NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 1, Episode 9

Random on Purpose (24 Nov. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 161 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 »


(as Steven De Paul)


(created by),
0Check in

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Top 10 TV Shows

Brooke Anderson from "Entertainment Tonight" and Melanie McFarland take a look at the Top 10 TV Shows of 2014 in our new series "IMDb Countdown".

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 72 titles
created 20 Aug 2012
a list of 2524 titles
created 27 Aug 2013
a list of 24 titles
created 15 Sep 2013
a list of 41 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Random on Purpose (24 Nov 2009)

Random on Purpose (24 Nov 2009) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of NCIS: Los Angeles.
« Previous Episode | 9 of 132 Episodes | Next Episode »





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 | See All (3) »





Release Date:

24 November 2009 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

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 »


Callen was not needed to go undercover, therefore had no alias. Yet in the final scene where he and Sam save Abby from The Phantom, he is clearly wearing a wedding ring. The ring is still there when they return to the office and Abby thanks both Callen and Sam. See more »


Special Agent G. Callen: Who gangs up on the Director of a Federal Agency?
Henrietta 'Hetty' Lange: Oh, you'd be surprised, Mr. Callen.
Special Agent G. Callen: And who's the expert?
Abby Sciuto: [Off screen] Oops. I think I took a wrong turn. Hello?
Eric Beal: Abby? We're in here.
Abby Sciuto: [Abby enters Ops] There you are. Hi. Wow! This place is seriously cool.
See more »


References NCIS (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Deeks and Kensi borninthewrongcentury
NCIS: LA should call it quits linskiu
Is Miguel Ferrer ill? roximunro
Does this show look cheap? ReeseJohn
The Mole SashaDabinski
This or Regular NCIS situationofchaos
Discuss Random on Purpose (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: