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Headscratchers: NCIS: Los Angeles
  • The title location. Would it have killed them to locate the show a bit further south in California in San Diego, which has one of the biggest USN bases in the Pacific and where half the town belongs to the Navy?
    • San Diego is also a smaller, more spread-out city than LA, and less politicians and other major figures tend to meet there. Also, the LAPD sounds quite a bit cooler than the SDPD.
  • Season 2, Episode 16, "Empty Quiver," is really painful to watch for me. It got just about every single (unclassified) thing about the NNSA (National Nuclear Safety Administration), and the OST (Office of Secure Transport) in particular, wrong. A short list: 1. OST Special Agents (the guys who transport nukes) wouldn't be overpowered by a few armed men, as they travel in convoys and are very heavily armed. 2. The fact that nuclear materials are transported across the country isn't as big a secret as they make it out to be, in fact everything I'm typing can be found with a quick Google search. Those really stood out to me, and I'm sure that there were more, but I was too busy facepalming to notice. I know, I know, Bellisario's Maxim, but it still bugs me On the upside, they did get the codeword for a stolen nuke right.
    • Also, naturally radioactive potassium in bananas? Seriously? (Whilst there is a radioactive isotope of Potassium, there's not likely to be enough in a truck load of bananas to hide a freaking nuclear bomb.)
    • Their portrayal of radiation in general makes this troper fly into a rage. For one, I actually work in Nuclear Medicine. Even if a Nuc Med department had brachytherapy canisters just lying around (which wouldn't happen. There is a crapton of paperwork to fill out to even get the stuff), even a high dose wouldn't be nearly enough for a "dirty bomb" to do any widespread damage. The bomb makers would be in far more danger from transporting and hanging around the stuff than their victims would be. The bomb itself would cause more fatalities than the radiation.
    • The villains' plot had to be covered up completely to prevent damage to the American economy. Yet they prevent the video's release by "breaking the Internet", which would cause a lot of economic disruption in itself, all over the world.
  • Is it just me, or does it seem that the NCIS are...not sure how to put it. Not professional? Dangerously tyrannical/vigilante? They don't have warrants, they kick down doors, wave guns, and do not identify themselves...Is there a Trope for that? Cowboy Cop?
    • In fact, I'm waiting for some of the suspects to scream "Please, I don't have any money!" or "Take my wallet, just don't kill me!"
    • If they tried these stunts in real-life the homeowner would be justified in blowing them away in self-defense.
      • This point is raised periodically, though more frequently on the original NCIS than on LA. It's also worth pointing out that they don't technically need warrants for military things.
      • Though they still need the military equivalent, as pointed out in NCIS by that one Law student.
      • Not that he lasted very long against the Gibbs Death Glare either.
  • I am also bugged by their unproffesionalism. For one thing, iPhones to take photographs of documents? Cellphones to take video surveillance? The bull pen in the middle of what looks like an apartment complex ground floor? An interrogation cell in a SHACK? I don't even know where I lost my suspension of disbelief.
    • Well, maybe the writers decided that the bullpen and shack were more "LA" like, and the iPhone cameras were because they were going for more high-tech than the original. I mean, did you see that ginormous touch screen interface?
    • The problem is that cellphones are easy to hack. Some bad guy with enough sophistication could hack into the cellphone and copy any info off the phone. Also, cellphones can be turned surreptitiously, and used as a listening device without the owner's knowledge. That's while most security/intelligence agencies do not allow cellphones into high secure areas.
    • I clearly remember Hettie mentioning that the phones were encrypted.
    • This Troper sees NCIS: LA as a more spy-drama sort of show, seeing as its more shock-factor and focuses more on the action rather than the procedural. Contrast NCIS, which is more procedural than anything.
      • This, pretty much. These particular NCIS agents aren't cops. They're a deep cover anti-terrorism unit.
  • During Episode 3, Predator, I was really hoping the Arab guy was innocent or uninvolved. I just thought it'd be funny if he were actually a Troll on the Islamist forums or something.
    • That's been done so much it's a Dead Horse Trope.
      • True, but the Arab being the bad guy ain't a live donkey either.
