Review: NCISLA “Joyride” (S10E11)
It’s that time of the year and last night marked the 9th time we have been treated to a special Christmas episode by the NCIS:LA team. Be sure you go on over to this week’s poll, and vote for your favorite Christmas episode and let us know which one you will always remember and what made it so special.
Yet no matter which one you pick, it’s hard not to enjoy the festivities because despite this particular case drama, the agents tried not to let a few bad guys or drug heists get in the way of the holiday spirit. This week’s episode Joyride, written by Erin Broadhurst and directed by Tawnia McKiernan, kept the Christmas craziness at a fun pace so we were able to concentrate more on the festivities than the actual case assignment. There are a few things that I could pick at, but what’s the point? Why don’t I go down the list of some bits and bobs that caught my attention and then we can compare notes in the comment section. Here goes….
Memorable moments in Joyride:
- I think Eric’s relationship with Nell is helping his self confidence in a big way. He’s come a long way from the familiar nerd image we have come to know and love to playing the feisty mountain goat. I’m liking this new bold Beale too, Nell.
- Was that the adorable Hugo the French bulldog I spied on Nell’s smart phone? I’m glad to see he was able to make his NCIS:LA debut for the holiday episode. So handsome in his Santa’s hat too! Oh this squishy face on this little boy! I guess there is still a bit of a nerd left in the mountain goat.
- You’ve got to Deeks the Halls! I got a kick out of how protective Deeks is regarding the bar. If he thinks he going to be able to keep that place spotless, he is really delusional. But Kensi has the right attitude and puts Deeks on the straight and narrow. I even think Daniela got ECO to break into a tiny giggle as he walked away from her shenanigans. And I got a golden frickin’ shark, right? and they are going to come here and break all my stemware!
- Arkady is back and he’s not a very happy camper, is he? Due to Anna’s injuries from a prison fight, his usual sense of humor is missing and I don’t think he’s ready to make Callen his son-in-law anytime in the near future either. But it seems G feels compelled to show his compassion and how much he cares for Anna despite all that’s gone down between them. He might be feeling guilty for telling the truth but he had no choice and Anna, and I suspect Arkady, knows this too. I’m sure we’ll find out as the year goes on what’s up with Anna being transferred to a state prison. She must have pissed someone off big time.
- Deeks carrying an armful of gingerbread cakes and suggesting they throw a pot luck party instead was typical Deeks. Did you notice he also gets real cranky when he’s not in control!?
- Why do I get this feeling DeChamps is trying to find out if Sam is on the market again? Sam’s a great catch, but I still don’t feel he’s ready to take that next step in finding a new partner.
- I have no idea what makes Rogers think he can babysit our special ops team? His actions are just so bizarre and he’s ridiculous, almost in an autistic or socially backwards way. He has no idea what he’s doing acting in this self-appointed role as Assistant to the Assistant Director. But he does make for a great foil as the team tries to work around his stupid ideas and evade his person at every turn.
- I liked Callen’s Charlie Brown Christmas tree he set up for Anna. Yes, it was the thought that counts.
- Sam’s encounter with the ‘amazing’ girl getting high on the candy Christmas tree was a hoot. I’m not sure if it was Sam or LL Cool J who was finding her so amusing but it made me laugh.
- I knew it! Elves are real! So if Tiffany, Kat and Mandy saved the day, where were they?? I really wanted to meet Kensi’s friends!
- Finally, some loving interaction between Densi! Deeks: Gotta love those elves. Kensi: Gotta love this barkeep.
- They are so cute, like the cutest. I’m not sure what’s worse, Christmas sweaters or Christmas ties?
- Finally, the best part of the entire episode was Deeks’ toast to Christmas ghosts, past, present and future. Remembering fallen friends and missing their mentor and mamma hen Hetty was a sweet and poignant way to end the scene. This time of the year makes it harder when you are missing loved ones and I didn’t realize how much I was missing Henrietta Lange until Deeks held up his glass in tribute. Let’s hope that we see Hetty back again soon with the team she loves.
- What did you think of this festive holiday episode? Leave your comments below and as always come back in January for new reviews as the show returns for the second half of the season. From the wikiDeeks team to you and yours, have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!
Eh,wasn’t the best, wasn’t the worst. The tribute to Granger and Hidoko was nice and well delivered.
Have not watched it yet, but thanks for such a well written review and all the pics I have seen here and on Twitter too.
I loved that Kensi was happy to make Deeks laugh with her silliness. He’s definitely wearing off on her! Deeks toasting to those who were missing/lost in the past year was lovely (and how great that Mosley was mentioned no where in there–gee, guess she’s neither loved nor missed?). It reminded me of when Sam and the team toasted to Kensi in Merry Evasion, which was another lovely moment.
