Review: NCISLA “Inelegant Heart” (S6E2)
R. Scott Gemmill has been keeping pretty busy these days! Having penned the last two episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles, will Gemmill succeed in pulling off the proverbial hat trick? He gets some help from our favorite executive producer and director, John P. Kousakis and together their combined talents carry us into the second episode of the season, “Inelegant Heart”. Hetty may have been able to postpone her trip to Washington but this week she will finally have to face the music and account for her actions in Afghanistan. Poor Hetty is persona non grata these days and it doesn’t look good for the diminutive ninja, does it? And what’s this? A new look for G Callen? Is he just getting tired of shaving or is it part of an undercover disguise? We get to find all this out but not before Kensi and Deeks take to the mats!
Welcome to Thunderdome!
Normally I would find this Densi scene amusing and a great way to sneak a private peek into the partners’ everyday work life. Unfortunately, there has been much discussion lately about Kensi’s more physical side to her nature and even though this is a legitimate sparring session, as usual Kensi aggressively goes for the take down. Why can’t they start the show off with a friendly game of chess instead? Just saying? Thankfully, the mouth guard discussion at the end with Eric distracted my attention from all the fighting at least enough to forget the reasons behind that whole fight scene. Thank you, Mr. Beale.
With Hetty away, the team must investigate the death of a Naval cyber defense contractor and his involvement in the illegal transactions of confidential information over the internet. Up in Ops, the wonder twins describe what this Amazon for Terrorists is all about and the team is sent out to find his killers. Granger pulls Callen and Sam away from another undercover mission and despite the extreme nature of the current case the two agents aren’t happy. The Assistant Director’s attitude to disrupting their undercover mission was typical Granger, arrogant and aloof. You have to shake your head over his dysfunctional supervisory style.
Back in Washington, the question we have all been wanting to ask is finally put to Hetty: Why was Kensi picked for the White Ghost mission? Her meager answer doesn’t satisfy the group and she keeps stonewalling the committee. What is the real mystery and why does she refuse to disclose the truth?
They Make Those?
Kensi and Deeks’ investigation of the crime scene is typical Densi…Kensi complaining about geeks and their toys and Deeks critiquing Kensi’s nurturing skills. The banter keeps rolling until they find the contractor’s interest in conspiracy theories along with a full hazmat suit for those ‘end of the world’ dress-up occasions. Callen and Sam discover the man was prone to paranoia and lived his life online. A loner at best, this computer introvert was always looking over his shoulder and for good reason.
Without warning the team is stunned to find the Department of Justice knocking on the Mission doors and ordering a forensic audit of the building and its occupants. For once Granger is lost for words and tries to stall the investigation but can’t stop the real reason for the audit which is to destroy Hetty and take down the whole LA operation. The committee has opened up a door to Hetty’s past and they are using all of her past deeds to call her to task. This is going to get ugly.
Meanwhile, the agents make themselves scarce during the siege and come up with the intel that provides proof that the Navy contractor was trying to extort money from the internet terrorists by exposing its leader and his operation. The team comes up with a viable plan to draw the kingpin, Papa Legba out of hiding and his apprehension and capture shortly follow.
There were some light hearted moments that I particularly enjoyed throughout the episode: With a cryptic message from Hetty, Nell sabotages the DoJ’s investigation with Eric’s help (Eric: Hope you use protection….for the surges.)… Densi’s macabre mission at the morgue (Deeks: If this guy leaks dead guy juice on me, I’m going to freak out.)….And Eric working out in the field alongside Callen and Sam to catch the killer. (Callen to Sam: You clearly shouldn’t have any pets.) Finally, leave it to our favorite brain to figure out the identity of Papa Legba which shuts down the operation, and effectively putting him out of business. Case closed!
But this isn’t over by a long shot. Hetty has more pressing problems than being grilled by a government agency on her past doings. Someone is out to kill her and the story continues…. In some ways, I think this would have been a more suspenseful cliffhanger than “Deep Trouble” at the end of Season 5. Hetty’s intricate backstory and her involvement in the White Ghost provide us with an exciting mystery to solve and gives us some long awaited answers! I’m looking forward to next week but something tells me this is just the beginning of the team’s problems.
PS. If anyone has a clue as to what the title of this episode means, please let me know in the comments below. Or perhaps we’ll find out next week!
