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Review: NCISLA “Praesidium” (S6E3)



At the end of last week’s episode, it was apparent that our gal Hetty was in a whole heap of trouble after being grilled by government officials about her involvement in the White Ghost fiasco. Now it seems some unknown source wants to see the enigmatic team leader dead as well. The exciting mystery continues this week as her team rushes to save Hetty from harm and identify the forces who are attempting to shut down the LA office for good. R. Scott Gemmill continues his writing duties on the storyline but this time he gets some help from one of the newest writers on the team, Erin Broadhurst. I’m really pleased to see her first script produced for the show and together with director Dennis Smith you have a trio that can’t miss!

I need my beauty sleep!

Did you ever think we would see the show start with Deeks sleeping on Kensi’s derriere? Oh, I’m liking this episode already! I don’t think either one of them is a morning person but that was one of the best scenes ever filmed between the two partners as they are summoned for an early morning meeting at the Mission. But what I want to know is why they wound up falling asleep on that couch together. Sounds like a fan fic is needed to fill in the gaps here!

As the rest of the team stumbles into Ops, they watch as security footage shows Hetty’s home being breached by two armed intruders killing one of her long time security guards. As the team goes off to check on Hetty’s other homes, Callen worries what could have happened to his mentor. A classic Sam and Callen banter session ensues and we find out which of the partners knows Hetty the best. (Callen: Daffodils? It doesn’t even look right coming out of your mouth.)

Back in Washington, the committee is still grilling Hetty about the White Ghost mission. They’re not going to let her off the hook either. The questioning leads to a medical emergency as Hetty gasps for air and collapses. The DoJ is also bearing down on the team in Los Angeles as well and looking for further intel on Hetty and her crew. (Wallace to Eric and Nell: You two keep playing me and you’re going to find yourself working in the IT department at PetCo.) Granger made me laugh out loud as he is being questioned by the DoJ leader. He likes his humor dry and Ferrer does a great job trying to hamper the investigation process. Come on, admit it. He’s starting to grow on you just a little bit, isn’t he?

What terrifies you?

As the team finds out about Hetty’s condition, Callen is itching to get the next plane out of LA but his team convinces him to work the case and find out who is behind the mystery. But leave it to Hetty to have everything under control. Hetty has people not only in high places but in all places as she sneaks out of the hearing in an ambulance. You got to hand it to the little ninja… she’s resourceful. One of the best scenes of the episode is Callen and Sam tracking down more suspects as the DoJ is following them into danger. Not too sure I believe this scenario would ever happen but it was fun to watch Sam fidget trying to get the dragon lady off his back. As Callen is fighting off bad guys by himself, Sam reenacts a scene from the Fast and Furious. (Sam: Shouldn’t you be writing this down?) The action was first class and you had to smile as the scene came to a screeching close. Dennis Smith’s directing was so much fun to watch as Sam zigzags through the streets of LA. Classic!



I know where the bodies are buried!

The DoJ continues to play hardball which doesn’t stop this team as they bully, intimidate and slip away from her grasp. Unfortunately, Deeks and Kensi are not so lucky and not even Deeks’ wisecracks will work on the DoJ goons. (Deeks: Hey, did you finish your book report?) But Kensi’s ordeal in Afghanistan is causing her bottled up emotions to rise to the surface. The interrogation is bringing up memories she has pushed down for way too long. The long awaited scene that Eric Christian Olsen mentioned in his pre-season interviews is also one of his favorite Densi moments of the season and I agree. It is a wonderful private moment between the partners. Deeks giving Kensi advice on how to survive the torture she suffered at the hands of the Taliban was telling. We get to hear how he probably pulled himself out of the trauma he suffered from as well. It was so nice to see them bonding and creating an intimate moment that to me was just as sexy as the kiss from Season 4… but then a little kiss at the end of this scene wouldn’t have hurt either. But I’ll take it. It was a beautiful moment between the two.

