Here’s my review of NCIS Los Angeles season seven premiere episode “Active Measures.” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.
This episode was an excellent start to season seven. Since we didn’t end on a huge cliff-hanger, “Active Measures” gave the audience a little time to breathe before starting on a new story. There was mystery. There was action. But there was no race against the clock to stop terrorists from blowing things up, so it was a welcome change of pace. And on top of all that, it planted the seeds for more storylines to come, which is what any good season premiere should do.
The main story is that Callen is trying to track down Arkady by himself and he’ll literally steal paintings to do it. The team has to stop him before he gets in too deep. It’s a simply storyline but it works because the focus is all on our main characters. There’s no real outside threat because Callen is the threat. (Well, not really but you get what I mean, right?) This change shakes up the group dynamics. It affects Callen’s relationship with everyone, but especially Sam and Hetty. We’ll definitely see more fallout from this in future episodes. Callen has shaken their trust by working on his own, so the consequences should be interesting down the road.
Since this episode wasn’t a direct conclusion to an ongoing story from last season’s finale, this really feels like a beginning to a new story. The episode isn’t so high-stakes that we don’t have the opportunity to introduce storylines for other characters. Deeks and Kensi have a moment to discuss the Internal Affairs problem. Eric gets a chance to ask Sam for weapons training. These things will be the focus later, but it’s good to introduce the ideas earlier. Otherwise, they just seem random when they pop up. Introducing Deeks’ Internal Affairs storyline last season gives it time to slowly build up suspense. It makes it more realistic too instead of throwing it at us all at once for the shock factor. The bits of info we get in this episode make me excited for all the upcoming stories.
And, of course, this episode didn’t sacrifice the fun banter we usually get. It was funny to watch Kensi and Deeks jog together on the beach. It was funny to see Sam joke about clones and robot conspiracy theories with Eric. And it was definitely funny to have a running joke about Granger’s perpetual Grumpy Cat face. I’m glad we got a chance to enjoy some humor along with the serious moments. “Active Measures” was a good balance of both.
Notes from the Boat Shed
- Were you surprised Hetty came out of nowhere to tase Callen? I was! It was an exciting moment and I’m curious to see what repercussion will come from that later.
- I wish more shows would wrap up things in the season finale and start something new in the season premiere like this did.
- I need a whole episode focused on Granger just being snarky and grumpy with everyone in the office.
- My favorite line was Granger trying to calm Hetty down by saying “Go drink some tea or something.”
- Can Callen wear more silly hats while undercover please? I loved the gardener hat he wore while breaking in to steal the painting.
- Are we sure that was really Callen’s apartment? It had a bed??
So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.