Hey everybody! Welcome to the review for “Born to Run”, the very next episode to follow the wedding that we were all waiting for and finally received. It was our first chance to see how the newlyweds were adjusting to their new life together and how it might affect their working relationship. We also were treated to a fairly simple case, so let’s see what we saw this week.
Sydney (Ashley Rae Spillers), Nell’s sister, shows up again and we immediately sense that this is not just a social visit. It turns out that her high school crush, Andre Martinez (Delon de Metz), has found himself tangled in a plot to steal a hard drive containing top secret information about naval warfare.
I have to admit, the opening “splatter” made me laugh out loud and sorry, Mrs. Bunny, but it was not a dead squirrel nor a family of dead squirrels that landed all over you and your car. Ugh… I bet that smelled real nice. I knew the actress looked familiar and she turns out to be Carolyn Hennesy, who has a long list of movie and television credits, including her long running role as Diane Miller on General Hospital.
We jump to the Mission where Callen is criticizing Sam’s dance moves. I do not remember ever seeing Sam dance, so I have no comment to make about that subject but it was brave of Eric to side with Callen on that particular topic, earning him a towel snap from the big SEAL. This little point comes up again later in the show… for what reason I’m not sure.
Kensi and Deeks come out of the bullpen discussing how they are going to handle her inability to keep her hands off of her irresistible new husband. There were a few moments where it appeared that Daniela was having a hard time keeping a straight face that more than likely had something to do with Eric’s improvisation skills. There were even a few moments when it looked like he almost cracked up himself.
Up in Ops, we see that Eric is really off his game once he realizes that Nell is running late without letting him know. While I understand Eric’s confusion, it was his inability to focus on his job that was so concerning and it went on throughout the episode. This is another reason why I’m not a fan of his and Nell’s relationship. Don’t get me wrong- I do love the characters, just not their romance. Why can’t the writers leave them as platonic friends instead of adding another couple to the OSP? Personally, I think it would add another dimension to the show if Nell dates and has Eric to lean on when things go bad and vice versa for Eric. We already had an established Kensi and Deeks “thing” and I don’t feel like we needed another.
Special Prosecutor Rogers (Peter Jacobson) is in the building to conduct performance reviews on the team and I have to say, this new character is starting to grow on me. Now whether that’s as a fungus that won’t go away even with antibiotics or something not so hideous, remains to be seen but he is turning out to be a bit of a pleasant addition to the office. Of course, he’s no Hetty nor even a poor replacement for Granger (Miguel, you are missed dearly) but he brings some humor as well as a touch of confidence that he is actually there to help rather than hinder. He shushed both Deeks and Kensi to let them know that their little game was up and that there was actually someone in charge of the office and they were no longer going to leave him out in the cold.
It seems like the team is beginning to accept Rogers into the fold at OSP even after his mistake in giving out information to the Commodore before he had all of the details. I can’t really fault him solely for that… the team was keeping him out of the loop to protect Nell, so they were just as much to blame for the ambush by the Russians. The get together at the bar was a nice way to round out the show, giving us a really cool Rogers with his “That bitch is going down” statement about Commodore Kang. I guess we will have to wait and see how he plays out if he remains through the rest of the season. Hetty popped up at the wedding in last week’s “Till Death Do Us Part“, but it seems that she is not ready to come back full time. Get well Helen and get back in the game!
The employee reviews were something that I was looking forward to, but we only got a snippet of Deeks’ before Beale interrupted in his hunt for Nell. I felt like the detective was about to reveal something substantial… or totally irreverent. He was so serious with his story about the girl who was not at school on a Tuesday but it all could have been him messing with Rogers. I guess we will never know. We didn’t even get a blip of Kensi’s or Sam’s interview and Callen did not even make it to the couches. It almost felt like that this was simply a filler to make up some extra time, but what a waste of some hilarious moments with Rogers. Deeks was on it this episode! I loved how he played up Rogers and the time they spent together for Callen and the rest of the team. “That man is a gift” had me cracking up again. That’s twice in one show and that’s pretty rare for me!
What was with the guy at the apartments where the submarine think tank was staying? Was he really trying to flirt with Kensi? I hope not because that was terrible and really hard to watch.
I do have to say that I am growing aggravated with the Make Beale a Field Agent story arc that we seem to be stuck with this season. If it was not obvious in last week’s episode that he has no business as an agent in the field then this week should have made it crystal clear. Now let me say this… I do love the Eric Beale character but only in the realm in which he is at his best, which is in operations or handling some technical aspect of the case at hand. Between his wrestling with a training dummy to getting his butt handed to him by the goons looking for Kirkin last week, all the way to his almost inability to function when he could not maintain his focus because of his worrying over the missing Nell. Eric may “know” all the right moves, but there is a big difference between book knowledge and practical application of that knowledge that leads to success. I knew a few people in my EMT class who could pass the written tests but in no way could they apply that to the real world scenarios they threw at us during our practical exams. Let Eric enjoy his reign as tech master and leave the field work to those who are much more capable.
The character that really stood out was of course, the faithful Nell Jones. Even though her sister completely blindsided her, Nell went along with the zaniness until she realized that an old friend needed help and then she jumped right in. As things began to go even further south, Nell showed just how close this little family really is. She wasn’t relying on NCIS, she was trusting her family and that’s what I love about this show. Even when it lets me down with an episode that falls short of my expectations, they are always a family and it is in those moments that their strengths show through. Andre was impressed that she had people in her life she could trust that heartily and even Sydney appeared jealous of those connections. I just wish that she and Eric were not in a relationship but were platonic friends instead… there is something to be said for a male-female relationship that is based solely on friendship and nothing more. They were cute enough as teammates before they were ever together.
Would somebody care to let us know how many movie references there were in this episode? I caught some that I knew, mostly from “The Fugitive” but there were some from movies that I am not very familiar with. If you spotted any, be sure to let us know in your comments.
“Born to Run” was pretty solid overall (except for the points that I’ve already made); we got some great banter between the partners and among the team, there was a good mix of serious and humor where the humorous parts did not overpower the deeper segments, and there was an adequate amount of action (loved Kensi on horseback) mixed in as well. Not too bad for a follow-up to the most anticipated episode this season… or seasons… depending on how much of a Densi shipper you are.
Don’t be shy! Please give us your thoughts and comments on “Born to Run”, point out the things that stood out to you, give us your opinion on what worked and what didn’t, and whatever you do… never take Nell to a donut shop!