What’s the meaning of all this?

Hetty doesn’t get too far from the rabbit hole as she is commandeered and kidnapped by one of her own. I always appreciate when Director Vance makes an appearance on the show. I think it’s important to have that link with headquarters and it reminds us why the LA division exists. I know this is Granger’s job but Vance’s presence more effectively connects us to the mother ship. With the show trying to find a home on its new date and time his presence is more important than ever. The scene in the museum with Hetty was intense and I would love to see him interacting more with Hetty and the rest of the team in the future. This time he informs her there is a leak within her operation and even the diminutive giant is caught off guard. The hearing was just a means to get her away from whoever is really trying to kill her back in LA. Even Hetty is surprised… and relieved until she realizes her team is in danger.

Nell masquerading as Hetty was a fun touch until she finds herself in the middle of the siege to take down Hetty. (Anybody catch David Olsen as one of the bad guys?) Nell enlists Hetty’s assistance and finds out her boss still has some tricks left up her sleeve as she reveals an escape plan for Nell and the boys to use. Once they round up what’s left of the men trying to assassinate Hetty, the intel shows an old foe may be behind all the calamity. Mattias Draeger is back and Callen has no intention of taking any prisoners.

More great action, terrific banter and a kickass storyline. When the show revolves around the main characters, this is the show we have come to know and love so well. The Hetty arc just keeps getting better and better. Nice job to the writers, directors and crew… I can’t wait for next week as we continue the storyline and hopefully find out who wants Hetty dead. But what about the White Ghost mission? Will this be swept under the rug or will we ever find out the reason why Hetty sent Kensi on that mission? I guess we will have to be patient and wait for this story to play itself out.

Memorable Moments

  • I liked how we watched as the team was called into Ops. Nice to see them away from their work environment… including Granger. Didn’t see that one coming! Ha!
  • Callen made me laugh when he tells Deeks that Hetty has a resting heart rate at 50 when being shot at. Yes, she is an enigma within an enigma.
  • The quiet talk between Granger and Nell was revealing. We get to see a different side of the Assistant Director as well. Seems he has a soft spot for the plucky agent.
  • The Sam/G banter was first class this episode. Those two really crack me up. (Callen: I think you’re watching too much of the Actor’s Studio.)
  • And talk about the Actor’s Studio…. Oh Beale…I think you should be up for an Oscar after that performance.

Deeks Moments

I think Deeks’ teammates are getting to know the amusing (suggestive??) side of the Detective’s nature all too well. This classic Deeks moment is brought to you by the comedy team of Callen and Hanna:

Callen: I usually like a woman that wants to put me in handcuffs. Not that one.

Sam: No, no, no. Hold on. Did you hear what you just said?

Callen: What?

Sam: That sounds like something Deeks would say.

Callen: Oh, god, you’re right. You think I held my breath underwater too long?


Densi Moments

Deeks: Stop kicking me.

Kensi: We’re being called into Ops

Deeks: What? What time is it?

Kensi: Just after six.

Deeks: In the morning? Yeah, no. I need my beauty sleep.

Kensi: More like a beauty coma.

Deeks: You’re obviously not a morning person.

Kensi: It’s not morning yet. Get up.

Deeks: I kind of wish you had a snooze button.


Deeks seems to be testing the water with Kensi when he shyly asks if she would like to become his roommate. Although he uses humor to deflect Kensi’s immediate refusal, could Deeks’ previous resolve to take a step back in the relationship be dissolving?

Kensi: I would live with Monty before I would live with you.

Deeks: Yeah… That goes without saying because Monty is a catch. I’m saying that we come as a package deal.

Kensi: Oh, so I get a dog and a mutt? No thank you.

Deeks: Ok, touché. Alright. That’s fine. It’s probably better this way. I probably couldn’t put up with your hoarding anyway.

Kensi: For the thousandth time, I’m not a hoarder.

Deeks: Oh, you’re a dirty little hoarder. You’re hoard city!


