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Review: NCISLA “Merry Evasion” (S5E12)

We ended last week’s episode with Deeks and Kensi both looking  at the same sweet pictures of each other in happier times together. Like the song, even though they are far apart, it helps thinking they may both be looking up at the heavens and wishing on the same star. It was a poignant moment and we all heaved a heavy sigh wishing that the two lovers were back in the same country enjoying each other’s company instead of pining for each other so many miles away. But the mission must go on, and despite this festive time of year, the entire team learns to adapt and embrace change. The change comes in the form of a temporary partnership as Deeks is paired with Nell Jones who continues her agent in the field training. I’ve been looking forward to watching what happens when these two are matched together because I had a feeling that Deeks would be the perfect teacher for any new recruit and with his sense of humor and patience it could be a delightful pairing…and I wasn’t disappointed.

Mele Kalikimaka, boys!

The holiday episode, penned by Kyle Harimoto unites him with veteran director, Karen Gaviola and both help to create a delightful story with lots of action. The team must investigate the attack on a senator’s daughter (Lily) and the State Department wants to see if it is more than a home invasion or if there is a connection to the senator’s cyber warfare crackdown. While Sam and Callen take Lily into protective custody, Hetty quickly assigns Deeks and Jones to interview the Senator (to Nell’s delight). Deeks isn’t so sure about the pairing and the wisecracks are flying (I’m with you, Velma!).


Things aren’t great between the senator and his daughter as both teams find out and it’s obvious from the second attempt to abduct Lilly that this isn’t just a random kidnapping….this girl is in trouble. Callen and Sam are hard pressed to keep her safe from her abductors and having to find inventive ways to keep her on the move. The trio is running dark and the agents have to protect her without the help of the rest of the team.

I Never Found His Head….

Quick cut to Afghanistan where we continue Kensi’s story line and her connection to the White Ghost. Granger is mumbling about modern day comforts and Kensi is wishing she was anywhere but with her boss… the expression on her face is telling. That same expression changes to surprise when Agent Sabatino abruptly comes back into her life. Sabatino has been working on this mission for the past three months and tells her what happen to the guy she came to replace.  Kensi is having second thoughts about her role in all this and realizes this op is going to get messy…real quick. Granger reminds her she is working in a war zone and that all bets are off. This has quickly become one of the most dangerous missions Kensi has ever worked and Deeks was right to be more than just a little worried about her safety.  Although after Sabatino’s unsuccessful attempt at enticing Kensi on ‘getting together’ later, I have to wonder what else Deeks should be worried about!

Where’s Nell when you need her?

Up in Ops, Eric is having his own set of problems having to work solo and alone without Nell.  Lilly’s abductors have been identified as Bosnian nationals by Interpol. Out in the field, Deeks is explaining the merits of urban tracking to Nell as they try and follow Callen and Sam’s movements throughout the city. Nell has a few tricks up her sleeve after reading some classified intel and tells Deeks she thinks she knows where Callen may be heading. It seems even Deeks can learn something new from his junior partner.

Nell was right… From his time spent with the CIA, Callen knows where to find a cache of weapons and phones that are hidden around the city by his old agency in some very functional locations.  (I don’t know about you, but I won’t ever look at a utility box in the same way again!) With reinforcement in tow, they circle back to apprehend the rest of the criminals and it’s not pretty after they find out that the Senator may be in cahoots with the Bosnian nationals. But it turns out to be a story of revenge and retribution because of a long standing grudge held by one Bosnian in particular.  A family vendetta? Callen knows all too well about that kind of reprisal. The team will be able to collect on a few favors in the future and I’m sure they will call the Senator on his promise eventually one day.

Monty Made a Pot Roast!

It’s Christmas back in Afghanistan and Granger is grumpy, Kensi is homesick and Sabatino is trying to impress the team with his down home country cooking (Bearded vulture? Really? No thank you!). When Kensi finds there is mail waiting for her, she goes running to her bunk. There was so much speculation all week long about what was in the box and who sent it… I think I was a little surprised it was from Hetty. The Christmas cake tin turns into a secure phone and direct line to the Ops Manager who tells Kensi there may be a leak in her unit and wants her to smoke them out. But Hetty also has one last special present for Kensi… and it’s Deeks! Although the banter is awkward between the two sweethearts, you can tell they are both overwhelmed at the sound of each other’s voices. We don’t get to hear the ending of this call but the gift turns out to be the best present in the world for this boy and girl. It seems Hetty is not so cold hearted as we originally thought! Wait until Monty finds out Deeks got to talk with Kensi!  Maybe he will stop moping around the house listening to Tory Amos all day!  Gotta love Deeks!

