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Review: NCISLA “Crazy Train” (S8E07)


"Crazy Train" -- Pictured: Chris O'Donnell (Special Agent G. Callen). Callen goes undercover as a patient in a mental health hospital to search for an NSA agent who disappeared while tracking an ISIS cell trying to cross the Mexican border, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Sunday, Nov. 6 (8:30-9:30 PM, ET/8:00-9:00 PM,PT), on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles can be exciting, funny, or even frustrating. In the hands of a writer like Frank Military, they can be dark and dramatic. But they rarely make me truly sad. This week’s episode “Crazy Train,” directed by Diana C. Valentine, did just that. And I think that’s a compliment, one that goes to Military and showrunner R. Scott Gemmill, who was responsible for the Densi scenes.

One of our coworkers was found inside of a shark 

Before we talk about the sadness, let’s cover this week’s case, particularly Callen’s undercover op in the mental hospital. You know I always prefer undercover assignments that come with actual undercover acting- an alias that requires the character to act like a different person. Here we just got Snarky Callen being snarky, but he was nevertheless pretty entertaining, particularly when he dismantled the doctor running the group therapy session. And the two patients who started out hating on Callen and then grew to love the guy were goofy and funny- Who’s sayin’ I’m aggressive? I don’t even talk to half you people! They provided the lightest part of the episode. The whole caper reminded me of the slightly silly version of Frank Military we got with one of my guilty pleasure episodes, “SEAL Hunter.”

Of course, this episode also included Callen getting fed to the sharks. His joking around the whole time made it hard to be too worried about him. It was unfortunate that the sequence had been included in the promo the week before. Since we knew Callen would end up in the ocean as shark bait, it took away some of the suspense when he and Dill/Leipzig were being hunted in the hospital- we knew Callen wouldn’t get away.

I wanna spend the rest of my life with you

The case of the week might have been lighthearted, but the episode had two sources of major sadness for me. The first was having to watch Kensi, and Kensi and Deeks, struggle. Kensi is still grappling with her physical limitations (I think she’d benefit from some group therapy with the other patients). Of course she wasn’t going to take the physical therapist’s advice to take things slowly. How sweet was Deeks though, when he reacted to the reason for her injury with a smile and a “Thatta girl”?

Part of what made that courtyard scene so hard to for me watch was how Deeks struggled to get Kensi to even smile. He’s always done that so effortlessly, and it just shows what a dark place Kensi is in that he can’t quite reach her to pull her out of it. You don’t get much darker than wishing you’d been left behind to die in Syria. Yikes. I could see why Deeks decided on an impromptu proposal number two in his desperation to make her feel better. Alas, it was an ill-advised strategy as of course she didn’t want what she likely felt was a pity proposal.

What I saw as an improvement in Deeks’ communication this time, compared to last week, was how he managed to maintain his optimism (You are gonna live happily ever after, okay?) while also acknowledging more realistic possibilities. I knew he’d want to be with her no matter what, but it is something Kensi needs to get through her head and heart. Looking on the bright side (?), how many fans get to see their OTP have three separate proposals? (There will be another one, right? Maybe at Christmas?) Or does this not count as a proposal since he never got to actually ask the question?

Deeks: Kensi Marie Blye-
Kensi: No, no, no. Don’t do this right now.
Deeks: Why?
Kensi: Not like this.
Deeks: You don’t like it?
Kensi: I love it, it’s beautiful… it’s really beautiful.
Deeks: I envisioned it differently in my head. At some point I thought I was gonna ride in on a big white horse and that I would be shirtless, because that’s awesome, and then just a road full of rose petals. Listen, the details are inconsequential. What’s important is I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.
Kensi: I’m not gonna do it. I’m not gonna do it like this. It’s not fair, I’m not doin’ it.
Deeks: Like what?
Kensi: Like this, Deeks. Like this, with this thing and this stupid-
Deeks: Stop, stop, stop!
Kensi: You’re not gonna be in a wheelchair, you understand? And if you were, it wouldn’t matter to me ‘cause I wanna spend the rest of my- stop- I wanna spend the rest of my life with you. It doesn’t matter. I love you.
Kensi: It matters to me. I am not doing this to you. It is not fair.

The scene back in Kensi’s room really unsettled me. Watching Deeks help her into bed felt like a possible preview of what the rest of their life could be like, and I felt for both of them. I know Deeks wouldn’t care, but Kensi sure would. Her “it’s not fair to you” comment in the courtyard summed up how she feels about needing to rely on Deeks for so much. In the room I could just feel the tension coming off of Kensi, and its impact on Deeks as he seemed completely at a loss as to how to help her, how to get her to see the positive side of what’s possible. Both scenes felt messy, without a neat conclusion or tidy reassurance that they’d be OK. I think that’s what made them so effective even as they left me very sad, despite my total faith that they’ll be stronger partners than ever in the end.

Just a little concerned

At least the episode continued a season featuring a wonderfully supportive team. Even Callen got in on the act this week, noticing how off Deeks was when he got to work, unable to partake in the usual morning banter. That is an alarming sign! And Granger, keeping him from going undercover due to his “personal obligation at the moment.”

And while one of the scenes I’ve most wanted to see has been Sam expressing confidence in Deeks’ ability to do his job (a version of this hit #2 on my Top 3 list), I’m not sure that Sam expressing confidence in Deeks’ ability to pull off crazy exactly hits the mark. Still, I enjoyed this exchange so much, and obviously, Deeks would have brought far more to the part than Callen bothered to. Still, Deeks and Sam throwing each other little grins at the end of the scene as they set Callen up to go in as a possible double murderer made me soooo happy (at least temporarily, you know, in between all the sadness.) It was my favorite three seconds of the whole show.

The intervention with Hetty and Sam was amazing. They were there because they were worried about Deeks, but there was no judging, only caring, coming from both of them. I loved that they wanted him to take time off work. I hope he does that soon, although I can see now why he’s anxious to keep working, since he’s yet to figure out how to get through to Kensi.

I seriously cannot get enough of Sam looking after Deeks. And this week Deeks was the one doling out the little shoulder tap to Sam as he left the boatshed. The team just feels closer than ever right now, which leads me to the most surprising source of my sadness…

No one gets out of here alive

Darn you Owen Granger! I am so mad at the Assistant Director. Mad that just as he finally wormed his way into my heart, he’s got to contract some horrible, possibly fatal illness. Why, show, why? I can’t believe I’m writing any of this, but I would be truly sad to see Miguel Ferrer’s character go. He has brought such a high level of deadpan humor along with a crusty on the outside but gooey on the inside character who really has become part of the team. Couldn’t this wait another couple of seasons? I want him to get some more time with his daughter. Unfortunately, my guess at this point is that Granger may end up sacrificing himself to save the team when the mole storyline comes to its conclusion.

I think what left me feeling genuinely sad at the end of this episode was Granger. Because while the Densi angst was tough this week, I know in the end it will just make it all the more moving and satisfying when they do get their happy ending. With Granger, I worry that the ending might not be at all happy.

Memorable Moments

  • Whoa, an impressively gruesome start with the shark guts. Nice practical effects there.
  • But again, another character (Beale in this case) using “touché” just seems wrong.
  • I always enjoy when they make observations about Callen having all the characteristics of a serial killer. Sam: You’re the recluse with no long-term social attachments. Granger: Callen, you do have issues.
  • Pets? They actually have to tell people they can’t bring pets to the mental hospital? As helpful as some therapy doggies might be, I guess that is an especially important rule around patients with a history of killing small animals.
  • I enjoyed all the actors at the mental hospital, but I was less impressed with the actors who played Jolene Townsend and especially Bruce Carter, who came off a bit wooden. I don’t know if it was them, the direction of their scenes, or their dialog, but they never felt genuine to me.
  • Deeks telling Sam and Hetty, “Everything’s gonna be fine,” was a sad call-back to “Blye, K.” This time it felt like Deeks trying to make himself feel better about the situation by repeating such optimistic words.
  • Dill/Leipzig insisting to Callen that his phone had been tapped made me laugh out loud. Aren’t all our phones tapped by the NSA? Or am I now the one with paranoid government conspiracy theories? At least Sam appreciated the irony of NSA Analyst Jolene’s complaint about their illegal search. Again, very funny.
  • Dill/Leipzig’s ruse for getting arrested, by insulting Whole Foods- well actually by shopping naked- also made me laugh.
  • A Mexican Chevy Chase? Nope, not seeing it Callen.
  • Mr. Ruah, David Paul Olsen, did a fine job as Sam’s ex-SEAL buddy. What appropriate casting! They even named his character after him. I wonder if they gave him the cane just to draw a parallel with Kensi’s storyline, or if they might eventually get to meet? What I especially liked about his casting was that it was a little gift for us obsessed fans that most people watching wouldn’t know anything about.
  • I’m glad that Kensi really did seem to like the ring, which she gave a definite second glance to as Deeks put it back in his pocket.

