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Review: NCISLA “Impact” (S5E2)


Last week’s episode was an emotional roller coaster rider for most fans of the show. If I had to go by the comments from my last review of Ascension, I would say you were all pretty taken back by all the raw emotions (or lack thereof by certain team members) that were displayed on screen last week. But frankly, Deeks’ reaction to the violence he encountered hit a nerve with everyone on that team, even if they all had different ways of showing it. According to Shane Brennan, Impact takes place four months AS (After Sidorov) and Deeks is not handling the ordeal any better than when Kensi first found him in the Mission carrying that box around in a dazed stupor. It’s time to bring in the big guns, and Nate Getz returns to grace the Mission halls once again in order to help the team get back on its feet. But will it be enough?

But life goes on and the team has to concentrate on their new case…the death of a former maverick Navy Admiral and journalist who were killed in a plane crash. Sam feels ready to take on the new case but Hetty has sent in Nate for one finally screening of the durable Sam Hanna who is tired of shrinks and ready to serve. But Hetty knows the downside of not being fully vigilant when taking care of the body and convinces Sam to meet with Nate. Sam wants the whole thing to be over and done with and feels uncomfortable by how nice everyone has been to him….actually too nice. Nate tries to explain how trauma works but Sam is a practical man. To survive is to let go. Although he fears what any future damage can do to him….for now the hard part is over. Not so with Deeks.

Hetty has a little visit with the off the grid Deeks and tries her best to understand what horrors he is still reliving. (Will somebody please tell me what she was doing hiding behind those curtains?) In the end she has to lay her cards on the table. She needs Deeks back or the team will have to go on permanently without him. But Hetty is worried and realizes there is a violent storm going on in Deeks’ head. He’s going to need more than relaxation tapes and Hetty doesn’t want him back if he can’t return as the Deeks we all know and love. That could be a tall order.

Meanwhile, Kensi is partnered with Callen at the scene of the crash and laments that she can’t get through to Deeks, even leaving cronuts on his doorstep. Callen tries to reassure her but neither of them really knows the full toll the violence has taken on their respective partners.

At the crash site, the plane’s black box is missing. Nell discovers that there was also a journalist (Jason Carter) on board who had been writing about the war in Afghanistan and was also the ghost writer of the Admiral’s memoirs. Eric is right….someone doesn’t want this book published. Callen and Kensi finds Carter’s apartment has been burned and gutted and his stunned girlfriend has no answers as to why someone might want him dead. Eric discovers that all of Carter’s virtual information has been erased leaving the man a ghost of his former self. On top of that, the block box was stolen proving that the crash was sabotage.

A digital recorder is found in the plane debris with talks of cover ups and war crimes by people who would kill to keep those kinds of secrets. The culprits were able to sabotage the tower’s communications systems and the jet’s instrument systems. Even Eric is amazed by their tech savvy. Callen decides to bait the killers by using the media and Carter’s girlfriend as the source for further damaging information. No surprise the killers take the bait and the sting is a success. I loved Callen being able to read the mind of one of the assassins…he must have been right on by the look on the guy’s face! The raid caught the small fish which hopefully will lead them one day to the larger fish and ultimately those responsible for the crime.

Solving this crime was just the backdrop to the larger issue of trying to get the team back on it’s feet again as a working unit. After Sam, Nate knows he had his work cut out for him. The conversation been Deeks and Nate was real and very raw. Deeks knows he’s in big trouble and has no faith in Nate’s help because he can’t even help himself! Deeks has always been able to survive on brains and instinct his whole life but this is a different ballgame. The trauma is bringing up everything now, even events that go back to his childhood days. The Post Traumatic Stress is kicking in big time and Nate tries to explain how it works and how long it will last but his explanation is not very comforting to Deeks. Nate tries to draw Deeks into talking about his partnership with Kensi and what it means to him. It seems finding the answer to that question may be Deeks way out of the long dark tunnel he’s in. Is he too close to return to Kensi? Why? Is he ashamed as to what happened? Is this what this is all about? It was a heartbreaking conversation all around.

Food, horror movies and cronuts…the recipe that finally gets Deeks to sleep. I assume Nate later encouraged Kensi to visit with Deeks and Deeks took Nate’s conversation to heart as well and opens his front door to let her in. But why didn’t Kensi think to do this a whole lot sooner?? She might have saved the poor man months of sleepless nights! There were so many great lines between the two of them here…too many to record. The most important thing was Kensi was able to reestablish the trust that was lost between her and her partner, allowing Deeks to relax and drift off into sleep. This was probably the sweetest scene ever filmed between the two of them and it warms the heart. Such a huge contrast to the last few episodes. But don’t let this fool you. Deeks still has a long ways to go…and there’s a long season ahead of us too. So what happens next? I hope it’s a love story but at least for now we can all take a big breath in and exhale.

Show Highlights:
• Eric trying to walk in big boy pants had me reliving an old Monty Python sketch. So much fun!
• There was a lot of tough love going around in Hetty’s heart-to-heart with Deeks. More of a maternal talk than supervisor, wouldn’t you say?
• Eric certainly does have a death wish after calling the cam hidden in the garden gnome a Hetty cam! Miss Lange was not amused!

