NCIS Los Angeles review: “Can I get a witness?”


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Here’s my review of NCIS Los Angeles season nine episode “Can I get a witness?” 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 have to be honest and admit that Deeks has always been my favorite character. I pretty much like any character who makes me laugh, and he makes me laugh the most. I’m always quite excited for any Deeks-centric episode, so I guess I can chalk up my disappointment with “Can I get a witness?” to high expectations. Honestly, I can’t figure out what about the episode didn’t seem to work. But I just didn’t find this one as entertaining as usual.

In the past, I’ve always said stories that personally connect to the main characters work very well. Episodes exploring Callen’s past are interesting, the ones dealing with Sam’s story are emotional, etc. So I thought this one would give Deeks an opportunity for some character growth. At the beginning of this episode, it seemed like we were going to get Deeks and Detective Whiting teaming up to investigate Lt. Bates, a coworker from the LAPD. And then when it looked like Deeks and Bates were going rogue by running from the cops, that looked potentially exciting as well. But then it all just fizzled out and became like any other episode. It just wasn’t how I was expecting the episode to go with the way it began. It wasn’t as character driven as it could have been.

There seemed to be a lot of focus instead on Bates throughout. This can work for a recurring character that we see often, like Arkady and Anna, but Bates hasn’t earned the interest. The audience doesn’t have any real connection to him except through a few previous scenes. Any episode that focuses more on the guest cast instead of the main one is not going to grab the audience attention as much. We tune in each week for the main team after all.

The rest of the episode is spent developing Hetty’s solo storyline. We’ve only had snippets so far to figure out what she’s doing in Vietnam. This episode gave us a bit more explanation of what’s going on. But once it’s revealed that the goal was to capture Hetty, the whole episode in retrospect felt like it was just stalling to get to the reveal. Now that Hetty has a mess to get herself out of, things will most likely become much more interesting. I just wish we could have gotten to that point earlier. Like I said for the season premiere, her storyline is too disconnected from the team for me to care about yet.

What everything comes down to in the end is that, personally, I simply didn’t enjoy this episode as much as usual. I’m sure plenty of people have differing opinions on “Can I get a witness?” It wasn’t an awful episode. It just didn’t match up with my own tastes. That happens sometimes to anyone watching any tv show. If you did enjoy the episode, please feel free to share your thoughts. Because I’m coming up empty.

Notes from the Boat Shed

  • Slightly related: did anyone else find the whole case confusing or was that just me? I felt like they must have cut a crucial scene somewhere along the way.
  • On a positive note, I really enjoyed the scenes with Kensi and Nell together. They work well together, but not often enough.
  • Do you think NCIS got billed for that cop car Deeks smashed? And what is Mosley going to say about that?!
  • Sam’s example about sober people living longer was nice, but his Japanese example was kinda ironic considering that binge drinking is a super popular after-work activity over there.
  • I enjoy how Whiting brings out a different, angrier side of Deeks. Though being blackmailed would make anyone angry.
  • Line of the episode goes to Hetty’s “this is the sound of one hand clapping” *slap*
  • I’m looking forward to a Kensi episode next week!

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: “Can I get a witness?”

  1. Thanks very much for the review. I felt very much as you did. I enjoyed the episode but I did find it confusing and disjointed. I too felt there was a scene missing. I like Deeks but he does get on my nerves sometimes. We now know that Deeks has the best of both worlds in being a liaison and that he won’t choose one world over another. We also know that Whiting is going to continue her blackmail. I have said it before and I will say it again: I don’t like Nell in the field. She shines in ops with Eric and they are both brilliant there. I share everyone’s frustration with the Hetty storyline. I assume it will at some point introduce her fellow agents from the past. For me the best scene was at the end when Callen takes responsibility for Sam and tries to help him as much as he is able. Thank goodness for Sam’s and Callen’s banter!

    • I’m glad I wasn’t the only one confused. It felt like maybe they rushed to finish the episode and forgot they left out some important explanations LOL.

      I know Deeks can definitely be grating sometimes when he doesn’t know when to stop talking. I don’t always mind it myself, but the old saying “less is more” might apply to him occasionally 😛

      I agree that Nell does a wonderful job in Ops with Eric. I think it’s just nice for her to get a change of scenery every now and then, right? Not every episode though!

      I definitely forgot to mention it in my review, but I agree that the best scene was the one at the end with Callen and Sam. Their friendship is one of the best on TV!

      Thanks as always for reading and commenting!

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