NCIS Los Angeles Season 5: Grade It!

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It was a wild ride of ups and downs for the team on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5.

Deeks and Sam recovered from being tortured... Deeks and Kensi finally admitted their feelings to each other... Kensi was spontaneously shipped off to Afghanistan... and Hetty's status is uncertain due her bad decisions.

The Afghanistan storyline had its problems, but it successfully worked to keep Kensi involved in the show while Daniela Ruah was on maternity leave. 

Overall, it was a good season. Check out our full season report card below.


Best Episode (tie): The season premiere, NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 1, was the epic conclusion to the Sidorov story. After finding the tortured Sam and Deeks, they were forced to play act their own deaths instead of being immediately rescued in order to protect Quinn's cover. It was also the most emotional episode of the series with Sam and Deeks bonding for the first time. Even more was Deeks' openness with Kensi when he told her the truth.

The other best hour was NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 4, the 100th episode for the series. Callen thought he had found and lost his father, but that wasn't the case. That didn't make Michael Reinhardt's sacrifice any less significant. The hour was filled with physical and emotional turmoil from the beginning to the end. Callen found out more about his history and even his father's real name: Nikita Alexander Reznikov.

Most Disappointing Episode: After being in Afghanistan, captured, reunited with her ex-fiance and rescued by her team, Kensi's return to Los Angeles was anti-climatic on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 20. Kensi acted like she hadn't spent time with the team in Afghanistan or on the trip back which was odd. The situation wasn't helped when she was relegated to Ops with Eric where she was useless.

Even worse was that there wasn't any discussion or mention of what happened with the White Ghost, Kensi's fiance, or that Hetty sent her into the terrible situation.

Sam, Callen, Deeks and Kensi

Stop Trying to Make it Happen: Nell proved that she's a capable agent in the field, but that's not enough to be there permanently. That's just not her niche. She's a top notch Intelligence Analyst and excels when working in Ops. If she's going to go into the field, it should be when her technical skills can be utilized. She's not Kensi and that works for her.

Best Personal Life Development: Callen got a girlfriend! Sam's always looking out for his partner and friend. The con to get Callen on the date was brilliantly orchestrated and it worked. We haven't seen her much, but we rarely see the personal lives of any of the agents. It's nice to see a happier Callen.

Best Non-Reveal Moment: In NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 21, the infamous box was opened and the contents were revealed ... sort of. Kensi used her father's knife, which Deeks returned to her to open the box. Inside he found another sealed box. Without the knife to open it, it remains a secret for another day. Slowly, their feelings are being unboxed and opened up.

Worst Relationship Moment: When Talia returned to help NCIS, she stirred up trouble with Kensi and Deeks. The sex-off between Talia and Kensi was one of the worst moments on the series. Kensi's reaction didn't feel authentic to her character at all. Deeks' distraction was not believable either. It was a disappointing decision for the writers to make.

Hopes for NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6:

  • The show is at its best when the episodes focus either on a compelling, risky, and time sensitive case or when they focus on the characters. I'd like to see fewer throwaway cases that don't have overarching ramifications.
  • Less avoidance of serialization. More continuity from episode to episode would help better develop the characters and relationships.
  • Deeks and Kensi's relationship status after her return hasn't been clearly defined for the viewers. Are they carrying on outside of work? Or are they not together? Inquiring minds want to know!
  • Keep Nell in Ops. It's where she belongs. She's not a Hetty replacement and isn't a good fit to be a permanent field agent. It's also not necessary for every man to fall for her when she does go into the field.
  • At least one, if not several, major criminals for the team to pursue. Whether it's a terrorist cell or a Sidorov-like character, it's more enjoyable to watch longer arcs then just single episode cases.
  • For Callen's girlfriend to make an appearance. 

Overall Grade: B.

Your turn! What grade to you give NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5?

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Would very much like to see a good long cat fight between Kensi & Talia


I agree and would love to see more of Callen. it is great when he goes undercover solo. And for a longer period of time. Also really like the idea of Jennifer Garner coming in as his girlfriend. One of my favorite parts of the show was when Callen and Hetty used to have their 'mother/son talks' at the end of the show. I miss that.


OK its been a few years for the Densi thing....all the writers are doing is torturing everyone...they really need to once and for all let them have a real conversation with each other...and not on duty. Tell each other how they feel and realize that if they don't at least try to have a romantic relationship they may regret it later...if it works great and if not at least they tried. And it would be really nice if Callen, Sam AND Kensi would stop treating Deeks like he is not as good as them. If it weren't for him they would all have been killed in Afghanistan, Sam and his wife would be dead too and how many times has he saved them all???? I know Sam has a new respect for him but I don't think Callen does and Kensi needs to stop beating him!! Yes he is the comic relief but doesn't any team have someone like that? He does his job just as well as the others. I think if Kensi and Deeks start a romantic relationship it would be fun to watch them keep it a secret from everyone. It would also be nice to see Callen have a relationship then maybe he would lighten up a bit. I think a great story line would be if Deeks father wasn't really dead and came looking for him....but not for a happy reunion!


Hello I am Katie I am seven years old. I love NCIS so much I want to be in it like agent Bly. I'm going to move to Los Angeles when I am 25 and audishion thank you for your time love Katie❤️

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I thought that this season was pretty good. I agree with most of what you said and others in the comment area. I really like Chris O'Donnell and I think he has done an excellent job portraying G. The 200th episode was on the of the best. I am a little disappointed that Kensi hasn't confronted Hetty on the mission. Hetty knew all along that the ghost was Jack and never told Kensi. She almost died because of it. I remember when Callen confronted Hetty about the orphans. Kensi needs to do the same. I am also a little tired of Hetty leaving at the end of every season. Though I know Linda will retire soon so maybe she won't be in charge next season but available for advice (you know like Mr Feeney in Boy Meets World). I agree with Jaybird. Nell belongs in ops and I don't like how they are trying to make her the next Hetty. She is too young, inexperienced, and it just doesn't fit. I hope they address the issues that are occurring right now.....all the illegal immigrants coming in (drug cartels and gang members sneaking in) as well as the drones. I really like when Callen goes undercover. I also like that he is dating a teacher, though I wonder what will happen if she finds out his real job? I still think he needs to date someone like Kensi ( I know I am in the minority). Maybe bring in Jennifer Gardner? as a fellow spy. She has some experience playing one and it would be fun! Thanks for all the recaps. I enjoy reading them!

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@ Grace

Sorry I had a few mistakes.....The 100th episode was one of the best!

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I really liked this season. The best was the 100th episode, and namely the last four minutes with Callen watching the fracture of the old film in total silence. That was an outstanding performance by Chris O'Donnel.
I just don't share the excitement over Callen's girlfriend. He is a lone wolf (or at least please don't show their relationship onscreen).
And I hope that Hetty will come back. She is the soul of the team (how can you ever say "due to her bad decisions"? Her decisions are always the best to reach a certain goal)
I would love to see Callen go undercover again for a longer time, that's what he's best at.

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I love the show and I really tuned out on all the Afghan storylines, she would have gone and we still would have watched. I love that Callen got a girlfriend, I love the partnership between Sam and Callen. I love their banter. hopefully we shall see good cases and more from the cast.

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I really try to enjoy the show and most times I do but I just can't stand the Kensi/Deeks romantic angle. Deeks' character is more comedic and not really serious and Kensi is a person of strong commitment. The two just doesn't work for me. Her former fiancé would be a perfect match for her.

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I though it started out perfect but then it just went all over the place of course Daniela Ruah getting pregnant and talk of not coming back didn't help. I really wish they would stop the Hetty quitting/ might get fire storyline this is now the 5 the 5 season finale they have done it. They need to stop the abuse toward deek from Kenis or else she going to get the Ziva treatment

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I thought this was a very weak season. Only Ascension and Spoils of War stood out to me as memorable episodes, though I did like Unwritten Rule and One More Chance. The rest all blend into a blur that I have either forgotten or wish that I could forget. My biggest objection to this season was the destruction of the female characters. Starting with Hetty's decision to send Kensi to Afghanistan without telling her what her mission truly was - irresponsible, dangerous and cruel. Not to mention the Hetty-knows-everyone thing: she knew Jack, she knew Tuhon, while we're at it, maybe she knew Eric's prom date. Enough already. And then there's Kensi. All she can do with Deeks is criticize him or punch him, but it's all good cuz she's standing on her frozen lake. With a raccoon. Meanwhile, when she encounters her ex, the one who abandoned her and never said a word to let her know how he was or why he left, all she can do is weep and whine. Jaaaaaack. Enough of that already too. The only female character who did well this year was Nell, but I agree that her role is in Ops. Out in the field, she just didn't seem natural. I don't want her to be turned into a Mary Sue. What I did like about this season was the interaction between Sam and Deeks. Since the torture, there has been a much warmer and respectful relationship there. I really liked the brotherly vibe between all three guys while Kensi was gone. I hope they can keep it that way. I also loved the addition of Granger. I love his dry humor, even though he is a big grump.

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NCIS: Los Angeles Quotes

The spy game has more in common with selling used cars than we'd like to admit.


Go wherever you please Ella -- I will find you once I am finished here.