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Debating Deeks: Should Deeks and Kensi Take Their Relationship to the Next Level?

Dr. Brenda (bpnp) | Karen P. (anonkp)

Welcome to a new wikiDeeks feature we’re calling Debating Deeks, where two fans take on a controversial subject in the NCIS:LA fandom. Today I’m very happy to be joined by new wikiDeeks contributor Dr. Brenda to discuss the question of whether Deeks and Kensi should move their relationship forward. While I’ve been one of the more vocal proponents of just that, for the sake of argument I’ll take the opposing view, while Brenda will support Densi stepping up their relationship. Don’t forget to vote at the end and let us know what side you are on!

Brenda, take it away…

Brenda: It has been a very long time since Deeks has spoken of a girlfriend or Kensi has mentioned a “first date.” Initially this was somewhat of a running joke. That era is history and they are not seeing anyone else, even though their “thing” is not explicitly defined. Deeks makes a reference to their exclusivity (“Does this mean we’re official?”) when Kensi gives him her knife in “Frozen Lake.” Although she brushes him off, they are not seeing others. Since they have been together for almost five years and are clearly exclusive, even if unofficial, isn’t physical intimacy an obvious and logical part of an exclusive relationship?

Karen: You are so right about them being in a monogamous relationship, and a lengthy one at that. To quote Deeks, “who doesn’t love intimacy? Especially the intimate kind of intimacy.” If they were both in the right emotional place to be dating, then I might agree that they should get physical. The problem is that since “Spoils of War,” Deeks has taken a significant step back from this relationship. He still wants it with everything he has (“raccoons do mate for life”), but Afghanistan traumatized him, and by returning that knife, he’s at least temporarily retreated from anything “official.”

In the scene by the Cadillac in “Three Hearts,” Deeks makes a veiled reference to his trip to the dark side in Afghanistan, telling Kensi that his closeness to her caused him to lose his way. He’s struggling with the fact that he tortured the cleric. It’s like the very worst he’s ever feared he’d become (his father) has come true times 100. He probably doesn’t feel worthy of being with Kensi at this point, and may even fear that he could hurt her. Why not give him some time to come to terms with what happened there?

Brenda: You are correct about Deeks’ current state of mind, but concerns about being “too messed up” or “not in the right place” also existed pre “Spoils of War” and are a bit puzzling. How many adults abstain from sex: A) period or B) because they have unresolved issues? In my professional experience and from what my younger/unmarried work colleagues tell me, physical intimacy waits for hardly anything today. I spend a lot of time helping people manage the health consequences of their sexual practices. Those most affected by painful issues in their past seem more likely to engage in early physical intimacy in a new relationship or intimacy with multiple partners.

Kensi & Deeks have shown they do not know how to navigate and tolerate the intensity of their deep emotional connection. As they approach the reality of their intense connection they have alternated with great and various fears. However, the usual response to this is sublimation of the feelings and pursuit of the physical relationship, which is, um– more cut and dried, so to speak, than trying to navigate feelings. Despite their issues, their prolonged celibacy is implausible.

Karen: I will concede that it’s not realistic for these two people to have stayed apart this long. And even though I’m arguing to keep them apart, I cannot contend that they should stay that way until they both work out all their personal issues. It’s not only unrealistic, I’m not even sure it’s healthy. They could both benefit from the comfort and support of being in a loving relationship. Hey, wait a minute, whose side am I on? Right, waiting… So it’s not that Deeks needs to deal with his daddy/rage issues, and Kensi needs to address her abandonment issues. I’m just saying that Deeks needs to get a handle on his Kensi issues, the ones that arose when he not only thought she was dead, but thought he was responsible for her death.

Brenda: True. But post-“Spoils of War” is a different issue. Deeks does not have “Kensi issues” as much as “Hetty issues.” He thinks Hetty sent Kensi to Afghanistan due to their relationship. He crosses the line with the cleric because he thinks Kensi is dead and he/their relationship is to blame. He makes a bad call in acute grief due to multiple deceptions. Angelo then persuades him that there is moral equivalence between his deliberately crossing a line with a target’s wife and Deeks’ actions with the cleric. Clearly no moral equivalence exists, even without Deeks knowledge of Hetty’s deception. Deeks’ thinking is clouded by misplaced guilt, which makes him susceptible to Angelo’s mind games. I will concede this could negatively affect a physical relationship. Where is Nate?!

