Written by Anastasia Kousakis and directed by her father John Peter Kousakis, this week’s NCIS: Los Angeles, “Under the Influence,” marked the end of a seven-week drought. We’re going to forego the review in favor of turning things over to you ASAP for the discussion. A few thoughts to get things started:
- The episode lacked a big sense of drama because we were given no reasons to care about Gia, who seemed like a vapid jerk. Had they made Kilbride’s conversation with Gia’s mother a video call so we could see her mom’s anguish, that might have made a difference. We did get several emotional moments though, courtesy of Sam quoting what I assume was Michelle’s advice about parenting, Curtisʻ mother worrying over her son and talking about the loss of his father, Sam invoking what Curtis’ late father would have wanted for him, and Kensi musing on the importance of raising strong and good sons as well as daughters. Nice follow-through on the episode’s main theme.
- The other lack of drama came in the form of a lack of action. Not a single shot was fired, except from the paparazzo’s camera, and the only car “chase” involved a suspect on a bicycle. Hopefully theyʻre saving their budget for some big booms in an upcoming episode.
- This episode had the Kilbride I want to see every week. Not a huge fan of youth-oriented trends but not about to blow a gasket over it, driving a sweet old pick-up, and most important, supportive of the team. His small exchange with Deeks (“Couldn’t have been anyone else”) was charming, as was his introducing Kensi as Deeks’ “better half.” More of this Kilbride, please! Also, did we already know he has a niece? I wonder how she’ll fit in when they do the inevitable “Kilbride, H.” episode that will give us the full story about his son. (And with our luck, air before “Deeks, M.”)
- It was nice to see Sam and Callen together, bantering about car shampoo and everything else. And we found out that Callen is still living “north of Deeks’ bar,” meaning Deeks hasn’t sold it yet. There’s still hope that Beale will come through with the money he owes so Deeks can hang onto the place.
- Of course Kensi and Deeks would plan to include unconditional support, jujitsu, tactical training, and maybe some sayoc in their plans for a hypothetical daughter.
- The best scene of the episode was Kensi taking down the two bodyguards as her husband looked on. Her delightful response of “No, I’m OK, baby,” when he asked if she needed help right before she kicked their butts was perfect.
- I do have to disagree with Kensi. I think Party Marty (or maybe Jack from Titanic) would be a big hit on social media.
What did you think of “Under the Influence”? Tell us all about it in the Comments below!