NCIS Los Angeles review: “Uncaged”

ncis la uncaged

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

I’ve struggled since Sunday to decide what to write for this episode’s review. “Uncaged” was a tough one to watch, particularly with that emotional ending. Because the ending was so jarring, it’s hard to figure out what to say about this one. There are things I disliked but also parts I did think worked out well.

This episode was a race against time as the team worked to find Michelle before she suffocated to death. Anytime the team is fighting against a ticking clock, the audience feels tense but it keeps them glued to the screen. It’s certainly an effective tactic to keep people interested in the story. Even though Michelle is a character that rarely appeared onscreen often, she was mentioned very often and her connection to Sam as his wife makes her an important character we care about. We wanted her to be rescued just as much as if it had been any of our main team.

I felt pretty certain that Michelle wasn’t going to make it out alive due to a particular tv cliché. If a minor character suddenly gets a lot of attention and a sympathetic backstory, they’re pretty much doomed. So when the episode opened with that cute breakfast and then jogging scene, I figured things weren’t going to end well. When Sam and her talked about their proposal, things didn’t look any better. I hoped this would end up being a fakeout in the end and we’d get our happy ending, but that’s not what happened. Despite guessing ahead of time the ending, I still thought that whole last scene was done perfectly: writing, directing, acting. It was so devastating but that’s the point.

From a reviewer standpoint, I’m excited about the potential that will come from this episode. Everyone is going to be affected, Sam most of all. It will be interesting to see how things will play out. Sam is always the team’s voice of reason, but this is one time when he won’t be. How far will he go for revenge? Who will be the one to offer him comforting advice, as he usually does for the rest of the team? The impacts of this episode will surely reverberate into next season as well.

But just from a viewer standpoint, the end of “Uncaged” makes my heart break and makes me want to cry again. This episode was good, but definitely a hard one to watch.

Notes from the Boat Shed

  • I will say, to me it seems like the kidnapping plot feels overdone this season. At least this one was a little different in that Michelle got to talk to the team
  • I never want to hear mention of the mole storyline ever again. For the love of all things good, wrap it up and let it gooooo
  • My tv messed up at one point and I missed most of the scene with Sabatino. Let me know if I missed anything important other than shooting that guy in the leg
  • I don’t remember the Zhrov guy from prison at all, which is mostly just my inability to remember guest characters on this show, but was anyone else confused by them all pronouncing his name as “Sharov?” Closed captioning gave me the “Zhrov” spelling but I can’t have been the only one confused, right?
  • How terrible are Kensi and Deeks going to feel knowing they were so close the whole time? 😦
  • So…. is Nell gonna get in trouble for lying about orders from SECNAV? I’d bet no considering how the team suffers no legal consequences ever. But who knows? Maybe this will finally be the breaking point?
  • This season has made me cry way too much. This is all great for character development, but I miss the silliness. (Not like last week’s silliness though. Never like that please)

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


3 thoughts on “NCIS Los Angeles review: “Uncaged”

  1. Well, I thought this was possibly the best episode of the season. It was vintage Military and a flawless piece of dramatic writing from beginning to end. I love Military stories because they are taut and dramatic, and character-driven with all of the characters acting in ways that reflect their emotions honestly and consistent with the story. LL surprised me with his emotional scenes and all his scenes with Aunjuane were amazing. This will impact everyone on the team, but no one more than Callen. For the first time in their partnership, Callen will need to be the anchor and offer Sam the emotional support and the emotional balance to keep it together enough to do what needs to be done but not do so much that he endangers his position as the father his children need now more than ever. I loved the scenes between Sam and Callen–and the silence–because these are men who seldom speak in normal times, and in a time like this, their silence spoke volumes. I agree Kensi and Deeks will agonize over having been so close to Michelle and not saving her. (I have to say, if I were Kensi and Deeks, to hell with a proposal; I would go quietly to the courthouse and get married now because there’s a good chance one of you may not be here tomorrow the way this season is going, and I would think they’d rather be married even for a day than never get married at all.) LL said in an interview that a cast member will be finished (or something like that) in the finale which is this Sunday. I can’t even think about the team losing anyone else after Granger and the death of Michelle.

  2. The guy Sabatino shot was Micheal Zirov, Isaac Sidarov’s right hand man from Descent. He arranged the bomb selling deal with Janvier. Many viewers (including me) were confused about this guy as his name was clearly said as “Sharov” by the cast. Sharov was the guy in prison with Arkady. I recognized Zirov but couldn’t remember from where then did some Googling as it was driving me crazy!
    Nothing missed with Sabatino. The shooting Zirov in the leg was the biggest part of the scene.
    Great review–short but to the point capturing the essence of the episode with few words. Great review for a great episode.

  3. Great review for a great episode. Thanks. I find that it is difficult to say anything about this episode. It was terrific. It was heartbreaking. I was in tears at the end as was just about everyone else. Everyone brought their A game to this. Yes. I think Kensi and Deeks will feel remorse, but it wasn’t their fault. I loved Nell for her stand and Callen now will have to be the strong one. He will have to try to keep Sam from doing anything that will change his life forever. Of course, that has already happened with Michelle’s death. Sam is going to need his #NCISLA family more now than ever. Bring on the last episode!

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