Review: NCISLA “Blaze of Glory” (S6E19)
Last week’s episode, “Fighting Shadows” was a refreshingly cool glass of water for the legion of Deeks fans who have been pleading for more of a backstory on our intrepid hero Marty Deeks. As the credits rolled, we were left wondering what the LAPD has against Deeks, who insists (to the two most important women in his life) that he has no idea what is wrong. And how will they turn around and use Kensi as a pawn against her partner and lover? Most of us are hoping this story arc will go thru to the end of the year and if we’re lucky continue into the next season. We all agree that if you love Deeks… it’s about time too.
But it looks like that’s not going to happen in this episode and we will have to wait a bit longer to find out more about what’s going on with Deeks as the writers switch their attention to the other love birds nesting in Ops… Neric. This time Nell has some competition for Eric’s affections as a new computer techie is brought in to help the team search for a terrorist group that has hijacked a defense contractor’s missile test. The team needs to find out if other Navy systems have been compromised, locate them and shut them down. Hetty and Granger bring in a younger tech geek to infiltrate an online group of college hackers who may be involved in the crime. Enter Blaze who is an expert in network security. Look at Beale smile. Look at Nell scowl! This is going to get interesting.
On the other side of town, Sam is having a bad case of coulrophobia (fear of clowns)… and Callen enjoys watching his partner squirm. (Callen: Don’t worry, it has to be dark for them to come to life.) The agents get closer to a motive as they find out why the hacker may have wanted to compromise the missile test. Meanwhile, Blaze has infiltrated the suspected hacker’s lair but instead finds the real contractor who hacked the system. This geek can take care of herself! But what follows is a very convoluted maze of he-said, she-said and a round of finger pointing that had my head spinning. By the end, I was so confused I gave up trying to figure out who was responsible for the crime. How Blaze got in the thick of the action without anyone knowing she was missing was a bit unbelievable too.
Finally, the team shuts down the outside terrorist operation, and celebrates by sharing ice cream sundaes at the back of a marionette theatre. (Never thought I’d write those words in a review.) This has got to be this show’s most bizarre plot and storyline ever. And seriously… Eric just dumps Nell at the drop of a hat? Blaze may be brilliant but the girl has absolutely no personality whatsoever. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure this is not the Beale I know and love. Even Nell was a bit of a wet rag as she just decides to forget about Eric’s indiscretion and play drone games with him at the Mission. The real Nell would have cut off his head! Instead we saw a woman hurt and betrayed. Where’s my feisty Nell? What’s going on here? Is there still a chance for Neric? I feel this entire episode was set in an alternative universe! Also, I was waiting for at least a mention of Deeks’ possible problems with the LAPD but there no signs that anyone was even a bit concerned about his predicament anymore. A very strange and unsatisfying episode all around. I think I’ll go back to bed, now and pretend this show never aired!
- It’s been awhile since we have seen a team bullpen chat to open up the show. It’s amazing how they can talk about the most such ridiculous topics (Leprechauns?!) and with a little help from Deeks make it work. (Sam: Thank you Dr. Phil.)
- MTE! Sam cracks me up when he tries to prove how cool he is with his daughter.
- Sam is still trying to change Callen’s eating habits too with no success. Give it up Sam! (Callen: Eat up your spinach, Popeye… we’re on the move!)
- Speaking of Sam…will we ever find out what’s behind his aversion to clowns? This would have been a perfect opportunity to uncover what his phobia is all about.
- Of course Hetty attended Liza Minnelli’s 5th birthday party. One of these days we’ve really got to get the backstory on this woman. How did she get to know so many famous people? It has to be one hell of a tale.
- Huh! We find out that Deeks is a holiday skin-flint? Who knew? Somehow I can’t imagine him giving Kensi three-day old roses on Valentine’s Day! Does he have a death wish?
Deeks: This is bringing back some happy memories.
Kensi: Oh my gosh. You lived like this in college?
Deeks: For a second there I thought I was back in your bedroom.
- So now we know how Densi will sound when they are an old married couple. Great banter between Ruah and Olsen who can nag their way thru a scene with the best of them. The bike scene was a Densi gem. I have to wonder how much of that was adlibbed? (Deeks: You also majored in bother me.)
Joe Sachs’ scripts are usually a lot more interesting and believable than this. Not much drama, action or intensity here, although there were some fun interactions between all the team partners. Becca Tobin’s portrayal of Blaze was boring and uninspiring and what Eric saw in her, I’ll never know. Blaze of glory? Not quite. All in all, a very flat script and definitely the worst offering of the season! Let’s hope the next episode will redeem itself!
