Wow. That picture is quite disturbing and based on that it would appear that the torture scene was utterly brutal and over-the-top. But ... one picture of one second doesn't properly reflect the scene in its entirety.
The morning after the NCIS: Los Angeles season 4 finale, "Descent," I went to read the comments on my review and was taken aback by what I found: many people were highly disturbed with the torture of Sam and particularly Deeks. I saw the scene as part of the story and didn't even consider the possibility that it would be controversial. But I appeared to be in the minority.
Check out the article I wrote about the NCIS:LA torture scene, as well as, several other that were shown on television this season. Also, stop by TV Fanatic and read my NCIS: Los Angeles report card for season 4.
NCIS: Los Angeles has been renewed for season 5 and will return to CBS on Tuesdays this Fall.