Roundtable Discussion – Part One: NCISLA Mid-Season 7 Review
It’s that time again….The wikiDeeks staff is back with another roundtable discussion and a review of Season 7 so far. The team has a lot to say about this season but we all agree it’s been a banner Densi year so far and we’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings. Join the discussion in the comments section below and let us know your thoughts. Here’s what our contributors had to say…
Diane: I don’t know if anybody liked Season 6, but as far as I’m concerned, Season 7 has been much more enjoyable for me. So maybe we can start there and tell me about your impressions of this season over last.
Tess: I’m really enjoying it. I think more than any other season, they seem to have a plan. Things got a little screwy, not through any fault of their own, with the “Internal Affairs” episodes running a little out of order, but everything, everybody seems to be in character, everything seems to be logical, nobody’s doing anything that you’re sitting there going, “This is not the character I’ve watched for the last five, six, seven, eight years.” So I’m happy with the way things are going, I think they’ve had a very good season.
Lindy: Just an off the wall kind of comment, I love that they let Callen’s hair grow a little bit longer. [Laughter.] I was getting tired of the short haircut.
Diane: It’s in preparation for learning his real name, I guess.
Lindy: You think? Can we have a poll that asks what we think his real name is going to be? [Laughter.]
Diane: Well it can’t be something stupid like George, not that George is a stupid name, but I mean something as pedestrian.
Randy: Giorgino, that’s my vote.
Randy: I like that one.
Tess: I like the idea that it’s anything else but beginning with the letter G. His grandfather was George, he was found with a suitcase with the name G. Callen on it, it could have been his grandfather’s suitcase, and his real name is Frank, or Tom, or Sheldon. [Laughter.]
Tess: Yes, you know, just some random name.
Diane: So we’re in agreement that we are enjoying this season a lot more? I would say from Densi’s standpoint, that it’s probably a good guess.
Gayle: Definitely I would add to what everybody else is saying, that 7 is an improvement over 6. We finally got “Internal Affairs,” which I think we were starting to wonder if that was ever going to happen or not. And I think we’ve seen the team all a little bit looser. And so it’s back to what people love about the show as being very character development driven.
Karen P.: For me the big difference has been… I think last year with Season 6, which was my least favorite year so far, that it just seemed like they didn’t know what to do with Densi, before they were together and after they were together. They barely would let them touch one another. It just felt like they weren’t sure how to write them together as a couple and I began to worry that maybe we would have been better off if they hadn’t even gotten them together. This year, they’re just letting them be a couple, and we’ve gotten all these wonderful fluffy Densi scenes that have been so fun, and yet it’s not like we’ve lost interest in them because they’re together. I think they’re just as interesting now and it’s been really a pleasure to watch that happen.
Diane: Yeah, it’s kind of interesting to watch them interact and like you said, it’s not getting old. You want to see more of that, you want to see how it’s going to progress and what they’re going to do with it. So I’m kind of looking forward to hopefully more, a lot more interaction, although I’m not quite too sure how much we’re going to get if the rest of the season is going to be related to Callen. Although, they are moving in together.
Lindy: I was wondering what other people thought about them combining their move in together with Jack.
Gayle: I was not surprised by it at all because they’ve said over and over what makes characters interesting is when they have to overcome some sort of challenge. And so, if things get too easy and too just all fluffy with them all the time, I think we probably will lose interest, and so this brings back all of those questions of how much is Kensi really secure with having Jack out of her life. And they did not have in “Spoils of War” Deeks and Jack really face to face. And now they’re going to have that, and what kind of tension is that going to bring up? And so I’m really interested in it even though it seems like everybody on Tumblr has just jumped right back on the “I hate Hetty” bandwagon because of it.
Karen P.: You make it sound like we had jumped off the “I hate Hetty” bandwagon. [Laughter.]
Gayle: Maybe some of us took a little rest on the side.
Lindy: I wanted to comment on the Hetty Hate stuff a little bit. I started watching the show because of Linda Hunt, and I think when they first started she was kind of like this fairy godmother person and I think that she’s probably more in character with who that character really is now than she has ever been. I think she’s had an incredibly dark past and I think that’s why she came to Deeks’ rescue there, because she knows about those kinds of dark parts of people’s lives. And I don’t think that this is very farfetched. You may not like her for it, but I think it’s very realistic.
Diane: Well you know that last line in “Internal Affairs” where she says secrets are easier to keep when you have no one to share them with? Everybody was saying, “Oh, does that mean that Deeks is not going to tell Kensi?” I think she’s talking about herself, because she does have nobody to share them with.
Lindy: I agree.
Diane: So she has that really sad background.
