Finally, a nice, self-contained episode.
It was snakes on a plane on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Episode 19.
Not literally, of course. That plot only deserves to be done once.
But Sam and Callen did have their hands full with four industrial thieves/gunmen on an international flight. At least they got out of L.A. again, if only for four hours.
And it was an eventful four hours, with a dead flight attendant and three gunmen. Extra points for taking out the techie transmitting the data by whacking him with a laptop.
I'm still not sure why they couldn't have weapons on the plane. Sure, they were undercover, but guns would have come in handy.
I have to say, the air marshals weren't a lot of help to them. One got shot, while the other one, understandably, protected the cockpit at all costs.
Still, the pilot was very helpful, keeping the passengers in the dark. I'm sure all those gunshots sounded exactly like cargo shifting. Then he followed Sam's lead and dipped the plane at the just the right moment. That was a different kind of flying altogether.
Also, Cheryl, the flight attendant, went above and beyond. She kept her head in a difficult situation. Also, she was awfully cute defiantly stating about how the passengers were her responsibility.
But, most importantly, Sam and Callen were back together again, at their bickering best, after a couple of episodes of substitute pairings.
Nell and Eric played a significant role from Ops, which makes sense, with all the technical twists.
Granted, they were playing catch-up the whole time. They found out the gunmen got on board by hacking the ticketing system, and that the guns were hidden on the plane a couple of days prior.
Then there was discovering the hidden data file that would corrupt the program if used incorrectly. But since Tinker, the greedy sleaze that stole the program, knew about it, that was pretty much a moot point.
And if Tinker was meant to sell the program to the mercenaries for the Chinese while in flight, why was he being held at gunpoint so frequently? Wasn't he a willing participant in the whole scheme?
Other than to set up action sequences, that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
Then, Eric had the captain shut off the wi-fi to keep the data from being transmitted, but he had already suggested that the mercenaries might have a portable hot-spot, as they did. So again, what was the point in basically cutting off communications with Sam and Callen?
Who we didn't get all that much from was Kensi and Deeks.
Sure, they were the comic relief. Deeks got hit on by the Asian PR lady, while Kensi kept a straight face, for example.
Even better was their encounter with Sam's old SEAL buddy, Lincoln Stern. Kensi knew how to win him over, but he and Deeks weren't simpatico, with Lincoln calling him "Shaggy."
The former SEALs also add to any episode, and this one was no different. It would be good to have Lincoln appear again in the future.
Then there was Deeks hemming and hawing about going out of town for the weekend because he planned a get-together for her with her out-of-town friends.
But I thought it was a missed opportunity not to have a scene from said get-together. I kept expecting it near the end, but no go.
Instead, Hetty waxed philosophically to Sam and Callen about all that has come down on the unit over the past year as they sipped expensive liquor.
Not that she wasn't saying something that the show's fans had been thinking, mainly, "When is this going to end?" Thankfully, other than Miguel Ferrer's death, most of the other storylines got wrapped up fairly neatly.
There's still the issue of who is after the terrorist Asakeem. And don't expect any clarity on that front anytime soon, as there's only one new hour, appearing on April 9, NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Episode 20.
Good news, though, as A.J. Chegwidden is set to appear on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Episode 22 on April 23. I'm still hoping he becomes a regular to replace Granger, but we'll see what happens.
To catch up on what's been happening to the team, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Were you glad to see Sam and Callen together again? Was there a little too much going on in the case of the week? Wouldn't you like to have seen Kensi's party? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.