If you are a Densi fan like me, you are probably waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for any vital signs that their lackluster relationship is still intact so far this season. Right? The pickings have been slim with only an occasional morsel to get us through a season that for the most part has been unremarkable. How long it will take before we find out what’s really going on between Kensi and Deeks? The previews for “The Grey Man” were promising and I waited excitedly with renewed interest. This week Andrew Bartels penned his first solo script and we have another new director, James Hanlon behind the camera. Can these two men bring us any closer to our Holy Grail? No pressure there, huh!
I’m Coming Over…I’m bring Monty.
The opening scene reminds us why we love Sam Hanna so much. Here’s a man with a steel-plated veneer but a mushy interior as he indulgently responds to his daughter’s multiple phone calls, causing the rest of the team to look on in amusement. [Sam: Daddy can do anything. Daddy is a super hero.] Poor Sam, it isn’t easy being a parent in this tough world, and his co-workers are not cutting him any slack either.
When Eric announces ‘Granger Danger’, the team is off and running trying to find the killer of The Grey Man (Goodsell), an ex-Marine and former CIA agent who has been found dead. The man is on the DOD watch list and his secrets could put a lot of lives at risk. Granger tells the team Goodsell was on the streets and homeless after a breakdown or PTSD event. But who killed the illusive Grey Man and why??
When I Wore That Thing It Gave Me a Rash
But things may not be as they seem. Goodsell was not really homeless after all, as cameras pick him up walking around in a business suit around town. Sam figures he is working an Op and in order to find out more they need to go undercover to talk to those who may have known the man. Deeks decides it’s time to pull ‘Artie’ out of deep freeze and go back on the streets working his homeless persona as Kensi talks with some of the suits on the plaza. Together maybe they can find out more about Goodsell.
Sam and Callen are sure that the Grey Man was either faking his breakdown or Granger was lying to them and go off in search of the truth. It seems strange to see Granger working the streets, but this is a personal mission he needs to undertake covertly. Of course Sam and Callen have other ideas when they help him apprehend a CIA operative who may lead them to Goodsell. Granger has been keeping tabs on a Paul Barnes who led the White Ghost mission in Afghanistan. Granger knew Goodsell was MIA and Barnes claims he has nothing to do with his death and instead was sent to find him and bring him in. Barnes is concerned the Grey Man may have died because of his involvement with a Mexican cartel. After identifying pictures sent to Barnes from Goodsell, the team sets out to investigate a prostitute who may be mixed up in the possible extradition of a former drug lord (Peña) to the US. He’s sure Goodsell’s death was linked to the extradition.
You Can Fool Everyone Else Deeks, but You Can’t Fool Me
As they search for clues to Goodsell’s death, Deeks and Kensi have one of their most open conversations with each other from across a crowed plaza. Kensi seems to hate the girl who wandered the streets after her father died, despite Deeks wishing he could have gotten to know her. I have to wonder why Deeks felt compelled to lie to Kensi about knowing she spent time as a vagrant. Was he embarrassed for her? Or is he still having trouble communicating? Or did this open up unwanted memories of his own life as a teenager as well?
This is One Cat You Don’t Put in the Bag.
Hetty is back leading the team and has another plan on how to get the information they seek. (Once again the illusive White Ghost mission sweeps in and out without any more illuminating information!) Sam and Callen go undercover with better jackets, to Deeks’ chagrin, and find out more from the working girl they identified in the pictures Goodsell sent to Barnes’s phone. She was charged to find out everything she could about the Peña cartel and report back to her new clients. She also identifies another woman in Goodsell’s pictures who was with Kevin Turner, the federal prosecutor leading the case on Peña’s extradition. As Eric says, if the cartel gets Turner, they can kiss the extradition goodbye. But after rescuing Turner, he tells the team Peña is already on his way to the states. Someone is trying to stop Peña from revealing cartel secrets and the only way to do that is to kill him.
It got a little bit confusing at the end trying to figure out where all the puzzle pieces fit together… but it turns out Goodsell wasn’t working a mission, he was trying to keep Turner (his son) safe from the cartel after Goodsell witnessed members of the group abducting his girlfriend and her daughter. Turner had been ordered to kill Peña in exchange for their lives. In NCIS fashion, the team stops Turner from going through with the assassination while Kensi and Deeks rescue his girlfriend from the cartel. I always enjoy watching Deeks jumping out of burning buildings that have just been bombed. It’s turning out to be one of his specialties. Peña and Turner’s girlfriend are saved and all that’s left is to show is Callen pondering why Goodsell couldn’t reveal himself to his son. A mystery he can identify with but will never understand.