Memorable Moments

  • I enjoyed the beginnings of a possible new threesome-bromance going on between Deeks, Callen and Sam. Even Callen seems to be appreciating Deeks support while trying to explain Christmas card protocol to Sam. The Three Stooges? Well, maybe not yet… but they are getting close!
  • No elf ears this Christmas but I’m loving the reindeer antlers on Eric! Perfect.
  • Looks like Eric is getting the Gorgon stare from Hetty these days when he tries to understand why Nell had to go out in the field again.  Give it up Beale! You’ll get nothing from your fearless leader!
  • Nice to see Hetty out in the field again too. I don’t think she will ever let aging stop her!
  • Loved hearing Kensi call Granger a Grinch! I think we have a new nickname for the man… LOL!
  • Ha!! Deeks singing! The Little Saint Nick was one of the songs I grew up singing as well, along with the Beach Boys. How appropriate for this beach boy!

Deeks and Kensi Head to Head

Deeks is missing Kensi but still finds time to make fun of her vacation choices:

Deeks: Last spring Kensi used her vacation days to go to this urban tracking class. She couldn’t stop talking about baseline which is a big part of urban tracking.
Nell: Go Kens!
Deeks: Honestly! Who does that for fun? You know what I mean? If you give me a week’s vacation I’m going to the beach. I don’t care if it is the left coast or the right coast. There’s got to be sand, there’s got to be surf and there has definitely got to be ladies with bikinis.

Classic Deeks

Deeks: Mele Kalikimaka boys!
Sam: Deeks what do you do with the holiday cards you get?
Deeks: What are you talking about? I display them on my fireplace.
Callen: Thank you!
Deeks: Oh wait, let me guess. You’re making holiday lanyards out of a paracord and then hanging the cards on those… you see red and green paracords would be sick.
Callen: That’s not a bad idea!
Deeks: That’s what I’m talking about.
Sam: OK, if, and I emphasize if I was to display them… how long would I have to keep them up?
Eric: January third.
Sam: January third?!!
Deeks/Callen: Minimum!

——

Deeks: Wow! That is a lot of brandy. You can’t even technically call it egg nog at this point.
Nell: Pull up your skirt and drink.
Deeks: Oh wow, well played.
Nell: Now look, I know it’s going to take me awhile to get to Kensi’s level.
Deeks: Not without a booster seat.
Nell: Wow!

Classic Hetty and Deeks

Hetty: And you two can go interview the Senator.
Deeks: The two… you mean the two of me?
Hetty: I want you and Nell to see the Senator. Find out if he knows anything about the PLA threats.
Deeks: Me and Nell-asaurus?
Hetty: Yes. I move fast, Mr. Deeks. You got to keep up.
Nell: Let’s go Shaggy.
Deeks: Well played. I’m with you Velma. Just for the record this is a terrific idea… terrific.

Well, we have a few weeks off for the holiday and we won’t return with another review until January 14. Be sure to stop by later this week to read Deeks Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal. Find out their thoughts after Kensi opens her present from Hetty! Also we have a few holiday fan fics coming up from Sweet Lu and yours truly… so don’t go too far. Keep the home fires burning and have a great holiday all!

 


EPISODE INFO
Title: “Merry Evasion”
Writer: Kyle Harimoto
Director: Karen Gaviola
Original Air Date: December 17, 2013


Diane

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

About Diane (316 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!

21 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Merry Evasion” (S5E12)

  1. Great Review Diane! Another great episode and I like you, really enjoyed many parts of it, from the guys new bromance to the new partnership between Deeks/Nell. Of course the best part was the end scene!

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  2. Here’s my thoughts on everything that went down this episode:

    This week’s episode of ‘NCIS:LA’ was the final one before its winter hiatus and definitely a great holiday present for fans of the show, especially those who love the Deeks/Kensi (aka Densi) relationship. Not only did the episode feature a great case of the week, with a great guest star in ‘Buffy’ alum Michelle Trachtenberg, but it also ended with a Densi moment that was just about perfect, given their current situation.

