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Review: NCISLA “Zero Days” (S5E18)


We have been focused so much this season on Deeks and his relationship with Kensi that a few of the other characters in the series have had to take a step back for most of year, playing minor and more supportive roles. So it’s great to see Eric Beale (Barrett Foa) featured prominently and taking center stage in this new episode written by one of the newest members of the writing team, Andrew Bartels. We all know of Eric’s love of video games and this time the Ops tech is witness to the brutal attack of one of his online buddies. The team suspects the perpetrators are looking for information that would help them gain control of Russia’s missile systems. In today’s political climate, this story could well play out in the real world as we get closer to revisiting former Cold War tactics. We also get to see why Deeks calls Kensi ‘the bravest’ as she intentionally allows herself to be captured to seek out the White Ghost. Truthfully, that was either the bravest or the dumbest move we’ve ever seen the agent make but we all know how Kensi can be driven by her raw emotions so it’s no surprise the tense situation she finds herself in at the end of last week’s episode.

Do you know where your Partner is?

Deeks was so concerned about Kensi’s whereabouts last week and it seems strange that her lack of contact is not even mentioned this week. Deeks thinks he knows where his partner is but he is blissfully unaware of how much trouble she has gotten herself into half a world away. As Kensi calls out to Jack we finally have a positive ID on the White Ghost…or do we? Is he working for the enemy or not? When Kensi spied Jack through her scope on that hill she probably thought she was seeing a ghost as she assumed her ex-fiancé was dead all those years ago. So what happen?

Beale, your lawyer’s here!

Eric finds himself in a different kind of trouble at the crime scene as he messes with a LAPD cop in search of his missing friend. Deeks really enjoyed bailing Eric out of jail a little bit too much, me thinks! But it was such an enjoyable scene to watch, I couldn’t help but replay it over and over again! Deeks had so much fun at Eric’s expense. Poor Eric, he’s just not use to being at the center of an investigation and worries at how angry Hetty may be with him.

As Callen and Sam investigate the scene, they find Eric’s very scared friend, Ira, trying to high tail it out of town before more government agents track him down.   He’s pretty sure that the US government is trying to kill him and he’s not giving up Zero Day without a fight. Enter Nell Jones as she gets to use her womanly wiles to trick the reticent techie into revealing the information they desperately need. You don’t get to see too many people boss Sam Hanna around, so it was a kick to watch this Hetty-in-waiting performance as Nell gets Ira to trust in her undercover persona. (Sam: she’s scary good.) Ira reveals he has found a weakness in the Russian navigational system which allows access to a base code which assigns coordinates to the system that can then be accessed by hackers to take control of the Russian missile systems. The team agrees this is something American intelligence would love to get their hands on but the only rub is the DOD has never heard of Ira Wells.! This brings a new pawn to the game board.

But Ira’s not playing straight with our agents either and completes his deal with the government contractor who may be supplying the information to a third party buyer and it’s not the US government. The team races to get the information in hand before it gets sold to the wrong party.

I was sent to Kill You!

Kensi comes clean and tells Jack why she is in Afghanistan. He denies he’s been helping the militants and is not the White Ghost! He’s been living and working with the locals for the past 9 years after he mysteriously walked out on Kensi. It’s amazing she can even wrap her head around the sistuation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kensi so emotional! I can only imagine what this man meant to her at one time. Now he belongs to another world and it breaks Kensi’s heart even more when she finds out he was married and had a child. So the question is: If Jack isn’t the White Ghost, who is? Is suspicion back on Sabatino?

Diversion is My Middle Name!

Meanwhile, the team goes undercover to infiltrate the security tech firm and id the possible mole inside the company who may be selling the information to the wrong party. Sam and Deeks work together like a well-oiled team to catch the bad guys but they are too late as the information exchanges hands before they can stop it. Chechen terrorists may be behind this latest attack and they enlist Ira’s help to fix Zero Days but it’s too late. There’s a missile headed straight for San Francisco which will start a new world war between the super powers and there is no way to intercept it. But it’s Eric Beale to the rescue! The tech op comes alive as he goes into the field to find a way to stop the destruction. Have you ever seen Beale so forceful? There is some heavy firepower up there on the roof top as the team tries to prevent the Chechen terrorists from stopping them in dismantling the system. It was an exciting ending to the episode with some last second magic by Eric who I think really needs to stay out of the field since he always finds his life in danger whenever he steps out of Ops.

This is another ‘we saved the world’ episodes, which after a while gets a bit tiring and sorry but a bit unbelievable. Yet, Bartels did an admirable job more with furthering many of the characters’ story line than the actual time worn plot: It is fun to see Sam and Deeks giggling like school girls over Callen’s new love interest.  The fact that they work so well together is really gratifying to watch after all the animosity in the past. How about Callen? He finally gets a life…good for him!

It was also great to see Eric grab the bull by the horns and prove what a valuable asset he is to the team without all the self-doubts and fear he usually carries around. Nell’s confidence keeps growing day by day and there is no doubt she could someday be the perfect replacement for her mentor. And then there is Kensi….. as we watch such raw emotions threaten to overcome her, where will this mission take her next?  Will her old love collide with her new love? It seems Hetty may hold the key to her future and it looks like she is going to be sending the team on a rescue mission next time to bring back one of their own. Stay tuned.

Special Moments

  • I really enjoy how everybody butts into each other’s lives as they endorse, strategize and manipulate each other all for the greater good! Actually it’s quite sweet to see how much Sam cares about his co-workers and no surprise that Hetty has a hand in the matchmaking as well.
  • I couldn’t help playing the scene where Deeks’ rescues Eric from jail over and over because I couldn’t stop laughing at ECO’s loud, long giggle. I don’t know if I ever heard Deeks so joyful.
  • Does Callen look like a Dexter to you? That just hit me laugh uncontrollably!
  • While Sam and Callen try to figure out who was willing to buy the information, Deeks just cuts to the hase: So we’re looking for the world’s cheapest terrorists? Always telling it the way it is Deeks!

Classic Densi Moments

Deeks: Lasers, man. I hate frick’n lasers. (I bet you do, Mr. Deeks!)

Classic Deeks Moments

Sam: G had a date with Joelle last night and now he is late for work this morning. You get the picture.
Deeks: Oh I get the picture. Downloading now. Delete… delete… save…. clear history.


Sam: Deeks we need a diversion.
Deeks: Diversion is my middle name!


Sam: Shut up!
Deeks: I didn’t say anything. Seven o’clock in the evening. Do you know where you partner is?
Sam: Nope, but I know who he’s with and I have a good idea what they’re doing. You get the picture?
Deeks: Downloading, downloading.
Sam: Delete.
Deeks: Save.
Sam: Whoa!

Join us next week for our next review with a new episode, Windfall as the team races to save Kensi’s life! The fireworks are just beginning. In the meantime, there will be new additions to Deeks’ Surf Log, and Destination Deeks. Kensi’s Journal will still be silent as we wait for word of Kensi’s fate. Join us for all the fun at wikiDeeks!


Title: “Zero Days”
Writer: Andrew Bartels
Director: Tony Wharmby
Original Air Date: March 25, 2014


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

About Diane (428 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!

18 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Zero Days” (S5E18)

  1. This was the first time I was actually more interested in Kensi’s storyline than the main story. Her emotions were all over the place and it did make you realize just how much she loved this man she can now barely recognize as the man she knew. The big question as you stated Di…is he the White Ghost or is he playing Kensi for information? When he mentioned that the CIA had tried to recruit him, my suspicion landed on Sabatino, who might still be the Ghost.

    I too loved the bail out scene and especially Deeks’ giggle…can’t get enough of it.

    I’m happy that Callen has a girlfriend, but would it be too much to ask that we get to see them together…maybe a kiss or two? Is he only allowed to kiss on screen while he’s undercover? These writers must be the shyest guys on the planet. They do have an adult audience and it is only a kiss. Of course we only got one kiss for real from Densi…the other? Undercover. Come on writers. It’s not like we’re asking for naked bodies…delete…delete…save.


    • Lisa-Marie // April 12, 2014 at 6:21 AM // Reply

      I think u r right Callen and Joelle should be on screen together maybe 1 or 2 episode or Joelle end up being in danger and Callen has to save her. It maybe end at episode 22 to 24 or it may not happen but I think u r right I think Callen and Joelle should kiss on screen and have more scenes together


  2. Welcome back Di, another great review! I enjoyed the episode. Neric was cute, I liked that Eric came through under heavy fire, I loved Nell bossing Sam around, and I loved the Deeks-Sam conversations. And Eric in jail was hilarious. Deeks’ giggle was wonderful because it’s ECO’s, and we rarely get a taste of it on the show. However, I wasn’t thrilled that they made Deeks create a diversion on the roof by becoming a target for the sniper.

