NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Introducing Team Red

at . Comments

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.

NCIS Red Team

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?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
  • 3.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 2.7 / 5.0 (211 Votes)

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


I loved the box scene...but I almost think whatever is in the box is not as important as the box itself and what Deeks chooses to do with the box. Either that or what's in the box will turn out to be a complete letdown. The best part of the whole Red Team portion, in my opinion, was when Kim Raver punched John Corbett in the face. Truly the only funny moment.


I agree with everything you said Carla! This might be one of the most poorly executed backdoor pilots I've seen. The red team just seemed out of place,the characters have no charisma(or their trying too hard to show personality to little to no effect). The pacing is really slow and I don't really feel intrigued by the case their working on together. I feel that there should have cross paths because of a case, initially they didn't get along and are forced to work together. That would have be interesting but this was just.... i hate to say it but at some moments real corny. I'll watch to see how it ends in part 2 but yeah it's disappointing so far.


I didn't enjoy this episode that much, and I don't really have a vested interest in NCIS: Red. I know TV networks, and in particular CBS loves to make franchises of popular shows, but I think NCIS and NCIS: LA is enough. John Corbett who I love, looked terrible, and needs to go see a barber because he is normally a handsome man.


I don't normally watch nighttime TV, but felt compelled to watch because of John Corbett. Even though he had a small part I thoroughly enjoyed the program and am looking forward to Part II. I have high hopes for this series to be a winner.


Really poorly done. NCIS: Red sounds great on paper, but the execution is just terrible and looks cheap. 95% of the focus on that team was on "Paris", who I'm not sold on - the rest of that team had just a few lines in whole episode at best. "The Box" was the best part, and I was laughing the whole time just because it was completely absurd. Though even that was dragged out for some bizzare reason.


This was a terrible show! The RED characters have no chemistry or charisma with each other at all. I suppose, in an area with snow and everyone else in heavy clothes, it was supposed to be "sexy" for Paris to be wearing a white tank top and a black bra? Granger has to go OFF every show. He's boring and adds nothing. I love NCIS:LA and its cast; even more so last night after watching their superior acting and chemistry together as opposed to that other "elite" group of RED team misfits.


The NCIS LA first base was more high tech and more of a base then their current one the really went down not up


I'm holding out reservations until the second half airs next week. As for the episode it was OK. I always like episodes when Kensi and Deeks get actual time alone without the chance of the guys butting in. It's the only time we ever get anything close to a serious conversation out of them. As for the infamous "box", Shane Brennan said in a recent interview that what Deeks does with the box will affect Kensi and Deeks' relationship for the rest of the series. He also said that we have not seen the last of the box. It will make a reappearance. Unfortunately, Granger has been made a regular on both shows for next season. Comments that this episode was done cheaply are absolutely correct. That's because it was done on an episode budget, NOT a series budget. Remember where OSP used to be in NCIS's two parter "Legend"? It was in some old warehouse and basically took place in one room. When they got picked up, they moved to the more luxurious mission style building that was once a water treatment administration facility, supposedly condemned after the Northridge earthquake. We didn't know much about Kensi and Sam when the piolt aired. We got a couple insights into Callen, but not much. Eric was just the computer tech, nothing else.


Not really liking the new team so far. Most of them are ether trying too hard or don't have enough personality. Paris was pretty good though. I liked her interactions with Callen and Roy and I think they could do something interesting with the character. But honestly the only character I instantly liked was Danny; and he got hit with a snow blow! WTF?


I love John Corbett and believer and raver can promote the show once we actually see the characters all come together. I don't however think it's fair that Red Tean gets stuck withGranger!!!!! OMG that man has as much of a spark as a dead battery. PLEASE get rid of him He wasn't good in CharlieSheens movies, nor was he good in that medical examiner show onTV,and he hasn't improved. He looks and acts like he his getting over a really bad drunkathon. And yes Corbett needs a haircut.

Tags: ,