NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Who Smelt It?

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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. 

A Brazen Heist

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?


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.8 / 5.0 (225 Votes)

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


NCIS LA just like NCIS last night seem to be at their best when the case on the front Both were perfect last night


Sorry, this episode was... unsatisfying. I'm sure it was on purpose to setup future episodes. However, I would have expected more reaction out of Kensi from Deeks being gone. And what is Granger planning for Kensi? Personally, I think nothing; he's just playing her. Yet, there's Hetty's line about Deeks possibly in danger; I can't wait to see how that plays out! And oh how much funnier would some of those scenes, especially the costume shop, been with Deeks?! This show just isn't the same without Deeks and what the writers draft for him!


I liked the episode. I wasnt as interested in the case but the characters and character relationships were great. I thought granger in the field with kenzi was weird and very uncomfortable and I wonder what he's planning for her. Sam Afraid of clowns and snakes funny and weird for someone like him you'd never picture it. Eric and Nell were the best last night. Eric was great with his weird dream of his phobia and him saying his favorite element again and the best him always laughing at smelt. Nell was great with being funny with Eric and looking at him like he's weird. Them leaving together at the end was so funny and made me wonder what was going on.


I thought it was hilarious as well as exciting, I wonder what the big mystery with Deeks is all about I don't really think he was testifying in court. Eric and Nell should be a couple and with next week's x-mas promo that might just happen.
And you are right for once I would like to see Sam wear something else besides a Henley.


it was a ok episode but without deeks its just not enjoyable he for me makes the show as hetty does.

Sue ann

I watch this show to see Hetty and Deeks, in that order. I don't pay much mind to the stories. So, half the fun was gone tonight. I think Eric and Nell are becoming a couple. He has explained himself to her several times now, to make it clear that he was not out with another woman. And she made it clear to him that she slept over at Hetty's, not at another man's. The thing I found myself considering during this episode was that finally, after twenty-odd years, Miguel Ferrer is beginning to grow on me. The only decent human I ever saw him play was on ER once, but they are finally putting some layers on his character, and adding a little humor. I like it.

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NCIS: Los Angeles Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

Callen: Sounds like Duncan has a girlfriend.
Kensi: Or, a cross-dressing fetish.

Mr. Deeks is part of this team. If anything were to happen to him, I would take it most personally.