Here’s a beautiful moment between friends, lovers and partners:

Deeks: The harder you try, the harder it’s just going to fight back. Trust me. You just got to let it out. You have to make peace with it. And that takes time.

Kensi: I’m so much tougher than this.

Deeks: I know you are. You’re tougher than me and that’s tough.


Yes, the story continues and this tale is turning out to be one of the best arcs the show has ever produced. Turn in next week for my review of the next installment, the “The 3rd Choir”… only on wikiDeeks!

Title: “Praesidium”
Writers: Erin Broadhurst and R. Scott Gemmill
Director: Dennis Smith
Original Air Date: October 13, 2014


Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks. Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi

About Diane (428 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!

31 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Praesidium” (S6E3)

  1. Excellent review! And as per your m.o., up so quickly. I couldn’t wait for the end of the workday to read your review and to comment 😊 So much to love! This epi will be one of my all time favorites.

    Every single member was awesome. Loved the teamwork, the banter, the action, the suspense, all of it 😊 Loved the teamwork in stalling the investigation. G and Sam’s partnership is a thing of beauty. I love how in sync they are. Eric was hilarious telling the agent “everything”. And Nell, her first kill where she goes from here. And Granger is growing more on me. I actually liked him throughout. And all I could think about during the firefight at Hetty’s house was ‘oh no, Hetty’s treasures’. But, of course, Hetty has a secret passageway 😊. Sam’s “I Love Hetty” echoes my feelings.

    But the highlight and the best part of this epi was the Densi moments. Loved all of it! The opening scene with Deeks head on Kensi’s derrière made me think of fanfiction. And the scene at the boathouse was more than I imagined so early in the season. I’ll happily take it. And agreed, there should have been a sweet little kiss on the top of Kensi’s head before they pulled apart! But there I go, give an inch, take a mile😊

    Awesome episode!


    • Yes, Densi was the best part of this episode….I decided to take my own advice and write a little post ep fanfic to show my version leading up to the morning scene with Kensi and Deeks….will be out soon. Thanks for being one of our favorite fans! I always appreciate your comments!!


  2. Excellent review Di. I share your enthusiasm for the episode. For me it was the best written one so far this season. I think the strong team aspects you and Reader1976 both spoke of were thanks to the strong writing. The banter just felt right, with all the characters- the writers really captured all their respective voices. I too enjoyed Sam and Callen, and thought Eric was hilarious. I will spare everyone another rant about Hetty- I think I’m close to giving up on getting any satisfaction out of the end of the White Ghost arc, at least where she’s concerned. I do have to say that by the time we got to our second shirtless cast member of the evening, I was whining a little about why we couldn’t have had the same thing last week, when there was a perfect opportunity for just that.

    The Densi was great. The scene in the boatshed was beautiful. It was a treat to see the annotated script- there’s so much to think about in so many of the lines (and without any metaphors at all). My only quibble is I’d have loved a short shot on Deeks’ face as he’s giving Kensi his advice; I think it would have helped make the scene more about both of their trauma than about Kensi’s. Deeks’ words struck me as pretty ironic given his apparent refusal to talk about any of this troubles. Hopefully Kensi will call him on it in a future episode. I do think it’s got to be tough for him to want to share what he did in Afghanistan after seeing Kensi’s pain over what happened to her there- he’s got to know that she’d just feel responsible for him doing what he did. At any rate, the love between these two is ridiculously palpable. I totally agree with Reader1976 that a little kiss to the top of the head was clearly needed!


    • Yes, that kiss would have been a wonderful way to end that scene but I think Deeks is still afraid to explore their relationship especially after she says she would never live with him…. we all know this is Kensi deflecting any type of intimacy but he still took it to heart, I think.


  3. Thanks for another terrific recap Diane!

    I enjoyed all the Densi monents..especially the one in the boat shed.
    I also feel …that scene of Deeks consoling Kensi…really called for a soft kiss on the forehead or cheek from Mr. Deeks.

    A kiss at the end of that scene would have definately added a little extra oomph & je ne sais croc-monsieur …to that lovely Densi monent…oh well..maybe next time…

    I agree with Karen..that it would have been cool if they had cut away ever so briefly ..and showed us Deeks face while he held Kensi.

    I watched that scene many times..and was struck with not only how pretty & expressive Daniel Ruah ‘s face & eyes are…but also by what a talented & gifted actress she is.

    The show runners need to give her more dramatic scenes like this with Deeks…so she can show us her great acting range..

    ( Seeing her natural beauty & talent on display every week on the show…reminds me that she is the actress who should have been hired to play Wonder Woman …in the upcoming Supernan vs Batman movie. )

    My fave episode so far in this young season….as we saw lots of funny and tender Densi scenes in this episode…..without one punch in anger or jest …being thrown by Kensi.

    Thats what I call progess …in my book! 🙂


    • Thank Owen! Yes! Wouldn’t you have liked to have seen Deeks face during that scene. I totally agree! That scene was a bit of progress and no punching!!


  4. I have stumbled upon this internet site by chance when I was looking for more details about NCIS:L.A. as I haven’t watched them from the very beginning. Actually I haven’t given much thoughts to it, but little by little I found myself in love with all of them, especially Kensi and our dashing detective. So to make a long story short, I became addict to the serial and your fantastic site and wish to thank you for all excellent posts.
    Now to go back to this episode and especially to Densi touching moment. I agree that the scene was calling for a soft kiss in the end but I also have a feeling that Kensi was expecting it too as she said in the end “..and just like that the moment is way gone..” Was she
    actually disappointed with some kind of lack of “action” from Deek’s side? Or it was also her way to light up the moment?
    Any comments/views will be most appreciated.

    P.s. excuse me in advance for any possible grammatical or spelling mistakes as I am not native 8english) speaker


    • Welcome Maria! Please come back often….glad you found us.

      I think Kensi was embarrased by her moment of weakness….so her comments at the end were a way to make her look as if it wasn’t a big thing afterall. But this was totally a big deal for her to be putting her emotions out there on her sleeve. Deeks knew it too and like I said before, he’s still testing the waters and is afraid to make too many sudden moves but I think he is slowly trying to find a way back to her again.


      • thank you both Diane and Owen. Yes, I am already coming back often and I am enjoying every moment I spent on this site. This episode touched me in so many ways and like most of you I have already watched it few times. I like it more and more. I agree Kensi was embarrassed and tried to make it looks unimportant. But if you asked me, she failed completely…and Deeks saw it, but he let it go since he knew Kensi pretty well. I keep fingers crossed and hope we will be able to see more of them together like this (no metaphors, boxes within boxes, racoons etc..) showing their true colours.


  5. Hello to all here! The summary is fantastic as always! I agree that lacking a kiss at the end, but I think Deeks Kensi wanted was help with her ​​anxiety, which came on top of the storm of emotions I was feeling at that moment! And I succeed! Made her laugh even !!! This is definitely one of my favorite episodes !!! You can feel the love between these two wonderful characters! Everything in the episode was great, I love, I love Deeks but I love all these characters every week and really, just this season I feel really acting as a family or almost like one! That is something that in previous seasons and had not felt palpable !!! now I love it!…As always I apologize for my English !!! A big kiss from Buenos Aires beautiful people !!!


  6. Great review as always Diane!!

    Agree with above comments.

    Opening with them asleep together? Wow!!

    One of the things that struck me was that Deeks usually does the slow/deep breath out after he and Kensi have a more intense discussion (Recovery at the restaurant, raccoons, etc). He didn’t do that this time. And this conversation was no less intense than those. Did he forget to do it? Did the scene get cut? Or (my view) is this some real progress on his part where connecting with Kensi is not causing a visible stress response?

