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Wits sharp, Heart open, Gun loaded (The NCIS:LA Primer)

So, full disclosure: I began watching Hawaii Five-0 in 2010 because the Hawaiian Pineapple Gods sang across the ocean directly into my soul and I was compelled to watch — right?

You know how it is.

I did not watch the first (2009-2010) or second (2010-2011) seasons of NCIS:LA when they originally aired (because I thought NCIS:Original Flavor was a show for Great-grandmothers). When Season 2 of Hawaii Five-0 started in 2011, we knew about the first cross over — since Daniela Ruah, the actress who plays Kensi Blye on NCIS:LA attended the Season 2 premier event in Hawaii. So I figured I better get on board (I can’t stand being out of the loop). So I started watching Season 3 of NCIS:LA… and my love of this show quickly reached epic proportions… and I backtracked & mainlined the first two seasons in just a couple weeks… and I love this show so much that I’m not really sure I can do it justice in one blog entry.

So first, let’s do the facts. (As always – love comes later.)

The show is a procedural — kicks off with a crime of the week (which, as I’ve noted previously, can blessedly take less than a minute) followed up by a short 20-second credit sequence. But like H50, the meat-and-potatoes of This Show are the Characters and their Relationships. So who are these characters?

The NCIS:LAers are a team of super crime fighting federal agents who excel at going undercover and working dangerous operations and missions that are related to the military, governments, and national security. They are basically fearless and clever and OH SO COMPETENT at what they do that my first feeling of them as a group is one of total admiration and I WANT TO BE YOU-ness.

The leader of the team is Hetty Lange (played by the iconic Linda Hunt). Hetty is a hybrid Bond Villain, Bond Girl, and Bond himself. She is tough, mysterious, inscrutable, all-knowing, and completely kick-ass. She used to be in the CIA and her past missions are often alluded to by her desk drawer full of identification cards and passports, all in different names. There are hints that she has been present for many of the 20th Century’s major historical events, from the Cold War up to the present day — she has a bottle of whiskey that was “liberated” from Saddam Hussein’s personal collection, stuff like that. Everyone respects her immensely.

Hetty Lange

Hetty oversees the team’s missions and cases the from their secret location … somewhere in Los Angeles. Backing her up at the Operations Center (or ‘Ops’) are Tech Operator Eric Beale & Intelligence Analyst Nell Jones.

Eric Beale & Nell Jones
How cute are these two?!?!

Eric is the super-hacker and information gatherer of the team. He can use all these crazy-ass satellites to find anything. He knows your passwords (all of them). He works really well, really fast, usually with Hetty breathing down his neck. When the team needs something immediately, they turn to Eric & he always delivers. As the not-so-subtle poncho he is wearing might clue you in, his image is somewhat of a SoCal boy, a surfer, wearing shorts, and using the Ops Center’s big screens to play video games. But he is a techie geek through and through. And he is adorable.

Nell was introduced in the first half of Season 2 and became a regular starting with 2.11. Talk about a character who gave you a million reasons to dislike her and yet… you don’t. She swoops in all smarty pants. Hetty assigns her duties that used to be Eric’s. She has a squeaky voice and really, I can’t stress it enough, is a total know it all. And yet. AND YET. She is upfront about her faults and failings. She is a true asset to the team, saving them time doing the research they can’t do while they’re out in the field. She & Eric bounce ideas off each other constantly brainstorming. It doesn’t take long for Eric’s initial irritation with her to fade, and oh so slowly over the course of a season of television, for them to become friends and Eric to perhaps develop a bit of a crush on her.

Next let’s talk about our old pal Kensi Blye!

Easily the most amazing looking woman on television today.

Kensi comes from a military family and excels at undercover work. She is incredibly loyal and something of a tomboy, having been much closer with her father than her mother when she was young. Even so, there are some girly things in relation to her childhood, such as her collection of jelly bracelets and crush on Joey from New Kids on the Block. She also likes to eat – a lot. That epic chow down of the loco moco during her appearance on H50 wasn’t just a guest star enjoying a local dish – it was a nice canon continuation of Kensi’s character.

Healthy Appetite?

nom nom nom

Kensi is incredibly physically tough has a bit of a tragic and angsty past – as does her partner: Marty Deeks, a liaison police officer from the LAPD. Deeks was also a mid-season introduction that could have gone either way with viewers, if life were truly fair (but of course, life is not fair, and Deeks is played by the unfairly uber-charming Eric Christian Olsen and his unfairly brilliant smile).

