NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 1, Episode 9

Random on Purpose (24 Nov. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 150 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Navy chief petty officer Frank McEllon, a top submarine technology engineer, was murdered at home, where no traces are found, so espionage is feared. His wife Magda left him with the baby ... See full summary »


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Title: Random on Purpose (24 Nov 2009)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Smith
Ted Brock
Gretchen Jenkins
Magda McEllon
Adrian LaTourelle ...
Frank McEllon
Steampunk Barback


Navy chief petty officer Frank McEllon, a top submarine technology engineer, was murdered at home, where no traces are found, so espionage is feared. His wife Magda left him with the baby and inherits his patents, a fortune. Her boyfriend Ted Brock, whom she knows as Cyrus, snooped his place three days earlier. He has a criminal record, but also a criminal alibi. Abby Sciuto arrives to pursue her theory: Frank was the 14th 'artificially random' victim in 2 years of the 'Phantom' serial killer she alone defined in her blog. the case takes an urgent turn. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

syringe | kidnapping | injection





Release Date:

24 November 2009 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Abbey Sciuto, performed by 'Pauley Perrete', is currently the only character that has appeared in JAG and subsequent spin offs. She appeared in "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown" in JAG, stars in NCIS. Now she's appears in "Random on Purpose." See more »


Hanna refers to supercavitation as something "'d really want to keep secret...". While the specifics of a particular supercavitation design might be classified, the principle is not; supercavitation has been used in hydrofoil design for over forty years and in propellers and underwater projectiles even longer. Supercavitating propellers have been used in military, racing and model boats since 1914; German engineers produced a prototype of an air to sea missile in 1940; the Russian APS underwater rifle uses a supercavitating bullet, and, more recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) solicited open bids from private contractors for a 100-knot transport submarine (the Underwater Express). Russia has a supercavitating torpedo and Iran claims to have tested one of their own, possibly based on the Russian design. See more »


Special Agent G. Callen: [just knocked him off a motorcycle] You hurt?
Ted Brock: Mm hmm.
Special Agent G. Callen: Good.
See more »


References NCIS (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Decent production quality, boring story, bad acting and disastrous characters but some creative ideas, underground but anecdotic elements, convincing and malicious Linda Hunt
12 December 2009 | by (France) – See all my reviews

I had never seen the show before and decided to watch this episode for two reasons. First because of a Gothic-punk featurette with Abby Sciuto, a character from NCIS. Moreover on Wikipedia she's described as "a paradox wrapped in an oxymoron smothered in contradictions in terms" so I thought her profile could be interesting. Second the episode summary I read mentioned patterns and a serial killer which instantly reminded me of Dexter. These elements intrigued me but now that I've seen Random on Purpose I wish I had done something else.

The production quality was correct even if I noticed some bad lighting. The major issues were the story and acting. The investigation was boring and following the male characters running all around wasn't even entertaining. However I admit that the filming and editing were dynamic and original at times. I specially liked how the scenes with the motorbike falling was "first person" filmed. The dual interview was original even if I found it too hasty. As for the acting Linda Hunt did a great job as Henrietta "Hetty" Lange, some sort of mini James Bond's M. But the other performers didn't convince me at all and I was specially disappointed by Pauley Perrette who played Abby.

It leads us to the characters. In general I found their chemistry didn't work but as I didn't know them I probably just couldn't relate. However I'm sure of something, that Abby is silly, antipathic and boring. She's some sort of dark geek, ecstasy powered. She was just too excited and jumpy. It's cute with a little girl but watching a woman acting like that was just painful to watch. So she wasn't the smart and funny babe I hope she would be. The only scene with her I liked was at the "Steampunk" club because I thought its underground universe was believable and refreshing. I specially enjoyed how the clubbers nicknamed the others. "Muggles" if I understood correctly. It reminded me of Harry Potter but I was probably hallucinating. In fact I don't get why the writers didn't focus more on the relationship between the dark scene and the killer. It would have definitely brought some contrast and depth to that too shiny story.

So overall once I'm done with this review I'll quickly forget about it. There were some high-end technology to appeal the geeks, like the large touch screens, but it was nothing like in CSI: NY because it felt like the characters were just showing off. They just didn't look like special agents and in general I wish the show had less muscle and more brain. Moreover Hetty's role was far too anecdotic when she's the only character I really liked.

3 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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