NCIS: Los Angeles Review: "Personal"

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NCIS: Los Angeles is really coming into its own these days. In this terrific Deeks-centric episode, we learned more about the newest addition to the team, with a surprising twist.

I've always enjoyed Eric Christian Olsen's character since he joined the cast, but this definitely cast Deeks in a different light, and as so much more than one-note comic relief.

In "Personal," he was shot twice in what appeared to be a robbery gone haywire, but turned out to be a deliberate attack on the LAPD officer turned NCIS special ops agent.

What I didn't expect was the reason he was targeted.

G With Sam

The fact that Deeks' shooting was only a trap set to get Kensi, who helped a Chechen family escape years ago, wouldn't have been necessary to make this a solid episode.

Instead, it was a testament to the show's writing and made for a great ending, with Deeks personally saving the day, mustering whatever strength he could for that shot.

You don't give Kensi Blye an opening and live to tell about it. Once Deeks bailed her out, she took care of the rest, cementing her reputation as L.A.'s most bad ass cop.

The witty banter between Kensi and Deeks has been great this season, but adding a new dimension to their partnership will only enhance these blossoming characters.

Episodes like this are what make NCIS and its spinoff more than standard cop procedurals and speak to their popularity. The action is great, but it's all about the people.

Being the newest full-time member of the team (save for adorable Nell), we knew the least about Marty Deeks coming into last night, and what we discovered was striking.

He shot his father in self-defense when he was a kid. That will give you pause even though he's a fictional character. No wonder it led him into a law enforcement career.

His rough upbringing may also explain why he's a loner with no next of kin, but what was surprising is that it doesn't make the man paranoid or high-strung in the least.

Perhaps he's overcompensating with his laid-back nature and ordinary-guy routine, but it almost got him killed as the hired guns were able to stalk him to use as bait.

These guys could have finished him off easily with stronger firepower, as the team astutely discerned, but left him alive in hopes of luring his partner out of the shadows.

Next time he may not be so lucky. One thing he has in common with Sam, his supposed polar opposite, is that he does his job well. He has a laundry list of enemies.

Some final thoughts and observations on last night ...

  • Deeks' remark that being shot isn't like the movies was great for a TV character.
  • The "humble brag" references were hilarious. You know people who do this if you think about it. I am absolutely calling them out using this phrase next time.
  • "Lange, Henrietta." Kensi would be a good next of kin, but it made more sense for matriarchal figure Hetty. Maybe Kensi can still be his emergency contact?
  • Here's hoping for an episode taking place on assignment in Iceland at some point to complete Sam's dream. Outer space might be outside CBS' budget.

What did you think of last night's NCIS: Los Angeles? Discuss!

Personal Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (89 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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