In many ways, Season 5 of NCIS: Los Angeles could be called the “Year of Densi." Despite having to deal with Daniela Ruah’s real life pregnancy and subsequent maternity leave, much of the focus shifted from Sam and Callen to the relationship between Deeks and Kensi. For the first time, in a long time, both Deeks and Kensi communicated, like really actually communicated, their feelings for each other and even acted on them for one special night. Heading into the Season 5 finale this seemed like a good opportunity to take stock on what’s happened during the season and discuss what I hope will happen in the finale as we head towards Season 6 in the fall.
The season opened with Deeks feeling the effects of the previous year’s finale where he was tortured for information. Eric Christian Olsen did a fabulous job bringing a new dramatic layer to the Deeks character as we saw his recovery and struggle with PTSD. Deeks is so often relied upon for that element of humor that having him work through the depression brought a whole new feel and attitude to the team and show as a whole. Season 5 began with a much more somber and morose feel to it. Luckily Kensi was there, as one person who could bring him out of his depression. The scene where she brought takeout to comfort her partner and bring him out of his “funk” gave fans one of their favorite scenes of the season and summed up the Densi relationship perfectly with one little line: “It’s a love story.”
Finally feeling better and stronger, Deeks made his move and the two partners shared a night together. However, lest we all think there would be smooth sailing and clear skies ahead, Season 5 taught us the metaphor of the Frozen Lake. It seems that this relationship is the one thing that both Kensi and Deeks want more than anything else in the world, but they realize that they must move slowly and carefully as to not break the ice that surrounds them on their “frozen lakes.” As fans, we felt ourselves slowly start to rejoice as they shared some meaningful conversations about their new relationship status and seemed ready to move forward. But in true NCIS:LA fashion, we should have known to not get too comfortable, and Kensi was sent off on a top secret mission to Afghanistan.
Personally, I really enjoyed the use of the White Ghost mission to deal with Ruah’s real life pregnancy. It allowed her to film scenes ahead of time and still be relevant and involved in every episode this season with no break in time for her actual maternity leave. It was an ingenious move by the producers and writers and one that I think many fans appreciated. Absence did indeed make the heart grow fonder, and Densi was surely pining for each other while she was overseas. When it was revealed that the White Ghost was Jack, Kensi’s ex-fiance, things got really interesting, but after their rescue it was clear that feelings for Jack were in the past and Kensi was ready to move forward with Deeks.
In a bit of a role reversal though, Deeks is the one to now pull back and afraid to move forward. He’s worried what his third heart revealed about himself when he was willing to torture and water board a suspect in the Afghanistan rescue mission when he thought Kensi was dead. He was scared at the lengths he was willing to go because of her and he has pulled back on their relationship moving forward. It may be a bit frustrating for fans but definitely keeps in line with what we know of the characters and it’s nice to see Kensi be the patient and sure-minded one in the relationship. It’s clear she wants to move forward with Deeks but is willing to wait until he’s ready. At least Deeks did assure us all that he does believe, contrary to popular opinion, that raccoons do indeed mate for life.
So what does all this mean moving forward and what do I hope for the finale? I’ve tried to remain somewhat spoiler free and not read too much about what is going to happen. I do know we will once again be left with a cliffhanger that won’t be resolved until the Season 6 premiere in the fall. There will also be a lot of focus in the episode on Sam and Callen trying to stop a submarine that’s being used for drug transportation. The one story that really intrigues me is Hetty having to go to DC to answer questions about the White Ghost mission. Will Kensi learn about Hetty’s connection to Jack and the true reason she was sent to Afghanistan? In my opinion Hetty’s made some questionable decisions as of late that have really put her agents in danger and never seems to have to answer for them. Will that finally change? I’m unsure how Kensi would react to this news. I thought she handled the Jack situation really well in Afghanistan and proved how that relationship seemed to be in her rear view mirror, but would this revelation bring those feelings to the surface once again? How would that affect her relationship with Deeks?
Finally, the finale brings with it the return of Agent Talia, the DEA agent we saw Deeks partner with earlier in Season 5’s “Fish Out of Water”. Deeks and Talia clearly had a connection when they worked together and I’m guessing it won’t take much for Kensi to pick up on that. Talia also seemed very outspoken about Deeks’ partnership with Kensi, will that continue now that Kensi has returned and she can see their partnership in action? I’m hoping Talia is used as a tool by the writer’s to ask some tough questions we all want answered or point out obstacles that Deeks and Kensi may still need to address before they move forward. Talia once told Deeks that she was faced with a situation similar to his where she had to choose between a relationship with her partner or the DEA, and she chose the DEA.
Finale episodes of NCIS:LA are usually very jam packed and action-filled. I’m hoping for some movement in the Densi relationship, but realistically I know that the case at hand will probably take center stage as it sets up the cliffhanger for the Season 6 premiere. Regardless of that, I really want to be left with a Densi related warm fuzzy in my stomach to help me through the summer hiatus so I’m keeping my fingers crossed we will get something small in that area. I’m intrigued by the return of Talia and think that if used properly, she could really force Densi to take a hard look at their relationship and answer some tough questions that will benefit them in the long run. Whatever the case may be, I have no doubt that NCIS:LA producers and writers will deliver a great episode that I can’t wait to see. I’m buckled in and ready to go, let’s do this!