NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Can Callen Get Through Therapy For Even a Day?

NCIS: Los Angeles

If there’s anyone in NCIS: Los Angeles who could use a good dose of therapy, it would probably be Agent Callen. Of course the only way Callen could be put in that situation is if he was forced to be undercover. Due do extenuating circumstances with Deeks, Kensi, and Granger, Callen goes undercover in a psychiatric hospital to get to protect an NSA analyst. Unfortunately, doing so also means putting himself in full view of some very hungry sharks. Did I mention Jaws did not have a positive effect on me as a child?

An oceanography class discovers half of the body of an NSA Analyst named Tad Larson inside a shark. Larson and his fellow analyst Bruce Carter have not been checking into work for the past few days, so NCIS starts with paying a visit to Carter. Carter and another NSA member named Jillian Townsend have been desperately trying to get out of town after they discovered that an ISIS cell was targeting NSA analysts in order to get into the U.S. from Mexico. A shootout proves how real Townsend and Carter’s fears are, but they won’t stick around to be killed. NCIS’s only hope for more information is the last remaining analyst of their group Garry Dill. The only issue is that Dill has gone off the grid, assuming the identity of Noah Leipzig in a mental facility. Deeks would be the most natural choice to go into the psychiatric facility, but Granger nixes this idea because of Kensi’s present state. If something should happen to Kensi and Deeks was deep undercover, no one would ever forgive themselves. Sam is too well put together to make anyone believe he belongs in a mental facility, so it’s up to Callen.

After reviewing where Larson’s head and torso were recovered, Nell and Eric realize he could have been dumped in the ocean by the Bañuelos cartel, which has been using underwater drug tunnels to funnel their illegal product. It’s also the stage they’ve been using for their interrogations, using raw meat and sharks as their tools. Funnily enough, the NSA doesn’t have even a hint of a record of the kind of threats Townsend and Carter were talking about. So why are they running, why is Dill hiding, and why is Larson dead? It turns out that Townsend got herself in trouble with the Bañuelos cartel by stealing their money after putting together a profile on them for the NSA. She used an unsuspecting Dill as her scapegoat, and Carter was just her lost puppy seeking a cheap fling.

Callen in a mental facility is entertaining to say the least. All he has to do to gain Dill’s trust is to be himself. By that we mean Callen defends Dill from a few wannabe bullies and a pompous psychiatrist. Can anyone tell me the ethical implications of revealing information from personal therapy sessions in group therapy sessions? I don’t imagine they are good. Dill and Callen bond so well that Dill feels comfortable enough to trust Callen with the truth. By the time he does, the cartel is already in the psychiatric facility. All Callen can think to do is switch ID’s with Dill while the wannabe bullies turned friends provide a little distraction. Just because Callen grew up near the beach doesn’t mean he feels all that comfortable in such open water, especially when he is used as shark bait. Luckily Sam is able to call in a favor from an old SEAL buddy in the knick of time. Like Deeks said, cops stealing from robbers is a tale as old as time. It’s just that everyone forgets the high casualty count in the thrill of the story. Callen takes great pleasure in getting out of the water to tell Dill he can get back to his life. Callen’s in such a good mood he buys the patients who helped him a new foosball table. Should we be worried that the fastest friends Callen has ever made are in a mental hospital?

Deeks puts up a brave front at work, but you can tell he’s feeling the strain. Deeks and Kensi are so connected he feels every emotion she does. Kensi’s so determined to get out of the hospital that she’s pushing herself too hard. Not even a bad fall deters Kensi, but it does make her twice as despondent and twice as determined. The only thing Deeks can think to do is cheer up his lady by proposing to her, since she was unconscious for the first proposal. Kensi doesn’t think that a proposal where the bride-to-be is fighting tears of frustration in a wheelchair. Perhaps the third time will be the charm?

With two members of NCIS out, now we would a very bad time for the team to lose another member. This is why it’s so startling to think that Granger is ill, and apparently has been for some time. There’s so much about Granger’s covert past we don’t know that he could have been exposed to any number of things in his travels. Agent Orange from Granger’s time in Vietnam comes to mind.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Episode 7 Review: "Crazy Train"
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Summary

This week on NCIS: Los Angeles, Callen takes on a very different undercover role while Kensi and Owen struggle with their health issues.

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