How could you not love that smile?

Deeks is a total smart-ass, always quick with a quip or a snarky remark – he rarely says anything serious unless he has to. He’s good with the local LA connections and a bit of a slacker, but only compared to the highly-strung, Type-A-personality federal agents of the NCIS. His lackadaisical attitude sometimes rubs military-types Kensi & Sam the wrong way, but it’s more talk than anything as he’s a highly competent field agent who has never not had his partner’s back.

Oh, and he wore chaps in their latest episode. Just sayin’.

No caption here can do this picture justice.

Side note – Eric Christian Olsen has a twin brother… (I know!!) who is actually a Navy SEAL… (…I KNOW..!) who is also Eric’s stuntman (I KNOW!!!). How’s that for authentic & cool?

The relationship between Kensi & Deeks is one that sets even my hardened fangirl heart a-flutter – it’s the perfect mix of flirtation and yet genuine connection. It really so much isn’t a “will they / won’t they” because the answer is “both.” Yes, they will, because they are perfect for each other. No, they won’t, because this show is not about that (another reason I love this show… 3 seasons… 0 kisses…). This show is about amazing human beings who shoot bad guys with big guns and who look good while doing it. Not about romance. Unless this is romantic:

She warned him. He didn't get his finger out of her face.
What did she tell him? She warned him. In front of all these nice people...

Moving on… to the main attraction! I can’t really tell you about Sam Hanna (played by LL Cool J) and his partner G Callen (played by Chris O’Donnell) without doing a compare/contrast to start with.

Deeks & Kensi look on as Sam & G have a moment

The above screen cap is from mid-way through Season 3 when Sam & G celebrated the five year anniversary of their partnership (complete with a manly exchange of alcoholic gifts & bro-hug). When the show started, they were already well established. And of course like the buddies in most buddy-cop shows, Sam & G shouldn’t work well together — but they totally do.

Sam is a Navy SEAL – but he’s a little bit of a different SEAL than, say, H50’s McG. One, he wasn’t an officer, his rank (never specifically stated but alluded to) is Chief Petty Officer, and two, Sam is 100% all about teamwork. He has none of McG’s abandonment/responsibility/guilt issues & is in fact married with children. Sam hates operating solo and avoids it at all costs. Whereas his partner, G Callen, was orphaned as a pre-schooler and spent his entire life in the foster care system, bouncing from home to home, never anywhere longer than 3 months from the time he was 5 until he attained his majority. Also, his name is “G” and as of this airing we don’t know what that initial stands for — he doesn’t know what it stands for — because of misplaced / lost / mysteriously disappeared records. G’s backstory is one of the primary plot arcs of the entire series.

So to say G’s a bit of a lone wolf is a bit of an understatement: No past relationships that weren’t first work relationships, no furniture in his house, he drives a fancy car — his only indulgence — and as you can see from any of the pics I could choose to put up here, he’s not got much of a haircut, wears plain grey or blue shirts and jeans. Always. It’s his past as a foster-care child that informs his excellent (wikipedia says “legendary”) undercover skills. He can blend in anywhere; always says the right thing in the right moment and never breaks his cover. Smooth. Operator.

Sam, in contrast, is a little too physically distinctive to be great undercover, but he has done in federal prison as well as overseas, infiltrating terrorist groups. He’s fluent in Arabic and can emulate the customs of the Middle East smoothly. Of course, he’s lethal in hand-to-hand but is kind of an understated guy, who can surprise you every now and again — he’s quite a wine connoisseur for example, and he can do origami. He’s also the type who just by sitting and staring at you gets you to spill your guts without him having to ask a single question. He also, as many of you have noticed, wears shirts that appear to be a couple of sizes too small (as my husband says, “he must set his clothes dryer to ‘hot,'” to which… I agree).

LL Cool J & Chris O'Donnell... 4 pics, 1 long sleeved henley (in assorted colors).
Those traps & biceps can not be contained!

Oh, and he always drives (some things are SEAL-Universal, it appears). His muscle car of choice is a Dodge Challenger. It actually belongs to him.

Chally! Such a fine car.

