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Review: NCISLA “Forest For The Trees” (S6E15)


Forest for the Trees

Another Season 6 episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, another adventure for Sam and Callen. I have to admit that this episode, written by Gil Grant and directed by Diana C. Valentine, left me feeling a little grumpy. I will explain…

…But First, The Plot

While Granger plans to meet an informant believed to know all about the first ISIS cell in the U.S., the rest of the team try to track down Sam and Callen, who’ve been kidnapped before the opening credits. Deeks and Kensi spend a good part of the day driving back and forth (twice!) between the Marina del Rey boathouse and Hooterville (otherwise known as Santa Clarita), but still find time to accompany Granger to his meet. Meanwhile, Sam and Callen seemingly escape from the bad guys’ hideout only to realize it’s a set-up designed to trick them into revealing the time and place of the all important meet. Luckily they are onto the ruse and turn the tables on said bad guys, leading to the deaths of nearly the entire ISIS cell.

But Seriously, the Plot?

Warning, grumpiness ahead: I really do my best to consistently overlook the multitude of plot holes I find in nearly every episode. This is a procedural, but its sense of hyper-reality, where cases get solved in a single day by nearly bulletproof agents, really can’t be held to the same standards as something like Law & Order. Unfortunately my enjoyment of this week’s episode was thrown off because of the way the story was told. The opening scene where Sam and Callen were kidnapped was a fantastic start. The turn from their casual banter to the realization that they’d been set up, ending with them lying unconscious in the road, was intense. Unfortunately, once they got working on their escape, that intensity dissipated. First, their banter got kicked into such a high gear so quickly that they didn’t really seem all that worried, so it made me feel like I didn’t have be all that worried either. And then, the way their “escape” was arranged for them seemed so clearly staged that I felt like I already knew how the rest of the hour would play out. I mean, a trap door, really? And a bag of tools, how convenient! So before Sam and Callen even met the fake NSA analyst, all the suspense had disappeared.

Let’s “Give Deeks Enough Credit”

But we’re not here to talk about plot, we’re here to talk about Deeks and Densi! I did enjoy Intense Deeks, worrying about his friends. The contrast between a somber Deeks (at least for a few scenes before he started bantering with Kensi again), and the seemingly indestructible Sam and Callen, just focused my attention on how special Deeks is to the show. He’s really the only one of the four leads who seems consistently human- fallible and vulnerable.  He makes mistakes, as we’ll apparently be seeing in a few weeks, and he can be hurt, as we’ve seen several times in the past. I had to assume that during this episode, he was thinking about the last time Sam was kidnapped, remembering his own trauma and not wanting his friend (big brother?) to go through anything similar again. This vulnerability is one of the many reasons why Deeks is such a compelling character, and why he always stands out for me amongst this amazing cast. And that’s a tribute to Eric Christian Olsen’s acting, maybe even more than it is to the sometimes inconsistent writers.

Just for the record, you licked that Mama Guido plate clean.

Deeks may have shown his serious side, but he and Kensi definitely found plenty of time amidst their worry to banter and flirt. I liked their capture and interrogation of business management consultant/arms dealer Oscar Willits (well played by Stephen Monroe Taylor). He was another in a long line of colorful but somewhat clueless small-time criminals who find themselves in NCIS custody (“the very definition of limited,” indeed). Confused criminals make for frequently amusing scenes, and ECO and Daniela Ruah always handle them quite deftly.

There was one shocking development in this episode: contrary to a million fan fics, we learned last night that Deeks is not the good cook in our dynamic duo. These two really must survive on nothing but take-out! Still, it was sweet of Deeks to try to impress Kensi with his “cooking.” That’s surely the best way to Kensi’s heart after all. Unfortunately I bet she’ll be making him pay for deceiving her for some time to come- it’s never smart to lie to Kensi. And how amusing was it that Team Danger shares the same, apparently poor, taste in food? Between last week’s hug and this week’s Swedish nachos, are Deeks and Granger actually bonding? (“What’s up, Granger?”)

