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Review: NCISLA “The Prince” (S10E02)


This week’s NCIS: Los Angeles brought back a few characters from Callen’s past and while I’m normally less than excited by a Callen-centric episode, “The Prince,” well written by Andrew Bartels and solidly directed by Lily Mariye, turned out to be an entertaining and enjoyable team episode.

The Deeks and the Densi

The Densi interactions were solid throughout despite the rather disorienting wedding planning, which has apparently been set on some kind of endless loop. I liked the scene at the limo where they spoke briefly about a refreshingly different topic (equality for Saudi Arabian women) and Deeks spent the whole scene getting his glove on. I assume that was scripted but it felt silly enough to have been improv- maybe Eric Christian Olsen, not Deeks, was the one having trouble with that darn glove?

As much as I’m enjoying seeing an apparently happy Densi, I gotta say that the wedding planning is driving me a little nuts. The scene where Nell put them on the spot about picking a date was satisfying; Nell here, and even Sam later, both appeared to be speaking on behalf of Densi fans everywhere. The Ops scene was awkward and funny, and Deeks and Kensi deserved and needed to hear Nell’s questions and confusion.

I assumed these two would have used the previous three months to talk through their feelings, come to some compromises about their future plans, and get the wedding plans largely squared away. But nope, not so much. I mean, last year we had Kensi begging Deeks to take some of the wedding planning off of her shoulders, implying it was underway, and we saw them look at venues and talk about the guest list. Wasn’t there even a deleted scene on the topic? I guess that doesn’t count as canon though. Now it feels like we’re starting over and I’m as confused as Nell and more than a bit discouraged.

There is one scenario here that could make me very happy, and that’s if these two have utterly failed to address the disparate visions for their future that became so clear at the end of last season. Maybe they simply went back to pretending everything was fine, living in denial just as they did all of Season 9. Only since they know they’re not on the same page, they’ve procrastinated moving ahead with the plans. This scenario would fit well with these two characters’ history of poor communication skills and perhaps mutual fear of ending up back where they were with “A Line in the Sand.” And it would give us the opportunity to see them work through those issues together. That’s likely wishful thinking on my part, but I’m going to keep hoping it’s part of what Eric Christian Olsen described to us as “some pretty emotional and amazing scenes coming up” that lead to the wedding.

My other dream for these two has been a simple beach wedding without all the craziness they’ve discussed (I seem to recall a choreographer and a chocolate fountain?). I don’t find the elaborate wedding touches to be super in character and I’m hoping for something simpler and/or more unconventional, like we got with Kensi’s proposal. That sure doesn’t seem to be where we’re heading, but again, until proven otherwise I shall continue on with my wishful thinking. I just can’t believe the showrunners who brought us that special combination of “sunshine and gunpowder” really want to see these two tie the knot in a traditional way.

Rant of (Next) Week

If last week’s rant could be about the opening credits, this week’s can be about the promo for next week’s “Hit List.” So Mosley is back in OSP and barking out orders again? I thought there were going to be consequences, but I guess only for Hetty, and probably only because Linda Hunt needed time off to recover from her accident. We’ve been over this before. Although every member of the team has gone rogue in the past, they’ve done so at risk to their own lives while trying to exclude others to keep them safe. Mosley on the other hand threatened people’s jobs if they didn’t break the law, fired Deeks, and bullied everyone else into an off-the-books mission in a foreign country where one of her team died and the rest almost did. Under what circumstances could she possibly be allowed back in charge of any group, let alone that same one?

I could accept Granger as an initially unlikeable character because his motives were usually good, or at least mysterious. But he could show more depth of character in a single baleful glance than Mosley can no matter how much stomping around she does in her high heels. Granger was fun to hate; Mosley just raises my blood pressure. I’m not interested in her unless all her scenes involve Hetty tormenting her by sitting at her desk. Otherwise please take her away.

Everything Else

Oh, right, this episode was about Callen and his past. I have to say that I couldn’t possibly explain Joelle’s (Elizabeth Bogush) story to date, so I’m not super clear on whether she’s always been 100% good, but I didn’t mind her here. And having DSS Agent Brian Bush (Drew Waters), the man who had taken away Callen’s father, come back in a more nuanced role was a nice touch. I appreciated how well he and Callen managed to work together as professionals. Callen just seemed understandably sad and little tired throughout, seemingly resigned to an endless loop of finding and losing family as well as girlfriends.

