Review: NCISLA “Superhuman” (S10E02)
What a whirlwind of a wikiDeeks week it’s been! After so much Eric Christian Olsen goodness, it was nice to sit back and relax and take in the first case-of-the-week NCIS: Los Angeles episode of the season, written by Kyle Harimoto and directed by Dennis Smith. By the way, according to Eric, wikiDeeks is back, and who am I to say otherwise? The reviews must continue!
Unfortunately, Harimoto was given the rather thankless and difficult task of moving us forward in time several months after last week’s dramatic season premiere. Ah, the procedural- as Eric told us last week, it never allows enough time to examine the impacts of trauma and drama, for the next case is always right around the corner.
The Deeks and the Densi
What we saw from both Deeks alone as well as from Densi felt like a return to form. First, Deeks himself was a breath of fresh air throughout the episode, whether he was ranting about bachelor parties (surfing instead? be still my heart), cutting the tension by suggesting mediation could take down the bad guy, or riffing on truck tacos, he seemed relaxed and happy to be on the job.
The bachelor-bachelorette party discussion also felt relaxed, lacking the underlying tension I felt during some of last season’s wedding planning discussions. But why? How? How did Densi get to be this happy couple planning their wedding after all the angst going into the Season 9 finale? I get that we have to skip ahead, but it doesn’t make it any less painful to be cut out of those important discussions. Fan fic writers, can you please help me out?
When they rescued the mother and child from the trunk, did anyone else channel the end of “Drive” and the end of “Resurrection”? “Drive” involved Deeks pulling a nearly unconscious woman out of a car, and “Resurrection” involved a kneeling Kensi being strongly affected by a young person in peril. Here, I adored Deeks reaching out to provide Kensi with a comforting gesture. I would have loved to see the aftermath there. I’m sure I was reading far too much into this, but my mind went to their ongoing discussions about having kids. Did the rescue trigger those thoughts in Kensi?
And for goodness sake, where are we exactly in those discussions? Even if we couldn’t see how they got to this happy place, I sure would have liked some sort of indication about what their current plan is, other than to get married. Does the fact that they’re continuing the bar renovations mean Deeks’ plan to leave his risky profession is still alive? What about the potential mutant ninja assassins? Until we get more information, it feels like their disagreements from two episodes ago have been simply erased. I need to know!
Rant of the Week
Sigh. I had a few issues with the new credits. I loved ex-SEAL Sam in his wetsuit, but that’s about all. My biggest groan of the night came when Mosley popped up third in order. That she’s in the credits at all disappoints me- she broke so many laws, she should be prosecuted and carted away to prison. And she appears third in line? Is Nia Long getting higher billing than Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen? That’s what’s implied. Have we ever seen the order of appearance for the main four change? It gave the impression that Mosley is going to have a bigger part than Deeks, Kensi, Hetty, Eric and Nell. Oh, and the editing choice to have Kensi scoping out Deeks through her sniper rifle felt a bit unnerving as well- what, is she going to take him out? And finally, I miss moving-and-shooting Deeks.
I had read that there was a 3-month time jump between “To Live and Die in Mexico” and “Superhuman”, so my expectations for seeing the team’s recovery time were low. Still, overall the episode had more than a few seemingly unrelated scenes that gave it a kind of disjointed feel, beginning with Sam’s visit to the autistic brother of a bad guy he and DeChamps locked up last season. There was nothing wrong with the scene, but it didn’t link up to anything else. Perhaps it’s setting up a story we’ll see more of later on this year?
We also had Admiral Kilbride popping up to update Callen (and us) on the fact that neither Hetty nor Mosley is around and they’re both in hot water. Oh, and to revisit the investigation into Anna’s shooting. And, in a shockingly unsurprising development, someone wants the team disbanded. I am so over this plotline!
Then there was the also unrelated, but totally adorable, Neric scene. These two are super sweet together, and here they got a chance to shine as a couple, and to move their relationship forward.
Finally, there was the lovely scene at the end with Hidoko’s mother-in-law. I was glad they paid tribute to Hidoko, even if they actually spent very little time talking about her. And although the story was a timely and important one, it just felt kinda long-winded. Is this a set-up for another plot to come? I’d have killed for a much shorter version in conjunction with a 60-second continuation of the boatshed scene to get that Densi update I’m craving.
- What is Densi’s plan for the future? And when will they share it with us?
- Will Deeks and Kensi get to talk about anything else this season except wedding planning? It’s actually one reason to look forward to getting the wedding done, so these two can find new topics of conversation.
