NCIS: Los Angeles Review: The Assassin Twist

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After last Tuesday's disastrous introduction to Team Red, I didn't have high expectations for "Red, Part II." I hoped it would focus a little more on the new team members and really wanted to see the action that makes NCIS: Los Angeles stand out from other procedurals.

The conclusion to the two-part NCIS: Red backdoor pilot succeeded in providing both, but neither made me excited for the potential new series.

NCIS Red Team, Part II

I've been fans of both Kim Raver (Paris) and John Corbett (Roy) on other shows, but their characters were too bland here. I've written before that Raver exudes so much chemistry, she could have a relationship with a wall and it would be believable. I missed that in her performance here, but that's because of the character not her. Paris is awkward. Hetty was pushing for a relationship between her and Callen, but their interactions felt forced rather than natural. 

And, the contentious relationship between Paris and Roy didn't pique my interest in them, instead I was turned off. Though, I did appreciate that Paris' preference for head shots and what happened between her and Roy on the night he was shot was introduced and connected. With the prevalence of body armor, head shots do make sense. Paris and Roy came to an understanding about working together, but he broke his word immediately. Of course, it saved Paris' life, but what does that mean for their future working relationship?

The rest of the Red Team members didn't make much of an impression on me. The banter between Dave and Claire at the beginning was forced both in the writing and performance. If the show gets picked up for next season, I look forward to seeing how the team develops together and as individual characters. When NCIS: Los Angeles was first on, I didn't care for Kensi at all, but she's now a favorite of mine. I also hated Nell in her first episode and now she's the lovable Nell.

As far as the case, the surprise twist that Spears was not the one killing people was well-written. It was believable that someone with Krause's connections would hire someone to kill Spears once he realized that he had helped a terrorist. Krause may be a criminal, but even he has standards. The investigation went full circle with the reveal that the marine was killed for filming the hot female and not Spears.

She was hired to kill Spears and couldn't have a video showing her in his proximity. That video was evidence that would tie her to his execution. By identifying her unique kill method, NCIS was able to attribute over a hundred other killings to her. Plus, Spears was shot and killed. Not a bad day for the team.

The conclusion to the two-part backdoor Red pilot was an improvement from the introduction. The pacing problems were resolved, the investigation went into high gear, and the characters became slightly more developed. Based on these two hours alone, I'm not sold on this new installment in the NCIS franchise, but because of Raver and Corbett, I'd give the new series a few episodes before I'd dismiss it.

Will you watch NCIS: Red if it airs on CBS next fall? Does the working and/or personal relationship between Paris and Roy interest you? Who was your favorite Red Team member?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 2.9 / 5.0 (221 Votes)

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


It was a nice change having this two parter, and the story was far more compelling in the second part, but I'm not convinced that a new series is viable from this. Sometimes even NCIS:LA seems forced in some of the stories they come up with and how it merits the involvement of the team, to the point that even in the story itself the team questions their involvement. I can only imagine how much stretching Red would have to pull. NCIS changed a cast member for the first series (Blackadder and taking on Kate Todd), NCIS:LA changed out Macy for Hetty. Plus they changed their base of operations. Red would likely make changes too. NCIS:LA wasn't as compelling from Legend 1/2, but was more compelling than this. But maybe a full series could be more interesting than what we've seen.


I am with Sue Ann, I love John Corbett, and having met the man on the set of Northern Exposure, I can honestly say that he's a great guy in person--kind, generous and with a great sense of humor. I would only watch Red to see him, as none of the other characters were at all interesting, IMHO. Yet if they run Body of Proof against it, I will have to go with Body of Proof, as that's the show that my son and I watch together. I also adore NCIS LA because of Hetty/Linda Hunt and Deeks and a bit of Kenzi, because I love her chemistry with Deeks. I've also grown fond of LL Cool J during the run of the show, and I like Eric the techie, too.


Personally, i cant wait for a NCIS: Red show. As long as they keep it the show style of NCIS: LA, not NCIS. Its an interesting new idea and it could go both ways and have cases with the first NCIS team as well. Not all terrorism happens just based around two cities. You have to have a mobile team for the rest of the country. I agree with the few that are saying that the chemistry will come ith working together more. Its like some people expect these actors to be comfortable with each other and know how each act with only acting with them for an episode or two. It takes time to get to know people.


I had some misgivings after NCIS-Red Part I, but I really got into Part II. I am sure the writing will be improved, and I look forward to seeing this become a new series. I am a great fan of John Corbett's acting and he proved to me that this could be a great series.


I agree with your analysis. (Note: it should have been "didn't pique my interest".)


@Sue Ann - For the record, the accented female agent, Claire Keats, was portrayed by actress Gillian Alexy, who is in fact Australian. She's from Perth. That being said, Agent Keats didn't make enough of an impression on me for me to even remember her name without looking her up. This, despite her having that accent.


How could she be the shooter. Maybe I'm missing something, but how could she shoot Spears on the roof when she was having a shootout with Paris in the basement? They were going down the stairs as the men were going up.


I have high hopes for the NCIS Red team and spin-off! As was the case with NCIS: LA, the characters will evolve when the series starts. I personally love the chemistry between Callen and Paris. And the set is awesome! Definitely a fan of all things NCIS!


With Red Team I saw a lot of good actors who I have seen before - but no chemistry between any of them. If Red Team is picked up, they got a whole lot of work to do on this chemistry vacuum or the project will go down in flames - just like the Criminal Minds spin off that was just about DOA. I wish them luck!


Who BIG in Hollywood does Kim Raver know? She almost ruined Grey's Anatomy and I was about to pull the plug on NCIS Los Angeles. She settles it. I am outta here!!!

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