Karen: Don’t get me started on Hetty’s deceptions! I totally agree with your assessment of Afghanistan and Angelo- Deeks’ is suffering from misplaced guilt. But he also fears future dangers. This is an extremely high stakes world where a single moment of poor judgment could get them killed. And the consequences aren’t limited to their own lives- innocent lives are at stake as well.

We see this in “The Frozen Lake” when Deeks fails to take the shot. His judgment call to protect Kensi allows the bad guy to get away with information that could have made all of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons vulnerable to terrorists. In “Ascension,” what would have happened if Kensi cut Deeks loose in that garage? If he were her lover, could she have stayed on mission? What if he were her husband, or the father of her children? Might their personal relationship have allowed Sidorov to escape with his weapons? I’m not saying Deeks and Kensi can never be together, just that they should take the Ghurka’s advice and move forward cautiously. Even if it’s not the norm, that’s OK because their work circumstances are far from normal.

Brenda: That is an excellent point and one I have considered a lot. Densi has echoes of my own relationship with my husband whom I met in a high-stakes, life/death work environment. We were friends, dated, engaged and eventually married while working there– so I know it is possible to overcome those obstacles. I will concede that our own lives were not at stake, but I did have to make life/death judgment calls about someone else’s life based on advice given to me by my husband. I did so not based on our relationship but on my trust in his prior experience and training. That is what happens in high risk occupations– you are extensively trained to be a professional first and “trust your training.”

Karen: Something tells me that you and your husband were better prepared to “navigate and tolerate the intensity” of your “deep emotional connection,” as you described above, than Kensi and Deeks currently are. And while I would agree that training could do nothing but help, wouldn’t Densi be better served working on their infamous communication skills before they raise the stakes even higher? Imagine these two in the midst of a lovers’ quarrel while taking on a risky undercover operation. If they can’t talk about their relationship without calling it a “thing” or using layers of metaphors, what chance do they really have to succeed, especially given the high stress and dangers of their job?

Brenda: True, we’ve been married for 18 years so we clearly did work things out. I love metaphors, but agree they could speak more frankly. Maybe it would be better to express themselves non-verbally.

Deeks’ ability to manage emotions at work showed in his willingness to endure torture to keep Sam’s wife safe in “Descent.” This despite the sometimes-rocky relationship he has had with Sam. Even when Deeks thinks Kensi is dead and he is to blame in “Spoils of War,” he still has a limit to how far he can go with the cleric. That is a far better test of his focus than any lovers’ quarrel.

The emotions are already there for Kensi & Deeks so those variables are present, irrespective of their physical relationship. Partner relationships are inherently close: Kensi was very affected by Dom’s death. In “One More Chance” Deeks says he was fearless when he worked alone. Kensi counters with the reminder that no one is watching your back. Since they are deeply connected partners, why not be scared but happy and know the back you’re covering really, really well?

Karen: As much as I’d love to see some “non-verbal expression,” Sabatino’s words from “Wanted” are worth considering here. He told Kensi that if he fell for her, he wouldn’t be able to handle seeing her in danger, so she couldn’t be his partner. We need look no further than Sam and Michelle in that same episode for an example of this dilemma. Sam defied Hetty’s orders and broke out of jail to protect his wife. His single-minded focus on Michelle’s safety prevented him from staying on mission. Deeks and Kensi may fear the same thing- they each desperately want to have their partner’s back but could become too close to do so, and will have to choose between a work partnership and a private one. That’s a huge looming decision, and another reason to take things slowly.

Brenda: But it is different for Sam because Michelle is not just his wife, but the mother of his child(ren?). When you have a high-stakes job it is very difficult to be in a relationship with a person who has a “normal” job because they just don’t get it. Even if they eventually chose not to work together, Kensi & Deeks would still have that deep understanding about the incredibly difficult nature of their work, which allows for a smoother home life. Despite their issues, they do value communication and honesty and neither one would want a relationship like Callen & Joelle, where she is oblivious to his work. They both need to be with someone who understands and can tolerate their intense and unpredictable occupation. What better way to celebrate surviving a harrowing experience or relieve the stress of a difficult case than to go home together?

