"NCIS: Los Angeles" season 5 has gotten off to a strong start. It could end up being the show's best season yet. Unfortunately, Tuesday, Oct. 22's episode 5, "Unwritten Rule," wasn't as good as the previous four were.
The case on "NCIS: LA" this week was one that was nothing new to any fan of a procedural drama: A person is kidnapped, only for that person or the person's loved one to end up being part of it. Robin had just finished a 10K run when she was very publicly kidnapped at the finish line. Her boyfriend, Garrett, was an intelligence officer who specialized in highly classified drone navigation design, and it looked like the kidnappers may have wanted to trade for that. He was even lucky enough to get an early discharge and was running his own software company with his partner, Oscar. However, the pieces began to come together when a man he served with explained that Garrett wasn't exactly hurting for money like they thought. In fact, he had $75 million coming in, and it began to look like he was giving secrets to the Chinese government. Or was he?
The truth came out, and Garrett explained that they wanted him to design drones to help with farming and environmental management. But then they asked him to modify the design, and he realized it was for military application. They took Robin to force his hand, and Oscar handed off the tech to an Asian teenager nearby. They found the guys who kidnapped Robin and killed them, but she was gone. That was because they had let her go. Yes, she was looking more and more guilty by the minute, and unfortunately, we were right. Robin was running the long con on Garrett for the money, and Oscar was working with her. The best part about the case? It had to be seeing Nell in the field (and Eric's jealousy). At one point, they had commented it looked like two different cases. If that had been true, it may have been a better episode.
Meanwhile, Deeks surprised the rest of the team when he showed up to work on a motorcycle, and they had to explain the rule: no unnecessary risks. He tried to appeal to them and later to Hetty, but he was not keeping that bike. "You can donate your organs after you finish working for us," Hetty explained. While he claimed he just liked the bike and there was no hidden meaning, Kensi thought it could be traced back to his torture. Risky behavior was a common symptom of PTSD, she explained, even as he denied it, but that was a common theme throughout the episode, from him teasing her as he put on his vest before they went into the warehouse to her tackling him out of the way of the van. Was she right to be worried? That could be something to keep an eye out for in the coming episodes.
The best part of the episode had to be Deeks and Hetty's conversation, and it was a pretty good set-up of what could be coming. Their relationship has always been one of the best ones to watch, ever since he first showed up, and that scene could end up going down in the top 10 conversations they'll have. It all began when she asked how his heart was—and she meant in terms of his emotional center, not his physical health. He rambled for pretty much the rest of the conversation. "I understand that you worry about me more than the others. That's mostly because I'm your favorite, obviously. Don't say otherwise, it'll break my heart," he told her. I want you to know that I'm great. I'm—actually I'm better than great. Kensi's great." When all she said to that was "I see," he continued: "What do you mean you see? Why, did Kensi say something other to that—because if she said something that contrasted that, I think it's because at this point, well, it's difficult to explain it. It's personal feelings—no, I'm not going to fall for this. I'm not one of your little minions, I'm not going to fall for Jedi mind tricks." You got the feeling that Hetty knew exactly what was going on, probably even knew what will happen between Kensi and Deeks at the end of the season, and that was likely—and hopefully—just the first of a series of conversations between Deeks and Hetty on the topic.
"NCIS: Los Angeles" season 5 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBS. What did you think of episode 5, "Unwritten Rule"?