We have another break but be sure to come back later this week and check out Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal. For all of you who enjoy reading about Deeks in FanFics, we have another Writing Deeks on the schedule as well. See you soon.
Episode: “Blaze of Glory”
Writer: Joe Sachs
Director: Terrence O’Hara
Original Air Date: March 30, 2015
Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi
I liked the episode even there weren’t much Densi scenes.
I would love to think that the team cares for Deeks and that they somehow know what’s going on with him. At least at one point they will have to help him to deal with whatever the LAPD has agains him when they’ll throw the ball.
And now, the main topic, Blaze of Glory. I agree with you phillydi that Blaze hadn’t much of a character to show (except when she kicked Joshua’s balls and Deeks said au, which made me laugh out loud) and the fact that she was conceived on a Bon Jovi concert, I have to admit I didn’t expect that, although it was interesting part from her story.
I think that Eric saw a little sister in Blaze, or he saw himself when he was at her age, I don’t know, I had the feeling that he was overcompensating for somerhing.
And we definitely need more jealous Nell. She was going to eat Blaze alive. When she said dorky I thought she referred to Eric. And I think that the punishment will get to Eric in the future since he crushed the drone and considering the events of the day…. You can run, but you can’t hide Mr. Beale.
And now, a little bit of a ramble about our Densi lovebirds. I loved the scene with the bike when Deeks actually sounded like a tourist would do. Maybe if he inserted the accent Sven had when they were undercover with Sam, well that would’ve been fabulous. And when he played injured man in front of he house with the spline thing and all I could hardly contain myself from scream-laughing. My father watched the episode with me and he was laughing throughout the whole ep too.
And the beginning was awesome. It’s good to see Sam/Deeks bromance. He is still teasing Deeks, but after 5×01 I think Sam cuts him some slack.
When Callen said eat your spinach Popeye, the look of Popeye when he eats his spinach appeared in front of me. Well, they can compete with Sam if he wants too.
Few cartoon references this season, too. I like it. All we need is some Tom and Jerry thing. We had the Mighty Mouse, and Popeye, and some Disney references in the earlier eps, but since season 1 we haven’t heard about them (When Kensi thought t was Tom and Jerry on the TV, but Sam said it was Mighty Mouse, 1×23 I think).
All in all, I liked the ep and it was totally different from 6×18. We haven’t seen such a funny ep in a long time, well every episode has its funny moments, but this one was like watching a sitcom crime drama.
And I liked the interaction between the team at the end. They all look so like family.
Plus the title of the ep reminded me of Jon Bon Jovi’s song Blaze of Glory, that was made for the movie Young Guns II. It was a great movie. I did get to watch it, because of Kiefer Sutherland and I liked it. I guess what woulx it be like for Deeks and the team to play in that movie?
Till the next episode…
Excellent review, Di. I’m in complete agreement. While I’m all for an occasional super silly episode (for me it was Seal Hunter this season), this one just seemed lacking in just about every department. The worst was the characterization of Eric. Sigh. It just sometimes feels like we care more about the show’s quality than the showrunners!
I did really enjoy this article from the L.A. Times about the marionette theater. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet…
Unremarkable…is the only word I can think of for this episode. You were right on the money with your analysis of its shortcomings. I find myself wondering if the writers even talk to each other, or if they know what happened in the episode before there’s. Underwhelmed is another word for the emotion or lack there of that I felt while watching this one. Anger as well. Making Kensi and Deeks look that incompetent while backing up another agent in the field really was unbelievable and ticked me off. I get the Blaze in the title, but the writer missed the glory.
Di, Karen, Lindy – totally agree. Not much else to even say. Except I really was bugged by the Eric/Blaze thing. It was so totally out of character for him to do that at all, especially in front of the whole team. As far as Blaze went, I didn’t feel like she did anything different than what Nell/Eric usually do. The episode did have its fun moments and I could have actually enjoyed it as a sort of benign filler ep if not for the aspect of Eric drooling over Blaze. Thanks for the link on the theater – I saw some other press on that aspect and it was really cool!
Thanks for the review.
This episode didn’t interest me much, to be honest. I think there were many missed opportunities, yet again. And this sense of something that could have been but hasn’t been because of how some situations in episodes evolve (or NOT evolve at all) is starting to tire me. Obviously I still watch the show to have fun, to spend some time carefree, so every comment I write is just a comment, nothing more, I don’t mean to be unrespectful to the writers or, even less, to the actors themselves who I like very much and think are all perfect for these roles in the show. What I write comes especially from some reflections on plots.
