This week’s NCIS: Los Angeles, written by Samantha Chasse and directed by Benny Boom, provided a lighthearted start to the new year’s slate of episodes. Everyone seemed to be having fun with a story focused around one of our favorite recurring characters, Arkady Kolcheck. We’ve come to expect a fair amount of silliness where he’s concerned, and that’s certainly what we got here. As with many episodes this season, there was never any actual suspense, never any sense that anyone was in actual danger. Instead, we had an hour that felt closer to comedy than drama.
Given the lack of any big updates to ongoing stories or important character-driven developments, I’m going to keep my remarks short…
- Rountree was pretty funny in his struggles to lie to Kilbride. I was surprised to learn that Fatima’s tardiness was apparently due to her need to pick up coffee, which didn’t really seem like something she couldn’t accomplish before 9 a.m. Plus, that new friend of hers seems mighty suspicious. I do hope this group of senior agents hasn’t allowed yet another instance of sticking too close to a routine leading to trouble. (And didn’t Fatima already have a bad experience at her gym because of her routine?)
- Vyto Ruginis was great this episode, providing Arkady’s usual dose of drunken silliness, but also offering a bit of romance and heart. I loved his “safe house” filled with “rum-based drinks.” He and Miraslava, whom Arkady knew “biblically,” had great chemistry.
- And finally! We got Deeks and Kensi working together. It has certainly been awhile. Even if their lines weren’t brilliant, their enjoyment at being together shone through. It actually felt like Eric Christian Olsen and Daniela Ruah were happy to be working together too.
- So we went from Kensi insisting they were both detectives, to Kilbride referring to them both as agents. Sigh.
- All in all, everyone seemed very relaxed through the whole episode, from letting Arkady get beaten up with a pillow (Callen: I mean we could wait a minute) to fighting off the bad guys with random art pieces while Arkady and Mira just watched like spectators at a ballgame.
- Deeks’ undercover assignment offered its share of humor. I loved Kensi’s joke about Rogers and Hammerstein wanting their costume back, and I have to conclude that she was only able to make such a reference because Deeks has made her watch The Sound of Music every year when it’s on TV over the holidays. I laughed out loud when the auction house guy started speaking in Swedish, and Deeks’ response was, well, very Deeks. His “Oh, ya” response when he realized he had an actual sword in his hand was even better.
- Still, I must quibble with his fight with the bad guy. Kensi is taking down two huge bad guys with a platter and he is struggling to deal with an unimpressive, slow-moving guy with a stick? He should have rolled out some sayoc technique and floored the guy. No sword needed. The contrast between he and Kensi made him look less than competent, especially when he should have been rushing to back up his partner. A little sense of urgency here would have been helpful.
- Overall, the episode also had the feel of a COVID ep in its use of locations. Arkady was at an empty bar, and the auction house had no other customers coming and going. Every place was just a little too quiet.
- Oh, Arkady, Kensi sure would have appreciated your Titanic reference!
That’s it from me! Let us know what you thought of “Blood Bank” in the comments below. Also, check back later this week for new editions of Deeks’ Surf Log, Kensi’s Journal, and the Drabble of the Week.