Review: NCISLA “The Livelong Day” (S5E7)
It’s been trains, planes and automobiles this season for NCIS Los Angeles. Shane Brennan called this the most challenging episode to date, having to use real trains which made filming complicated but a spectacular experience for the cast and crew. Stunt Coordinator, Troy Brown had his work cut out for him too with a series of heart stopping stunts during this episode. The title, Livelong Day comes from an old American folk song, I’ve been working on the Railroad (Eric serenades the group with part of the song) and it’s a clever title too considering the subject matter. Written by Joe Sachs, this is his first script of the new season, with veteran director Dennis Smith taking the helm.
This week, we find Deeks has a fascination with the science of astrology and how it is affecting the actions of his team mates. Mercury is evidently in retrograde, according to Deeks. (Sam: I think you’re in retrograde) Of course, this sets up a series of barbs by the group who find his interest more than amusing which contributes to a series of horoscope and retrograde jokes. I usually have a problem with the group ganging up on Deeks and his new age beliefs, but this time it was done in good taste and a little bit of me felt like he may have deserved it. (Sam: Mercury’s a bitch, ain’t it?)
Densi was in rare form in this episode as well. I haven’t laughed this much watching them work together, and it was a real treat. Seeing them back in action again and enjoying the partnership was also special. Deeks is back and has definitely hit his stride, whether it was with an annoyed private detective or going undercover as a germophobe geek! Parted hair and black rimmed glasses were never so sexy! Ha! It seemed Kensi found it amusing as well. She just couldn’t take that silly grin off her face every time Deeks took off with his techno babble diatribes. I actually loved the lunch box… a man after my own heart! But really, Deeks? Dry ice in the lunch box? I think you deserved that shot in the head with the apple this time. (Deeks: That anger management class was money well spent… or not.) Still waiting for THE conversation… but you won’t find it in this episode apparently.
Joe Sachs is slowly becoming my all-time favorite at writing the most entertaining Densi dialogue around. It was sharp, clean and hilarious. Let’s not forget Eric Christian Olsen, who was also brilliant and used his specially honed comic timing to shine next to Daniela Ruah’s straight (wo)man. They were both wonderful to watch, but Olsen’s work was definitely the highlight of this episode for me and he easily stole the show! The panic attack was hysterical. (I smell toast. Do you smell toast? Why do I smell toast? I’m having a stroke?) This episode surely made up for the lack luster offering last week… it was a win-win for the cast and crew all the way around.
Show’s Synopsis: Rumors of Al-Qaeda targeting rail lines in Europe are now surfacing in Los Angeles. Although trains are a soft target, terroristic attacks can produce mass casualties. The team has to find a group who were trespassing in a train yard the night before and killed a security guard. The suspect at large was tagged as a whistle blower and fired by the train company. He looks like he is seeking revenge but his partner(s) take his vengeance to the next level. It was an exciting ending as the team deal with a high jacked, runaway train headed to Los Angeles and into a cache of explosives. You couldn’t help but hold your breath as Sam jumped away from the train at the last second. It was an electrifying episode all around. From all the twitter feeds it seemed like the crew had a great time filming this episode and it showed. Nice work guys.
Moments to Mention:
• Eric never ceases to amaze me with how many different kinds of whistles he can find to annoy the crew! And he was still wearing his shorts? Good for you, Beale! Don’t let Hetty boss you around….lol!
• The private eye scene was comical to listen to with ECO giving an amusing performance. Do you notice how much more verbal Deeks is these days? (Deeks: Retired LAPD? You’re a cop, I’m a cop. Law man. Blue Knight. Hot fuzz! PI: What is he like rain man or something?)
• We find Deeks has another passion from his childhood days…an Airfix HO scale 262 prairie tank…..
• … and he also hates Thomas the Tank! (Deeks: Thomas has a face. Trains shouldn’t have a face and they shouldn’t talk!)
• Just when you think things can’t any better with Densi, Kensi shoves Deeks in a bathroom stall. (Deeks: Most ladies buy me a couple of drinks first.) Finally, a little love gesture in trying to annoy her by touching her ear! Beautiful!
• Hetty can be just as much of a kid as her LAPD liaison when she finds the switch that sets the rare train set into motion. It was definitely one of the more memorable Hetty episodic endings!