- Who’s actually in charge at the moment? Callen from the boatshed sofa? Or Sam out in the field? Why don’t they let Kilbride stick around?
- Will Callen really move in above the bar, and can this please please be part of my spin-off idea for a sitcom where Roberta moves in with Kensi and Deeks?
What did you think of “Superhuman”? How did you cope with the lack of post-premiere follow-up? Did you approve of the party planning? Tell us in the Comments below.
Thanks for the review! Yay!!
The episode was “meh” for me mostly because of the lack of follow up from the premiere. Callen was tacked on in the beginning and the end. Really? He couldn’t even sit in Ops? I believe and accept DeChamps as an agent and equal to being with the team. My only nitpick with her is that it may have been the jacket but she always seemed to have her shoulders hunched.
Though nothing was dealt with in terms of recovery (ahem!), I did really enjoy Deeks and Kensi’s search of the house using their tactical training. It always bugs me when the team doesn’t do it when entering an unknown situation. All. the. time. Callen and Sam never do.
I’m going to be hugely in the minority here, I know and accept that, but Neric just doesn’t do it for me. It seems like a pale echo of Densi, trying to have lightning strike twice and forced, trying to couple everyone up. Can’t they just be amazing coworker/friends? It’s not the Love Boat, people. I know, it’s just me.
Gerald McRaney — love and adore! Please, can we keep him? (I know I know). There were weird things as noted in the review — the scene with Mrs. Hidoko was overly long and felt out of place. If they wanted to “honor” the actress/character, a really cool memorial service with a montage as they do would be awesome.
I, too, was pissed at the opening and having Mosely third. W.T.F.?! And Hetty/Nell/Eric tacked on. Grrrr.
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First, the blessings. I feel blessed we have a season ten. I feel blessed Deeks is alive and back at work. I feel blessed that ECO has blessed us with a wonderful interview and is making video shorts for us each week. I feel blessed that Kensi and Deeks will have a wedding. I feel blessed that wikiDeeks is still going, giving us a place where we can discuss the season’s offerings. All the good things I thought might disappear seem safe for at least one more year. All that said, and after that sterling opening episode, I’m afraid I was disappointed in how quickly they moved on. Would it have hurt to give us one transitional episode showing consequences and healing, to give us conversations and reactions to the trauma they all suffered? It could have been an episode that honored the loss of Hidoko and provided a look at how her death affected Mosley. It would have allowed us to move on, just more slowly.
The credits shocked me and angered me. Mosley isn’t gone, she is front and center and Hetty is relegated to the third string. Say what? All I can say is I want to see the episode where Mosley wiggles out of the consequences she should be facing. They at least owe us that. I’m not even sure why Deeks is back on the job, since she fired him last season. Lots of questions and concerns, especially that bar scene in the video. One ray of hope came with the idea that Callen might be living above said bar. Maybe we’ll get some brotherly interaction between Deeks and Callen. That might be a nice new storyline to follow.
Nice to have you back reviewing, Karen. I agreed with all your points and concerns. Worries aside…it is nice to be wading into a new season. Future…here we come, expressing our loves, our hates, our fears and our joys along the way.
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Thanks for reviewing , I agree with everything you said. I did enjoy the episode, obviously not the same excellence as the premiere. It clearly moved on from the premiere without discussing consequences for really any of the characters. I along with you found the opening sequence distressing. I just keep hoping that they need to do this for contract reasons, and Mosley will be gone soon and they will redo the opening.
On the positive side, it truly feels to me like the show is back. This episode had the balance and chemistry between the core characters. Deeks and Kensi are back to being Densi, and their chemistry is strong.They also brought back Agent DeChamps as a recurring character, she is a great actress with years of credentials and I thought she had professional chemistry with Sam. Admiral Kilbride is wonderful , another seasoned actor playing a recurring role.
I really kept thinking of ECO’s podcast with you and how he talked about chemistry, what it really is, and his story about what Linda Hunt said to a guest star. That kept running through my mind in this episode, and it truly feels like the chemistry is back. I think as fans we feel and see that chemistry. It seems like that chemistry/ energy of the show and the cast then translates into a lot of fan energy about this wonderful show. I am optimistic about the show this season, and really looking forward to the Densi wedding.
