NCIS Los Angeles ‘The Long Goodbye’ – Review by A Virtual Scrawl

New pairings

The atrocious terror attacks in Paris on Friday meant the scheduled episode of NCISLA (“Defectors” – teenage girls recruited by ISIS), was withheld.  The teasers had shown Deeks being arrested by LAPD, which led into the following episode “Internal Affairs”, and the re-jigging means both episodes have been pushed back by a week.  Instead is “The Long Goodbye”, written by Dave Kalstein and originally scheduled to air after Internal Affairs at the start of December.  The beauty of NCISLA being a procedural is there is a mixture of standalone episodes, two-parters, and those which contribute to an overall season arc.  “The Long Goodbye” can be viewed on its own, but may well contribute to the Sam-centric finale (as teased by Shane Brennan).

This episode is reminiscent of one of Kalstein’s early season one episodes, “Past Lives”.  Both deal with the aftermath of long term undercover operations.  Past Lives dealt with Callen sleeping with (using or falling for?) the sister of one of his marks, to the extent that her four year old child may have been his.  Callen felt guilt and confusion around the web of lies he spun, questioning which truth he should reveal, if any.  This time, Kalstein has revisited Sam and Jada, a character the audience was briefly reminded of earlier in season seven (Driving Miss Diaz).

Four years ago when Sam was undercover in Sudan with war criminal Tahir Khaled, he convinced Tahir’s sister Jada to fall in love with him.  Sam’s cover was blown but he escaped with Jada back to the States, where he destroyed her hopes and dreams;  she would have to testify against her brother and enter witness protection or be sent back to Sudan, where her brother would kill her.  Either way, she would never see Sam again.

Read the whole review on and leave a comment if you like…