Come back later this week for new editions of Deeks’ Surf Log, Kensi’s Journal, and the Drabble and Edit of the Week. Plus this weekend there’s the Classified Preview and the Top 3 Deeks Rambles, and Monday the next installment in our look at how Deeks’ childhood influenced the man we know and love today.

In the meantime, what did you think of “Crazy Train”? Did you handle the sadness better than I did? Or did the episode leave you with different emotions?

About Karen P (162 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.

57 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Crazy Train” (S8E07)

  1. Thank you, great review ! Amazing acting again from Eric and Daniela, but I really hope writers give us a proposal that ends in yes and happy tears soon. This sadness is breaking my heart, but at the same time I think it is very realistic, well written and in character. (I can’t even imagine how emotionally exhausting it was for Daniela and Eric shoot these scenes back to back , when it is almost too much for me to watch once a week)

    I wish they would have told more about what Hetty has been doing, but that scene with her and Sam and Deeks was great. I totally agree with your comments about Granger, I really will miss Granger if he leaves. Granger and Deeks always have great scenes and they have great chemistry. (I still hope Granger stays and these hospital scenes were just a kind of “diversion” from the writers to get fans speculating/talking)

    It was great that David Olsen had a couple lines too, I was hoping for a scene with Deeks and/or Kensi though 🙂

    One more thing I loved: no Anna 🙂

    Like

  2. Great review!

    Sad, yes. I don’t know, why does it seem like Chis O’Donnell is calling it in this days? Wasn’t he set up as the Agent to end all Agents with his intro on NCIS? Not seeing much of it any more. Ok, end rant.

    You know, I’ve noticed Granger’s speech has been a bit slurry lately. I wonder if the actor has an issue that they’re preparing for some day. I’ve always felt that’s why they brought him in — if something happened to Linda Hunt.

    I love and hurt for Supportive Deeks but I now need him to be Wake Up Call Deeks with Kensi. It was minor but I loved the PT tech saying “Look around you.”

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    • I agree about Grainger’s speech.
      I hate to spread false rumors, but this might be the best place to ask….
      I read somewhere that Miguel actually may have suffered a minor stroke in the off season.
      has anyone else heard this or have any info either way from a reputable source?
      I truly hope not, he is a fantastic actor and his dry sense of humor fits the character perfectly.
      gotta love Grainger…he has grown on me.
      thanks

      Like

    • peakae, I love the idea of Wake Up Call Deeks making an appearance- I think Kensi could really use him at this point.

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  3. Thank you for this review.
    IMO there was only one sad part and that was Granger. I hope he will be okay at the end because he became important to the show, the team and can be really funny from time to time but also caring.

    The Kensi and Deeks part is getting boring now. How often will he try to get a yes from Kensi? I hope this will be it for a long time.
    DR acting was good actually (she had the advantage of being part of some of these soaps in earlier days, which might come handy now for her acting in this tragic situation). Too good for ECO since he seems off again (acting-wise). This is just not his genre. I totally agree with you that it would be great to have more Sam caring for Deeks scenes since both of them are more or less on the same level of acting (I mean drama acting, not the comedy scenes – nobody can beat ECO here!).
    The case was pretty good (I am a fan of Frank Military episodes) with the right balance of action, twists and laughs. Callen was great undercover and the discussion in the ops who might be the best going undercover was hilarious. I just hope the Deeks part will be lighter in the next episodes. Right now it is a repeat of the repeat and is really boring and predictable. Give Kensi some space and Deeks time to deal with the situation. It would make the episodes much better IMO.