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First off, let me start with a big thank you, Karen and WikiDeeks team, for being back this season. You keep on being our (NCIS: LA fans’) beacon. I guess you also reached a new level of amazingness with Eric’s exclusive interview and Q&A. I had always suspected he had a soft spot for this website and your awesome work, we only needed the official confirmation!
The episode was more or less as I expected from the preview and spoilers: an almost unbelievable time jump with very few or non-existent repercussions of the Mexican mission on the team. I honestly hoped better after the roller coaster ride which had been the season 9 finale and the season 10 opener. At least I hoped to get to know more about how every character had coped with his/her personal trauma, partner’s almost death, injuries, disappointments, anxities, PTSD, different ideas on the future (where has Deeks’ “one more mission and we’re out” gone, just to mention one of the many loose threads).
But we have to adapt and feel anyway blessed for having all the team back after the car explosion, for having Deeks back and especially for having Densi back! This episode made me realize even more how much I had missed them last season, their interactions (this week I even adored their quite silly bachelor/bachelorette party plans), banter, perfect sync, their being together liking to be together. I think their chemistry is back in full force, too, and this gives me hope for an unfergettable wedding episode (which, by the way, from what Eric said, I am inclined to believe they may have already filmed, at least in part, or may have already seen the script).
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I am very happy to know you back, happy decision. I must admit as many others that I too would have liked to see a little more of their rehabilitation after the first episode, it’s a bit like if it was missing an ep enters the first and the second. Happy to see Densi back ….. but can you tell me why? Callen has to moove …. he has a house. I am from Quebec my english is so so i understood all the episode but the story why Callen will move above the bar I did’nt catch it. Maybe someone could help me understand.
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The biggest problem I have and will always have is with the fact that Sam is a SEAL. He’s NCIS now. I am so sick of him talking about SEALS this and SEALS that. He’s a retired SEAL. And whether once a SEAL always a SEAL,he’s NCIS now. Enough with the SEALS.
I would have also liked to have seen a “how we got here from Mexico” type episode. Maybe they’ll incorporate flashbacks to fill us in-either in the wedding episode, or as they are dealing with the fallout and investigation of their Mexican escapade.
I was shocked to see Nia Long 3rd in the opening credits as well. Maybe they’re just trying to throw us off and make us speculate(aka crazy) like they did during the summer hiatus.
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Thanks Karen for the review!!! It’s amazing to have you back! Wikideeks work is a great opportunity for us! Thanks you so much!
About the episode like all of you said, I hope we will have answers about the consequences of the mission, how Deeks and Kensi plan their future, and how about the bar? Is he still planning to quit from law enforcement? I would have loved to see Deeks finally join NCIS!!! I like the admiral character, I hope he stays for a bit! Also I think that Mosley and Hetty together could give us a lot of funny interaction, Mosley alone would be disappointing. I totally HATE the new credits, I don’t like to have Mosley before Eric and Dani, and the scenes they picked are ugly.
What do you think about the possibility for Deeks to become a special agent?
I’ve been thinking more about this episode and others’ comments here. We needed a “bridge” episode between the premiere and the getting back to normal episode of Superhuman in order to answer some fundamental questions. HOW is Deeks back working with NCIS after he quit? We can imagine a lot of scenarios. Were there apologies on both sides between Deeks and Mosely? Was Mosely guilt-ridden and thankful for their efforts and sacrifice? All three guys had rather serious injuries yet only Callen is shown having any remaining recovery. Yes, we know about Linda Hunt’s accident, but a better explanation of Hetty recovering her team, tearing Mosely a new one, and getting summoned to DC is needed. Heck, Neric being happy the team is alive would be a lovely scene. The team meeting up again would be great, too. The leap between ep 1 and ep2 was not good storytelling continuity.
Thanks for the review! I definitely agree about the credits. I had the exact same thoughts as you. I also want to know how Densi got to this happy place and past the differences of opinion about what their future looks like. I bet we will get at least a little information on why Deeks returned to work in the coming episodes. He did look comfortable and at peace with being there. I also think that the trauma of almost dying out there has finally left a lasting impression and they are probably doing a lot of compromising, but actually meaning it this time. I’ve kind of had a thought for awhile now, but especially since the finale last season, and Kensi’s reaction to saving that little girl kind of confirmed it for me: I don’t think she doesn’t want kids. I think she’s terrified that if they do, something will happen to their child; or that she won’t be able to protect their child. On another note, I felt it was a little out of character for Deeks to not want a bachelor party. I know he has evolved, but this is the man who had difficulty choosing between a strip club and a bikini bar.