The opening scene has a somber feel to it as we watch Deeks walking tentatively through the Mission doors on his first day back at work after weeks of physical recovery. We’re still not sure about his mental health at this point or if he is still working through the various stages of post-traumatic stress. Neither is Hetty, for that matter. As he looks around the room with uncertainty, he is greeted by his supervisor who wants to know if he is returning to work or leaving for good. Deeks clearly is having second thoughts and a whole lot of conflicting emotions as he tries to force himself to return to his normal routine. He knows the benefits of taking his new life one day at a time and tells Hetty he will let her know his decision tomorrow…he just has to get through today first.
As Deeks tries out his new weapon in the firing range, you can almost see the doubt in his eyes as he struggles to shoot his paper bad guys. Kensi watches with concern from outside the room. Even when she greets him and tries to make a joke, Deeks is unusually subdued. He definitely doesn’t want her to see his hesitancy or any weakness that he may project in returning to the field.
Sam is a bit over the top in welcoming Deeks back to the team….but his hug is sincere and it’s obvious he wants to mend some fences with Deeks. Callen on the other hand is a bit reticent in greeting Deeks back just yet. He interrogates Hetty and voices his concern but she forces Callen to deal with Deeks’ return. It will be his responsibility to make sure Deeks can hack it in the field and he knows it. Callen probably feels he has enough to do without babysitting Deeks but he doesn’t have a choice as Hetty pushes him out the door.
Kensi seems happy enough with her partner’s return and even makes a back to work gesture allowing Deeks to pick his favorite lunch spot. Although she jibes Deeks at his choice of restaurant (Good idea, ease your way into solid foods), Kensi isn’t really known for making jokes at other people’s expense. So it was a surprise to Deeks that she had been saving up a number of torture wise cracks for his return. When Kensi leads with her strange laugh, you know she’s uncomfortable and out of her league. The only real thing she said was by mistake when she tells Deeks she missed him. Unfortunately, she made a quick recovery by saying she missed beating up on him. It was a perfect chance for her to express her true feelings but the moment slipped by awkwardly. Deeks seems slightly annoyed but really not ready to press the issue either.
As Sam and Callen watch Kensi and Deeks get their groove back as partners, Callen is still contemplating over whether or not Deeks can make a successful comeback. Sam tries to assure Callen that he has seen guys go through worse but Callen is definitely not convinced. When Deeks hesitates to take the shot in a shootout with one of the terrorists he looks unsure of his ability but claims taking the shot would have been overkill and he didn’t have the right angle. Kensi wants to believe him when he tells her he is ok but now she has the same misgivings as Callen. Deeks tries to joke about his condition for the first time since his return (I haven’t wet the bed in over a week and the voices in my head have all but gone away!) but the look on Callen’s face says it all.
The final scene was a bit of a surprise when Callen bluntly states he doesn’t want Deeks back with the team until he’s ready. He’s afraid for the safety of the team and for Deeks. At first I was pretty taken back with Callen’s insensitivity. It was a difficult moment as Deeks looks every which way except into Callen’s eyes. I was relieved when Deeks finally pulled every bit of courage from the bottom of his soul to tell his team leader that he’s ready to be back in no uncertain words. He matched Callen’s plain talk with his own. Those were exactly the words Callen wanted to hear and the tough love worked. I liked Sam keeping watch in the background. He is determined to have Deeks’ back throughout his recovery. Welcome back Mr. Deeks.
The CEO of a Biotech company is working on a highly classified vaccine project which if gotten into the wrong hands could make the terrorists invulnerable to attacks. When the CEO, is killed the team seeks to find a suspected criminal group called Omni. The team goes into action and discovers Omni is not the culprit but actually the CEO’s partner who sets up the criminal group allowing him to take over the Biotech company. This episode marks the reunion of first time screenwriter, Harimoto with director, Tang who previously worked together on another procedural drama, Hawaii 5-0. I’m looking forward to Harimoto’s next offering.
• The racetrack scenes and the procuring of Hetty’s Ferrari added a fun touch to this episode. It was amusing to see Callen and Sam arguing over who would fit into the Cobra to go undercover at the race club. Hetty leaning over to whisper to her car was priceless. (Hello, gorgeous!)
• Bikini clad girls swimming above glass ceilings was an interesting touch. (Sam: Deeks is going to kill himself for missing this one.)
• IS THAT MY COBRA? Didn’t you love Hetty mimicking Kensi as she put the car through its paces on the track?
Densi Face to Face:
Deeks: Get it out of your system… let’s hear it.
Kensi: Do your new teeth have satellite radio or just terrestrial… do you think a surf board company makes a leash for your gun…. would you have screamed louder if they had cut your bangs!??
Deeks: Wow, you done?
Kensi: Nowhere near but it feels good.
Classic Hetty & Deeks:
I’d like to think Hetty arrived early every day to put his gun back on his desk in hopes that day would be the day he returned. The gift represents the faith she still has in him to make a full recovery and return even stronger to the fold. Make no doubt about it, she ascribes to the old saying that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. She’s hoping that pertains particularly to Deeks.
Calling out to his team members as they walk away:
You know Deeks…that was crazy man, you just saved that woman’s life and fell down a 90 foot cliff. What? Don’t worry about it, this is just the job. It’s what I do, break hearts and save lives. Just knowing you guys care is enough. What does it mean when you have shooting pain going down your back and you can’t feel your legs?
Writer: Kyle Harimoto
Director: Larry Teng
Original Air Date: October 8, 2013
Diane Volpe is Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks.com. Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi