Sometimes you have to roll with it.
An unlikely scheme to target Navy SEALs was at the heart of NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 8.
And the key piece of this terrorist plot was a diabetic paper pusher getting manipulated by an out-of-work hacker?
Okay. I guess that's remotely feasible.
So let's hold our breath and forge ahead.
When Lt. Paul Tatum, a former nuclear engineer, went missing, that made sense. After all, who knew what secrets were locked in his head?
But no. The villain of the piece, the al Queda sympathizer, wanted Tatum's VA files instead.
Here's where the case fell apart for me, really early in the episode.
This computer genius, who was somehow unemployable, found exactly the right patsy whom he could control and who had access to just the right records that he wanted.
Because, as everyone knows, military employment files are an open book to members of the public.
Yes, yes, Zachary Vale was a hacker of exactly zero renown. Yet he just waltzed into the Pentagon database. If he's that good, for what did he need Tatum?
And how would he know to what Tatum did have access?
Then there was him using his nonexistent medical knowledge to administer insulin properly to keep Tatum pliable rather than comatose. I figured Tatum would have to be rushed to the hospital after he was found because his system was out of whack, but no.
Granted, Zachary didn't have to control Tatum for long, just for a short while to secure the list of SEALs he was targeting.
And Zachary is funding this ambitious operation, including the two thugs from Jihadists R Us, by hacking the credit card of the nice neighbor lady, who still wanted to make him cookies?
I know that viewing television requires a healthy suspicion of disbelief. But that suspicion shouldn't have to last for the entire episode.
For instance, of all the retired SEALs in the greater Los Angeles area, the first one targeted is Tom Olsen?
Don't get me wrong. I'm in favor of any reason to bring back David Paul Olsen, ECO's brother and Daniela Ruah's husband.
It would be nice if he could be in more than a scene or two when he does visit but baby steps I guess.
Meanwhile, the mastermind in charge was being betrayed by technology all over the place, although I don't know if the surveillance clock radio, a step up from the nanny cam, could be considered "technology."
There were red herrings sprinkled throughout that just didn't work. Such as Tatum wanting to kill himself because he was depressed his wife was getting remarried.
Nope, he was just a victim of a hacker with delusions of grandeur.
Then there were the attempts to pump up the drama, to inflate the threat.
Callen worried about Sam's information becoming exposed, even though Sam assured him he had taken steps to protect himself and his family.
Then there was Nell rushing to the crime scene, to make sure everyone was OK because that what's Hetty would have wanted (the token Hetty mention for this episode) after the bombing. Then she dispensed intel she could have easily given them by phone.
It was an attempt to give gravitas to a case lacking it entirely: "Honest, Zachary is a real threat, who learned his bombmaking skills on the dark web. We invoked al Queda, so take this seriously."
Granted, the showdown at the abandoned school was a worthwhile climax. Sam and Callen carefully tracked the bomber using a drone, and Sam got to showcase his bomb-defusing skills.
There was even a pair of thugs showing up unexpectedly so that Kensi and Deeks would have something to do. After all, you don't need all four agents to put down one hacker/bomber.
But it's always fun when Kensi puts a cocky male in his place.
All's well that ends well, as the other two bombs Zachary planted were located and defused.
And you know it's a nothing case when the team has 10 minutes to hang out at Deeks' bar, even if that had to include Callen's maudlin remarks.
All I have to say (and I don't say this often) is thank God for Deeks.
With such a moribund case, we needed the character interaction to keep us from checking on the Sunday Night Football score.
Naturally, everyone got to laugh at Deeks' latest attempt at self-improvement (here's a different approach: shave and a haircut, two bits. I know, that's blasphemous.).
Of course, Deeks couldn't keep from complaining. It was the wrong time to start such a campaign. I mean, look at the case with which he'd gotten saddled.
Kensi is truly a saint for putting up with Deeks' inane flights of fancy.
Then there was the whole Deeks' home-brew fiasco.
He really thought it was a good idea to use oyster juice in his beer? If he wanted a nautical flavor, why not just use salt water instead?
I feel a running joke coming on. Notice I didn't say a funny running joke.
From the trailer, it appears we'll get both Eric and Hetty back for NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 9, an episode titled "Kill Beale: Vol. 1" (from their mouth to God's ear).
To follow the development of Deeks' bar, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Did you find the case of the week at all viable?
Did you enjoy Tom's brief visit?
Should Deeks be allowed to brew beer?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.