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Review: NCISLA “Seoul Man” (S7E20)


I’m afraid I still can’t stop thinking about last week’s episode, The Seventh Child. It was raw, it hit home and it hit below the belt. After the violence that we witnessed again last week in Europe, the showrunners couldn’t have picked a more relevant and timely topic. It only goes to show you how good this show can be when all the right creative forces fall into place. That’s why I kind of felt sorry for Joe Sachs this week because any script after Frank Military’s masterpiece would pale in comparison. But Mr. Sachs and Diana Valentine make a capable team with last night’s entertaining episode Seoul Man. Certainly a bit lighter fare this time but maybe after all the darkness last week we needed something reaffirming.

Love Me, Love My Mess

Staging an intervention to fight Kensi’s lack of cleanliness is probably one of the dumbest things Deeks has ever done. (Deeks: She’s like a mess head.) I agree with Sam wholeheartedly in this case. Deeks is just going to have to accept this peculiarity about his ladybird. Actually, I think her lack of cleanliness happens to be one of Kensi’s more endearing qualities. It makes her more human and brings her down to my mere mortal level. But of course I don’t have to live with all her clutter either. Throughout the opening scene the various expressions on Sam’s face were priceless. He knows there are some battles in life you just can’t win but he also knows that Deeks will have to learn these kinds of lessons the hard way.

This week’s story has the team assigned to head a personal security detail to protect the Commander of the Pacific fleet at a meeting of high level naval officials from around the world. It’s not until they are into the assignment that they realize the security detail is just an undercover assignment to flush out a North Korean double agent. As usual, Hetty sixth sense is at work and she knows there is going to be more to this assignment than meets the eye. Although I’m not sure what we were meant to derive from the scene with Granger and the real Director of NCIS at the shooting range. Other than creating a means for Travers to make a cameo appearance on the show it seemed out of place and unnecessary.

Shootout at the LA Corral

Back at Ops, the wonder twins find the imbedded internet picture with information that suggests this may not be an assassination attempt by North Korea but a way to steal defense software for foreign naval missile systems. The implications could be a game changer and our guys have got to get the Intel before it finds its way into the wrong hands. From here the team tracks the mole by way of an elaborate scheme that involves an agency that assists in putting a stop to human trafficking. But we eventually find out that this story of spies and international intrigue is really a story of love and redemption. No longer wanting to be an instrument of destruction, the North Korean spy gives up his life as a double agent for the love of a woman. Ok, a little schmaltzy and I’m not sure if I buy it but it does set us up for the wonderful chase sequence that follows. Our director, Diana Valentine has become known for her wonderfully choreographed action scenes which never disappoint and this one was no exception. Watching Deeks hanging out the car window with his hair flying in the wind was the highlight of the scene for me. Although I found it funny that in the midst of all that loud gunfire, the streets were empty of people. I can’t imagine no one running out of their homes to see what was going on. It was like a ghost town.

It’s About Acceptance

I’ve always enjoyed how the writers find ingenious ways of highlighting Densi’s love affair. You can tell that they are invested in their love story and want to keep it thriving despite their dangerous occupations. This week Deeks may not have totally acknowledged Kensi’s messy ways, but he has learned the meaning of acceptance. (Deeks: It’s better if you read every fourth word, then it becomes like Keats.) Unfortunately, I wanted to totally get onboard with this sweet interlude between the partners but all I kept thinking was how the hell did he find the time to get those medals cleaned and framed? Is there a one hour frame shop in downtown LA somewhere? I’m going to guess Hetty came to the rescue and helped to pull off the surprise.   I really loved the way Deeks lured Kensi out of the room to give her the gift just to show her how much she means to him by apologizing with such an appropriate offering and some amusing poetry. Pure Deeks. Don’t we all wish we had such a wonderful man in our lives? Lucky girl!

Memorable Moments

•No episode is complete without a little Sam and Callen bromance going on, this time in the back seat of a car. Come on! Like those two never heard that line before.

• Callen has a guest futon? You mean he actually bought a piece of furniture? Wow.

There’s a new sheriff in town. You gotta love Sam. There’s nobody smoother when proving who’s the boss.

•That guest actor has a lot of guts to rap in front of Mr. Rapper himself, LLCoolJ!