    Why do you think Granger will leave (“Granger may end up sacrificing himself to save the team when the mole storyline comes to its conclusion”). Only because LL said somebody will die? He said that all the time for all seasons as far as I can remember. So I wouldn’t put too much into it.

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    • Beth, the reason I worry about Granger dying in the line of duty has less to do with LL Cool J’s pre-season trolling and more to do with his apparently serious illness. I can’t picture them playing that out over a whole season. To me it just seems more likely that they’d send him out in a blaze of glory, and I think Granger himself would prefer it that way. We’ll see!

      Like

  4. Great and insightful review, Karen. I agree the scene with Kensi in the courtyard was very sad, but realistic. This will not be easy for Kensi and Dani did such an amazing job expressing her frustration and fear and anger. I watched The Talk yesterday to see ECO and they showed a clip of that scene. When the clip was finished, they pulled back to show ECO at the table, and he had tears in his eyes. Dani mentioned on Instagram that she shed tears when Deeks was proposing to her in the hospital when she was in a coma. They took them out during post production. It just shows how emotionally invested these two amazing actors are in these rolls. They have made Deeks and Kensi a couple we all care deeply about.

    I am so pleased with this season and with the way the team has rallied around Deeks. I was surprised by the intervention scene with Sam and Hetty. Now, who’s pushing who away? I love that scene, but again an interruption by Nell and Eric. I wonder if at some point he is going to break down and admit how deeply frightened he is for Kensi, or will they play it this confident all the way to the end. What an amazing story arc. Can’t wait for more.

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    • Lindy I’m interested in your observation that Deeks is maintaining confidence in Kensi’s recovery. To me he’s filled with doubts and is just using the “Everything’s going to be fine” mantra to try to talk himself into believing it. And thanks for pointing me to The Talk. I was disappointed that they spent no time talking about the show, but that was quite the moment with ECO tearing up. Pretty adorable.

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  5. I really enjoyed this episode. Kensi and Deeks scenes were heartfelt and heartbreaking. The Granger revelation was a real shock, even though he’s been slurring his words for quite a while in the show.
    I do disagree with your opinion of Callen undercover. He had to act in a way to get close to Dill, and it was clear Dill wasn’t crazy so he talked to him in a manner to reflect that. I loved his orchestration of the fight and the slightly crazy/psycho look in his eyes that would be so in line with a sectioned double murderer. Yes, no one can pull off crazy like Deeks but it was not appropriate in this case. (And poor Deeks is certainly not in the right place psychologically for any undercover role.)
    This storyline for Kensi is so much better than the white ghost one of season 5.

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    • I Am Me, I totally agree that Deeks is not prepared to go undercover at the moment, and also that this storyline is huge improvement over the debacle of Afghanistan Season 5.

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  6. Back in the 1990s, one of my favorite academy-awarded movies ever, “Shakespeare in love”, had a memorable scene – among the many others – in which Queen Elizabeth I asked, in the form of a bet: “Can a play show us the very truth and nature of love?”. As expected, Shakespeare won the bet with his “Romeo and Juliet” and his real-life love for Lady Viola DeLesseps who had stolen his heart.
    It’s surprising how this quote came to my mind after this week’s NCIS LA episode, so much that I’m asking myself the same question: Is an action TV series/procedural able to show the viewers the very truth and nature of love? It could seem almost an impossible challenge, and yet I think this season’s NCIS LA episodes so far have been able to win the bet, too, with the Densi storyline.
    Thank you, Eric and Daniela: this week, with your outstanding performance of one of the most heartbreaking and genuine scenes together as Deeks and Kensi, you showed us as realistically as possible the many faces and nuances of love.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Love your reviews and keep up the good work
    .Don’t you think Kensi needs a visit from Nate? Many good wishes from the UK !

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    • Jan Settle- yes, Nate should totally get back to LA to help. (Or to be revealed as the mole, hee. Or maybe he could help Kensi before they discover his hidden identify?)