I’m going to share one additional bit more grumpiness, but let’s call it hopefulness instead… I am definitely enjoying the brief glimpses of Deeks and Kensi as a couple. The little glances and smiles they give each other, the wonderful softer version of their banter. But would it kill the showrunners to give us just a bit of physical contact? I’m not even asking for sexytimes (OK, yeah, I’m still asking for that). I just think it would be super sweet to see them give one another a reassuring squeeze of the hand, or an arm around a shoulder, when things are stressful. Maybe not at OPS, but when they’re out in the middle of nowhere all alone, it would be a nice touch.

Memorable Moments

  • Poor Deeks, he just can’t seem to catch a break with his various schemes to improve his health and the well-being of everyone around him. I did like the Kensi Blye Guarantee, and thought Kensi broke the news to him relatively gently that his health food wasn’t so healthy.
  • Poor Sam, first he’s stuck in the confined spaces of a submarine, now he’s trapped in a little tunnel. I do like the writers’ consistency in showing us his claustrophobia, and that there’s such a compelling reason behind it.
  • Buzkashi is the national sport of Afghanistan? Good to know, Eric, good to know. And by the way, it really is played with a goat carcass.
  • There are other agents at OSP! Who knew from watching nearly every other episode since Renko died? The team sure could have used their help in particular in “Ascension,” “Traitor, ” “The 3rd Choir”…

Classic Deeks

  • Where are you going? What is your plan here, that I’m going to slip and knock myself unconscious? Kensi, shoot him.

Classic Densi

  • Kensi: Oh Chef.
  • Deeks: Oh Waitress.
  • Kensi: Good thing there’s only three other customers in here… apparently with very low standards.
  • Deeks: You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna make you some homemade alphabet soup so you can eat your words when you taste my real cooking.

Stayed tuned later this week for Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal. And phillidi will be back in two weeks to review the much-anticipated “Expiration Date,” where hopefully we’ll finally get a bit more Deeks- and Densi-centric story (although the headline so far is “Sam gets shot”). Check out Tess DiCorsi’s preview the day before for more hints about what will happen. In the meantime, I hope you had a better experience with this episode than I did, and that all your comments will be less grumpy than mine!


EPISODE INFO
Title: “Forest for the Trees”
Writer: Gil Grant
Director: Diana C. Valentine
Original Air Date: February 9, 2015


Karen P.

Karen P. is a contributor at wikiDeeks.com. Follow her on Twitter: @anonklp

About Karen P (162 Articles)
wikiDeeks Writer & Assistant Editor. I never wrote for fun before... until my ECO-obsession. Now I love to analyze any and all aspects of the best character on television.

26 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Forest For The Trees” (S6E15)

  1. The cooking exchange banter with Kensi finding the Italian restaurant containers in Deeks’ trash is very reminiscent of the kitchen scene in Neighborhood Watch (3.22). This is when Deeks comes into the kitchen and finds Kensi taking a batch of snicker doodle cookies out of the oven. She says that she found an easy Martha Stewart recipe online; but when Deeks finds the cookie packages from the supermarket in the wastebasket, he replies: “Martha Stewart my ass!” If Deeks had reminded Kensi of this in 6.15, he would have had the perfect “Touche Moment.”

    P.S. I still think that Neighborhood Watch was still one of the key pivotal episodes in the Densi relationship!

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    • Karen..you have every right to feel grumpy…after that snooze fest and paint by numbers episode!.

      As for the plot…..well..I just hope nobody was operating any heavy machinary during the episode or right after it aired!!!

      The show opener…with Sam & G..agreeing to meet a guy they never met…out in the middle of nowhere….almost screamed…”SET UP!!”….but..I guess Sam & G…have watched a lot less TV cop shows..that I have!!!

      I’m no government agent…but how come..they didn’t see that as a possiblity..and at least have Deeks & Kensi as back up…in case it was a trap & things went south in a hurry?

      I liked your usage of this sentace..”This is a procedural, but its sense of hyper-reality, where cases get solved in a single day by nearly bulletproof agents, really can’t be held to the same standards as something like Law & Order.

      Your right on..when you describe Sam & G…as practically bullet proof…and the stories…almost cartoonish…compared to a show like Law & Order…or any other show ..not on mainstream TV.

      That doesnt have to be the case of course…but…it’s the route the show runners have chosen.

      As I’ve said before…it’s as seems the people behind NCIS:LA..either didn’t notice how shows like The Sopranos & The Wire…changed the way TV shows could be written …or..they purposely…ignored them..

      As you mentioned..when the characters are cracking jokes while being held and don’t seem overly concerned about their fate…why should the audience care or become invested in the plot?

      It seems..the writers feel like..”well..joking and busting each other’s chops” is Sam & G’s “thing”..so even when their kidnapped & held hostage..the writers feel obliged to keep giving the aidience..the same ol same ol..cuz thats what they assume or think…thats what we want or expect to see.

      And thats a huge proplem with this show…they seemed stuck..in a formula..and rarely if ever..try to deviate from it.

      And I think one reason…they seem stuck…is because they don’t trust a large part of thier audience..to acept things…..if they ever tried to get away from the show’s usual format.

      Why can’t we have an episode..where the bad guys…win..or get away? Or..how about an episode..where we see Sam or G…actually effected…by the violent way they make a living?

      Sam & G…have shot and killed..probably killed…about a 100 bad guys..but…we never see either one of them…disturbed or bothered by their actions.

      I remember at the end of The Frozen Lake….when they entrer the locker after Deeks shoots the lady gang boss…Sam & G were making a bet in which pocket the tumb drive was in….

      Their were 3 dead bodies in that room..and 4 more dead badddies outside….but..to the Sam & G…it was just another day at the office.

      The show runners…don’t treat their audience..as adults…they act like it’s the 1960’s…where the good guys wear white hats..the bad guys…black hats…and their is no grey…

      And that brings me to your comment…as to why can;’t the show runners..show any PDA’s..or signs of physical affection…between Deeks & Kensi.

      I think once again…it’s because of their mind set they have towards their audience…..and that…their scared to show any actual affection between Deeks & Kensi.,..because .they believe a portion of their viewing audience…would be upset…to see any real sexy times with Densi.

      That portion of the audience..is fine with seeing all sorts of graphic violence/action…but..show them two adults kiissing on screen or…acting like they just slept together..and their heads might explode!

      Once again..it comes down..to not seeing their viewers..as thinking adults…or trusting them….to accept something more..than what one usually sees or expects..in a typical police procedural on mainstream TV.

      Cladani mentioned in his post..that he hoped the actors are not getting bored..and that DR..doesn’t look to be having as much fun playing Kensi as in seasons past.

      It would not shock me…if it got out..that DR was indeed bored…because her & Deeks..have been pretty well reduced to 2 nd tier players in S6.

      The focus this season..has been mostly on Sam & G….and their mis adventures in being captured & held hostage…every 3.5 episodes!

      If a lot of us have been less than impressed by many of the episodes in S6….imagine how the main cast must feel..to read these less than thrilling scripts & plots.

      The show runners……for whatever strange reason…..seemed determined.to downplay both Deeks & Kensi’s characters this season..and their importance to the show & their ratings.

      The folks who dislike Densi…keep insisting that the show’s real stars are Sam & G..and that it’s a police procedural…and not a soap opera…blah blah blah……

      Yet…when the show focuses on the two so called “stars”..their episodes are often dull…predictable..and worse for the show..generate absolutely no buzz or comments!!.

      It’s only when Densi is featured prominately in an episode..like they were in Humbug….that gets the fans buzzing with excitement.

      ..Lastly…this site…is mostly populated by fans who love Deeks & Densi ..so…I think us like minded Densi lovers…..got to stick together..and stop pussy footing around when it comes to Densi….and feel free to say what we want to see happen between them….

