Deeks once told Hetty, “I’m not cheeky; I’m charming.” I’m not going to argue about the charm, but I would have to agree with Hetty that Deeks can be a “cheeky bastard.” I find it one of his most endearing qualities. After all, a bit of cheekiness can be the perfect way to send a message to someone who takes themselves too seriously, or to get the better of someone in authority without directly taking them on. So what are the Top 3 examples of this cheekiness?
No real guidelines on this topic, except that we’re talking of course about Deeks’ moments.
The Top 3
I found myself evaluating the possibilities based on two factors: their humor and the degree to which Deeks was challenging someone in authority. In reverse order of importance, my Top 3 is…
#3. M-O-U-S-E in “Absolution”
Written by R. Scott Gemmill, this moment comes about a third of the way through Season 2, when we and Kensi are still getting to know Deeks. When the duo are surprised by a pair of alleged NSA agents, the alphabet soup that rings out as each person identifies him or herself is pretty ridiculous on its own. Deeks sees that and decides to have a little fun by ending the exchange with “M-O-U-S-E.” It’s funny and qualifies as a classic Deeks use of humor to defuse tension (a future topic). But Kensi isn’t amused. At this point they are still feeling their way into their partnership. As Deeks says after Kensi “tees off” on one of the men, “Sometimes I don’t even know you.” The contrast between then and now is huge. If Deeks were to do something similar now, Kensi would at least acknowledge the effort if not laugh outright.
#2. Trying to rile Sam in “Tin Soldiers”
R. Scott Gemmill is back with my #2 pick. After an operation ends poorly, with Deeks and Sam kicked out of a nightclub after Deeks’ cover is blown, Sam is grumpy the next morning and blameseeks for the results. Deeks isn’t having any of it:
Deeks: You know what? You should be thanking me. I staved off those bouncers so you, my friend, could make a clean getaway.
Sam: The day I need your help, Deeks, is the day I hang up my gun.
Deeks: Oh yeah, really? ‘Cause there’s this little hook right here next to my desk, if you wanted to utilize that.
Kensi: Guys! Come on.
Sam: I know you’re tryin’ to rile me, but I won’t be riled.
Deeks: You want a hug?
No one else talks to Sam like this. Sure, Callen gets away with teasing him when they banter, but Deeks is the only one who directly challenges him. He has done it right from the start of their relationship, and it’s one of the reasons Sam doesn’t initially like him that much. But I admire Deeks for it. He doesn’t let Sam’s gruffness intimidate him. Sadly it never really earned him Sam’s respect, instead just reinforcing his mistaken assumptions about Deeks’ character. At any rate, it makes my list because it’s an example of the great chemistry between these two characters I enjoy so much.
#1. Shooting target Hetty in “Enemy Within”
Not only is Deeks the only person other than Callen to get away with taking on Sam, he’s the only person who gets to talk to Hetty in a cheeky way. His interactions with her are unique, reinforcing his (and our) notions that he is, in fact, her favorite. Lindsay Sturman gave us what I consider the high point of Deeks’ cheekiness, at the end of an episode where his competence has been called into question. He “accidently” shoots a paper target of Hetty. Right in the head. It’s hilarious, as is his reaction. “Uhh, oops?,” he says, smiling. Hetty’s reaction is even better. She appears shocked that he would dare do such a thing, and as the credits descend, we hear her famous “Cheeky bastard” line. The moment is hilarious and utterly Deeks.
Also in the Running
The Top 3 would seem to indicate that Season 2 was the high point for Deeks cheekiness. However, Deeks is so consistently cheeky, there are many great examples from every season. Among them:
- Talking to Bates about his porn star moustache in “Internal Affairs” (Chad Mazero, R. Scott Gemmill): That’s a nice moustache Lieutenant. You doin’ undercover work in gay porn again?
- Slapping Kensi’s ass in “Skin Deep” (Gil Grant): It was fine. It was, uh, firm. It was good. All right, I enjoyed it. A little.
- In the boatshed standing up to the whole team in “Hand-to-Hand” (Matt Pyken): …that Internet photo thing really sold me. So riddle me this: did you pre-plan that, or maybe, maybe that happened in real life.
- Calling out Granger for getting fooled by the “Crimeleon,” who “is very, very good,” according to Granger (Frank Military): Good enough to have fooled you.
- Throwing Kensi on the bed in “Raven & The Swans” (R. Scott Gemmill): You know what, sweetie, honey, this is how somebody gets hurt.
- Telling Granger he couldn’t (“not really”) stop the bad guy sooner in “War Cries” (R. Scott Gemmill): You couldn’t come out before he made me get down on my bad knee?
- Challenging Kensi about naked photos in “Hand-to-Hand” (Matt Pyken): You mean like the two of you watching the sunset at Santa Monica Pier, or the kind where you’re not wearing anything but a smile?
- Asking Hetty about the fancy watch in “Special Delivery” (Gil Grant): Does it shoot poisonous gas, or anything cool?
- Mocking the FBI agents in “Archangel” (Shane Brennan, R. Scott Gemmill): Oh buddy. That badge better be real or my partner’s gonna kick you in the FBI-balls.
While we’re covering random bits of Deeks dialog, why not continue next week with the Top 3 Deeks Rambles. Which examples of Deeks’ “incessant babble” will make your Top 3?
In the meantime, which moments of cheekiness made your list? What did I forget?
Or, return to last week’s Top 3, the Top 3 Deeks/Sam Scenes.