Karen: You’re right that their work history would help their relationship even if they stopped working together. But all this talk of discontinuing their partnership, and having kids, just points out how much is at stake for them personally. You’ve painted a nice picture of how it could work out well, but let’s consider for a moment what happens if it doesn’t. They won’t just lose their girlfriend/boyfriend, their best friend, and their work partner, but at least one of them will have to leave the team. And that means losing their family. For Deeks, it’s the only family he has. No wonder he wants to take it slow.

Brenda: True, but they have already passed the point where all of that could occur. I would be happy to meet with Kensi and Deeks to offer advice on how to have a long and happy relationship with a colleague. Or Nate and I could partner up to offer relationship counseling! Seriously though, I realized a long time ago that part of why I root for these characters to be together is because their story resonates with my own life. The engaging authenticity of the Densi story clearly draws the passion of an ever-growing audience. Go Densi!

Karen: Well said. I couldn’t agree more!

Brenda and I had a great time with our debate. What do you think Kensi and Deeks should do? Vote below and tell us in the comments if we missed any good arguments!

About Karen P (277 Articles)
wikiDeeks Writer & Assistant Editor. I never wrote for fun before... until my ECO-obsession. Now I love to analyze any and all aspects of the best character on television.

20 Comments on Debating Deeks: Should Deeks and Kensi Take Their Relationship to the Next Level?

  1. Wow, excellent debate ladies!

    While I definitely side with the “Yes they should” some valid points were raised as to why they shouldn’t. However, I would add that the holding pattern they are currently in just isn’t healthy for either one of them. Keeping your feelings and emotions completely bottled up will eventually cause problems for them. (Such as jealousy issues, ie: the return of Talia)

    You can dance around issues for only so long before your energy runs out. And once that happens they won’t know how to deal with one another on any level. They’ll fight, argue and bicker (for real, not just playing like they do now) because that’s the only emotion they’ll feel “safe” to express to one another.

    They’ve already “gone there” once. They remember how elated they felt once they’d made the promise to sit and talk about everything, and he’s promised he’d be patient with her. They still remember how they longed for each other when they were separated for so long. At this stage, I think they’re kidding themselves into believing they can stay apart.

    And, not to bring up the ‘elephant in the room’, but you can’t keep a will they/won’t they couple running in a hamster wheel forever. The consequences are usually disastrous to the fans and eventually the show.


  2. Left a comment under the poll, but thought I’d comment here as well, just in case no one reads that one. I watch a lot of shows and I cannot think of one where their two sexiest characters are kept apart in such an unrealistic way. It’s not natural. Sure they have problems, but so what? When has that kept human beings from expressing their physical need for each other. The debate was great, very intellectual and I could see both sides, but what this comes down to is the show runner, who I’m assuming doesn’t want a physical relationship between these two. Why? That one kiss Deeks gave Kensi on that hill kept fans talking and texting and writing fan fiction all summer. How is that not good for the show? We can debate why these two stay apart, but in reality it’s Shane Brennan we should be psychoanalyzing. These are two sexy adults and surely he has writers who could come up with a good story arc for Deeks and Kensi to explore their love for each other in a physical way that gives fans what they want without compromising the show.


  3. An incredibly well-written and “deep” look into the psyche of these two, particularly Deeks. As expected, I side with the minority. Deeks is now the one who needs to come to terms with potential outcomes, something he seems to have glossed over in his pursuit of Kensi. I’m just sad (for Kensi) that almost as soon as she “turned the corner”, Deeks backed away. (But honestly, I called that one almost from the start.) And this is a prime example – If Kensi hadn’t taken so long to trust him and overcome her abandonment issues, his seemingly abrupt backing away might have reignited her initial fears. So in this case, taking time was a good thing. Thus, why couldn’t that apply in a similar situation? If there’s anything Kensi learned from Jack it was she couldn’t “fix” him. So while Kensi could be there to support Deeks, he’s the only one who can make himself ready to progress their ‘ship.

    I trust this “long, slow burn” will be for the best and it seems virtually the entirety of the TV industry learned their lesson from the negligence of Tiva. In this case, I’ll heed the advice of the Gurkha.


  4. Nice debate, but far away from reality.
    All problems is just heavy unnatural.
    Two sexi adults, that close each other and still nothing?
    NO WAY!
    There wasn’t even official date!
    No one buy it.

    And of course, where in hell is Nate?!
    He need fix mess after Hetty’s very dirthy job.

    Teasing us same way, just like Ziva.
    So what next?
    Kensi start dating with Sabatino?
    Deeks dating with Talia?
    Yes, in crazy producers heads is it possible.
    S.B. promise more explore their relationship in S6.
    We will see.
    Here is just one problem, unknown seasons for show.
    Example: The Mentalist was set from start to 6 max 7 seasons.
    So them knows, how to grow up things between Jane and Lisbon, from start to end of show, and viewers know that in same way, and all of them accepted it.
    All knows, that they have in season 6 or 7 happy ending.
    But here?!
    We know nothing!
    Because no one knows, when CBS stop show, and for that we will be teasing, and teasing for unknow time.
    Until end.
    We definetly don’t see standard partnership, friendship, or relationship, until CBS dont say, end of show.
    That is just f… business, no fun, no joy, no happy viewers, just business.
    And it isn’t nice for fans!
    S6 is my last chance, what i will give to Densi, and intelligent way to grow them thing in to nice relationship.

    Well, is “funny” read stupid words from G. Glasberg, about “find natural way, to bring back Ziva”.
    And that idiot absolutelly forget, for his 8 years all unnatural ways, how he teasing fans with Tiva.
    If S.B. want go by this way, so good luck, and bye bye.


  5. I’m hoping with the new time slot that they will feel more comfortable sharing some more intimate moments with Densi. I too am tired of the teasing. I just don’t think it realistic anymore to think they can continue the slow burn without anything happening. They either need to become a couple or stay friends/partners and move on!


  6. I don’t think it will surprise anyone that I am currently on the “NO!!” side of this debate. But I don’t want to see a prolonged slow burn either: either let them have a romantic relationship, or let them move on to other people, but don’t keep them both (and the audience) in a state of limbo.

    I always thought that the next step in Densi evolution was going to be Kensi getting past her anger and abandonment issues, by releasing her anger at Jack for running out on her and never even letting her know why he left. But we didn’t see that when she finally encountered Jack. Instead we saw the agent formerly known as “BadAss Blye” weep and snivel and display a distinct lack of backbone. But when it comes to Deeks, it seems anger is the only emotion Kensi can express, usually by punches or nasty words. She’s a bit too old to be that girl in elementary school who hits a boy because she likes him, and most of the fans who might tune in at the new timeslot are too old to enjoy that. So I don’t know where the writers think they’re going with that one.

    I am glad that, in the season 5 finale, Deeks actually called Kensi out on her abusive nature. But if she’s an abuser, he’s an enabler. As you correctly pointed out, he knows what his dark side is capable of, and he fears becoming like his father. But personally I think he should be more afraid of becoming like his mother, who apparently was unable to defend herself against endless abuse from Deeks’ father, until her 11 year old son was forced to defend both of them. While I don’t think that Kensi would ever physically abuse Deeks to that extent, she will push him as far as she can just to see how much she can get away with. How much he is able to take from her before he loses all self respect? When he gets to a point where he can’t tolerate being her punching bag (literally and figuratively) any more, he will break. And then I don’t know what will happen. Maybe that dark side will come out again, but more likely he will just leave her (and NCIS). I won’t be sorry to see that (so long as ECO stays with the show!).

    They both have some serious soul searching to do if they want to make a go of it. But there’s a limit to how much soul searching can be revealed to the audience when all they get to talk about is lakes and boxes and raccoons.


  7. Yes they should. I am already losing interest.


  8. Wow, what wonderfully insightful comments from everyone! As a pretty passionate advocate in the Yes They Should camp, I hope I was able to do justice to the other side of the argument. I have to say that representing the 6% of you out there on the No They Shouldn’t side did help me to accept that there are some good reasons for waiting. (But just a tiny little while longer- I am not a patient person!)

    Deb, I definitely see a danger to the two of them getting frustrated with their lack of progress, with resulting bickering. As for whether their being together is bad for the show, that’s a whole other discussion, so all I can say is, stay tuned to a future installment of Debating Deeks on that very topic.

