Diane: Let’s start out talking about Season 7 and what were your thoughts and expectations, and did it fulfill what you had hoped for?
Tess: I really enjoyed Season 7. I think they did a really solid job of wrapping up three major storylines, multi-season storylines, with Callen’s father, with Sam and Khaled, and with Deeks and the Internal Affairs investigation. That’s a massive amount of story that was wrapped up and all three of those stories were wrapped up well – you didn’t walk away from that and go “Ugh” – in 24 episodes.
Lindy: I think it was great too. I think a lot of that happened because Shane Brennan was leaving. Especially dealing with Callen’s father, that’s something he always wanted to do and I think a lot of that might also have to do with the fact that they weren’t sure whether they were going to get another season.
Tess: If deadlines make for good stories, I’m all for deadlines.
Lindy: Yeah, me too… I thought the way Kensi and Deeks got together and slowly built throughout the season, I think that made for something very sweet that we haven’t really seen. There’d been so much tension between them. I thought that this year there was just that solid caring and loving, even though a lot of it was off-screen, which I always object to. I’d still like to see more passion, and some intimate things going on, but I thought it was sweet.
Karen P.: Yeah, I agree, and I thought it was nice that they continued to grow over the course of the season. I was cleaning out my DVR last night and I flipped through “Citadel,” where they open where Deeks makes some reference to proposing and he freaks out because he doesn’t want Kensi to think he’s actually about to do that, and then over the course of the season you see them getting closer until they do start talking about marriage. I feel like they’ve had a nice realistic arc and we’ve actually gotten to see not everything, but more than we got to see in Season 6, where I felt like once they were “all in,” we never really saw them as a couple for the rest of the season.
Diane: I know with Season 8, they keep talking about this calamity that’s going to befall Kensi, and they really in Season 7 kept away from any types of anxiety or stress. There might have been something about having kids and stuff, but they really tried to keep it more on a, as Lindy said, a sweet level, and to watch their relationship grow and thrive, I found it OK. I wish there was a little bit more tension between them, but it was OK at the end, knowing what’s going to probably happen next season.
Lindy: I think they were just setting us up. If they did know that there was going to be a Season 8, that’s the perfect set-up, you know? Everything’s peachy keen and then wham, they’re going to kill us with the opening few episodes, I think.
Diane: Anything in particular besides the relationship, any other things that you liked about Season 7? We did have Callen’s story come out. I will tell you, if we’re going to talk about some of the things we didn’t like, I didn’t like Arkady’s daughter. What was she called? I’ve totally blocked her out of my mind. [Laughter.]
Diane: Anna! There you go. Ugh.
Lindy: Anna Banana. Do you think they’re going to bring her back?
Gayle: I do think that they’re going to bring her back, and I am also on the anti-Anna train.
Tess: If I can get her in a two-for-one deal with Arkady, I’m fine. I like the actor who plays Arkady. Every time he comes on, whatever he’s doing is just a little bit better because he’s there. So if I’ve got to put up with her basically posing through her scenes, if I can get Arkady taking a gun out of the freezer, I’m good. [Laughter.]
Randy: I was waiting for him to move a body out of the way to get to the gun. Because when he opened the freezer I thought he would lift an arm and then he’d pull the gun out and put the arm back.
Diane: Well I’m OK if she’s connected with him but if she comes on as an agent and works with Callen, God no. I just don’t think I could stomach that.
Lindy: I’m more afraid she’s going to work with Deeks.
Tess: I wonder if she’s going to be in the rotation of assorted partners for the seven or eight episodes they’re going to need to fill in with people.
Karen: If she works with Callen that frees Deeks up to work with Sam, which would make me really happy because I love to see those two together.
Diane: That’s true.
Lindy: That would be interesting. What do you think are the chances they’ll bring Nate back as one of the people that works with Deeks?
Diane: I’d love to see that.
Tess: I have a feeling Nate’s going to be the mole. I’m following spoilers and everything, and I don’t know anything else, but they can’t just pick another random guy wearing a sweater and announcing that he’s the mole and has almost taken down NCIS and we’ve never seen him before. It has to be somebody– and I don’t think Nate is the intentional mole, I think somebody is using him or has gotten to him at some point, and has access to his things, so I have a feeling. Nate’s got his own show on Showtime now and I think this is going to be the end for Nate.
Lindy: I don’t agree with that at all. I think the fact that they don’t know who the mole is, why should we know who the mole is? I think it’s a plot device not to have somebody anybody knows. But I would be very pained if it was Nate, because I love Nate. He was goofy, and soft and sweet and funny, and that he could be involved in something like that even unsuspectingly involved, then I think that would be a disservice to his character throughout the series.
Karen: But maybe they were trying to set that up… I hadn’t thought of that before, Tess, but I like that theory. Maybe they were trying to set a little of that up with “Head of the Snake” – is that the one where Nate came back and he was playing the bad guy? I think that would be really interesting. I kind of agree with Tess, that I don’t want it to be just some random person we’ve never met before. I feel like that just lacks drama. It would so dramatic if it were Nate, or any of the main cast members, but I think Nate makes the most sense.