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      • let’s assume Nate is not the mole, which would be heck of a plot line if he is…
        I see where in theory Nate could help Kensi, but I dont really want the story writing to go there.
        Hold on….here’s why. Deeks is already so insecure about their relationship. He has proposed twice now with negative results. He has fears and doubts that he can “be that guy”. He feels that he doesn’t know how to help her. Hetty got Kensi to show signs of recovery first and squeeze her hand when Deeks could not do so. He is already so full of self doubt..I am afraid that with the place Deeks is emotionally right now, that if Nate ( or someone else) sweeps in and gets Kensi to respond, that Deeks will take that as confirmation that he truly cant help her and he is not what she really needs. allowing her to push him away or actually drifting away on his own.

        for her own good of course
        ….too dark for me…
        Puppies, I need puppies…off to find a puppy video

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I liked this episode a lot; no Anna and no Super Girl Nell. Solid story telling. I thought Callen undercover, for this particular situation, was perfect. For me, the scene on the boat was just Callen buying more time knowing the team was tracking him. I love Granger; I’m hoping for the best; I thought perhaps its a rouse to begin to smoke out the mole. I remember the team not knowing who he was when they first met him; I’m trying to be optimistic about him — what a shock though.
    I also love how this cast/team/characters have become a family. Very supportive of Deeks and always thinking of Kensi.
    I love that the therapist told Kensi to “look around” boom! Get through to her to get off the pity pot. The proposal was so sweet; he made Kensi laugh, again. Now that’s twice! Good for him. He wanted to prove that he is All In no matter what.
    I didn’t see the hospital room scene the same. I found it to be very moving and important. I didn’t see Deeks as being clumsy (my words, not yours). It appeared to me that he has been paying close attention to her therapy and knows how to care for her; like getting her into bed; that for me is optimism. And, he wasn’t mad she tried to walk on her own; although how stupid and actually selfish on her part when the therapist told her pushing too hard could set her back. I loved seeing DPO; Tom Olsen was great! Want to see more of Sam’s Seal buddy! Love that the character had a cane and a limp; that has a lot of meaning right there; hardly any words needed to be spoken.
    On a different subject; man I feel so bad for those fans living in the East; having the show constantly being delayed due to football — sucks.
    Again, loved this episode. I’m hoping to see more DR & ECO scenes together; its just golden how great these two are together on screen!
    Thank you again for this site; its so much fun reading what others think/thought/felt, etc. love it!!

    Like

    • Excellent observations Olapa. And while I also feel for those on the East Coast, I have been delighted with the earlier start time. It’s made a huge difference in my ability to get the review written on schedule. I also love the Sunday instead of Monday- it seems to just come faster somehow.

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  9. I liked the episode. A good, slightly twisty/interesting story, that was intriguing. Yet the angst is beginning to get me totally down (I love it, so well done by both DR and ECO.)! It has seemed so realistic, though. I very much liked the therapist’s “look around” comment. I think the time has come – from someone – to start putting Kensi on the path of “life let you live, now make something out of it”, there are people that love you! At least I hope so, as I was not a major Densi fan in the beginning because I never thought she was good enough (all take and no give) for my boy Deeks! I have been swayed to liking her (them) since the All In, but this is really hard. Maybe we need some kind of fall-apart on Deek’s behave to have her see what she’s doing to him/them. Maybe just a HINT of Romeo and Juliet without the ultimate ending, please!
    One hope, in her Instagram post DR shows her first day back to work and the background is the gym at OPS, so I am assuming that she’s really coming all the way back.
    I kind of did and didn’t like Callen. I liked his reactions with Deeks and I thought his group therapy scene was hilarious, but I never got a mental-patient vibe from him. And like the silliness with the discovery of the raft that let them finally lift the helicopter off of Kensi, the joking around on the boat was just a little too far for me. I had a real mental comparison of Lasik manhandling Deeks with the throat grab and this scene. I could really read the thought that this just might be the end of the line from Deeks, while Callen just seemed kinda ho hum about the danger. It was weird, especially as I don’t think he should have believed that there was any help coming? I wonder if it is the writing or directing or something from COD? He seems kind of “whatever” this season? But I did like the other mental patient guys! Maybe just not enough time in 1 hour to develop it very much.
    My two other biggest issues: What is this with Granger?? What have I been missing, I really didn’t see that coming? But they have a tendency to build something up and then have the bridge next to it fall down, so I am thinking misdirection??? And I agree, Yeah! No Anna!

