NCIS: Hawaii 2×01 “Prisoner’s Dilemma” picks up from NCIS 20×01 “A Family Matter,” with most of the case happening in the Hawaii hour, after the NCIS hour spends most of the time focused on Parker, and on establishing what the crossover will need to get to a satisfying conclusion. This means that the NCIS: Hawaii team gets to be the heroes of this tale, with Tennant in particular – and a surprising new character who yes, is called Bam Bam – getting most of the glory.
Part of the appeal of the crossover is, presumably, the dynamics between Tennant and Torres – and though there is chemistry there, it’s hard to get invested, for many, many reasons, perhaps most importantly because there’s just no way the two shows will ever coexist in a way that allows this to be a thing. That is, if Wilmer Valderrama is even staying on NCIS for much longer, another thing that doesn’t feel exactly certain.
But while Tennant and Torres sort of flirt – and Ernie tries to get Jessica Knight to pay attention to him, the couple that once again steals the show is Lucy and Kate, and that’s probably for the best, considering they are the OTP of this show. Not that we had any doubt before, but we got a morning scene and a getting ready for bed one, which also happened to be the final scene in the episode. The writing is on the procedural wall.
In procedural land, however, the fact that Lucy and Kate love each other – which they do – doesn’t mean everything will be smooth sailing from there. But if NCISLA has taught us something is that it is possible to grow a ship without constantly breaking them up, and fans react positively to outside obstacles. Lucy and Kate, however, are just at the beginning. This is the honeymoon phase. No real obstacles yet.
They’re happy. Disgustingly so, if you ask Ernie. And they get to be so, on CBS. In a big franchise procedural. And though they aren’t the only thing that makes this show special, it’s hard to argue against them being one of the biggest draws.
Especially in an episode such as this one, which ends up being amazing for long-time fans of the franchise, but a little hard to follow for anyone coming in blind. NCIS is, after all, on Season 20. Catching up for this crossover is near impossible. NCIS: Hawaii, meanwhile, is just starting its season 2. They’d love to keep some of the mothership fans, but what they really need is to focus on growing their own fanbase.
Nick Torres isn’t exactly going to help with that. Neither is Jessica Knight. For an episode, it was fun. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again – next year? Once a year is probably enough, and if there’s another crossover, can we make it with NCISLA? I’d pay to see Kensi Blye and Jane Tennant together. Deeks and Kate Whistler? Can you just imagine that? In the meantime, I’ll take more of Kacy – a lot more. And I’ll take Kai and Jesse, I’ll take the family this team has managed to build, one that, when given time and focus …feels like its own special kind of thing.
Ships can sometimes make procedurals work, but most shows like NCIS: Hawaii rise and fall on the strength of a team. NCIS: Hawaii would do well to remember what got them a second season, and not deviate from it too much. Unless it’s to give us more Bam Bam. She can stay. No, I take that back. She needs to stay.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Hawaii 2×01 “Prisoner’s Dilemma”? Share with us in the comments below!
NCIS: Hawaii airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.