Review: NCISLA “Command & Control” (S7E4)
Happy 150th episode NCIS:LA fans! The team gets to celebrate by taking a long deserved day off. I was beginning to think these guys worked 24/7, so it’s good to see them get some free time every now and again. Unfortunately the good times don’t last very long as Callen and Sam are forced back into the ‘saving the world business’ when they receive a mysterious cell phone with a threatening message.
As the show opens, we’re treated to a powerful image of the boys escaping from behind an exploding truck, cool as cucumbers. Only five hours before, the team had completed their last case which had Kensi undercover as a femme fatale to successfully dispose of a domestic terrorist. Deeks, for one, is happy to see this mission come to an end… but he leaves a troubled man. How can he even compete for Kensi’s love when it comes to money and power? He’s not able to let it go either. I’m not used to this new Deeks. It doesn’t seem in character but love does strange things, I guess.
Later as Sam and Callen sit at an outside café enjoying the latest fad smoothie (to Callen’s chagrin) a very clever and highly intense scene plays out as a mysterious cell phone is literally dropped into their laps. The ominous (and slimy) voice on the other end has the two agents franticly searching for the location of his threat. As the bomb explodes, Sam and Callen rescue a group of innocent bystanders (with cameos by COD’s real life wife and daughter), which is only the beginning of the cat and mouse game they are forced to play against their will.
Harimoto comes through again! Thank you Kyle for giving me the Densi scene that I have been longing to see for so long! Breakfast with Deeks!!! And it’s frittata! This time we get more than just a glimpse of his new home and find that Mr. Deeks is a virtual Martha Stewart! It was wonderful to see the couple enjoying a bit of domestic bliss as they relax after a long case. Even though Kensi and Deeks’ affair has been out in the open for a while, we rarely get to see them interacting the way couples do in private. These kind of intimate conversations are usually rare as they run around chasing bad guys all day long. But here we finally get to hear Deeks’ hopes and dreams and Kensi’s contentment in relationship to his love for her. It was a beautiful and poignant interaction and one of the small moments that make this episode so special.
But Deeks is not his usually happy-go-lucky self as he broods over his inability to give Kensi the riches of the world. It’s apparent that buying the house and sharing her with his mom is part of his quest to make Kensi proud of him. But it was surprising to hear Deeks’ equating happiness to wealth and even more surprising to hear him express it out loud. (Deeks: You know me, I could care less about money, or big cars, or clothes, or watches. It doesn’t matter to me. But, I don’t know. Sometimes I think I want to get those things for you.) To Kensi’s credit, her love is the real deal. (Kensi: I don’t care where I have breakfast, as long as you’re there.) That whole scene felt genuine as well. So simply played between the two lovers because Deeks is just a boy wanting a girl to love him for himself… and she does. But will it be enough? Their tender kisses seal the deal but something tells me this whole issue is not over and may lead back to the IA investigation. Deeks has been acting strange lately, and even if Kensi doesn’t see it, the show has been dropping little hints along the way and this may be one of them. Maybe I’m reading too much into Deeks’ insecurities, but I have a chill going up my spine and it wasn’t from that kiss either!
The caller, played by Nicholas Taylor, was one of the creepier villains we’ve seen in a long time. Sam may not like him, but Brunson gives us another “love to hate” character that this show has needed for a long time. (Callen: I don’t think he’ll be liking any of your Instagram pics anytime soon.) We eventually find out his master plan for the two agents as the Ops team speculates that Chad Brunson is out for revenge.
This episode had so much going for it and on so many levels. We had the perfect Densi scene, a story of revenge, bombs going off all over the place and the return of the agency mole that still haunts NCIS. (Brunson: One of your own is going to take you down from the other side.) From all angles this was a well written and directed story. Kudos to Harimoto and O’Hara… what a great way to celebrate 150 episodes! When we get a superior effort like this from the cast and showrunners, it reminds us that NCIS:LA can be one of the best shows on television by far.
• Poor Eric. I keep saying that a lot these days. Well at least he keeps trying his best to impress Nell… but I think he should just give up and be himself… the skinny, flip-flop-wearing, scaredy-cat, IT nerd that we all love and admire.
• Some of my favorite moments in this show are the times when Sam tries to get Callen to eat healthy. It’s usually a lost cause but some of the best bromance banter has come out of these scenes. (Callen: Tomorrow we’ll be eating shower mold because it’s high in Omega-threes.) Yes, these two should have a theme song!
• Nell came across a tad more believable in her field skills this time. Not sure Granger would agree though. (Granger: Someone shoot me in the head.) Old softie Granger comes through in the end when he stops Nell from apologizing for her insecurities. Nell is still a bit unsure of herself and Granger can intimidate anyone but a show of vulnerability on both sides was a nice touch… I’m glad Granger put her straight.