•I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Sam’s problems and the safety of his family, do you?

Deeks Moments

•Deeks was quite the action hero this episode! Anytime we get to see Deeks in a suit and in action figure mode is a plus. Nice dive!

•Deeks keeps trying to lecture Kensi on the topic of cleanliness but to no avail: Callen: Have you learned nothing Deeks? Deeks: Evidently not.

Densi Moments

•Callen: You might need a screw driver, Deeks. Sam: You might need couples therapy.

•Only Deeks could write the most creative Roses Are Red poety: Roses are red, violets are blue your desk is a mess but I don’t care because you are worth it and I’ll try not to make fun of it ever again because I love you.

We’re heading into the final episodes but until then we have another break next week before we slide into the homestretch. Be sure to find out if Deeks truly understands what acceptance is all about in his Surf Log and I’m sure Kensi has a few thoughts of her own as you read her Journal later this week. Also, don’t forget we always have our Edit of the Week and both Previews leading up to the next episode, ‘Head of the Snake’. See you back here real soon!

Episode: “Seoul Man”
Writer: Joe Sachs
Director: Diana Valentine
Original Air Date: March 28, 2016


Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at

Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi

About Diane (402 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 “Seoul Man” (S7E20)

  1. Edilbertha Fernandez // March 29, 2016 at 2:59 PM // Reply

    If I heard a gunfire outside my street I won’t be running outside, rather stay inside to be safe. I might just look outside my window.


  2. You are right that was one of the dumbest things Deeks has ever done. Is this what L-O-V-E has done to the boy’s brain?! Yet, I do believe he’s realize the easiest most genius way to always fix things with Kensi. Regardless of the gift, gesture, or initial sentiment, as long as he always ends it with “because I love you”, his ladybird will remain loyally by his side. (Wow. Not sure where that mushiness came from? Oh yah – tired from staying up to watch a 10pm show on a “school night”!)


  3. Excellent review Di. You hit all the main points of a story that didn’t quite ring true for me. The love angle was a bit unbelievable and I kept waiting for it to be a ruse for something darker. I was wrong and the next time I watched it, I simply enjoyed Deeks in that suit, glad that he and Kensi had more screen time thanks to the two main stars having days off. My favorite part was the car chase and shoot out. So well done, and exciting…especially Deeks firing out the window and taking out the bad guy before Granger and Sam ran out of bullets. My hero. Seems as if we get a Densi scene in every episode. What have we done to deserve this? More hugs and more shower scenes.


  4. Great review and I really couldn’t agree more. As an old time “X-Files” fan, it was always impossible to do a monster of the week episode after some really important mythology hour. Just not fair to that second episode.

    And you’re so right – that poor guest actor having to rap in front of LL Cool J, wow. What an item for the resume.


  5. sassyzazzi // March 29, 2016 at 7:17 PM // Reply

    I enjoyed reading your review and I really enjoyed watching the episode. As you said, last week’s episode was so intense and then such a horror happened in Europe so escapism seems like a good thing . This was an entertaining episode, with all the team involved , and just some more wonderful Deeks moments as well as Densi moments. It was nice to see a lighter episode that was consistent and had callbacks to previous episodes. Season 7 is really turning out to be wonderful.


  6. Thanks for your review.

    I think it was an enjoyable episode that was well done, well directed and pleasant to watch.
    What I especially liked was that all the characters were used well and there were many references to past episodes and characters’ habits or behaviors. It’s much better when the same characters don’t seem complete strangers from episode to episode and it’s good when the same writers who have created those characters to begin with, remember what they have created.
    This season Kensi’s messiness (together with Deeks’ little OCD) seems to be the highlight!

    I really liked Granger in this episode and sometimes I can’t believe I’m saying this, since I remember how much I disliked him on his first appearance. I’m still wondering if that had been the purpose back then (to make him cold, detached and unpleasant forever) or if the writers step by step, when he became a regular, made his character more likable (as they seem to have been doing lately with Anna).

    I’m afraid that something bad will happen to Sam’s family, considering also that we know both Aiden and Tahir are back in the last Season 7 episode. And this makes me nervous because I like Sam and I think his family is the most precious thing he has (I can’t forget the way he looked at Michelle and Kamran’s picture in “Spoils of war” when he thought he might be going to die).

