NCIS: LA “Head of the Snake” Review (Season 7, Episode 21)

NCIS: Los Angeles  Head of the Snake

Remember how I’ve said in past reviews that Nate should/could be the mole because it would create an interesting dynamic with team? Yeah… I take that back. “Head of the Snake” made clear how that would absolutely not work. And I’m not referring to the fact that due to the events in this episode there’s no way Nate will end up being our mole. No, it wouldn’t work because watching Nate pretend to be a “bad guy” was one of the most awkward things I’ve ever seen on NCIS: LA. This episode made “Seoul Man” seem competent in comparison.

It was plainly obvious that Nate hadn’t truly turned, not to mention his motivations for getting in too deep were murky: wanting to prove himself to Alisa and the criminals? To NCIS that he could do that kind of work? To himself that he was capable of both? All of the above? In the end, it’s doesn’t really matter because so little time was spent on the whole ordeal. He admitted his mistakes to Hetty, and she accepted them. Had this storyline popped up in Season 1 (or even 2), I maybe could have gone with it since Nate was a series regular at that point. Now though? As Cher from Clueless would say, “Ummm… I don’t think so.”

The last time Nate made an appearance was October 2014 in “The 3rd Choir.” And while I can believe him becoming involved in an undercover op via Hetty’s orders, the lack of build-up to his “turn” made the whole event fall flat. There’s also the issue of Peter Cambor playing on the opposite side. After seeing it now, I just don’t buy it at all. That’s not a knock against his skill as an actor either. Certain people have that quality that allows them to play the villain.** In my opinion, Cambor doesn’t. Or perhaps this wasn’t written in a way that would allow him to do so believably.

**Example: Miguel Ferrer does possess this, which is why Granger could still work as the mole… though I hope the show avoids that route.

Let’s just say I’m hoping next week’s “Granger, O” is a return to form after two very lackluster installments.