Maybe the OSP should be more focused like Rear Admiral Gordon.
The naval officer at the heart of NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 6 didn’t let day-to-day concerns stand in the way of a good obsession.
This time out, viewers got an adventure essentially free from the team’s piddly personal issues.
As became apparent as Sam and Callen wandered through his home, Gordon had dedicated his life to all things maritime.
And while solving the mystery of his abduction, the squad got to enjoy an actual adventure without any real-world consequences. While Gordon initially seemed at risk, by the end, it was evident that his abductors had bitten off more than they could handle in the rear admiral.
At first, it seemed like business as usual, with the OSP racing to keep cutting-edge naval technology out of the hands of a hostile power.
That led to the social-media personality’s red herring, with him possibly turning Chinese hackers onto Gordon’s ocean gliders. But at least he moved Kensi and Rountree onto Gordon’s true passion. So that misdirection wasn’t a total loss.
It was remarkable that it took the entire team to solve Gordon’s puzzle so that he could ultimately be saved.
Kensi and Rountree had to do the drudge work of exploring the nautical-technology angle. But they did meet Fiore, an engineer with a grudge, and Moore led them to librarian Meredith, the last person expected to yield vital intel toward solving the case.
Meredith was so skittish it appeared that she was in cahoots with Gordon or his abductors. But no, it turned out that she was either absent-minded or intimidated by the agents unexpectedly entering her quiet realm.
She kept pulling out all of the items left behind by Gordon until she brought out the goldmine: his briefcase with the drawing piece hidden deep inside.
Sam and Callen did much of the heavy lifting, beginning with discovering Gordon’s puzzle ship, which changed the direction of their investigation.
Although that word was a little strong, as their search for Gordon turned into a treasure hunt at that point. To find Gordon required that they figure out how his mind worked.
Gordon’s riddle led them to the statue of the lone sailor and then to the maritime bookstore, where Gordon had hidden another small piece of his ocean drawing. More importantly, they reconnected with Fiore, whose jealousy led him to betray Gordon and who could lay out the whole misgotten scheme for them.
What was most surprising was that Gordon set aside his obsession long enough to save his betrayer Fiore. But he already had carefully left the clues necessary to bring OSP to his rescue.
But for that to happen, Fatima and Kilbride had to uncover Gordon’s message hidden in his journal’s ocean drawing, which revealed where Gordon believed the treasure from the Spanish galleon was buried.
Then came the anticlimactic rescue, in which Sam and Callen had to sneak up on a couple of morons (Jack Bones and Long John). You just knew one of them would blow himself up after all the talk about unexploded ordnance. How was the runner ever going to escape from an island?
So did Gordon really find the treasure, sending that tiny bag of baubles to Sam and Callen? That’s up to the viewer to decide.
At least it allowed the two partners and Kilbride to philosophize about what treasures are in their lives. It was a moment of thought slotted in at the end of an enjoyable escapade.
Now on to the obligatory ongoing personal storylines of the team members. That was precisely how they were treated in this episode.
The most interesting (a low bar, granted) was Kensi’s finding herself being Rosa’s single parent while Deeks took Roberta to look for apartments in the area.
Kensi made the same mistake that many new parents do, mistaking activities that are enriching for the child for ones that are “fun.”
Fortunately, Fatima tactfully pointed out the errors in Kensi’s thinking and later offered a creative solution of a scavenger hunt that somewhat made Kensi’s suggestions “fun.”
However, Fatima was delusional if she thought Kensi could ever be the “fun” parent. Deeks has never really left childhood behind, so of course, he will be the “fun” parent and her the hard-assed one.
Another question is will Roberta appear more this season, or will she simply provide offscreen, afterschool daycare for Rosa, so the new parents don’t have to miss work as much?
Sam’s problems with Raymond continued as his forgetful father started a fire in Sam’s kitchen.
At least Sam finally remembered nurse Constance, who Raymond hit it off with on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4. It was surprising it took Sam this long to revisit such an obvious solution to his problem.
Then naturally, there was Sam’s good-natured ragging on Callen about his lack of preparation for his distant wedding. I fear there will be some of this every episode despite how repetitive it will become.
Sam gave him the most practical of suggestions: Let Anna plan the wedding and agree to whatever she wants. At least get through the ceremony before offering a conflicting opinion.
To review Sam’s relationship with Raymond, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Did you enjoy this treasure hunt?
Is there any chance Kensi will become the “fun” parent?
Should Callen and Anna just issue a “save-the-date” card and then back-burner the wedding storyline until Hetty returns?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.