Raven & the Swans
WRITTEN BY: R. Scott Gemmill
DIRECTED BY: Robert Florio
This week it looks like we’re going to find out more about Hetty’s strange compulsion of converting troubled orphan children into future federal agents. There’s a missing person who actually turns out to be someone from Hetty’s past and Callen is troubled as to Hetty’s motivations that has her deploying the team to locate her. The super charged trailer had more emotion pulsing through it than we’ve had all season so far. Veteran writer Gemmill teams up with Robert Florio which is his second go behind the camera after directing Neighborhood Watch last season.
Ah! Mysterious Hetty. The Ops chief is interested in a strange case of a woman being attacked in a parking garage and already Callen is questioning his boss. The dead who were left behind in the attack are unidentifiable and there are no clues left behind in the parking garage except a lot of blood. The team is wondering who the woman is after watching her successfully and professionally defending herself during the shootout. Hetty isn’t talking and Callen knows she is withholding information until there is a need to know. When Callen and Sam find Hetty and the mystery woman in the boathouse, we find out she is ‘one of ours’ and a name: Grace Stevens.
It seems Stevens has been working undercover as an employee and girlfriend for Nolan Vandenberg played by Carsten Norgaard….a rich businessman who claims his manufactured goods were stolen and taken to Iran. But there is concern he is really providing the equipment to help establish nuclear program in the Middle East. It’s a complicated dance since the agency doesn’t want to take out Vandenberg for fear it will tip off those he is helping and they in turn will find another supplier. The team needs to find his supplier first….and Vandenberg before he flees the country.
After questioning Stevens about her NCIS background, Callen finds out that Hetty rescued her off the streets and provided her parental care and guidance. Sounds awfully familiar to Callen’s backstory, once apon a time. Callen ask Eric to find out more information on Grace…oh… and not to get caught. I loved Eric talking to himself on the stairs. What Hetty does to this poor guy! In this case, it’s always comical and so amusing to watch Barrett Foa at his best.
Meanwhile, it’s on to the Biltmore Hotel, where Kensi and Deeks get to play husband and wife again. It’s is fun to watch them so playful together. I think they are definitely over the awkward stage of the partnership/relationship! Whatever you want to call it. Nell is looking more and more confident as well working in the field. Unfortunately, she gets caught trying to disable some bug detection equipment but gets caught and comes face to face with Vandenberg’s right hand man Visser, played by Ronan Vibert. Luckily, Kensi saves the day and is able to get Nell safely away from Visser.
Down in the hotel lobby Vandenber is holding high level meetings with two country diplomats looking to sell uranium to supplement his business. Callen puts the team in action to steal the case only to abort the mission at the last minute. It’s just too dangerous. The team decides it may be safer just to bring Vandenberg in custody and Deeks actually comes up with an idea that might just work. Not another pretty rock star, indeed!
Sam can tell Callen is off his game and he suspects it may have to do with Hetty and her collection of orphan children who grow up to become NCIS agents. I’m not quite too sure why this is affecting Callen as strongly as it is, but he decides to have it out with his mentor to find out why. Does he feel manipulated or just not special anymore and only one of many orphans in her pen? Too say he doesn’t take it too well is an understatement!
But Grace confronts Callen with maybe the real reason behind his feelings….will they all find themselves alone after all the missions are over and there is no one left to kill? When do you stop? When do you get a real life? All questions that perhaps Callen and the team don’t want to face….or answer.
It was a pretty subdued ending with our bad guys going down without much of a fight. Once again the story line was secondary to finding out more about the team and what motivates them to do what they do so well. We found out a little more about Hetty and what makes her tick….but does that take away some of her mystique? Maybe. Yet it was a touching scene between Callen and Hetty and her explanation seemed to appease Callen. An urban spy legend or a mother swan protecting her children? Both make Hetty a unique human being and one of the best written characters on television today.
*So who of you out there thought we would ever be talking about Harry Potter and Linus van Pelt from Peanuts in an opening segment of NCISLA?…raise your hands!? The partners had me laughing out loud as they argued through their various trials and tribulations in typical team fashion. I just can’t see Callen playing a werewolf…even for Sam!
*So we learn that not only does Deeks play the violin but he also played the guitar…unfortunately he can’t sing. Ouch!
*Don’t you love to see Hetty packing a gun? We haven’t seen her do that since Endgame!
*I agree Deeks….please make this the last time he goes undercover as the janitor! Why couldn’t Sam be the janitor this time?
Best Lines From the Show:
Callen: If any one’s going to go as a werewolf it should be Deeks, the guys half way there already!
Kensi: Dance monkey, dance.
Deeks: Possessed much?
Deeks: Oh God. Hi! How are you? What can I do for you?
Eric: Hetty wants us….
Deeks: Oh awesome! I’d love to be a part of it… going to go solve some crimes…
Eric: …up in Ops. Wow… that was excitement.
Kensi: No, Eric. That was fear.
Hetty: Oh bugger!
Callen: (To Sam) I hope she’s talking about you!
Sam: Sounds like the honeymoon is over.
Callen: You guys in position?
Deeks: Huh? Well, one of us is.
Sam: Come on G! It’s one day. Maybe three hours in the afternoon. It’s not the whole day.
Callen: Three hours?
Sam: You’re her uncle.
Callen: I’m not really her uncle.
Sam: She calls you Uncle Callen.
Callen: And I’m not very good with kids either.
Sam: Now you sound like Kensi, kids love you!
Callen: You’re kids maybe, other kids not so much.
Sam: Three weeks ago that kid in the sewer was ready to poison half the city. You talked him out of it.
Callen: That’s true but I was also ready to shoot him.
(Poor Uncle Callen!)
Callen: I hate when she does this.
Sam: Sucks doesn’t it? You two are cut from the same cloth.
Callen: Hardly. Hetty is hand painted silk…I’m more…
Sam: ….itchy polyester?
Callen: I was going to say denim.
Sam: Well-worn denim
Callen: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
(Great bromance going on here!)
Deeks: What are you doing?
Kensi: Shaving my legs, what does it look like I’m doing?
Deeks: It looks like you’re cleaning your gun with my t-shirt.
Kensi: Oh, sorry it was on the bench…thought it was a rag.
Deeks: No, rags don’t have sleeves. I mean I’ve had this thing since high school.
Kensi: Shirt! I believe it. Come on….that was funny. Oh, no comment on me shaving my legs…Can I help you? Is it from the waist down. Awwha! Dude…come on…I’ll buy you a new one!
Always love to see Densi go undercover as husband and wife because we get such great banter between the two agents. No one but Densi can make the simple act of carrying the bride over the threshold a complicated project…..This is not ice dancing…indeed!
This week we had the chance to speak to guest stars, Carsten Norgaard and Ronan Vibert who graciously spent time with NCISLA Magazine to tell us about the filming of tonight’s episode. Both enjoyed their time spent on the Paramount lot and working with the cast and crew. Make sure you stop by and find out more about Carsten and Ronan!
We’re getting close to the final episode of the season which promises to pull out all the stops according to Shane Brennan. It won’t be long until we find out what he has in store for the fans. Will this be the most powerful finale that they have ever done, as he promises? Come back next week to NCISLA Magazine for my review of Parley as forge our way to the final episode!
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