      .For myself…..I would love to see another episode like Neighborhood Watch….but see how they act..as a real couple living together while undercover..and not pretending to be together.

      But personally..after what Ive seen of S6….I have serious doubts…..their is anybody left on their current writing staff..who could deliver such an episode……….

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  2. I start by saying that Sam and Callen do deserve their DVD cover this year, more than ever… because they are omnipresent!! Most episodes this season are revolving around them. I start to find it a bit boring, especially with quite predictable plots. They are always invincible and survive everything unscathed. Wow! Now I get why Sam said to his daughter on the phone “Daddy’s a superhero”!
    It seems the writers are doing the opposite of what we are asking for: the more we would like Densi (even with very normal scenes, no sexytimes, nothing of the sort) the more we get Callen and Sam!!
    Let’s start asking for more Sallen scenes and see if it works the other way round… 🙂

    About Densi. This week I don’t have much to say. I liked their interactions about food even if, like many times this season, they seemed a bit forced on them.
    Densi are Densi and are always very fun to watch, don’t get me wrong, but I would like to have some progression in their dialogues. They still seem very season 4-ish but those times are over, the characters are, in part at least, different people, they are a couple now and I would really really like to see something different. Not something completely different from who they are, but different anyway, otherwise there’s always an impending sense of déjà vu that can’t be positive for the show in the long run.
    I can’t quite completely grasp what it is, but I find something, even after the wonderful “All in scene”, still missing this season…
    The only different thing we got is that Densi “touch” even less than before. With them it worked the opposite: now that they are together (are they?) they are behaving like they had never before, they seem two students in the principal’s office. So I completely agree with you, Karen, it “wouldn’t kill the showrunners to give us just a bit of physical contact”, sometimes, when no one else is around, a quick hug or whatever.

    In conclusion, I hope the actors are not getting bored as well. I have the sensation (but only my personal one, not based on any spoilers, or interview, or article) that DR is not having the same fun she had in being Kensi on screen. Let’s hope we won’t have another Ziva because it would be too sad.

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    • “I can’t quite completely grasp what it is, but I find something, even after the wonderful “All in scene”, still missing this season”

      Cladani..I have also noticed and senced that something is amiss & missing with Densi this season.

      Their scenes..the few that we have gotten..feel more often than not… forced as you mentioned..
      Their banter…just isnt as clever or funny..as it was in past seasons.

      I blame it….on the fact that the writers this season..just don’t seem to have a good grasp…of how Deeks & Kensi interact with one another.and have given them lousy scripts.

      ECO & DR are both very good actors…but even they…cannot spin chicken poop..into gold bars!

      A perfect example of what’s wrong with Densi this season..was on display on Mondays episode..when Kensi said something to Deeks and he replied with “Touche!”

      I was so bored by the episode I deleted it right off my DVR right after I watched it….but I don’t recall what Kensi said to make Deeks reply “Touche!…but it could not have been all that witty or funny..cus..that I would have remembered and it would have been enough for me to save the episode.

      It was like…the writers have a bible on the the show’s characters.,.,.and on the chapter about Deeks & Kensi..it ‘s written that they have said…. “Touche!’ a lot to each other..

      So the writers ..bless their itty bitty hearts…..make sure..to throw in a line every episode .where one of them..can say “Touche”…as a way to show the audience..they understand Densi….

      ….but as you once wrote so briliantly I thought………it’s sounds more like..an “echo”…of something they did in past seasons………..but..it comes across this season….as forced and false.

      As for your comment that you hope the actors are not bored and DR in particular……I hope not either…but.. both ECO & DR.’s characters..have been given a back seat this season…so they can showcase..the Bromance Brothers bantering up a storm!

      As for Nell & Eric’s characters….their practially invisible this season…I must have to check the credits…..to make sure their still on the show!!!

