Endgame (4×01) Review by Phillydi


Endgame (4×01)
Written by Shane Brennan
Directed by Terrance O’Hara

Hello! Welcome back to a new season of NCIS Los Angeles and the premier episode of Season Four! It’s been a long, hot summer in which we’ve had more than enough time to speculate on what happen at the end of Season Three’s cliffhanger, San Voir. Our elite NCIS team has been left in tatters. Callen has been suspended with charges of treason and murder hanging over him and what will be the ramifications of Hetty’s retirement from the department, particularly after the deaths of Renko and Hunter? The CIA is trying to shut the agency down which leaves the rest of the team abandoned, alone and having to cooperate with their favorite Assistant Director, Granger at the helm. Not a pretty ending. But then again, that’s what cliffhangers are all about, right?

Keeping with tradition, Shane Brennan has penned the first episode of the season and as usual he has the audience on the edge of their seats waiting for a resolution as to what actually happen to the Chameleon. At the London NCIS Los Angeles meet up, most of the attendees were skeptical and the group wasn’t sure if Janvier was really dead. Could something else be going on? Were both parties really playing blindfolded? Or were Hetty and Callen (and perhaps the rest of the team) playing a cat and mouse game? After a casting sheet was accidently leaked on episode one, Christopher Lambert’s name was listed half way down the sheet. Could they be filming flashbacks sequences or had his character actually returned  from the dead?  Or… was it a ruse to throw us all off?

In San Voir, Janvier taunts Callen: “If you kill me, I win.” Despite his extreme emotional state and wanting to see the man dead…Callen is too much of a professional to kill the man for personal reasons. All people have their breaking point, but not our hero. Right? Was it actually Hetty who gave him permission to kill Janvier and was her apology and resignation all part of a sting?

“Was it Worth it G?!”

As the episode begins Callen is out of jail, and playing it cool. Sam is questioning his motives, but Callen is not playing. He high tails it out and leaves Sam to once again cover his back. So what’s going on between the usually unflappable partners?   According to Vaziri, Callen has a price….?  Looks like it’s Hetty Lange, because Callen will commit treason to keep his mentor safe. The cat and mouse game is still going on but now it’s between Callen and the Iranians.

The chase for the Cherokee’s file pursues and it’s a race for who’s going to get to it first.   Granger is trying to keep the CIA from shutting down the agency but Hetty is not helping and Granger is on his own.  Hetty seems tired and angry.  Kind of like how the tables turned!   He has to rely onAnd when he has to get the arrest warrant on Callen, he’s not the most popular guy on the block….even when allowing Eric to hack into the NSA!  But this episode shows a new and gentler Granger with a sense of humor to boot.

“Welcome to the Game Mr. Callen.”

Meanwhile Callen is giving up the information to Vaziri but Iran is not buying it.  They are going to use Hetty as bait to get Callen to tell the truth…whatever that may be.  Callen changes his story a couple of times before he finally gets Vaziri to buy it. 

Ah we knew it!  Janvier’s death was a set up and part of a bigger sting!  It was so much fun to see them trade Janvier for Callen. And letting Callen have the last move on the board was brilliant.  Checkmate!

Even though it was a dark episode, Hetty and Granger were able to enjoy the end of a successful mission while trading a few barbs together.  It was good to see Sam and G and the rest of the Mission back to normal at the end… nice to know all’s well with our NCISLA world.


Show Highlights

  • No one takes out the bad guys like Sam!
  • Hetty looks soooo good as the captain of her yacht, doesn’t she?
  • Enjoyed seeing the talented actor Erick Avari as Kadeem.
  • Always great watching a good Densi sprint through a parking garage!  (See our interview with Michael Papajohn for a behind the scenes look at the filming of this scene.)
  • Don’t you love how Hetty always knows when her team is hiding on the sidelines??

Best Lines from the Show

  • Hetty:  “Get the hell off my yacht!
  • Hetty:  I never did trust that bastard!
  • Hetty:  If you’re lucky someone else dies and you get to walk away.
  • Sam:  And if I need to find you?  Hetty:  Nearest bar!
  • Callen:  How’s retirement?  Hetty:  I could die of boredom if someone doesn’t shoot me first!
  • Sam:  You got everything?  Deeks:  Yes mom.
  • Hetty:  I hope you haven’t moved my things, Owen.  Granger:  I’m not that crazy.
  • Granger:  You know you don’t have to keep changing the dates, you can just keep printing up a new one everytime.

Bromance Watch

  • Just one:  A brief smile between Sam and G at the very end.  We knew these two partners would never be on the outs!

Densi Watch

  • Love seeing the duo dressed up and undercover.  Kensi plays a great LA Housewife.  Phew!  That was a terrific rant!
  • Deeks loves himself in a suit!  “They probably haven’t taken their eyes off me since I got out of the car.”
  • Although he loves Kensi in a skirt more!  LOL!

It’s great to have a new show back in prime time again.  Join us next week here at NCIS:LA Magazine when we review the next episode Recruit!(4X02)

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