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NCISLA Case Briefing: “Citadel” (S7E2)


NCISLA Case Briefing: “Citadel” (S7E2)

“Citadel” – DEA agent Talia Del Campo (Mercedes Mason) turns to the NCIS: Los Angeles team for help after her partner is murdered. Also, after Kensi grows suspicious that Deeks is hiding something, he surprises her by introducing her to his mother (Pamela Reed), on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, Sept. 28 (9:59-11:00, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network. Written by: Dave Kalstein | Directed by:: Eric Laneuville

Now that the season’s kicked off, let’s jump right back into our favorite fictional escape. Ok, so there’s a murder to be solved along with needing to infiltrate a secure facility (not to mention a still folically-enhanced Callen. Yes, we noticed you, Angelic Bathmat!) A pretty typical case for the team (and us), right? While there was plenty of discussion this summer over the apparent struggle between the focus on the crime-based procedural drama versus character development, it appears as if The Powers The Be (TPTB) perhaps took note.

Yes, the team needs something to do, which requires having a “case on deck”! Yet, it sounds as if this episode in particular will place the case on the backburner. As Dave Kalstein stated in 2013, “It doesn’t even matter what the crime is anymore. It’s always character first and crime second.” Since this is a Dave Kalstein episode, we can easily expect this concept to be clearly illustrated.

Speaking of Mr. Kalstein, where he goes, so often does Densi also go. (Alright, this article has been written as calmly as possible to this point, but the excitement can be contained no longer! Feel free to picture Kermit the Frog and his famous flailing!) Talia’s back?! What the what?! Yet again, a professional associate needs the assistance of the Office of Special Projects.

Sure we can already start asking all the usual questions. Why was Talia’s partner murdered? How did it happen? How much does she really know? Those are the basics, but loyal fans are likely already digging deeper. Why is a DEA agent seeking help from NCIS? Does Talia have her own IA problems?

Then the professional and personal intersect. Who can forget the last interaction between Kensi and Talia? Somehow within the course of a single episode the look-alike feds went from throwing punches to being besties hanging at the mall. (Really?!) Now that there’s no question Densi’s thing is now a real Thing, will a solid line be drawn between the couple and their acquaintance? Or will the line continue to be blurred either purposefully or unintentionally by more than one of these colleagues? Oh the complexity of human interaction; the possibilities are endless!

Getting back to the reason that brings these three compelling characters together, which is a tragedy. If anyone is thoroughly versed in losing a partner (of many types), it’s certainly Kensi. Might the women bond over their shared experiences (not to mention their affinity for a certain scruffy blonde cop)? If Kensi is now confident in her ‘ship with Deeks, there’s no reason for her to not extend such support to Talia. We’ll see….

On the topic of support, it seems as if Deeks is going to need some – and plenty of it. The wildcard of Agent del Campo has re-entered Deeks’ universe. It’s expected that he’s going to be challenged in juggling not only his own reactions, but gauging the interactions with these two fiery women. (Don’t get burned, Detective!) Our Deeks is a masterful multi-tasker. He’ll be fine, right? Oh wait. What’s that? He’s going to need to juggle three women this week? So…?

Mom, is that you? Mama Deeks?! (Enter more flailing here.) Well Mr. Kalstein, there is a tanker full of explaining to do here! Where has Deeks’ mom been? Her last name is Deeks? Maiden name? Post-Brandel marriage? Was Gordon John Brandel really Deeks’ father? Was he adopted by someone else? Did they take on another name for protective reasons? Most importantly, how will the “Personal” next-of-kin issue be explained? Yep, we’re going all the way back to Season 2 in the NCIS:LA vault on this one!  

Deeks’ Week: Well it’s already been pretty well outlined hasn’t it? Three women all seeking something different from him, interactions among them, and all of it ebbing and flowing in and out of work. His past crashing into his presumed future. And the unknown of the IA investigation still looming. This is certainly no day at the beach for our normally happy-go-lucky liaison. Who do you think is going to create the greatest challenge for Deeks?