    But my real focus was Kensi. That she was so emotional made sense to me. She cried in Disorder just talking about Jack. Last night, seeing him in front of her, feeling confusion about why she had been sent to kill him, being all alone without back-up, I could totally understand her vulnerability. I did like that she got herself together at the end of the episode and was trying to encourage Jack to take action to escape.

    On the other hand, the conversation between Kensi and Jack didn’t feel right to me. Jack didn’t ask her anything about her life, he didn’t seem surprised that she had become a federal agent, he didn’t apologize for anything. He just didn’t seem interested in her at all. I think the only way that makes sense is if he is a bad guy pumping her for information. And I think if that’s the case, it will crush Kensi even more. The part of his story about the drone strike killing his wife could be true, but it might have been the moment when he went from CIA operative to rogue anti-U.S. White Ghost. I’m beginning to see how this will become a huge hurdle for Densi to get past, but I’m now looking forward to that story arc rather than dreading it. Kensi’s pain feels real to me, and only Deeks will ever be able to get through to her, past the next set of walls that she’s bound to throw up around herself. I just hope he gets it done before the end of the season!

    Then there’s Hetty. I still maintain that she HAS to have known about Jack or else Kensi running into him is the hugest coincidence ever. It’s just not believable. Why else would Hetty even have heard of the White Ghost when Granger first updated her? It’s not like she’s up on all the local bad guys running around Afghanistan. And if that’s true, it makes Hetty a cruel psychopath unless she has some other motivation. So I’m sticking with my theory that Hetty knew Jack, somehow worked with him on an op that went bad and led to him changing sides, and she feels responsible for him to the point that she’d send Kensi to try to save him. Of course, that still makes Hetty incredibly cruel, just maybe not a psychopath. Oh, Hetty, I fear I’ll never feel the same way about you again after this season.


    • Couldn’t agree more about Hetty. No matter how it shakes out, if Hetty knew about Jack & sent Kensi anyway she’s terrible in my book. Everyone has questioned, at one time or another, why Hetty sent Kensi to begin w. Heck, Granger even made a trip back to LA to get to the bottom of it. Think we’ll get the answer to that question in the next episode.


  3. I enjoyed Eric’s story line but I gotta be honest with you, I was more interested in the Afghanistan story line.
    I definitely think Jack played Kensi.
    1) First of all how did he know Kensi was captured if he isn’t the Ghost. 2) Then, he sees her for the first time in 9 years and the first thing he says is “what the hell are you doing here?”.
    3) Like anonkp mentioned he didn’t care to ask how she was doing.
    4) He only cared whether Kensi’s team knows where she is.
    5) He wasn’t bound or anything like Kensi.
    6) He seemed hesitant when she told him to take off his clothes.
    7) He was conveniently pulled away when she came up with an escape plan.

    I could go on and on……
    Seeing Kensi so emotional broke my heat. It is obvious that she once really loved that guy but she needs to focus, look at facts and realize that that man is not the one she fell in love with.

    I can’t help but think about Deeks. I don’t want to see him heartbroken. He doesn’t deserve it and I don’t think Kensi would ever do that to him. Yes, she was engaged to Jack and willing to spend the rest of her life with him, but he is a changed man and possibly the enemy.
    Deeks is the one who always protects her, he never lets her down ( or at least hardly ever), he trusts her with his life, he is willing to die for her and he will move mountains to go get his girl back. That’s the man she should be with.

    Finally Callen has some girl in his life. He deserves some happiness but it makes me wonder what is best. Living a life filled with lies ( like Callen and Joelle), or risking your heart to interfere with your work (like Deeks and Kensi).


    • “makes me wonder what is best. Living a life filled with lies ( like Callen and Joelle), or risking your heart to interfere with your work (like Deeks and Kensi)”

      Whoa! That’s such a great question! Or Sam and Michelle — who live a bit of both! [Sure Sam didn’t tell Michelle about Jada].


  4. Glad to have you back on the reviews Di! Another great one! 🙂 Always enjoyable to read!


  5. Didn’t Hetty once mention being in Afghanistan? Could she have run into Jack?


  6. Natalia Simon // March 27, 2014 at 8:02 AM // Reply

    I totally agree with ANONKP ´review. It was a great episode with 2 storylines : so emotional in Afghanistan – so funny and dangerous in L.A.
    I think this episode will be the start for a “new Kensi” , I hope she can heal her heart.