Best Lines from the Show:
Deeks: Hetty! What are you doing?
Hetty: I thought I would brave the monsoon to come check on you?
Deeks: Storm sounds make it easier for you to fall…
Hetty: Are you having trouble sleeping?
Deeks: Yeah, I’d say I have a little case of insomnia.
Hetty: Probably all that clenching and releasing. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, you’ve been busy!

Eric: This is some serious voodoo. I’m talking black bag, Kung Foo, ninja warrior assassin black bag.
Callen: Do you have any idea what he’s saying?
Kensi: I really don’t but I think it’s bad.
Callen: Either that or his motherboard is fried.

Sam: I want a job where it’s an accomplishment to leave my pants on.
Eric: I have sensitive thighs.
Callen: He has sensitive thighs.

Densi Moments:

So what’s going on with Kensi? Is she really thinking of dating and did she already forget Deeks’ kiss or words of endearment from four months ago? Kensi is a complicated woman, and you can’t judge her by her outward actions. The real stuff is hidden deep under all that emotional armor. Besides the abandonment issues leftover from Jack and her father, Deeks has also told her he just wants to get away from everything and everybody. Kensi is probably thinking… oh boy, here we go again. So, she forgets the kiss ever happen and marches on like a good little soldier instead of getting hurt. What complicates Kensi’s actions even more is that she is also a federal cop who keeps the world safe by being invulnerable. Vulnerability equals death… so most law enforcement officials armor up, both mentally and physically in order to go out and perform their jobs affectively. When loves enters the picture, it’s sometimes hard to remove that cloak of invulnerability but in Kensi’s case she wraps it around closer, shuts down and isolates herself from all emotions. Kensi finds it easier to push back on Deeks’ declaration of love… his vulnerable side, than to go to that scary place. She will have to learn that to wake up every day and love someone is a very soul bearing thing to do and she is just not able to make that happen yet. In the last scene, Kensi takes a bold step forward in removing that cloak of invulnerability. If the two are ever to have any chance of love story together she has to continue to let Deeks see that other side of her that she keeps hidden deep inside. The question is… is it too late for any hope of a relationship due to her inability to express her love or is Deeks too damaged to accept it? And the speculation continues…

It was great to find Jonathan Frakes behind the camera again. Come back next week for my review on Omni (5X03). See you then!


Title: “Impact”
Writer: Sara Servi, R. Scott Gemmill
Director: Jonathan Frakes
Original Air Date: October 1, 2013


Diane Volpe is Contributing Editor at Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi

About Diane (416 Articles)
Founder, Writer and Contributing Editor of wikiDeeks. Always wanted to put together a talented team of writers and graphic designers who loved NCISLA and Marty Deeks in particular! My dream came true! Hope you enjoy what we have created!

5 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Impact” (S5E2)

  1. This was such a great episode. The final scene with Kensi and Deeks was done so naturally. Great to see these two being real with each other!


  2. Great review. I liked all your comments about Kensi and how she struggles allowing herself to show any vulnerability. That final scene is my all-time favorite of the entire series. It perfectly captures everything that is wonderful about the two of them. It truly was like a million fan fiction stories come to life. I had hoped that this season we’d see a pushier Kensi trying to prod her partner back to his old self, a role reversal of sorts, and this appeared to be the start of that. The way she repeated “watch it with me… watch it with me” totally reminded me of the way Deeks has pestered her into doing something he wanted in the past. When he finally caves in on watching the movie, she even borrows one of his favorite words, “Awesome.” The way he seemed to revel in the normalcy of their banter just warmed my heart so much. And when he fell asleep? That was ridiculous, complete, over-the-top sweetness. It was a little dose of the comfort I had been craving for the past four and a half months ever since Descent.

    On the other hand, I felt completely betrayed by Hetty throughout the episode. It made me think that I need to reevaluate everything I ever thought about her and about her relationship with Deeks. She was so cold towards him and when talking about him. First at Deeks’ house, 1) how cruel is it to startle someone who’s just been through a traumatic experience, and 2) she was so cool towards him and his insomnia, as if she were gathering evidence to fire him. She hardly said anything to indicate that she was worried about him or cared about him; she just tried to make him feel guilty about abandoning Kensi. Her seemingly single-minded focus on whether or not she could re-assemble her team felt incredibly cold and calculating to me. At least she left with a small smile of support and the line about hoping the storm would pass without too much damage.

    Then, the line to Nate about not wanting him back again seemed so cold. I get that she needs to look out for the team, but she’s talking about a man who just saved Sam’s life and his wife’s and who helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives in the process. She owes him a hell of a lot, and I got no sense that she felt at all responsible for helping him or that she even cared. I mean, I could see her saying those words, but only if they were accompanied by “I’m really concerned about him and want to make sure he has all the help he needs.” Then at the end questioning Nate about Densi, as if she didn’t write the “sunshine and gunpowder” note. What’s that about? Just as in Descent I turned on Sam, I’m afraid I’ve turned even more dramatically on Hetty. I’ve always treasured her relationship with Deeks, and here she made me incredibly sad and disappointed.


  3. I think that Food, horror movies and cronuts are not the main reason to get Deeks to sleep. Although he did many things to try to fall to sleep, he still couldn’t. But Kensi just come and he easily relax and drift off into sleep. She’s the reason why he can have a break.


  4. And it’s great to read your review. It’s amazing. You see the other side I can’t see despite we both watch the same episode.


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