      And i agree with the fact that we have seen no evidance that Densi is now a couple..since the airing of Humbug…Like you said..it’s like their almost going out of thier way..to not touch each other and display anything..that remotely says…”Were a couple and in a real adult relantionship!”

      It’s more like….”Honest were not a couple…heck…..we don’t even sleep in the same house…let alone ..GASP the same bedroom!!!”

      When it comes to sexual matters on NCIS:LA…..the show runners…would rather walk barefoot over a river of hot coals…..than show a few seonds of actual real affection between Deeks & Kensi.

      The powers that be on this show….seemed to making things up as they go along in regards to Densi…and I think the fact that this season they made Deeks & Kensi a couple..surprising even ECO & DR…proves it.

      Maybe…they will become actually bold & brave…and show us genuine Densi couple moments…..but..then again…maybe they only put them together…reluctantly…cuz they knew a section of the show’s fan base wanted to see that happen…

      ….but the show runners themselves…are only doing it grudgingly……and thats why…we have seen no evolution in their relantionship…because the people behind the scenes…….don’t know what the heck to do with them…or how far..they can push their relantionship onto the show……without alienting..the anti Densi crowd…

      or the folks..who only enjoy watching Sam & G bicker like an old married couple…while blasting away an army of bad guys….in between….getting trapped or kidnapped …over…and over…and over again……

      PS: I feel like tweeting one of the producers of the show….Peter John Kousakis…and ask him…how soon can we expect to see Sam & G in their superheros costumes..or ..learn that their really highly advanced androids from the 3rd moon of Jupitor….hence… the reasons why…their bullet proof!

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      • OOOPS that producer’s name on NCIS:LA is John Peter Kousakis..my bad!!

        I just hope I didn’t confuse or spook that Peter John Kousakis guy …..with my tweet to him about
        bullet proof androids from outer space!!

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  3. I don’t really have many thoughts, one way or the other, about this episode (watch, now I’ll write paragraphs worth of these non-thoughts). I’m going to skip really commenting on the case itself – it had potential to be awesome, the opening scene was intense and promising, but I agree that the speed at which Sam and Callen jumped to their banter kind of took all the wind out of the sails for the case because it was clear that even they didn’t think it was that dire of a situation. The Densi stuff we got wasn’t bad – even though it wasn’t all that “couple-y”, I liked hearing about Deeks “cooking” for Kensi and how she informed him that she knew he didn’t really cook. And I laughed at his comment later about her licking the plate clean anyway.

    I know I/we’ve said we don’t need to see tons of Densi after that awesome Humbug moment, and I’ve loved some of the little bits we’ve seen since then, but I lied a little and I’d like to see SOME significant scenes with them that remind us that they’re in a relationship now. I think Cladani said it last week or just before that, but for the most part, anyone who didn’t see Humbug would not really have any indication that they’re together and I think that’s where the writers need to step up their game. I understand that they’re obviously keeping it out of the workplace, but they spend enough time just the two of them, outside of OSP, that we could see or hear more confirmations. Little hugs, touching, heart-to-hearts, etc. I mean, Callen and Sam were missing, they were at Sam’s car alone, out in the middle of nowhere, and obviously worried about them, and we got nothin’ – missed opportunity, in my opinion.

    Probably the most notable part of this ep, for me, was the opening bullpen Densi scene. Deeks seemed genuinely annoyed/upset that Kensi is always snarking on whatever he’s loving/into/supporting. He’s not wrong and I felt like it was another missed opportunity to insert some of their relationship into the ep with a more in depth conversation or apology from Kensi (though she did seem to start to explain herself when Deeks interrupted and kept going on about the food he was defending). Maybe it’s setting up whatever fight they have in the next episode? I doubt it, but one can hope.

    I’ve been watching the reruns that air on the USA network and one thing I’ve noticed that we’re missing is more Densi undercover stuff, not even major, but all they ever seem to do is track down, bring in, and question suspects and while that might involved 5 seconds of “cover”, it’s not the same as the Darcy/Mr Stone, Ines, etc type covers we’ve gotten in the past.

