Welcome back to NCIS: Los Angeles! Can you believe we have begun the 13th Season?! Besides time flying by and all those clichés, it truly is amazing when you look back over all the years and see how far these characters have come. Every year we return expecting more and looking back at what may have been. But I’m just happy we can return to our favorite fictional characters and share in their lives one more year. As fans of this show we are truly blessed. We have some reoccurring story lines starting off the season opener, “Subject 17,” with Callen still wondering what Hetty is still hiding about his past and Joelle returning to find Katya. And of course, we are still wondering if Deeks and Kensi are ever going to have little ninja turtles of their own in their quest for their first baby Deeks. One of my favorite directors, Dennis Smith, is sitting behind the camera for this episode that was written by R. Scott Gemmill.
Looks like Callen is still grappling with his past. I suppose if I were him I’d feel the same way, but he is surely a dog with a bone who’s not going to give it up any time soon. I could go along with the mystery and intrigue but I wished it just hadn’t taken thirteen years to get answers. Speaking of continuing story lines, Densi is still searching for a way to parenthood and it looks like they have accepted it may take an adoption to fulfill their dreams. This is a big step for Kensi, who has to accept the fact that she’s not Wonder Woman after all and her body has betrayed her. But she knows that even adoption has its blessings and has agreed with Deeks to go in search of a child in need. I had to laugh when she asked for a reference from Hetty, who truly knows her limitations. Not one to win ‘parent of the year’ accolades, Hetty refuses to give the couple a reference and instead promises one from the Director of NCIS. Kensi suspects from her response that Hetty could be detrimental to their adoption process. I don’t know why she is surprised.
As Kilbride told Callen, Hetty creates people and Callen is still searching for answers. What if he is Subject 17? Will it truly make a difference in his life? What can he gleam from these files that will change is life after all these years? LL Cool J’s portrayal of Sam made me smile in this scene. After all these years with his partner he can only humor Callen at this point and try and bang some sense into him… but we all know how far that will get him. Callen is never going to let this go despite Sam’s Pandora’s box warning. Ye shall know the truth…
Meanwhile back at the ranch or the boatshed. She’s back! Joelle is still searching for Katya and is desperate for revenge. In the scene, Kensi and Deeks find no clues that will aid in the search of Zasha. Kensi instead turns her thoughts to Hetty again with Deeks jokingly reminding her that Hetty did go through that cannibal phase. “What is more serious than people eating other people? It’s one of the seven deadly sins!” It’s as good a hypothesis as any, Deeks.
I think I’m going to enjoy Hetty and Kilbride playing off of each other this season. Poor Sheldon. But my money is on Hetty when it comes to Kilbride’s bossy ways. Linda Hunt’s facial expressions were priceless. I think she is enjoying this as much as Hetty.
While assessing Katya and Anna’s background, Callen is remembering more about his childhood and training. What if he was part of a school to recruit secret agents right out of the cradle? Callen is desperately determined to go down this rabbit hole. Kilbride is not giving anything up but I don’t think he knows the whole story either and would rather throw it back on Hetty’s shoulders instead. Callen bullies Hetty to know if he is Subject 17 and he gets his answer. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Hetty back down so fast. Will Callen regret knowing the truth?
Kilbride forces Callen to concentrate on the mission instead. He will have to deal with Hetty later. For now he needs to force Joelle to come to her senses and bring Zasha to the boatshed. Another showdown at the boatshed corral with Joelle and we find that Zasha is working with NCIS. But Joelle is being defiant and has no intention of giving up her prey. Callen knows how to play the blackmail game too. Who’s going to break first? Can they work together and both get Katya in a joint mission?
Looks like the NCIS boys have some better and more sophisticated weaponry this season. Those SUVs were blown up in style. As the Russians herd Zasha back into the building, the banter between Sam and Joelle gets extreme. There is definitely no love lost between these two. Kilbride wants a non-lethal confrontation and as little involvement from NCIS as possible. The team knows this confrontation is only going to end one way. The team is going in. We get a Densi chuckle of the hour as the team goes crashing into the building.
Deeks: Shock and awe is my specialty.
Kensi: God I wish.
With Zasha and Joelle secure, Callen decides Joelle is worth more to them in their search for Katya than throwing her behind bars. The rogue CIA operative leaves, threatening Callen to stay away from her family. This storyline is not over and we’re already being set up for more confrontations between the two.
Little genetic ninja assassins may not be a reality for Kensi and Deeks but Deeks is philosophical as always. Ready to trust and give into the universe, Deeks uses his superpower to make Kensi laugh and forget about their problems. Deeks knows how to talk Kensi off the ledge and she is lucky to be married to her surfer guru.
Hetty starts a new arc by traveling to Syria to clean up a mess she left behind. Kilbride is not too optimistic about her chances, but we have seen Hetty survive worse. Callen will always have a love/hate relationship with Hetty. But he’s torn between finding out more about his past and keeping Hetty’s future safe. Callen sends Zasha to keep tabs on Hetty. It will be interesting to see where this storyline will take us.
All in all, a good first episode. Having all the characters share their fears, hopes and uncertainties is always an episode that gets my vote. Although I’m a bit tired of this Russian arc, maybe this new storyline will take us into unknown territory. Also, still missing Nell and hope that she and Eric make an appearance one episode in the future.
Hope you had a chance yesterday to watch our first video from Eric regarding Deeks’ storyline and arc for this season. We have two more coming up, so be sure not to miss them! Deeks’ Surf Log is back this year along with Kensi’s Journal, for all of you fans who like to sneak a peek into the minds of our two favorite characters. What did you think of last night’s opening season episode? Why don’t you leave a comment below and join in the conversation!