Roundtable Discussion: NCISLA End of Season 7 Review – Part Two
wikiDeeks staff comes together to discuss Season 7
Diane: What other areas do we want to touch on?
Gayle: My disclaimer is, as we’d probably all agree, I love Daniela, I love Kensi… I have been waiting and waiting for them to do something catastrophic to Kensi, so I am oddly super excited to see what they are going to do. Probably because a similar storyline with young love interests happened on The West Wing, my favorite show ever, and so we have seen Kensi and Deeks have these dark events from their past. We’ve seen them have dark events in their present, Kensi chasing down her dad’s murderer, and now Deeks having to deal with Internal Affairs and his torture, and in all of those situations, while they’ve tried to handle it themselves, they’ve always had each other to help get through it. And now this is going to change that dynamic a little bit, especially for Deeks, because the person that’s been there for him is now the absolute source of what is likely to be a very painful long process for him to get through and potentially to help her to get through. And what does that do to these characters individually? What does that do to them as a couple? Do they try to go into some sort of martyrdom to protect the other? So I feel like this is a huge new and intriguing turn for them to take with these characters.
Diane: I agree. One of my favorite episodes is “Personal,” and that’s because of what happened to Deeks and how it affected their relationship, and that really was a good sounding board for what was to come in their relationship, and I loved the tension of that episode.
Lindy: The other interesting thing… in “Spoils of War,” when he thinks Kensi is dead, he kinda goes off the rails there, and I’m wondering if that’s not going to be something that comes out of all this as well. Where he loses control because she’s kind of an anchor for him.
Tess: I think we saw a really good version of Deeks in “Come Back,” where he was just supportive and smart, and he wasn’t jealous, he didn’t do anything to make it about him. It was all about her. And I think that’s what I’d like to see this year.
Gayle: In all of these situations that have been brought up, most of them have been like single, or just back to back two episodes. This clearly is not going to be that. And so, I have always been one of those long run people, and to see hopefully this play out over a little bit more of an extended period of time – not to the extent of Callen and his name – but to see hopefully that allow them to go a little deeper. That’s sort of what I’m hoping for.
Diane: I agree. I’m pretty excited about whatever they’re going to come up with in terms of the relationship and how it may affect them. They keep talking about this wedding proposal. Who knows if it’s going to happen?
Lindy: Well and who knows if Kensi’s even going to be aware of it?
Diane: Well it will be interesting if we get another season after 8, because then they may want to prolong it, but I’m hoping that they’ll be able to come up with some really interesting storylines and they’ll have enough people watching the show, despite the Sunday night thing. Speaking of which, what do you guys think about the new time period?
Lindy: I just hope there are no overtimes.
Tess: I think football helps them. It’s easy to promote. They are an explosions and action show, and what is easier to promote during football than “bang bang shoot shoot big boom”? [Laughter.]
Lindy: I vote for more big booms this season. I miss the booms.
Tess: As long as they keep the “Sans Voir” explosion in the opening credits, I’m pretty good for the start of the season.
Diane: So we’re all OK with Sunday night then?
Lindy: Well, I think we just have to see how it works out.
Tess: I’d be more concerned if they were on at 10 o’clock than if they were on at 8 o’clock. The latest they’ll probably get on would be 9 if the football game ran really long. They’re not going to be starting at five to eleven the way CSI did a couple of times last year.
Lindy: Well, “fingers crossed” is about all you can say.
Diane: Maybe it will be for the good or the better, and they’ll get more people watching the show, and we’ll have a ninth season… I guess it will all depend on how everything plays out.
Lindy: I know we’re pretty sure there’s going to be some sort of proposal, but I’m wondering if they know they’re not going to get a Season 9, do you think they will actually have a wedding?
Diane: Do you think they can be married in the jobs they do?
Tess: I think with all the nonsense going on in Criminal Minds, they’re more likely to see a season after this one than Criminal Minds might be.
Lindy: That’s true.
Diane: Going back to my question, do you think they can have a successful marriage, if they both stay doing what they’re doing? I know there’s been a lot of speculation about, “Well, Deeks should leave.” “No, Kensi should leave.” Should they both leave? Then we won’t have a show, but that’s beside the point.
Lindy: Maybe they’ll get their own show.
Diane: There you go!
Tess: I saw one of the Comicon interviews where Eric Christian Olsen said that Deeks was supposed to go back to LAPD this year but circumstances changed when Daniela Ruah said she was pregnant, so they may have plans for next season not even knowing there will be a next season.
Karen: One of the questions in my mind is whether Daniela’s pregnancy is going to delay “Deeks, M” until a Season 9 should there be a Season 9. I don’t know if we’ll get that squeezed in by the end of Season 8.
