the hair), the sunglasses, the longish beard…yep. Awesome. I replayed it over and over. Shame on me, but as you said Karen, it was the best part of the episode. This Deeks reminded me of early Deeks…full of himself, lighthearted, and having fun with a beautiful car that had just fallen into his lap, and I went with it and enjoyed it right along with him. Now…about the case…Oh who cares…Deeks was hot.
The case was a bit dull, but solid. Mosley is still smug and annoying, sort of a show off by bringing her own special case with two guns she later fired in unison with precision. Was that supposed to make us like her more? Not sure. She is competent, but unless she will be going out in the field, not sure why they needed to show us she could shoot. I like Hidoko, but I don’t trust her quite yet. Might be nice to see her out in the field with Sam though. Might be some interesting conversations there.
Good review as always, Karen. I agree their wasn’t any sense of danger for any of our favorite characters, and we didn’t care about any of the potential targets. Although I did like that Hidoko saved Callen’s bacon. That this would be an assassination attempt was obvious early on, and I don’t think it was believable that it took so long for two seasoned agents like Sam and Callen to figure out that Byron’s family was being used as leverage.
Thank you for your great review Karen. I do like episodes that focus on the case and the case itself was okay, but maybe it could had been a bit more interesting (we have seen some things before , for example this Sam’s friend in trouble, is he a good guy or a bad guy and family being used as leverage). I loved Deeks and Kensi scenes.
I wish both the Hetty and Mosley vs team storylines would move faster and be solved.
I, too, am disappointed with Mosley, I wish there would be something more interesting in the character and storyline. Women seem to be saving Callen a lot recently , first Anna and now Hailey 🙂 (After she shot the bad guy I, too, was expecting a discussion/banter about Mosley’s double standards).
Karen thanks for the review. I enjoyed the episode. I thought is was fast paced and had a lot of action. To me it felt like a back to basics episode,we had the two teams in the field being competent and solving the case and a very competent Eric back in ops.I certainly am beginning to understand the ‘reset’ for Sam and Callen that they talked about at Paleyfest and I think TPTB are doing a good job on the Sallen relationship.
As far as Deeks and Kensi we had them partnered in the field,extremely competent , but also bantering and just being Densi. It is hard to fault an episode where Eric Christian Olsen is looking so good, driving a Porsche; it certainly made the episode for me. I do hope as the season progresses we get a lot more of competent Deeks , and some of the compassionate Deeks we saw a lot of last season.
As fas as Mosley, I guess I cannot understand what TPTB are doing with this character. The fault I found with Hetty and Granger was that they always put the mission above people, and although I do not agree with that, I certainly respect and understand it. I do not respect how they are characterizing Mosley at all. She seems full of herself and her self importance . The notion that a female government manager would start a new position and tell someone she supervises that she would not hire them based solely upon their appearance, is beyond offensive to me . So now each episode, we get this thread which I do not find humorous at all , of will Deeks have a job tomorrow, based solely on his appearance which other than his hair looks just like the other agents. As I read the other reviews on this site , I think perhaps this character is not working out because of a combination of writing but also perhaps an inability on the part of the actress to deliver in this role.
Thanks for your review, Karen.
The highlights of the episode for me were:
– Deeks driving Mosley’s Porsche and looking awesome doing it (you know, the wind in his hair, perfect sunglasses, trademark smile, who could resist?)
– Densi banter and gorgeousness together, especially in tactical gear
– DR (not Kensi!) trying so hard not to burst into laughter when ECO said something funny and very likely improvised. That was the real fun inside the most hilarious scenes. It must have been hard for Daniela to stay as serious as she could still being Kensi. I guess the really challenging moments onscreen for DR and ECO by now are not romantic scenes but funny ones! ECO is a master at comedic timing and DR can’t help laughing as we all do.
The rest of the episode was quite normal, not too good, not too bad either.
I still don’t buy Mosley as a real boss and I wonder why the authors are writing her this way, so full of herself, so unlikable and so stiff! I have nothing against the actress, but I think her role so far has been too cliché and unoriginal. Let’s hope she will be given in the following episodes some moments to prove us wrong about not being the right Director for the team. So far her character has been a disappointment (for me).
