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'NCIS: Los Angeles' 'Allegiance' review: Smiles and selfies

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"NCIS: Los Angeles" season 5 continued Tuesday, Jan. 14, with episode 13, "Allegiance," and for an episode about thwarting a terrorist attack, there were a lot of smiles all around.

Overall, it was a good "NCIS: LA" episode. It wasn't the best of the season, some parts were a bit too predictable, and Ehsan was a bit too cheery at times, but in the end, it was satisfying. One of the best parts was seeing Deeks working with Sam and Callen because as much fun it has been to see Nell in the field, she can't just go out every episode into the field. Instead, "Allegiance" saw her both at her computers and in the field in a situation she probably would have been in the field for even if Kensi hadn't been reassigned.

Overall, the case was solid, and while it was nice to see those in Los Angeles and those in Afghanistan working together to solve it, it unfortunately meant that we didn't learn anything else about White Ghost. Hopefully the next episode will offer information about Kensi's assignment more along the lines of "Merry Evasion" than "Iron Curtain Rising."

The case did connect the two teams across continents, as Kensi and Granger tracked down FinCEN agents in Kabul (one of the predictable parts mentioned above), while Sam, Callen and Deeks followed a lead to the rug store the victim, Green, the Kabul agents' handler, had been watching. The storeowner and his son were clean, as they learned once they picked up the son, Ehsan, but we did get Deeks' Sven, the fabulous interior decorator to the stars, and Ehsan's entire self – and the key to solving the case, as Ehsan was the one who identified the Hawala brokers and bombers.

After everything he did, of course he became a U.S. citizen and of course his family was going to be reunited. However, at times, some things seemed to be just a bit too good, as he was able to convince the executive director of the charity to let them stay, had nabbed himself a hot girlfriend, and didn't run when faced with a bomb in the area, but nothing can be perfect.

It wouldn't be an "NCIS: Los Angeles" episode without a little action and high stakes, and the takedown at the center covered that, as Sam and Deeks had to grab dead man switches off the two bombers at the same time while Callen had to make the shots, all while everyone in attendance panicked once the first move was made. Oh, and fortunately Sam only had to defuse one bomb.

Finally, it wasn't at all surprising that Kensi and Deeks didn't get to talk face to face in this episode, especially given how nervous and twitchy they were just waiting for the possibility of seeing the other on screen. (His shirt was itchy! She had helmet hair!) Yes, it was a bit of a letdown because it seemed a bit too obvious that it would work out that way, but they did connect via selfies (and Deeks has an Instagram, followed by Hetty, filled with photos of Monty in sunglasses; who else wants to see that?) and you had to love their smiles when they each received the picture.

"NCIS: Los Angeles" season 5 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of episode 13 "Allegiance"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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