NCIS: Los Angeles Review: The Scary Guppy

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NCIS team members returned to what they do best on "The Chosen One:" fighting terrorism and undercover work. 

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 4 has been very hit or miss with its episodes. This week was better than many, though, because it focused on a life or death situation of terror.

This season has been missing an overall story arc that others have had with Callen's back story, the Chameleon or Hetty's past. It looked like this one would be about Sidorov and Sam's wife, but that hasn't been addressed since it was introduced, with the exception of a passing comment. The season is past the half way mark, so perhaps it won't be picked up again until the end of the spring, if at all. 

Callen's Undercover Plans

On "The Chosen One," a routine traffic violation turned violent after the police officer asked to take a look inside the van. The officer's memory of a fast food bag provided the integral clue to break open the case: a chicken in checkered pants. It's amazing the small details that can be important. Eric and Nell used their traffic cam voodoo and located the van abandoned in a parking lot. 

The van was empty, but the terrorists weren't neat freaks (like the rental car agent), leaving a visible amount of ammonium nitrate behind. They were able to track the Chechens and, due to Kensi's quick thinking fish talk, get access to to Jamal Avlurov's phone. Despite his precautions, NCIS was able to infiltrate Avlurov's terror cell.

It was pretty convenient that Callen looked so similar to the contact, Anwar Amurov. Despite that, it was a risky operation he undertook with plenty of opportunities to be discovered. The pizza delivery was a big one, but the threat to call the cops was enough to get the item in the door. Callen was able to get the camera button, but decided to leave the ear piece behind. 

Callen's interaction with Gloria was enlightening. It was sad to see her faith corrupted and her disenchantment with life and country. At one point, I thought there was a glimmer of hope she wouldn't go through with it, but then she did. She killed herself for the plan.

While we never found why Anwar was willing to kill himself, through Callen, we saw the process of being a suicide bomber. At any moment, he could have blown himself up. His undercover gig was much more dangerous than he possibly expected going in. He was doing well too, until he wrote with the wrong hand. Ouch. A terrible tell and one that could never have been accounted for.

Callen's team had his back though and got to the warehouse in time to save him. Their ability to work together is a highlight of the show. When Sam caught the pressure switch bomb, he saved Callen's life again. Case closed. They saved lives that day.

Even though the undercover case was enjoyable, the best part of the episode was all the fish talk. Sometimes the banter theme is on the ridiculous side and doesn't always work, but in this case, it was awesome. A doppelganger fish tank! That Hetty appropriated the tank was even better. But, the highlight had to be when the guppy scared all the other fish away!

Did you enjoy a return to a terrorism based case? Undercover work? Which fish doppelganger was your favorite?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (364 Votes)

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


Actually, a Siamese fighting fish would probably just wander around the surface and do nothing. It's only with other males of the same species they're a problem. We did a project for science and put about 50 fish and aquatic animals of different species in a tank together at the end. The snails actually kept eating the fish over night while they slept. By the way, I wouldn't recommend putting goldfish with anything but algae eaters. They take the phrase "fish food" a little too literally.


I love this show, I really do. However they used to introduce terrorism cases stemming from the death of a naval officer for example, which was much more true to NCIS than a random terror cell. They need to bring it back to its naval roots, in my opinion.

Sue ann

Hetty's fish was a male guppy. I used to breed guppies. I liked the knife fish the best. I have kept the rest at one time or another, but never had one of those. Cool fish.


Great episode. Loved all of the Doppelgänger fish and background fish banter. All of the fishes were perfect Doppelgängers and of course, Deek's fish has to be the one sticking out like a sore thumb ; ) Deeks's denial of his goldfish dying was kinda sad...reminded me of my kid's goldfishes. Neric was adorable with their kissing fish. And throughout, Callen was awesome. Overall, an episode filled with great moments. And I think that Hetty's fish was a betta fish...they're aka Siamese fighting fish :)...Perfect for Hetty since she knows martial arts!


The fish was a guppy. They said it in the show and in the review.


I also would like to know what kind of fish Hetty put in the tank. Anyone?


OK...what writer had their tongue firmly implanted in their cheek when writing that prologue? A CA cop operating a handset while driving?


Loved the episode. I reall wish the girl wouldn't have gone along with the plan and killed herself I wanted her to live. My favorite part was any part that had to do with the fish. I loved the part where Eric was talking to Nell about their kissing fish and Nell told him they actually weren't kissing they were fighting it was funny to see Eric's face. Everyone saying the deeks fish was going to die was great and funny. At the end it was my favorite when hetty brought out the guppy and deeks started to say big fish eat little fish but she just put it in and all the other fish came up to it then quickly turned and swam the other way was great and the teams faces after that were even better. Can't wait till then next episode.


Does anyone know what kind of fish Hetty put in the tank?


was that a michigan state police car that was supposed to be on their video feed of the girl who committed suicide on the 101?

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