    Like everyone is, I’m hoping that Expiration Date offers up a lot more Deeks/Densi. At the same time, I’m hoping that whatever “fight” they have is not work related (at least not along the lines of their relationship affecting their work – they already played that out with Frozen Lake). I’d like to see it be an argument about telling their coworkers about their relationship or something of that nature (if it has to be work related). Like Deeks is tired of keeping it a “secret” (I’m in the camp that everyone already knows or assumes, without having been told) and Kensi is worried about consequences of everyone knowing. Or about something totally separate from work, like moving in together (that’s probably wishful thinking).

    I probably have more non-thoughts but I can’t remember them. I’m bummed there’s no ep next week (I assume due to it being President’s Day here in the US). We were so spoiled in the fall with their being a new ep almost every week until Humbug.

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    • I also miss the opening and/or closing scenes that are more “real life” scenes since I feel like that’s when we used to get good insights into Densi’s relationship/interactions outside of work. Like when Deeks and Kensi were asleep on the couch to open one of the eps in the fall. Or the ever-wonderful “it’s a love story” scene. Maybe they’ve always been few and far between and it’s just now that I’m paying that much more attention that I realize we aren’t getting them, but it seems like most endings now end in the bullpen with the team (which does make sense, but I also like some variety, especially when I feel like small bits of the ep could use a follow-up).

      I kind of want to knock some sense into the writers and see if they’ve realized that all of their most-viewed eps this year have been the post-Humbug eps and that could very well be in large part to people rooting for Densi. I have a little theory and some hope that maybe the lack of Densi since Humbug has been because maybe those eps were written (in whole or partially) prior to Humbug airing and maybe they laid off a bit not knowing how all-in Densi would be received by the viewers. (I obviously have no idea how long a script is in the works before it’s finalized, but I know ECO mentioned recently that they don’t get scripts until a couple of weeks before production starts).

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  4. Hello all. So first of all I wanted to say that I’m from Germany, which means my english is not that good, so I apologize for every mistake regarding grammar or spelling. Its just I was in the hospital recently an I practically discovered the Show for the first time as I was watching TV in my room, and I got hooked up right away. So after I got home last week I literally binge watched all the Episodes in only a few days and now I kinda have the need to talk about it. Unfortunately there are not really many Fansites for the Show in germany so I’m glad I found this one with a dedicated community as it seems. 🙂

    Anyway, after watching the recent Episode I gotta say that I’m kinda disappointed too. Just like many others before me said, I dont like that most of the Episodes this Season revolving arround Sam and Callen. Sure they are a great team and the Show kinda started with them and evrything and I do like them both, they have a good chemistry as partners, but there not alone. It bothers me that they kinda always get the action and the hard tasks while Deeks and Kensi still runnning errands so to speak. And like others people said I think they give Deeks just not enough credit since the first Episode he showed up in. Sure he and Kensi trust and respect each other but I cant really remember a moment where Callen showed Deeks some real respect and it took a long time until Sam did. Sometimes it feels like he isnt really a part of the team and they keep reminding him that he is “only” a Cop and not an Agent like “them” although he had a chance to become one and declined it because being a Cop is more than just a job for him. But I still always have the feeling that all the things he had to go through and done for the team, doesnt mean that much like the things Callen or Sam did. Sure Callen is supposed to be the leading character and I do like him and I liked his story in the first Seasons but there are other interessting characters too, why always Callen and Sam, what about Kensi and Deeks this Season or even Granger. I mean they supposed to be a team it doesnt make sense that the writers mostly focus on Callen and Sam, it made sense in the first Season but Kensi and Deeks are equal to them as character in my opinion.