- Ah, the bromance is back in full bloom! Sam wants Callen to consider adopting a dog and it’s fun to watch the two partners banter back and forth with abandon! Just don’t go calling Sam your dog!
- You’re still my favorite brain, Beale. Always love Nell standing up for her partner.
- I’m sure it’s much easier to maintain a shaved head but I’m liking Callen’s new look. I think it makes him look 10 years younger, what do you think?
- Of course Deeks couldn’t get away without teasing Callen on his longer locks, which of course is like the pot calling the kettle black. (Deeks: It’s so fluffy; I just want to touch it!)
- So we find out Deeks had a lisp in high school? Huh. Somehow I can’t imagine that at all.
- Yes, sometimes Granger can surprise you….he cares about Hetty and the team. He just doesn’t always show it.
- Always got to love Deeks in undercover homeless garb….. never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Eric: Dude, I don’t watch wrestling.
Kensi: Do you hate America?
Eric: Granger is up in Ops.
Deeks: Granger probably watches wrestling.
Deeks: Don’t be jealous of my golden Viking mane!
Not much going on in the Densi areana. With their relationship on hold, Kensi and Deeks seem to be relaxed with each other despite the tension of the past. I think the barbs and insults were also flowing equally between the two partners in this episode. Deeks taunts Kensi’s regarding her use of makeup and Kensi gets a touché from Deeks on his dating skills. Neither one can leave an golden opportunity open to get a jab into the other. I think it’s in their DNA now:
Deeks: Just for the record you’re a terrible dancer!
Deeks: Wow, that’s a pretty nice move. Did you learn that in poll dancing?
Kensi: What did you say?!
Kensi: Fifty bucks says he’s got a sex doll dressed up like Princess Leia in his closet.
Deeks: I’m sorry. What? They make those? How do you know that?
Deeks: This is my favorite shirt. You’re not putting it on a dead guy.
Kensi: Relax, Princess. I’ll dry clean it.
Deeks: You can’t wash out ghost!
Join us next week for my review of the “Praesidium” which sees the return of Rocky Carroll. See you then!
Title: “Inelegant Heart”
Writers: R. Scott Gemmill
Director: John P. Kousakis
Original Air Date: October 6, 2014
Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks.com. Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi
Inelegant heart…..Henrietta Lange
Ditto Heather. Saw something on Twitter today (from cbs I think) that the ep title is an anagram for Henrietta Lange. Not sure if that’s the only meaning behind the title but that’s all I’ve got!
I have just discovered that inelegant heart is the anagram for Henrietta Lange
Thanks guys…I figured it had to do with Hetty but I thought there had to be some kind of meaning behind it…..
Thank you for the review Diane. This was a hard episode to get a handle on. Clearly it fits into a larger arc, but what exactly that arc will bring is unknown at this moment, so it’s difficult to evaluate where this one fits.
I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who found the sparring scene to be an unfortunate reminder of Kensi’s violent and abusive nature. At least we didn’t have to put up with the stupidity of the chick fight from last week.
Hmmm, is there anything else to say about this episode? Not really. Deeks looked nice in the dark T-shirt and the white one. But the only substantive part of the episode seemed to me liked warmed up leftovers from season 5.
Hello to all! First, I can not help you with that title, I’m still wondering the same as you! It was a fun episode and I think is the beginning of what is happening to be Hetty! Fight It, I hate, hate the way they do these things Kensi, I never liked it hits Deeks, ANNOYING ME, if only because they are training, plus I think the not as hard as it hit him! Callen and his hair, I love, like Deeks would touch !!! Also is a beautiful man with hair like me more, but Deeks is my favorite and I love and adore his golden mane Viking !!! This research Hetty is something that many have been waiting for since last year and I think I’m going to enjoy it, although I do not like to see Hetty in a bad situation! This is going to be really interesting, I will enjoy !!! Your summary is great !!! I think I told you that I love this place right? So I repeat! And always I apologize for my English! But it helps me to learn the language better and more beautiful! A kiss from Argentina
Thanks Jan and Kriss: Good to hear from you both! Yeah, the fight scene was annoying to me….can you tell?? Oh well, it gives us something to talk about, huh?
Big hugs from the US Kriss! Glad you love the site!
I was just wondering about one little thing … How did Kensi get Deeks to give up his shirt? I pictured a “You take off yours, I’ll take off mine” and I could see Kensi coming back into Ops and Nell comes up and discretely tells Kens that her shirt is on inside out. Just something that popped into my head.
I loved the review but this episode feels more like the build up to something much bigger and powerful. There’s something coming just around the corner … and I know it’ll be big.
And I guess it was a typo … I think you meant to say ‘game of chess’ and not ‘game of chest’ … unless it was a hopeful wish for the amped up timeslot.
Hey Jericho…check out the fan fic just posted here about Deeks and that black shirt. Hope it answers your need for clarification….coulda happened.
Yeah, just read it and thought it was an awesome match for the episode. I only wish that they would have shot the scene for real so we could have seen a little more DENSI.
I wondered the same about the shirt. My only guess is that Kensi threatened to tell the guys that he was an exotic dancer to help pay for law school! As Kensi would say “BEST DAY EVER!!!” You know Deeks would never want the guys to know that!! LOL
Thanks for the review Diane! I’m always amazed at how quickly you put together such a comprehensive analysis!
I don’t know – the fight scene just didn’t bug me. Don’t know why. Seemed contextually appropriate/reasonable. They have often done things like that in the past. Remember when Kensi shocked Deeks with her training knife? Did that bother you also? Or is it more in the context of the increased punching in the past year that this seems to be an issue. Just wondering.
Anyway, I’m not sure exactly how this episode fits into the grand scheme of things, but it did seem like a lot of foundation for the future. At the same time there was just a lot of funny stuff this episode.
My absolute favourite was “You can’t wash out ghost!”
Close second was the scene with Callen/Sam that ends with “You my dawg!” Hilarious. I can’t believe Sam didn’t drive away for real and then run him over. True bromance! It seemed to me that COD had a lot of fun delivering that line as well. My guess is not too many people address LL Cool J like that in real life!
Hetty,Hetty, Hetty. I was so mad at her last year and was glad she was going to have to answer for it at the end of last season. I must have forgiven her over the summer b/c now I just feel sorry for her. I think there is a real theme of imperfect people doing the best they can in trying times. A long time ago one of the physicians I worked with said “The retrospectograph is a finely tuned instrument.” I suspect Hetty would agree.
Looking forward to next week! I like Season 6 better than Season 5 already!!
I agree with absolutely everything you said, Dr Brenda! I liked the sparring scene! And I’m right there with you about Hetty. I was so so mad at her at the end of last season but this week’s episode had me feeling bad for her!
The fight scene didn’t bother me at all. There have been many episodes when the agents have been training by fighting – both with and without weapons. Deeks actually knocked Kensi on her back first, she just won in the end. I was much more upset when Sam took Deeks down with a stick a few years ago. This was just a training session – Sam and Callen were gone, so they were training against each other. Deeks couldn’t have been too upset, he never stopped with the taunting. I think he deserved every punch – this time.
I’m with Brenda and Teresa; I saw the sparring simply as training. It wasn’t as if Kensi was berating him during their match and he did toss her to the mat.
It was so great to have a new significant plot laid out and all members of the at the top of their game for the case, with each other, and with humor. I too was like Deeks, I want to touch (CODs) fluffy hair! So many awesome one-liners; seems like Gemmill made the most of his summer time. Can’t wait to see where the upcoming challenges take all these characters. After the traumas of season 5, I felt relieved to declare “They’re Back!” this week!
Great review Di. You are amazingly speedy too! I liked the sparring. Maybe it was just getting to see some physical contact between the two of them, LOL. I thought they were both having fun and as Brenda described, it seemed contextually appropriate. I also loved the scene in the morgue. Again they both seemed relaxed and having fun with one another. I just soooo wanted that scene to keep going.
I do have to say that I felt no sympathy for Hetty at all. Well, maybe a little that someone wants to kill her. But she was so uncooperative with the questioners, and it wasn’t really clear to me that she was doing so in order to protect her agents. I felt like she came across as kind of a jerk. I think I’ve moved in the opposite direction as Brenda has on Hetty over the summer, and sadly I’m not sure I care all that much what happens to her.
And I agree with everyone who felt like this was a set-up for things to come. It’s hard not to get excited about next week’s episode after reading all those ECO interviews. So much for avoiding spoilers. I seriously have no willpower.
I may have to got back and re-watch this episode … but aside from the sparring match, did Kensi punch Deeks at anytime? I think there was a playful swat but none of the hard punches and jabs she usually delivers.
I enjoyed the ‘high-five’ they exchanged in the morgue … more playful and no pain.
Maybe the tussle in the gym is her new way of dealing with her overly aggressive nature in a more constructive way. In the gym, she gets to train, helps her partner become better, and gets to frolick with him in very close personal contact. I think that’s a win-win for Kensi and Deeks wasn’t complaining … much.
It’s not that I had a problem with the sparring session, I’m just tired of always feeling they have to depict Kensi as RoboCop. I get it…it’s part of who she is. And I love the fact that it doesn’t bother Deeks at all because as ECO said in one of the interviews he gave this week….Deeks is very confident in his masculinity and lets her take the dark side (that aggressive side) out on him. (Although I think I would get a bit tired of it after a while). I just would like to see the writers get a little bit more creative and put the two of them in different situations where maybe Deeks is teaching her something like poker or they are sharing something that’s a lot more fun like a game of miniature golf together. It would be nice to see her get the more competitive side of her nature out doing something other than fighting.
Another great review Di. Lots of good banter in this ep between all the partners. Loved Callen’s hair. It does make him look younger and definitely sexier. As for the sparring match and other scenes like it, I always wonder why Deeks never seems to come out the winner…is he really that bad a fighter? Robot-Kensi always wins. Seems unrealistic. They wouldn’t even let people think he was a good surfer in that long ago episode. It’s becoming tiresome. Maybe I just got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, so sorry if I’m slightly negative. I really couldn’t follow the real case in this episode…too many alternate story lines to follow and rather confusing…seems the only real reason for it was to set up that Hetty was being targeted.
The scenes with Hetty in Washington seemed lethargic, but I think they are setting this senator up to be a bad guy, since he seems to be the one behind the DOJ coming after OSP. Why? Where is SecNav? All the agents and our Deeks are under siege. I must say that was the most intriguing part of the cliffhanger. They may all be in danger of losing their jobs if what Granger said is true. Why would they want to shut down an entire office full of highly successful agents? Is this going to be the seasons’ dominant arc? Very interesting if they do follow it to the conclusion and don’t just make it about Hetty.
Sorry Sweet Lu. I accidentally thumbs downed you when I meant to wholeheartedly thumbs up. I agree with everything you said.
That’s a good point. Why would they close down a whole office unless they think they are ALL in on the subterfuge. Kind of unlikely. But I guess they can make a good case in blaming the rest of the team as being in on what Hetty was doing. They never questioned her white ghost decision very strongly, so I guess the DoJ can make the case they went along with it.
I mean we really don’t even have a clue as to why Hetty did what she did….even in this whole arc since last year…it’s amazing that it’s been hidden so well. The side story about the Navy contractor was just window dressing. I do wish they had concentrated more on Hetty’s side of this story…but then we get to stretch it out more, don’t we?
The episode was all over the place in a way.. I agree kensi really needs to stop hitting on deeks. I still want to know how
Talia.and kensi need as friends last week…
Who knows what next week will bring..
Eric and bell were too funny .. I agree kensi does need to stop beating up deeks.
The episode was all over the place too me.. I am still wondering about last week’s events…
Great review and I see that you had this up in amazing time. Great comments and I agree with you except for the sparring. After all, Kick-ass Kensi needs to train and who better than with Deeks😉 I enjoyed the trash talking and the jabs they each got in. Deeks got in his licks and then Kens took him down. It sure looked like he wasn’t in pain, just unable to maneuver out without getting into pain. The tap out and how quickly they got up to express dismay at Eric’s confession only made me think there should be more wrestling. After all, Deeks took a step back… so no PDA’s in the near future from where I sit 😉. I also liked that there was a lot of banter between Densi. It reminded me of earlier seasons and held promise that Densi will get back to where we want them to be.
And this episode is setting up for something big! The stalker with the silencer is making me nervous. I can’t wait to see where this is all headed. I actually liked Granger after he expressed concern for Hetty in their convo. Leave it to Hetty to remind Nell about “this old office”. And that comment about Beale being Nell’s favorite brain…*sigh*. Sweet.
One last comment, loved the banter between the partners and G looked good with longer hair 😄
It was fun to read your review, Diane. Thank you for writing and publishing so quickly!
What I liked about this episode was how it fulfilled Bridget’s Wish List item to “Get back in the groove on the job”. So much of this episode reminded me of scenes from other episodes in previous seasons, not only for Densi but for the whole team.
