For this week’s case, we get a murdered arms dealer who appears to have been killed by someone with special-forces training and experience. Callen, along with Arkady Kolchek, visit Anna in prison where she is awaiting sentencing. Noticeably absent (even from the opening credits) is Mosley and I can’t say that I really missed her. Okay, I didn’t miss her at all and hope that Hetty is back before the Assistant Director is seen again at OSP.
Okay, let’s jump into “One of Us” and see what we got this week!
After the arms dealer’s death and then the opening credits, we come to my first gripe. Arkady Kolchek is in this episode and this was all that we got? Talk about a waste of material! Sheez guys, are you kidding me? While I never really liked the character of Anna, the way her departure was handled still felt like a disappointment (much like Hidoko’s) and with the miniscule screen time that Vyto Ruginis was given, it was a tremendous letdown. He did give us the line “embarrassment of riches” and that was classic Arkady. With his ties to the Russian mob, I doubt that his daughter would be in any real danger in prison other than getting a bit roughed up for being former law enforcement.
I mentioned this in last week’s review but Deputy Director Ochoa is really growing on me as a new character and in his place with OSP’s best team. He has been presented as capable and honorable so far, without any agenda that we are aware of at this time. Although, that could change in a moment’s notice. We even get a little bit of his backstory with the sheriff who took him under his wing and set him on a better path, with his surfing (while admittedly not good) and scuba diving added to the resume. I think he will be someone who will not only be an asset but maybe even a savior when the time comes but I was a bit put off by the revolver he used in the range. While I’m no spring chicken, my sidearm of choice has a bit more capacity just like the rest of the team and I’m hoping he was just keeping up his skills with a seldom used weapon. But each to his own.
The case with the murdered arms dealer was pretty straightforward but I did have a few issues with the initial set-up. I get that the beach was an open zone but really no one on the security would have thought that was the weak spot in the state-of-the-art security that they had spent quite a lot of money designing and implementing? Part of good perimeter security is sealing off the perimeter and the beach was left wide open without even a roving patrol or cameras on the pathway. Whatever he was paying those guys, they messed up big time; no wonder they wouldn’t want to be found! Even the kids running the parking lot had better counter measures until we find out that a former special operations soldier might be the culprit. I guess it was just one of those things that they had to overlook because the script said so.
Eric got to go into the field and while I do not think he’s field agent material, his skills with technology make him valuable when the situation arises. I’m just glad the Neric was toned down this week. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… we already have one couple on the show; we do not need another. For me, Nell and Eric worked so great with the annoying brother-sister dynamic and should never have been made into a twosome. Why is it that when two people work together closely on a show like this, they cannot stay in a platonic relationship as friends? While they can be cute together, to me it still feels like the writers are running out of creative ways to keep the characters interesting without throwing them into a relationship that feels unnecessary.
Now, back to the case.
At first, it appeared that the MARSOC Marine, Lance Hamilton, might have been the killer but then we are presented the tragic story of Army Ranger Daniel Aguilar and the horrific trauma that he and his wife suffered with the death of their son and the loss of their marriage.
Sam, wrecking that guys bike during the chase? Not cool… not cool at all!
Bill Goldberg brought a serious amount of toughguyness (is that a word?) to this episode, making even LL Cool J look a little smaller in comparison. His character was no-nonsense (kind of like most of the Marines I served with) and wasn’t intimidated by, well pretty much anything. He likes working alone and has a serious air of mystery about him, especially the fact that he doesn’t appear to be forthcoming about what he’s really up to. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t intended, but did anyone else get the vibe that the Ranger was doing the dirty work while Hamilton (or someone like him) was giving directions on taking out some serious bad guys like a handler would? I mean, where was Aguilar getting his information and how was he tracking down all the criminals without some outside help?
Despite the rough start this season has had, with the addition of Ochoa, Turk, and Hamilton, the writers are giving us some new and really neat characters to add to the mix over at the Office of Special Projects. This gives them more tools in the toolbox that will bring even more variety to the show and maybe make up for some of the ones we’ve lost over the past season.
After last week’s complete lack of Densi, we get a few great scenes with Kensi and Deeks, with Dani and Eric at their best. Kensi’s idea of going with Brides Against Breast Cancer for her wedding gown was totally awesome, except for inviting Deeks’ mom along for the event (that could be an episode all on its own – and if they don’t, hello fanfic writers). The banter was back, the relationship was right there and it felt like the wedding plans are progressing along nicely, but that brings me to my second issue with this episode.
