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Review: NCISLA “Active Measures” (S7E1)

After the hit and miss season that we witnessed last year, truthfully, I really didn’t know what to expect going into Season 7. According to Mr. Brennan, this year the show is going to try and bring closure to many of the mysteries that have plagued Callen since we got to first meet the brooding agent. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been beyond ready to see a lot of those secrets of his past laid to rest. Luckily we don’t have long to wait. The unveiling has begun as Callen searches this episode for Arkady and a link to his lost father.

But Callen has gone rogue again and once again the team is out to set him straight with orders from Hetty and Granger. It’s amazing Callen has lasted as long as he has in his line of work with his constant insubordination. Perhaps he’s always had his mentor to protect him and pick up the pieces of his difficult life, and this time was no different. But he was really pushing it to the limit and Hetty definitely deserved his loyalty.  I hope he remembers that the next time.

The IA investigation rears its ugly head again for the first time this season and Deeks is really worried. If it prevents him from cracking a joke, you know it’s serious. The more interesting point is that he still has no idea what the investigation could be about. To be blindsided is even more frightening… and that’s why Deeks AND Kensi are so concerned over the investigation. Stay tuned for more on this event.

Memorable Moments
• Deeks never has a bad day, Sam! You should know that by now.
• Callen still leads an austere life I see. Would it kill him to put a few pictures on the wall?
• Hard to watch Callen be so dismissive of Hetty. Why didn’t he feel that he could talk to his friends? They all deserve his loyalty.
• Sabatino makes a return to the team, and I’m glad to see he’s stopped hitting on Kensi!
• Poor Eric… not sure I’d want to see a gun in his hand either. A nerf gun sound about right.
(Sam: One thing at a time, grasshopper.) Great interactive scene between the two.
• Of course there’s an app for that Deeks! It’s called FBI Agent Finder. HA!
• Hetty’s concern for the lost boy she found years ago is touching. She will always be a mother figure to Callen. And he will always be her favorite. Yet I didn’t see that taser attack coming!
• Eric’s ‘snapped’ theory was hysterical. Where does the geek come up with these things? (Eric: Go all Jason Bourne.) & (Sam: He’s got a mind like a computer, unfortunately it’s a Commodore 64.)
• Great to watch tiny Hetty physically stand up to the brick wall called Sam Hanna. Something you don’t see every day. (Granger: You, go drink some tea or something.) Their makeup scene at the end was even better!
• The Bromance is back! (Granger: You two are just adorable.)  Granger cracks me up!

Memorable Kensi and Deeks

We start the year off right with one of the best banter scenes between Densi in a long time. Deeks trying to talk Kensi into stopping her run to eat breakfast was a very adorable peek into their off-work life. I’m very proud of Kensi, too. I thought she would get pretty jealous of Deeks’ obvious trail of admirers. But besides that shot in the arm, she seems to be pretty secure in their relationship. (Deeks: Party Marty. That’s a tough one.)

Wow we really hear the two expressing their love to each other! Did we ever think we would have heard those three little words back in the “How’s that for Communication?” era? We’ve come a long way, baby!

Memorable Deeks:
Deeks: Why would anyone name their kid Vostanik?
Nell: I’m pretty sure it’s Armenian.
Deeks: Yeah, that’s no excuse.

Loved watching Deeks squirm every time the bathhouse was mentioned. The original episode will always be one of the more memorable Deeks’ moments in the show’s history and Gemmill played it up at every turn:

Kirkin: Where’s the cute fairy one?
Callen: Deeks wasn’t able to make it but he sends his regards.

Deeks: I’m still having nightmares of big, sweaty men drowning me.
Sam: That’s too much information, Deeks. Way too much.

Kirkin: I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.
Deeks: If I had a nickel….

We have the emotions flowing in this episode and that’s a good way to start the season. Even Deeks’ erotic thoughts are turning emotional. Interesting to see an entire episode centered on Callen’s ‘need to know’. If that means we’re going to be concentrating on the show’s main characters more, then I’m all in. Gemmill’s script was witty and funny and a nice change from some of the heavier stories from last season. As always JPK’s direction was spot on. Definitely a good first effort all around.

I couldn’t tell by the next week’s promo, but will this be the episode all Deeks fans have been waiting for? It’s the first Dave Kalstein script of the year, and not only do we get to welcome another familiar face (Talia), but we finally get to meet the elusive Mrs. Deeks, or is it Brandel? Maybe a few more clues will be dropped and her appearance will fill in some of Deeks’ backstory. But as we heard from Shane Brennan at PaleyFest, don’t go holding your breath just yet folks… we are going to have to wait at least until Season 8 for the unveiling of the long awaited episode “Deeks, M.” I don’t think there is an emoji to express how I feel about that one!

Hurray! Deeks’ Surf Log is back and so is Kensi’s Journal… so be sure to stop by later this week and take a peek into our favorite characters’ thoughts about this week’s mission. See you next time!

Episode: “Active Measures”
Writer: R. Scott Gemmill
Director: John P. Kousakis
Original Air Date: September 21, 2015


Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at

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!

18 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Active Measures” (S7E1)

  1. Brenda (@bpnp) // September 22, 2015 at 3:45 PM // Reply

    Totally agree with your review! Finally an episode where there are parts worth re-watching – and I have already re-watched that opening scene multiple times!

    They pulled off an “I love you” scene that was funny, sweet, totally fitting Deeks’ history and no punch from Kensi! Best of all, it seemed quite natural and not awkward as if this is normal behavior. Made us wait long enough for it, but I’ll take it.

    I also loved all the Kirkin/team references to the bathhouse scene. That ep/scene is a fan favorite so way to make the loyal fans happy in the season premier.

    It seemed like there were a lot of loose ends at the end of the episode, so hopefully this is a set up for a season long resolution.


  2. evelynmarie2014 // September 22, 2015 at 4:53 PM // Reply

    I wonder if they will explain why his mom wasn’t considered as his next of kin in Personal.


    • He may not have known where she was all this time…let’s hope we find out why…


      • Please please let them have a good and logical explanation that rings true to Deeks’ character. I am so nervous about this. I can ignore major changes in Callen’s backstory (Hetty flashback), but not Deeks’. He’s never shown any hint that he has had family in his life during his time working at NCIS, volunteering at the soup kitchen on Christmas Eve, going away to Mammoth with Kensi. Let’s hope Kalstein remembers “Personal” better than Frank Military and Shane Brennan did.


      • Maybe Deeks’ mom was involved with his first partner’s death, then he secretly had her move out, and she’s back in town recently or something. Yeah, not likely. But they are going through his recycling bin ‘now’, so it’s possible they susspect his mom and trying to find her whereabout and Deeks’ involvement with her disappearance. Not.

        Thanks for the wonderful review.


  3. I thought Kirkin called Deeks “the cute, furry one.” Apparently even Kirkin has noticed he needs a haircut.


  4. Good start for the season…love a “furry” Callen almost as much as I love a “furry” Deeks. Hope he keeps it….kind of makes him look roguish. My favorite scene though, was Deeks and Kensi on the stakeout in front of the Russians favorite bath house. He was scarily silent and I think it caught Kensi off guard. I’m not sure she believes he doesn’t know what the IA investigation is about. At least she thinks he’s holding out on her. The story of his first partner’s actions after he became a detective were chilling. Talk about nightmares. He turns the man in and we finally discover why no one will partner with him and he turns to undercover work. Such a major reveal that goes by in the blink of an eye. Will his first partner’s death be a clue to the investigation? Quite a storyline to just let drop by the wayside.


  5. Thanks for this perfect review, as always.

    I think it was a great premiere, with good ingredients blended together for a satisfying episode that could please more or less all the viewers.

    I liked the Densi opening scene! What a nice way to say “I love you” for the first time onscreen, it was very “them”, very in character.
    They were both relaxed, at ease with each other, light-hearted and enjoying their free time together. Even Kensi’s possessiveness seems to have reached acceptable levels and I am sure pushing Deeks off his bike was more out of playfulness than real jealousy.

    I don’t want to sound too picky, but what I didn’t completely understand and like was Deeks’s reaction to Kensi’s “I love you too”. By this time we can imagine they may have said the L word many times to each other (so, probably, the idea by the writers was not to make it sound like a huge moment) and we are glad their story is progressing well, but I admit I expected to see a happier expression from Deeks whenever Kensi would take this leap onscreen.
    His answer and his expression didn’t seem to be very convinced and I wonder why (come on, Kensi Blye, and I underline, Kensi Blye, says “I love you” and you just say “all right”?).

    Even if now that we have had this beach scene I don’t mind the season 6 finale Densi scene having been deleted, I can’t tell how much I liked Deeks’s reaction and expression more in that moment.
    ECO managed to convey all his emotions very well at hearing Kensi almost say that important word. He was first astonished and stupefied and then extremely proud and content.
    I would keep the beach “I love you”, “I love you too”, but with Deeks’s deleted scene reaction (I know this show is driving me insane!).

    I found the IA investigation conversation in the car a key moment between Deeks and Kensi acted very brilliantly by both ECO and DR. A serious talk between adults that lasted more time than I expected.

    I think Deeks has many skeletons in the closet, but he is not sure which one they are investigating him on, so he is not lying when he says he has no idea. He may have some clues but prefers to keep them for himself until he knows more. I only hope Kensi will not interpret this as a lack of trust.

    Good start for, I hope, a good season.


    • I totally agree with you about Deeks’ reaction to Kensi saying “I love you, too.” If they’ve said it before, I can see why he wouldn’t be surprised, but he didn’t even grin. I’ve watched it several times hoping it would be more like the deleted scene as you said. =(. It was a really cute scene but could have been cuter!


