NCIS: Los Angeles Review: Who Smelt It?

at . Comments

No Deeks and a non-military related case would usually be a prescription for a less-than-stellar NCIS: Los Angeles episode. Despite those conditions, the show pulled off a decent hour with "The Gold Standard."

It wasn't one of the best, but the underlying premise was thought provoking. What would happen if terrorists were able to compromise the US Gold Reserves? It would be devastating to not only the economy in America, but across the world. 

A Brazen Heist

This is the second episode this season where NCIS's involvement didn't really make sense. Unlike with the election case, this time the premise was not a cookie cutter procedural story. I was intrigued by the costume-wearing gold thieves and at the half way mark, it got serious. They may have found the gold, but Callen was right to think it was too easy. Why would the remaining thief leave the gold behind.

Smart man, Callen! It wasn't about stealing gold and making money, the theft was bigger than that. It was about creating a panic. If the United States made billions of dollars worth of payments to the Chinese with fake gold, the entire system would fall apart. It would make the "fiscal cliff" look like a minor bump in the road. If countries, especially China, stopped buying US debt, America would be in a dire economic situation.

The investigation followed a standard path. The dead clown led to the costume shop which provided video evidence of Duncan buying the costumes. Duncan's girlfriend gave up his location and they found the truck. From there, Eric and Nell investigated Tungsten, the element used in place of gold in the bars. And, the takedown itself was even simple. These terrorist masterminds weren't that difficult to track.

Though, they didn't hesitate to kill those involved. Sam got taken by surprise and almost got covered in smelted gold, but Callen and Kensi had his back and both shot to kill.

Since NCIS was able to bring down the plot easily, they were also able to keep the specifics quiet. To the public, it was just a gold heist and they recovered the gold. Not only did they solve the case, they did it in a manner that protected the country from a financial calamity. If even a hint of the true story got out, it would be disastrous.

The best parts of the episode, as usual, were the interactions between the characters and not the case. Nell and Eric continued to be charming and hilarious. They really are the perfect pair for each other. Are they dating? Callen's "Don't ask, don't tell" comment was fitting. Do they really want to know? 

The "smelt it" comments were hilarious too. Yes, it's kindergarten humor, but it's still funny. With Deeks gone, someone had to provide that low level humor for the hour. And, Eric and Nell fit the bill perfectly. Though, I'm glad to see that Deeks will be back next week. He was missed.

Hetty's concern for Deeks' whereabouts to Granger was a bit concerning though. Is there more to the story? Her comments made me worry for his position within the team. He's not NCIS, but as Hetty said, 

"Mr. Deeks is part of this team. If anything were to happen to him, I would take it most personally." | permalink

Well put, Hetty! Deeks better not be going anywhere. Next week's episode looks to be back to normal with the team intact and working a military case. That's a good thing.

Odds and Ends

  • Sam's afraid of clowns and snakes? Wow. Good to know. I hope Callen uses that against him as a joke at some point.
  • Granger in the field with Kensi was uncomfortable. And, does he have bigger things in mind for her? Their relationship began with him out to bring her down, so that shift in confidence is promising.
  • Kensi's explanation of a "bootie call" was awesome. Loved it!
  • Don't ever call Kensi "honey" unless you want to be knocked unconscious.
  • Eric would make a good criminal, though he really should keep those thoughts to himself.
  • Sam's Henley shirts should be burned never to be seen again! 

Did you miss Deeks? Are Nell and Eric a couple? Or, just good work friends? Did you enjoy the episode?


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 2.8 / 5.0 (225 Votes)

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


Tahonia and Infoplease, you're definitely not alone here. Eric and Nell together annoy me as well, but while I enjoy Eric's character, Nell irritates me to no end. Besides, this pairing's so obvious I cannot describe how disappointed I was when I found out they're going to be a couple. Scriptwriters' lack of creativity is a serious problem here. Also, all that nerd humor is indeed childish.
As for the episode... Recently NCIS: Los Angeles's been becoming more and more cheesy. I absolutely prefer original NCIS series now, as the spin-off seems to be somewhat forced.