    I can’t believe this is a first script for Erin together with Mr. Gemmill. It was incredible! Way to set the bar high for future assignments!!

    I absolutely adored Sam’s “That’s something Deeks would say” and Callen’s acknowledgement. Hilarious! And definite progression for Callen.

    I waited to reply because I wanted to contemplate. And what I came away with from this episode was the sense of having been “heard” by the writers. I think there was lots of commentary on various aspects of the show and with the first two episodes they had to go with what they had filmed/written earlier. But I feel like with this episode there was a turn to what the fans have clearly stated they want in so many ways. Hopefully they are rewarded in the ratings!


    • Brenda I think you are on to something with your observation about some of the apparent corrections being applied by the showrunners. I’m usually pretty pessimistic but I agree there were lots of little things, in addition to just the overall strong writing… I also agree that Deeks seemed very calm at the end of the boatshed scene, but I have no idea how to interpret it. Was he happy that Kensi opened up to him and in the moment, that outweighed the concern for her that he must have been feeling?


      • Thanks Brenda: I hope they heard us because these are my favorite episodes where we get to concentrate on the characters and not a throw away plot line.

        I loved your comment about the slow breath that Deeks usually takes when he’s stressed and somebody mentioned that Deeks seemed almost calm as well. Maybe he knew exactly how she was feeling and was sure of his advice….and let’s face it he was the only person at this point she would listen to. They have shared alot together and I hope there is no going back.


  7. I LOVED this episode. Like…watched it four times loved it. *laugh* I have a one-shot that shows how they ended up on the couch…My first NCIS: LA fic. It’ll post in the next couple of days. 😀


  8. @Ju5tBecau5e // October 15, 2014 at 9:24 PM // Reply

    The subtitle of this episode could be, “Did that just happen?”

    Praesidium was yet another great fast-paced episode full of surprises.

    Does Granger have a girl in every port? A wife? Boy, I did NOT see that one coming.

    Did Sam really take the DOJ auditor on a high speed car chase? Your reference to Fast and Furious was so accurate Diane!

    Did we really get THREE insightful Densi scenes in one episode?

    How they manage to portray Kensi as a strong woman even as she was fighting her emotions over her Afghanistan mission?

    Did Director Vance really succeed in pulling a fast one on Hetty?

    Thanks for your great reviews Diane. You always hit the highlights but then also pick up on things that I would miss. I totally missed that DPO as one of the bad guys in the shoot out.


  9. Hi Maria & Chris Camino…just wanted to first say there was no need for either one of you to apologize for your spelling or grammer!

    Heck…I thought your letters were written better than mine…and Im English speaking!! 🙂

    “Was she actually disappointed with some kind of lack of “action” from Deek’s side? Or it was also her way to light up the moment?”

    As for your question Maria……I think…it could have either been one of the things you said. ..that Kensi was disappointed Deeks broke the tender moment between them with humor…..or.she was glad he did…it’s hard to tell.

    .Maybe a clue can be found to what’s going on between them …..when Deeks is trying to get Kensi to tell him whats bothering her..he says..” C”mon partners don’t keep secrets!”

    Kensi just stares straight ahead and takes a breath.. repeating the word…”partners?!?” if…she isn’t sure..what they are to each other anymore.and is questioning things in her own head.

    Deeks gets a confused look on his face..and tells Kensi…” I mean…thats what we are right…partners?”

    In Deeks matter of fact kinda comes across to me at least…as thats how he sees them now..especially after what happened to Kensi in Afghanistan … partners…co-workers..good friends…..but notthing more involved than that.

    Maybe in Deek’s desire to protect Kensi ‘s feelings and give her some space… he has decided to back off & park their “thing” away for the moment…until Kensi feels better.

    .Whatever is going on with thier “thing” it was another great Densi moment..and I hope we see a lot more of them this season


  10. PS!! My humble apologies to Kriss Camino..for messing up the spelling of her 1 st name!!

    See..I wasn’t kidding….when I said your English was netter than mine!!


