NCIS: LA “The Long Goodbye” Review (Season 7, Episode 8)

The Long Goodbye

Due to the events that transpired in Paris, CBS switched the order of two of its Monday shows: Supergirl and NCIS:LA. Instead, both aired the episodes that were set to bow next week. The originally scheduled outing, “Defectors,” revolved around ISIS recruiting young girls. The previews for next week made it seem like this episode will be shown then, but things could very well change. It’s possible the outing may be skipped overall.

I’m not sure how the pulling of “Defectors” will affect the current storyline. As I mentioned last week, the previews revealed Deeks being arrested by the LAPD. “The Long Goodbye” made no mention of this, however. It could be that Deeks’ arrest is resolved in “Defectors” ie Hetty gets him out, and later on down the season it will be addressed again. We won’t know until that episode airs.

While I was looking forward to how the investigation of Deeks was going to pan out, the main arc of “The Long Goodbye” more than made up for it. Jada Khaled has not been seen since Season 3’s “Exit Strategy,” and her return made for potent material concerning Sam. As I’ve said numerous times, LL Cool J is always stronger when playing with characters Sam has an emotional connection to. And though he didn’t even have a scene with Jada the entire hour (instead interacting with the real head of the Molina cartel- a great twist), the urgency of saving her and his own guilt of what transpired before between them made for a solid plot foundation. Add to this Jada’s own feelings about feeling trapped, betrayed, and alone, and you have the makings of a top-tier episode.

Sadly, I could not rank it as such due to the unfortunate interjections of humor again. It’s getting to the breaking point for me. I’m not sure if the writers legitimately find these scenes funny or if they just don’t trust the audience enough to tune into a completely dramatic outing.** Either way, we didn’t need Kensi’s “basic bitches” rant to Callen and Deeks nor the ending scene with Talia. “The Long Goodbye” was Sam’s showcase and should have closed with the Hetty conversation (which was played exceptionally). I’m also not sure why the writers are having Talia hit on numerous members of the team. She knows Deeks and Kensi are together. Even if she doesn’t know about Callen and Joelle, it just looks tacky to jump from one NCIS guy to another. It it’s a way to differentiate her from Kensi, it’s just plain lazy. And if the interactions aren’t intended as flirting… then yikes, is Mercedes Mason being directly poorly.

**Newsflash: they will. It works with NCIS ALL.THE.TIME. It worked with the Kensi/White Ghost arc. Don’t get me wrong, I love the jokes/banter when done right. They’ve just been mostly swing and a miss the past season or so. In a way, it reeks of desperation and is extremely off-putting.

I can only hope that the balance between the strong, affecting dramatic moments balanced with actual, sincere humor comes back into the fold.