    It seems that everyone at the home office in LA is adjusting to life without Kensi around and it’s not just Deeks that is affected. It’s nice to see the entire team bonding a bit more with each other and Deeks even getting a new partner. I really enjoyed the pairing of Deeks and Nell, if only for the sight gag alone of seeing Eric Christian Olsen walking around next to the much shorter Renee Smith. But Nell proved herself once again in the field and I hope their partnership lasts through the Deeks/Kensi break. Deeks seems to do well when he’s working alongside a strong woman and Nell should fill the Kensi-void nicely until we have Densi reunited.

    In the meantime Sam and Callen seemed left to their own devices for most of the episode as they protected Trachtenberg’s character, the daughter of a senator. It was nice to see the boys out in the field and their partnership had never been stronger as they worked together to keep the girl safe, even after getting communication to the home base cut off. These are highly skilled agents and we definitely were reminded of that fact last night and saw their training pay off.

    So that covers most of the team and how they are living without Kensi, but what about Kensi herself? How’s she faring? Well not so good in the beginning of the episode. She’s dealing with Granger, no one’s favorite, and only getting bits and pieces of information about her mission. That is until Sabatino shows up and she ends up learning the guy on the mission before her was beheaded. It looks like Deeks was right to be worried about her safety and Kensi goes on the alert about the mission. At least by the end of the episode it seems like Kensi is starting to find her footing and deal with the situation she’s found herself in.

    However, as soon as she hears she has a package from home she rushes to open it and finds a phone. I really liked the writers gave us a bit of a “surprise” in having the gift be from Hetty. It was also interesting to learn Hetty thinks there’s a mole on Kensi’s mission and that’s why she’s assigned Kensi in the first place. So any fans thinking Hetty wasn’t a fan of Densi and is punishing them by sending Kensi away learned how well intentioned Hetty actually is last night. I personally have always found Hetty to be a fan of Densi and it certainly came through last night.

    That leads us to the best scene of the night and the aforementioned “gift” for Densi lovers out there, the phone call at the end between Kensi and Deeks. Watching that end scene as Deeks and Kensi nervously talked to one another with huge grins on their faces would make even the grinchiest of people (I’m looking at you Granger!) smile. It’s great to know that these two aren’t completely out of touch while Kensi’s away and I hope to see many more phone calls to tide us over until their inevitable reunion.

    So thank you ‘NCIS:LA’ for a great episode to tide us over until the New Year. The first half of season 5 has been very strong and there are some definite arcs that have been set up that I look forward to playing out in the second half. But until then, at least we’ve got that phone call…

    I hope everyone will join me rating & discussing the episode at ShowRatingsTV as well: http://showratings.tv/show/ncis-los-angeles/5/12/
    Let’s get the NCIS:LA rating up where it belongs!

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  3. Love your review as always! I think I am pretty much on the same page as you in regards to the episode. It was a great holiday episode. Michelle Trachtenberg did a great job!

    Can I just say though that I saw the last sentence and squealed a little at a fanfic from both you and one from Sweet Lu coming? best.part.ever. of the review! yay!

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  4. Great job Diane like always. I really enjoyed this episode. I liked the bromance in the very beginning. I enjoyed the run-n-hide with its loads of explosions. And I found really interesting Nell’s day out in the field. At first I was quite disappointed that we wouldn’t get enough Deeks as the episode circled around Sam, Callen and Lilly but I spoke too soon!

    Nell seems to have what it takes to become a field agent. She is skillful with the gun, patient, calm and resortful. Deeks makes the perfect teacher for her and I loved their banter (even though it is not Densi level of course). I liked how he kept responding with “well played” instead of “touche”. It would have ruined it for me.

    Now that Eric has experienced loneliness maybe he will show some sympathy for poor Deeks.

    At first I was furious at Hetty again!!!!!!! I hope she wasn’t aware of the previous sniper’s unfortunate fate, cause if she knows but still sent Kensi on a suicide mission I will be pissed. Despite that her gift was priceless and heartbreaking.
    I was on the edge during the whole conversation. The way the camera kept on zooming off of them I was scared it was going to end at anytime.

    I don’t know what to think of Sabotino yet. It is too early to tell wether he is friend or enemy. At least he didn’t make a move on Kensi.

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  5. Everyone was questioning Hetty’s motives and actions? Fools! Was I the only one who maintained the faith and was betting the gift was from Hetty? Wow. Never question the captain of the ‘ship people!!!

    The overwhelming positive outcome from this ep (i felt) was actually the full-on bromance with Callen & Sam. This has been lacking for quite some time and I was glad to see & feel it back in play. It makes the entire team feel stronger. The Lily character was a hoot, but almost too close to Deeks at times.

    Would have loved to have seen even more from Nell, that little spitfire! When she told Deeks at the end to pull up his skirt – LOL! But the visual height difference between Deeks & Nell was nearly laughable. I was a bit worried when Deeks left Nell’s side. She’s trained agent with hardly any field experience, while he’s not officially trained but with all the street smarts. So basically you put them together and you get one great agent!

    ECO’s improvs – just stop with the brilliance!

    While I’d predicted the just the tiniest bit differently, it was more magic we all dream of. I hope one or both of the phones don’t create a problem in the future. Not that I expect to see many/any other phone calls, we can just imagine Kensi remembering Deeks’ birthday this year… & then there’s Valentine’s Day. And knowing there’s going to be at least one upcoming ep/scene with Deeks & Granger… oh boy! So much potential!

    Yet, my lingering thought is truly how much danger Kensi is really in….

    That’s all – for now!

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    • haha but but but I questioned Hetty’s motives in all previous episodes except last nights… so does that make me only half a fool? I didn’t think that the present would be from Deeks or any other member of the team only because they technically don’t know where she is. Only Hetty would 🙂

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      • and to reply to myself, I don’t think I questioned Hetty’s motives in sending Kensi to Afghanistan… Hetty wouldn’t be a very good Operations Manager if she sent her team willy nilly because of a “relationship”

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  6. I’m going to start at the end of this episode…Brilliant!! So sweet and tender and they were both so stunned to hear the other’s voice that they stumbled over what to say. It was a very realistic talk and then Deeks returns to being Deeks and tells us his holiday plans…Monty’s making a pot roast. That was funny and a little sad that his only company for the holidays is his dog. I was hoping Sam might invite him over, and maybe he did, but we just didn’t get to see him make the invitation. Sam’s toast to Kensi was poignant and Deeks sudden seriousness spoke volumes as his expressions often do. Thanks to the writer for that lovely ending.

    Now back to the beginning…well almost. That explosion was awesome! One of the best of the season. I ran it back to watch a second time. Who keeps flares in their glove compartment? Sam and Callen that’s who…the bad boys were back with a flourish in this ep. Liked Lily…perfect casting and they gave her great lines. I loved her impression about Callen growing up rich and a country club type and was surprised he didn’t correct her, but he does love to keep secrets. Loved the scene with the utility crew. Callen gave the guy a little pout and the guy just rolled over. Of course, Sam as the boss was the kicker and put a bit of strong reality behind Callen’s claim.

    Why I still love Hetty and I’m sure Gayle will agree. She smiled more in this episode then she has all season. Her comment on aging not being for “bitches” made me love her all the more and then she planned ahead and sent that phone to Kensi. Although we may love to think she sent it to allow the two lovebirds to talk, I doubt that was the main reason. I saw a shadow in her conversation with Kensi. She asks her to be on the lookout for a traitor, and then reminds her that the phone is a life line and that sounds ominous. I hope she doesn’t have to use it for that purpose, but I will continue to worry until she’s back home with Deeks. Who thinks the team will be sent to Afghanistan because Kensi is in trouble? or will Granger come back home to be paired with Deeks? So much to think about over this holiday hiatus.

    Great review Di…Thanks.

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  7. Diane, loved the review! So much going on! I absolutely loved this episode! Callen, Sam, and Deeks with the holiday cards discussion, and their brilliant work in the field keeping the senator’s daughter safe! They were quick on their feet! Awesome scene with the car explosion!! Watching L.L. run from it, was amazing! I wonder how close he actually was to that? If that was a stunt double or brilliant editing, I couldn’t tell. The pairing of Deeks and Nell was great too, since Deeks was able to be a teacher and not feel like he’s out there alone.

    And Dr. Gayle, you weren’t the only one that maintained faith in Hetty! I’m so glad to see that my defense of Hetty in my previous comments of “Iron Curtain Rising” were not in vain. From my standpoint, she is not to blame for Kensi’s departure, since it’s Granger’s doing (Hetty was forced to make that decision to protect them). I’ve always seen how Hetty has been in favor of their getting together. She just has to walk that very fine line of being a boss, making sure they are at the top of their game and being almost a mother figure; guiding her children along in the hopes they find happiness. Hetty protects all of them, like a good boss should. She didn’t want to make Deeks worry even more when he asked if Kensi was in danger (now I’m very worried about it). With Kensi gone, Deeks has had to adjust and deal with enough things and still keep it together. Why would Hetty want to make it even more difficult for him by telling him how much danger she is in? And although the phone was sent for Kensi’s protection, I love how Hetty really came through for both of them in the end, surprising them both! If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time Hetty has made it known to Kensi that she approves of their relationship. I mean Hetty could have plugged in another number, but no, it was Deeks’. Again, she can’t come out and actually say that as a boss (showing favoritism). I don’t think she ever will. Well maybe someday, depending on how far it goes.

