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+.


This is so bad I got up in the middle of the episode to write, don't like the whole spinoff thing, NCIS LA is holding on to a thread for me and to put these guys in here is terrible. They did this to me with Bones, one day I put the tv on and they put all these characters in the show. Not liking it, or them.


I agree the conclusion was better, but only marginally. I'm a big NCIS fan, so I want to like Red (probably as much as CBS would like me to) but I'm not sold. Yet. I think there is potential, but they have a lot work to do. I would give it chance only because I really didn't like NCIS LA's back door pilot any better. But they made changes before the first season and continued to do so until the hit right formula.


More and more revisionism. How many English accented NCIS female agents do we have in the real NCIS, not the show? None. The use of the English woman was devoid of reality. Strange, the English will never use Americans in their crime shows. Why are we importing English women to play the role of NCIS agents while we have equally good looking American women with American accents whatever the race?


I love this two episodes. I loved the chemistry between Callen and Paris. Callen saying "Paris is a beatiful city" shows how Paris stirs him up.
I love NCIS:LA and I really liked this red team. I'd love if Callen and Paris got together as I'd love if Kensi and Deeks married and had children.
I love Daniela Ruah. She's the most beautiful actress in the entire world.


Ok I actually liked this episode. The back door pilot to NCIS LA is my least favorite episode of NCIS LA I just don't like it but with this new team I liked it. The story line was great I loved it and the characters weren't to bad. I wasnt expecting a lot because its only been 2 episodes and you can't develope and learn a lot about characters in 2 episodes it takes an entire season usually to really get to know them. So I'm not going to officially make a decision about the new team until I see more episodes but so far I like them. With NCIS LA like I said I didn't like the episode but what's the show came on I loved it and its now one of my favorites I sometimes like it better than NCIS but that's just when they have a better storylines going. We don't know a lot about the characters from red team but that just means if they show actually get picked up we get to learn about them through out the season. I still think a NCIS team that travels around solving cases would be fun because they live together which could be used for funny stuff. The twist with the airport girl being an assassin sent to kill spears was a suprized to me I deffinetely didn't see that coming but when they found the bullets I knew the stuff on it was probably lip stick then I started putting it together when they started figuring it out. I liked the red team so far I think it would be a fun show and I would watch it. I can't wait for the next episode.


Si what's in the box???
As far as the show goes, I didn t like the first season.
Deeks is my favorite the cast didn t have the same chemistry in so 1


So, the hitwoman kills a Marine to hide the fact that she was going after a terrorist... thereby drawing attention to the terrorist she was going after, thus leading to her own exposure? Not exactly a very bright move. I did like the connection of Paris liking headshots to the shooter with body armor in the flashbacks. However, the flashbacks also drove home the fact that John Corbett really, really needs a haircut. Please.


Funny that you say that, walter. I've been of the opinion that every single one of the changes made from the NCIS:LA backdoor pilot to the actual series have all been for the worse. I vastly prefer Lara Macy to Hetty, and that the old operations room actually looked like an operations room. But yeah, it ain't looking good for NCIS: Red.


After the NCIS:LA pilot aired major changes were made. Lara Macy was replaced by Hetty. They moved from a warehouse to a mission style building. They got rid of Nate and Dominic. They got rid of that annoying big screen display with people waving their hands and arms moving images around. Hopefully they'll do the same with NCIS:Red. A few suggestions get rid of the guy who looks like Danny Bonaduce. Get rid of Laverne and Shirley (the two vans)There are a number of federal and military agencies which have "go" teams that deploy with no or little notice without needing these elaborate rigs.


Chan; As long as its not a cross-over episode it doesnt really matter, does it? If it was it'd be weird tho. Im unsure whether 'Red' will be its own show. It seems kinda empty, and even though there's loads of character storylines, I just dont see the point in a 'on the road'-spec ops team and a show 'bout it. I did like how Deeks kept referring to him and Kensi as a 'team'. Only him and her, and no-one else. These last 2-3 episodes have really laid some groundwork, but, we will never ever see anything develop since due to 'cross relationship'-blabla (if i cud remember Gibbs rule i wud post). Also, it seemed like there were way too many characters fit in one show. Hetty, Granger, Nell, Eric, 'Densi', Callen and Hanna and then the Red-team. I know its supposed to be an intro to a new show, but they gotta make sure that when having a way larger than ensamble-cast, they shud make sure everyone is linked-in properly. I apart from a few bit-part scenes, this wasnt my favourite episode.

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