  7. mountaingirl89 // March 27, 2014 at 8:03 AM // Reply

    I liked that the LA side of the episode focused on Eric. my favorite part was the whole “how mad is she” “one a scale of 1-10? 13.” Made me laugh.

    The part that I didn’t understand was the whole thing about how this was a game changer for Eric and Nell. I don’t see it. They acted like they usually do (flirty) and this isn’t the first time Eric has gotten jealous of someone hitting on Nell.

    I liked the how the Afghanistan part played out. The whole thing about Jack faking and actually being the White Ghost or something like that has come to mind, but I’m not sure. It could have been he was just very scared and all and just didn’t think about her. though, I have been wondering how he knew she had been captured.

    After their talk, I’m not sure where this will put her with Deeks. I can see her pushing him away because she doesn’t want to get hurt, but I can see him pushing equally as hard….but also being patient like he promised her. I guess we will have to see who Jack really is and how this rescue plays out.


  8. Dr. Brenda // March 27, 2014 at 7:30 PM // Reply

    Another great review! Thanks – always look forward to them.

    I thought this was a great episode! Some of the past few have felt more like filler storylines but this was classic NCIS:LA.

    Loved Eric in jail and Deeks saving him. That was truly hilarious! I also love the growing bond between Sam & Deeks. That has been really cool to see. I always appreciate it when characters grow individually and collectively to the extent that changes occur that would have been impossible in the beginning.

    I really don’t know which side I am on with Jack. The first time I watched it I believed him and was heartbroken for Kensi that he just moved on and started this new life that didn’t include her without a second though. Then I saw comments in various places about how he was playing her and watched it again – not sure. I think that it also plausible – a few red flags with him.

    My bottom line is that whether he’s playing her or really did move on – I’m glad! My worst fear was that he was going to turn out to be one of the “good guys” and she would have to end up choosing between her feelings for him and her feelings for Deeks. Looks like that is not the “three hearts” scenario. I think Kensi getting what she wanted is seeing Jack again and it turns out to be a big disappointment. How that affects her and Deeks remains to be seen. But from what we’ve seen of Jack so far – not much competition for Deeks.


  9. Great review !!
    About Kensi’s behaviour, falling out of of her professional self: has anyone noticed when Jack asked her if they are looking for her? She replied using the term “unit”, not agency or anything else. I really hope it’s been done on purpose to lead the guy believe she’s military instead of agent…


  10. Apologies in advance: It’s been a long week with little sleep so my words will lack articulate finesse.

    On the surface, this episode didn’t seem like a lot, except for Kensi, but in really looking deep, it provided a lot. Seeing Deeks and Sam honestly joking holds so much more value after what they’ve overcome (a similar theme for Densi likely through the entire series).

    Agree with Karen on a lot of the components, just like Deeks’ “giggle”. Who expected we’d ever use those terms together?! Enjoyed the Eric-focused episode. This entire cast is so talented, I often long for more equal storytelling for each of the characters. Neric (separately and together) is growing on me faster and more unexpectedly than I could have imagined. They are delightful and yet in a completely different way than Densi. This was a fantastic cover for Nell that I hope they give to Renee again in the future. She was like the “sexy little librarian” Deeks once referenced to Kensi. The “minx” side of Nell is a hidden gem. Barrett played his role great, but I know he can carry more if they’d give it to him.

    I struggled between the A and B story lines. The contrast between the lightheartedness of Neric and the emotional torment (a term I’ll likely be using for the remainder or the season) of Kensi was tough to balance.

    I’ve been saying since they sent Kensi away that Hetty knew about Jack being there. It will be interesting how they explain the “why” of her decision given the professional and primarily personal consequences.

    My Spidey-senses also went on alert with Jack’s questioning of Kensi. There was definitely a hidden agenda. I was sad and disappointed for Kensi that all of her agent training was left behind as she blurted out her entire reason for being there. You can argue the stereotypical emotional gender card here all you want, but it’s both true and it’s Kensi. I love they have made her a character that tries to control all of her emotions, but that when she gets overwhelmed she just can’t. I can personally understand it and know it can be problematic (on both sides of that coin).

    I can’t see where they are going with Callen and Joelle. This mission will be the last chance I give Granger; this character has been riding the fence too long. After this he’s either part of our team or he needs to go. (Please make me like you Granger! I want to like you, I really really do!)

