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Roundtable Discussion Part Two: Season 5 Letdowns

Exclusive The wikiDeeks team is back with more thoughts on NCIS Los Angeles Season 5. This time our writers get a chance to talk about some of the more frustrating moments about the season. DianeDiane:  One of the things that bugged me this season is that there seemed to be so many episodes where they were always out saving the world from imminent destruction, which was a bit unrealistic and for me tiring. I don’t mind that if it lends itself to character development, but most of the time it didn’t and I would rather see episodes like “Spoils of War” that were just as exciting and where we got to learn so much about Deeks and the team and how they work so well together. Those are the episodes that keep me coming back for more. What did you all think about the storylines this year? Karen P.Karen P:  I totally agree. I almost don’t pay attention to the plot of the story. I like the explosions, but it really has become all about the characters for me, so when they have episodes that don’t have any real character development and there is just some fun banter, I find those episodes more disappointing than the other ones. LindyLindy:  One of the things that bothered me is all the time they spend with small talk between Nell and Eric, and the fact that they had to bring Nell into the field this year. I know they had to do it with Daniela. But they were trying to push her as this street smart girl, and it just didn’t fly for me that she would know how to talk up some street guy. I thought it was ludicrous. I also think they spent too much time setting up which explosion was going to go off and who was going to die. I agree with Karen, we want to see more of the people and we want to know more about them!


GayleGayle:  I agree that we are all pretty much on the same page in that it has all become about the character development. The cases when they start and finish in one episode are sort of forgettable at this point. I just remember being so struck at the end of Season 4, where they had sort of secretly built this integrated storyline with Sidorov and the nukes over a long period of time but I kept looking for that  in season 5.  Even after the plane crash after “Impact,” I kept wondering, ‘Is this coming back?’ at the end of the season. So this was the biggest disappointment at the end of this season, and I hope that they go back to that with these bold threads that show themselves later.

Karen S.Karen S:  “Spoils of War” was so good and so intense and then the very next episode was a dud. The only saving grace in the next episode (“Windfall”) was Deeks smiling at Kensi, that was it. It was very much a letdown.

LindyLindy:  The three episodes at the end were a letdown. They had gotten rid of three of the best villains that they had, especially when they got rid of Sidorov, and then they locked up the other great villain Janvier and I kept thinking that they were going to bring him back at the end of the season, and they never did. I think that one of the things that made Season 4 so great was that they had those villains that were so bad… and it was a great pay-off. And this season they didn’t have a villain you could hate, and it was just kind of dull. I did like the story arc of Kensi in Afghanistan because it gave you some consistency for the season, but at the end after “Spoils of War” it just fell off and they didn’t know what to do next. That was amazing to me, and they didn’t build up the season finale for me. Here we were supposed to be all concerned about what happens to Callen and Sam, but they didn’t even give us enough build-up to make us worry.

DianeDiane:  It just seemed like a regular episode for me. Who cares? You know they are going to get out of it. Because at the end of Season 4, you wanted to know what was going to happen to Deeks and Sam- were they hurt? This time it wasn’t a very exciting finale for me.

Karen P.Karen P:  I think Gayle and Lindy have great points about the quality of the villains, and even in “Impact” where they had the plane crash, there wasn’t a bad guy, there was some evil organization and they never had a face to it… and even in Afghanistan the Taliban were the bad guys but we never saw individual bad guys except for the cleric. So that is something they can do better next time.

LindyLindy:  Or maybe they can bring Janvier back, they wouldn’t have kept him alive if they weren’t going to bring him back sometime. Same with Angelo in “Three Hearts.” They are going to bring him back too.

Karen S.Karen S:  Just like Karen P. said… all season there wasn’t a hint of a bad guy. All the other seasons there was someone lurking in the background and this time there wasn’t one at all.

BrendaBrenda:   I was just sorry they killed off the crazy drug dealer in “Three Hearts,” Steve Wozniak, because I thought he was such a great villain because he was so off the wall and so unstable, he would have been great to have around, so unstable.

DianeDiane:  So I get the feeling we are done with metaphors?

LindyLindy:  Well if Dave’s still writing, you never know.

GayleGayle:  Sparingly, not all at once.

Karen P.Karen P:  I think I have developed an oversensitivity at this point.

BrendaBrenda:  I don’t mind the metaphors as long as they use them consistently. What I felt annoying at the end of “Three Hearts” is that Kensi says, “What does your third heart tell you?” I think it kind of destroys the metaphor because the third heart is the one you don’t show anybody. So he’s answering it by giving the knife back, but the whole thing didn’t make sense to me. But I love metaphors, I’m all over it, but I couldn’t follow that.

LindyLindy:  But wasn’t the third heart what we want to see about Deeks? More back story, what he’s feeling?

Karen P.Karen P:  Yeah, I’d like to find out what is in his third heart by him using his words instead of in a metaphorical way by using the knife.

BrendaBrenda:  Plus I have a job where I interact regularly with cops and corrections officers and they are just a lot more concrete, black and white and not the metaphorical types for the most part. So, a little bit is fine, but if you are going to mix more than one metaphor… it’s kind of like those cakes that have sprinkles, nuts and icing and it just gets to be too much!

DianeDiane:  What about some of the spoilers that were released on Twitter this season that never happen this year? What was going on there?