    Sweet Lu, no one expresses my gut feelings on this subject better than you! I laughed out loud at the idea that we need to psychoanalyze Shane Brennan. Maybe that’s a good job for Dr. Brenda?

    Dr. Gayle, I truly appreciate your perspective. It’s great to have such a strong advocate for the idea of waiting. I can only hope you are correct that Shane Brennan learned a lesson from Tiva.

    Q, that’s a fantastic point about the showrunners not being clear on how long the show will run. You are so right that if they want to plan a good arc for these two over a long period of time, they need to know how long the arc should be.

    Phillydi, I hope you are right about the new time slot bringing about more “adult” material. I’m not super optimistic about that, but it can’t hurt (it’s definitely better than if they had moved it to 8pm).

    Jan, your observation about Deeks needing to worry as much about becoming his mother as he does about becoming his father was quite thought provoking. And I share your disdain for boxes and raccoons!

    Thanks Dr. Brenda for such a fun debating experience!


  9. Reader1976 // June 4, 2014 at 11:06 PM // Reply

    I found the debate very thoughtful. I enjoyed the thoughts from both sides. And, Karen, Good Job with the other side even though your heart is with Densi. : )

    I think we or I am so enamored with Densi because of the instant chemistry we felt between Deeks and Kensi at their first meet. And, I truly believe that the bulk of the chemistry is due to the acting skills of ECO and DR. Their ability to portray the undercurrents of attraction amidst the dangers facing them makes me root for them to end up together. If the chemistry wasn’t there, I would still be tuning in to watch the team banter and the cases. However, Densi makes me watch faithfully each week. Case in point, although I was disappointed in the Tiva ending, I was not rooting for them even half as much as I have been with Densi. With Tiva, the chemistry seemed more in the dialogue than in the body language and chemistry, and although I enjoyed them onscreen, I found the cases and Gibbs more intriguing. Not so with NCIS LA, along with the story lines and team banter, I do look forward to any and all Densi scenes. : )


  10. In debate and comments, missing one significant element.
    Shanne Brennan him self, and his group of readers.
    Them comments about ours comments, and about debate will be interesting.
    Can someone manage that?
    I hope, no one blame me for try.

    I know, I know, back to planet Earth. 😉


  11. Dr. Brenda // June 5, 2014 at 7:40 PM // Reply

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you first of all for all the lovely comments about the article. You are all so kind and encouraging on my first post! I had a great time writing this – thanks so much Karen for working with me and Di for the opportunity!

    You all raise so many interesting points and Karen has already commented on so many of them. I’m usually one to see both sides of an issue so just taking one side was a challenge. I do fall on the “yes” side, but wanted to especially thank those whose view on this topic is “no” or “maybe” or “later.” I can certainly appreciate what you are saying. Thanks for adding your perspective to the debate, especially since you know you’re in the minority!

    While I wouldn’t dare to psychoanalyze Shane Brennan based on the little I know of him, I think it would be fascinating to get his perspective on the overall Densi story arc. I doubt he would want to reveal his thinking at this point in the series trajectory, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to get an interview like the one with Dave Kalstein earlier this year? I wrote for a professional website years ago and recall well the challenge of crafting articles on sensitive topics in a way that would be informative and well-received. I can’t imagine how challenging it must be to write a story that is viewed, reviewed, evaluated and debated by millions of passionate fans. I may not always agree with their choices but really respect their talent and process, just as I respect and admire this place to exchange views.

    So thank you again and I look forward to more interesting and engaging discussion in the future.


    • I am just curious how long you think they should wait? If they can’t get a relationship together in 4 years there really is no hope for them anyway (Did I just say that?) To be fair they have had 8 months and no offense to the side you portrayed that is way too long.

      Deeks feels guilty I get it but he isn’t guilty and he needs to know that.
      Sorry for all my comments.


  12. -Deeks is quick to take the blame. Probably a symptom of his early childhood. Putting blame on himself so he would take the brunt of his father’s wrath rather than his mother.

    -I think Deeks would have crossed the line regarding the cleric whether or not he had slept with Kensi, they’re partners. In fact, as loyal as Deeks is he would do anything for any member of the team. (ex. Sam with his wife.)

