NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Blind-sided

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What a bizarre twist on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 14.

Unless I misunderstood the initial crime scene, I'm surprised that the NCIS team didn't use a little more caution when they brought in the former military contractor, Robert Brown.

He may have been attacked in the car with the hooker, but he was responsible for killing two of his former co-workers and left them hidden under bags of garbage.

If Robert had nothing to hide, why didn't he contact the authorities and report the attack? The team rushed to assume that he was on the right side of the D-7 scandal, when in fact he was the scandal. Regardless, the case provided some great moments for the members of team.

The cases each week are usually the least interesting part of an episode unless it's a multi-arc story or one of the more action-packed thrillers. In "War Cries," I was more intrigued by what was going on in Kensi's investigation of CIA Officer Sabatino than the murder case in LA. It was a relief to find out she wasn't entirely on her own in this and had Nell's support.

Sabatino is definitely a shady guy, but whether he's the mole or working against the United States is unclear. Since he works for the CIA, secrecy is expected. With Nell not finding anything out of place, he's either on the up and up or he's really good at hiding his nefarious activities.

I doubt that Sabatino is the mole, but he surely knows more about his partner's execution. I'd love to see Kensi and Sabatino end up working together. The two of them would likely butt heads, but be effective at finding the "White Ghost." It's always the quiet ones right? Perhaps, NCIS Tech Operator Andrew Leeds is the mole.

With Kensi in Afghanistan, NCIS: Los Angeles season 4 has taken Nell out of the Ops Room and given her more responsibility. The first time, it was her computer skills that were needed, but since then it's been about developing Nell. Hetty's decision to groom Nell provides authencity to the expanded role.

Nell can still be awkward at times. When she first received the message warning her about Robert, she hesitated and clued him in. That response cost her the moment to get out of the room perhaps without incident. When she was attacked, Nell kicked butt! She didn't hold back and stabbed him repeatedly which weakened  him enough to make it a fair fight.

When Kensi gets back (and she has to be back!), I hope we find her and Nell paired up for a case in the field. Their dynamic together working remotely has been great and in person would be even better. Plus, Kensi would be the perfect mentor for Nell, in addition to Hetty of course.

Outside of the two investigations, there were a few funny moments along the way. While I disagree with Granger, his line about Deeks in Afghanistan being a National Lampoon Vacation movie was way off base. Though, Deeks got payback when he allowed Granger to be forced to his knees.

Eric's always one for out there ideas. Was his Dead Man's Switch mention foreshadowing something? Or, just one of Eric's whims? Granger not only got it from Deeks, but also from Eric. He did look like a pirate though, right? He deserved it since he called Nell and Eric meercats to Hetty.

The best personal moment though was Sam's ploy to get Callen to go out on a blind date. Way to help out your partner! And a school teacher was perfect, though Callen's choice of occupation was a little odd. In that suit, he looked good and could have been in securities. It was only one dinner, but it's time for Callen to get a love interest and she seemed perfect for him.

NCIS: Los Angeles is off for a few weeks due to the Olympics. Let's hope we get more movement and answers on Kensi's mission in Afghanistan. She needs to get back to LA where she's around friends and not potential foes.

Is Sabatino good or bad?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.4 / 5.0 (138 Votes)

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


Did anyone notice that Sabatino was in another episode of NCIS:LA is 2012? He was the one Granger took away after he arrive in LA

@ MelB

Yes, that had been established last season in episode 17, when the team discovered he was with the CIA during their hunt for Sidorov.


In the poll above, when it talks about Sabatino's partner, who are they talking about?

Carla day
@ PatrickC

Sabatino's partner was the sniper who was killed. Kensi was sent to Afghanistan to replace him.


I love super computer geek girl, Nell. But honestly, that guy would have tossed her across the room like a rag doll. That was too UNBELIEVEABLE. She and Eric are perfect meerkats.


I can't wait for Kensi to return. I think Daniela shows a little bit they wrote it good to hid her tiny baby bump with her being cold and covering up with blanket but like someone said in there comment they tape her scenes ahead a time. Does anyone know when her leave is over I know she had her son already


It would be nice for Callen to have someone but unfortunately this kindergarten teacher is too nice. Callen won't be able to lie to her o a regular bases so they can have a "relationship". Callen is smart that way and he has a heart.


Good episode. I liked that Kenzi has been in contact with Nell and that Nell clued Eric in. Eric's idea for a dead man switch was funny and a pretty good idea even though he totally freaked Nell out. I'm not sure if Sabatino is a mole or not I'm going to see him more I just can't make positive conclusion yet I mean he could be the mole it would make since or he could just be doing his job, he is with the CIA they keep secrets. When Sam kept asking Callen to dinner I knew he was probably setting him up on a date and at the end when that turned out to be the case I thought it was sweet and she seems good for Callen and I can't wait to see if that goes anywhere. Nell fighting back and cutting the guy a bunch of times was great and at the end when they talked to Kenzi and she said it was just another day at the office I couldn't help but laugh cause for them that is just another day at the office.


Okay this is a show about the Navy so why the hell are they doing a normal cops job

@ Michael

Probably because the company the dead guys worked for was already under investigation by the OPS team. See Season 5 episode 2 for more details.


I don't particularly care for Granger, but I thought the "meerkat" bit was HILARIOUS--I nearly fell off my chair. It was the PERFECT metaphor. Also, Eric's timing at the house (with Granger) was great payback for the "National Lampoon" remark (though I liked that too). GO NELL!!!!!!! First she "demags" herself out of hostage situation, then she stabs a homicidal misogynist.

@ MrWriteSF

Sorry...not Eric...Deeks.


I like the idea of Callen having someone, but feel like he needs someone from the inside. This may sound crazy, but I kind of think Nell and Callen could be cute. She has seen his personnel file and has a good idea of who he is so he wouldn't have to hide and lie about who he is, which is what he has always done; it might be a good change for him. Maybe they should go on assignment together as a couple.

@ AmyB

I know I am now in the minority but I always liked Callen and Kensi together. Now that Deeks is in the picture it most likely won't happen. I think that if Callen is going to continue dating the teacher, maybe she can be involved in a case (as a teacher I have a few ideas about how this can happen) and then find out who he really is. Or if NCIS LA could get Jennifer Gardner to come as an agent, that would be pretty awesome.

@ AmyB

Callen and Nell? No way. I'd rather see her with Nate. And I agree, someone from inside would be better for Callen. Too bad that story with Callen and Special Agent Summerskill ended before it started. Se would have been perfect for Callen.

@ AmyB

I disagree. With "Densi" now a part of the team's internal dynamics (for now anyway), a "Nallen" element seems redundant. Plus, you couldn't have that and NOT include some element of jealousy on Eric's part, which starts to make the show more about the team and less about the cases--the balance gets thrown off.


I thought the choice of career for Callen's date was sweet - and a nod to his wife of many years... she was a kindergarten teacher.

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