No Deeks and a non-military related case would usually be a prescription for a less-than-stellar NCIS: Los Angeles episode. Despite those conditions, the show pulled off a decent hour with "The Gold Standard."
It wasn't one of the best, but the underlying premise was thought provoking. What would happen if terrorists were able to compromise the US Gold Reserves? It would be devastating to not only the economy in America, but across the world.
This is the second episode this season where NCIS's involvement didn't really make sense. Unlike with the election case, this time the premise was not a cookie cutter procedural story. I was intrigued by the costume-wearing gold thieves and at the half way mark, it got serious. They may have found the gold, but Callen was right to think it was too easy. Why would the remaining thief leave the gold behind.
Smart man, Callen! It wasn't about stealing gold and making money, the theft was bigger than that. It was about creating a panic. If the United States made billions of dollars worth of payments to the Chinese with fake gold, the entire system would fall apart. It would make the "fiscal cliff" look like a minor bump in the road. If countries, especially China, stopped buying US debt, America would be in a dire economic situation.
The investigation followed a standard path. The dead clown led to the costume shop which provided video evidence of Duncan buying the costumes. Duncan's girlfriend gave up his location and they found the truck. From there, Eric and Nell investigated Tungsten, the element used in place of gold in the bars. And, the takedown itself was even simple. These terrorist masterminds weren't that difficult to track.
Though, they didn't hesitate to kill those involved. Sam got taken by surprise and almost got covered in smelted gold, but Callen and Kensi had his back and both shot to kill.
Since NCIS was able to bring down the plot easily, they were also able to keep the specifics quiet. To the public, it was just a gold heist and they recovered the gold. Not only did they solve the case, they did it in a manner that protected the country from a financial calamity. If even a hint of the true story got out, it would be disastrous.
The best parts of the episode, as usual, were the interactions between the characters and not the case. Nell and Eric continued to be charming and hilarious. They really are the perfect pair for each other. Are they dating? Callen's "Don't ask, don't tell" comment was fitting. Do they really want to know?
The "smelt it" comments were hilarious too. Yes, it's kindergarten humor, but it's still funny. With Deeks gone, someone had to provide that low level humor for the hour. And, Eric and Nell fit the bill perfectly. Though, I'm glad to see that Deeks will be back next week. He was missed.
Hetty's concern for Deeks' whereabouts to Granger was a bit concerning though. Is there more to the story? Her comments made me worry for his position within the team. He's not NCIS, but as Hetty said,
"Mr. Deeks is part of this team. If anything were to happen to him, I would take it most personally." | permalink
Well put, Hetty! Deeks better not be going anywhere. Next week's episode looks to be back to normal with the team intact and working a military case. That's a good thing.
Odds and Ends
- Sam's afraid of clowns and snakes? Wow. Good to know. I hope Callen uses that against him as a joke at some point.
- Granger in the field with Kensi was uncomfortable. And, does he have bigger things in mind for her? Their relationship began with him out to bring her down, so that shift in confidence is promising.
- Kensi's explanation of a "bootie call" was awesome. Loved it!
- Don't ever call Kensi "honey" unless you want to be knocked unconscious.
- Eric would make a good criminal, though he really should keep those thoughts to himself.
- Sam's Henley shirts should be burned never to be seen again!
Did you miss Deeks? Are Nell and Eric a couple? Or, just good work friends? Did you enjoy the episode?