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Review: NCISLA “Where There’s Smoke…” (S7E23)


If you love a man in uniform, here’s a chance to see some of your favorite NCIS agents getting down and sooty! In this episode Sam and Callen go undercover as firefighters in search of stolen top secret terrorist information. We have another script by Andrew Bartels who has come into his own as a part of the NCISLA writing team and has crafted a really enjoyable episode this week.

The relationship between Densi has been progressing so well that it’s not surprising that Deeks is nervously waiting for some kind of inevitable disaster to come tearing around the corner. I can’t say I blame him because I’ve been waiting for that other shoe to drop for a long time too and from what I read so have other readers of this site. Actually, I’m surprised the writers have allowed Densi to enjoy their burgeoning love affair this long without incident. It’s sad our usually happy-go-lucky detective is the one who is having such a hard time accepting his good fortune. There hasn’t been much sustained joy in Deeks’ former life and this good fortune makes him very nervous that the gods have looked down and favored him with such a charmed life since he fell in love with Kensi. Realizing this, his partner tries to be understanding by asking if Mercury is in retrograde. A couple of years ago she would have dismissed Deeks and made fun of his off-centered ‘hobbies’. Now Densi complements and supports one another without question. But I do wonder what the couple will have to face before Deeks can get down on his knees and propose to Kensi next season (as R. Scott Gemmill has hinted to TV Guide this week). Look out for more falling shoes, people!

Getting back to the storyline… There’s one dead firefighter and a cache of stolen secret government information that has the team working at top speed to find out what happen at a suspicious fire. Arson, murder, espionage… a lethal combination for sure. After investigating all possible suspects there’s a missing Navy Lieutenant and a possible fellow firefighter who has been identified as the chief suspect in the case. This is where Sam and Callen come in as undercover firefighters to flush out the murderer/thief. Despite being newbies on the job, the team is able fight the fire and capture the imposter firefighter. Director James Hanlon’s experience as an NYC firefighter serves him well. The scene in the burning building, although too short, was pretty exciting. An interesting turn of events is revealed when the real suspect turns out to be a misguided arson inspector who is out to incite a witch hunt for everyone that is on the stolen government list of terrorists, some of which could be innocent. The team swoops in to stop the misguided rebellion and takes down the insurgent.

Deeks is not the only one feeling anxious these days. Hetty is feeling that other shoe dropping too as the elusive mole hangs like a monkey around their collective necks. Will we get any closer to finding it who s threatening the agency as we come down to the final episode of the season? Only time will tell.

Memorable Moments

•Granger cracks me up. He’s funny even when he’s trying not to be. (Granger: I’ll be here.) Even Nell agrees Granger is hilarious!

•Callen’s a little touchy over the use of his first name. I think he’s going to have to get over it.

•Baby Beale dressed up as a firefighter? Now that’s cute.

•The mole is still out there but we’re still no closer to finding out who or what their game is. It’s time for a reveal, don’t you think? How much longer can they drag this storyline on?

•I enjoyed Nell’s analysis of how the world needs dreamers and realists. Just like the show needs characters like Granger and Beale. One of Nell and Eric’s sweeter musings.

•I think Sam and Callen liked this undercover assignment just a little too much. (Sam: I feel like Iron Man!)

Deeks Moments

•Boxers or Briefs? I guess we finally know! (Deeks: What do I know? I was never in the Navy, except for Old Navy where I buy my boxers, not the loose ones, the tight ones.)

•Mr. November? Yes, but there’s December, January, February…need I go on?

•It’s wonderful to see how much Deeks worries about Mama Deeks. No surprise that a new boyfriend for his mom could really set off the hurt child inside. But I’m glad Kensi was able to talk him off the ledge at least long enough to put his gun down. I have a feeling this is not over yet.

Densi Moments

•Kensi: Oh, I agree. You could never go up against Sam. Deeks: Love and support, that’s what this relationship is built on, folks.

•What?!! (Kensi: No more sex for you!) I agree with Deeks. Totally irresistible. No one could go more than a day! Ha!

Did you enjoy this episode? Let us know in the comments below. We have the season finale next week and then we get to call it a wrap for one more year. Deeks and Kensi are still journaling and you can check out the Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal later this week… and don’t forget the Edit of the Week. See you back here for our final Season 7 episode review next week!

Episode: “Where There’s Smoke…”
Writer: Andrew Bartels
Director: James Hanlon
Original Air Date: April 25, 2016

About Diane (436 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!

9 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Where There’s Smoke…” (S7E23)

  1. I found it quite interesting that the opening scene was about Deeks sensing that something bad was coming…that other proverbial shoe…and that the episode ended with Hetty sensing the same thing. Talk about being on the same wave length. Guess they were making sure we would all be worried. My worries include Kensi being so badly injured in the finale that it will keep her out of the first few episodes of season 8 to allow for the birth of her child…Sam being killed because LL Cool J didn’t opt for a new contract, leaving us with Yucky Anna and an all white cast…or if I’m being somewhat optimistic…Blackbeard Nate. I also worry that Mama Deeks has once again ended up with a violent man, meaning next season could see Deeks fears playing out and his protective nature getting him into trouble. However, there is nothing wrong with introducing a good, old fashioned villain we can all hate…one out in the open that we can actually see, unlike the mole we are suppose to fear. The infamous Mole. Elusive, yes…but what has he done lately? Maybe the finale will show just how dangerous he is. One can only hope, otherwise he or she will remain in the shadows and largely forgotten over the summer.

