NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 1 Overview: Sport of Drones
This season opener checked most of the necessary boxes.
On NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 1, the team tracked down some foreign baddies while dealing with their personal issues as the ghost of Hetty hovered over them.
In other words, it delivered exactly what longtime viewers expected, with few surprises.
First came reminders of what team members had been up to, in case viewers had forgotten over the summer hiatus. That shouldn’t be possible in the streaming era, but old habits die hard.
In what promises to be the season’s most intriguing storyline, Deeks and especially Kensi were smothering Rosa when dropping her off for her first day of school.
They seemed to have forgotten what a tough life Rosa had lived through already as a refugee. Instead, they treated her like a child just starting kindergarten.
She just humored them. They meant well. What was her alternative, anyway?
It would be wrong to come down on Deeks and Kensi. After all, they’re accustomed to caring for each other and a dog.
A child brings a whole new set of challenges for them. And neither of them had great parenting role models on which to draw.
As they figure out their new roles, anticipate many more philosophical discussions between them. But that can’t get anywhere near as annoying as their talks when they were attempting to become parents, can it?
On the other hand, Sam has become a reluctant caretaker, with a much more temperamental charge in Raymond.
You can’t fault Raymond, either. He’s aware that he’s starting to slip. But he’s lived an independent life for decades.
So it was understandable that Raymond balked at going to what he saw as senior daycare. Hopefully, once he got there, he realized there were seniors of all ability levels at the activities center.
At least there was a plausible reason that Sam disappeared for much of the case. Raymond was being obstinate.
It was fun to watch Raymond yank Sam’s chain in the end. Was he being noble visiting a fellow veteran, or was he being a devil with the vet’s wife? Only Raymond knew for sure, and he wasn’t telling.
And, as always, Callen had too much on his mind. It’s a good thing he has Kilbride to badger him back in line.
First, he’s helping to plan his upcoming but unscheduled wedding to Anna. (She’ll return next week on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 2).
Didn’t Fatima appear eager to jump in and help out? Her fairytale-themed wedding certainly sounded like a winner, didn’t it?
With Hetty constantly in Callen’s thoughts, Kilbride threw him a curveball with the report about burnt female remains, complete with documents for one of Hetty’s aliases, being found in Syria.
Callen naturally went to the worst possible scenario, even as Kilbride urged him to wait for the forensic results.
Fortunately, Callen had a case, and Fatima, to distract him from his dark conclusions.
You have to love Fatima. She got a surprise windfall from her previous life as a TV star and invested it in a flashy sports car. Didn’t Callen sound like a disappointed dad when he looked at it?
Fatima has gained confidence through the years, to the point that she thought nothing of giving out assignments to Shyla. That happens when characters move up the ladder, especially when the senior agents deal with their issues.
The case of the week offered a decent mystery as the team tried to determine who had bombed a drone manufacturer and why.
They quickly discarded the local suspects: the dead janitor, the injured security guard, and the disgruntled former employee.
That left them having to do things the hard way. Shyla discovered cyber attacks on the manufacturer were originating in Beirut. Surveillance nearby the janitor’s home revealed a loitering laundry van.
Their first speculation was that the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah was behind the attack, even if that didn’t match up with their MO But the laundry van ended up telling a different story.
The Persian-American owner of the laundry service was pressured to provide a van to two men to protect his relatives back in Iran. He told of an Iranian friend pressured to cough up some office space.
Sam rejoined the squad just in time to raid that office, and sniper Kensi once again saved an oblivious Deeks. The dead thug enabled them to establish that he was a member of Iran’s special forces.
Sam determined that the rest of the Iranians were heading to attack a Navy base in revenge for a deadly drone attack on a beloved Iranian general a couple of years ago.
Thanks to helicopters rustled up by Shyla, the team gets to the base before the Iranians and quickly captures them with minimal damage. It was a reasonably anticlimactic conclusion in an action-light episode.
Not surprisingly, the remains weren’t Hetty’s. Then the admiral rightly shot down Callen’s request to let him go hunt for Hetty in Syria.
No, we will not see Hetty again until Callen and Anna’s wedding, deep into the season.
To follow Hetty’s latest adventures, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Are you looking forward to Deeks’ and Kensi’s adventures in parenting?
Will Callen defy Kilbride and go after Hetty?
Does Sam have his hands full with Raymond?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.