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    • Laura Ann what a comparison between this Callen and Human Traffic Deeks. You’re so right, ECO can convey real fear better than I think anyone else on the show.

      Like

      • Callen being waterboarded by Nate is another example to me of COD not being able to convey any sort of fear, anguish or panic. That scene was supposed to be shocking as it is Nate torturing Callen yet COD plays it almost with a smirk. That was not believable to me. It was a half hearted attempt at best.

        Like

        • Daisy, actually IMO you are wrong. COD is definitely a more complex actor with skills/talents in different genres.That is the difference to the other actors of this show. ECO IMO is just a comedy actor (the vast majority of his films are in this genre and that is for a reason, don’t yoyu think?) but a good one. And there is nothing wrong with it. There is a reason he never played a real drama or action movie. I don’t think COD got the lead role in this show if he wouldn’t have been a good overall actor. I get that you don’t like him so maybe this is one of the reasons for you comment.

          Like

          • With all due respect Beth, my opinion is not wrong. You may disagree with it, but it is not wrong. Just like your opinion is your own and you have a right to have them and voice them. I most certainly disagree with your assessment of ECO’s acting skills but you are right to have them.

            Like

    • I agree with the Callen comments, His character seems way too flippant, cavalier, or just whatever lately. Beyond the point of being realistic or believable…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good review as always. On Kensi, I don’t see her pushing herself as selfish. Stubborn but not selfish. Yes the PT advised her to pace herself, but that’s hard to do when you’ve prided yourself in being the best your whole life. Kensi may not be a soldier/marine but she has the mentality of one. In the military you are trained to push your body to the limit then keep going beyond that. (At least that’s what I’ve gathered from training documentaries). So I’m sure Kensi is not the first patient that the PT had to tell that to and she won’t be the last. I also feel that Kensi needs a psychiatrist.

    Like

    • Ryan, I think you’re right that Kensi is bound to push herself as hard as possible. And yes- therapy would be helpful! Or at least Wake Up Call Deeks as peakae suggested.

      Like

  11. Thank again for a wonderful review Karen. Unfortunately I don’t feel comfortable commenting anymore because after last week I am quite upset that I seem to have offended some with my comments regarding Kensi and they way she reacted to Deeks in the last episode. These are only my opinons and how I feel about an episode and the characters. I certainly don’t lecture or expect everyone to agree with me. We all have different opinions and that is great. I love this site and will continue to support silently from the sidelines but I wont be commenting anymore which I am sad about. All the contributors do a wonderful job on this site. Take care and thanks again. On a side note on Spoiler TV website Eric Christian Olsen is a finalist in Performer of the month. I thought some would like to vote for him because he deserves some acknowledgement.

    Like

    • Donna Marie please don’t do that; your insight, opinion, thoughts, feelings, etc. is what makes this site so fun. I feel I’m the cause of your reluctance and I’m sorry about that; I can’t change what happened but we can move forward. So please continue to share with us. Your opinion matters. Actually I’m really curious as to how you viewed the last episode; there is no right or wrong concerning how we feel or think.
      Please reconsider your decision! Please!

      Like

    • please reconsider.
      I hope you decide to continue,
      I enjoy your contributions.
      the current story line is a very difficult subject and brings a lot of personal feelings to the surface.
      I hope you will take it as an emotionally charged conversation and not a personal attack.
      this intense drama has a lot of people on edge.
      stick around please, your thoughts are valued.

      Like

    • Donna Marie,
      I do hope that you will reconsider
      your decision, like I did last week.
      I just want you to know that I
      appreciate your opinions and
      the diversity of everyone else’s
      opinions!
      All points of view are valid and
      matter.
      Raven

      Like

  12. needed a break from the political rock throwing that has infested the media this week for something nice and calming…..like discussing the proper way to care for a loved one who is recovering from a debilitating injury and if both parties are doing enough and acting properly…
    …what, you mean to tell me this a hot button topic….darn, who would have thought.

    this is a tough topic that many of us have witnessed or lived through. it is a testament to the show that with good storytelling and characters we are invested in we tend to look for comparisons to the real life issues we have dealt with. However, this tends to bring strong opinions and raw emotion to the surface.

