The exceptional writing and cast chemistry that make the original NCIS
such compelling watching are just as top-notch in the Los Angeles
spinoff. In NCIS: Los Angeles
stars Chris O'Donnell (Callen) and LL Cool J (Sam Hanna) are the center of a superb ensemble that keeps this intelligent police procedural moving along believably and crisply. The other standouts in the cast include Linda Hunt, the self-contained ops manager Hetty Lange, who has seen it all in her career but whose expression stays just this side of laissez-faire. Eric Christian Olsen plays the hunky Deeks, who this season is dispatched on a mission with the Los Angeles Police Department--and who quickly gets sucked into a world of treachery and trouble. Daniela Ruah, as Special Agent Kensi Blye, has the tomboyish brunette beauty that recalls Jennifer Carpenter of Dexter
. The team faces scary ripped-out-of-the-headlines challenges in season two. They tackle human trafficking (almost losing one of their own in the process), and a dire national security breach that may involve terrorists--or may be just an avenging WikiLeaks-type rogue. The big business of illegal immigration touches on several episodes throughout the season. The bad economy drives desperate acts from desperate people--sometimes from officers of the law. And the NCIS Los Angeles team once again finds it often has to battle for jurisdiction with the likes of the FBI, US Customs, the LAPD, the California Highway Patrol--even Interpol.
Though the military connection that makes the original NCIS so intriguing is muted in NCIS: Los Angeles, the show continues to more than make up for it with its involving, complex plots; great character development; and use of on-location shooting, which lends a gritty realness to the story lines (and reminds the viewer of just how vast Los Angeles really is). This season there's also potential romance brewing between some of the agents--with palpable sexual tension. Callen, whose life was shattered in season one, tries to regain his equilibrium, one wisecrack at a time. And once again LL Cool J shows that he's one of the most charismatic actors on the small screen, being both the glue of the team as well as the straight man, and making it all look easy. Fans of NCIS: Los Angeles will also appreciate the boatloads of extras in this set, including a great feature on the story lines behind season two, cast commentaries, a look at the character of Hetty, the cinematographer's view, and much more. In short, season two of NCIS: Los Angeles is pitch-perfect as a crime procedural, and any fans of true crime and well-written drama will want to own it. --A.T. Hurley
NCIS: Los Angeles
™ is a drama about the high stakes world of a division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals that pose a threat to the nation's security. By assuming false identities and utilizing the most advanced technology, this team of highly trained agents goes deep undercover, putting their lives on the line in the field to bring down their targets.