Thursday, December 10, 2020

NCIS: Los Angeles - Raising the Dead

NCIS gets played big time in "Raising the Dead." When two dangerous convicts escape, NCIS must deal with the prisoner who is quickly captured in order to find the other who is obsessed with assassinating the President. However, the criminal with information is a sociopath (Frank Military) who used the breakout solely to maneuver his way to a Presidential pardon allowing him the freedom to terrorize the object of his obsession, Kensi (Daniela Ruah), once more. The episode attempts to sell a master criminal and set-up an entire backstory for one of its regulars with mixed success in a very short period of time.

Kessler (Military) is presented as a manipulative evil super-genius, but the Hannibal Lecter set-up doesn't really fly nor does Military provide a super-creepy vibe necessary to push him over-the-top. The lack of history for a character supposedly wicked enough to haunt Kensi's dreams showing up 12 seasons in (without ever being mentioned) also undercuts the character despite how he makes puppets dance. The twist involving the man's former girlfriend (Izabella Miko) works better, but is far from shocking. Also, there's the logistics of how exactly Kessler managed to break-out with the one other prisoner who could unwittingly put his plan in motion. In terms of ongoing storylines, Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) is sidelined while Kensi deals with her sociopath and discovers that his position with NCIS has been discontinued. This furthers speculation that Olsen may leave the show during the COVID-shortened season.

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