Karen P.: I agree with what you’re saying Lindy, and I think that’s a really interesting way to look at Hetty. What I’ve liked that we’ve gotten a little bit of, is the team maybe reacting to that other side of Hetty. Because they’ve always given her such blind trust that I’ve found frustrating, at least from Season 5 onward, and if I were them, I wouldn’t believe a word she ever said. So I like seeing scenes like Kensi yelling at her in “Internal Affairs” and expressing her frustration and assumption that Hetty had something else going on that she’s not sharing with the team. I’d love to see more of those kinds of scenes.
Tess: I think the other reason the Hetty Hate bandwagon got refired up was the very clever phrasing in the press release that, “When Kensi and Deeks announce to the team that they’re moving in together, comma, coincidentally, comma, Hetty assigns them the protection detail for Jack, Kensi’s ex-fiancé.” I mean, it was dripping off the page, this whole puddle of sarcasm under the monitor screen. I think they were showing a little editorial concern with Hetty’s behavior. [Laughter.]
Lindy: Does anybody else think that Hetty’s run on the show is probably coming to a close and if it does go on for a couple more seasons, that maybe she is going to bow out and Granger’s going to take over?
Gayle: I thought that when they first brought Granger on, but now that I see how they’re sort of playing off of each other, I don’t know.
Randy: In the last few episodes, we’ve seen Granger be a lot more active in the field. He laid on a bomb for Callen and Sam. He’s more in the field, more hands on than he used to be. He used to be kind of in the background, stepping in and making comments to them, and then they would go do whatever. But he was never really as involved as he is now. And I know that Linda’s had some health issues, and I was just wondering if you might be right, that they’re gearing up toward a change, because Hetty seems to have taken the Granger position, where she’s more in the background, she appears here and there, she’s on the screen, she’s not really active. So you may be right, but that’s up to the writers and producers and to Linda, I guess.
Lindy: And it depends on if we get another season. If Chris O’Donnell re-signs and LL Cool J re-signs then we’ve got a season. If they don’t, then we don’t.
Karen P.: Then we could have the “Deeks and Kensi are the stars of the show” version that would be my fantasy. [Laughter.] Which I know is not going to happen, but I can dream.
Lindy: Never say never.
To be continued tomorrow…..
In Part Two and Three we will talk about Internal Affairs and how it has affected Deeks. Make sure you come back to join in on the discussion. Be sure to leave your comments below and let us know what you think about the season so far!
I agree that this season is an improvement over last season. But I have a question: Densi are in love, they’re moving in together …. wouldn’t Deeks have opened up The Box by now? WHATSINTHEBOX?! 🙂
Good introductory roundtable. IMO season 7 is much better than 6, so far. Every season has had a couple of clunker episodes and I hope 7 is past those. The writing in 7 has been much tighter than before, the directing more crisp and focused, and the cast has been much more seemingly involved; in some of season 6, it looked to me like the cast was just going through the motions. I have been enthused that the production team has moved Densi along so well and so believably and am looking forward to the next development, which probably will occur late in the season and which will set the stage for next season.
I do expect COD and Todd Smith to “re-up” as will DR. COD has made comments about wanting to stay active on screen until his last leaves high school (from “Command and Control” looks like she is about 10-12 now). I don’t think DR will do a “Cote de Pablo”. ECO has one more year on his contract and appears to be happier now than last season. I had read some speculation that Linda Hunt might be retiring. The production team would have to do some re-juggling if Granger were to be her replacement – he is now her boss (supposedly, but don’t tell Hetty), so he would have to take a reduction in status to become OPS manager or the OPS manager position could be upgraded to Assistant Director, which is how Hetty operates it now.
IMO the character of Hetty has gotten darker each year. In seasons 1 and 2 she was the protecting mother… slowly she became manipulative. To me, she has reverted to her “cold warrior” beginnings… everything for the cause, people are tools to be used either for good or bad. She may feel remorse occasionally, but it rarely shows. Granger started out in the same mold, but has mellowed somewhat over the past several years. He would still be tough as OPS Manager, but just maybe he has been able to outgrow his CIA origins. The question would be, how does Callen relate to Granger in the Ops Manager role? At this point, I would not trust Hetty at all. That situation would allow for a new dynamic.
At first I assumed that Callen’s first name would be Russian but I have become more skeptical. His father probably will be Nikita Reznikov, and Hetty said his grandfather was George Callen of the OSS and CIA, but we do not know that his mother and father were married. We do know that Hetty said his mother’s name was Klara and that she was Romanian, verified somewhat by Callen’s memory of the Black Sea beach. We know that Hans Schreiber tracked Callen all through his childhood and up until his death. We are left to assume that the pictures were being sent back to Callen’s father, and we do not know how Schreiber got the home movie. My bottom line – I think there are a lot more surprises about G. Callen to come.
I’ve been getting the impression that Nell is the one that Hetty is grooming to be her replacement. Yeah, I know that Nell doesn’t have Hetty’s fortitude and experience, but she certainly has the knowledge and capability. Does anybody else share this observation?
Great discussion so far.