    Without question the overwhelming star of this ep was Daniela. The immediate and overwhelming distress and sorrow expressed verbally and physically was stunning. It literally rocked my soul; she made me feel it. It’s also exactly what I expected – except more. And better. I’m most excited to see how she carries this through in upcoming episodes.

    Honestly I’m more anxious about Spoils of War than I was Descent. Why? Probably because we have a good idea of some of the fallout with Densi. For me Descent was all a surprise with the kiss and *shudder* torture; for this one we are already steeling ourselves for disappointment for our ‘ship.


    • I honestly don’t think we are going to get the Deeks and Kensi reunion like we all long for in Spoils of War. I think it will be build up, build up, race to Afghanistan, setup, setup and then big firefight with a smidgen at the end of Kensi’s rescue. None of the promo pics or video show Deeks in that firefight, so my hopes are dragging. I can only hope they are keeping it under wraps if he is going to be the one to find her. Also wondering if they reveal who the White Ghost is in this episode…so many questions, so little time and almost no confidence my desires will be met…but I could be wrong…it’s certainly happened before.


      • mountaingirl89 // March 29, 2014 at 11:54 AM // Reply

        I didn’t think he was going to go to Aghanistan at all after watching the promo. But then Densiland told me that he was in the pics so that helped me calm down. I also hope that he will be there to help rescue her and it is just being kept underwraps.

        The one question for me is why is Sam heading up this operation and not Callen?


    • mountaingirl89 // March 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM // Reply

      I actually liked the contrast between the two storylines. I think it was perfectly balanced. I mean if they had made the LA side not lighthearted, then we would have been overwhelmed by the sheer drama we would have gotten from both stories. I mean, we probably wouldn’t have had the emotional drama (well, maybe from Eric after almost being shot) on the LA side like we did on the Afghanistan side, more likely just physical drama (shootings, death, ect.), but even then it would have been overboard without the bantering and joking.

      I was also very amazed with Daniela’s performance. You don’t really know how great an actor is until they are put into something like this, where they have to be emotional and such. If she doesn’t get nominated for an emmy for that performance than I’ll be very shocked because you could see that she was putting her all into that scene. I’m actually wondering if something similar had happened to her in the past because those tears looked real and so did the emotions on her face and in her eyes.

      I absolutely love seeing the three men getting closer. They are really starting to act like a team instead of two separate partnerships (Callen/Sam, Deeks/Kensi) and I hope that that will be what helps both Kensi herself and the relationship between Kensi and Deeks. They will need all the support they can get to get through whatever comes out of this situation. There is no other support than the support you get from people who are your family, blood related or not. I can totally see Sam encouraging Deeks, a few seasons ago it wouldn’t have even been thought of.

      I actually don’t know how I feel about Granger. like you I’m waiting to see what happens in the next few episodes. For me it is a tug of war. It is going to be either I hate Hetty or I hate Granger. Right now, my hate meter is leaning towards Hetty, but who knows if that will change.

      Eric and Nell…..I don’t really see anything different between them from what we’ve seen in the last few seasons. They said it was going to be a “game changer” for them, but I didn’t see anything that would show that. Eric got jealous like he did a few times before when a guy hit on her. Also, really, the game changer was WAY before this episode when they kissed under the mistletoe and when she was held hostage in “Kill House”. I don’t know why they raised everyone’s hopes on this.

      For me, I’m not really anxious for the next episode. I don’t know why, but maybe it is because I’m ok with whatever way it plays out. I mean, I would love to see Deeks and Kensi together, but if that isn’t how it is supposed to go, then that is also ok with me. For me, it is if they still will work together. If they come back and figure out that a romantic relationship isn’t going to work AND can’t work together as partners, that is when I’ll be disappointed. I mean, I know that we’ve had Deeks without Kensi for a while now, but that is with the thought that she will be back and they will be working together again. The thought that the partnership won’t be anymore is where I get anxious, because, really, you can’t have Deeks without Kensi, in love with each other or not. So, I’m not anxious for this episode, but I’m anxious about the episodes after that. Will they stay partners or will they be separated for good?


      • “The one question for me is why is Sam heading up this operation and not Callen?”

        Think Sam has more experience w. extractions and he’s a seal — this is what they do, what their trained to do. Also? Sam being a seal he lives by “leave no man behind” — which is why Hetty says, in the promo, “I need you to bring her home Sam” b/c she knows he will — dead or alive.


  11. Eric is a geek but a brave geek. They focused on him much this episode.
    And Densi OH GOD… it’s gonna kill me


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