How is the team going to rescue Sam and Callen from the submarine? That’s the big question going into the Monday, Sept. 29 season 6 premiere of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Deep Trouble, Pt. II,” and the answer is, in a way, they’re not.
The premiere is a pretty fast-paced “NCIS: LA” episode, and it’s one that highlights Sam and Callen, as agents, as partners, as friends and as defenders of their country, as it should. Even while they’re trapped in a submarine, running out of oxygen, coming up with a plan that is essentially suicide and later treading water in the ocean, they still manage to find moments to banter like they always have. The parts of the episode with Sam and Callen cannot be better than they are, even though the case part of it – the terrorists’ suicide mission and Navy’s response – isn’t the best the show has done. Sure, it’s exciting at times, but considering we know Sam and Callen obviously survive, watching them MacGyver their way out of the submarine compartment is more interesting than everything else. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be. What’s always been important is how this team works together, and “Deep Trouble, Pt. II” does a good job of illustrating that.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team is busy trying to figure out not only where the submarine is heading but also a way to stop the Navy from launching a torpedo. This is exactly when Hetty would make a call or two and get the job done, but she can’t, not this time. She’s supposed to be in Washington, facing questions for her actions last season, but instead, once she learns about what’s going on, from Nell as Eric tries to turn her off as per Granger’s instructions, she threatens her driver with her lipstick gun and returns to the Ops center.
With Hetty out of favors, it falls on Granger to make some calls, and he does, willing to do anything to get his people back, but it doesn’t matter because the torpedo is still dropped, and so there are a couple of moments there when they think they might have lost two of their own. Remember when you weren’t sure if you wanted him around? That has certainly changed, and Granger is very much a member of the team.
While Hetty’s Washington problems do take a backseat to everything else for the majority of the episode, at the end, while the others celebrate in the boat shed, she and Granger sit at her desk and do touch upon the serious nature of what’s happening. (Don’t Hetty and Granger scenes seem to be on a whole different level from all the others?) What should he tell Washington about where she is? “I’ve always been partial to the truth,” she comments, but he doesn’t think they even care about that anymore. Hetty wonders if he ever feels like he’s getting too old for this, and with conversations like these, the investigation into Hetty and Hetty seemingly grooming Nell for the future, it’s hard not to wonder how much longer Hetty has with the team.
The only flaw in this episode is how Kensi reacts to having Talia around. We already saw a bit of it in the season 5 finale, but it goes to a whole new level here, and DEA agents actually have to break up their fight when they should be looking through Wilson’s stuff at his house for something they can use. Talia assures Kensi that she’s not trying to poach her boyfriend, but when Kensi once again insists they’re just partners since she and Deeks have taken a step back from last season, Talia suggests they just go for it and release all that pent up sexual frustration before someone else goes after him. Kensi doesn’t react well, and in the end, they’re both bloody and it’s just neither the time nor the place. Both are at fault, Talia for taunting Kensi and Kensi for responding like she does.
However, for Kensi it does start back at the docks before they even reach Wilson’s house after Deeks suggests he go with Talia and she go to the hospital and her only real argument to protest is she doesn’t want to go to the hospital. It’s not a good reason whatsoever, and with the clock ticking, both of these conversations should not happen. It does lead to Deeks’ interrogation of Wilson in the hospital with the promise of whisky to soothe his pain, only for Wilson to find out it’s apple juice after telling him what he knows – and that Deeks was lying that he was dying.
In the end, Kensi and Talia seem to be teaming up against Deeks and getting along so well they’re whispering in each other’s ears and making plans for the future. Sure, it’s great to see Kensi jealous and all, but maybe it would have been better for them to get where they are in the car outside the Chinese restaurant and in the boat shed a bit sooner without the unnecessary catfight.
“NCIS: Los Angeles” season 6 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of the premiere “Deep Trouble, Pt. II”?