  6. Good review – I was a little surprised at the “easy” Love You – after our deleted scene which showed us she was reluctant (I read the article about deleted scenes 🙂 ) it was kinda thrown out there. Guess I wanted a more significant “first time”. I am hoping they can keep up “them” for us now that they are together. It needs to stay fun, sexy, flirty, and all the stuff we’ve loved. But – I had to agree – was asking myself how many times can Callen keep “going rogue”? I kinda got the feeling Hetty had had it when she gave him that file and warning. they tried to “excuse” it with Granger’s “explanation”, but still … If I was the team I’d be a little sick of having to track him down to save him (which they always seem to have to do). I loved all the one liners and Kirkin was a good villian! I’m looking forward to your Preview of 7/2 ’cause frankly after all the family history hints, I’m a little upset with the photo posted of the lovely, happy, friendly handshake/greeting thing. I’m hoping for a real story not just a “nice” brush-off of all we’ve heard. Why she stayed with an abusive man, where has she been, why doesn’t he talk about her – all that stuff everyone is asking!


  7. Great review Di! I’m so glad that everyone liked this episode as much as I did. I liked many things about it. I give full credit to R. Scott Gemmill, with strong support from JPK.

    First was the humor- I laughed so much, at Eric and Sam discussing weapons and fight training, at all the girls recognizing Deeks on the beach, at Granger in almost every scene, at Kirkin’s fine taste in men, at Sam and Callen’s bromance, and at the idea of Robot Callen.

    I enjoyed Callen’s pointing out to Hetty how she keeps others in the dark, because I’m still not over S5 Hetty. But at the same time, this Hetty seemed like a throwback to the version I used to love, watching out for Callen, thankful to have Sam on her team. More of this Hetty please!

    I enjoyed every scene with Sam- his interactions with the entire team were so wonderful. It made me appreciate LL Cool J all the more. He’s built a character who’s so different from himself, yet they’re both so strong and smart.

    I loved how very many scenes there were between two (or more) characters talking. Maybe joking, maybe serious, but always well written and true to character. There were hardly any action scenes here- just a shooting to open things, the chase of Callen, and the short chase at the end. I didn’t miss the booms because I was too busy enjoying the dialog. It’s exactly what I was talking about wanting in Gayle and my debate about deleted scenes.

    And finally, the Densi. The beach scene was delightful, even if the show’s steadfast refusal to show us the relationship firsts will always frustrate me, and force me to seek out fan fics to fill the void. The car scene was great, and I’m with Lindy- whether or not Deeks’ story has any bearing on the IA investigation, it was a huge reveal of a key bit of backstory, a question we’ve always wanted answered, about why the other cops dislike him. I need origin fics on this stat!


  8. I’ve been waiting to get home to re-watch the episode and to read your review. And a wonderfully enjoyable review it is. I also enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. I realize as I write this that I have missed the anticipation of a new episode but most of all that feeling of looking forward to re-watching an episode. This will be an episode to re-watch again. I had the feeling of familiarity with the returning characters, the continuity from prior episodes was sooo welcomed. I’ve always felt that we don’t need full on scenes, simply a reference or a comment linking to a prior episode or loose end is all that is needed. Hooray for continuity.

    My favorite scene was the car stake-out scene. The expressions on Deeks face when he recounted his experiences and why he went into undercover work made my heart hurt. Wow, the look in his eyes….and Kensi’s reactions…beautiful moment.

    I loved the Densi banter on the beach run. Of course, all the girls know Marty by name…it harkens back to the early seasons where we know Deeks as always flirty with the girls and Kensi knows that too. Kensi’s reaction/acceptance was perfect and exactly what I wanted to happen. This is the perfect look into their private life coupled with the very natural, “I love you, too” let us know that Densi is in sync and all is as it should be. I love that it was not overt, just organic and natural.

    I too, hope we get a satisfactory explanation as to why we were all led to believe that Deeks had no family. It was so powerful when Deeks asked Hetty who he should put down as next of kin after finding out his father was dead…and now to find out he has a Mother….

    I am so pysched and hopeful for this season. Hooray for WikiDeeks😄


  9. I am in Australia (as mentioned before) so I am looking forward to watching this episode when the show eventually airs in Australia. (Although I may have to wait until next year!!!) Just love Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen is perfect in the role). I hope that Kensi sticks by him during this investigation along with the rest of the team. Deeks is not a bad cop and would never have done anything wrong. And they finally said “I love you” on screen. (I am sure they have said those three little words to each other we just havent seen it)
    I am over the Callen storyline and hope it is wrapped up this season. More Deeks and Kensi please!!


  10. I just read on another site that there is an episode titled “The Long Goodbye” coming up and it refers to Deeks. Has anyone heard anything? I started to panic when I read it!!!


    • I think that’s the new Dave Kalstein script. Since Dave is the premier Densi writer (whether you like it or not, Dave!) we may have something to worry about, who knows.


      • Maybe it means that Deeks leaves the LAPD and finally becomes a NCIS agent. We know that Eric is not leaving the show because they mentioned Season 8 would be a Deeks and Kensi season.




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