    Good review, Di. Gotta love firemen and Mr. November.


    • I agree! The episode left me feeling worried, especially after watching the preview for next week. I thought the same thing about Sam dying/leaving the show. I hope he doesn’t! And I wondered the same thing about the mole – did he impact these recent cases? Or, do they just keep talking about him?


  2. Great review – loved the comment about Deeks having such a hard time being happy. After rewatching that bullpen scene in the episode, I was reminded by ECO’s line that a lot of Deeks’s foundation is based on fear. He’s got everything he’s ever wanted. It seems he’s waiting for it to be taken from him.

    Totally agree with Granger – the guy is comedy gold.


  3. Michelle O'Neil // April 26, 2016 at 6:54 PM // Reply

    Thanks for the review. I always look forward to reading it and other people comments. What I really liked about this episode was how encouraging and supportive Kensi was of her boyfriend especially their conversation in the shooting range. Their communication skills have come such a long way! So great to see them as a mature couple who are so in love. Can’t wait for the Densi proposal next season and hopefully wedding!


  4. Reader1976 // April 26, 2016 at 9:57 PM // Reply

    Great review. I enjoyed this episode. Hetty’s behavior and comments about the mole has me worried. Especially at the gun range…making perfect dead center shots after telling Owen “we’ve done enough talking”. And the ending…feeling of disquiet….yikes.

    Loved all of the Densi and Neric. Granger’s dry sense of humor is pure gold. I could just imagine what he must be thinking when he watched Eric wave at Nell…especially knowing that Densi is out in the open. Hah, I agree, Deeks is irresistable and cute especially when he answerd Nell’s call with “mama.” Hilarious. And yes, the best part of Densi is the support each has for the other, yeah some ribbing at light hearted moments but when it counts, you feel solid support. Kensi calling Deeks sweetie, another nice touch.

    I sure hope Sam is not leaving the team. I caught myself sighing just like Nell when Sam and Callen were in uniform. When Sam was chasing after Williams in the fire, nice. And G and Sam in the truck heading towards rhe fire…very nice.

    Loved Granger’s solution. And the ending..G and Callen sure had fun playing firemen.


  5. Densi scenes were wonderful to watch as always. We have been very lucky this Season with episodes centred on them and also some lovely scenes. I think that there is a storyline coming with Deek’s mother and her new boyfriend. May be that will be the Deeks M episode we have been promised. And Deeks Mr November, he is definitely 365 days of heaven!! A little disappointed that we wont see the proposal until next Season but at least we know its coming!. Looking forward to seeing what happens in the finale next week.


  6. Pretty thin episode. I still watch the show because I love the team, other than that is nothing interesting. The script is something that my daughter from first grade could do it . I have less and less espectations.


  7. I liked this episode very much.
    So many details were combined that the result was excellent: great action, competent team members, breathtaking scenes we don’t see every week, banter, some (dry) humor, numerous references to other episodes, an ominous feeling of something that’s doomed to happen soon (Season 7 finale? Or more likely Season 8 premiere?).

    The Densi interactions were so brilliant this week and I can’t help noticing how comfortable they are around each other. They can talk about so many different things, from lighter or spicy topics (sex, Mr November, loose boxers vs tight boxers, pasta “aglio e olio”) to more serious ones (presumed health problems, entering a bulding on fire backing each other up, a mother that seems to have a bad taste in men) always being there to support the other.
    For two who had remarkable communication problems until less than a couple of years ago, this season has been a huge leap forward for both! The belief that “love conquers all” has never held more true.


  8. Thanks for a great review. I really enjoyed this episode a lot. It was well balanced, included the entire team, and was exciting. I thought all the cast members did a great job and all of the characters were consistent with their pasts and we had consistency with other episodes. I,of course, loved the Deeks and Kensi scenes, their relationship has been so well written this season , so intense yet still fun. So now, I guess we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    I do hope they bring closure to the mole , but somehow I am thinking we will not see that until season 8 . As I recall in Command and Control , at the end, Chad Brunson says Checkmate, which is from Janvier , so I would think if the mole is related to Janvier , that would be another arc completely than what it looks like the finale is, even if the information came from the mole about Sam’s family.

    I just hope that they decide to write Dani’s time away so that it does not detract from the great relationship they have developed for Deeks and Kensi. On a purely selfish level, I certainly hope we still get our Deeks, M episode , since I recall we were promised it in season 5 and then it got lost . With Dani gone, it is a good time to concentrate on Deeks while still maintaining the Densi relationship.


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