NCIS: Los Angeles Review: "Cyber Threat"

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Kids these days.

This week's episode of NCIS: Los Angeles found the team scrambling to manage a "Cyber Threat" and find a kidnapped man - who was not only abducted because of his pre-teen son's surprising sophisticated hacking ability, but later saved by his tech-savvy progeny as well. Talk about redemption and coming full circle.

Hopefully Hetty keeps tabs on this wiz kid, Eric could use an intern.

You Know This Guy?

The premise of the case was that software CEO Dennis Calder was kidnapped just before he was to be questioned by the NSA regarding his involvement in a cyber attack on the Department of Defense.

The team was called to find Calder and thwart a cyber attack that could pose a serious threat national security and - if I understand this correctly - to figure out if Calder was behind the original attack.

When someone logs into Calder's home security system from afar, Kensi and Deeks (hilariously, as a tennis instructor) go undercover to protect the family. That's when Kensi gets to know Shawn.

Having given up on his relationship with his absentee dad, the kid has become something of a computer-obsessed loner. One with enough chops to successfully hack foreign government agencies.

One of which is responsible for his dad's abduction.

With Eric leading the way (the whole case was very much in his wheelhouse), the team realizes the Chinese took Calder to attack the DOD as retaliation for Shawn hacking them. Confused yet?

After a daring and complicated rescue, the NCIS agents raid the building where the Chinese agents - later disavowed by the government - had been hiding Calder, returning him safe and sound.

While the case usually takes precedence, it almost the backdrop for all the inter-office turmoil going on in this episode, during which Hetty was almost totally absent ... and yet not at all.

Without Hetty, there's no NCIS: LA, so thank goodness she survived. But without her running the show in the flesh, the team feels as discombobulated as viewers would without Linda Hunt in the cast.

Kensi on Duty

She's clearly the ultimate fly on the wall, running the show via technology and Nell Jones, who did her best to carry out her boss' bidding, and showcased her considerable talents throughout.

Multitasking doesn't do justice to what Nell has on her plate, but whether she was harassing Deeks to do his paperwork or donning a hard hat and vest undercover, she killed it. I heart her.

Hunter I don't like nearly as much. Claire Forlani needs to work on her American accent, first of all, but the character just feels off to me, as if she's intentionally out of place among the group.

I suppose that's likely the point, and things obviously can evolve over time. But she makes absolutely zero effort to be liked and that clearly doesn't sit well with Callen, especially after Romania.

Between Operation Comescu, the void left by Hetty's absence and G's distrust for ... well, everybody, the tension between himself and Hunter ran high and led to some of the episode's best scenes.

In the end, Callen proved he's still deferential to Hetty, however. He could have opened the classified envelope right then and there, but set out instead to find out who he is entirely on his own.

Was it because he trusted Hetty's judgment in not revealing its contents to him for good reason? Or because he doesn't trust her or anything he'd learn from the file anyway? Perhaps a little of both?

Questions for another time. A few closing thoughts on this solid episode:

  • Obviously we want her back in the office ASAP, but watching the characters' reactions when she pops up on electronic devices with impeccable timing did provide for some classic moments.
  • Deeks went to law school?! That's even funnier to picture after seeing him in those shorts.
  • “Borderline panic, converging on controlled hysteria.” - Eric summing up the case best.
  • You gotta love Sam holding out on drinks until after Kensi offered to pay.

What did you think of this week's NCIS: Los Angeles? Discuss!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (234 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I can't believe the NSA agent called Nell a mail clerk! I love Nell!


I don't blame Callen for his treatment of and reaction to Hunter. Respect should be earned, not demanded. Yes, Hunter replaced Hetty as the agent in charge BUT she came in demanding respect and began messing with the entire team. I haven't seen her show one iota of respect for the people she's in charge of. In fact, in this episode when Callen confronts her about bringing in the NSA agent, she very clearly insults Deeks by saying "he's just a cop" as if that makes him or his profession beneath her. There is common courtesy and decency and she hasn't shown any of it. I think you would be hard pressed to find any employee who would respect a boss like that. There is a huge difference between authority based on respect and authority maintained by intimidation or fear. If she didn't know anything about Callen's past or there was nothing on the Comescu laptop about him she could have alleviated alot of his frustration if she had just explained that from the beginning. According to the show timeline, it looks like he's been waiting a couple months to get any kind of information that may pertain to him and why the Comescus wanted him dead. Nell basically made that NSA agent feel like a jerk and it was well deserved. I loved the ending look Nell gave her. Deeks having gone to law school is not new. He was credited with that last season - most recently in the Imposters episode right after the Prince O Whales bar blew up. I believe Deeks is an extremely intelligent, excellent cop. His humor is showcased ALOT in order to play off Kensi's seriousness which has been very good for their "thing." Unfortunately some viewers intensely dislike him and refer to him as a joke or too childish. I don't think there is anything wrong with him being lighthearted or funny. Every serious profession does have its inside jokes, lighter moments and co workers who use humor to cope with the job. I don't think he's a horn dog, he is just a guy and they are very visual by nature. I also think he plays that up alot of the time to get a reaction out of Kensi. I am betting that he'd be a very different Deeks in a serious relationship.


FROM SYDNEY AUSTRALIA We saw this episode in Sydney last night - 10/04/11. Please let us know when Hetty returns to her desk so we may join her for a cup of tea. That will be the date we watch the next episode.


Wow! That's a lot of processing. LOL. Wish I had the time to do all that but then again, I also like my "quick draw" responses to the show. I process it more later sometimes, though. Loved all your comments/favorite bits too! :o)


I think Hunter is daughter of Hetty.


I want hatty back on. do not like the other person.


I think Hetty is Callen's Aunt and Linda might be her daughter. For some reason I think they are related


All are pretty much same with other episodes, but better overall... as for guest stars, Blue eye, especially Asian NSA agent, Patricia M was interesting..!!


Things change. Bosses come and go. Life moves on. And you do not pitch a hissy fit just because your favorite boss/maternal figure is recuperating from a gunshot wound/doing whatever crazy intelligence stuff she does in her free time. If it weren't for Forlani's off accent this episode (which, again, seems to be a new thing, since she was Hollywood Standard in "Familia" and "Lange, H"), I'd actually be liking her more than Callen right now, just because Callen is the one pitching a fit. Is he a highly trained, highly experienced and armed intelligence officer? Or is he a first grader who doesn't like that the new homeroom teacher doesn't let him sit next to his friends? God. Macy wouldn't have let this happen.


Honestly I paidthe case no attention because the inner office turmoil was so good. It as like they are deliberately trying to make Hunter unlikeable, and its working beccause I just dont like her. If an environment has a certain vibe and it functions and is effectual with that vibe you dont screw with it. I still keep thinking she's somehow related to Hetty. I dont trust her and I dont think Callen's behavior towards her is childish. Not with her antagonistic ways...and the fact that his personal information is being witheld from him is annoying. I get his frustration he has a right to know about his past..he needs to heal. I Loved Nell. Shes awesome and has really grown on me. I LOVE Deeks. He's my favorite character. I thought it was commn knowlege that he used to be a lawyer. I agree with the poster commenting on how he's underestimated. He reminds me of DiNozzo in that sense. Behind the humor is a very intelligent, complicated,jaded individual. Very layered character who never gets he's just due.

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