Lindy: Well they may do it in the middle of this, you know?
Lindy: My only concern if they do some wedding thing… I remember watching Castle faithfully until they did the wedding, which was the most horrific, ugly, stupid, saccharine piece of crap I’ve ever watched on a major TV show. I couldn’t watch it, it was so crappy.
Tess: Plus they forgot the sun sets in the west, not in the Hamptons. [Laughter.]
Randy: Details! Details! Can’t forget the details.
Tess: I think it helps this show that the leads like each other.
Randy: Yes… Going back to the proposal, and Kensi being in the hospital. My darker take on it, since Daniela’s pregnant, what if the injury to Kensi causes her to lose the ability to have children? What would that do to Kensi and Deeks’ relationship? When it’s all said and done, the doctors have to tell her and Deeks that she can’t have kids? Would that bring tension and drama to whatever part of the season is left, and affect the proposal? And maybe the proposal’s been made before that happens and now she can’t have kids and she’s worried it’s going to change Deeks’ image of her as the mother of his children. I hate to play on the dark side of it, but to me that would be a huge way to add drama to that couple and bring tension to them.
Lindy: You wouldn’t be writing fan fiction, now, would you?
Randy: Well, just a little… Because that’s one of my issues sometimes with the show, is that I feel like the drama and the tension get played off by the comic relief too much and we sort of get deep, we kind of touch it, but then we back off from it, and it’s like… I was expecting the Deeks Internal Affairs arc, that when it started to resolve itself to make a couple episodes where it was darker and you don’t know, we don’t understand what happened with him and his partner, and it kinda plays on the dark side of Deeks being able to be Max Gentry. I like tension, I like the angst, I like the drama that can come into a show. But you’ve got a couple- how do you keep that couple interesting? They’re married with the white picket fence and the dog and the two kids, okay, but for the show to keep going there’s going to have to be some kind of tension. It’s a dark one but it would keep me glued to the DVR to catch and say, “Hey what in the heck is going on with Kensi and Deeks?”
Diane: I would love to see them break up, and see what happens to that dynamic; to see how they can fight to come back together again. I think that would be a great way to spice things up. But I just don’t know how, in that type of job how you can get married, let alone have kids. I know Sam does it, sort of, his wife kind of goes in and out. I’m still trying to figure out what her job is. But I just think it’s got to be really tough to have kids and do what they do.
Tess: Sam’s wife is running the FBI Training Center on ABC in Quantico.
Randy: That’s a hell of a commute. [Laughter.]
Lindy: I think we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. If they do get married I think it may be at the end- I doubt it, because this isn’t a Deeks-centric thing, and I think even if they do, you’re not going to see white picket fences and little puppy dogs and stuff like that because they never show them off hours very often. It’s very rare that we see that. They still are the secondary characters and I think it’s always kinda going to be that way and I think if there is a wedding, we’re talking about Season 9.
Karen: I’m just hoping we’ll get to see a glimpse of the wedding. I wouldn’t put it past them to have them get married over the course of the summer, and come back from their summer vacation married, so I’ll be happy if I just get a few minutes on the beach. So I don’t think they’ll have enough time- I’m not worried that it will be too saccharine. I think it’ll be too quick to be too sweet.
Lindy: Yeah, I agree. They’re probably going to walk into the bullpen one morning and say, “Oh, by the way, we got married.”
Randy: Yeah, “We went to Vegas!” [Laughter.]
Lindy: Then we can all throttle the showrunner.
Diane: Now that we don’t have Shane to kick around anymore, what are we gonna do?
Lindy: We don’t even have Dave Kalstein!
Diane: I know. Now there’s nobody we can bitch about.
Karen & Lindy simultaneously: I’m sure we’ll find something.
Lindy: Maybe this will be the ideal season, with happiness and sunshine.
Diane: You think?
Lindy: With always a dark cloud for Randy.
Randy: [Laughing] It’s always my fault, I’m so sorry.
Lindy: No, I’m with you, Guy. I’m with you.
Randy: For some reason, even my wife who doesn’t really like the show for some odd reason, she makes the same point, that a lot of times the drama and tension, it just doesn’t resonate, it doesn’t go deep enough. It’s like NCIS, we’d watch it, and sometimes that show ends and you’re breathless. You’re like, “Wow, what just happened?” Because the story itself was just, it got so dark and you saw how it affected the characters. And sometimes on NCIS:LA they do a good job of it when they do it right, and then sometimes it just feels like they try, and it falls flat to me. And I want to see something deeper. I want to see something about real life. You’ve got bad guys with automatic weapons and everyone’s shooting, and the only people who die are the bad guys. I’m sorry, that’s not the real world. I’m an EMT, I’m a fireman, I see the real world. I love it when a show goes in that direction and touches on subjects that we don’t even like to think about that are out there. You know, human trafficking and sex slaves and terrorism. Show the dark side of that. Show how they have a bad case that affects a man and his family, and it shows how it strikes Sam hard, and Sam has to wrestle with “Hey, do I need to retire? Do I need to find a safer job so I don’t end up like him?” Those emotional issues that sometimes I feel like they dance around but they don’t grab ahold to.
