NCIS: LA “Field of Fire” Review ” (Season 6, Episode 22)

NCIS Los Angeles Field of Fire 2

I like NCIS: LA. I enjoy watching it. Yet one area where I’ve always felt it to be inferior to its predecessors NCIS and JAG were the stories surrounding the uncomfortable aspects military. Now NCIS: LA has always been, and always will be, lighter in tone the others. The location and the ages of the leads lend themselves to that. That being said, there have been so many occasions where I wish the writers touched those difficult waters more.

“Field of Fire” skimmed the surface in a way I thought was very well done. The previews made it out to be a Kensi story, but Sam ended up getting the meat and potatoes of the plot. And for this reviewer, the most poignant moment didn’t come from anything surrounding Marine Gunnery Sergeant Connor Rutnam. Instead it was Sam and Callen questioning the homeless veteran outside the VA. That scene is something I want to see on NCIS: LA more often. That scene got to me. So much so, that I wished there would have been one more interaction between Sam and that homeless veteran, even if it was just the former watching the latter walk down the street again and contemplating. LL Cool J can sometimes be very hit or miss for me. In certain instances, the lines just come out forced. Not here. In fact, I’d say LL Cool J’s best work is always in the episodes revolving around an aspect of the military that personally relates to Sam (“Reign Fall” is another great example- remember it involved military fathers being targeted who had sons in the military as well). But the work done between him, Chris O’Donnell, and Robert Craighead was so great that I wanted another round. I guess I’ll have to live with the fact that there are certain people whose paths you only cross once- and hope that one moment counts.

In the cases where NCIS: LA has dipped a toe into the uncomfortable it’s succeeded. And that’s why I wish it would do so more often. Like JAG and NCIS, the subject is broached with a balanced tact that I find commendable. More often than not, these episodes rank amongst my favorites. Many times, they break my heart. In the end, they’re solid, thought-provoking hours of television, and that’s what I appreciate the most.

More Thoughts as I Buy a Stooges Fever T-Shirt

– I know I’ve mentioned the JAG episode “Nobody’s Child” before. It dealt with child abuse in one of the most sensitive ways I’ve ever seen presented on television. The aggressor is a man in the Navy- JAG doesn’t shy away from the disgrace of that. Yet the good actions of Harm in bringing that man to justice balance it out.

– On the NCIS front, I always think about “Call of Silence” (that has an Emmy-nominated performance by Charles Durning). That episode is one of the best cases of approaching PTSD in the military. And Durning’s dance with Sasha Alexander’s Kate is one of the most moving moments ever on that show.

– This was another fine outing for Deeks. Strong work by Eric Christian Olsen as he got his ass handed to him by Dr. Camille Rivers. And then there was that hilarious scene with Kensi and Vamsi Patel (who I would love to see again- I love the idea of someone being able to speak faster than Deeks).

– Outrage Watch: The team not shooting at tires as vehicles try to escape and them also yelling “federal agents” when they’re more than 5 feet from a suspect (c’mom people)!

– The show is off next week and not back until May 11th. Will my theory of seeing Papa Callen in the finale happen?