    And yeah Densi, finally it happened, I loved the “Humbug” episode! Although I got to admit the timing didn’t make sense for me but it was only logical that it happened, I mean they built it up for almost 6 seasons. I’m glad that they are finally togheter I hope it lasts a while, or better until the end of the show. But the thing that bothers me right now is that there are already 4 other episodes aired since “Humbug” and we didn’t really get some “special” Densi scenes. There interaction at work slightly changed and they dropping sometimes hints that they are a couple? but IMO that is not enough. I mean I dont need something explicit but just a normal scene, maybe when they wake up togheter and are late for work and need to hurry which I’m sure would be funny. Or maybe a date night. Just something normal to show the people that they are a couple. I just need the confimation for my well beeing.

    A last question from me, how are the ratings of the show? You think it gets renewed for a season 7? I really hope so.

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  5. Thanks Karen. Great review. I agree that it made me a bit grumpy too. I have no idea what this team was doing fighting a terrorist cell of Isis! And the fact that the President just asked to declare war on this group but our guys were able to bring them down easily was a bit unbelievable. But it was nice to see that Densi can work and play together well but like you I would love to see more of it out in the open too.

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  6. All great points, Karen! I enjoyed this episode with the action and especially the banter. There were several moments when I kept thinking that G and Sam was headed into “deep do-do” and needed Densi closer than where Granger sent them in order to bail them out. And I was relieved each time they moved forward on the case without serious harm. Maybe it was just me, but the plot kept me off-balance throughout and that coupled with the LOL moments of the Sam and G banter and the Densi banter left me chuckling at the end. I was thinking “well played” to the writers and directors!

    As for the revelation that Deek’s can’t cook?!? Deeks has to be throwing Kensi off balance. From all the Deeks comments in the past, I still think he can cook. He’s throwing Kensi off in order to surprise her later in a special moment. I bet he didn’t have time to cook, brought take-out and while setting out the food, remembered the snickerdoodle moment…touché Kensi moment.

    Great comments by everyone!

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    • I agree, I think Deeks is just waiting to surprise Kensi. I’m going with your theory that he was late getting home or something and didn’t have time to cook – like it wasn’t even a planned out decision to trick her.

      That whole revelation probably threw me off the most! So for years, all of these fanfic writers have been wrong in assuming Deeks can cook?? I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember if anything has happened in the past that gave us confirmation that he CAN cook or has it all just been assumptions because of how he picks on Kensi for not being able to cook?

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  7. I always love your reviews Karen, even when you’re grumpy. You got to the crux of the problem with this episode. There was little or no angst visible from anyone about Callen and Sam being missing. We got a couple of frowns from Deeks, but it was as if they had no connection to the two missing agents. I remember that scene in the first episode when Kensi and Deeks were in the helicopter looking down where Sam and Callen were trapped in the submarine. You could see real concern on their faces. They held each other’s hand as they waited to find out about their friends. We got no such scene in this episode. Everyone went about their business as usual, like this was just another case. If the characters aren’t worried then how can we be worried? I agree that the superhero stuff is getting in the way of true drama.

    I do love the banter all these characters do at the drop of a hat, but do we need it all the time? I know Deeks is supposed to be the wise ass of the team, but to have the two of them bantering while their friends are in danger made them seem uncaring and that does a great disservice to both their characters. We can only take our cues from the characters as to whether or not we should be worried, so if they show little angst neither do we. A few lines of dialogue would have done that for us and as much as I loved that scene with Deeks tackling that guy into the water, I would have liked to have seen some anger instead of a throw away line about Kensi licking Mama Guida’s plate clean.

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  8. I agree with just about everything here – I just wonder if we are talking about a different show? If you read the tweets on #ncisla they LOVED this episode? Are we the odd ones out here? I was taken with the beauty of the episode – the location and camera people are awesome, I think.I had the same thought wondering if the actors are getting bored with the lack of good “drama” so far? I really missed any reaction/action between Densi out on that lonely country road.

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    • I liked the direction and location too, very much actually and I thought in some scenes there was a waste of very good potential. The director of the episode is awesome, the actors are awesome, so probably sometimes they should exploit what they have much better just writing better scenes. When I saw the Instagram pictures of those takes on that long desolate country road many days before the episode aired, I had figured in my mind a much better Densi scene. That, I think, was another missed opportunity.

