Nothing has lit the Densi fandom on fire during a hiatus like the “Spoils of War” deleted scene referencing the post-restaurant departure from “Recovery.” It has fans’ minds swirling with countless questions regarding the show’s decision-making process, interpretation of the scene, potential implications, and so much more. The lofty (and near overwhelming) challenge of debating these aspects has bravely been accepted by wikiDeeks founder Diane (@phillydi) and contributor Gayle (@DensiLand). How does this newly-discovered event affect the overall show, the Densi ‘ship, and our dashing Detective Deeks? By the time we’re finished we hope to have covered all these questions and more!
Gayle: Wow, Diane, what have we gotten ourselves into? More importantly, what has this unexpected offering done to our favorite team members? Let’s start with a primary question weighing on many of us: Why was this scene cut from the episode? In regularly voicing a minority opinion, I’ll admit I was fine with the scene being cut. More frustrating was having it originally publicized via a teasing tweet. (Tip: Fans don’t appreciate false hope.) We know “Spoils of War” ran notably long with regard to time, which means more than this scene hit the proverbial cutting room floor. This episode had themes of action-packed mortal combat and painful emotions, so they may have felt such progress of the Densi ‘ship didn’t fit the overarching objective of the episode. On a related note, they may have decided that scene no longer reflected the manner or timing to broaden the “love story”.
Diane: We should probably have our heads examined but this was a challenge I just couldn’t resist! Ever since we heard about the deleted scene from “Spoils of War” the Densi contingency has been buzzing but more out of frustration than anything else. We were all initially excited to hear about the flashback scene from some of the show runners on Twitter, but couldn’t be more exasperated when it didn’t turn up on the screen. I think it was pulled at the last minute which was why it was originally used as a teaser on Twitter. They actually thought at the time it was going to be part of the episode. If it was important enough to mention it at the time, I believe they thought it was a powerful scene. It also helped to explain the remainder of the Densi storyline last season which seemed stilted, awkward and just plain strange to me after “Spoils of War” (lest we forget the raccoons!) I just can’t believe it was only about time… I just think they didn’t want to go there and mention the ‘L’ word this season.
Gayle: Yes, an awareness of this scene would have provided much needed context for numerous perplexing issues near the season’s end; so on this we agree. In hindsight, using this scene as a teasing ploy was either a genius strategy to churn up the fandom or a misguided Tweet – something we may never know. Speaking of unknowns, what do you think about the choice to release the deleted scene to the DVD set?
Once the tweet was out there, TPTB (the powers that be) were probably in trouble with the fans no matter which choice they made. Not release it and people would be mad, much like the never-aired scene of Deeks giving Kensi the fern (times 100). They probably thought they were appeasing the fans with its inclusion (something we need to appreciate). However, in doing so, the Densi fans have imploded in various ways. In this case it may have been far better to take no action (keep the scene in the vault – or destroy it altogether) than the apparent upheaval it has caused? (Actually the solution to the whole thing is to be more careful with the teasers/spoilers.)
Diane: It was wonderful to watch (as a Densi fan who stood up and cheered at the end of the restaurant scene in “Recovery”), but what was the point of releasing in on the DVD… well, except to assure us that they did indeed make love afterwards? There was so much speculation after that episode…“did they or didn’t they”. Well, human nature tells me they did. If a man like Deeks says he’s falling in love with you, I don’t think it took Kensi very long to decide whether or not to take it to the next level. But what leaves me frustrated is wondering if what was said during that scene truly happen? I have no doubt they made love but were those words ever said? I think they made a mistake in cutting it out and I’m hoping that putting it in the DVD is an attempt to explain what the heck was going on between Deeks and Kensi the rest of the season. It’s the only thing that makes sense in terms of Deeks’ actions later.
Gayle: Wow. Interesting how completely opposite our reactions, expectations, and interpretations were to both the end of “Recovery” and the deleted scene! While your human nature tells you they crossed the ultimate line, my romantic heart hopes that’s not the case – at least not now. These two have so much baggage from the past and “issues” as individuals, partners, and a couple, working through them first (before jumping to the intimate act) would significantly increase their chances for a long-term successful relationship. This is of even greater importance since they work together. Plus, it would be incredible for this personal connection to be exempt from yet another set of (self-imposed) barriers. These are beautifully flawed people and this situation presents greater depth and complexity for these characters, and those are the very reasons why small moments of untarnished happiness would be such a gift. Simply having insight into what happened that night would explain Densi’s end of season reactions to each other, but it’s not necessarily dependent on how far things advanced; simply getting both Deeks and Kensi to the point of mutually expressed feelings to each other is a milestone all on its own.
Diane: I’m as romantic as the next guy, but after five years of waiting and finally getting their chance… I don’t care how many issues there are between them… yes, I believe they crossed that ultimate line. I’m not saying it was the best thing to do considering what was swirling around them but in the moment the stars aligned and it was finally time to express another part of their relationship. Eric Christian Olsen said something very telling in the one of the special features on the Season 5 DVD. He said that Deeks has never been in love before like that…if true, this has got to be one of the most important and significant scenes ever filmed in the history of Densi. That was a really big deal for Deeks! It just wasn’t just some throwaway line with no meaning to it! If they weren’t willing to leave it in because they didn’t want to further the Densi storyline, then the writers should have rewritten the entire last 5 episodes of the season in terms of Densi’s relationship. To me everything after “Spoils of War” was vague and very confusing!
Gayle: I agree with your take on Deeks’ statement and will add Kensi’s voluntarily action to leave the restaurant was of equal importance. Just as Deeks initially expressed himself through the action of the kiss on the hillside in “Descent”, Kensi mirrors that effort with her own action at the end of “Recovery”. While there may have been more on the deleted scene, it’s unknown if Kensi offered her own verbal confession (doubtful). Not only was virtually every post-”Spoils of War” puzzling, the current overriding question for me is: What are we to do with this scene? The fact it was cut and never aired, are we to presume it never happened? That it was simply a writer’s concept? A torture-induced hallucination? Or is this an effort to provide clarity for the end of Season 5 and preparation entering Season 6? How can this be the case when the vast majority of the millions of NCIS: LA viewers will have never seen it? Without some guidance from TPTB on how to treat this scene, I fear it splinters fans – those who have seen it and entered it into their Densi knowledge base and more casual viewers who haven’t. This seems dangerous as the show additionally moves to a new night and time.
Diane: During the commentary for “Frozen Lake,” ECO and Daniela mention that the final takes used in many of the key Densi scenes were the ones that had the most restrained performances between the two actors and not the emotionally powerful takes that wound up on the cutting room floor. It’s all decided by the editors, together with Shane Brennan’s ultimate vision as to where they are going to take these two characters on their journey. I believe deleting this scene from “Spoils of War” was just another way of controlling the path Densi traveled in Season Five. But in a sense this happens all the time and the fans never get a chance to see what might have been if they had chosen a different road to go down or used a different edit. This time they let us peek into an alternative reality that might have been… giving the serious fans something to think about as we go into Season Six. This will probably drive me crazy because I will be forever scrutinizing each future scenario and trying to factor in the existence of that love scene. If nothing else, this tryst will go down in Densi lore and will be talked about for a long time to come. (This could be the ultimate method to their madness!) The majority of Densi fans are going to know about the scene and embrace it or discard it depending on where they want to see the characters go….but I think the casual viewer is not going to care one way or the other. They are probably watching the show for the ‘boom’ factor anyway and are not into character’s storyline, particularly Densi’s. I know we keep coming back to this, but I just wished they had been a bit clearer in terms of what was going on between Densi during those last five episodes. I’m going to have to be optimistic and say the addition of this deleted scene in the DVD is a thank you gift to Densi fans for loving these characters as much as we do and asking us not to give up hope. There still might be a future for Densi yet… even though I fear that things between these two are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
Gayle: Glad you brought up the editing choices that seem to be dictating Densi’s advancement (or lack there of). If you take this deleted scene along with those of the shirt reference in “The Frozen Lake” and Deeks’ enraged outburst in “Ascension,” it’s fairly easy to conclude someone made the executive decision to slowly pace Densi’s progression. While frustrating to some, I’m sure we agree this is for the best (even if begrudgingly) regarding the show overall. It’s a firm reminder to appreciate the long-term journey rather than the immediate destination.
Diane: A physical relationship doesn’t mean that a long term journey is not in their future. And it’s already been a five year trip, so realistically, how much longer do we give them? Another five years, seven, ten? By that time I will be long gone. So is it for the best? I’m not sure. I know what I’d like to see in the very near future is a committed relationship between the two, with it’s ups and downs and the occasional bumps in the road. Maybe they survive and maybe they don’t but isn’t that what makes life and these characters so interesting? Why can’t they be working out their issues together? I think it would be a lot more fun to see where life takes them together instead of hoping for time to heal all wounds. Right now the relationship seems to be on hold and it’s in danger of ending even before it has a chance to begin. I have a feeling that the return of Talia is going to be a turning point in Densi’s future. It will be interesting to see where Season 6 takes us!
Forty-eight seconds have forever impacted the Densi fandom. As usual the people that create our favorite family have left us with more questions than answers. What was your reaction to the scene? How will you interpret and apply it moving forward? In the end, do we have the patience to follow the advice of the Gurkha, “Do not run. Walk slowly. Stop to look at everything. Take your time.” Or is the time for waiting over?
Gayle H. is a Contributor at wikiDeeks.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @DensiLand
Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi