NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode Four Assessment: Lifeless Stick

As if Sam didn’t have enough on his plate…

His son Aiden found himself at the center of the case of the week on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4.

Everyone knew that Aiden was innocent. But at least there was a little twist in the case’s resolution.

Everyone who thought that Aiden was a chip off the old block found out differently. He’s more like the present-day Raymond.

Raymond has been making life challenging for Sam this season. That behavior includes causing his caretaker to quit because he complained about her pancakes.

New Caretaker - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4

At least Aiden’s crash allowed them to come together and join forces on a common cause, proving that someone or something was at fault other than Aiden.

Naturally, conflict of interest pushed Sam to the sidelines. Watching Sam jost with Lt. Commander Hirsch proved why he should have been sidelined.

Sam wasn’t helping the investigation, and neither was Raymond. Most of all, Aiden’s concussion leading to his erratic memory wasn’t helpful.

However, the disciplinary record of Aiden put him in Hirsch’s crosshairs. And Callen found out about Sonic’s history before Sam ever did.

Aiden's Crash - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4

But the rest of the team’s investigation was telling a different story. It turned out that Aiden’s flight tested a classified system of somewhat dubious quality.

Just try to get someone to admit that. That Frazier threw that fact out there should have been a sign that he had an ax to grind.

The way the base commander gave Kilbride, to an admiral, minimal information was another clue that something was amiss.

But the clincher was the skittish official from the defense contractor who couldn’t be bothered to take a few minutes to answer questions from Callen and Shyla. Because the system was behind schedule, they had to throw up another test flight that afternoon.

Aiden's Interrogator - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4

Yeah, that made sense. A plane crashes once on a test flight. So let’s blame the pilot rather than pinning down the real problem and try another test instead.

It was good that Aiden had that fortuitous flash of memory, and Fatima and Rountree found that stoner witness that backed up Aiden’s account (any witness is better than no witness, I guess).

Still, the day wasn’t saved until Aiden came up with exactly the right maneuver for the second pilot, whose plane was dropping like a stone.

That was when Aiden was cleared, and Sam got a timely return to duty, just in time to participate in the takedown.

Helping Aiden - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4

It would have felt sweeter if the culprit was Starling Aerospace, greedily hiding the flaw in their system.

Unfortunately, it was the well-meaning Navy mechanic Frazier, who obviously didn’t place much stock in Starling’s software patch.

Sam’s timely return enabled him to prove he was the bigger man by talking down the sailor whose actions had injured his son.

Now onto the collection of ongoing storylines. Most important was Rountree’s continuing involvement with the racist cops who arrested him and his sister on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 15.

Rountree's Decision - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4

Rountree was rightly peeved that those cops were looking at a slap on the wrists for their actions in the form of paid time off.

Sadly, the advice he was offered from both Kilbride and Fatima essentially was, “Follow your heart.” Hardly the clear path for which he was looking.

Kilbride at least told him that his teammates were behind him whatever he chose to do.

This storyline wouldn’t likely have come up again if the plan was to sweep it under the rug, the fate of so many other dangling storylines. So expect more aggressive action on Rountree’s part.

Change in Helper - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4

There was also some positive direction on the Raymond front.

Raymond took time out from yanking Sam’s chain to have a heart-to-heart conversation with him after Hirsch tossed them both out of Aiden’s room.

Raymond admitted that he stopped being the hardass with whom Sam grew up when he saw what an upstanding citizen Sam had become. That allowed him to relax and enjoy life more. It was like they’d come to some understanding, although hopefully, Raymond would go back to busting Sam’s chops.

The hospital did yield a potential caretaker for Raymond in the form of Nurse Constance, who appeared to have a handle on handling a cranky old man like Raymond. Sam definitely should give her a call.

Advising Rountree - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4

Shyla got to go out into the field, mainly because Kensi and Deeks must have had a parent-teacher conference or something to attend.

That left Kilbride manning ops by himself. He acquitted himself admirably, although he bristled at Fatima attempting to give him an “attaboy” for his efforts. How else would he have reacted?

Even though Shyla previously has been seen as Kilbride’s administrative aide, she did fine in interrogation and the chase of Frazier.

Does the fact that she was given a back story as going through a divorce mean that she’ll be more of a presence in the OSP this season? Will she be Fatima’s new gal pal? Time will tell.

Counseling Rountree - NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4

To revisit Aiden’s history, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.

Did you at all suspect that Aiden might be at fault in the crash?

What should Roundee do next?

What you like to see more of Shyla?

Comment below.


Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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