NCIS:LA Season 10 Premiere – To Live and Die in Mexico – Review & Recap

So we’ve made it. Tonight, we finally got to see what happened to the team on NCIS:LA after last season’s two part cliff hanger finale. If you missed the finale, you can read a recap here. Tonight’s episode, To Live and Die in Mexico (S10,E1) opens up the spin offs tenth season with the team knocked out in their bombed out truck, where Deeks is having a dream/hallucination of him and Kensi in bed, with Kensi being pregnant (!!). Sam, Callen and Kensi come to, but Deeks is still knocked out, with his condition unknown.

The team (momentarily) escapes from Spencer Williams and his men, but quickly finds themselves exchanging fire and engaging in physical altercations once more in an effort to get out of Mexico alive. They only got as far as they did, thanks to Hetty’s friend/contact (who we learn is NCIS) that they met at the rental shop in last season’s finale. The team, although wounded (possibly gravely), decides to split up thinking its their best option. Sam and Callen head off with a shoddy dirt bike, while Kensi ventures off into the Mexican desert dragging a knocked out (possibly dead?) Deeks on a stretcher. Of course, she is also wounded. But she refuses to leave him.

Sam and Callen quickly run out of gas, encountering a child after they do. They take the child with them out of fear that he might tell someone where they are. Meanwhile, Kensi manages to get her and Deeks to an abandoned building. Deeks still hasn’t woken up, and Kensi is understandably freaked out and upset. Back in LA, the nerds are trying to deal with Admiral Hollace Killbride, who is demanding to know where Hetty is, and who wants Mosley to take care of the team she abandoned in order to get her son back. No one knows whether anyone survived the blast (aside from us viewers, and of course Spencer Williams and his men), and he’s putting that blame on her.

Sam and Callen make it to a building where they are able to rest a bit, although their wounds are becoming much more of a concern. Deeks has another hallucination before finally gaining consciousness again. Callen has a punctured lung and can barely breathe, while Sam is bleeding out from a gunshot wound. Then, a glimmer of hope comes for Kensi and Deeks when a man on a motorcycle passes by. She stops him and asks for help, but when he realizes that they’re two of the American’s with a bounty on their head from Spencer Williams, he tells them “his wife is on the way with a car”, keeping them where they are. Things really aren’t looking very good for anyone right now…

Kensi and Deeks venture off with the man and his wife, but as things are on this show, the couple cannot be trusted. Instead of bringing them to help like they promise, they are trying to take them to Spencer Williams for the bounty. Kensi and Deeks both freak out at the prospect and grab the man’s gun, and Deeks ends up shooting the man’s wife who is driving, and the man is shoved out of the car. Of course, in the commotion, Deeks hits his head again and is now unconscious again.

Sam and Callen get help from the young boy and some men, who take them both to the hospital after Sam saves Callen before promptly passing out. Of course, one of Spencer’s men is at the hospital and is told to, “be a man” and deal with the vulnerable men.

Hetty’s friend returns, and he and Kensi try to protect the rest of the team from Spencer’s men who have now shown up in huge numbers. They aren’t aware that Shay Mosley is outside trying to do the same, dealing directly with Williams, who after refusing to have his men stand down, she kills. She orders his men to back off, which, they do, just before Hetty’s support arrives.

Thankfully, the team is medivacked out of harms way and is finally safe and able to receive proper medical care. It seems that the whole team will make it, although I doubt that Mosley will be returning to her position after all that has happened on her watch (and at her demand). Might this mean that Hetty can take back her proper place at the helm of this team?

Unfortunately our worst fears for Harley Hidoko are right when the remains found are confirmed to be hers. While we didn’t lose anyone from the immediate team, Hidoko was definitely an asset to the group and a great loss.

This was an intense, action packed episode and after waiting months for a resolution, it felt to just fly by. I’m glad that the team is (more or less) okay, and thanks (or not?) to spoilers on social media and my own feelings, I wasn’t too worried about losing more team members than we did. It seems that this traumatic experience has brought Kensi and Deeks back together, and I wonder what this might mean for them in the future? Will they both return to regular work? Deeks had wanted to step away from the job, but I feel like this job is in them deep and that walking away just isn’t an option.

I expected to see Hetty at the end, and found it interesting that we didn’t, though perhaps that was done in a way that protects her from any fallout? She helped them in a way that doesn’t directly point to her and maybe she stayed in the shadows for a reason. Hetty ALWAYS has a reason.

Beyond the intensity, I felt this was an excellent season premiere. The team gave us raw, believable emotions, and there’s no doubting their commitments to each other. It was interesting the way they broke up the team, allowing us to watch two different stories unfold throughout the episode. I love the way NCIS:LA episodes are built with so many layers – it reminds me of Elementary, or Law & Order:SVU in that there’s always some mystery – and something keeping you on your toes.

Tonight really brought home why this spin off has made it to their tenth season. They might have some things in common with the original NCIS, but they’re also incredibly unique – a motley crew that you just have to root for. They always seem to complete the mission, and I’m glad that was the case tonight. I for one, am excited to see what’s to come this season!

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on tonight’s premiere, so please share them in the comments!

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