• Deeks is not a happy camper when being called into the Mission on his day off. Not something we’re used to seeing coming from the consummate cop, but who can blame him.
• Do we really believe Kensi’s flippant attitude after her undercover mission with the billionaire? Although Deeks finds it somewhat amusing, I think it’s the first time I’ve seen this much insecurity make itself apparent.
Kensi: I like things with flaws.
Callen: Well that’s no secret.
Deeks: Easy tiger.
• Flip a Flop? Deeks cracks me up with his money scheming plans but Kensi is on to him now. (Deeks: I’m glad we talked about this… I really feel better.) I wish I could say the same, Deeks. You’re up to something, and you may be in over your head.
• Me and Monty take over the World! I just love this image.
With this effort, Kyle Harimoto may now be my new favorite Densi writer. So move over Kalstein! These are the moments we love to watch! We’ll be back next week but don’t forget wikiDeeks has more coming later, with Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal… and don’t forget our Edit of the Week. See you here next time for “Blame it on Rio”. I’m really looking forward to this DiNozzo crossover!
Episode: “Command and Control”
Writer: Kyle Harimoto
Director: Terrence O’Hara
Original Air Date: October 12, 2015
Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at wikiDeeks.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi
Finally a Densi kiss happened! (Cant wait to see the show when it returns to Australia) I really hope that they don’t make this IA investigation about money. There is no WAY that Deeks would do anything improper. I pray they don’t screw this storyline up and make Deeks the bad guy.
The Densi breakfast scene is my favorite scene of all time. I love the simplicity and sweetness of it all. I am trying to tamp down my anxiety that all this goodness is going to get yanked away as the IA investigation comes into the forefront. All the things Deeks has been doing lately – hiding stuff, voicing his insecurities about money – coupled with the talk of another mole heating up all seems to point to the IA investigation. I’m hoping that in the end, all’s well for Deeks and Kensi. A little Deeks whump is good, but I echo Donna Marie’s sentiment above to not make Deeks the bad guy.
This has been my favorite episode of S7. It had action, as well as nice interactions between characters – Eric and Nell, Granger and Nell, as well as the bromance of Callen and Sam and the romance of Kensi and Deeks. I have to admit that I usually don’t pay too much attention to the action scenes but this episode had me interested.
I don’t see them making Deeks the bad guy. But I do think it’s supposed to make it look bad for him and that it is life-changing. Homicide did the same thing to the Mike Kellerman character. Made it seem like he was on the take, he’d just bought a more expensive fishing boat/houseboat (he’d gone into debt for) and they milked that storyline for all it was worth including Kellerman’s suspension and attempted suicide before he was cleared of wrongdoing. It’s not a copycat thing, but very similar and both characters were good, honest cops. I’m along for the ride and the optimist in me thinks Deeks will come out stronger and better for it.
Sick day today so I binge-watched my PVR recordings. Maybe it’s the illness talking but I actually liked last week’s episode just as much as this week. The Densi breakfast scene was very nice, but I actually found Deeks’ worrying about money/stuff with Kensi a bit out of character. I loved the “Flip or Flop” reference – one of my favorite reno shows and I have reno’d a couple of places so I was all “I’ll do the reno biz with you Deeks!! lol
I agree with prior comments – I’ll be super annoyed if the foreshadowing implicates Deeks negatively with the IA investigation. A bit concerned about who they are going to peg as the mole as well.
Loved the episode, especially the Densi scene. I’ve been waiting for that domestic Densi scene a long time… and the adult conversation. Like the others I don’t understand what the sudden issue with money is on Deeks’ part. I’m beginning to wonder if this is another version of “The Debt” and he is being used to smoke out the mole or a corrupt cop. I can’t believe Deeks has gone or went bad – just not in the character as so far presented. I think there is a more twisted plot coming up than we have envisioned. If so, how Kensi takes being lied to again will be interesting; I don’t think he can sell “I was protecting our thing” again. They will come through it at the end, but may be some significant potholes getting there.
I was a little confused on the timeline… at the boathouse, Sam says they have been up two days; at breakfast Deeks mentions their being with billionaires a week. I finally concluded that the whole op took a week – introductions, being coy, getting his trust, date, etc. and then the arrest. I worry about what the “etc” was. Billionaires don’t get that way by being nice and the script very carefully did not specify what role she was playing, but from the bad guy’s comments it wasn’t that of a commercial girl. I thought Kensi felt Deeks’ discomfort with her undercover role; that is why she said “I’m here” because this is what she wants and mentioned she is not impressed with people who think it is play money. The whole “house flipping” thing was bizarre. I think she shut him down on that fantasy at the end of the episode. (Not sure that paragraph makes sense. I’m trying to understand Deeks’ issues beyond the money and her trying to convince him that it was just a role she was assigned to play).
