NCIS: Los Angeles 13×20 “Work & Family” is the series’ landmark 300th episode, and a very good one, at that. The hour delivers banter, emotional moments, team moments and sets up the future storylines for the team about as well as it’s possible to. It doesn’t feel like a season finale, but it is nonetheless an uplifting hour that looks to the future — and proves this show still has plenty of life in it.
All that’s missing, all that’s been missing for a perfect Season 13, is, of course, Hetty. The show still works without her, but there’s no denying the best version of NCIS: Los Angeles includes Henrietta Lange, and she is sorely missed.
Sadly, with only two episodes in the season, it feels like we might focus on the Katya of it all and not on the Hetty of it all — which, I guess makes sense, the Katya thing has been hanging over Callen and Anna’s head for way too long, and the only way they can truly move forward (Arkady’s blessing or not), is by putting it behind them for good.
But the storyline with Hetty is, of course, infinitely more important, and interesting. Plus, it’s storyline the show has devoted more time and even some creative interpretation of the past to, so it would have been nice for it to be resolved. Like Kensi’s Kessler problem, though, that seems like a Season 14 kinda deal.
We do get some advancement on the Callen front in this hour, with the man in question finally having the long overdue conversation with Arkady about marrying Anna. With two episodes to go, of course Arkady is saying no, because something needs to be resolved by the finale, and Sam and his dad isn’t as much as storyline to be resolved, as much as it’s one to be explored.
This is more or less the feeling with Fatima and Devin, too. The show isn’t really pushing for a resolution, they’re just showing us two characters to explore, together and apart. We’ve gotten to know the main four through thirteen seasons, it’s going to take some time to get as attached to Fatima, Devin and, of course …Killbride.
Where the show is indeed pushing for a resolution, once that feels both obvious and complicated, is with Densi and Rosa. It’s an interesting idea that will introduce very intriguing dynamics going into next season, and one that, I, personally, am truly looking forward to. But just because Deeks brings it up — this show is typically very good at self awareness — doesn’t mean we can totally ignore the white savior part of the equation.
If nothing else, because it needs to be said that for most kids in the situation Rosa and Pilar are, there is no Kensi and Deeks to help. And there are many, many kids in their situation. One would hope NCIS: Los Angeles showcasing that will mean that at least some of them will have a fighting chance, but things aren’t as simple or easily fixed for everyone.
This doesn’t mean that, in fiction, it isn’t rewarding to see it work out. I just hope that, as these storylines are written going forward, the show keeps remembering representation isn’t just in front of the cameras, but behind them. Strangely enough, I have faith in NCIS: Los Angeles to get that right. Thirteen seasons in, they’re rarely let me down.
Things I think I think:
- Sam and his dad gave me FEELINGS.
- I know we need the exposition, but it’s always kind of hilarious when they make Deeks ask the questions a lawyer would know the answer to.
- THE WAY THEY SAID WHAT IF WE ADOPT HER TOGETHER, LIKE, NOT EVEN CHECKING WITH EACH OTHER, THEY JUST SAID IT AT THE SAME TIME.
- Yes, that needed to be in all caps.
- Grumpy is Killbride’s middle name.
- Did we miss Arkady? We did.
- He …forbids it?
- The way Arkady is like “make babies,” and then is like “I cannot recommend that either” will never not be hilarious.
- I thought they were going to adopt Rosa from the beginning, and then they weren’t, and now they are and it’s a lot of emotions but YES PLEASE.
- Sam’s reaction to Callen wanting to marry Anna was so pure.
- And his reaction to Arkady’s nonsense was so Sam.
- Fatima and Devin’s friendship is ALSO perfection, like basically everything in this episode.
- Except the part where Sam had to literally tell them the obvious, of course.
- LOOK the only thing Killbride hates more than armed insurrectionists, is the LA traffic that keeps him from them.
- I really, truly do love where the show is taking the adoption storyline with Densi, okay? But if you’d told me 7 years ago Deeks would, at any point in their relationship, be the one offering common sense, I might have laughed.
- Kinda like the self awareness of bringing up the white savior thing. Not that it can be avoided at this point.
- Yes, he does have a mushy, mushy heart.
- I love it when a team comes together.
- And when Kensi kicks ass.
- SILENT DENSI CONVERSATIONS FOR THE WIN.
- Everything was super happy and then there was Callen staring at the ring. LET THE MAN BE HAPPY.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Los Angeles 13×20 “Work & Family”? Share with us in the comments below!