Thankfully Nell and Eric provided a couple of cute moments with Nell using a kiss to easily assuage Eric’s hurt feelings over finding out Joelle was alive, along with their discussions of “hidden voyeuristic fantasies” and fetishes. Seeing Eric comically try to fend off Joelle made me laugh even as it added more proof that Field Agent Beale was and always will be a terrible idea. And as much as I dislike Field Agent Nell, her pulling that weapon out from under her desk was a very cool move.

The best scene of the episode was the quiet one between the prince and Sam as they discussed where they’d like to die. That they took time out from the action to share the exchange made us care ever so slightly about the prince’s fate, and reinforced how much depth Sam Hanna has (he’s no Mosley!). That Sam would want to end his life in Michelle’s final resting place moved me, and added to my feelings thinking about him out on his boat. I even appreciated the hushed sound of the hotel room, isolated above the city and rushing cars below, which really helped to set the scene apart from everything else.

Remaining Questions

  • Seriously, is Mosley really coming back to stay? (And is it wrong of me to root for the cartel?)
  • Did the ending set up a possible Joelle-Callen reconciliation? Will Callen ever find true and lasting love?
  • More importantly, is it possible that any of my wishful thinking about Densi wedding plans has a chance of coming true? (Let me down easy, people.)

The entire hour just felt right, well balanced and with so many of the team interactions we’ve been craving. And all in all, the team did just fine without anyone supervising their actions or second-guessing their decisions. In fact, the lack of additional team members/supervisors allowed the core team more time to work together, which is really at the end of the day what we tune in to watch. See, we don’t need Mosley at all- surely there’s some other NCIS operation that needs her hands-on touch?

What did you think of “The Prince”? Are you good with the state of the wedding plans? Did you enjoy Joelle’s reappearance? How did you like the team dynamic? Tell us all about it in the Comments below!

About Karen P (193 Articles)
wikiDeeks Writer & Assistant Editor. I never wrote for fun before... until my ECO-obsession. Now I love to analyze any and all aspects of the best character on television.

18 Comments on Review: NCISLA “The Prince” (S10E02)

  1. Thanks for the review! Awesome!

    My issue with the episode was with Joelle and Callen at the end. So Joelle with her documentary evidence on the thumb drive and her inside source who is now going testify singlehandedly took down Two G S (GSGS), an international bad guy syndicate, including ex-CIA operatives, “responsible for half a dozen assassinations”. So it’s ok now to announce to her family she’s not dead anymore and go back to them? Sure! No one’s in any danger anymore! Two G S won’t want to seek retaliation over her actions! Beyond idiotic. At least they had her walk away.

    I’ve always like Joelle. I didn’t like what they did to her storyline which came out of the freaking blue but at least now she’s more interesting to Callen. I don’t see him settling down in a happy life with a school teacher. That’s a fantasy life for him. And boring. I DO see him sharing crazy adventures with a fellow damaged person who has some of the same skills he does.

    I dunno. I’m beginning to have to deal with Densi and the wedding as an alternate universe they sometimes visit. And we get to see photographs of from time to time.

    Nell pulling the gun from underneath her workstation and the eye she gave Joelle when she dropped her of at the hotel were very nice.

    I’ll deal with the whole Mosely thing next week.

    Like

    • Can’t help but wonder what’s in store for Callen-Joelle working more together since she walked away from her family-again! As for the Densi wedding. I’n holding out for something simple, on the beach, just friends and family- anything else just wouldn’t be them

      Like

  2. It is so unbelievably good to have you back again Wikideeks team! I had really hard time thinking how to reach you Karen and ask you if you would be able to continue writing your great reviews and where. Outcome like this was totally out of my mind. Not that you are all back, but you got also another new associate – Mr Olsen himself. Great recruiting skills my ladies!
    I totally agree with you about this episode. I enjoyed watching it. I found it well balanced and team oriented – the type of episode that was the reason I fell in love with this show in the first place.
    Densi was so good and funny and lovable with their wedding plans throughout the whole episode. I especially liked Kensi in OPS in the scene with Nell.
    All in all, it feels like our show is back on track.
    And I am not concerned about Mosley at all…she just continues to be her “lovable” self.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There was a sense of simplicity about this episode. I liked that it was just the team, led by Callen and briefed by Nell and Eric. It had an air of calmness, even during the action scenes. I have to admit I was very surprised when Joelle showed up. Callen now has two girlfriends in trouble and both wandering around in the dark making us wonder who he’ll finally end up with. There did seem to be a connection between Callen and Jo in that last scene. I like her a whole lot better than Anna, but she looks better as a blond. That black hair was disturbing.