COD’s wife and daughter had a nice cameo.
I thought the villain was truly evil and creepy – and well written/acted. Best one since Sidarov. Not a thug like the Russian, not an Islamic warlord (although I think we will see him or his people later in the season), and not just another drug lord or weapons dealer.
I gave the episode a 9/10.
Thank you for wonderful review. I really love this episode, Densi breakfast scene was so great. Though it reminds me of the best meal conversation in “Citadel”. Maybe Deeks is not the one who had the meal with Kensi and still stuck that comment “He spares no expense for his lady”? Even Kensi had said that a meal is all about the person you’re sharing it with, still it’s not “last supper good”, so maybe that’s the one of the reasons of his insecurities.
Money thing makes me uneasy, but I’ve been wondering (assuming the person “going through Deeks’ recycling bin” was LAPD) if IA investigation is for old cases, why they go thorough recycling bin now? It makes sense for me if they are investigating his money flow. I’m a little surprised Deeks still had savings when he just got a large house. But he was able to invest in Eric many times even no return, maybe it’s not a big deal. (During Season5, he didn’t need to buy Kensi so many junk foods, so…) I just want there’s not “Deeks may be a mole” storyline.
This episode has a lot of what fans want to see in it, so I understand for some people it’s not good, but I really enjoyed every minute. I’m glad to have this episode as 150th celebration.
My favorite scene of the episode was the Densi breakfast scene. Loved it! Have already watched it multiple times. It was so sweet. Want to see more scenes like this between my favorite couple. I would’ve been really disappointed if there wasn’t at least a kiss but we got two kisses. Yeah!
Thanks for this review of one of my favorite episodes!
The thing that really amazed me this episode is the long way Deeks and Kensi have come, both individually and as a couple.
The breakfast scene is absolute perfection. Not only does it show domestic Densi (which has been my dream like forever!) but it also shows them really talking and communicating as what they truly are: adults. It seems a million years since the accusations “You have terrible communication skills” and “You’re the one who never says what he means”. Now they are both saying what they mean and that’s awesome, unbelievable, something I will always be thankful to the writers for (Harimoto has exceeded himself, really, he has!).
Deeks’s doubts and fears seem very understandable, he gives voice to something that’s been in his head for some time or maybe just since Kensi’s last undercover op (not to have enough money for her) and Kensi is ready to explain to him how she feels and what she really wants in life (Kensi admitting “This is all I’ve ever wanted” and “This is exactly how I wanted to feel” was priceless).
Their dialogue, their kisses, the way they look at each other, the fact that they are proving to be balancing their job and private life well are a clear sign of only one thing: “All in” was not just a Christmas slogan, they are both in a committed relationship and have started planning their future together. And this is a dream come true for loyal Densi fans.
If the authors had wanted, they could have kept on teasing and teasing. But probably it wouldn’t have been wise.This is another story to tell and it’s worth-telling.
Great review, Di. Totally in agreement with your assessments. I’m also feeling a bit uneasy about all the money talk. It’s so unlike Deeks to be that insecure about Kensi. I’m not a fan of insecure Deeks. This insecurity has to be a setup for something….
Overall, I loved this episode. I was on the edge of my seat throughout. The teamwork was great. Densi made me happy, especially the part where breakfast was cooked by Deeks, the declarations by Kensi and hooray, the kisses. Truly a memorable and to be re-watched 150th episode😄😄😄
Great review – I liked the episode and it kept me guessing! Enough of everybody involved for everybody watching in this one I thought! I wonder if the money issue isn’t just classic Deeks, though. Seems like that is what his dad told him, what LAPD told him, what the team told him for a long time … it just seems a classical response to me from someone who has always been told he doesn’t fit in, doesn’t belong, isn’t good enough. As soon as she commits to him he begins to feel inadequate – or question why she would want to be there. That would seem to follow with the “new place” scenario – what was offered wasn’t enough and it has to be better for her to stay. I didn’t think he bought this house? I kind of thought it was a rental – otherwise wouldn’t they have made a bit more out of it? Would he still have a lot of savings? He keeps mentioning Monty but wish we had seen him begging for breakfast. I loved Daniella jumping off the stairs. She definitely seems moved in. Loved him taking the plates with them to the car LOL.
First thing I posted elsewhere was about the house issue. How can he have money in the bank for house flipping if he just bought this one? And depending on where it is, it’s at least $1M – unless it is a rental. I agree with you that the inadequacy issue doesn’t seem that far out of character – he has a confirmed relationship now and wants to do right for his lady.
I don’t think they ever told us if he purchased this house or is renting it.
