‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Is Callen and Sam’s Clash with Kilbride Inevitable?

by Lauren Boisvert
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

On the next episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, titled “Indentured,” Sam and Callen go up against Kilbride when an arms dealer case leads them to one of Kilbride’s old friends. The promo only brings the heat and sets up a dangerous, exciting new episode.

According to the synopsis, the team is working on a case that involves a former Naval officer supplying a militia with weapons. The promo for episode 3 opens up on militia members murdering a group of ATF agents. “These people are dangerous,” says Sam, “and they killed our brothers and sisters.” Callen replies, succinctly, “I want these guys.”

The former colonel suspected of aiding the militia is close friends with Kilbride; the team finds photos of the two fishing together. What’s worse, is Kilbride seems to be taking over the case. It’s possible he’s ruling it in a way that could benefit his friend. “This case will be handled in a manner that I see fit,” Kilbride snaps at Sam. Tensions mount between the agents and their boss.

In the last scene in the promo, Sam tells Deeks, “They won’t let us go after him.” So, clearly, someone threw a wrench into their investigation. Whether Kilbride did it or not, only the new episode, airing Oct. 24, can tell us.

‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Could Season 13 Be the Last?

Fans are starting to worry that this season could be it for NCIS: Los Angeles. The last two episodes, the premiere and episode two, didn’t do great in the ratings department. At least, not compared to last season.

On top of the ratings dip, some fans felt that the latest episode, which featured a hate crime against a Japanese-American veteran, didn’t handle the subject well. Fans took to Reddit to discuss the episode’s shortcomings. A lot of the comments zeroed in on characterization.

“The whole dialogue with Deeks going full patriot with the whole ‘Greatest Country on Earth’ outburst, felt kinda wrong. That didn’t really seem consistent with Deeks character,” wrote one commenter. “The sudden blurting of extreme nationalism didn’t seem in character to me.”

It seemed like NCIS: Los Angeles was using the episode and the characters as a platform to show how aware they are of anti-Asian hate, but for some fans it just felt like a disservice. Most people liked the guest characters, Jack and his father Craig Tanaka. But good characters were not enough to sway the fans’ opinions of the episode.

All in all, a few bad episodes doesn’t spell the complete end of a series. Fans can rest easy knowing that their favorite show is probably going to be around for a while longer.