Karen: Randy you made some really interesting points in your responses to my interview questions about how they place the banter ahead of the drama a lot of the time. Do you want to say anything about that?
Randy: Yes… I love the show. The characters are what keeps me coming back, and the writers do a good job, but sometimes it feels like they’re building some tension in the show with the case, and drawing the characters we love into the case, and they’re getting concerned, and they’re trying to figure it out. But then the comic relief comes at a pivotal moment and it steals from the drama, it lessens it. And it, to me, these guys are in these life and death situations but then they’re going to the car and Callen’s putting reindeer noses and antlers on Sam’s car like it’s no big deal. When you’re dealing with terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and people’s lives… sometimes the seriousness isn’t there. Sometimes the timing is wrong. The comic relief comes at just the wrong moment and to me, it just deflates the whole show. Cause, oh we know it’s gonna be okay, ‘cause Sam and Callen are kicking it, Deeks is doing Deeks, and it’s like there’s no emotional weight to it to me. And even next to my wife, because she kind of watches the show as I do, she says the same thing. Sometimes it just feels like they start off with a good roll, and then sometime along the way the banter and the kidding around keeps it so light that it doesn’t emotionally affect me. It doesn’t draw me in enough.
Lindy: I’m wondering if that’s not something that Shane Brennan brought to the table, and I’m wondering if with the new showrunner- who is it again, is it Gemmill?
Lindy: Maybe that’ll change this year because it’s a different showrunner. Maybe he’ll have different ideas and push for some of those kinds of dramatic things. It certainly sounds like the beginning of the season is going to be very dramatic. So maybe we’ll get what you want, Randy.
Randy: Well if I go back to the cross-over pilot with NCIS, actually ended with Callen taking a machine gun clip to the chest on the sidewalk, Sam’s trying to hold his lifeblood into him, it’s like- Wait, what just happened? You know? That kind of, wow, these guys are dealing with international terrorists that yeah, they’ll just shoot you because they want to. And with the end of the season  with Sam and his son’s school, to me it felt contrived. If I’m a terrorist and I want to hurt you, your son would have been the first victim. It’s cold and it’s hard but that’s reality, and to me it’s like the body shop with the drill and electrocuting Sam and torturing Deeks… you’re breathless. You’re like, I can’t believe they just did this. At the end of the season if they had killed Sam’s son, had him die protecting Sam or one of the other team members, I’d have been breathless, “I can’t believe they just did that.” Because then it gives you a whole other story arc of Sam questioning, “Why am I doing this? I can’t even protect my own family.” It’s darker, but it’s more real.
Karen: I vote for Randy for new Assistant Showrunner. [Laughter.]
Randy: I’m moving to L.A.!
Diane: The show is always better when they explore the characters’ inner sanctum, it’s always better. When it’s too much about the terrorists who are bang ‘em up and shoot ‘em up, it’s boring. I’ve always said in all my reviews, it winds up feeling more like a Marvel comic book than a show with real characters, and when they stray from the characters’ storyline then it gets boring to me.
Randy: That’s what I liked about the Janvier character. I loved Christopher Lambert as an actor, and he just brought something dark and menacing to that character, and he didn’t really seem that dangerous. And it’s like, “Whoa, who is this guy?” He messed with your mind, and that’s what tends to be more terrifying. Someone I can track and shoot with my gun, that’s no big deal. But someone that messes with my world and can do things that I can’t stop or control, that’s what’s terrifying. And I’m wondering if we’re ever going to get another one of those bad guys. And the mole, it’s so ambiguous, we still don’t know what’s going on. But I think that’s what the show needs is another evil person bad guy for us to love to hate, because I loved Christopher Lambert in that part. He just brought something menacing to it, and I think it’s another thing that’s been missing.
Lindy: My husband watches with me sometimes, he doesn’t really follow it that closely, but when Sidorov was killed, he said “No, no! He’s a great bad guy!”
Randy: Exactly! Yeah, see? We love to hate ‘em.
Lindy: Well remember that Janvier is still in prison somewhere right?
Randy: I’m waiting for him to escape and be out wreaking havoc again.
