NCIS Los Angeles Review: “Parallel Resistors”

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Here’s my review of NCIS Los Angeles season eight episode “Parallel Resistors.” 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.

After a rather depressing end last week, this week’s “Parallel Resistors” is a bit more upbeat in tone. There’s still serious stuff going on but it’s not as heavy as previous episodes. This one has more banter, a cute kid, and even Kensi in a somewhat better mood than before. Every now and then, it’s good to have an episode like this.

The case wasn’t exactly as solid as the last few—I’ll admit that I had trouble keeping up with how they jumped from one part of the case to another. Perhaps it was just moving too fast? But I was still entertained while watching. It provided an opportunity for undercover work, giving Nell more time in the field and Deeks the chance to do some physical humor. (He does that just as well as spouting out witty one-liners) I’m glad the team has returned to using their undercover skills again. The case also didn’t have a dead body at the center of it. Instead, the victim was only in a coma. Take note, other CBS procedurals: you can have an interesting case without a murder.

And, another good point of the case was that the kid was not an annoying distraction as TV kids unfortunately tend to be. She contributed to the case but not in a way that she became the whole focus of the episode. That’s how guest characters should be: support for the main characters. Additionally, since Sam’s thoughts were on his own daughter during the episode, the kid served as a nice comparison for Sam and Callen to discuss. And, as a bonus, it’s always nice to see Callen, the gruff loner, interact with cute kids.

The downside to this case was that it seemed to be a missed opportunity for Eric. With a tech-heavy case, you’d think he’d get more of a chance to contribute, but he was about the same as usual. He did volunteer to go undercover, but Granger sent Nell instead. I’m not sure why this wasn’t his chance to shine, but perhaps he’ll get a moment in future episodes.

While everyone is investigating, Kensi is still sidelined with her slow recovery. Since she woke up, we’ve really only seen her interact with Deeks, and since she’s been very upset about the injury, their conversations haven’t exactly been all that fun. This episode introduces a fellow physical therapy patient for her to butt heads with, and it’s nice to see how she reacts to someone different. He pushes her buttons but she doesn’t back down. He seems like the kind of character who will push her to try her best while in therapy, and in a way that Deeks apparently cannot. I’d be really interested to see if this character recurs more often and becomes a friend.

“Parallel Resistors” felt like a brief break from the more serious storylines. While we still want to see Kensi’s recovery and find out what’s going on with the mole storyline, the story functions better when it gives the audience a moment to breath before diving back in.

Notes from the Boat Shed

  • I guess Hetty was gone mole-hunting again. It’d be nice if we could see some of this onscreen too. I’ve already lost interest in this drawn out storyline again.
  • Is it too much to ask for a scene of Callen or Sam or any of the rest of the team visiting Kensi in the hospital? Just once?
  • How young is too young for boarding school? (12 is too young in my opinion)
  • I laughed more at the “Dr. Spock” joke than anything else I watched on Sunday.
  • I really liked how dynamic the fight at the bar was. The camerawork made it even better.
  • I was hoping for a follow-up to Granger’s medical problems. I’m so curious/worried!
  • Next week, Callen’s father makes an appearance. That’ll be pretty interesting.

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


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