My second gripe is that we are back to the private conversations between Kensi and Deeks that are still only about the wedding ceremony and not the marriage itself; those are two very different things. The more episodes that we see without the conversation that these two needed after Mexico, the more concerned I get that we will never get it. Talk about leaving a major character development point flapping in the breeze!
I know they have moved past the argument and misunderstandings in the parking garage, but we need to understand how they got from point A to point B to point C and to the wedding. Without it, there are still questions about how it will really work between these two if they are still on different pages as far as careers and kids. Weddings are wonderful and I know that if TPTB actually give us one, it will be spectacular… but a marriage is more than the ceremony and saying the I do’s. It’s the lifelong path that they walk together, through good times and bad, through the best and worst of each other, and it’s still choosing to love one another, day after day, especially when they aren’t all that loveable.
They work so well in the field together and taking out the runner with a garden hose? That looked like something that would happen to the Three Stooges! And you never, ever… I mean… ever, try to assault a federal agent while cuffed! Especially an agent as badass as Kensi!
“I think you broke me!” …that line cracked me up and then the “You got a lot of air, Jerry” was the cherry on top.
Then Deeks is trying to puff up next to Goldberg in the boatshed! That was awesome. Pointless there Deeks, but still awesome! It had to hurt when the blonde hostess compared Deeks to her dad. Ouch! I’m sure Kensi will bring that up over and over, especially after the GED comment to get them in the restaurant in the first place but after the ass–whooping he put on the dude who was about to hit her with a champagne bottle… she will probably cut him a little slack.
About that fight scene with the drug dealer’s goons (they were goons; no self-respecting body-guard would sit with their backs to the doors)… Deeks once again got focused on Kensi rather than the case at hand. I’m not saying it was a bad decision, he should always have his partner’s back, but Kensi looked a little concerned while he was pummeling the dude on the floor. I’m hoping this doesn’t lead into doubts about their ability to continue to work together after they become husband and wife.
Holy Bat Crap! Unless my eyes are deceiving me, they actually gave David Paul Olsen some lines and screen time (he even shows he has some acting chops, just like his little brother). I’m sure both Dani and Eric were happy to finally see that happen. I was impressed by how seamlessly he fit in the boatshed scene with Sam and Callen; it was like he was already part of the team. I wasn’t too thrilled with his snark about the “unlucky path” that Hamilton took to become a Marine …even SEALS need someone to save them from time to time, and we Marines are happy to oblige!
This was a much deeper episode than I was expecting after the simple opening and it really tugged at my heartstrings and when Sam had to tell Aguilar’s wife that he was gone, that was just really hard to watch. I could understand the rabbit hole that he found himself falling down and it was sad to know that the end game was the only one that would have worked out for the decorated Ranger. The pain and agony of seeing so much death and destruction overseas only to return home and lose your child in the safety of your home would be devastating and almost impossible to deal with. It is said that it only takes a small push to send even the most upright person spinning into the darkness of rage and retribution. Even after the crimes he had committed, Sam was right to offer hope to the soldier but sadly, he chose to end it in that alley instead of face an uncertain future. It was sad and poignant, leaving us with a heartbroken widow who lost not only her child but now her love as well.
Kensi was right… this time, it sure didn’t feel like a win.
This episode ends with Anna heading off to federal prison for at least three years and Callen is left with the fallout of doing the right thing but still losing something precious in the end. I’m sure this isn’t the first time this has happened to him but it was still obvious that he will carry some guilt over his testimony putting her there. It also appears that his and Arkady’s friendship will suffer as well; I guess that ticket offer went out the window.
While keeping Anna alive will allow the writers to bring her back if they deem it necessary, relegating her to federal prison was such a letdown. We will probably find out later that this was all some plot to get her into some deep cover operation that needed her discredited and imprisoned… I’m guessing that’s why she told both her father and her on-off lover not to visit her anymore. Hmmmmmm…
So, what did you think of “One of Us”? How will Callen deal with his regrets over how he handled Anna? Will his friendship with Arkady survive the riff that has formed between them? Will Sam give any consideration to Hamilton’s offer to join him over at State if he gets to feeling boxed in at OSP? Will Kensi and Deeks ever have that conversation and deal with some real issues instead of just cakes and dresses? How badly did you miss Mosley or did you even notice?
Let us know what you think about this episode and even give us your thoughts on how you think the season is going thus far.
And as always,