    That said, the best scene was the one with the team in the boat shed when Callen and Sam reveal to Deeks and Kensi that they had kept Joelle’s fake death a secret. Deeks really looked hurt by that. There seemed to be a fresh bond between the four of them, as if what they went through together in Mexico had brought them closer as a team, as a family. I loved that. No secrets anymore. Trust instead.

    I feel the same as you do Karen, about all the conventional wedding plans spun out during this ep. I’m thinking it is all a smoke screen for what will really happen. A deflection if you will, to try and confuse us fans and throw us off the scent of what the showrunner and writers are planning for the real wedding. I think even Kensi and Deeks seem uncomfortable discussing all those wedding details. They are not conventional people, and all that stuff seems foreign to them. My favorite scene was Sam telling them to be themselves and when they do get married, whether it’s in three months or three years, they will all be there for them…and then telling them not to make it three years. I think he speaks for all of us on that. I’m hoping the wedding takes place before the Christmas episode or during the Christmas episode. Now that would be an amazing gift to all their loyal fans.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ryan Collins // October 16, 2018 at 9:25 AM // Reply

    I think you might be on to something about Kensi and Deeks being in a sort of denial mode. Like they kind of hit a reset on wedding planning and procrastinated during their recovery over the summer because they are afraid of “tipping the boat” again. I think in the upcoming episodes there will be a series of events that will push them to figuring out their issues that came out in the parking garage. I think “Pro Se” on October 28 will be the first push. Also Dani said in a reply on her latest Instagram post that she was told that the wedding will happen this season

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen thanks for the review , I felt the same way, I enjoyed this episode.It had lots of action, lots of our favorite sub teams, Sallen, Densi and Neric, but it also had lots of full team scenes. This was really a perfect balance of all the characters.I loved the banter between Deeks and Kensi, it is a banter we missed so much in season 9. I was thinking about Densi the same way you were , that somehow this putting off the decision on the date is a way of avoiding talking about what happened and maybe they will talk eventually. That would be in character for both of them as you said.

    The bullpen scenes and the scenes in ops were outstanding. It is so good to have this show back from whatever they tried to do last season which did not work. In my opinion ,which may be a minority opinion, I think that both Mosley and Hidoko made the scenes in the bullpen and the ops center extremely awkward and unpleasant to watch last season. Neither character worked with the existing cast for different reasons.

    I totally agree with you about Mosley, she is just such a hateful self-centered character; for me it is hard to imagine her as a mother. She killed the father of her child , in cold blood , he did not have a weapon drawn. I get that she did it to save the team, but she still has to tell their son, who clearly loved his father what she did. There is just no redemption for this character, She needs to go away, she needs to be held accountable for the Mexico mission and for ordering direct reports to break the law for her under plenty of being fired.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Even though I don’t have much to add right now when it comes to this episode, I just wanted to thank you Karen for your great review, I love that WikiDeeks is back. Thank you WikiDeeks staff for all your hard work!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This was an amazing review, Karen, thanks for everything you do for WikiDeeks together with the other members of the staff. Since I knew you would be coming back this season, I have felt so grateful you finally made the decision to go on with this site. And those weekly ECO videos are the greatest NCIS:LA gift a fan could ask for.

    This week’s episode was well-written and, I think, also well-acted. I liked all the characters, they seemed to have found their old rhythm again and worked well together liking to be together. Last season it didn’t always happen and most scenes felt forced and unnatural.

    Whenever I see Joelle is back in an episode, I’m curious to see how she will interact with Callen and this week was no exception. I have always liked them together, the way Callen looks at her is amazing, be it to like her or to hate her, he’s never indifferent and maybe she’s not either. I hope we’ll see more of her, I like the actress (less her character) and to see her interact with the others.

    Deeks and Kensi seem to be what they used to be before season 9, too, even if I admit all this wedding planning is starting to bore me. I’m glad we all know we should expect a wedding this season, and all this talk is going to end, otherwise I would think the authors have seriously run of of ideas on how to write a Densi dialog on something else.
    I’m wondering why there hasn’t been any progression. They don’t even have a date yet! And, most of all, I’m disappointed we didn’t get to see how they dealt with the serious issues on their future both of them had addressed before going to Mexico. Before seeing them married, to taste each moment of their wedding better, I would definitely like to see how they both see their future lives together. I don’t think I’m asking too much, since the authors made us curious about it to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great review as usual, Karen. Loved the Densi scenes. It will be interesting with all their talk about the wedding how it will eventually work out. Somehow I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised and it will fit the two characters. I am an optimistic person and the fact that they tell us it’s going to happen before the season is over keeps me positive.