It's a credit to the producers and the writers that the show is entertaining from start to finish despite the fact that the story line is completely bogus. Governments and national banks do not physically transfer gold from country to country. 70 million in today's international markets is chump change. You need your "illion" to have a "b" or "tr" in front to matter.


Ya know, Sam's Henleys serve a purpose. 1)They're long sleeved so they cover up any identifying characteristics (i.e. Sam's tattoos) 2) The costumers can probably get them in both lightweight and heavyweight fabrics in the same styles. That way they can interchange them depending on the weather without the audience being any the wiser.


Deeks off testifying in the old arms dealer case seems like a crock. Hetty worrying about his safety and Granger being so non chalant about it was disconcerting. Kensi's "non-reaction" to her partner not picking her up and showing no concern about his absence was odd. I have to admit he is my favorite character and if he is being written off the show, I won't continue watching. Petty, I know. Kensi and Granger partnering was "beyond creepy." His conversations with her about her future made my skin crawl. EEEEWWWW! And Granger talking about moving up....ugh! (Let's see him take over from Vance and deal with Gibbs. Would love to see Gibbs smack him in the back of the head. Tee hee! Better yet, give Gibbs his sniper rifle and some distance and let him eliminate this creepy b*st*rd once and for all. ) Sam and Callen had some good interaction, but I agree with other comments, it is odd that a Navy SEAL is freaked out about clowns and snakes. Callen's reactions were priceless though. It was like the old G...smirky and sarcastic. We need MORE HETTY! Give Linda Hunt more to do. PLEASE! Just to get this off my chest....I HATE THE GRANGER CHARACTER. Miguel Ferrer is a great actor, but this is such an icky character. His disrespect for Hetty sucks! I don't understand the need to throw in this aspect, but hopefully it will play out.


I'm obviously alone here, but Eric and Nell annoy me to no end. In passing they are okay, but when their scenes are extended, I don't even see it as nerd humor, just childish. Deeks being missing was also a big disappointment. And most of all, our ex-seal is AFRAID of clowns and snakes? And he's the one that can't sneak up on his target and has to fight like a boxing match to subdue someone, practically losing and needing his back-up (sorry Kensington and G) to kill him? He's a former Seal! Am I wrong to think it's not Seal-ish? I guess he takes after that other ex-seal Sam on TV, Sam axe on burn notice, who I've also noticed as not being excessively lethal.


I LOVED IT! Woah, I wasn't expecting it to be half as good without my Deeks :( I did miss him, and I missed Densi, but it felt like an older episode which I loved. The Granger and Kensi interaction: PRICELESS. Neric is extremely cute, of course (CAN'T WAIT FOR NEXT EPISODE, OH MY GOD). And yes, the smelting was funny, I don't care who you are. I also could get into the case, which I usually can't. It was interesting with the tungsten/gold and the costume killers. This episode also had great emotional appeal with Kensi without over doing it, like the episode with Astrid did. It was an all around amazing episode.


I miss Deeks and can't decide what Granger is doing and why is he showing so much interest in Kinsey. His response that he plans on moving up and she needs to think about her future makes me wonder what he's up to. I know a lot of people like Eric and Nell but they have always been my least favorite characters, especially Eric. Last nights humor, or lack of for me, was annoying and very silly. I don't really think a highly elite squad like NCIS Las Angeles would put up with such silliness. Sorry to say those two people are a serious distraction for me. I would be much happier if they were gone.


I missed Deeks a lot! He's my favorite character.


I missed Deeks last night. I hope he returns for next episode. He is my favorite character in this show.


Nice reference to the "frelting" episode--I think Eric and Nell SHOULD be a couple! In a parallel universe, they probably are. You leave Sam's henley shirts right where they are--hugging and contouring every muscle of that well scuplted body (unless the alternative is to have him in a tank top---or shirtless altogether *drool*) :-)

Tags: ,

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

Callen: Sounds like Duncan has a girlfriend.
Kensi: Or, a cross-dressing fetish.

Mr. Deeks is part of this team. If anything were to happen to him, I would take it most personally.