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The Best Episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles

Updated May 9, 2019 5.4k votes 675 voters 10.3k views202 items

There are so many good episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles, but which ones really stand out? Do you like "Internal Affairs" the best, or is "Hot Water" your favorite episode of NCIS: Los Angeles? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles are, let's rank every NCIS: Los Angeles episode from best to worst.

NCIS: Los Angeles, the first spinoff of NCIS, is a police procedural with elements of military drama. It stars Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J, Peter Cambor, Daniela Rush, and Linda Hunt. NCIS: Los Angeles centers on Special Agent G. Callen (O'Donnell) and his elite team of undercover operatives. Premiering on CBS on September 22, 2009, NCIS: LA has received nominations from the People's Choice Awards, Teen Choice Awards, and the Emmys (for stunt direction).

Vote up your favorite episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one NCIS: Los Angeles episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

  • 1
    Season 3 Episode 22: Kensi and Deeks are sent undercover as married couple Melissa and Justin when evidence points to a Russian sleeper cell in a suburban neighborhood.
  • 2
    Season 2 Episode 17: Deeks' morning routine is disrupted when he is shot during a convenience store robbery, leaving the NCIS team to investigate whether he was the assailants' intended target.
  • 3
    Season 8 Episode 14: Emotions run high for the team as one agent is held in an unknown location and tortured by the mole, while another discovers he was betrayed by someone he least expected.
  • 4
    Season 7 Episode 10: While Deeks is under arrest and interrogated for the murder of his former partner, the team races to try and prove his innocence.
  • 5
    Season 6 Episode 11: The team investigates a burglary at a cyber-security company, but Callen must steer clear of the crime scene after Hetty reveals his girlfriend, Joelle, is one of the lead witnesses.
  • 6
    Season 1 Episode 19: When an undercover operation has the NCIS team investigating a MMA gym and its fighters, Sam Hanna is tasked with donning gloves and entering the cage for a one-on-one fight.
  • 7
    Season 7 Episode 19: Callen and the team try to save a child in imminent danger who has been brainwashed by a terrorist cell.
  • 8
    Season 7 Episode 5: NCIS Special Agent DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) partners with the NCIS: Los Angeles team to search the city after his prisoner escapes custody on a flight from Singapore to Los Angeles.
  • 9
    Season 3 Episode 16: The NCIS: LA team searches for new evidence to prove Kensi Blye's innocence after she is taken into custody as the lead suspect in a murder investigation involving her deceased father's sniper unit.
  • 10
    Season 6 Episode 9: After Granger is poisoned by the mole and Eric is one of the seven suspects, Hetty orders a lockdown while everyone is investigated.
  • 11
    Season 8 Episode 23: Following the kidnapping of Sam's wife, Michelle Hanna (Aunjanue Ellis), Sam goes rogue from the NCIS team and attempts to stop his arch nemesis Tahir Khaled (Anslem Richardson) from ever targeting his family again. Erik Palladino, Anslem Richardson, and Aunjanue Ellis guest star.
  • 12
    Season 7 Episode 2: DEA agent Talia Del Campo (Mercedes Mason) turns to the NCIS: Los Angeles team for help after her partner is murdered.
  • 13
    Season 6 Episode 16: When Callen and Sam are tasked with apprehending a spy contracted by the CIA, Sam is shot and the team enlists the help of Thapa, the elite Nepali soldier from their past, to help to find the shooter. Ernie Reyes, Jr. and Parminder Nagra guest stars.
  • 14
    Season 3 Episode 10: A botched assignment forces Hetty to fire Deeks and send him back to the LAPD.
  • 15
    Season 3 Episode 15: With Assistant Director Granger critiquing every move, the NCIS team must track down a chameleon-like killer who has evaded law enforcement agents, including their very own Special Agent G. Callen, across several countries.
  • 16
    Season 5 Episode 19: After learning that Special Agent Kensi Blye disappeared and the Taliban may be he holding her captive, Hetty sends the NCIS: LA team to Afghanistan on a rescue mission.
  • 17
    Season 3 Episode 17: The NCIS: LA team continues to search for new evidence to prove Kensi Blye's innocence after a private meeting involving her deceased father's sniper unit turns deadly.
  • 18
    Season 6 Episode 12: While Callen is undercover in the mail room of an office building to investigate an arms dealer, it is taken over by terrorists and Callen becomes a hostage.
  • 19
    Season 5 Episode 10: Callen and Sam enlist the help of a Gurkha, an elite Nepali soldier specializing in knife fighting, to retrieve a missing thumb drive.
  • 20
    Season 7 Episode 4: Callen and Sam are forced to work on their day off when they mysteriously receive a cell phone and the caller threatens the lives of innocent people if they don't do exactly what he says.
  • 21
    Season 5 Episode 13: While in Afghanistan, Kensi and Granger join the team on a joint case when a federal agent in Los Angeles tied to Hawala, an ancient system of money transfer, is murdered.
  • 22
    Season 6 Episode 1: Callen and Sam are trapped in an armed submarine that terrorists have aimed to hit an aircraft carrier in San Diego.
  • 23
    Season 2 Episode 22: Deeks resumes an old alias he is not fond of in order to protect his best friend and chief informant from a criminal group that wants him dead.
  • 24
    Season 4 Episode 24: An explosion in the desert rekindles the search for stolen nuclear weapons and prompts Hetty to shuffle the NCIS: LA partnerships, sending Callen and Kensi overseas and Sam and Deeks teamed up stateside. Aunjanue Ellis, Christopher Lambert and Timothy V. Murphy guest star.
  • 25
    Season 7 Episode 7: Kensi and Deeks go undercover as cult members to rescue a former Department of Defense employee brainwashed into revealing classified information, as the rest of the team works to prevent the cult from selling the government secrets.