Although Kensi & Deeks are no physical/action slouches, these two lift the heavy burden of the action sequences (probably 60-70% of the time, depending on the episode), running, shooting, fighting — almost always directly in the line of fire. They take risks, sure, but calculated risks. They are almost always fighting professional criminals or terrorists or people with military training so there’s no room for error. With G’s spy background, cunning is the name of the game for this team – they truly have a “brains before brawn” approach.

Now, G’s backstory appears as if it may be important to the H50 crossover. Seemingly, the baddie for the crossover (as shown in the notoriously misleading promos) is the leader of a Romanian crime family – with which G has a history – named Dracul Comescu. This Romanian Criminal Organization wants G dead, for their own mysterious reasons: a family vendetta of which G was entirely unaware due to his lack of knowledge about his own family past. So, Dracul shows up in Hawaii and this is why the Five-0s will reach out to the NCIS:LAers, leading to the cross over. What a Romanian crime boss is doing with (redacted for spoilers) in Hawaii is beyond me — but that is the plot of the crossover, or so we are led to believe.

Dracul is played by @craigryoung, twitter sensation.

OK so those are the facts. Now here is a little run-down on the love.

First, thinking about the Show as a Show.

NCIS:LA is fearless in certain ways. Early on in the series, it appeared some of the main characters weren’t working… so they were written out. Rather quickly, I might add. Show doesn’t prolong the torture. I respect that. Also — There are SEVEN main characters. SEVEN. And not ONCE have I ever thought “wow, too much Nell & Eric this episode,” or “boo, way too little quality time with Kensi & Deeks.” Never. Show’s balance is … perfection. Again, I love Show because I can respect it.

The writing on the show is tight. You kind of have to watch a procedural for the plot; their plots aren’t too far-fetched (usually) and the mysteries keep you interested. They solve the problem H50 has sometimes of the audience “figuring out who done it the moment the baddie walks on screen” by starting the episode saying, “This guy is a terrorist. We need to track him down today before he sets off a bomb.” Then the team goes and does just that.

The writers also know their characters inside & out and each has depth, agency and realism. Also, and this is important to me: These characters don’t get thrown under the bus, or embarrassed, or treated like crap like they do on… other shows I could name. My love for these characters has never been abused or made fun of or taken for granted by this Show’s runners & writers. Thinking about being a fan of NCIS:LA makes my heart feel warm & fuzzy (not to mention keeps my junk kicking boots firmly on the floor).

Moving on. The action is amazing. Full stop. Explosions, gun fights, fist fights, car chases, running – you name it, this show has it. The setting, while not as lovely as… Hawaii, let’s say, is still fantastically shot, with urban interiors, the SoCal desert and beaches. It’s a fun playground to watch these characters run around in.

Final big picture item – It’s a wonderful feeling watching a group of seven people act as one cohesive unit… the teamwork is amazing. Everyone knows their role & fulfills it to perfection — makes you wish you had that in your own work life. They don’t always get along and they get on each other’s nerves at times, but they are professionals who always get the job done.

So those are the reasons why Show is Good and Show is Quality but that just means love is possible, not the reasons for Love Itself. So why do I love show?

Of course, the characters. No matter what flavor (visual or personality-wise) of adorable or sexy you prefer, this team pretty much covers your bases.

In the adorable/adorable category you have Eric & Nell up in Ops, being cute as buttons, awkward, sweet and innocently sincere with each other all the live-long day.

Bridging the gap, are Kensi & Deeks, with their flirtatious banter, their conversations having that edge to them that you get when you put two firecracker personalities together and say “look don’t touch.” They pick on each other quite a bit, and that’s the sexual frustration talking — if you see it that way (not everybody does) like everybody does.

Finally, Sam & G. Since we come upon them already in an established relationship, Sam & G are visibly comfortable with each other, openly discussing their interests, their lifestyle choices & their opinions with no agenda to try and change the other, or force the other to do things in a way they don’t want to do them. While both men are incredibly intense, the trust they share allows for that… vulnerability that gives the relationship depth. Finally, they banter – and it’s good. Practically speaking, they have to be interesting conversationalists as pretty much everything prior to their partnership is “classified.” Furthermore, G doesn’t have a social life (outside of Sam) and to protect his family, Sam’s wife & kids are not up for discussion either. So the conversation is always topical, personal or observational (or my favorite, personal observations), and it’s just so easy to watch these two bounce ideas, opinions & observations off each other in warm-hearted yet revealing ways.