  11. Wow guys….thanks for all your great insight! I’m going to go back and try to make comments under all of your replies. Stay tuned!


  12. densi was awesome
    nell was brilliant
    sam & callen fabulous
    eric was fantasic
    granger rocks
    awesome episode
    loving this season so far


  13. I also loved this episode! Great action, humor, surprises, tender moments and Granger — love him! For me, the first scene of Deeks & Kensi is that they stayed up and watched a sporting event of something special to Deeks — that’s how she got him to take off that black shirt in the previous episode – IMO. The boatshed scene I agree with the others one shot of Deeks would have been nice during that tender moment. For me, he not kissing her was the right thing not to do; however she could have at least whispered a “thank you” to him; that would have made that scene just a bit better. All in all love how the team is melding — finally! This is going to be a great season now that this team is truly a TEAM! (that includes Nell, Eric, Granger & Hetty).
    Thank you for all the previous comments and observations; fun to read other fans reactions and comments!


  14. I think the boat shed scene DID include a very soft and gentle kiss, and I hope I’m not mistaken. I have the show on TiVo, and I just replayed the scene to be sure. When Kensi is weeping and says, “I want to forget what happened,” I think Deeks gives her a very soft kiss on her head as he begins to console her. Did anybody else catch this, or is it just wishful thinking on my part?


  15. Ok let’s all go back and rewatch that scene and catch that kiss. You could be right dekay11!


  16. Diane,

    Great review, covering all aspects of this great episode and exciting season so far!

    Dekay11, Owen…

    So, Dekay11, Not wishful thinking, I have to say great catch! You are so right about Deeks giving Kensi a gentle kiss, however after watching it again, it’s when Deeks first pulls her into his arms and just as the camera cuts away (I watched in slow motion, LOL!), you can see the kiss on her head!! Then when she says “I just want to forget about what happened” he says shhh while his lips are still where he kissed her. He then starts to speak, he readjusts to talk clearly.

    Owen, Maria..

    Here’s what I think. Deeks has always wanted Kensi to open up more and so he finally succeeded with hand slap request (keeping it safe) and saying ” C”mon partners don’t keep secrets”. When Kensi just stares straight ahead and takes a breath, saying”partners?” she was for the first time disappointed because in that moment with the tears swelling in her eyes, she needed more than a partner (knowing the depth of their relationship while not actually dating). It was different when she used that word at the end of “Deep Trouble Part II”. Saying that in front of the team, but knowing how they feel about each other is different (especially Kensi feeling good that she kept Talia away from him).

    This is also why I feel Kensi was disappointed Deeks broke the tender moment between them with humor. I think once she took that step to be vulnerable and finally open up to him, she was willing to continue talking, but the humor ruined that moment for her and brought them right back to that partner place. The fact that he said he has more moments, was a little funny, but good in that he knows now that she’s opened up, they’ll share more tender moments. Her typical response slightly sarcastic “ok” was their classic (yet this time tender) banter.

    Deeks is the one that has backed off (giving her knife back and telling Kensi he doesn’t know what to do about their “thing”) after that unnerving interview with Angelo in Three Hearts. It probably made him think about what they each went through in Afghanistan (Deeks torturing the blind cleric and Kensi not actually dealing with her own torture). After Afghanistan, Kensi just went back to what she knew, her job and Deeks and that’s why IMO; she wasn’t willing to let Angelo’s comments get to her, yet not really understanding why they impacted Deeks so much. So I think Deeks still has bottled up emotions he hasn’t dealt with.

    In this episode Deeks was strong and comforting to her as she opens up, so he is calm because he now feels much closer to her emotionally. That’s my opinion based on his facial expressions as she walked away. But right before that, she looked him in the eyes as she was still smiling, definitely feeling better than a few moments before and that was so beautiful!


  17. thanks Angela. I agree that this moment was as much about Deeks as it was Kensi. It had a lot to do about both of them.


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