Aside from the great Densi scenes we’re getting this season, I think my next favorite moments have come from Callen. He seems to have lightened up a bit this season. He and Sam have always had the banter down, but the level of joking around by Callen seems to be on record pace this year. It’s as if he’s taken a page out of Deeks’ book on how to rib your partner. Although here lately it seems that the pair are sort of on each others nerves more than anything.
I find the mention of Callen’s name not even starting with G intriguing.
I have enjoyed every episode this year with the exception of Blame It On Rio. There. I said it. I’m not sure if I’m ready to say this has been my favorite season so far, but it is definitely right up there. For me, even if the rest of the season is geared towards Callen, as long as we still get little bits of the Densi moments throughout, I’ll be happy.
I’m looking forward to Part Two of this discussion. Thanks!
I have enjoyed this season very much so far and I am not ashamed to admit that it’s especially for how Densi have been and are being handled by the authors.
The main flaw I found in Season 6 was that before the turning point of “Hambug” Deeks and Kensi were standing in a mysterious place no one could tell for sure (probably not even the writers!) and after “Humbug” they still needed to find their own dimension as a couple inside the show. Their interactions often felt unnatural and unrealistic and those were the moments, the only moments, I regretted them being together.
Then everything changed, and this year I think the showrunners have been bolder and have found a good balance between crime, action, drama and – why not – romance.
Deeks and Kensi’s relationship is progressing very well, the viewers have seen and witnessed many important moments in the development of their story and have not left to wonder or guess what might have happened off screen to make them act in a certain way.
On another positive note, this season I have also liked most of the filler episodes that had nothing to do with the rest of the ongoing stories. I have liked the dynamic between the various members of the team (except for Talia, whose behavior irritated me at the most, but I don’t even consider her as part of the team, so problem solved), Granger has grown a lot on me, I have tried to make peace with Hetty, I have appreciated how everyone seemed to be in character and competent in most of the episodes.
I hope the rest of the season will unfold the same way as the first part, with good and interesting stories, but most of all I do hope there will be Season 8 to talk about next year.
Agree with everyones comments. Season 7 so far has been far more enjoyable than Season 6 which I thought was more of a Callen & Sam show most of the time. (Although there have been a couple of episodes I did not like and Tahlia is irriating!) When Densi finally got together in Humbug after that episode you wouldn’t even know they were a couple. Season 7 has had the best Densi scenes this year and to me, not that they were not before, but they seem more comfortable with each other as a couple although I don’t think we will ever see a full on love scene with them. I think they are so much fun as a couple and cant wait to see what happens with them for the rest of the season and beyond. I think the show has done a wonderful job of writing a couple truly in love with each , something other shows could learn from. There have been more episodes focused on Deeks & Kensi this year and finally an episode where Eric Christian Olsen got to show his wonderful acting talents. He should be given more. Internal Affairs is my favourite episode this season although last weeks comes a close second. I think the show has finally realised how incredibly popular Densi are to fans. I have warmed to Sam but Callen still irritates me. He is not questioned for anything he does but he does to the others (eg Active Measures). Sorry, but I am over his story and will be glad when it ends. As I have said before, I love Densi & Eric and they are the only reason I watch the show. I do love the idea above that they have their own show. Hey we can dream!!
Great discussion. I agree, this season is turning out to be a favorite for me gauging by how many times I’ve rewatched an episode versus last season. This season has been more consistent with prior season story lines and arcs. The disjointedness has all but disappeared. I wonder if the show hired the “continuity” writer to track all the backstories and keep the current stories on track and canon.
I am a Hetty fan although there have been multiple moments when she’s had me fuming . Having said that, the beauty of Hetty comes from her wealth of experience. Throughout the seasons, Hetty’s many talents, mystique, and backstory has been fascinating. With all her worldly experience, she’s able to read people as often seen with her silent, calculating gorgon stare. Hetty understands human nature and takes the most efficient path to success as evidenced recently by her assignment to Densi to protect Jack.. There was no need to tell Densi about Jack and then have to deal with the questions or potential disobedience. Better to avoid all of that and get things done. After all, she’s admitted to Callen that she doesn’t move the pieces, she moves the board…a much broader, big picture, affording clarity in focus appraoch. In almost all cases, Hetty has called it and gotten the job done. At times the risk was more than she anticipated and each time owned it whether it be an apolology or a resignation to the Director. Now don’t you all hit the thumbs down on me😄 All in all, i find Hetty fascinating and also reliable, she always has her teams back and tries to protect them.
As for my favorite character Deeks….love this season. I see the shades of light and dark in Deeks with his burden from his childhood and the shadows of his past at LAPD. I hope that he now feels worthy of becoming an NCIS agent and sign those papers already. Deeks, sign the papers!
And Densi! *sigh*. Love all the romance, banter, and normalcy of their thing. I don’t think I will ever be bored by their relationship. Great roundtable duscussion. I marvel at how you coordinated everyone together. Bravo!😄😄