GayleGayle:  I think they need to be a little more careful with it. They are teasing the audience and they are getting their attention and it gets you all anticipatory for what’s coming, and then it’s like Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football! How many times are you going to let Lucy pull the football away before you stop taking a kick at it? I understand they have to make these editing choices afterwards, and cutting for time, but maybe they need to pump the breaks a little more on the spoilers before they put them out so blatantly.

Karen P.Karen P:  If they are going to do that, they should at least include those deleted scenes on the DVD if they are cutting it from the program.

Chime in and let us know your thoughts and be a part of the Roundtable.  Next week we will end our discussion with our wish list for season 6.  Be sure to return to find out what we hope for as the new season begins, especially for Mr.  Deeks!

About Diane (317 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!

7 Comments on Roundtable Discussion Part Two: Season 5 Letdowns

  1. I was let down with some of the episodes as well, I would like more character development too. Want to know what makes Kensi click, and
    what Deeks feels about Kensi, without it being a metaphor as well.

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  2. There are a lot of people who watch for the cases and the action. I’m okay with that (so long as it is well done), but frankly I can get the booms anywhere. I need to see characters I care about for the booms to be important. I wish I could say that all the characters are equally important to me, but it’s just not so. I adore Deeks, love Sam, and relish Grumpy Granger. Some of the other characters, not so much. So keeping a balance of characters is important in holding my attention week after week.

    I agree that this season sorely needed an overall arc to tie it together. The Afghanistan arc just didn’t do it for me, for a number of reasons. I have to wonder if the bad guys in Impact were not originally intended to be the bad guys that our team would eventually go after in Spoils of War (or whatever the conclusion of the Afghanistan arc was intended to be.) Supposedly they had all these resources at their disposal to be able to bring down a plane, and by the end of War Cries, we find out the private contractors’ war crimes were committed by one lone psycho, whom Nell managed to fight off all by herself. What a letdown. I was also disappointed that, if they were going to bring back PTSD-sufferer Jack, they didn’t tie that in with parallels to Deeks’ PTSD, which amazingly disappeared after Unwritten Rule. But don’t get me going on that subject.

    The season really needed a formidable and recurring Big Bad for our team to go after. On the other hand, I am glad that TPTB did not go back to Janvier for the finale. That would have been three seasons in a row, and it would have been too much.

    Lindy: I agree about Nell. It looked to me like TPTB were just looking around for someone they already had under contract to read what would have been Kensi’s lines. I like Nell well enough for exposition and plot points, but field agent? Like you said, it didn’t fly. Ludicrous.

    Brenda: I disagree with you about the Steve Wozniak character in Three Hearts; I just couldn’t tolerate that clown. But I agree with you when you say that “…cops … are just a lot more concrete, black and white and not the metaphorical types for the most part.” Yes, yes, yes. The metaphors just seemed so out of character for Deeks (as well as Kensi). This is an example of a writer trying to force his voice onto characters where it just doesn’t fit.

    As for the metaphors:
    Karen P: “Yeah, I’d like to find out what is in his third heart by him using his words instead of in a metaphorical way by using the knife.” Karen, you are officially my hero. I may have to hold a parade in your honor.

    Overall, this season just never managed to keep any momentum after Unwritten Rule. After that, there were some decent episodes, some bad episodes with some good scenes, but until Spoils of War, nothing really remarkable. And as Lindy said, after Spoils of War, it was almost as if TPTB collectively said, ‘what, you mean we have to produce 5 more episodes for this season? Damn, I thought we were done.’

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  3. I just found out about the flashback scene they filmed for the third heart episode that we didn’t get and that really irks me as a fan. How do they not add that to the episode? That is a slap in the face. It was a calculated move and a blatant lie. It is kind of unforgivable to me so it better end up on the DVD.

    As for the season itself I loved it until Kensi came back. Then like all of you I felt they threw away the last 4 episodes of the season.

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  4. I only started watching this summer thanks to the marathons on USA but I’m hooked. I just finished the 5th season. Glad I stumbled onto this site.

    I concur that it feels like they essentially wasted some episodes in s5. Especially the last 3. Character development is what we are interested in and several episodes lacked any of it. It wasn’t a bad season just uneven. As others have said this season lacked any stakes. No big bad to combat. Spoils of war was excellent though. I enjoyed allegiance too.

    I still like Hetty but she’s got to come clean about some stuff stat. Her meddling almost led to some disastrous consequences.

    And since this is my 1st post I guess I should state my position on Kensi/Deeks…they certainly should be together. I am a guy but I’m a big sap when it comes to this stuff. I understand the will they or won’t they dynamic but it’s gone on long enough. You never know when a show will get canceled. This show has great ratings but with the new time slot there are no guarantees. Plus you want some episodes seeing them actually be together. Better get to doing that while you can.

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  5. I agree with many of the comments. The season was jusr uneven. With so many great episodes, others thar would have been okay seemed blah. I wonder if developing some great recurring characters would help. Sabatino and Talia were good. I just did not like Kensi and Talia vamping for Deeks. Can’t we just have strong women? A little teasing is fine but not sure it worked. It might hace been better to bring in replacement partner for Deeks. It was great to see him more serious and funny. Even developing Callen and Deeks relationship would have worked. I agree that they missed the boat by not developing a better villian. I don’t think this can all be blamed the pregnancy. It certainly did not help however the whole white ghost story was good and gave us a great episode. Most of the police I have worked with are not so into metaphors however I can live them. I am looking forward to the new season.

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