You all know what LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell look like, but this picture makes my brain go.... guh...

Of course, Show is not perfect and I have my unhappy moments with it. Some episodes, the US Military or Government can do no wrong (even when it is doing something very, very wrong). Arabs and Southeast Asians (basically, anyone who practices Islam) are always the bad guys. Always. Literally there was this one episode where the team zeroed in on this group of four college students as their primary suspects. Only one of the four was guilty. I’m exaggerating here (only slightly) but their names were like: Mike, Jamal, Chang and Mohammed. Guess who was the guilty one? Last but not least, Navy SEALs are revered (rightly so) but (again… literally) allowed to get away with murder… because they are SEALs.

But these frustrating episodes are few & far between. The repeat airing 4/24 is a very good episode (“Honor,” 3.7). I invite you to check it out if you’ve never watched before! It’s a little different than their traditional episode because the plot is so… warm-hearted and… not at all vital to national security. It’s a very sweet story with a lot of emphasis on the team interaction and lots of great conversations & one-liners. There’s some gratuitous Kensi sexiness, one of the best-looking guest stars I’ve ever seen, and even Eric & Nell get out of the office! So that is all very fun. Check your local listings, but most places it’s on CBS Tuesdays at 9pm/8pm Central.

If you made it all the way to the end of this Primer, you win one internet cookie & my undying gratitude! Please comment & let me know your thoughts – both NCIS:LA fans & first timers — and if you haven’t subscribed to the Junk Drawer yet, please click the button in the upper right-hand to do so! Thanks!

About SJ2

I am good with: Details, Bad Ideas, Hilarity, Sarcasm and Overthinking! I kid because I care!


36 thoughts on “Wits sharp, Heart open, Gun loaded (The NCIS:LA Primer)

  1. I will admit that I have tried watching a couple of eps, but I haven’t been able to get next to this show. Perhaps it’s because the characters are so well established and I feel like I have walked into a family with a bunch of inside jokes that I don’t undersand. The fact that you took so much time to immerse yourself and give such an amazingly detailed primer tells me that I need to get off the schnide and do some back episode mainlining of my own so that I can be entertained on Tuesday nights.

    Posted by spurschick | April 23, 2012, 6:57 pm
    • Procedurals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, I get that for sure. I can’t even imagine how many “in jokes” there are in an average episode of NCIS:Original Flavor — it’s been on the air for 10 years! I could never dive into the deep end of that madness. But for LLCJ & COD? Two seasons, yeah, I could handle that for sure.

      A lot of the buzz out there comparing the two shows are focusing in on how much the McG/Danno relationship parallels the Kensi/Deeks one — and it’s true — and in comparison to NCIS:LA, H50 is a total cheese-fest comedy hour (even moreso than it is on its own) mostly because Kensi/Deeks aren’t the “main stars” of the show, even though they are total fan(girl) favorites.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 24, 2012, 12:22 pm
  2. I would like my cookie to be chocolate chip, please!
    Thanks for this. As someone who doesn’t watch this show, this is HUGE awesome background info for me.
    Q: Is it just me, or is there something up with one of Kensi’s eyes?
    p.s. Ladies love cool James. Me included. mmm…

    Posted by heymomo | April 23, 2012, 7:03 pm
  3. I’ll take a chocolate chip also. Steph – as a watcher of this show from the beginning, I read top to bottom and you captured it all perfectly! I’d like to nit pick something, but I could not find a thing. Great job. Momo – she has a birthmark/defect in her eye. I can’t not see it – but – strangely – my notMcg never sees it – if you get my drift. He thinks she is perfect. If he was in our loop, he would probably refer to me as his notKensi. (understatement of the year btw) If I could change anything on Show – I’d give Deeks a hair cut – or at least a brush. But that’s just me.

    Posted by cvc | April 23, 2012, 8:41 pm
    • That is so interesting about Daniela’s eye!! I had never noticed before. I think our husbands can form a little Kensi-club together. He admires any woman with visible abdominals. He does the Wayne’s World “I’m not worthy” bow everytime he sees her abs on screen, which cracks me up.

      And Alex will be swining by your place once he’s done at Momo’s. It may be awhile, but she will fall asleep eventually..!