  • It bugs me that, between "Missing" and "Found", they only mentioned Dom's kidnapping in passing. I get that they have jobs to do and other cases to solve, but come on! He deserves a little more attention than that. When Gibbs was hunting Ari, they at least had a scene here and there focusing on him and his hunt.
  • When will these people wear Kevlar vests, for Chrissakes. My proof? Deliverance, season 2. If only Callen wears Kevlar, he doesn't need to halt to Russian sniper.
    • Soft body armor, such as kevlar, would not stop a rifle round under normal circumstances.
      • Fair enough. But they could at least put armors anyway, given their lines of work, where any protection, however small, is better than none. The way I see it, the OSP team is Boring Invincible Hero.
      • You do occasionally see them wearing vests when they do raids and so on.
      • They have gotten much better about this in recent seasons and the vests are seen in almost every episode.
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  • The Season One finale "Callen, G.": Am I the only one who's bothered by the revelation made at the end of the episode that G's sister never called him anything but "Baby Brother" while they were at the orphanage together? Other than to ramp up the suspense for the sake of the series plot, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever - no mention of his real name at any time? NONE?
    • It's always possible that she did call him by his real name, but he didn't hear her, or he didn't remember it.
    • Well, the only excuse I can think of is that even she didn't know his name. It's still frustrating, though.
    • At the end of Cyber Threat (Season 3), Callen finally confronts Hetty, who is clearly shown with a suitcase with the official document of his life. Instead of just taking the doc and getting it over with, he walks away, claiming that he'll find his identity with nobody's help. This is from someone who's killed god knows how many in season 3 premiere. How hard is it for his conscience to just read that damn document?!
      • Because Hetty had said 'If you don't trust me, feel free to open it.' Callen's an honest guy, and even if he wasn't, if he'd taken the document, it would have set off alarm bells in Hetty's head, thrown their relationship and Callen's relationship with NCIS as a whole into jeopardy, and possibly created some very dire consequences.
      • So what? Callen saves Hetty from the Comescus, remember. She owes Callen that much.
      • Maybe she wanted to be sure of Callen's loyalty and trust in her.
      • So resigning from NCIS, flying across the pond, visiting filthy alleys of Eastern Europe, assaulting a fortified criminal compound, killing fuckton of people in the process, and saving her life in the end still don't make Hetty sure of Callen's loyalty and trust.
    • While I wouldn't say I don't find it odd, I don't find it unbelievable, either. My best friend and his sister never call each other anything other than "brother" and "sister", respectively. Of course, I've always found it weird as hell, having always called my own sister by her given name, but apparently there are some people who actually do this.
      • In the Asian context, addressing your elders by their given name alone is incredibly rude. At most, Asians might call their elder siblings "Elder Brother/Sister <name>"; far more likely, it will simply be the CJK equivalent of "Elder Brother/Sister" and no names involved. Maybe Callen and sister come from a similar cultural background.
  • Wouldn't Romanian government ask for Callen and the gang to be extradited? They are literally massacring people, criminal or no.
    • Maybe, but once it gets revealed that they were massacring people in protection of another agent, the political implications start flying in. "And how exactly were you unaware that a major crime family were operating without hindrance?" "Why did you allow three agents and a liason to embark on what you knew would end in at least one death, especially when it involved a family feud?" And other such questions.
    • Do we have an extradition treaty with Romania? Edit: Nevermind, would seem we do.
  • Callen identifies several of the Chameleon's various identities as one person by playing clips of him speaking in various identities and describing the similarities. Why didn't he just have the clips run through a voice recognition program that would match them as one person? "I think they're the same guy, run a voice analysis." *queue Viewer-Friendly Interface playing the clips, showing wavy lines and popping up a big red "MATCH" box.
  • In the Pilot episode, after they've uncovered the truth that "inside man" wasn't leaking information he was corrupt, but because his niece was kidnapped, one of the agents then lets on over the phone that NCIS are involved in the case. This is dumb for two reasons: firstly, their involvement was meant to be covert and so you don't tell people unless they "Need to know" and secondly, with any kidnapping there's the possibility that it was inside job so you may be talking to the kidnapper himself (which turns out to be the case). Following this less than stellar action, she was damn lucky that none of the agents got killed in the shoot out.
NCISHeadscratchers/Live-Action TVNed's Declassified School Survival Guide

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