NCIS: LA “Active Measures” Review (Season 7 Episode 1)

NCIS Los Angeles Kolcheck A Season 6 Episode 23 1

Compared to last season’s opener, “Active Measures” was a much more mellow affair. Then again, Season 6 began right where Season 5 ended: with Callen and Sam stuck on a submarine that was being used as a torpedo. Instead, Season 7 of NCIS: LA picks up a few months after the whole ordeal in Russia. In doing so the action doesn’t feel as urgent, though we learn that’s not the case for Callen, who is doing everything in his power to find Arkady (who was last seen bleeding on the ground and taken into custody). To put it bluntly, this didn’t add up for what a premiere episode should entail. It’s a problem NCIS: LA has always struggled with- that fine line of engaging plot, humor, and just enough character development. When the show does it well, it does it very well (The White Ghost arc being an excellent example), but when it doesn’t, the underlying faults are clear. While I like and enjoy all the actors, none of them have the anchor ability and appeal that Mark Harmon does. When the jokes fall, they fall amazingly flat (especially with Eric). And too often, the cases of the week lack the punch they should. When it’s a random episode in October or March, I could care less. But the premiere? I expect better. And I know the show is capable of it.

There were bits of that nestled in “Active Measures.” Like I’ve said a dozen times, I think Eric Christian Olsen is the MVP, and I’m curious to see where the Deeks investigation storyline is headed now that we know more. Olsen and Daniela Ruah continue to have a dynamite chemistry, and I’m thrilled the show has Kensi/Deeks together as a legit couple now. Along with that, Callen looking into Arkady’s whereabouts means he will no doubt make an appearance again which I would welcome. Also, when given solid dramatic material, Chris O’Donnell can deliver. And Linda Hunt bossing people around will never get old. I just wish NCIS: LA did everything it does well on a more consistent basis. If it can’t, there is no way the show is going to have the longevity of NCIS or JAG (which was on for 10 years folks, yup).

More Thoughts As I Realize Chris O’Donnell is Aging Horizontally

– So how long before Arkady pops up again? November sweeps? And Callen needs to finally meet his dad this season. I believe the man we saw at the end of last season was him. Introduce Papa Callen into the picture, and I guarantee you that would enliven the story.

– Does anyone think Deeks’ former partner may not be dead? He mentioned the guy was found dead in a Hollywood hotel, but I don’t remember Deeks saying he saw the guy’s body. Maybe I’m reaching… you never know though.

– I’m glad that Callen knew Sam had planted a tracking device on him because that would have seriously vexed me had he not noticed.

– Was I the only one who thought Sam and Hetty’s fight was a show for Granger at first? I was surprised to find they were really angry with each other. Either way it came across as poorly acted or poorly directed (I’m going with the latter).

– Not sure how I feel about Eric receiving weapons training. On the one hand, it may take away from more awkward interactions with Nell. On the other, it will mean awkward interactions with Sam.

– Deeks on his “chopper” with all the girls saying hi to him was a sight to behold.

– Sam saying Callen looked like “Deeks on a bad day” = hahahahaha and awww not nice.

– Callen had other moment of Hetty walking in on him as he poured over information connected to his past (picture above is the Season 6 finale). Same struggle, different hair.