For example, I don’t understand how an important issue like LAPD IA starting an investigation into Deeks can be ignored in the following episode! How can it happen? Sure, writers can do whatever they want, but they should be aware that this way the continuity of the story loses most of its appeal. This episode didn’t need to be focused on last episode’s investigation, but some hints here and there that things were progressing would have been welcome, just to let us know that we are not watching two different shows: one where angst and drama and sad faces are the rule, and another where everybody makes jokes, can be randomly incompetent and doesn’t seem to have many worries about impending disasters.
As for Kensi and Deeks, I have some concerns too. I have noticed over the past two episodes that writers throw some tidbits at us especially about their sexual life (“lean, mean, sex machine” and “happy memories from your bedroom”).
If on one side this reassures us that the ship is sailing smoothly, on the other side it’s leaving me unsatisfied.
Have they gone “All in” only for sex? This is what at present the authors seem to imply. They could have taken this leap two-three seasons ago, then, when their UST was at its highest.
But if we are led to think that physical attraction is only what drives their relationship, can it be realistic that these characters don’t even touch each other at all be it for a moment of sweetness or for comfort after a tough day?
I would like more scripted affection between Deeks and Kensi, they seem to be so cold! They were not like this before. I think not showing the faintest sign of affection ever, not even when they are alone and no one is watching them, is even more OC than if they were touching all the times. Two examples here: last week’s episode would have been perfect for some Densi sign of affection. I found the boatshed scene quite cold, they both seemed detached when they said “we’re good”; Deeks could have reached out his hand to touch Kensi easily, just to show her also phisically that they were in this together and I am sure the scene could have been more powerful.
Sorry for the long comment, but I like this show so much that even if I do understand that viewers can’t always get what they want (this is what fanfictions are for!), sometimes I feel so disappointed after an episode that writing my thoughts helps me to calm down.
I have been thinking same thing. It seems that there was more PDA before they went “all in” than after. I have tried to understand what is in writers minds. Maybe they try to show them desperately try to be professional? Or it is effort to please these viewers who think that NCISCLA should be only crimeshow without romantical aspects. Which would be quite stupid, you cannot please everyone. They chose to let them be together, why can’t they stand behind their decisions.
Sorry my lousy english, i’n not native.
I am afraid that even if the writers decided to make Densi take this bold leap with each other in Humbug, they are still undecided about what exactly to do with them. And obvoiusly they can’t please every single viewer with their choices.
What I hope is that the writers now don’t force Densi to split up after so little time together.
I think the showrunners should be grateful for the job they have done with these two characters (which doesn’t happen every time you put two actors together) and for how much future material this couple can offer, more, much more than if they were split up as if nothing had ever happened. They could have tons of things to explore with Densi, and I don’t mean turning the show into a soap opera, ever!
I’m afraid that splitting up means that one of characters have to leave show, returning to past with flirting and chemistry seems to be quite impossible. So I hope they let them be together, even if there would be bumps in the road.
It was OK, but left room for improvement. For coninuity I think this should have aired before fighting shadows. In regards to Densi, I think there is more to it than just sex. The proof is in the looks they shared at the end of “Blackwind” IMO. Although I would like to see more onscreen intamacy (I don’t mean sex). Come on writers would it kill you to write at least a Densi hug? Lol
I’ve been unmotivated to even comment because the more I think about it, the more I dislike this episode.
So basically, I’m going to ditto Karen, Lindy, Brenda, and Cladani – you ladies hit on literally every single gripe I have about this episode. Every single one.
If this episode had aired earlier in the season, I think I could have felt differently, but after last week and with what we speculate to be coming, this episode was so out of place and entirely too lighthearted and disconnected.
I liked Blaze as a character, but I thought bringing her in was pointless and they gave her WAY too much freedom. She might have an NCIS job waiting after college, but she is still a student – and they just let her do whatever she wanted. No one escorted her back to the Mission, really? They let her cuff the guy at the puppet theater? Come on. I actually think they could have done way more with the ep if they had given the undercover role to Nell.
I’m going to stop now before I go on ranting again (I’ve done enough of that on tumblr this week!)
Thanks for all the great comments. I had hoped to soften my stand on this episode but nah! It was a stinker! Onward!