    I couldn’t agree with you more Diane as to the awkwardness of the call between Kensi and Deeks. I was hoping it wouldn’t be awkward, but it does make sense that it was. Kensi still not expressing herself, but as someone mentioned (I can’t find it), but Deeks’ use of the word “partner” while speaking to her was also sweet. He knows Kensi all too well and that word has a special meaning between them. I loved how he had a roundabout way of saying that he missed her, by using Monty!! I can’t wait for the next episode, but I have no choice, do I?

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  8. Thanks for the great comments. I just have to add how much I loved Kensi’s sweet little giggle at the very end. She is so smitten with Deeks! It’s wonderful to see her show her love in a small but oh so profound way!

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  9. I love catching little details here and there and noticed that Deeks was driving Kensi’s car. I wonder what else he has of hers?

    Monty is just an all round good little guy isn’t he? He’s moping around for Kensi and is even making a roast for Christmas! Someday these two will get around to saying what they are truly feeling but for now, they are just attributing their feelings to someone else!

    I loved Sam and Callen on the run and the explosion was too cool!

    I have to agree that the height difference between Nell and Deeks was pretty funny. “Not without a booster seat” was a great line as well as his commentary about the egg nog smelling like a hobo. Deeks would definitely know how that smells!

    I’m looking forward to Deeks and Sam pairing up in the next ep. It’s going to be a long hiatus but I’m sure Team WikiDeeks will keep us entertained until then.

    Great review Diane!

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    • You are totally right, OMG! Deeks driving Kensi’s car!! I thought about that too! But there were so many things I enjoyed about the episode. I’d love to see Kensi confront Deeks about that when she returns.

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  10. Great review Diane. I agree with every comment.
    I loved this episode. It was much better than the prev one. Hetty surprised me, she was the Hetty I love. The “Sunshine and gunpowder” Hetty, I wonder what are her plans for Nell. Who will Nell replace? Maybe the one who will leave at the end of the season. I hope it won’t be Kensi.
    I assume Kensi will need that phone later to get out of there.
    The final scene was just as perfect and emotional as awkward. ECO and DR did a wonderful job again. January 14 is very far….

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  11. Loved the episode, and I have my suspicions about Sabatino, but did anyone notice that Deeks’ last words indicate that he knows where Kensi is?? Hindu Kush is a mountain region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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  12. But he wasn’t fishing. At least, I don’t think so. He chose to mention a very specific place. He could have mentioned any number of places where the US has military presence, but of all he picks Hindu Kush on a whim? I don’t think so. I wholeheartedly believe that he knows. And, I don’t think she would say anything to him about where she is because she’s a professional. Her job is something she takes very seriously, so when she’s assigned a classified mission, she will keep to protocol, even with Deeks. I’m very interested to see if we are given any clues as to how Deeks figured it out when new episodes resume in January.

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    • As a detective, Deeks gets paid to snoop, so maybe he found something, but I doubt that. Although he was able to guess Kensi’s dating website and found her profile pretty easily a while back. He has been pretty good at guessing things in the past. But I agree Kensi would never confirm where she’s located. I think he was either fishing or he just took a stab at it.

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  13. We all know Deeks is a pretty smart guy and I wouldn’t be surprised if he figured out where Kensi is (despite getting no intel from his fellow colleagues) but wouldn’t we have gotten more of a reaction from Kensi if he had guessed right…instead she just giggled. But maybe she giggled because she loved that he figured it out and it was her way of telling him he got it right. I don’t know….just speculating.

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  14. Awesome review, Di! And I am so enjoying everyone’s comments and speculation : ) I can’t add any more except to say the I loved the ending! I agree that it was perfectly awkward. *sigh*. And I love Hetty, always have and always will 😊. Sunshine and Gunpowder 😊

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  15. OMG The last scene. There were tears in her eyes, And there were tears in my eyes too when I saw that scene.

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