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Review: NCISLA “Ghost Gun” (S8E05)


"Ghost Gun" -- Pictured: Anna Kolcheck (Bar Paly) , Renée Felice Smith (Intelligence Analyst Nell Jones), Miguel Ferrer (NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger) and Chris O'Donnell (Special Agent G. Callen).The murder of a Navy Machinist with high security clearance sends the team on a city-wide hunt tracking evidence. Also, Anna Kolcheck (Bar Paly) partners with Callen, and Sam assists Hetty in the on-going mole investigation, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Sunday, Oct. 23 (8:30-9:30 PM, ET/8:00-9:00 PM, PT), on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Erik Voake/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

NCIS: Los Angeles’ fifth offering of the season, “Ghost Gun”, written by Kyle Harimoto and directed by the perfectly named Benny Boom, opened and closed with a pair of perfectly written and acted scenes. In between it gave us some silliness and perhaps a little too much change, leaving me feeling overall just a bit disoriented.

The Hetty I Remember

We opened with one of the most heartwarming and emotional scenes between Deeks and Hetty ever. I can’t believe my Top 3 Deeks/Hetty Talks article posted Sunday morning- I may have to go back and edit it already. Eric Christian Olsen gave us a vulnerable and emotional Deeks doubting his ability to be there for Kensi. His doubts seemed only human- what a scary place to be, not knowing what the future holds or how Kensi’s- and therefore his- life might change forever. (Of course we all know he’s so loyal and loving that Kensi couldn’t possibly be in better hands no matter what her special needs might be.) Deeks seemed so lost, and it moved me when he shared his doubts with Hetty. He broke my heart. But that was no surprise.

The huge and very pleasant surprise for me was the kindness exhibited by Linda Hunt’s Hetty. I read a double message in her words, that she had absolute confidence in him while at the same time implying he didn’t have a choice, he simply had to do whatever was necessary to care for Kensi. It was a vintage Hetty message of tough love, but there was definitely love there, and that’s something I haven’t seen in a long time. While Hetty has a ways to go to win back my affection and trust, if she continues with scenes like this, it may be possible. Thank you R. Scott Gemmill and Kyle Harimoto!

Deeks: She thinks that Kensi’s gonna wake up and everything’s gonna be fine, so…
Hetty: But you don’t?
Deeks: No, I do, you know, but I’m also a realist and I understand there’s a possibility that she doesn’t wake up. Or what if she does- when she does wake up, what if she needs help? You know, like what if she needs a lot of help, and I don’t, I don’t know how to help her? I wanna be that guy. I wanna be that guy, but what if I can’t do it?
Hetty: No, that won’t happen. Because you’re going to give her everything she needs to get better. Everything!
Deeks: OK.

I am curious how those of you who saw this entire scene on the sneak peek felt about it. I managed to avoid it (barely) and I’m so glad. For me, watching it ahead of time would have reduced my enjoyment of the actual episode since the pleasant surprise would have been spoiled.

ECO as Emotional Center

Eric Christian Olsen has always been great as Deeks, but the scenes he’s getting at the start of this season have really given him a chance to shine. He conveys so much without any words at all- ironic considering Rambling Deeks is an actual variety of Deeks (stay tuned for a Top 3 on this very subject). His character has so many layers, many of which have been on display this year. ECO has carried the emotional weight of Season 8 so far, and it’s been elevated by his presence and his performance. I think it’s given him a chance to demonstrate why he’s not only comic relief, but real leading man material.

Ready for Their Spinoff

Of course, if he doesn’t get a spin-off for a new drama, he’s obviously ready for a sitcom with Pamela Reed. I can see it now: a long suffering son and his new bride think they’re going to live happily ever after when mom comes to live with them. Hilarity ensues.

Deeks: You’re smoking? What are you doing?
Roberta: I’m dying. From being worried sick. That’s what I’m doing… I just can’t take this anymore. You and Kensi, and this whole secret agent thing. It’s just too much.
Deeks: No, no, we’re not secret-
Roberta [to strangers]: My son and his fiancée are secret agents.
Deeks: Wow, no, Kensi is a special agent, not a secret agent, which is fortunate considering you just told a group of strangers. Also, technically I am a cop.
Roberta: Well technically, you could still get shot every time you step out the door.
Deeks: Well people die stepping in the shower.
Roberta: Not from people shooting at them.
Deeks: Actually I’ve seen a couple of those too.
Roberta: Martin! Really???