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      • Agreed. The location there was awesome and that scene, more than any other in the episode, I was expecting and hoping to get some Densi-goodness. They were out in the middle of nowhere, alone, not knowing what happened to Callen and Sam, and nothing happened. Found the smoke grenade and tranquilizers, and they left. Would it have killed them to give us a comforting hug?

        There’d better be some awesome deleted scenes on the DVDs this year!

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  9. Wow, you all made so many wonderful comments! I agree with pretty much everything being said. I guess we’ll see if the next episode gives us a more serious tone. Sam is going to be shot, after all. I don’t know how ECO hasn’t been bored this year, after getting to play so many great scenes last season. I really hope the writers give Deeks a great story arc over the last eps of the season- ECO deserves it and the show really needs it.

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    • I agree with you about Deeks past scenes compared to this year’s, Karen, but up until now I have had the feeling that DR is getting more bored of this role than ECO. Just a sensation, though, and I hope with all my heart that it will remain such.

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    • Sam is going to be shot??? Interesting…as I thought Sam & G were bullet proof!

      I just hope to the TV gods…we don’t have another scene with Deeks & Kensi joking around…only to have Nell interupt them to breathlessly anounce that Sam’s been shot.

      Nell is going to get the nic name of Negative News Nell…if this keeps up!!

      Personally…I don’t care about Sam being shot..cuz I know by the end of the episode..he will be A OK…and making jokes with G…about how he has been shot more times than Callen!

      What I do care about..is seeing some great Densi scenes..since the episode is wriiten by Dave Kalstein!

      If Dave fails to deliver at least some classic Densi …the pair is in trouble…cus Dave & R.Scott Gimmel..are the only 2 writers left on staff…who really capture Densi the best in my opinion.

      The writer I would love to see back on the show..is Christina M. Kim…who wrote NeighborHood Watch…my all time fave Densi centric episode.

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      • Neighborhood Watch is definitely a favorite of mine too! The Densi connection became a lot more profound as they inter-acted. I have been wondering what Kensi and Deeks would do if they encountered Brett & Paulina now?

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  10. The other day, I saw that I was one of your top posters last year. And even though I had plenty of negative stuff to say about season 5, at least I had something to say.

    This season however…. the episodes just blend one into the other, in a monotonous stream of Callen and Sam and Callen and Sam and Callen… I didn’t even get around to watching this episode until almost a week after it aired (and even then, only because I was snowed in. NCISLA’s Live+7 ratings owe a lot to the record snowfalls we’ve had this winter.)

    Anyway, my point is that I have lost all enthusiasm for this show. I’ve lost patience waiting for some Deeks backstory, and I’ve lost confidence in the writers’ ability to put together the powerful dramatic turns that I’ve been waiting for. I’m just not interested anymore, and based on the comments I’ve seen here, I’m not the only one.

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  11. Jan I understand where your coming from..cuz I also have found myself losing enthusiasm for the show..due to the overload of less than thrilling Sam & Callen centric episodes and the almost total lack of any storylines revolving around Deeks .. Kensi.or anybody else on the team

    I only watch the show for Densi…but this season…apart from the events in Humbug…Densi has pretty well been in a holding pattern & little more than an afterthought..so the show can concentrate on the snooze inducing adventures of Sam & G

    Im hoping next Mondays episode by Dave Kalstein…..has plenty of Densi action ..and helps to rekindle my interest in the show.

    The powers that be…. seemed determined & happy in S6….to push Deeks.and the rest of the team into the background ..and place all their faith that Sam & G’s bickering bromance and escapades.. ….will bring in the rating numbers & keep viewers glued to the show.

    Personally…I think that’s a losing strategy in the long run…because how long can you have episodes mostly focusing on Sam & G getting shot…kidnapped…trapped. etc….in a constant pattern of rinse and repeat……before even their fans ….start to become bored silly…..with the sameness of it all?

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