I thought the house thing was weird as well. Kensi clearly has quite a few clothes she’s keeping at Deeks’ house, so I’m wondering if her statement about not needing to buy anything right now is a reflection of them getting the house (buying or renting) together. They haven’t revisited the ship-mate conversation from the beginning of Praesidium yet, so I hope that will be coming soon to make them official.
Loved this episode! I’m preparing to be let down in the Densi department on this next episode because they shot it at the end of last season. Unless the writers are even better than I give them credit for and scripted out the relationship advancements, this may feel out of sorts. I hope I’m wrong.
Great review as always, Di. This episode was sooo good that I found myself trying to remember the last time I enjoyed an episode as much. I love the darkness, so for me, Spoils of War, and Descent/Ascension, were high points. But the last non-angsty episode that I liked this much might have been Season 4’s Wanted. Now, there were a few quibbles with this week’s ep, but I’m so overall happy with it that I don’t even feel like pointing them out. I loved that Kyle Harimoto must have rewatched the related episodes like Three Hearts, and that he brought back the unresolved mole storyline. It was really impressive how he balanced the character development (Densi and Granger/Nell) with the callbacks to prior episodes with the action and the bromance. I would think a casual fan would have enjoyed this episode plenty.
I agree with the comments about Deeks and money seeming a bit out of character, but I also think he is insecure about keeping Kensi happy. ECO said he plays Deeks as coming from a place of loneliness and fear, and that’s what I saw here- he’s afraid he could lose her. (Although it was sort of an insult to Kensi’s character, that she’s shallow enough to drop him for someone with more money.) I also think it must be part of the hints they’re dropping for the IA storyline. And was I the only one unhappy to hear Paul Angelo’s name mentioned? (And that Hetty seems to be in such regular contact with him- yuck.)
The breakfast scene was wonderful, and I was so happy that they hadn’t leaked it in a sneak peek- even though I don’t watch them, I’m sure I would have known the scene was coming if they had. What a delightful surprise. For me, it’s my second favorite Densi scene of all time, just behind “It’s a love story” from Impact. Can Kyle be promoted?
I totally agree, Karen. I am very happy. I’ve re-watched the entire episode every night since Monday with re-winds to the breakfast scene. I can quote the scene..Heheh. So happy with Densi.
I agree that KH did an awesome job of writing in connectors to previous episodes with the unresolved mole and mention of past cases. I wasn’t surprised that Hetty was still keeping tabs on Paul Angelo since she cut him loose into the cold with no identity, only his life and the warning that one day she will be in need of his services as re-payment. I recall thinking back then that Paul would have no means of establishing who he is in order to get a job and my conclusion was that he would enter the underground crime world but if Hetty has been in contact…which makes sense that she wouldn’t let him enter the crime world if only because of his past service to NCIS and he was a valued asset. Or…is Paul the mole? It made sense that he could have told Brunson who killed his brother. I hope he does show up in a future episode if only to see how Hetty has been or can she control him? All these questions…terrific to have the feeling of continuity and foreboding of what can lie ahead. So excited for future episodes.
I agree he is insecure about keeping Kensi happy. I remember how crestfallen Deeks’ face was in “Expiration Date” when Kensi said that he made her happy but it was a different kind of happy from her girl friends did. I can only imagine how he’d feel if it’s from another guy.
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, too! I was so thankful for fun and sweet Densi moments after the last couple of episodes. I was missing seeing Deeks smile!! Of course the breakfast scene was fantastic, but I thought the whole episode was great. I agree with you, Karen – I was really glad they hadn’t leaked the scene in a sneak peek! Deeks cooking frittatas, the tickling, the talking, the kisses, and when they were hurrying to the car – – perfection!!
Deeks’s concern with money was a bit surprising, but I agree with others who connect it to his background of fear and insecurity. Also, we’ve wondered for a long time if he will ever leave LAPD and become an agent. Could the agent position provide a larger income?
Probably does pay more… police salaries are notably poor compared to Federal ones and in “Humbug” he remarks that he didn’t get a Christmas bonus when she did… note: that wouldn’t have been a Christmas bonus (not allowed) but some kind of performance award, I don’t believe he’d leave LAPD just for money, but if the IA makes it difficult for him at LAPD he would join NCIS. I think it will happen later this season, and Dinozzo next week would be the perfect opportunity for Deeks to learn what Tony learned when he went from Baltimore PD to NCIS.
Thanks helpful – thank you!
I love this show, I like Deeks, but I am not a Densi fan. I do not understand why do you push them into beeing something that it is limited for the show itself ?! I have just rewatched the season 1 and 2 and I cannot help observing all those scenes when Deeks and Kensi where actually special agents, to me recently they are just lovers. I truly think that their contribution to the show can be better.