    -I’ll concede that sleeping with Kensi did impact his decision to shoot the Pakistani while he was holding her, but this is new to him and I think he overcame that at the end when he shot the woman in the cooler. Kensi even says, “Who takes that shot?”

    -I think while Kensi was away the 5 months in Afghanistan they were faithful to each other. After all, before getting into the ambulance, regardless of the prior knife conversation, I felt their conversation was about working on their relationship. As long as they’ve been waiting one would hate to mess that up by one night stands.

    -However, prior to their night out and after giving the knife back I think they dated. The reason why they don’t talk about it, is because they didn’t want to hurt their ‘thing’ before their night out and they won’t mention it in the future because of the potential for their ‘thing’ to continue.

    – Although I want them together, I think the show will lose viewers if they get together. After the episode, Three Hearts, I didn’t feel the chemistry between them like I had in the past. I didn’t like that feeling. To be clear, I like the story lines, the banter between the team members, and the characters, BUT I watch the show because of Deeks. I fear that ECO signed a 5 year deal or something like that and will be killed off at some point once Deeks and Kensi are in a relationship. Sometimes things are said that I can point to that support my thinking. (“You have no future?”, “Am I dead?”, “Not yet.”, and several others.)

    -As much as I like the whole Densi thing the show is NCIS:LA not NCIS:DK. I like how the writers bring in personal things for all the characters through the story lines. I’d like to keep it that way.

    -I don’t like the hitting, never have. However, I thought the punch Kensi gave to Deeks was justified. It helped him to see how his emotional involvement with her had effected his judgement. Hence, the change of behavior at the end of that episode.

    -I also don’t like the references to love. Let’s take it one step as a time, please. If the writers do decide to put them together viewers will start clamoring for babies. No, no, no. Let’s enjoy the ride.

    -On a personal note, I would go for it. We could debate the pros and cons forever. In that line of work, with lives at stake on a daily basis I would not want to pass up the opportunity for falling in love. Kensi and Deeks seem to be planning their future on what ifs instead of what is. Regret is a bitch.


    • It should also be noted that Kensi went into the building when she was told not to to save Deeks which is exactly the same thing he allegedly did (though if you ask me he had no shot. She literally covered every part of the terrorists body. IMO that is why she changed her view on the situation because she did the exact same thing he allegedly did and she realized it wasn’t as cut and dry as she thoughtt


  13. Great arguments on both side, but Brenda’s view point resonated with me more because she has personal experience with high risk working relationships. She pointed out that Deeks and Kensi were already past the point of no return, the point where something could turn out bad and offset the balance of their family. Also, Brenda AND Karen agreed that it was unrealistic for them to be so attached on an emotional level and not have a physical relationship together.
    What it boils down to is Hetty. Deeks has a lot to lose as Karen pointed out, but he doesn’t have all of the facts. He’s guilty because he thinks that their relationship is what made her almost get killed in Afghanistan. Hetty needs to tell him that it was her call, all of it, so that they can get on with their emotional and physical lives. Sam and Michele have a great marriage, and as Brenda pointed out, they’d favor that outcome more than a Joelle and Callen relationship. They’re exclusive. Just not sleeping together. They’re holding back because they’re too invested in each other. Why not take it to the next level and still continue to try to work things out together? Why do they have to put their physical relationship on the back burner?
    The metaphors to me are just plain agitating, and I know if Kensi and Deeks were real people they would get annoying pretty quickly. Season six, I have high hopes for you. (It’s only up after season five, right?)


  14. Is this a trick question? of course they should be together. Deeks needs to know the real reason she was sent over and if we are going to have to wait for episode 24 to get this relationship going I might have just watched my last episode. It has been way too long and me and the ratings have reached our boiling point.


  15. Angie stewart // October 7, 2014 at 7:23 PM // Reply

    Of course densi should be together. .
    Honesty not many adults wait six years
    To be imitate if they are really into each other…

    Yeah!!!!! This is t.v. everyone has great comments…
    It will be interesting. .. If they aren’t going to put them together. .. They should move them..
    Harm and mac on jag… o my lord …10 years… really….


  16. Welcome to the discussion Angie. And I agree six years is a loooong time.


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