Densi Face to Face:
Deeks: You wouldn’t understand, you’re a Leo.
Kensi: That’s right! Lion! King of the jungle!
Deeks: Full of fire and aggression, has to right even when she isn’t, even especially when she isn’t.
Kensi: What does that make you?
Deeks: I’m a Capricorn.
Kensi: What is that? The unicorn’s inbred cousin?
Deeks: No that’s a completely different animal, I’m the ram.
Kensi: I see, so scruffy, annoying bleat…
Deeks: Stable, steady, loyal, connected with the earth. Also, Leos drive Capricorns crazy.
Kensi: Yes, well apparently vice versa.
Deeks: Slow down.
Kensi: You slow down, goat boy!
Deeks: Don’t you worry your pretty little head.
Kensi: Those words always scare me.
Sam: It’s kind of early for you Deeks.
Deeks: Well you can’t be too careful, Mercury is in retrograde.
Deeks: A few times a year the planet seems to be traveling backwards in the zodiac causing our plans to go awry.
Sam: Seriously? I think you’re in retrograde.
Deeks: Mock, mock, mock… but when Mercury is in retrograde and traveling backwards, everything goes caddywhompus… so stay flexible and allow for extra traveling time.
Deeks: I think I can, I think I can… boom!
Classic Deeks and Hetty:
Hetty: Careful out there. Mercury is in retrograde.
Deeks: See! Hetty knows about… oh you’re messing… damn it! (Et tu Hetty?)
Title: “The Livelong Day”
Writer: Joe Sachs
Director: Dennis Smith
Original Air Date: November 5, 2013
Diane Volpe is Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks.com. Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi
aweosme review. Deeks is getting better with every passing episode. loved hetty messing with deeks. I never thought I will hear densi talking about their zodiac but it happened and I was way too much funny. Now I know one thing, only expect the unexpected from densi. loved the episode
I LOVED this episode! Deeks was capable and funny and just great! I laughed when Eric blew the train whistle! and Hetty was even being funny. I love that it seems that Deeks is the only one who is able to joke with Hetty. No one else seems to want to go there and our detective just barrels right along.
Did anyone notice though Deeks obsessively straightening out his desk at the very beginning? all OCD like? another symptom of ptsd? I think the writers are dropping hints that he still isn’t ok.
And I died laughing when Deeks flushed the toilet on Kensi!!
Another great review and I definitely agree with your take on it. It was tight and full of action and funny; a great combination. They actually found a way to make Deeks look like a geek and ECO ran with it. He was a hilarious motormouth and so believable and irritating in a funny sort of way. Those glasses were magic.
I did notice his obsessive desk straightening that Carrie mentioned. Not sure if it was because of the PTSD or because Mercury was in retrograde and he was trying to be prepared.
Sam staying on the train tracks until the last minute was scary and I was actually holding my breath because it looked like his last second jump was awfully close. I know the stunt coordinator is very confident, but that was a heart pounding scene. Well done.
I can’t believe I forgot about Sam’s brush with disaster! I was holding my breath as well!!
Thanks for all your great comments! It was a wonderful episode and I’m looking forward to next week and what’s going to happen next.
Excellent review! I enjoyed this episode if I take it on its own, without factoring in the progression (or lack thereof) of Deeks and his PTSD. The undercover scenes were so hilarious. Deeks really seemed to be having fun, enjoying working with Kensi (and getting her to react to his antics). He seemed genuinely happy for the first time this season, and it was lovely to see. And as you pointed out, Di, Kensi could barely contain her smiles in order to maintain her own cover. The bathroom scene was classic Densi, and I laughed so hard when she threw the apple at him. It was great.
I also loved the look on his face when he took in the toy train. It was like a glimpse of Deeks as a little boy. I was annoyed by the ending though, when for the third consecutive episode, Deeks had his toy taken away. Not cool!
And good point, Sweet Lu, about the shot of Sam diving away from the train. That was very nicely put together.
OK, and just a short rant about the season-to-date status of Deeks’ mental health. I really want to believe the writers have a plan, I really do. But it so feels like they don’t, like we’re getting a few random episodes that don’t fit in with whatever is coming up in a few weeks. Patience, patience. I must remain patient.