NCIS: Los Angeles 13×16 “MWD” is a truly remarkable episode in that it does a couple of things I’ve been asking other procedurals to do, and it does them so seamlessly it’s almost like the show doesn’t really realize how rare it is to manage it as well as they always do. It also has a case, that once again, isn’t as interesting as the interpersonal dynamics are. Even if there is a dog.
This being a procedural, however, we already knew how that worked. The cases are sometimes interesting, and often serve to advance the relationships, but even though this show has a different case every year, it will never be just about the cases. No show gets to season 13 on the strength on the cases. Instead, NCIS: Los Angeles 13×16 “MWD” is about a few other things, starting with …
Deeks isn’t around this episode, and as much as I love and always miss Deeks, NCIS: Los Angeles has gotten the hang of having a big cast and giving everyone enough time. One Chicago could learn a thing or twenty from them.
This episode is more about Sam and his dad, about Callen’s past, and about Roundtree dealing with the events of last episode than it is about anything else. And that’s okay. I love Densi, but guess what? Not every episode needs to be about them. Just as not every episode needs to be about Callen, or Sam. There are enough good characters on this show to go around, and to give the actors time to do other things.
Sam, in particular, hasn’t had a long-term storyline in a while, and it seems like the show is setting up to give us as satisfying a storyline with him and his dad as they’ve given us with Densi’s struggles to get pregnant. Doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. But it’s going to be real. That’s one of those things this show does really, really well.
The Callen storyline feels like it’s been going on forever and sure, the show has course-corrected on Callen’s past enough times it’s getting hard to keep track of what actually happened, but all in all, NCIS: Los Angeles is still much more consistent, continuity wise, than most other shows.
Whether that is just sticking with the Densi storyline for a few seasons, Roundtree still thinking about what happened last episode, or just …going back to Callen’s Alias-like backstory, these all seem like obvious things, but in general, they are also things long-running shows stumble at.
There’s nothing about NCIS: Los Angeles 13×16 “MWD” that’s truly remarkable, and this is not an episode to re-watch, or one that features many standout scenes (though Sam’s pet rock suggestion will be in my heart forever), but this is still the kind of episode that makes me glad this show is coming back for another season. Well, that and the kind of episode that makes me think other shows could learn a thing or two.
Things I think I think:
- Continuity is something this show does so, so well.
- Yeah, Callen has no friends he doesn’t work with, or date.
- I love this storyline about Sam’s dad. Not love that it’s happening, but love how real it is.
- Look, I love Nate being back. Don’t love Deeks-less episodes, though.
- We finally getting some Callen answers?
- Roundtree and Fatima work very well together.
- “I think you deserve to know the truth of your own existence” is something we all agree on. Don’t you have anything else, Nate?
- Love take-charge Kensi.
- No one laughed at her Deeks inside joke, though.
- Roundtree talking to Nate is …a good idea.
- PET ROCK.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Los Angeles 13×16 “MWD”? Share with us in the comments below”
NCIS: Los Angeles airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.