Gayle H. is a contributor at Follow her on Twitter: @DensiLand

About Gayle (147 Articles)
Gayle is a WikiDeeks writer and has the challenging task of penning the "Surf Log" each week. Known as "DensiLand" on Twitter, Instagram, & Tumblr, Gayle obviously "ships" Densi and has sincere love for the entire cast (& crew) of characters.

12 Comments on NCISLA Case Briefing: “Citadel” (S7E2)

  1. That is the problem right here. I think DK has lost his touch with the show. He has delivered the episode with the lowest ratings ever at the 9pm spot and it was a huge Densi episode ‘frozen lake’. IMO he puts too much character and less realistic cases in his stories. Come on, the Kensi fight scene in ‘expiration date’ was way too much. But okay it is fiction, I get it but a little bit more realistic scenes and cases wouldn’t hurt.
    He wrote great scipts at the beginning but since S3 or so he tried to be a love story writer and failed big time.
    Also this case in not related to NCIS crimes. I hope for the best but don’t expect much.


  2. Great writeup, Gayle! I can’t wait to watch especially since this epi is written by my favorite writer, Dave Kalstein. My favorite episodes to watch over and over on DVD are the DK epis. Yeah, I do like metaphorrs. I think it allows the viewer to interpret the scene based on our own life stories and experiences. The best part of reading your preview brief before airing is the wild speculation that springs to mind in reading this. I especailly like that you summed it up so succinctly with “3 women all seeking something different from him”.

    Although Talia is not likeable, I do like that she is a recurring character. Yes, she’s at the DEA but each time she surfaces, there’s some friction that advances the Densi ship. That’s good in my book. From the preview, it looks like Talia is unaware that Densi is all in…hehehe…bound to be some fireworks there. Although there is no connection to NCIS matters, Talia is aware of the powerful support system (Neric and Hetty) that the team has in solving crimes. With her partner dead, I can see her seeking investigative help from an unbiased team v. her inhouse unit that may be corrupt. I am glad to see that SB’s promise of more character insight and development is true.

    Mama Deeks!?! So many questions, so many hints from S2 to present day that does NOT seem to fit with a mom that is alive and well appearing. I have no idea how they are going to explain her to us fans. is Deeks her maiden name? I always thought that Deeks wanted no association with his Brandel name and legally changed it to his Mom’s maiden name. With no mention that she’s alive and now her sudden reappearance…so many scenarios to speculate. Has she been sick, in hiding, loss of memory from abuse, moved on with another family and became estranged from Deeks…list goes on and on. I hope whatever the explanation, it’s plausible.

    Hooray for Monday nights😄 Great way to wake up on a Sat. a.m. Thank you, Gayle!


    • I also have to put in a plug for Dave Kalstein. He is also my favorite writer as well. I love his use of metaphors too…good or bad. They always make me think and see something new in the characters and their development. I will look forward to his scripts every season!


  3. I am looking forward to this episode to see how Deeks’ mom’s appearance is explained. Maybe she was in witness protection and the danger she was in was finally solved. I hope the explanation is believable.

    I know I’m in the minority in this thought, but I really dislike Talia. I found her annoying and crude. Messing with people she barely knows to get a rise out of them seems juvenile and disrespectful considering their line of work. Then to go from the oneupmanship (or onewomanship) at the boathouse with Kensi and Talia acting like teenagers to outright violence with head butting and punching to become giggling BFFs was just too contrived. I just want het to go away and not stir up any trouble for Densi.


    • I do not think you are in the minority . I dislike Talia as do many of my friends for all the same reasons you said. Her character just stirs the pot , is unprofessional , and I think she treats Deeks in a very disrespectful manner. I really wish they had brought back another character, like the woman agent in Black Wind, she was really good. I am hoping this episode focuses on Deeks , Kensi, and his mother, and does become an episode about Talia.


      • Sorry my last sentence should say “I am hoping this episode focuses on Deeks, Kensi, and his mother and does NOT become an episode about Talia”.