Lindy: Maybe it’s Nell.
Karen: She’s smart enough to do it.
Diane: So they’re talking a lot about this mole thing being a big part of Season 8. What else do we think is going to be happening besides the wedding proposal? Has anybody been hearing anything in social media? Tess, have you heard anything else on-line?
Tess: Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff on-line. There’s going to be about seven or eight episodes where Daniela Ruah’s not going to be in it at all, and she and Eric Christian Olsen went back to work early to shoot a bunch scenes, and these scenes [spoiler alert!] look like they’ve been shot in hospitals and things like that, so Kensi’s absence is going to be from an injury, and it sounds like it’s a catastrophic injury.
Lindy: I should be covering my ears! [Laughter.]
Lindy: I don’t want to know any of this! Let me know when you guys are done, and I’ll take my fingers out of my ears.
Tess: I’ll just wrap this up by saying, the whole thing is related to the mole, and they’re in Syria investigating somebody when Washington comes to the office and takes over in the mole hunt… I’m all spoilered up on this so… When you write the spoiler columns for the previews… I’ve got a file full of pictures, and we’re ready to go once the season starts.
Karen: One of my wishes for Season 8 is that we get more surprises that aren’t spoilered in advance. Things like the proposal in “The Seventh Child” was so much better because it was a surprise and we didn’t know that it was going to be there at the end. Compared to like, the end of the episode before “Internal Affairs,” where we knew he was going to get arrested at the end of the episode. For me, that takes a lot of the fun out of it. I’d much rather be surprised.
Lindy: Yeah, I don’t even like previews anymore. Or ads.
Diane: I guess they had that CBS event over the weekend where they announce all the shows, and LL Cool J has done this before, so I don’t know how much I believe him, but once again he’s talking about “Someone’s going to die!” Who do you think that could be? If there’s somebody that’s gonna be dying. I’m sure it’s not going to be anybody major but…
Tess: That goes with my thought that Nate is the mole. If Nate’s a dupe, and once he’s not useful, or he figures it out… I’m doing bad things to Nate every week! [Laughter.]
Lindy: What’s Nate ever done to you?
Tess: I like Nate. I think actually the show ruined Nate, by making him comic relief. He was so much better in the NCIS episode than he ever was, basically until “Head of the Snake.”
Diane: That’s true. I did like him in those episodes because he was really tough and then Hetty started berating him a lot, and he became a wimp.
Tess: Everybody did.
Diane: Yeah. He’s such a sweet, intelligent guy that I think he would have been so much better as someone trying to be important behind the scenes like he did in the initial episodes instead of being out in the field. I just don’t think he had the personality to go out there and be an agent.
Lindy: That’s the way I felt about Nell when they put her out in the field, that was dumb.
Karen: How’d you feel about Eric?
Lindy: That was fun. I love Eric, and he’s goofy and he’s fun and I think he took over for where Nate’s character left off. And now that they’re not making Deeks the butt of every single joke, I think Eric has taken over that spot of comic relief. Deeks is still funny, but not like they used to just pile on him.
Diane: I just think that all their strengths lie in different areas, and I guess they think it’s very exciting and very sexy to be able to go out there with a gun and shoot people, and that’s what the attraction is, but I just think that taking them away from what they do best is a mistake.
Randy: But what I wanted to see with Nate though, is since he’s a clinical psychologist – why? Why did he go into that field? Was it his choice, or did something happen to Nate in his upbringing or his youth or his early years or maybe in his college time that that’s where he ended up. Deeks has his dark past, you have Kensi with her dad, and you have all the little other things of Callen. What about Nate? Because in the first episode he was a little bit darker, he had a little bit darker character side to him. And his introspection, the insights, were awesome. And what formed him that way? Was there something in his past that made Nate that way? And if he is the mole, or he’s not the mole, they can always come back to see if that’s his driving force. If he never comes back, we’ll never know.
Lindy: My question about him being the mole, though, is if he’s out of the country a lot, how is he spying on everything that’s going on inside NCIS at all? How is he able to do that? I can’t quite make that leap for him being the mole.
Karen: All he has to do is hack into Hetty’s security cameras that she has in every single room, everywhere.
Lindy: I don’t know, I can’t buy that he’s the mole. But I’m usually wrong, so…
Tess: One thing I’d like to go back to is why Nate’s out, and why they’re sending Eric or Nell out, is I think sometimes the other actors, especially LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell have other commitments that you have to shoot around. If you want to keep these folks on the show… LL Cool J is going to host the Grammy’s until he doesn’t want to host the Grammy’s anymore. That means he’s going to be missing for two weeks in February. He’s going to be hosting that show he’s got on Spike TV, so you need to have some other people ready to go in the field. And now with Daniela Ruah missing for two months, three months, that’s more.
Lindy: Now you’re really scaring me, I think Anna is going to come back! [Laughter.]