NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 1, Episode 19 “Hand-to-Hand” (B+)
This episode was a whole lot of fun because it was the first time that L.A. NCIS unit has come across murky jurisdiction waters where they find someone else undercover in the midst of their operation. It was particularly enjoyable because that part was played by Eric Christian Olsen, who usually portrays more comic characters, like on FOX’s short-lived sitcom “The Loop.” His role here was entertaining because it worked well before he was revealed to be a police officer and continued to work when his true identity came out when he was bailed out of jail. Sam going undercover is just as great as Callen going undercover, and it’s especially exciting when he is forced to display his athletic and martial arts-related abilities. That skill comes in quite handy when defending against an angry platoon of trained and dangerous marines. The subtle moments when the team is in the middle of a briefing and one of them lets out some surprising fact about their personal life are what make this show individualized and worthwhile. Kensi’s muttered remark about the DJ at the club being awesome and a girl “needing to get her freak on” was that kind of moment in this episode, never referred to again but well worth it when it happened. The coolest part of this episode was the opening sequence. It’s hard to find an original way of a body being discovered with hundreds and hundreds of “CSI” and “Law & Order” episodes having done it in the past, but catching a glimpse of a bloody person in the back of a paparazzo’s photo felt fresh.