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NCIS: Los Angeles - Sirens - Review: "Danger Refocused"

28 Nov 2016

In “Sirens,” an unknown woman kills two men disguised as Sheriff’s deputies in front of Callen’s house. It turns out the case is tied to the mole investigation. The woman, the alleged girlfriend of confessed mole Carl Brown, was turning to Callen for help after her boss tried to kill her. Before she dies, she gives Sam and Callen enough information for Eric to track down a picture of the boss – a woman named Ray, the same woman who hit on Granger in a bar a couple months ago. As the investigation continues, Kensi’s physical progress is advancing but Hetty tells her she’s not ready to come back to work yet.

Season eight of “NCIS: Los Angeles” continues to impress. The writers have clearly planned ahead, weaving meticulous details throughout the season that are now becoming relevant. It’s nice to see the mole investigation going somewhere. The character banter was also top-notch. I loved the trio of Sam, Callen and Deeks – with Sam turning on each of them to make fun of the other. Kensi’s story arc continues to evoke real emotions. Unfortunately Nell’s storyline was a weak spot. But overall this episode featured great moments and felt integral to the season.

Sam and Callen (and Deeks)

One thing this episode did well was create a realistic threat to the team. Throughout the mole investigation things have never felt very dangerous, except when Sam’s family was targeted. This episode re-focused that threat, making us realize these agents’ lives (and their families’ lives) are in danger. Someone has a lot of information on the NCIS team. The mole needs to be rooted out quickly.

Callen is the targeted threat this week. He is surprised to open his front door in the middle of the night to find two dead officers lying on his lawn. (Though it turns out they are not real officers.) Sam notes the location of Callen’s house is likely not a coincidence. Bad guys have been after Hetty, Granger and Sam so is it Callen’s turn now? Sam feels for Callen. Throughout the case he expresses concern for his partner. He tells him to stay close and mentions he’s glad Callen is okay. His concern shined sincerely.

In the midst of the case, I was happy to hear Sam bring up Callen’s father. When Callen tells his partner Hetty moved Garrison to a secure location, Sam questions Callen if he’s okay with that. Apparently Callen’s father requested to stay with Callen so he’s missing out on that time together. Callen plays it cool, acting like it doesn’t matter, but you have to imagine he wants every opportunity to get to know his long-lost father. Later Sam compares Callen to his father, a move Callen does not appreciate. When Sam learns Callen has not told his half-sister Alex about Garrison, he compares Callen’s desire to keep her safe to his father protecting his loved ones with secrets. I would bet that’s the fastest way to get Callen to talk to Alex; he doesn’t want to be like his father in that regard. But the comment could also have helped him better understand his dad’s motives.

Putting Deeks together with Sam and Callen was a lot of fun. As happens in trios, it was always two against one when it came to banter and teasing. But Sam switched up his allegiance. First it was Sam and Deeks against Callen. Deeks throws out the funny suggestion that perhaps an angry ex-girlfriend of Callen caused the crime scene at his house – maybe Joelle was getting even. Sam joins in: “You did keep her dining room set.”

Once alone, Sam teases Callen that his partner doesn’t want to move because he’s been domesticated. “I knew it. It was over as soon as Joelle got you that dining room set,” he jokes. An irritated Callen retorts that the dining room set is going on Craigslist. But the teasing doesn’t stop. Next Deeks teases Callen about G’s elderly neighbor having a crush. When Callen doesn’t appreciate the Mrs. Robinson implications, Sam interjects that Callen is just grumpy because Callen’s ex left two bodies on his lawn. It was definitely fun watching Sam gang up with Deeks against Callen.

But then Sam switches sides to team up against Deeks. When a goofy security guard tells them he wants to be a federal agent, Callen cheekily points him in Deeks’ direction. And then Sam and Callen get a good laugh when the security guy calls Deeks. Deeks soon learns they gave out his business card – not just to that guy but to a bunch of homeless people, according to Callen. Deeks has been receiving a lot of prank calls lately. He can’t believe the guys set him up. “I thought we were picking on him today,” Deeks tells Sam, pointing to Callen. “I don’t play favorites,” Sam retorts with a smirk.


Kensi and Deeks didn’t share a scene together this week but we saw Kensi with both of their mothers. The two are there to help her but Kensi doesn’t seem to need their help. Not only is she walking now, she mentions she went for a run! That is fantastic news. While Deeks’ mom makes her breakfast and cuts her food, Kensi’s mom starts brushing her hair and tells her daughter she picked out her outfit. It’s all too much for Kensi. She tells them she needs them to leave her alone. They are driving her nuts. So she kicks them out, telling them she’s given them the day off. And then the two mothers bond as they go for a drink, arm in arm.

Just then Sullivan knocks at Kensi’s door, bringing her beer. The two take a walk as Sullivan expresses his thankfulness to Kensi for making his time at the hospital bearable. Kensi, in turn, acknowledges she was in a bad place and Sullivan helped pull her out of it. Sullivan then tells her he is going back to his unit – he’s been restored to duty. Excited for him, Kensi jokes about his big truck and he invites her on a ride. (Her smile made me think she went, though we never learned for sure. Do you think Sullivan dropped her off at the gun range?)

