NCIS: LA “Talion” Review (Season 7, Episode 24)

NCISLA.CBS

Oy vey NCIS: LA, that sure didn’t feel like a finale. You had the chance to end the episode with a reveal of the mole. You could have brought back Callen’s father. You could have given Hetty a health scare. Heck, you could have killed Tahir Khaled AND DIDN’T EVEN DO THAT!

As such, this review is going to focus on Season 7 as a whole versus “Talion.” Had this been a regular outing, I would be less critical (other than the lack of Khaled dying, everything was done quite well). But it wasn’t. This was the season finale. And with all the teasing of a mole for almost 2 years now, something on that end needed to be addressed. It’s poor storytelling to keep highlighting a subject and not resolve it in a timely manner.** I’m not sure if this is due to the writers wanting to keep the mole in their back pocket to cause tension or if they actually don’t have a freaking clue who the mole is yet. Either way, both are problematic. The first is an issue because after an extended time the tension starts to seep away as the audience gets annoyed (ex: the most recent season of The Walking Dead). The latter is even worse in my opinion and unfortunately something that occurs on television far too often (Battlestar Galactica, LOST, most serialized programs).

**Think George R. R. Martin and his stalling of bringing Dany to Westeros. JUST GET HER THERE ALREADY!! I’m saying this as a big fan of the books too.

With all that, it may be time for me to bid adieu. I will still tune in for the season premiere and hope that the identity of the mole, or even Callen’s father, takes center stage. I’m sure there are many viewers who do not prefer the serialized aspects to this show. I’m not one of them. The stories with personal connections to the team have always been my favorite. And while I do get annoyed with the long gaps between certain character appearances (this season was all about bringing characters we’ve already met seasons ago back), I usually end up finding those episodes stronger. Any outing with Arkady is welcome in my book. I was glad to see Jack return, with Kensi receiving some closure on that part of her life. Kensi and Deeks also made organic progress in their relationship. Eric Christian Olsen had wonderful material to work with in the LAPD investigation of Deeks. Granger was given more dimension in the reveal of Jennifer Kim being his daughter.** Jada had her own closure on her chapter with Sam. We finally, FINALLY met Callen’s dad. Oh, and Callen learned his first name. And in what I consider the top episode of the season, Callen was able to tell his first name to a young boy who had been through hell and back. All of those moments make me not want to give up. At the same time, good storytelling can’t keep the viewer stalling. The premiere for Season 8 needs to assure me of that. Wrap up this mole hullabaloo and move onto the next thing.

**In fact, I really love what has been done with Granger’s character. I was looking at my old reviews last week, and the change in tone on my thoughts regarding him has been extraordinary. I haven’t done a 180 like that since Saul Tigh.

What about you? Was the Season 7 finale a letdown? Do you think the last scene should have touched on the mole’s identity? How soon before Callen’s father makes a reappearance? What becomes the breaking point for you and a television show?