November 2, 2011

In “Honor”, NCIS: Los Angeles investigates when a Japanese tourist dies apparently from a beating he received from dishonorably discharged Marine Connor Maslin (Drew Fuller).

Maslin’s discharge occurred after a prominent Japanese businessman accused him of raping his daughter. The Japanese tourist appeared unrelated to that affair, but it could have been a hate crime on Maslin’s part. When Callen and Sam caught up with Maslin, though, he claimed the businessman’s daughter, Maiko, was his girlfriend, that her father trumped up the rape charges as he didn’t approve of the relationship. Maslin further claimed to have smuggled Maiko into the U.S., and that her father had sent the dead man to bring her back to Japan.

The team could find no evidence that Maiko had entered the U.S. They went as far as to interview her father, who phoned her back in Japan. Every piece of early evidence contradicted Maslin’s claims, and after NCIS approached Maiko’s father, he contacted the State Department to halt the investigation.

This was where “Honor” really got interesting. Discovering that Maiko was indeed in the U.S. and that her father planned to take her back to Japan disguised as the dead man’s widow, the team executed a rogue plan to delay their flight and find out from Maiko whether Maslin was telling the truth.

Some parts of the plan seemed a stretch, Eric and Nell posing as TSA screeners, for one; Kensi posing as Maiko and staying hidden under a black veil, for another. Overall, though, I enjoyed the classic Mission: Impossible-like ruse, and the writers did a good job keeping Maslin’s claims in doubt until the end.

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