NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Introducing Team Red

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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
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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+.


it was alright....but, it did drag imo....i have a feeling, IF "NCIS:RED" is picked up, their powers that be will revamp it like they did with NCIS:LA. leave DEEKS the way he is....don't forget, he is NOT strickly with NCIS....he works with LAPD....and probably does undercover work. alisa


So disappointing. There were a few good scenes - Sam shooting out the sunroof; when Raver slugged Corbett; the group tormenting Deeks about the box. Only one reason I would like this to be a spin-off and that's if it gets the Granger character off NCIS:LA permanently. Only one reason I would watch to see how it progresses if it is a spin-off and that's to see John Corbett. (Although Granger might cancel that out.)


Add me to the camp that was underwhelmed. I guess that as a two-parter, I shouldn't expect much resolution to the case, but couldn't we have at least found out what was in the damn box? THAT would have been SOME consolation, but to talk it to death and do nothing was a cheap and easy ploy. As for Corbett, yes, he looks like hell. Not sure if it's the lighting, the make-up, that his character is supposed to look emotionally damaged or a combo. It seems like good casting even if it isn't aesthetically pleasing. Oh...and bunking with Granger--I'd quit!!!


I wonder if it will be film on locations like the mothership is


The concept of Red is good, but I agree, hopefully all the team members have specific skills that will make their reason for existence and as a combined team the ability to solve a better case than this one! I like NCIS-LA, not as much as I like NCIS, but still get upset at some of their cases. Being military and working with the investigative components of different services, I keep wondering why their cases have more to do with terrorism that Homeland Security should be handling, or leaving their base area.....similar as to why Heddy would be replacing members from a Georgia-based unit! California has numerous Naval installations to have cases to solve or federal employees to investigate! I agree with Josie...undercover or not, Deeks needs to do something with that hair!




My one-word description of this episode: Thud.
That is, the wet, squishy kind of thud heard when a high-concept spinoff inherits none of the mojo of its parent and falls flat on debut. Worse, we have to endure this for one more hour next week before returning to the far more enjoyable NCIS: Los Angeles formula.
Granted, there was similar criticism when NCIS: Los Angeles debuted,but it managed to find and generate its own dramatic wattage after a while. Maybe that will be true with NCIS: Red as well. But I wouldn't bet the farm on it - I just don't see the spark.


I felt the same way as lolyncut when I saw Paris in a tank top -- did they have the heat cranked up to 90? It's cold in Idaho in winter. Paris seems too young for menopausal hot flashes. Also, it seemed like they were all having breakfast, then went to the murder scene and it was pitch-black outside. When does the sun come up in Idaho? Obviously a cost-cutting measure. The episode was done on the cheap, like the early seasons of NCIS when they dressed the team in coats and sprinkled fake snow on a few southern CA trees to pretend it was winter in DC. Doesn't look like they are willing to commit much cash to the success of the spin-off.


What hurt NCIS LA at the start was to many change a change of leadership and a new place and I can se the same happen to NCIS RED

Josie leeds

If NCIS RED will get Granger OUT of NCIS LA, I will be content. Hetty doesn't need a babysitter. Nice to see John Corbett again, but he really needs a haircut....kinda like Deeks needs to wash HIS hair THEN cut it. Not a stellar episode, but maybe Part 2 will kick it up a notch.

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