    I do hope we see more of Joelle and Callan. I fancy them together more than Callan with Anna but that’s a personal opinion and doubt that it goes with the writers’ ones.

    Now with Mosley. I think everyone who has read anything I’ve posted knows I cannot stand the character. She has absolutely no redeeming traits. Granger at least had a wicked dry sense of humor and I think he cared about the team but he was all business, and yes, I hated him at first but Miguel Ferrer made you respect Granger and grow to care for him. I would imagine viewers shed a few tears when his daughter led the team to his burial spot. I know I did. But at this point if they killed off Mosley I’d probably be clapping. Mean? Maybe but I don’t see her caring for anyone but Mosley. I wonder how much she really cares about her son and she didn’t seem to be too broken up over the death of her protégé, Hidoko, even though she was responsible for her death.

    I wonder if Nia Long was signed to a long-term contract and that’s why we’re stuck with the character and giving her third billing in the opening credits when the character should be on trial and eventually serving time in a federal prison.

    Again, thank you for your reviews. I appreciate you taking the time to do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wish I had time to do more than skim the comments, but as usual, a great review, Karen! The continued wedding discussion is getting weird, IMO. I think someone else said it’s a smokescreen, and that’s how it felt to me too, especially at the end when they were going on and on about all the things they still had to do. (Might just be working on a fic about that, btw.)

    I did enjoy Kensi calling Deeks “sweetheart” on comms again (a la “Old Tricks”) and the callback to one of them watching the other’s ass (a la “Descent”). And the way she kept Joelle in her sights from the rooftop. None of the ladies in Callen’s life were too happy to see Joelle again, were they?

    Not sure I see anything happening again between Callen and Joelle/Beth/Jane (are those all the right names?) given the way Callen seemed pretty upset to learn that she’d had a child at home when she was sleeping with him. And then when given the chance to go back to her son, she decided not to. I think Callen takes leaving children behind kind of personally, and I don’t see him hooking up with her again

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, and re: next week’s ep, wasn’t the whole team supposed to be on this hit list? Hopefully the way they cut the preview made it seem like it was all about Mosley and Derrick.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gemmil said the wedding will be about “sunshine and gunpowder” i think the wedding will be after a big case where things got real. They decide to say screw it lets just do it. Simple beach wedding with the principle cast the moms and Nate kinda like Castle’s wedding went

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think, Mark, you might have described my favorite NCIS:LA scene ever and, most of all, the way I have always pictured a Densi wedding in my head before all this wedding planning nonsense started last season. I do hope you are right, as much as I hope this wedding we have all (Densi fans) been waiting for so long is given the deserved time and importance in the episode, not just 30 seconds before the credits.

      Like

  12. I loved this episode. Mosely needs to go or keep Gerald McRaney’s character around to give her crap about Odoko’s death. Kensi and Deeks on the beach sounds great. I miss Granger. Don’t know what to think of Joelle. Callan still cares about her. Sam is just Sam.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I liked The Prince! As much as I love Hetty, and hate Mosley, it was great not to have anyone second guessing the team decisions. So get rid of Mosley, and keep the team. Oh, either Kensi and Deeks “fish or cut bait”. End the story line already.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Valentina Vella // October 18, 2018 at 9:42 AM // Reply

    Thanks for this great review! I hope for a small beach wedding for Densi, even Scott Gemmill said in an interview that the wedding will be like sunshine and gunpower!
    I hate that we’ll have to deal with Moslay again… and that our team have to protect her from the cartel. About Callen.. I don’t understand why his sister doesn’t talk to him anymore, isn’t his fault about his father.. and about a romance again with Joelle character , maybe would be interesting, we’ll see!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brenda (@bpnp) // October 18, 2018 at 6:36 PM // Reply

    Karen,

    I always love your reviews, but this one was downright eerie – I honestly felt like you plagiarized parts of that review straight out of my mind!! 🙂 The second paragraph of your “rant” sounded like I wrote it – except I know I didn’t!!

    While we’re ranting about Mosley – I’m still irritated about the opening credits – Mosley before Deeks & Kensi!?!?!? GRRR. She needs to be gone, not front and centre!!

    I did not get that scene with Joelle walking away from her family at the end. What was that? The wedding planning – meh.

    But I really did enjoy the episode overall. I agree with Lindy – seems like a deeper bond within the team. Also highlights how good the team is on their own, without extra characters being forced in.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments. And for so many of them that made me laugh out loud!

    Like

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