    And now… Densi!
    They are too cute together and in this episode they were also stunning with their perfectly-tailored suits.
    But what I find intriguing about Deeks and Kensi is that they are still able to surprise each other with little gestures to show they care and love each other so much. And Deeks has learnt not to make fun of Kensi’s mess anymore!
    What a tender scene we got at the end. It repaid us of the cut and never seen “fern scene”, many seasons ago, where Deeks gave Kensi a fern (of which we only have photographic evidence).
    Deeks framing Kensi’s father’s medal and faking stomach ache in the boatshed to share a private moment with her was sweet beyond words! I like how Kensi’s eyes and smile have softened when she gazes at Deeks. He has really been able to make her “softer side” come out.
    I am only wondering: will we ever get to hear her call him Marty? This week it would have been the perfect moment (like the breakfast scene in “Command and control”): they were alone, a sweet moment, he was giving her a gift, she was showing him she was thankful and moved by his gesture, she was going to hug him… and yet she called him Deeks!
    Never mind, show us all the Densi hugs in the world and make Kensi call him whatever she wants to.

    Thanks again for the opportunity you give us to leave our impressions and opinions from week to week. I appreciate it a lot.


  7. I am so grateful for the lovely Densi scenes we have been given this season, which I think has been the best as far as Densi goes. I just love Deeks. I have come to like Kensi a lot more since she has been ‘all in’ with Deeks. Their love story has been a joy to watch. Hopefully we will have more surprises with our favourite couple before this season is over!!


  8. Thank you for the review! I, too, liked the episode. I could have done without having seen the “entire” scenes in the previews. What was that all about? Seems like they took the best and just gave them away. All except the last one! I kind of liked the spy turning out to be a good guy for once. They are always chasing the traitors/bad guys, etc. This time the guy actually LIKED the good old USA. My, my, what a concept! I would hope that someone from a country like N. Korea (if we are being told the truth about what it’s like there) would choose to come over to this place if they knew the truth about us. It was just a good all-around episode to me. Loved the new wardrobe! I am also loving the Densi that the writers are building for us. I am wondering a little if we are going to get a real “challenge episode” with lots of angst about can they really put a mission first, now? I don’t think we’ve seen that true test since the all in! Not sure how I want that to play out – who should write that one? Actually, I don’t think we’ve had a Shane Brennan episode all season, have we? Also worried about Sam’s family; seems like they pushed there not being any reason not to send them home just a litttllleee too hard for there not to be something coming up. Four more episodes … hope they have a good season finale in store for us!
    It would appear from the ratings for Monday that our good old NCIS-LA is chasing off the new NBC show again just like it did the Katherine Heigel show? I am never quite sure what those numbers mean. I wondered what it means that my Cable provider (the big one – xfinity) shows CBS (only) in Central time? I watch NCIS-LA at 9:00. Do they still get credit for beating 10:00 pm shows?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they already covered Densi dealing with one of them being intimate with someone other than each other undercover since going “all in” twice. Kensi with Callen in “Rage” and Kensi with the billionaire in “Command & Control”. So I think a challenge scenario will be similar to when Kensi had to leave Deeks in the chair in “Ascension”. Could Deeks do something like that to Kensi for the greater good? Either way Densi is strong enough to survive anything life throws at them. It would be interesting how they would handle it if the show decided to challenge Densi.


      • I would disagree with the conclusion, politely and IMO… in ‘Rage” Kensi and Callen were not intimate; it was a cover act for the gang.. it would have been stupid and suicidal to get it on with a bunch of skinheads just outside the bedroom door. (note: I was and still am vociferous in my dislike for “Rage”… even tho FM redeemed himself with “7th Son”). “Command and Control” was more ambiguous because the only scene with Kensi and the billionaire was in the boat shed. Deeks was worried about it, but her description of the guy as a “nothing” and a “douche” didn’t make it sound like she slept with him… more that she played him for a sucker. Deeks’ deep concern was the wealth he couldn’t give her, and she responded beautifully. I think that if she had been intimate she would have been honest about it with Deeks. Deeks has not been with anyone else since Monica in “Parley”, very much “pre-all in”.

