NCIS Los Angeles review: “Se Murio El Payaso”


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Here’s my review of NCIS Los Angeles season nine episode “Se Murio El Payaso.” 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.

“Se Murio El Payaso” is a Spanish idiom apparently common (?) in Peru meaning “the clown is dead.” Further google searching (take with a grain of salt) tells me that it’s a colloquial way to say that something long has finally wrapped up. This week’s NCISLA episode chose the phrase as the title, and I suppose it works as a nice nod towards the Peruvian counterfeit operation that was taken down by the team as well as Claudia’s long years of pretending to be Lucina. However, I thought the episode itself was not as strong as last week’s season premiere.

Though the case this week wasn’t terrible  (counterfeiting is a nice change of pace), and it’s nice to see Sam have an undercover job that doesn’t require him to be some sort of drug dealer, we didn’t get much in the way of character development. The only b-story was a little bit of Callen and Anna flirting over video games. (I personally thought it was cute, but didn’t serve any other purpose). Sam got a little bit of time when talking to his Secret Service friend, but it’s looking more and more like he’s going to avoid mourning his wife as much as possible. It’s still early in the season, however, so that storyline may still develop.

Another odd choice was the lack of Mosley and Hidoko this week. After their big introduction last week, it seems weird to have them be absent this week. It gives the episode less urgency because the conflict isn’t there from the previous episode. This has always been a problem with NCISLA for me: the overarching story gets randomly dropped for an episode or two before picking up again. It just seems more unrealistic to me to do it that way. Not that I particularly enjoy the Mosley storyline yet, but I would at least like to see it develop naturally.

Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t an awful episode at all. It just seemed to lack the elements of better episodes, like character development and office banter. The shootout, however, was exciting as usual, and Callen and Anna made an effort to shoot less people. So maybe that’s something to think about considering last week’s conversation with Mosley. All I know is that it’s too early in the season for filler episodes, so next week will hopefully be better.

Notes from the Boat Shed

  • I… still don’t care at all about whatever Hetty is doing in Vietnam. It’s just too disconnected from everyone else right now.
  • You all should know by now how awful I am at remembering recurring guests. Was I supposed to recognize the Secret Service team? Because the team knew them but I definitely didn’t.
  • Claudia’s brief attempt at hitting on Kensi just reminds me of how nice it’d be to have some sort of lgbt character on the show.
  • How long has poor Anna been waiting for clearance for the ATF job?! I know it takes a while but GEEZ. I’d have found another job by now.
  • Speaking of Anna, I liked that she was randomly carrying around a night stick!
  • It was nice to see Sam put his mathlete skills to good use undercover 😛
  • How do you feel about random episode titles like this one? I’d prefer something more straightforward.

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


9 thoughts on “NCIS Los Angeles review: “Se Murio El Payaso”

  1. This episode was filmed back in April and the two new characters hadn’t been hired yet, thus no Mosley or Hidoku. Most years they have done a couple of extra episodes at the end of their filming schedule to drop in at some point. There is still a second one waiting to be aired at some point

    • Thanks for the head’s up! That would definitely explain why the episode felt so disconnected. I’d be curious to know why they dropped the episode in so soon.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Great review as usual! I thought it was a good episode but for me it was about good scenes pieced together–no flow to them like the last 2 episodes of Season 7.
    This episode was supposed to be shown after “Assets” which will be aired this week. Maybe there is something (even small) in “Assets” that leads into this episode? I don’t remember the Secret Service either. LOVED Sam undercover and Callen/Anna fight scene. Kensi was great in the interrogation room. And yeah, Hetty is too disconnected from the team making her appearances irrelevant to everything else that happens on the show.

    • It is nice when scenes flow together!

      I’m really curious why they switched the episode order but maybe it’ll make more sense after we see Assets?

      I didn’t talk about it in the review but I liked Kensi in the interrogation scene too. She also does great not getting distracted.

      I just hope they don’t stretch out Hetty’s story like the mole storyline. Please connect to the team soon!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! 😀

  3. I enjoyed the episode especially the interrogation scenes and the Callen / Anna banter and fight. I too thought it odd Mosley & her associate were not mentioned. Regardless of it being filmed at the end of the last season, the producers would have known what they were planning even if new actors weren’t yet hired for the parts.

    I did not recognise the Secret Service man Callen knew (IMDB doesnt credit him with any other episodes). But I want to hear details of his Callen story!!!

    • The Callen/Anna banter was so fun, as usual! ^_^

      The episode switch up and placement seems like a weird choice. I wish I understood it, but I guess we’ll never know.

      …just like we’ll never know that Callen story involving the cheetah LOL (but I still want to hear that too)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Thanks for your review. Interesting as ever! Thank you too for talking about the title. I have been trying for some time to figure out the significance of the title to the episode. Your explanation helped but it was a bizarre choice. Anyway, I enjoyed the episode and the 3 major scenarios. Kensi and Deeks skillfully interrogated Claudia and we found out that she wasn’t who we thought she was. Sam was amazing,along with agent DeChamps. He is a very very good actor. I do remember her from “Old Tricks” I think it was. About the gold coin. I hope we see her again. I loved the 2 scenes with Callen and Anna. The fight was amazing and yes no guns this time. I really enjoyed the scene with the 2 at home. It was sweet. I saw 2 people getting to know each other and liking what they found out. A gamer! Who knew? Hetty’s scene was mysterious and I too don’t want it to go on too long. Relevance? I don’t know why they changed the order but I guess we will find out. Looking forward to the next episode!

    • The title was very confusing! I got lucky when I stumbled upon a website listing Peruvian phrases. I agree that it was a bizarre choice for the episode lol.

      I kind of hope we get to see DeChamps again too. (though I still don’t remember her part in Old Tricks, oops) She worked well with Sam, and it’s always nice to see him interact with different people occasionally.

      Callen and Anna at home was definitely the sweetest part of the episode to me. I didn’t expect Anna to be a gamer either but I like the idea. I hope they’ll play some video games together in the future.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts on the episode!

  5. Thanks for the review. I think the episodes were switched because of the shooting in Las Vegas. I thought the scenes flowed together and that the story was solid. I liked all aspects: Sam’s undercover, Callen and Anna, and the interrogation (especially Kensi). I loved all the Callen-Anna scenes, especially the home scene (I hope Callen joins her Halo 5 team) and the shopping scene–and the nod to LOTR. DeChamps is one of my favorite guests, so I hope she returns. She and Sam work well together without being “romantic.” I didn’t miss Mosley or Hayley nd didn’t think it that odd (there were episodes in earlier seasons where Hetty wasn’t there). Anyway, I liked this one and hope we see more of both DeChamps and Anna.

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