By Liz Rafferty
Now that Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) have decided to take the plunge into a full-fledged relationship onNCIS: Los Angeles, the next step is navigating the waters. And perhaps the most important question is this: What impact will their coupling have on their approach to cases?
“Everybody’s kind of waiting to see if our work is jeopardized by the success of the relationship,” Olsen told TVGuide.com during a recent set visit. “Now you have two characters that are obviously meant to be together, together under the most dynamic and terrifying of circumstances. When things go wrong, is it going to be the fault of that relationship?
“We make decisions based on being a good agent,” Olsen continues. “We make decisions based on what’s in the best interest of the country or the mission, and everything kind of flies out the window when you become so emotionally invested in your partner. … Now [Deeks] has this realization that [Kensi] is the most important person in the world to him. And I think it’s going to be the catalyst for a lot of mistakes.”
Other complications arise from the couple’s reluctance to share the news with their colleagues – who, let’s face it, have their suspicions already. “I think eventually the team’s going to have to know what’s going on between Kensi and Deeks,” Ruah tells TVGuide.com. “I don’t think it’ll be a surprise for any one of the other characters, especially not Hetty. I think she could see it coming a mile away.”
In exploring a new side of Kensi, Ruah says she drew from her own experience with her now-husband, David Olsen (Eric’s older brother, who sometimes acts as a stunt double on the set of NCIS: LA.) “I went through a similar situation when my husband and I started dating,” she admits. “There was this, we’re not ready to tell people yet. We’re not ready to make this a thing for other people to deal with. And then eventually you get comfortable.
“Very few people manage to hold a balance when something so big transitions in your life. … A part of me feels like she’s going to be better at hiding it than him,” Ruah says of her character. “I think she’ll almost go the opposite side of the pendulum. Instead of giggling and whatever when nobody’s looking, I think she’s probably going to almost keep her distance more. … My husband would talk to me less on set when we started dating than he did before we were dating. It was like, ‘I’m going to be so pretending this is not going on that I’m going to ignore you completely, instead of being normal around you.’ I think people react in different ways.”
Despite the fact that NCIS: LA has moved to 10 p.m. this season, fans shouldn’t expect a lot of hot and heavy Densi scenes. This is, after all, still a police procedural.
“They have to keep it serious and professional at work,” Ruah notes. “There’s not a great, if any, distinction in the scenes that we did prior to dating officially to post-dating officially. Their professionalism and their banter and their looks are pretty much similar or the same. It’s just in these little wonderful tidbits that the writers drop for us, such as scenes where they find themselves alone or on a date or whatever it is.”
And of course, it won’t all be smooth sailing from here on out. Future episodes will explore “navigating a relationship with just the lack of communication skills these two characters have, and their struggle to kind of make anything work,” Olsen teases. That includes (spoiler alert) the couple’s first argument, in the episode airing Feb. 23.
But even Olsen and Ruah admit they’re not certain about where the relationship is heading.
“I don’t get the scripts until a couple weeks before you guys see them on TV, so I’m just as emotionally invested in this relationship and where it’s going as the audience is,” Olsen admits. “Will they, won’t they –I thought that would go on for 10 seasons. So, when they decided to pull the trigger, the thing everybody else felt watching the show is the same thing I felt reading the show. Like, oh my god, now what? … All the questions as an audience, they’re asking, I’m asking the same questions.”
Adds Ruah: “It was a surprise to me when they wrote that Kensi had that conversation in the Christmas episode with Deeks. I didn’t think it was going to happen for a while, so much so that in interviews they kept asking us, ‘What would you like to see happen?’ And I was like, ‘Well, I don’t think they should get together yet, otherwise there’s nowhere to go.’ … And then all of a sudden, they threw us this curveball. I’m very curious to see where they’re going to take this and what obstacles they’re going to throw in our way, because they have to. They have to throw some sort of obstacle, because it can’t just be smooth from now on. It can’t. … Even I’m excited to see where this is going to go.”
NCIS: LA airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.