(Nice touch having Momma use Deeks’ signature line at the end there.) This duo’s chemistry is pretty impressive, and it feels like in Reed, ECO has a partner who might equal his improv skills. I have no actual evidence of this, but their dialog has a wonderfully fresh quality to it that makes it feel unrehearsed. Like her son, Roberta can be downright hilarious, like with her spectacular mash-up of medical movies.

But did they have to make her sexist and rude? I cringed at her comments about the male nurse. It all struck me as a little over the top and immature, but I will have to take ECO’s interpretation that this is how she’s dealing (not all that well) with what’s happened to Kensi, and with the constant worry that something just as bad could happen to her son at any time:

People handle these types of catastrophic events differently. To complicate things further, his mom… is kind of a belligerent 4-year-old in her inability to accept the circumstances…

Roberta is certainly making a strong case for not being named as Deeks’ next of kin. She would bring more distraction and stress to everyone involved, rather than providing any stability or support. And while I did appreciate her optimism when she insisted to Deeks, “You’ve gotta be here when she comes out of her coma,” it’s no wonder Deeks unburdened himself to Hetty instead. The contrast between the two women in the opening sequence gave us a much clearer understanding of what an important and special role Hetty has played in his life.

There She Is

ECO and Daniela Ruah were both perfect in the final scene, ECO giving us a Rambling Deeks at his best, simultaneously so excited and happy and yet so concerned and desperate to reassure Kensi. His “There she is” line took me back to a somewhat similar situation in Season 5 when Kensi returned to work post-Afghanistan. And Daniela was spectacular, letting a single tear and her facial expressions communicate her confusion, frustration and fear. The final shot of her seeking comfort by turning her face into his hand was a perfect little moment. Great stuff.

There she is… You don’t have to cry. Baby this is beautiful, this is good, this is a big, this is a big deal. You’re OK. Hey, hey, look at me. I love you. I love you. Welcome back.

I believe credit for all these great Deeks/Kensi scenes so far goes to R. Scott Gemmill, having written all the Densi scenes that were shot before Daniela’s maternity leave, with the other writers filling in the rest of the stories. (Let me know if I’m mistaken on that.) I do like the way he writes Densi.

On the other hand, it killed me to have to cut away there, knowing that Kensi was still upset. I desperately needed to stick around with them a little while longer, to watch Deeks explain to her more about what was happening, and to see her at least calm down some. I need all the comfort that’s a key element of the hurt/comfort genre, and leaving Kensi in a bad place like that frustrated me. I suppose that was intended, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! Plus, I know that we’re not going to get to see the rest of that scene continue next week. Instead we’re likely to cut ahead a day or more. Post-ep fan fic writers, please help me?

Back on the Hunt

There were a few other things happening this episode between the first and last scenes. One was the mole hunt. I was confused about this, but I must admit to not taking the time to go back and rewatch any of the original storyline to try to make more sense of it. Didn’t we more or less know that Carl was working for someone else all along? I thought what took them a little time to figure out was that there was still someone with access to NCIS info (such as Sam’s address)?

Either way, I’m not following why they waited until now to get information out of Carl. Sam was able to read him quickly and easily figured out that he had fallen for a woman who talked him into betraying NCIS.  The interrogation scenes were well done but I’m confused about why they hadn’t happened already. Not to mention the fact that the bad guys (or gal) really took their time trying to eliminate loose ends. I guess I was expecting instead some super clever plot to lay a trap for the mole, not a basic- albeit intimidating- interrogation that should have happened two years ago.

Oh and There Was a Case

Right, the actual case of the week. I may have paid less attention to it than ever before (something about manufacturing parts for automatic weapons, right?). I think there were a couple of reasons for this. One was that the initial set-up of the case in Ops followed that very emotional Deeks/Hetty scene, which really affected me and had me waiting impatiently for Deeks to get to the hospital. I kinda missed all the initial case details and never quite caught up.

The other was the partner switch-ups, plural. Before this episode, I would have told you that I’d welcome any and all substitute partners because they freshen things up and give the actors new people to play off of. But in this episode, I found it a little too much. Taking Deeks out of the field, as much as I wanted him with Kensi, left a big hole to fill in terms of charisma and humor. Granger, as hilarious as he can be, didn’t quite make up for it. Add on top of that splitting up the Sam-Callen bromance to give us Anna, and my head was spinning a bit. It was just too much change.

The best I can say for Anna is that I found her slightly less annoying than previous appearances, primarily  because she wasn’t drooling all over Callen. But of course, they have clearly been spending some time together outside of work. I appreciated that she kept it professional, although I felt no chemistry between them. Unfortunately, she still does not strike me as a real person. She seemed to maintain the exact same attitude when she was chatting with Callen as she did when the bad guys were pointing guns at her. It actually reminded me of smirky Callen, who sometimes plays things a little too cool for my taste. Maybe that’s why they like each other. For me, I need to see more vulnerability and a wider range of emotion before I can care about a character.

Memorable Moments

  • I wasn’t sold on the model’s scream in the opening- seemed a little hokey.
  • Definitely Magnum, P.I. over The A-Team. That’s the exact kind of show I dream that ECO would land, where he’s in almost every scene, surfing, solving crimes…
  • How sweet that the whole team is getting to know Roberta- Hetty, Sam and Callen (although Sam and Callen were already acquainted from Christmas dinner). Love it.
  • Eric wishing for someone to hold a syringe to Carl’s neck was appropriate and funny.
  • Granger Danger was adorable running interference for Nell with the bike store guy, as if he’s her father. Her first name is Special.
  • For a moment there, I thought Carl just might say that his girlfriend was Nell Jones, which would have been a pretty spectacular twist. They seemed to be leading up to a dramatic reveal. But no, we got the name of a random stranger (Natalie Grant). Kinda disappointing.
  • I liked imagining that Kensi finally woke up because she didn’t agree with any of Deeks’ plans for the garage, or that the idea that he had been dating other women was so objectionable.
  • How about that “Stay Tuned for Scenes” shot of Deeks moving and shooting? Just, wow. Of course, he should be planted at Kensi’s side until she recovers instead of out in the field, but still, wow.

Come back later this week for another Surf Log, Drabble, and Edit. (I’m not sure whether Kensi will be up to any Journal entries- hopefully next week!) This weekend we’ll have a new Top 3 and don’t miss the Classified Preview for “Home is Where the Heart Is.”

In the meantime, what did you think of “Ghost Gun”? Is Hetty getting more likeable? What about Anna? Are you pro-sneak peek, or do you prefer to avoid the spoilers? And how much did you love the final scene?

About Karen P (159 Articles)
wikiDeeks Writer & Assistant Editor. I never wrote for fun before... until my ECO-obsession. Now I love to analyze any and all aspects of the best character on television.

33 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Ghost Gun” (S8E05)

  1. You touched on them all…from the old-hat opening scream to the sweetness at the end with Deeks babbling with emotion and relief. His emotions carried me through the entire episode. I was glad I avoided sneak peeks, because the impact of that scene between Deeks and Hetty would have been lost. The contrast between his mother and Hetty couldn’t have been more striking. While his mother was close to being a rambling basket case, Hetty was cool and calm and supportive. He was having trouble dealing with his mother, but Hetty was her usual unflappable self, and he needed that strength, because his was waning after waiting so long for Kensi to wake up. What a beautiful scene…one I have long been waiting for.

    I agree they should have interrogated Carl a long time ago, but I found I liked the intimacy and simplicity of the scenes with him and Sam. I think it anchored the episode. Deeks scenes were filled with emotion and the case was all over the place, so I welcomed the quiet scenes of Sam slowly intimidating that odd, smug man. I sense a deep, convoluted end to this mole hunt, one that may lead to higher ups in Washington. I want to believe the name Sam got from Carl is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Your comments about Anna mirror my own. She smiles too much for me and at the wrong times. She can’t hold a candle to Kensi in the field, but it looks like we’re stuck with her. I almost feel sorry for Callen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lindy I agree with everything you mentioned, and I really like your observation about how the interrogation scenes anchored the episode. And hah! Yes, I think I might be feeling a little sorry for Callen too.

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  2. I am so in agreement with Lindy D – I felt really sorry for Callen after this episode. Anna is terrible. I did enjoy the way the episode was laid out because I could just ignore all the “case” scenes with Callen and Anna (which had not any significant bearing on the episode at all) and just concentrate on the Densi and Sam scenes. My only regret at that would be missing the “father Granger” scene with Nell I did like Sam’s scenes with Carl. I’m not sure what to think about the mole issue, it kind of feels to me like they regret bringing up the mole story line because they can’t figure out how to resolve it LOL. If it’s not one of the major people who is guilty or somehow involved, who cares?
    For me it was all about the Densi…that is fast becoming the ONLY reason I watch. I agree totally with Karen and an ECO/Donna Reed spinoff would be hilarious. I like the idea for their new sitcom!!! I do agree, her reaction to crisis is pretty clear and we know the reason she is not Deeks’ “next of kin”. And yes, I did love the Hetty scene. I’ve never been a total Hetty hater, always wanted redemption for her and hoped/thought she really is a good guy, here.
    I don’t know how to feel about the previews – I’m beginning to hate them as they are set up to be so misleading. And then they give away something so poignant as this “you can do it” one. It is kind of off-putting now. I’m afraid to watch them yet I can’t help myself.
    Can’t wait to watch the Densi recovery story! When do we get to “new” DR scenes?
    No more Anna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laura Ann I found myself ignoring the case too. It was just too much to process, LOL. I like your interpretation of the mole storyline, that they might regret bringing it back. I could definitely see that happening. As for the sneak peeks, since the sneak of the “you have terrible communication skills” Densi conversation in “Descent” really affected my enjoyment of that scene when the episode aired, I’ve stopped watching the sneak peeks and I’m happier for it. Everyone is different and I know many people enjoy watching them as a way to build anticipation for the episode. For me, since Deeks only gets one or two good scenes each week, I’d rather wait and enjoy them when it airs. The trick then becomes avoiding social media where everyone is discussing them!

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  3. I got so emotional over the last scene this week that I still haven’t recovered and I’m just wondering if I’m normal… Well, if it’s normal to think about Kensi and the long rehabilitation journey she may need when I’m in the middle of other things, completely different things, real-life things, then I’m normal. Otherwise I’m a desperate case who needs treatment… But I’m lucky enough to be here so that I can avoid whatever kind of medicine can cure my NCIS LA obsession!

    I think Karen has already said well everything that was to be said about this week’s crucial scenes (I admit the rest of the episode for me is a quite a blur…) so I’ll keep my comment short.
    I can’t help borrowing two sentences from ECO’s latest interview, though. I hope he doesn’t mind 🙂
    The first is so beautiful and it sums up Densi relationship perfectly (even if I hope the “tragic” part is going to be over soon) and how much the actors may be invested in the characters they have helped create; the second has made me breathe a sigh of relief because it’s reassuring about Kensi’s condition and Densi partnership (I don’t want to sound repetitive, I care about Densi life relationship, but I also NEED them in the field together):

    “This show is heightened reality, obviously, but I think this is one of the most realistic and honest and flawed and beautiful and tragic relationships on network television”

    “We’ll get Kensi back and they’ll be partners after all is said and done. I think these characters are supposed to be together as a relationship and as partners, and I think we’ll get both of those things back”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hah! Cladani you are definitely in the wrong place if you are seeking treatment for your obsession. 😉

      I almost worked that quote into the review, but figured it was too long already. It is fantastic and I love how proud ECO is of their work together. I do think they’ve managed to bring them together and still keep them interesting, which many other TV couples struggle with.

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  4. That final scene was clearly the best part of the epsiode for me, ECO and Daniela were amazing and perfect.
    I am a little bit disappointed how cases and case investigation have been written ( I love case investigation scenes ) Three storylines in one episode (case , Kensi, mole) is a little bit too much for me.
    I totally agree with Laura Ann that it feels like they do not know what to do with mole storyline. (I have to admit that I have a feeling that I will not like the way they will solve it, I really hope I am wrong. I do not have any inside information, this is just a feeling ).
    When Anna first appeared in NCIS LA I really thought that she is actually Callen`s sister ( I have no idea why, but I thought she faked her death because she was in trouble and Arkady saved her…) I just can`t connect with her and can`t see the chemistry between her and Callen (or with her and rest of the team). Even though I prefer Callen as a “lone wolf”, pairing him with Joelle was interesting because she wasn`t agent/cop (that was different from other pairings in the show) and I thought the writers missed some great possibilities/moments exploring that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne I liked Joelle too and thought she was a good influence on Callen, although I suppose it’s hard to not be able to discuss your work with the person you love. As for Anna, I think your observation about her lack of chemistry with the rest of the team is exactly right. It’s like she’s acting in a totally different show.

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      • Thank you for your comments. Lack of chemistry between Anna and rest of the team really bothers me, because that chemistry between main cast members (of course especially between ECO and Daniela) is what makes this show so great in my opinion. That chemistry does not seem fake or acted like in many many other shows and that is why I love this show and that is why I really hope none of the main characters is the mole and Anna does not take that place permanently. (At the moment I really can’t understand why one of the team would betray others, what the motive would be). Could Anna be the mole?
        I can’t wait to see those scenes where the whole team (Kensi included) is for example in Ops interacting with each other and solving cases, I really missed that in “Ghost Gun” episode.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful review as always and LOVED all the Densi scenes as always and the last scene was perfect. I loved the way she put her head in Deeks hand that was so cute as if to say “I know you are here for me”. I think they will come through this stronger but it will be a heartbreaking storyline line. Eric Chrisitan Olsen is such a brillant actor and I keep saying he is so underutilised on this show. Don’t like Anna at all she seems like a cartoon character to me.
    On a side note the People Choice Awards are out and Eric is not nominated. You can go to the site vote.peoplechoice.com and go to Favourite crime drama TV Actor and there is a space to write in Eric’s name. Then press cast votes button on alternatively you can go to my Deeks facebook page https://m.facebook.com/lovedeeksncisla/ where there is a link. (Hope its okay to post this but Eric deserves to be nominated.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with your review and the other commentators. Thank you all for helping me articulate my feelings. It has to be hard to figure out how to integrate the story of the week with Kensi’s storyline. I agree about the mole either make it more menacing or just drop it. I agree with your feeling that the mole story will be heartbreaking. Thank you for all your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jsm, you make a good point about having to integrate Kensi’s story with the case of the week. Even just with whether Deeks is working the case or not- it feels wrong for him not to be by Kensi’s side, but then there are two team members away from the action, which makes things feel wonky.

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  7. Thank you Karen for another great review. I found the episode really good, and not only Densi moments but in general. The weakest link is Anna again, but I think Bar Paly is simply not a good actor. And watching her with Callen, I found myself missing Joelle and chemistry these two characters had. Pity that the we do not see Joelle anymore.
    Sam, Hetty, Mole…I loved all the scenes with Sam and Carl and we got exactly what we had to – a name that is telling us nothing but shows the direction that must be followed. So we will all stay tuned.
    I do not remember commenting Hetty ever, but I have read lots of comments and lots of fanfiction stories and I know that she went from the somebody very positive to almost the most hated person. Well, I liked her all the time, and although I haven’t agreed with her actions sometimes, I kinda understood them. Being a boss is not easy, especially in such profession where general wellbeing is more important than personal. Yes, she kept her agents in dark, didn’t tell them all info, (but I am sure she told them what they actually needed to know), she overplayed herself with Kensi and Deeks and Afghanistan and made completely wrong choices, but she is only human with all human virtues and flaws. And she went to the great length to help Deeks with IA investigation and knowing now what she actually did for him resolves her (I my eyes) for everything she did earlier.
    Deeks, Martin Deeks and ECO. I do not know what to say anymore about this character and the actor behind him and not to repeat myself. He is officially blowing my mind every time he appears on this show and I am not referring to his super handsome look. The easiness with which he is portraying Marty Deeks is unbelievable and I am finally able to catch all the nuances in his acting. His interaction with almost every character (including animals) is excellent and so smooth that I sometimes have to remind myself that all of this is not real. Like his scenes with Pamela Reed/Roberta Deeks. They are great together. I am happy to see that bond and close relationship they must have had all the time and that flourished even more after Marty had shot his father. And they are so much alike. And why should she be “politically correct” all the time – she is mother, she is upset, she is not equipped to handle the stress and fear in the same way as her son or somebody else. But it is the beauty of it – we are all different and we all react differently in the same situations.
    And I have to mention Daniela Ruah and the last scene that was maybe the best scene ever on this show. So many emotions were shown and seen in those last 2 minutes (or less- I have no idea how long the scene lasts) that I am re-watching it again and again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Maria! You are not alone in being a Hetty booster all along. And you’re so right that what she did with Internal Affairs should have earned her forgiveness, and it did do a great deal in my thinking of her. But thanks for the reminder- I think I needed that. I agree with everything you say about ECO, and the final scene really was special.

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  8. Thank you for this review Karen.
    Deeks talk with Hetty was not his best perfomance IMO. I know you all think he is the best. He is but not in these serious drama acting. He is the best comedy actor of this show, no doubt. So when he talked with Hetty about his doubts it felt so wrong (maybe because of this acting, maybe because of the writingI don’t know). While watching it I thought ‘wow, you can see and feel how uncomfortable ECO feels’ because this is something he is not as good as in other genres.
    On the other hand, Deeks and his mother were hilarious. Though I don’t think this was improvised (to do so you need to know the other part and these two didn’t work together long enough, with DR yes he might do so from time to time).
    And DR was very good in her non-verbal acting. But I really hope they (producers…) will cut her recovery scenes shorter in the next couple of episodes than in this one. I don’t want to see these storyline kill the rest of the NCIS characters or cases, sorry. Deeks only at her side is boring (and annoying, one more time he calls Kensi ‘baby’ and I ff. Seriously who calls a woman like Kensi ‘baby’?). And some scenes with Kensi alone and dealing with her future might be interesting. Because I think that DENSI thing is killing both characters as individuals.
    Also I want her to make a fast recovery so we don’t have to deal with Nell and Anna as field agents. I 100% agree with you regarding this character.
    The mole thing is done for me. They needed too much time to bring it back so I probably will be interested again when this certain episode airs, but right now not.
    Case, what case?
    And Callen is smarter than you think because he was able to avoid the xmas dinner at the Hanna’s with all mothers but had a nice time with Joelle.
    You mentioned that Callen is sometimes to cool for your liking. Well Deeks calls it aloof. But anyway that is why I like both characters. They are so different and I would love to see them working together, maybe even undercover.

    Liked by 1 person

    • beth, you and I will never agree about ECO’s dramatic acting skills, but I definitely agree that some scenes for Kensi on her own without Deeks as she recovers will be good for her character. These characters so rarely get scenes on their own, and I think Kensi deserves that.

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      • I have to agree with Karen, Beth. I will agree the scene was not as “comfortable” as the ones with his mom or Kensi, but that made me love it all the more I think. I saw it as he basically knows how to deal with those two people. He really didn’t know how to deal with/say what he was trying to say to Hetty. He was on new and treacherous ground as to how to express his doubts. I am a serious Densi lover and it really is pretty much the only reason I watch NCIS:LA, so not in agreement there, but I think watching some of Kensi;s personal journey with what’s coming would be good story! Ultimately it will be about how she handles the consequences.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Unfortunately, with The Walking Dead premiere on at the same time, I wasn’t able to view this episode live. But I do have the season on Amazon Instant so I get it the next day. The nice thing was that I really only watched the scenes with Deeks and with Nell and Granger. The rest was not very interesting. Kinda says a lot about the ep right there.

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    • Ugh, that Walking Dead premiere couldn’t have been any darker! I’ve been wondering if The Walking Dead being back might affect NCIS:LA’s ratings. Haven’t seen anyone post them and haven’t had time to look myself.

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  10. Thanks Karen for the review, it’s always a pleasure to read your articles! I think the episode was very good in general, I really enjoyed it at all. I loved the scenes between Deeks and Hetty, Deeks and Roberta (so funny), Nell, Eric and Granger, Sam and Carl. I’m not negative even with Anna, yes I don’t like much her acting, but maybe this character coud improve. I think that is nice to have a bit of romance in Callen storyline, not only angst and sadness. But, for me( the only one 🙂 ), Joelle doesn’t fit in the story, Anna do. She is in the business and has a personality that may fall Callen in love, I hope the writers will develop “Anna” better, and Bar Paly will integrate better with the cast. I agree with Maria about Hetty, I support the little lady, even if sometimes I don’t like her decisions, but with the AI story she gained totally my forgiveness! About Nell, I like her i the field in non action scenes, but I like more her in OPS with Eric, their chemistry is awsome and I missed it in the last two episodes. The mole storyline was brought up now again and it’s up to the writers! But in conclusion I think they are doing a good job (for now)to merge kensi (and Deeks) storyline with a still enjoyable show 🙂

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    • Nice review Valentina! It’s great to see someone who’s wholeheartedly enthusiastic. I agree that Eric and Nell belong together in Ops.

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      • Thanks Karen! yes I’m enthusiastic about the season 8 so far, but I was very disappointed by the writers in the past, especially about season 5. I hope they won’t disappoint our expectations about Densi this season!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Karen, thank you for your deeply heartfelt review. I agree with you completely how
    heartwarming and emotional the talk between Hetty and Deeks was. ECO was
    brilliant again in portraying the rollercoaster of emotions, fear and doubts which
    Deeks is experiencing because of Kensi. You are right about Deeks being the
    emotional centre.
    As for Hetty, she has always remained one of my favourite characters. In this
    truly memorable scene with Deeks, she was kind, supportive, inspiring and
    confident. Just what Deeks needed. But personally, I thought that at the end
    of “Black Market” they showed Hetty’s vulnerability when she visited Kensi
    at the hospital and urgently and desperately entreated Kensi to wake up.
    Because I realise how extremely severely Hetty will hold it against herself
    that one of her team members was so seriously injured.
    But right after the talk between Hetty and Deeks in “Ghost Gun”, after Deeks
    leaves for the hospital, Hetty looks down rather wistfully. The way I viewed it,
    she was kind, calm and confident for Deeks, but is still deeply troubled
    and very vulnerable. And only we as the viewers get to see her vulnerability.
    I belong to those who like Mrs. Deeks. And although Deeks called her on
    the sexist and rude comment. But I could see how upset and scared she was.
    And I agree with what has been said about the wonderful chemistry between
    Pamela Reed and ECO. And speaking of mothers, I also like Kensi’s mom
    Julia.
    As for the case of the week and how the writers messed with the Callen/Sam
    chemistry by replacing Sam with Anna for this episode. My opinion about
    Anna is still the same. I think that she has no chemistry with Callen at all nor
    with the team. Her character just jars. Perhaps if an actress like for instance
    Sasha Alexander would have portrayed Anna, the character might have
    worked.
    And then, although Sam mentions at the beginning of the episode that he
    visited Kensi at the hospital. I would have preferred that they showed Sam’s
    visit to Kensi. And wouldn’t Callen have visited Kensi as well?
    Because ever since Kensi was so gravely injured, from the team’s reactions and actions
    it is obvious how very crucial she is as a team member and how beloved to each
    of them personally as a friend.
    Then, the last scene truly broke my heart and it is still sinking in. But Daniela
    and Eric Christian were both so beautiful and perfect!
    Karen, I also agree with you that they cut rather abruptly to the end credits. I, too
    needed to stay a little longer with Kensi and Deeks. And I think that Kensi’s
    recovery will be a long and very emotional journey for her and Deeks.
    Regrettably, from my country (The Netherlands), I can’t access the video features
    of the upcoming episodes.

    Raven

    Like

    • Thanks Raven! I really appreciate your pointing out those moments where Hetty is alone and showing sadness over what’s happened. In the past, I’ve often interpreted such behavior as her feeling sorry for herself, but here I do think she is genuinely heartbroken over what’s happened. I had noticed those moments but chosen to ignore them (my Hetty distrust is still strong), but I’m glad you forced me to acknowledge them.

      Like

      • Karen, Thank you. Although, I definitely understand
        your point of view about Hetty’s sad, quiet and lonely
        moments. Contrary to you I never felt that she was
        feeling sorry for herself.
        As well as that I would like add something to my previous
        comment. I mentioned Sasha Alexander, because looking
        at her and Vyto Ruginis who portrays Arkady. She has a
        much better resemblance to him than Bar Paly does. I think.
        Personally, I have a very soft spot for Sasha Alexander because
        of how she portrayed Kate Todd in the mother series of “NCIS”
        and Maura Isles in “Rizzoli & Isles”. That’s why I thought
        that if Sasha Alexander had portrayed Anna, the character
        could have worked. But now I just join Ed in hoping that they
        get rid of Anna! As I agree completely with Ed about Bar Paly’s
        awful performance as Anna. Regrettably, the casting directors totally
        missed this.
        And Arkady remains a truly compelling character.

        Ed, What you said and asked about the mole. I really hope that
        we will get closure on that storyline as it has dragged on for too
        long. I most firmly believe and think that Hetty, Kensi, Granger,
        Callen, Sam, Deeks and Eric are no traitors!
        My suggestions would be:
        -Nate
        -Nell? Because to me, as a colleague among the team and friend
        she sounds and looks sincere and genuine. Or is it all one big
        act which she put up by working with- and befriending the team?
        If it is Nell, as I realise how heartbroken Eric would be.
        But perhaps Karen is right that the mole is likely a stranger.