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I liked Deeks and Kensi in this episode, I really adored the bar scene at the end from start to finish. I thought it was the highpoint of the episode. Deeks toasting Granger and Hetty wherever she was was a very nice change from season 9 where neither Granger nor Hetty was acknowledged.
Agent DeChamps was good, she is an excellent actress, and she definitely plays the part like she is a team player, so I enjoyed her scenes with Sam. I thought the Callen storyline with Arkady and Anna was disconnected from the rest of the storyline and was a distraction . I thought Callen needed to at least be at the closing bar scene.
This was a lot better than either the season 8 or season 9 Christmas episode, but given how good Densi was , and an interesting story, I thought it could have been a lot better . Not sure what was missing in this one for me.
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I’ll tell you what was missing. A kiss, a simple, romantic kiss on the lips. It’s been so long. Throw us a bone writers. Please!!
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Agree with sassyzazzi, this Christmas episode was better than either season 8 or 9…I thought last year’s one was especially a “huh?” episode. I like Agent DeChamps – liked her when I first saw her last season in an early episode, and even though I can’t see her as a romantic interest for Sam just yet, I wouldn’t mind seeing her more often as someone who could be a good friend to him. And I assume that they still haven’t given us the official name of Deek’s bar? The toast at the end was wonderful but I was also hoping they would also disclose the name.
Sam smiled a whole lot — so nice to see it again. More of this partnering with DeChamps, please. And can we please not play the Love Boat with this? A great friend of the opposite sex is ok, TVland.
I thought that Rogers brought up his guests and asked Neric what to do in town because he wanted to know where the party was so he could bring Hetty. Not to be, cherie.
Anna is undercover. That’s why she told Callen to tell the truth, why she had to be convicted and then transferred to state prison. Callen and Arkady are just realizing this.
The tribute was very nice.
Oh yeah, there was a crime of the week … umm….
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Thank you Diane for your review. That scene and speech at the end of the episode was the highlight for me too. I personally am not that excited about the Anna storyline and I hope that the storyline will start to move forward a little bit faster next year.
I want to wish everyone here happy holidays and thank you for all your comments and reviews!
Nice review. I actually thought the whole episode felt disconnected and with the exception of the Densi scenes, especially at the bar in the beginning and end of the show that this was the worst Christmas episode overall. The last 2 Christmas episodes were missing good Densi scenes but Season 8 offered nice scenes with Kensi & Nell & Kensi and Eric. I just think overall they have too many Neric scenes in the Christmas episodes. I personally like Nell & Eric better when separate and as good friends. I just don’t buy them as a romantic couple maybe because Barrett is too over the top when doing romantic or action scenes. As for Anna, I would be very happy if she never returned. Bar Paley’s acting talent is just not good enough to hold up to the rest of the cast. Rogers’ storyline I also hope is short-lived. I’ve seen him in other shows playing this same type of character so I don’t find him interesting or refreshing. Ready to get Linda Hunt back. Hopefully her health will allow her to come back soon. I just know I’m ready for Kensi and Deeks to start getting more air time than Eric & Nell & the recurring guest characters. I really do believe that Dianiela Ruah & ECO are the 2 best actors on the show as far as range & have the best chemistry.
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I rate this one ‘meh.’ I did like the toast at the end, but it would have been nice to also mention Michelle Hanna. The crime of the week wasn’t very interesting to me. I did enjoy Sam this episode. Love those dimples when he smiles. I can do with less Neric. I agree that Anna is probably running some kind of undercover op, but I just can’t get excited about it because of Bar Paly’s wooden acting. The rest of the cast acts rings around her. I just flat out don’t like Anna, but I really like Arkady. Deeks was amusing worrying about people messing up his saloon. What I am really missing though, is the easy, flirty, affectionate give and take between Deeks and Kensi. We have not had one affectionate moment between them since the season opener. I am Densi love starved! Please writers, end this drought.
As for Kat, Mindy, Mandy, Tiffany and Tiffani, I hope they go the way of Maris (Frazier) and Vera(Cheers), and we never actually see them, lol.
Deeks the halls! Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, and all good things in the new year.
This week’s was not my favorite Christmas episode, but I did enjoy some moments though.
Starting from NCIS:LA Season 9, more or less, I have been used by now to liking just single scenes each week more than whole episodes, which have often seemed very slow and disconnected. This week’s was no exception. I liked Deeks and Kensi together, even if I miss some romantic Densi moments, a kiss, some more affection. They seem like an old married couple already without even being married! And if the (too frequent for my taste) Neric moments are the new romantic Densi moments, I’d rather the authors went back to what Densi really represented for the show. This new version of Eric and Nell is definitely too much (for me).
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Great review, Diane! Thanks for filling in for me at the last minute. Happy new year to you and everyone!!
I lost my father in 2018 so Christmas was rough this year. Deeks toast at the end had me in tears. Eric, I know the words are written for you, but you say them so eloquently