NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Sam Hanna Revealed

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"Betrayal" was quite a roller coaster. Given that he is such an integral part of the show, I never really thought Sam's life was in danger, but the hour was written such that you had to wonder. And, not once, but twice. How nerve-wracking!

I have to give huge high-fives to both L.L. Cool J and Chris O'Donnell for their performances. They normally run around shooting people and solving cases and, while they did both, this investigation was driven by strong emotions.

Callen and Sam Picture (NCIS: LA)

Sam was sent to continue his undercover mission with the CIA in Sudan. When the CIA operatives were found dead, Callen immediately went to Sudan to find out whether Sam was alive or dead. Fortunately, Sam was still alive, but was playing a dangerous game cultivating a romance with the sister, Jada, of the dangerous Sudanese Leader, Tahir Khaled.

Sam was convincing in his love for Jada. Even though, it's no secret that Sam has a family at home, I think he really did fall for Jada in some respect. I bought their fairy tale ending for about a minute, then realized he was playing her to get what he needed. Sam had feelings for her to the extent he wanted a better life for her, but perhaps more.

O'Donnell gave an amazing performance as well showing his feelings for Sam. The fear that Sam was dead was written all over his face at the morgue. He again showed how much he cared about Sam by agreeing to let him stay and risk his life to bring down the despicable Khaled. But, even more than that, Callen agreed to help him save Jada by bringing her back to the United States.

This isn't the first time we've seen the toll undercover work takes emotionally. When Sam told Jada the truth in the airport hanger, it reminded me of when Deeks had to reveal his true identity to his undercover ex-girlfriend. In both cases, the men did fall for their undercover loves in some respect. I can't even imagine how horrible it must feel to betray someone like that, even if ultimately it is for the greater good. Sam's goodbye to Jada was absolutely heartbreaking to watch. The pain on both of their faces was excruciating to witness.

Agent G. Callen Picture

One annoyance I had with the episode was that it was based on a CIA leak. If I believed our government operated like they are depicted on television, I'd think everyone is a leak. There always seems to be a leak, a mole, or someone corrupt in the government. I guess that's what NCIS: LA is all about, investigating Naval crimes, but I'm over stories about government leaks.

Overall, this was a well-written and superbly acted episode. I'm glad we finally got a glimpse into the life of Sam Hanna, even though we didn't actually see his family's faces. Unfortunately, I took that to mean that we won't see them again anytime soon.

What did you think of Sam's actions? Were his lies to Jada justified for the greater good? Share your thoughts in the comments and download L.L Cool J's new song HERE!


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.7 / 5.0 (294 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Aunjanue Ellis is the actress portraying Sam's wife. She also plays on The Mentalist at times.


Finally cleaning out my DVR (a tad bit embarrassing), but I love going back and looking at these reviews. You're right, how heartbreaking for Jada and Sam's family. And I LOVED Callen's protectiveness...that's probably one of the most endearing parts of the partners' relationships.


I am an avid ncis and ncis:la watcher and I don't remember Sam having a family...Where did that come from?? What episode was that?? And to the whining ass African, (princess??) Get over it...if u don't want western people questioning the things they don't understand, then take ur barefooted ass back to Africa...


Well, I was completly blindsided Sam was married and with a child. Guess I fell asleep at the wheel on that prior segment about his child. Anyway, I have to say there is a line that was crossed in my book of Sam breaking the heart of a woman for his country. I know others may not agree with me and that is all well and good but that is my opinion. I feel Sam just went down a few notches in my book on the way he handled this situation. Not only is he going to have to live with what he has done to her life but what he has done to his own.


Michael, honestly you are a total idiot. Don't even bother to learn English, just go live in the middle east if you hate it here so much. It's because of morons like you that this country has a bad name.


Chris O'Donnell is excellent actor. Congratulation Chris!


That should have said: "an especially talented"


Wow, I just came on here to see if anyone knew the actress playing Sam's wife (she is not listed on the imdb cast page for the episode) but it seems that is far from anyone's mind! Well written article by the way; though I don't think Chris O'Donnell is an talented actor, I do agree that he gave a good performance in this episode. And shoot--I was so surprised to see Sam's family! For some reason I'd assumed he was divorced, or maybe just hadn't married--interesting twist! I hope they reveal more in the next episode...


I thought that was heartbreaking I never knew about his wife or kids on account that I am a new watcher ... I think he really loved jada and I wish she could be happy with him .


Princess - pls get off your soap box - this is a TV show - post your comments some place else - personally I don't care what you wear (or don't wear)or where you are from - THIS IS A TV SHOW - And Michael, please join her -

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