02 January 2012

Snoozing occurs in real time (Review: 'NCIS: Los Angeles' 3.1, "Lange, H.")

So, my first review of the year goes to the season three opener of an spin-off of a spin-off. I could do a Sherlock review, but NCIS: Los Angeles, a show about undercover naval investigators in California, does need some love. Although it's not earning it with this episode.

"Lange, H." is a real-time episode following on from the season 2 conclusion that involved someone trying to kill G. Callen [we and he don't know his full first name] and the titular Henrietta "Hetty" Lange (wonderfully played by Linda Hunt[1], although she's a bit subdued here) going to Romania to try to get a crime family to call off their hit on him. The team (save Nell and Eric, the two computer rats) follow her and during this rough hour of time, we learn a bit more about Callen's past and there's some shooting.

This is a rather poor season opener - the real-time constrains the story too much as it's played out between two distant locations. While there is humour (particularly between Kensi and Deeks [2], as well as some great stuff about eating in the Ops Room and a knowing gag about location doubling) and a lovely little acknowledgement of the fact that Nell Jones has earned her place in the team, the whole story is a bit flat. It's like everyone came back from their holidays and was trying to get back into the swing of things. As for that cliffhanger - oh, come on!

Let's have something better next week.


[1] Trivia fans - she's the only woman to win a Best Supporting Actress award for playing a man.
[2] Why is that female characters are almost always referred to by their first name as opposed to their surname?

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