Here’s my review of NCIS Los Angeles season eight episode “Golden Days.” 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.
Okay, I’m used to NCISLA being a bit unrealistic on occasion. That’s the nature of television. Things are going to be exaggerated sometimes for the sake of making a point. But for me, “Golden Days” felt like a mess of a plot, something that spiraled out of control. And everything was so over the top that it wasn’t even enjoyable to watch.
We picked up where we left off last week: $40 million worth of gold bars were in the hands of a bad guy. Let’s not forget (like the episode did) that this whole plot was set into motion because Langston wanted to help people at the VA hospital. It seems like such wasted potential to open with that idea and then squander the opportunity to explore it. If the idea was to explore a theme about old veterans (as Hetty’s old friends are), then I don’t know why the plot went in a totally different direction.
But that issue aside, I was unimpressed with the story we actually did focus on. The whole episode operated on the fact that the old guys did things differently than our team. The problem is that it makes them look ridiculous the whole time. They should have known not to put word on the street about the gold. They should have known not to threaten a suspect with a hammer. They should have known how to conduct a stake out with less risk. And lastly, they should have known not to drive up to the airplane at the end wearing the Chinese gang’s gear! I’m still shocked Kensi didn’t accidentally snipe one of them during that.
It all just felt unnatural. Like the characters were doing these things to move the plot forward instead of having justified character motivations for their behavior.
This is often the problem with prominent guest characters. While last episode at least made an effort to create distinct personalities for the three guys, this episode felt like they were trying too hard. Nuance was lost and caricatures were put in their place. They basically existed only to function as a plot device. We’re meant to compare the guys with our current team. As such, they tended to take over certain scenes and draw attention away from our main characters, instead of enhancing the story like they should have.
By the end of the episode, I just didn’t care anymore. I just wanted it to be over so we could go back to focusing on our main characters again. These certainly weren’t the “Golden Days” of the series that I’m used to.
Notes from the Boat Shed
- Wasn’t it weird that Hetty didn’t do anything in this episode? As the director, sometimes she should actually, you know, direct!
- I don’t even know what to say about Deeks’ part of this episode. Is he being… politely blackmailed? I’ll just have to wait and see how it all unfolds later. But I didn’t think their conversation needed to last all episode
- The one redeeming part of the episode was Kensi getting to be a sniper for a bit. I love when she gets to show off that skill!
- It was nice to hear a few stories of young Granger tho. I can admit that too
- I’m again way behind on replying to comments. But I had a lot of excellent ones on last week’s review! Thanks for sharing and keep it up~!
So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.