When Deeks gets home, he finds a note from Kensi that she made dinner and it’s in the fridge. He doesn’t seem to know what to think. It’s good that Kensi can use her hands enough to cook. But where is she? The audience learns Kensi is at the shooting range. And she’s shooting great. Kensi tells Hetty she is going to take the physical fitness test to prove she’s ready to return to work. But when Hetty doesn’t respond, Kensi nervously asks, “You’re going to let me come back, right?” That’s when Hetty tells her she doesn’t think Kensi is ready. First she wants to see Kensi shoot with her left hand. Sure enough, Kensi misses the target and then hits the outside. Kensi says she just needs a little more practice but it’s clear her lack of physical hand strength is upsetting to her. Hetty just tells her to take her time. That’s what Kensi will have to do. The good news is, she is working hard, so she has a very good chance of recovering fully if she’s patient.

Eric and Deeks

It was great seeing Deeks and Eric work together again. These two feed off each other in funny ways. First Eric starts humming and when Deeks comes over, instead of being embarrassed, Eric apologizes for not asking Deeks to harmonize. So Deeks attempts to harmonize and fails miserably. Then they switch roles as Eric orders Deeks to sit – his lurking is making Eric nervous. But suddenly Eric stands, saying he stands up every hour so his feet don’t fall asleep. As Eric begins to dance and shake, Deeks says in horror, “I don’t understand this!” And Eric gives the perfect reply: “You don’t have to. That’s why I have Nell.” (Ahhh, how cute!)

Eric then instructs Deeks not to mess with Nell’s chair and after solving the clues of which dive bar Carl Brown met his girlfriend at, he and Deeks give an exploding fist bump, which Deeks says is a whole new low for him. Then Deeks becomes impatient waiting for the computer to do its work. So he pretends Ops has its own artificial intelligence – like Siri – and he tries asking the room what to do. When Eric points out they don’t have A.I., Deeks tells him to “take a letter” and starts dictating his disappointment to Hetty. I loved Eric’s response: “I’m not your secretary.” As Deeks leaves, he tells Eric that he is “good people” and forms the symbol of a heart over his chest. Who’s the dork now: Deeks or Eric? Eric returns the move before rolling his eyes. These two have so many quirky eccentricities that it’s funny to watch them with each other. They each think the other is crazier than them. But they also appreciate each other. Later when Eric figures out a key piece of the case, Deeks tells Eric he is better than Siri!

My favorite Eric scene, though, was watching him sing the Major-General’s Song from the old opera “The Pirates of Penzance.” It was a perfect song for Eric, singing about his technical math skills while twirling around in his chair across the room. And I loved his sudden exclamation of “Holy Pythagoras” when he finds a clue to the case. Barrett Foa’s portrayal of Eric is awesome!

Nell, Hetty and Granger

After Sam’s interrogation of Carl Brown a few weeks ago, Nell wants another crack at the professed mole. I have to say, I wasn’t really impressed with this part of the story. Nell told Hetty she had a plan to get to him. Apparently her plan was to first tell Carl a story about a bad boy she dated after high school who went to jail and got his head bashed in. Then she makes Carl nervous by letting him know all their federal visits make him look like a snitch. These tactics didn’t seem real effective to me but eventually Carl gives in, telling Nell where he met his “girlfriend” Natalie.

As for Hetty, her driving scene was amusing. She was so excited to beat Sam and Callen to the house. But her passenger wasn’t nearly as excited. “We also beat the sound barrier,” Deeks moaned. And just when I was wondering if Nell or Hetty was a worse driver, Deeks asks Hetty if she taught Nell to drive. “I gave her a few defensive driving lessons,” she replies. Understandably, Deeks isn’t too excited to drive with Hetty again when they’re leaving, but he has no choice. She orders him in the car, to which he replies, “Yes, mom.”

Interestingly, Hetty showed some nervousness about the mole case. Eric caught her watching the team, and she responded by saying the wolves were at the door. She told him she wasn’t sure if it was safe to trust anyone any more. This was a surprising comment as it almost implied she didn’t know if she could trust her team members. But I think she does trust them. And she’s looking out for them. After the case she tells them she can’t guarantee their safety if they go home. People know where they live, creating inherent danger. Deeks immediately wants to check on Kensi, and Sam tells him to keep his eyes and ears open. They all have to be on guard now.

Granger doesn’t appear until the end of the episode when he suddenly shows up and notices exactly who the bad boss is – the woman who hit on him in the bar. I thought this was a fantastic detail that showed the pre-planning and foresight to the mole story. At that time the bar scene felt a little random. But now we learn there was a deeper purpose to it. The woman was trying to glean information from Granger. Fortunately she didn’t find any. Sam and Callen then convince Granger to return to the bar and hope the woman comes back. Though they aren’t successful, Sam assures a Humphrey Bogart-esque Granger (a sad badass, according to the bartender) that they are going to find the head of the snake and chop it off. I hope he’s right!

How did you like "Sirens?" What was your favorite part of the episode? Are you happy with how the mole storyline is unfolding? Please leave your thoughts in our comments below.

About the Author - Tonya Papanikolas
Tonya Papanikolas is an online, print and broadcast journalist who loves covering entertainment and television. She spent more than 10 years as a broadcast news anchor/reporter and now does everything from hosting to writing. She loves covering NCIS: Los Angeles for SpoilerTV. (She's a big fan of Kensi and Deeks!) She also writes SpoilerTV articles on other great shows.