NCIS Los Angeles Review: “Talion”

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Here’s my review of NCIS Los Angeles season seven finale “Talion.” 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.

Am I the only one who thought this episode didn’t seem like a season finale? Maybe I am, but honestly, I was expecting a bit more. While I appreciated how the episode ended, the events leading up to it were kind of disappointing. The pacing was surprisingly slow as they built up to the final fight, and we lacked the character moments we usually get. All in all, “Talion” was not was I expected.

For an episode where students were taken hostage, it sure felt like it took a long time to get to the action. That meant the episode began to lack a sense of urgency. There were way too many scenes that focused on other things, especially Sam arguing with people the whole time. He argued with Granger about sending backup, he argued with Callen about calling Michelle, he fussed at everyone about what Aiden was doing. The emotional response was right—and LL Cool J played it well—but it slowed the episode pace to a crawl. It felt like he was saying the same things over and over again. I think the hostage plot would have worked better if Sam had been about to confront Tahir sooner. It would have given them more time to delve into all the anger and revenge they both were dealing with. Instead, we get a brief fist fight near the end.

I will say that I enjoyed Sam getting the opportunity to make a choice about whether Tahir lived or died while his son watched. That moment held a lot of potential and it was interesting to see Sam’s struggle with the decision. Ultimately, he allowed them to arrest Tahir instead of killing him, showing that Sam makes the noble decisions when faced with tough choices. I’m curious about whether that will factor in next season or not.

Other than that moment, we didn’t get the character work we usually see. Without the usual office banter, there wasn’t a lot of recurring topic of conversation. There was no b-story to help define some sort of theme. And their actions during the infiltration and rescue didn’t particularly teach us anything new about their characters. Honestly, despite the personal connection to the case, this finale felt like a filler episode. By the end of it, the only thing that changed was Tahir getting arrested. It was good that they brought back a recurring element of the season, but the episode didn’t use that plot point to its full potential.

Overall, this has been an excellent season. Several storylines were developed and pushed forward along with the characters. I’m just surprised this episode seemed a little anti-climatic compared to previous episodes this season.

Notes from the Boat Shed

  • With all my complaining, I will admit that I’m very happy we didn’t leave on a cliffhanger. Wrapping everything up was a good decision so we can start fresh with season eight. Plus watching the team finally relax at the end was nice: Deeks and Kensi were cute talking about boogers, Hetty and Granger day drinking was hysterical.
  • Despite the pacing, the tension was very good. During the action scenes, I worried that someone would get hurt or killed.
  • Maybe Eric and Nell will get some decent storylines next season.
  • You know there’s something wrong when Callen gives actual good advice to Sam. (He totally should have called Michelle)
  • Best line (from Granger as usual): “You can pour it on your Froot Loops” –Granger, offering scotch at 6:30am
  • But is anyone looking for the mole??
  • What was your favorite episode of the season? Mine is a tie between “The Long Goodbye” and “The Seventh Son.”

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


2 thoughts on “NCIS Los Angeles Review: “Talion”

  1. Thank you once again for your review. I really liked the episode but I feel the opposite to you about the episode itself. I felt the episode was very exciting and tense and I would have liked a different ending. I felt the pace encouraged the tension as well as quickly moving from a scene in OPS to the school. I felt we all had to stay on our toes. Did we let Tahir go b/c he will show up again? Was this the humanitarian thing to do? I really would like to see an end to this story unless they are going to use it in relation to the mole. There was less banter b/c the storyline didn’t allow for much. However, it was still there. We did see again the very powerful bond between Callen and Sam and yes Sam should have called Michelle. She had a right to know. I found Eric and Nell to be a little annoying. Nell is very smart and sometimes Eric is obtuse for all his brilliance. Kensi and Deeks were cute and funny, but it was kept to a minimum. If I had been Hetty or Granger, I would have been drinking at that time too. The mole will be another challenge for another day.

  2. Another wonderful review! I thought it was a great episode -minus the “Densi” & “Neric” end scenes – but totally agree it was NOT “Season Finale Worthy”. I was totally expecting Tahir to die so that was a “good” unexpected twist. I am thinking that phone call at the end that Hetty & Granger ignored was “Mole” related.

    -The fight scene was great – finally a worthy opponent for Sam – LOVED when he tossed Tahir into the glass cabinet! Go Sam!
    -Who doesn’t like a wise Callen? For a moment I thought HE was going to call Michelle!
    -Kensi rocked pretending to be a student & kicking bad guy ass!
    -Callen taking out the two bad guys on either side of Tahir, allowing Sam to deal with Tahir was tres cool.
    -I HATED the “Densi Booger scene” – Aside from being extremely childish it was GROSS! These are two very talented actors and THAT is all the writers can come up with on the 7th season finale?
    -The “Neric” scene was ALMOST as lame as the “Densi” scene.

    My favorite episode of Season 7 — Seventh Child

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