  4. To be completely honest, I don’t like Talia much myself either. It’s a pity that the writers have outlined her character only as a device to make Kensi jealous and act like a teenager and make Deeks babble like he has never seen a woman in front of him. This is briefly what happened in “Deep trouble” I and II.
    Let’s hope Kalstein has kind of “redeemed” her, but from the promo (which is probably misleading on purpose) she seems her usual self, quite rude and aggressive (and she has just lost a partner…). I don’t like that from “Fish out of water” to now she has been “promoted” to enter the Mission, either.

    About mama Deeks what can I say? I hope her presence in Deeks’s life makes sense because what bothers me most is not that he said in ” Personal” he had no next of kin, but more that he has never spent a Christmas with her in five years nor mentioned she’s alive, at least to his partner. If I were Kensi I would be offended…

    Thanks, Gayle, for this case briefing.


  5. I’m with Daisy; she’s not in the minority when it comes to Talia; her actions and unprofessionalism toward another Federal Agent was off the charts. Yes, she was annoying, crude and messing with Kensi for no reason. Talia previously worked (was forced on Deeks) for one afternoon (one case). Hated the end of DT2 with these two professional women acting like little school girls! Hated that scene; even more, Kensi whispering a secret to Talia at her partner’s expense — so not cool. Shame on her! He’s always – always had her back. I love the very ending of DT2 when it was just the team.
    And yes, the big question, where has Mama Deeks been? There’s a lot of explaining to do; remember Deeks was shot and tortured; hospitalized twice with absolutely no mention of family or how to answer who his next of kin is (he didn’t know). Oiy!
    And, yes, I will again mention what’s with the revolving door at OPS; now Talia is sitting on Deeks desk? What the What? That’s sad because that place was its own character on this show; its being a secret was a large part of the allure.
    Well fellow fans I guess all our speculation and questions will hopefully be answered Monday night. I just hope they get this right! Do it well!
    A shout out to Gayle; nice write up!


    • OH NO!!!!! I’m with everyone that I DON’T like the character Talia. I didn’t mean to imply that I like her. I really do not think there is anyone in our fandom that likes her character. I’ve always thought her character was unrealistic with her unprofessionalism, her punching and her unwarranted crude remarks. Since the episode is filmed and about to air, there’s not much we can do, but I am hopeful that Kensi puts her in her place especially now that Densi is “all in”. From the premier episode, Kensi seems confident in her ship with Deeks.. So, any crude or offensive remarks should be interesting to watch.


  6. I agree that the Talia/Kensi dynamic was ridiculous in the previous episodes – when they were fighting and chummy. I was surprised to read that this case was about Talia’s partner. I remember that she said she liked to work alone….

    Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to the episode!


  7. I like Talia for how she pushes Densi. I’m surprised that after the BFF way we last saw Talia and Kensi acting; now she’s back, straight up hitting on Deeks. I hope we see a more mature reaction from Kensi. I’m so excited to meet Mama Deeks and have all the same questions you guys do. I love the picture of Deeks’ new house. I’ll be looking for little touches like maybe a picture or two of Kensi or them as a couple at the house. Can’t wait for tonight!


  8. Wow! This ep certainly has gotten people talking – & definitely taking sides! First Talia – I find her entertaining, but suspicious and not to be trusted in Fish out of Water. Then found her deplorable in Deep Trouble. So the girl has got to go! Agree with allowing her into the Mission being a problem; in the team’s inner circle she should not be. There is now literally no place for Deeks to escape her.

    As for Mama Deeks, the best point made so far is that regarding Deeks & Christmas. THIS requires an explanation not only to us, but more so to Kensi. (Although the estrangement between Kensi and her mom never had a really great explanation, at least from Julia’s side of things.)

    I’ll admit there was so much to cover here I completely missed the reference to Deeks having a new place. There are so many questions surrounding our detective right now we don’t have time for a case to get in the way! LOL! As an FYI, I’m pro-Kalstein. While he’s definitely not been perfect, his good Densi outweighs the confusion for me. In a few hours the verdict will be in and we’ll see if we’re soon putting him on a pedestal or preparing to burn him at the stake! Good or bad, his episodes always evoke a strong reaction from fans!


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