NCIS: Los Angeles Season 4 Report Card: B+

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NCIS: Los Angeles season 4 was driven by the search for stolen Soviet nukes that were dug up after being hidden in American soil. This case brought Sam's wife out of retirement to return to an undercover role of Quinn.

While the team took on other cases throughout the year, the search for the nukes was the highlight of the season.

Check out the NCIS: LA Report Card below and then stop by and review some of our other Report Cards: Person of InterestCastleThe Big Bang Theory and Once Upon a Time.

NCIS Los Angeles Fab Four

Best Episode: The finale, "Descent," was one of many excellent episodes, but it gets the top spot for a few reasons. It was an intense hour with non-stop action, put the NCIS agents in peril, and most importantly was a nice bookend to the season. The premiere dealt with the aftermath of Callen shooting the Chameleon (Marcel Janvier) and he returned to help NCIS with their other ongoing case to find the stolen nukes. The "To Be Continued" aspect was annoying, but despite that it was the best hour of the show.

Worst Episode: Without a doubt, the worst non-planted spin-off hour was "Dead Body Politic." The writers clearly wanted to do an election themed episode, but this one didn't work. There was no plausible reason for NCIS to be involved and the case itself wasn't entertaining at all.

Biggest Controversy: The torture of Sam and Deeks by Sidorov. It was horrific and with Michelle's undercover identity and life at risk it raised the stakes beyond their own pain. That said, I was surprised by the controversy over the torture scene.

Best kiss: This is a tough one. I would have said Eric and Nell's fun mistletoe kiss in "Free Ride" up until the finale. I've been against a Deeks and Kensi romance for so long, but Deeks kissing Kensi after her nagging him about his communication skills was the perfect response. I can't believe I'm warming up to a potential romance between them. I can't decide, so it's a tie!

Biggest Waste of Two Episodes: The backdoor pilot episodes for the potential NCIS: Red were just awful. The concept of the series was intriguing, but the storytelling and the characters were not. Behind the election episode, these two hours were the worst of the season. 

Biggest Shocker:  In "Ravens and Swans," Hetty admitted that she recruited "a lot" of orphans and trained them to be operatives. Whoa. Now that would be an spin-off I wouldn't mind seeing. Hetty and her adult orphans on secret missions around the world!

Best Smell: Sunshine and Gunpowder!

Hopes for season 5:

  • Deeks doesn't break and protects Quinn. And, then Sam gives him the grandest, most sincere apology for treating him poorly and questioning his loyalty and worthiness to the team. Either way, Deeks risked his life and was submitted to torture for saving Sam's life.
  • Deeks and Sam are rescued without any permanent psychological or physical damage.  And, Quinn is saved by Kensi. No deaths when the show returns.
  • Hetty and her orphans are explored.
  • The stolen nukes are found and that storyline is concluded. 
  • More episodes that focus on national security issues, undercover work, and action. No more episodes that are outside NCIS's scope.

YOUR turn, TV Fanatics: Grade the season now...

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


The Red episode wasn't by far my favorite, but I think it was just ok. I love Densi and the way they constantly tease each other. Those are my very favorite scenes - Kensi and Deeks fooling around on the bed in the hotel room when Nell walks in, "Touche, touche, you cannot touch my touche....", the undercover husband and wife episode, etc., these are the best of all the episodes. I just can't see them splitting up, unless they split up and get back together again. I hope neither one of them leave the show as it just wouldn't be NCIS LA without both Kensi and Deeks.


I personally found the "Red" episodes the biggest waste of hours and I am grateful that the powers that be did not make that into a series as it would cheapen the whole NCIS brand. The actors for the red team were forced not natural like the regular crew.
"Dead body politic" would probably not be done by these guys in real life, I would think the FBI would be the investigators.
The "Gold Standard" episode without Deeks was just weird. Lets hope that it doesn't happen again in a hurry. When Callen missed a bulk of a episode in season 2, he met with Hetty first before he went off.
Compared to previous seasons, I did not enjoy season 4 as much as seasons 2 and 3. I realise that the writers and directors need to push the envelope but fans would rather have quality than quantity, quality is what got it to the number 2 show.
As for your idea on "Hetty and the orphans" or "The orphan collective" that would be an entertaining concept and one that should be made into at least one series.


I have to agree. They tried to bring in Red NCIS and it didn't work. I didn't like how they tried to force Callen to have a relationship with Kim's character, especially when he has mentioned he would never date someone who has a gun. I liked learning more about Sam and his wife. I know I am in the minority but I actually like Callen with Kensi and not Deeks and Kensi. For Season 5 I think Callen will use the Chameleon's daughter against him, finding and rescuing Sam and Deeks (hopefully redeeming himself and not closing himself off from all who care about him). I hope we learn more about of the most intriguing characters on the NCIS series. I also want more undercover work, end the stolen nukes storyline.


From what I'v heard in season 5 Deeks involment in the NCIS will be explored, maybe he will become an Agent?:) PS:Sunshsine and Gunpowder ^^


You are correct! The two worst episodes were indeed NCIS Red. Kim was barely ok as a medic in Third Watch, but certainly , no secret agent qualities. The same for her "partner". Scrap the concept and the staff. And the "does anyone have a cigarette?" lady didn't help. Very poor overall.Since I usually plan on buying the year on DVD, here's hoping the features and deleted scenes make up for Red.


sunshine and gunpowder made me laugh out loud - that is such a perfect description of Kensi. Hetty would be tea and cunning


I found the gold standard episode without deeks in it to be very odd?
It was like they were missing something without him there.
very odd!!!!!


I enjoy most episodes of NCIS not because of the cases but the chemistry between all the cast members. This is by far one of the most cohesive cast, even when Sam is being all oh you ain't worthy on deeks its fun to watch.

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