        I would hope that any future challenges would be psychological – how does pregnant Kensi deal with Deeks partnering with Nell or even (shudder) Talia, for instance. “Greater good” is too often just a euphemism for “End justifies the Means”. Intellect, not body parts, please.


        • Right, I prefer intellectual challenges. Let me clarify, by intimate I don’t mean just sex. I too feel that Kensi did not have sex with either Callen or the Billionaire. But in the case of the billionaire, being forced to make such a decision to sell the cover could have been possibility. I think Deeks is very pragmatic like Sam and Michelle were in the Siderov arc and as long as him and Kensi are honest with each other undercover ops shouldn’t cause major relationship problems like in “Parley”(they’re in a better place now).


          • One more thing. I think having an episode with one of them having sex with a perp while undercover how they deal with the fallout (especially now that baby talk has started, don’t even want to imagine Deeks not being the dad *shudders*) would just be beating a dead horse. I know they weren’t a couple yet, but one “Parley” is enough for me.


          • OK I was definitely thinking something a little more intellectual too! I think they get (understand) the undercover stuff. I was hoping for something more along the lines where he/she has to choose him/her like Kensi had to leave Deeks in the Sidirov case (so maybe that makes it Deeks’ turn). Something Case related that requires that “him/her or the Op (or other team member” decision – with an ultimate saving of the day (by/of him or her) ending, Though! I want my HERO too! but maybe we got that enough in Unlocked Mind and I shouldn’t be greedy. Just the ultimate test to put the Granger(ish) skeptics to rest once and for all.


  9. Agree generally with all. Good show as a filler and rough to have to follow “7th Son”. I enjoyed a couple of lines that haven’t been mentioned… At the end of the bullpen scene, Sam asks Hetty if the new wardrobe is for a wedding or a funeral – and he is grinning at Deeks. Just fit beautifully with the “intervention” Deeks is trying. The other one I got a kick out of was just before Callen’s question about Deeks having learned nothing… Deeks comments to Kensi that Sam makes his bed every morning and the glare Kensi gave him which led to Grisha’s comment.

    It was clear that this was an overnight operation, so where did Densi sleep? Could there be another deleted scene in the season 7 DVD when it comes out?

    There were so many great one-liners… Granger and the parasol, Sam’s telling grin at the karaoke bar; the exchange in the oversight car, the dialogue during the car chase scene…

    And of course the Densi ending. I sensed Hetty’s fine hand in getting that framed.


  10. Reader1976 // March 30, 2016 at 6:51 AM // Reply

    Another great review, Di! I enjoyed this episode. It was so nice to have everyone on the team showcased and to have a Densi story as well. After last week, this lighter fare was very enjoyable.

    I too, enjoyed Sam’s expressions as he watched Deeks confidently quote ” the courage to know the difference”. Sam being the “old married man” knew it wouldn’t play well. I too, hope the reveal that Sam’s family is cleared to leave the safe house does not mean that something really bad will happen to his family. I would like to see another episode with Sam and his family. Just no losses.

    I was thinking that last season we had a lot more comments about continuity and consistency and this season, the writers have skillfully picked up the threads of each charaters’ backstory. Well done, NCIS LA writers.

    Great stories, continuity and a teaspoon of Densi each episode is what makes this my favorite show to watch. And we know season 8 is a done deal, Hooray!


  11. Great post… Before watching this week’s episode I was wondering how was they going to top last week’s amazing episode but it was a nice light episode and I was wondering the same thing when did Deeks have the time to get the medals framed but it was still a cute scene.


  12. My reading of Deeks is that unless his decision will clearly and certainly result in an apocalypse he will choose Kensi every time… he does not accept that the mission always comes first. That was demonstrated in “Frozen Lake and in “Unlocked Mind” . In “Frozen Lake he let the guy with the data get away rather than endanger Kensi and in “Unlocked Mind” he chose to endanger the target by not taking him to safety but instead enlisting him to help rescue Kensi – and it almost got all three of them killed. If he were to
    abandon Kensi like she did him in “Descent” it would destroy him – especially now that they are all but married.

    I also believe they fully understand the undercover situations, but I sense that they have developed an understanding as to how far they will go before abandoning the mission or deliberately breaking cover. I expect the challenges for Densi in the future to be emotional, trying to deal with making a marriage work, with or without a baby, in their high stress environment.


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