NCIS Los Angeles Review: “Come Back”

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Here’s my review of NCIS Los Angeles season seven episode “Come Back.” 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.

Usually I like the episodes where the case is personal and close to home for one of our main characters. Stories usually are more interesting that way because it raises the stakes. “The Long Goodbye” featured the return of someone important from Sam’s past. “Active Measures” and “Internal Affairs” put Callen and Deeks in the spotlight of the case. And all of these are great episodes. But this week’s episode, “Come Back,” tries to put the focus on Kensi and bring back a bit of her past. The problem is how contrived this whole episode feels.

Don’t get me wrong though because there are great parts to this episode. It was nice to see Hetty get more screen time when she’s mostly been lurking in the shadows lately. Her presence was a good reminder that she’s still in charge of the team and pulling all the strings even though Eric is the one who usually does the case debriefing these days and Granger is the one giving out a lot of orders. In addition to more Hetty, I thought the end of episode shootout was the best of the season so far. Generally the shootouts tend to be somewhat boring because we know the team will end up being fine in the end. But the tension was high while Kensi and Jack were outgunned in the apartment. Backup was on the way, but would they get there in time with all those shooters surrounding Kensi? Of course they did, but for a moment I was fooled into worrying. It wouldn’t be fun if things were that tense every episode, but every now and then is good.

The character moments were also nice since this was an episode that intended to move the “Densi” relationship forward but not without conflict. The one-on-one scenes with Kensi-Jack and Deeks-Jack were quiet but full of good emotion. It’s nice to see Kensi work things out and let Jack go. And instead of being rather tense and awkward as is the cliché, the Deeks and Jack scenes were fun, such as their discussion about Kensi’s messy habits. By the end of the episode, the relationship between Kensi and Deeks is stronger because Kensi was able to apologize to Jack.

So my only problem with the episode is why it even happened in the first place. If you think about it too much, it starts to fall apart. Why did Jack have to come to America? A phone call wasn’t good enough? And why didn’t Hetty just tell Jack right away that his family was protected? You would think that’d be something important to mention, yeah? It felt like the whole episode happened just so Kensi could talk to Jack right at a pivotal moment in her relationship with Deeks. It could have been coincidental or it could have been Hetty, but either way it gave an unnatural feel to the episode that’s not usually there. So “Come Back” was a good episode, especially for Kensi, but not on par with what the previous episodes had been.

Notes from the Boat Shed

  • Slightly disappointing from a feminist standpoint: we finally get a Kensi-centric episode this season and it’s all about her love life (but maybe I’m the only person who’s bothered by this? I will admit that the male characters get stories about their love lives too, so at least it’s not just her)
  • I liked how Sam and Callen’s story sorta carried over from the previous episode with Sam being the one to try to hide something this time (his mathlete reunion guest list LOL)
  • Speaking of contrived episode points, “Geb” totally could have been someone’s initials for all they knew! The leap to using an Egyptian god as a fake name seemed really ridiculous.
  • Eric and Nell are back to doing nothing again. Sigh.
  • How awkward do you think that ride back to the airport was for Jack and Granger?
  • It’s always nice to see people I recognize from other TV shows. Matthew Del Negro, who played Jack, also previously had a recurring stint as Scott’s father in Teen Wolf. He was an FBI agent there.
  • Moment that made me laugh the most: Granger says “Do a perimeter sweep” and Deeks replies “We just did a perimeter sweep.” And then Granger doesn’t even have to say anything. He just stares. Intensely. (Miguel Ferrer has such under-recognized comic timing)
  • LL Cool J’s song “Mama said knock you out” opens with the line “don’t call it a comeback” so the title of this episode made me laugh.
  • Many apologies for posting late this week. I had internet issues. 😦

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


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