        Raven

        Liked by 1 person

  12. love the review, fantastic job as always , thank you.
    I agree with most everything stated. ECO and DR bring tears to my eyes and the last scene was wonderful. I am concerned about the recovery because we were led to believe they pre shot 9 episodes for DR yet episode 10 started filming on 10/21. ECO was off that day, so I had really hoped that that DR would return on 10/24 to start filming new scenes with ECO this week.
    the lack of an update or a “first day back” post has me a little bummed out. that would mean no new stuff until at least ep11, depressed……
    I really hope they allow them to work through this together and dont have Kensi push Deeks away.
    as far as Anna goes, just dump her already. the character is awful. it is a double whammy because the character is irritating and the portrayal by Bar is just so bad. she is so inexperienced she seems plastic and fake. as already stated by others, she smiles to much and at the wrong times, her delivery is rigid,wooden and always the same. a one trick pony. The smile and facial expressions frequently seem out of place and are distracting. I think this a case where her modeling experience is not serving her well and actually hurting her. She always reverts to that big fake model smile and attempts to maintain perfect posture to the point of appearing toy like…. Good for pictures, bad for TV. Nothing is fluid and it takes away from the scene. A little subtlety with facial expressions and movements goes a long way. Just look at the last scene, right?
    …. now to the mole, I am done already, reveal or move on. I agree that although I liked the interrogation it should have happened a long tome ago. I also have a bad feeling about the way it ends up.
    I don’t see it being the main 4, so who does that leave.
    could it be Hetty or Grainger? not likely.
    Eric, not unless his character is a great act, he doesn’t appear to handle pressure like that and would seem to be to jittery. even sneaking cookies into opps makes him nervous.
    Nell could be smooth enough, I hope not.
    who is left. it cant be someone new, so who would be a recurring character that we know but would not derail the show if wound up a bad guy.
    I have a few suggestions.
    1) Nate— really did go darkside
    2) Paul Angelo— always hated the guy and Hetty let him go so could feel responsible, especially if he caused the Helo crash by revealing info about the trip.
    3) Nell —She is sneaky enough…
    4) Joelle- she is actually another Russian sleeper agent…
    5) Anna- just hate her, get rid of her already.
    6) Talia- dont think so but putting it out there

    any more thoughts?

    Like

    • Thanks Ed! Your comment was very entertaining to read. It does seem as if we might get an episode that’s very light on the Deeks at some point soon, judging by the shooting calendar. Perhaps Tess will have more details on that. Hopefully they’ll make up for it with a “Deeks, M” episode later in the season! Your Anna analysis was fantastic and I agree completely. As for the mole, it seems likely to be a stranger unless it’s Nate or Angelo. And unfortunately if it’s one of the latter, I’m afraid we’ll be spoiled when the cast list comes out. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be so obsessed. I do wish it was Nell, even though it would make no sense. It would just be super dramatic.

      Like

      • I agree Karen! I so wish the mole is Nell! I’ve had enough Nell to last the entire season — the producers, etc. have WAY overdone her role this season; its so ridiculous and at times even funny. I’m sorry truly, I’m all for powerful women but Nell is best suited for Ops with Eric; being the Mole would make my day but I know that won’t happen, dramatic yes. I would probably fall on my butt if that were to happen :-)!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Karen, outstanding review as always. Your talent in analyzing and writing reviews are awesome. You touched on everything, absolutely everything that touched me in this episode. Hooray, Kensi is awake! I really enjoyed Deeks and his mom together. I too, now see why Deeks did not want to name his mom as next if kin especially knowing the special bond he has with Hetty. Loved your analysis of Hetty and Deeks’s scenes. I am and always will be a steadfast Hetty fan although I agree some of her past actions have upset me, but I always console myself with “Hetty knows what she’s doing, she’s so many moves ahead of everyone, notwithstanding the mole situation.” I thoroughly enjoyed your review and everyone’s comments.

    Like

  14. As noted above…
    I also think that someone else, like a Sasha Alexander, would make the character of Anna far more palatable. even enjoyable to watch.
    I completely agree that Arkady is just a fantastic character and Vyto’s portrayal is simply wonderful. His aloofness, gestures and facial expressions are priceless. he is one of my favorite, if not my favorite guest stars ever. The way he delivers his lines brings a smile or a laugh.

    As far as the mole goes… what if it is Nell…. and they replace her with Blaze ???
    there’s a thought, right?

    Like

    • Arkady may be the most universally loved character on the whole show. He is fantastic. But don’t even joke about Blaze- one of my least favorite episodes ever!

      Like

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