We finally discover why Kensi didn’t want to tell Deeks about her past. Not surprisingly, it is a past she wants to put way behind her. It’s kind of heartbreaking that she didn’t want Deeks to know about this dark side but it’s understandable. She wants him to be proud of her. Ah, Kens, don’t you know love means never having to say you’re sorry for past mistakes? (Sorry, just had to throw that in there.) But it’s important to Kensi that Deeks knows this darker part of her exists. This time it’s Kensi who has doubts about living a normal life as she admits their careers don’t offer much of a future together. He doesn’t like her response but begrudgingly understands. Still, it was a small step forward in the relationship and it was so very cute that Deeks wants to see his future with little baby ‘Deeks running around with fantastic hair’! And so we are left at an impasse and still waiting for more. Sigh. I keep telling myself there’s always next week!!
• In the opening scene with Sam and his daughter it looks like Deeks was enjoying Sam’s predicament just a little too much. Was there a behind-the-scenes joke going on we weren’t privy to? Huh??
• Hetty was adorable relaying Sam a message from his daughter. I love the way she pronounces froooo-yo! Somehow I can’t see Granger eating fro-yo. Ha!
• Another good ‘boom’ with Densi this time. You sure Joey Wilson didn’t write this script?
• Banana Hanna! Love Callen’s nickname for Sam’s daughter.
• Callen makes a connection to the Grey Man and possibly his own father’s legacy. Is it the same reason Callen’s father never revealed his secrets? Was he a Grey Man too?
Homeless Deeks never fails to amuse me and there were many moments in this episode where I just couldn’t stop smiling:
Deeks: Dinner and a show, well done ol’ timer. You got the world figured out here, don’t you? Another french fry, don’t mind if I do.
Deeks: Don’t be jealous of those coats, Artie. Just because they are new and probably don’t smell like a dead buffalo. You got character, alright. You’re pretty. I like you.
Kensi: You’re talking to your clothing. I stand corrected. You do belong down here.
Deeks: Ah, Kensalina I’m ready.
Kensi: Ready for what?
Deeks: My homeless act, how am I doing?
Kensi: A… B…..
Deeks: Ok, I’ll take that…
Deeks: Oh, come on!
Kensi: Come on? Artie’s doing all the work. You’re just riding on his coat tails!
Deeks: Oh, you should be ashamed for that play on words.
Deeks: Oh that skirt is working…You should probably borrow that from her. You’d look real nice. Buy her a new set of snow tires.
Kensi: Stop talking.
Deeks: Just to narrow it down for me, the best part of you is your ankles? Because you got pretty sexy ankles. I mean your feet are alright…your toes are a little weird…
Kensi: That’s exactly why I never talk to you. (Gotta love Deeks’ smile there!)
Deeks: What’s the plan here?
Kensi: Why do I always have to come up with the plan? What’s your plan?
Deeks: My plan is to live long and prosper you know what I mean, and make little baby Deeks, little ninja assassins with fantastic hair.
Kensi: Not likely in this job.
I think Bartels did a good job bringing us back to the kind of episodes we have enjoyed in the past. The team was more focused and didn’t come across like cartoon characters. They felt real. And they weren’t saving the world, just gathering better intel to try and put this one cartel out of business. It was a believable mission. Would I have liked more Densi… always. It’s never enough. But at least they are sharing more with each other and that’s got to count for something. But we still have unanswered questions regarding the White Ghost and what happen to Granger the last half of the storyline? He just fell off along the face of the earth when Hetty took over. I find their direction of the team a bit strange these days with all the coming and goings. But maybe we will find out more next week as the mole makes his move again, endangering Granger’s life and leaving Eric as a suspect? Say it ain’t so Beale! Join me then for my review of “Traitor” only on wikiDeeks! In the meantime check out Deek’s Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal to find out more about this last mission. See you then!
Title: “The Grey Man”
Writers: Andrew Bartels
Director: James Hanlon
Original Air Date: November 17, 2014
Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks.com. Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi