NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Introducing Team Red
Well, that was a disappointing launch to the potential new series NCIS: Red.
This week's NCIS: Los Angeles, "Red," was used as a backdoor pilot for a new series in the franchise that initially started with JAG. The Red Team is an elite, mobile unit that can be dispatched to anywhere in the world, living quarters included. As a fan of Kim Raver and John Corbett, I had high hopes for their new series. I'll withhold a final judgment until after next week's conclusion to the two-parter, but it isn't off to a good start.
The highlight of the hour was the return of "The Box." The mysterious box that Kensi had and refused to discuss with Deeks. This time she gave it to him as a gift and said that it had what he has always wanted in it. And he didn't open it! At this point, I almost don't want to know what's inside because it will probably be a letdown. It will be fun to see how long Deeks can hold out before opening it. He's not usually a patient person.
As soon as Sam and Callen left Los Angeles, the episode fell apart. The problem with the hour was it moved from moment to moment without a sense of consequence, emotion or urgency. Half way through the episode, it was trudging along at a much too slow pace. The sharing of a room between Callen, Sam and then Granger lasted way too long. And the kitchen scene with Callen and Paris dragged. NCIS: Los Angeles is usually a fast paced show with the team constantly in motion.
A backdoor pilot has the difficult task of introducing a new show, cast and tone within the confines of the existing series. With the exception of Kim Raver's Paris Summerskill, I can't really say much about the rest of the team. They were there, but with little discernible personality beyond their roles within the team.
The case itself didn't hold my attention easily either. They tracked down the killer, Spears, through a mobile phone video, connected him to a terrorist threat, chased him and let him escape. The two gun fights were well done and another highlight. I especially liked that Sam shot out the sun roof in order to take a position through it to shoot the snow plow. Though, at the airport, how did Spears escape? It was a closed facility. He didn't have time to fly out, did he?
With the Red Team's member, Danny, injured, they needed a replacement. Hetty brought in Paris' former partner, Roy. Since the Red Team is based out of Georgia, why was Hetty replacing one of their team members? Of course, Paris and Roy have a difficult past that they will have to overcome when they work together. Roy's shooting seems to be at the heart of their discord and trust issues. While not particularly original, that relationship should provide some heart and tension within the team.
I wish CBS had aired the two hours together. I don't have a high opinion of the show based on this first hour, but that's primarily because the story has only been half told. It's like reviewing only the first hour of a movie. Despite my disappointment so far, the set up of a mobile team of agents that both live and work together is promising. The NCIS: Red show could easily be redeemed in next week's conclusion.
Did you enjoy these new characters? What do you think about the tension between Paris and Roy? Did you like it more than I did? Will you tune in for the conclusion next week?