Another fine review, but please, please, please…no man bun for Deeks. That is the dumbest man’s “fashion” statement in decades of dumb fashion statements. One of our local football players wears his hair like my four-year-old, only she wears it much better. He looks like an idiot. Sorry, but it’s the truth. Flame away if you disagree with me but I do not find it a manly or sexy look.
Loved the Porsche scenes. Can’t wait for next week’s episode.
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I’m probably going to say something unpopular but I’m ready for it. I noticed the awesome suit on Chris O’Donnell was showing off his double chin a little too much. I totally get it, I’ve got ’em too as an older person but I’m not on a TV show. It happened to Michael Weatherly on the mother ship, too, toward the end of his run — seeing himself next to Deeks on the guest appearance episode may have been a wake up for him. Ok, fire away.
Oh peakae I noticed the same, especially when my husband that doesn’t watch NCIS LA regularly, commented exactly the same on COD already some time ago. We have also commented Michael Weatherly.
I also remember having heard ECO saying that everybody “relaxes” after such a long serial at some point (or something similar). But seems to me that ECO is looking only better with time…
Karen thanks so much for the review. I am here completely with sassyzazzy. My thoughts on this episode are exactly the same. I loved the episode. I found both set of partners in their elements. The case was interesting and good. Good writing, good storytelling and good directing. I have also noticed with extreme joy how Kensi actually enjoyed in Deeks’ deeksness (did I spell it correctly?) and how much is that different from Kensi several seasons ago (although I am pretty sure she felt the same, just didn’t show it). What I am still not sure is what to think about both Nia Long and EAD Mosely. Mosely is very unlikable character for me, but show runners have every right to make her the way they want her. I am afraid that Nia Long is maybe not able to deliver more. I have never seen her acting anywhere else, but what I saw so far is not much. To be honest, I have not paid much attention to her when we had excellently looking Deeks with sunglasses and Porsche.
Thanks for the review of this week’s episode it reflects pretty much what I would have written in own few words.
According to me, this episode is the best of four but unfortunately the ratings are going down fast: this week we did not even have 8 million listerners.
I think the showrunner and the producers should very soon sit around a table and a strong coffee to discuss seriously how to rescue NCIS L.A.
Why change a winning formula?
It is proven that this is not always a significant idea to do.
They did the same thing with Castle which caused his loss and the series was wirhdrawn for good.
It was a very good series and the fans were left aside and left for good since.
For God sake bring back Hetty asap !!!
She was the backbone of the series. She carryed the series on her shoulders and also get rid of those two newcomers that consecutively undermined the series, and also nobody like them. It is not a love-hate relationship with them, we do not like their fabricated clumsy attitude.
Mosley who wants to swing everything around and change what has worked very well over the past eight years. In the second episode, since she arrived, she is a pitt-bull to Nell and Eric over all their professional responsibilities.
As we all love Densi a lot, give us more sweet and good moments, after all they are very in love, not just work partners.
Tunell had told us in the spring that we would have a 9rh season and perhaps even a 10th, but at the moment I’m afraid that since the ratings are declining, we will not have that season number10 a tall.
It’s not too late to put the series back on rails, instead of letting it smashed the wall of indifference.
I sincerely think that it is not too late to recover those who abandoned you, has disappointed as they were.
Is there any way to could telled you costumer designer to provide Mosley with clothes of his size that fits him properly.
Sorry about Mosley, my mistake ….I should write ” clothes of her size that fits her”….
I was a bit disappointed with the first two episodes of the season and remember posting here after episode 2 that I hoped they return to the basics that made the show so well liked. And I actually think they have done a great job in that regard in episode 3 and 4, and really enjoyed them. The cases were good enough, we had strong interactions from the partners (including some really nice Densi scenes), good action and emotional moments, so I can’t really complain. I think the ratings are not only dependent on fans’ response to the show itself, but are also affected by outside factors like the competition they face at the time it airs. Maybe this is just me being optimistic and still in love with this show. Either way I hope they renew it and allow us to see more of these amazing characters’ stories. For now I’ll only worry about the upcoming eps, and I have to say the next 4 look really promising, so I’m excited for that.
I hate the fact that NCIS LA is not a cable show, if they grind 13 good episodes per year , I am fine with that, every year the quality seems to go down, I guess it has to do with the raising payments to main cast and reduced costs on everything, rehearsed plots, would they even have the end for these characters, I don’t think so !