Granger seems to have his own agenda and is gruff, yet in the end everyone is on the same page.
Hetty has a cryptic message and Nell knows just what it means.
Sam knows an obscure cultural reference (the Haitian voodoo origin of the criminal’s online moniker).
The four agents have their usual banter at their desks. Deeks is the center of attention. Then they are interrupted. They look contrite.
Callen and Sam’s bromance and banter are nonstop and fun. (If Sam thinks Callen needs a dog, does that mean Joelle is out of the picture?)
Both Nell and Eric are comically underestimated by outsiders.
Instead of Kensi and Deeks wrestling in a hotel room and being interrupted by Nell, they are wrestling in the gym and are interrupted by Eric. In this scene I was looking for sexual undertones (overtones would be okay too) vs. Kensi violence.
Instead of being upset about Kensi “vacuuming” with a chair, Deeks asks, “Who does that?” after Kensi reveals she’s been wearing his mouth guard.
Deeks asks, “Who uses a payphone?” but this time there’s no reference to the Outbreak Monkey.
Wasn’t there another episode where Deeks concedes the “touché” and he and Kensi high five wearing black gloves as they do over the dead guy? Was it in the scene that starts out with Kensi trying to picture Deeks as a public defender?
Even Kensi’s facial expressions in reaction to Deeks’ silliness (Whack A Mole?) are familiar. And always amazing.
No doubt there’s trouble ahead but it feels as if the team is getting back in the groove after season 5. It’s a good way to start the season. And Nate’s back next week!
In that touché instance you’re thinking of, Deeks gives Kensi a touché but no high five, but he flashes his little flashlight at her (and then she does it right back to him in true Kensi touché-fashion).
Thank you for remembering that!
The sparring session didn’t bother me, I even liked it. Deeks was at a very good level, even while talking non stop. He lost mostly because he was distracting by Eric. I found it nice to avec Deeks not being the “very bad at training” like we saw with Sam in other occasions.
Yes it’s still the competitive side of Kensi, I don’t think that will change . It’s maybe also an effect of her time in Afghanistan. I think she wants to prove that she’s still the same, not affected, not vulnerable.
But I agree, I would like to see Deeks teaching Kensi how to cook for example 😀
I don’t really like the case, resolution really too easy. I know that Eric is a genius but still, it was too fast and too easy. But the suspense concerning Hetty and the interrogation is good ! I’m really exciting for next EP.
Granger was awesome, and very concerned. It’s nice to see that side of him.
The Densi banter at the dead guy house was the banter I like the most, really funny. And Eco laugh is perfect 😀
Ok, so I’m very late posting, but I didn’t have much time to leave my comments before Ep3.
So I loved the review as always! I was happy with this episode because of the banter and just how well each of our partners works so well together. It’s like a well-oiled machine, the way they all know how to play off each other. Maybe it’s just that I’m happy the season is underway!
The only thing I don’t understand is why everyone seems to be so critical of Kensi. I’ve previously expressed how I enjoy the way Deeks and Kensi interact, including the times Kensi has reacted with a slap or a punch to Deeks with the exception of Frozen Lake. The sparring was great! They have to train! Deeks looked like he was having fun to me. I think it’s also because he gets a kick out of seeing Kensi give it her all. That whole scene made me smile.
Why doesn’t anyone complain about some of the mean things Deeks has said to Kensi over the years? Like how about the time in S2 Ep7 when they go to that spa and he proceeds to explain the number of “upgrades” her body needs, “the works”. He went on and on, and I remember how I thought how horrible that was to talk about someone’s body like that. He’s teased her about being a tomboy and one time even asked if her father really wanted a son. He read her freaking journal!! That ticked me off for a really long time. On a number of occasions he has sarcastically said “you’re such a lady” or “classy”. He even compared her place to a litterbox in front of the entire team! That’s not nice. He tells her that the only living things at her place are mold and mildew and that the mouse she had once died of starvation. Kensi even said that he is so mean.
Deeks just loves to push her buttons and knows how she will react. He expects it, and enjoys it, since he is usually laughing when it finaly happens. That’s why I get a kick out of it. The thing is, these two can’t stand to be apart and have become so close, despite the issues they are individually trying to manage. I love watching Densi, flaws included and whatever moments they share.