      Also good to know your fantasy pairing on the show is: Deeks+hairbrush. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Who knows maybe he’ll have to pose as a tax accountant for a mission & the hair will get all slicked back!

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 24, 2012, 12:32 pm
    • Thank you cvc, for clearing up the Kensi eyeball thing. I can’t not see it either!

      Posted by heymomo | April 24, 2012, 4:10 pm
  4. Stephanie ! I applaud you and this epic post !

    I started watching NCIS:LA about a half season before you, however, you 1 upped me (2 upped me ?) by going back to the beginning. I bought Season 1, but I’ve only got through the first few episodes .. But wait, I digress.

    I agree with basically all your points of character and episode plots. Wow, you hit all my favorites.

    I love Kensi and Deeks but not together, Never ! I just don’t want to see them together that way. I loved the scene of the screen cap above – oh, yes SHE warned him.

    Sam and G. Great chemistry, total respect for one another and a bit of bromance thrown in for great balance. Love them !

    Nell, you hit it ! She did annoy me at first ( my first time watching, not her first time appearing – I havent gone back yet, remember ?).

    But, hands down, I LOVE Eric ! He is a rockin’ nerd. Seriously, I love his scenes ! Omg, when he intentionally broke the Internet, then just smirked his goofy smirk! I also love to see how he ‘gathers ‘ the troops each episode.

    Wrapped all up by quirky, mysterious Hetty.

    Thank you for this ! Well done !!

    Posted by lb | April 23, 2012, 8:58 pm
    • Laurieeeeeeeeee I am so glad you approve that means so much to me! As a fan of the show it was important to me that you thought I got this right!! Thank you!!

      LOL, Kensi & Deeks. So great together and yet I’m with you — don’t want to see any sappy romance. I like what they have right now — how Deeks was there for her when the stuff about her dad was going down was amazing. That scene in the garage was like !!!!! Intense & so great.

      Nell & Eric really make the show for me, cherry-on-top style. I know they just have bit parts but they are so important & the writers really make every moment count. It’s just so impressive to me how they balance such a large cast with the 42 minutes they have to work with.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 24, 2012, 12:40 pm
  5. I don’t watch NCIS:LA so THANK YOU for this, Steph – now I won’t be totally clueless for the crossover.

    Obvi, though, I am still quite clueless, so I shall just say:

    Stuntman! (STUNTMAN!!)


    Is it just me who thinks Hetty looks like Edna from The Incredibles?


    Posted by Alicia | April 23, 2012, 11:24 pm
    • I know, the chaps. Can you imagine if they made an appearance on H50? Now Chin Ho is our resident biker so it’s likely *he’d* be wearing them, but maybe we can have an opening scene where Chin Ho & McGarrett are hanging out, a la the spear-fishing day, instead this time Chin Ho is taking McG to his favorite Biker Bar? Cue the instantaneous spontaneous combustion of all my friends…. it would be a very lonely internet for me for awhile. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Also YES on Linda & Edna! Totally!!

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 24, 2012, 12:46 pm
  6. Steph! Awesome wiki on NCIS:LA! I haven’t gone all the way back to the beginning, but I’ve seen a few epis and have wanted to watch the show since it came on… I must just be doing something else on Tuesday’s and kept missing it. Thanks for all of the backstory that I never got. Chris O’donnell is a cutie and LLCJ….he is just a lot of man. I love that the show treats us like smarties instead of how i sometimes feel that our other show doesn’t. Refreshing!

    I admit that I am slightly less excited about the cross due to a certain someones absence, and that makes me sad. But the promos look Really Good, so my I interest is growing again!

    Posted by KimmerNY | April 23, 2012, 11:42 pm
    • Totally feel you re: slightly less excited. I am sure it will be a good cross over (as you say, the promos look good, the basic story didn’t change), but less enjoyable than it had the potential to be… because of melancholy of thinking about WHY a certain someone is absent. That does take away from it, for sure.

      But yes, NCISLA is for sure very smart, very fast-paced, very fun… I think the shows are going to merge well together, both being very character-focused as they are. Thanks for reading & commenting! I’m glad you’re getting excited again.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 24, 2012, 12:59 pm
  7. I have been watching NCISLA since season 1 episode 1 and I agree with everything written here. This was a wonderful recap of plots and character. Being a die hard fan of both H50 and NCISLA I am very much looking foward to the crossover.

    Posted by leni | April 24, 2012, 5:20 am
    • Thank you so much for your kind comments — it really means a lot coming from another fan of the show! I am so looking forward to the cross over myself I think these shows will fit perfectly! It looks like the plot will be very serious but I’m sure they’ll get the opportunities to let the characters shine & interact with each other in new & interesting ways. I am a big cheeseball anyway so crossover events are like my kryptonite, I’m a huge sucker for this sort of thing. I love it!

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 24, 2012, 1:44 pm
  8. 1. Eric has a twin?!
    2. His brother is a SEAL? That is so cool.
    3. I just saw the episode where the SEALs got away with murder tonight. (It aired here yesterday). I think what annoyed me most about that episode was Sams insistence that the SEALs didn’t kill the guy because SEALs aren’t like that. Generalisation much?

    Show does lay the patritoism on a little thick some times but show is so awesome it can easily be over looked and forgiven.

    Great review Steph.

    Posted by Infant_Sardonic | April 24, 2012, 6:14 am
    • 1. & 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noD71bUjoCw&feature=youtube_gdata_player <– hope you can watch this overseas. If not, just google "eric christian olsen brother navy seal stuntman." Do NOT google the word "twin" with his name or you will find 50 million links of people asking if he's related to Mary Kate & Ashley!

      3. that ep was probably a low point for me! *sigh* I think I get what they were trying to do, but I was fighting with Show after that episode, for sure. Bridge too far, I think. I can appreciate Moral Ambiguity as much as the next girl (Three Rivers, anyone?!?!) but I didn't like the end of that episode. Show is still on CBS, network of Old People, so extra-special levels of patriotism are to be expected, yes.

      Show is pretty awesome, yeah! ๐Ÿ˜€ I'm glad it's something we can enjoy together.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 24, 2012, 2:08 pm
      • Thanks for the link, it worked. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was able to watch.

        CBS is the network for old people??? LOL what are all these shows doing on the network for old people?? If I lived in the USA would I lose cool points as a 20 something who watches CBS? LOL now I have this image in my head of this really cute old couple trying to do the maths on whether or not Alex and Grace are jail bait for them. ๐Ÿ˜›

        I actually thought all the SEALs were going to die in the end and that they had been lead into a trap. But show was not THAT mean. Thank gosh.

        Posted by Infant_Sardonic | April 25, 2012, 6:20 am
        • I also thought the SEALs were going to die (at least some of them!) but you’re right Show isn’t so heartless as to sacrifice the poor innocent white lady hostage to the Taliban just because the SEALs got a little over-SEALy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ That was the most recent new episode aired here as well so technically I’m still Fighting With Show — but I probably will have 100% forgiven show once Chin & Danny show up for a visit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 26, 2012, 4:52 pm
          • Wait that means we aren’t behind you guys! ๐Ÿ˜› I wonder if they’ll air the NCIS ep soon….which could mean that part 2 of the crossover airs here before part 1….I hope channel Ten isn’t that dumb…. *coughs* it so is.

            Posted by Infant_Sardonic | April 27, 2012, 5:51 am
  9. Can I get in on this delivery service? Is there a punch card program?

    Posted by spurschick | April 24, 2012, 1:14 pm
  10. I’ve been watching NCIS:LA since the beginning and have been so excited for this upcoming crossover with H50. The things I love about this Show are the things that frustrate me with my other favorite Show: there are well written likeable female characters that have a purpose, the characters are portrayed consistently throughout the episodes, all the characters work as a team and add value. When I’ve gotten annoyed with H50 this season in my mind it was NCIS:LA that I always compared it to. Kensi and Deeks flirt but she can still do her job competently and I like and respect the character for that, which is in complete contrast to the Lori character.

    THIS says it all –> “Showโ€™s balance is โ€ฆ perfection.” I think your primer is spot on. Great job!

    Posted by JDD | April 24, 2012, 7:49 pm
    • JDD!! Another NCIS:LAer like me! Thank you for reading & I’m glad you think I accurately captured the Show. ๐Ÿ˜€ I agree, on average this show writes women better than… Other Show. Kensi is a “strong woman” but she is also not too perfect to be real & relatable. Nell is a bossy know it all but is not too proud or reserved to say “I tend to get awkward around people I admire” and things like that. Now that she’s been around for awhile, I think Nell is a hoot. And of course, Hetty — who is just amazing any which way you look at her!

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 25, 2012, 10:17 am
  11. Thanks for this StephJ. I’ve been watching NCIS LA since the first crossover and have really grown to love it. Thanks for clearing up some of my confusions, eg G’s name and background and helping me with the back story.
    A twin? Identical presumably. I can see a Burberry Deeks story coming on!

    Posted by Mary Jane | April 25, 2012, 1:54 am
    • MJ! I am glad you are also a fan of the show!! I also grew to love it very much, it surprised me how quickly — I think the point JDD makes about how it doesn’t have many of the flaws we b/tch about with H50… but even so it doesn’t inspire the same kind of love that H50 does. Funny, huh?

      Yes, G’s backstory is still mostly a big ???? they have revealed some but most assuredly not all. G’s Past is the Champ Box of NCIS:LA.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 25, 2012, 4:03 pm
  12. Just read that Eric Christian Olsen (Deeks) was in ‘The Back-up Plan’.

    Posted by Mary Jane | April 25, 2012, 2:02 am
  13. Thanks for this brush up on my other favorite show – NCISLA! I’ll take a large, soft molasses cookie delivered by a short, blonde surfer with beautiful blue eyes and a smirk, please! Or, actually, I’ll settle for a taller, shaggy-haired surfer dude with a SEAL for a brother/stunt double (I didn’t have a clue there were 2 of them!)

    Super job on describing the characters on NCISLA. Hetty is amazing – I think she actually is the voice of Edna on the Untouchables. She is the glue that holds the team and the show together. G is so difficult to read, and that’s probably why he’s my least favorite character. I like to know characters’ stories, and since G really doesn’t have one, it’s hard for me to warm up to him. I love Sam and his Challenger and Deeks makes me laugh, a lot. Kensi is my idol (sometimes her eye defect is noticeable, and other times, not at all). Eric and Nell have grown on me this season just as they’ve grown on each other.

    I think the thing I love about this show – and it’s NOT the procedural part, I have a difficult time getting into the stories each week, almost every week. Seems they are always fighting terrorists (and yes, I noticed, too, that most of the baddies were Muslim) or international criminals, but I guess that is their job description – the thing I love is that it is a true ensemble cast that works so well together and, as you say, Steph, is melded beautifully so that no one hogs the hour or sits the majority of it off screen. Every one of the team has a vital and unique part to play and the actors do it so well! Kudos to the writers of NCISLA!

    Sorry, I got carried away — and this is my first time here! I Likey!! Can I please come back?

    Posted by Lynnette | April 25, 2012, 1:47 pm
    • Lynnette!! Welcome & I hope you stay a good long time! I certainly do have a sweet snickerdoodle right here with your name on it!! And what do you know, looks like there’s a certain surfer dude right here who has volunteered to bring them to you! keep your eyes open. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I love your insights on the show — Kensi is my idol, too & the writers do an amazing job of highlighting the strenghts of their ensemble – it’s a well crafted show – that’s just a pleasure to watch!

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 25, 2012, 5:12 pm
  14. Great recap, as always, Steph. You captured the essence of the show and the characters to a T! I’ve watched from the very beginning. Was kind of on the fence at first because I liked LLCJ but was not a big fan of Chris O’Donnell. I became a fan in a hurry, though.
    I was so happy to see the psychologist Nate Getz back for the Patriot Acts episode a few weeks ago. I think this was his second appearance since he stopped being a regular cast member. I miss him.
    Also think the crossover episodes wil be sort of bittersweet, but it helps to know Alex will be back for the final two shows.
    Thanks much for this post. I hope it generates many new fans for this show.

    Posted by Karin@notMcNerd | April 26, 2012, 9:50 pm
    • Nate! It’s funny, because I watched a bit of Season 3 before I went back to watch Seasons 1 & 2 it took me awhile to warm up to him, but I eventually did (the title of this post is Hetty’s advice to him!!) and it was cool to see him back for an ep. I love to imagine all his super-spy adventures happening off screen, he’s so unassuming with those big doe eyes, LOL. I’m sure he’ll be back someday for a big action event episode, where he’ll have to call the team in for assistance with his missions. It’ll be awesome!

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 27, 2012, 10:10 am
  15. Where can i buy the sweatshirt eric is wearing?

    Posted by Kaitlyn | January 25, 2017, 4:11 pm

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