Lindy: Yeah, me too.
Gayle: Me too. Should the show ever end, I want to see him in the finale.
Lindy: Here’s a question I have. Now that they’ve done Callen’s name and everything, his character has kind of disappeared. We’ve had a really strong thing with Sam, and we’ve had Kensi and Deeks coming together, but Callen just seems to float through, kind of this dispassionate character that’s smart and comes up with all these ideas for how to thwart all these terrorists and stuff, but we haven’t had a really great storyline for him for awhile.
Randy: No but there’s still Anna!
Lindy: Maybe we could bring her in and shoot her. [Laughter.]
Diane: I’m for that!
Randy: Could she be the mole?
Randy: You take all the fun out of it.
Lindy: Well let’s just bring her in and have the mole shoot her.
Tess: Not a lot of Anna love.
Karen: Maybe Talia could die in that same hail of bullets.
Randy: She’s gotta be the maid of honor at the wedding. [Groans from everyone.]
Karen: I do think Lindy, what you were saying about Callen… I don’t see that he’s really changed much as a character, grown much as a character over the course of the series. He’s had this big quest, but I don’t really see how it’s affected him. He was able to have a slightly long-term relationship with Joelle, but it didn’t really work out. When you compare that to Deeks and Kensi and how they’ve evolved as people over the course of the series, to me that’s one of the reasons they’re the more interesting characters.
Lindy: I agree with that.
Diane: I don’t even think Sam has evolved that much, do you? Or Hetty for that matter.
Lindy: I don’t think you expect Sam to evolve. I think Sam is Sam, he’s like this rock, he never changes. I think that’s true to that character. But with all the things that Callen has been through, you’d think something would crack.
Randy: That’s something to explore is what’s Callen’s vulnerability? What would crack Callen? What if they bring his father into it, and with a darker path, turn his father into a bad guy? And that’s the new bad guy we love to hate. And it’s Callen’s father. How do you go against your father? How do you go against your dad?
Karen: I love all of your dark thoughts Randy.
Randy: Yeah, I got a notepad here, I need to write them all down. [Laughter.]
Diane: I’m surprised you haven’t already.
Randy: Hey, if you want a Season 10, I’ll get you one, okay? [Laughter.] You may not like it, but we’ll get there.
Diane: Anything else that we want to touch on before the season starts? It’s kind of a late start this year, huh?
Randy: Are you guys upset that since we don’t have the 10 o’clock air time, you won’t see Naked Deeks anymore?
Lindy: Hey, I watch shows at 8 o’clock, the guys have no problems taking off their t-shirts. I don’t know why these guys are so shy.
Diane: They never took advantage of that 10 o’clock time slot anyway, so what’s the difference?
Randy: Well if it comes on after a football game, you’ll already have had plenty of commercials with women with half their clothes off, so I guess it wouldn’t really matter. I guess it’s fair.
Lindy: Is that why you watch football Randy?
Randy: Actually I’m not really a sports guy.
Lindy: I know.
Diane: Maybe we’ll see more of Daniela than we have in the past because of the football viewer.
Randy: Well you gotta go to the male demographic I guess!
Some more interesting thoughts and opinions in this second part of the roundtable.
I have seen that you mention Daniela’s pregnancy and how it may affect Season 8.
This is what I think (some spoilers on the premiere, be warned!):
– The helicopter crash will certainly result in a serious injury for Kensi, to allow DR to take her maternity leave without forcing her to leave the show completely, since we know she has shot many scenes with ECO to cover the first 8-9 episodes. She will be in hospital and she will have to recover completely to be cleared for field duty again.
I have to say that the solution of an accident to injure Kensi is for me a good writers’ move: if, for example, she was shot, I couldn’t have stood (my heart wouldn’t have, actually) a broken-hearted Deeks who felt responsible and blamed himself for not doing his job properly.
– In the promo pictures, Daniela’s baby bump doesn’t seem to have been hidden so well, so, since we have been told many times that her pregnancy won’t be scripted in the show, I wonder if in some scenes she may be undercover as a pregnant woman? But the (ugly) dark shirt seems more Kensi’s style.
– I suppose the “proposal” vs “engagement” the showrunners and actors have been teasing will have to do with Kensi’s accident: she may be unconscious or in a coma and unable to answer. I don’t think she will push Deeks away deliberately but with Kensi’s stubborness you can never tell…
– I think that, once again, the “Deeks M” episode will be delayed until further notice. On one side I’m a bit disappointed because I have wanted to know more about Deeks and his past like forever, on the other side I don’t mind waiting as long as his character and his story are treated with all the respect he owes and not just rushedly in one episode only to make the fans stop asking!