I have to admit that when I initially heard that Abby's character would be crossing over from NCIS to NCIS: Los Angeles, my reaction was meh. What could they possibly do that would make the transfer of the ultimate forensics goth geek from the cozy confines of her lab in D.C. to the high-tech, touch screen caravan in L.A. compelling?
Well, I tip my cap to Speed Weed (that has to be an alias!) for writing the episode, "Random On Purpose," which struck me as one of the best examples that NCIS: Los Angeles is coming together pretty nicely. I could definitely see now how this show is evolving. More on that and the rest of the episode (including spoilers -- be warned -- after the jump).
This was a chance for NCIS' Pauley Perrette to really shine. Abby is a wonderful character, but NCIS rarely gets her out of the white coat and into the field. Her field trip to Hollywood was all field trip. Her expertise was the showcase; Abby's obsession with a serial killer whom she's named "The Phantom" because he leaves no forensic trail. But for Abby nothing is something and she was out of catch the guy.
That she had a web site devoted to the case and groupies following her blog was probably not the wisest move for Abby Scuito. She should have known better. But in a twisted way, her actions were bait for the killer and he took the bait. Abby get abducted was the result, but that gave the NCIS: LA team a six-hour head start on finding her -- saving her -- before Gibbs, DiNozzo, David and McGee arrived. And, yes, the cavalry was on their way.
Two scenes stood out, the first being Abby's brilliant idea to use the camera feed to communicate by doing sign language with her right hand. It may not of worked, but it did. Why is it not surprising that Abby is smart enough to have thought of it?
The other scene showed me that the new NCIS: LA characters are settling in; Sam and G deciding who should go through the skylight to save Abby. That moment's hesitation, the reference to Miami, the cool under pressure was great. It showed an understanding they share, and finally. Yes, LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell are still a bit too much Starsky and Hutch-ish, but the chemistry is clicking.
Finally, this episode also had Linda Hunt as Hetty asserting her authority to organize the team, get them situated at desks. She also admired Abby's stylish attire, functional but stylish. Too true. Also, Hetty's assuring Callan that there was no fuzziness to the chain of command -- he shoots the duck and she rows the boat -- was well-written.
All in all, an excellent installment.