NCIS: LA “Blame it on Rio” Review (Season 7, Episode 5)

NCIS: Los Angeles "Blame it on Rio" Season 7 Episode 5 (6)

I like NCIS:LA. I like NCIS. They are two different productions in terms of style and humor though, and “Blame it on Rio” unfortunately brought that to light. Michael Weatherly’s appearance probably added more viewers, something the show is needing right now. At the same time, I wish those extra eyes would have witnessed Talia’s most recent episode back, the best of the season so far. Instead, we were treated to a very uneven outing, where the weaknesses outnumbered the strengths. Sadly, I’m going to chalk up the weaknesses to Michael Weatherly’s appearance. Not the actor himself, but rather the need the writers felt to accommodate the storyline to Tony DiNozzo. NCIS:LA is already the lighter fare of the two series, and adding in the resident comedian from the mothership was probably not the smartest idea. It all added up to too much too often. Even the scenes without DiNozzo were rough and overly forced. And while Weatherly and Daniela Ruah have an easy chemistry, the whole flirting aspect to Tony and Kensi wasn’t necessary, especially considering his past with Ziva. All in all, Tony’s appearance felt like a regression to his character. Would it have worked during the early seasons of NCIS? Yes. But now? No.

Not to be a complete Debbie Downer, I think the interactions with Tony and Deeks worked very well. Rio called the latter his “Murdock,” but let’s be honest, Deeks is the “Face” of the NCIS:LA group. And putting him against the “Face” of the NCIS team actually created a fun dynamic. Both characters hide their insecurities through humor, and in doing so always reveal much in the process. Tony didn’t bring up Ziva when questioning Deeks about Kensi, but I bet the conversation could have veered there had it lasted longer. Honestly, I wish it would have. Like Eric Christian Olsen, Weatherly can play the heavy material very well, and I think Deeks learning about Tony’s own relationship struggles with a fellow partner would have added a nice weight to the episode. Since that didn’t happen though, I’ll have to contend with loving the two taking verbal hits at each other.

Should there be any crossover action again between the two shows my pick would be for Kensi to guest on NCIS. What about you?

More Thoughts As I Try Not To OD On Teeth Whiteners

– Bobby Lee (MADtv) was an excellent guest as Rio Syamsundin, and I wish he would have been used more. In my book, he can come back anytime. I’m curious if his “You need to go to Super Cuts and get some layers” and “I think I just peed” lines were improvised or not.

– I’m not normally one to hop on the PC Train, but there were just too many off-color jokes/attempts at humor (Kensi asking if Deeks was cross-dressing, Callen mentioning Sam’s fight with little people, Sam being appalled at losing to a girl) that fell amazingly flat. And the whole bit with Eric and Nell: no. Just no.

– Hetty bringing up Jenny Shepard was a blast from the past I was not expecting. Talk about an old-school callback.

– Joelle is still in the picture with Callen. For how much longer though?

– “Get your finger out of my origami.” Okay, that line reading by LL Cool J was hilarious.

– On point comparisons to characters with animals tonight in Tony referring to Hetty as a badger and Sam calling Rio a jackrabbit.

– I’m going to pretend Rio’s decision to get plastic surgery to look like David Hasselhoff was informed by Mr. Garrison doing the same on South Park.

– If I were to assign the NCIS:LA team respective A-Team counterparts it would be Hetty as Hannibal, Deeks as Face, and Callen as Murdock (with Sam staying as Baracus).