    I am not right, have no answers and few suggestions…..just opinions based on personal experiences….

    So, with that being said….as they say in on Star Trek…..here I cluelessly go where no one was dumb enough to go before……..or something like that.

    being a caregiver or just providing support for someone with a debilitating injury is an constant balancing act.
    you need to stay positive because you want to lift their spirits, but not to the point that they feel you are discounting their very real concerns.
    you want to talk honestly with them, but not depress them further
    you want to visit and keep them company, but not to the point they feel smothered.
    you want to help them with things, but not to the point that the feel you don’t think the can do anything by themselves
    you tend to not eat right, your sleep patterns are off, you spend way too much time in bad chairs
    you give up or reduce the things that provide stress relief for yourself, exercise suffers, time to decompress suffers….it is a bad mix.
    although you may not be the one physically injured, how they react makes a big difference on you as well. you invest so much into this situation both physically and emotionally, that sometimes you really need something back.
    A smile and a “glad to see you” may be all you get, but they matter.
    a little positive feedback is important, sometimes it is all you have to hold onto.
    it is confirmation that you are doing the right thing, and what you are doing matters.
    sometimes it is all you have.

    Like

  13. a few thoughts.
    lack of Anna was nice,
    the teams support for Deeks was refreshing to see
    having the wonder twins interrupt the Hetty, Sam, Deeks conversation was a little cliche’ and I would have liked to see another 15 seconds of the conversation,
    I know it is a split decision around here, but I think Callen undercover was week and mailed in
    his suspect didnt even believe him and new something was up.
    would hate to see Grainger go… the old curmudgeon is growing on me
    the shark biopsy could have been shorter, it didnt provide anything extra except for more work for the props dept, could have gotten the same info out quicker and took up time that could have been used for another scene or an extension to one of the others…..like the Hetty, Sam, Deeks conversation.
    the episodes are so short anyway, the extended shark scene at the opening and the whole would you rather thing went a little too long in my opinion. not bad at all, but the time could have been used better elsewhere.
    the Densi scenes were fantastic. regardless if they went the way i wanted them to work out…..they were wonderfully done.
    Dani and Eric were perfect and brought so much emotion it was , just….heartbreaking.

    Like

  14. how I see the Kensi-Deeks thing….
    Kensi pushing herself and over doing it is understandable
    at least she allowed Deeks to take her back, and her final request was softened in tone from her angrier second time she said it
    she allowed Deeks to help her into bed. she is angry and frustrated, but at the situation and not Deeks…that’s a good thing.
    I do wish she would have said something like ” I will marry you when I can walk into your arms” or something like that…….but I get her reaction.
    Deeks, as a care giver, really needs some form of a positive reaction to his presence so he knows he is doing the right thing.
    he is not far from an emotional collapse
    Kensi’s blank, disconnected stare and response to his arrival was heartbreaking, like she wasnt even glad to see him.
    he did work hard and get a smile.
    I did like that he raised his tone when he said “stop” and she allowed him to finish.

    sometimes, as a best friend, it our job to tell a friend when they are being an idiot….right.
    not being harsh or specific, just in general, sometimes they need to be reeled in a little for their own good

    at some point down the road in her recovery, I would like to see her ask Deeks ” hey, where is that ring, loverboy….” or something to let him know she is ready and the answer will be yes this time.

    Like

  15. Karen, Thank you for your wonderful and perceptive
    review. I think that Frank Military started the episode
    with amazing and contrasting images: first the discovery
    of the body in the shark’s belly and then Granger being
    slid into the MRI scanner’s belly.
    Daniela and Eric Christian were incredible again, I am
    deeply touched how dedicated to- and invested they are
    in Kensi and Deeks. As Kensi has started with her therapy
    now, it is gruelling and grim. But as Dr. Miller pointed out
    her fellow patients are all walking a rocky path too. The
    episode left me with a profound sadness. Kensi and
    Deeks love each other truly and deeply but are both
    very scared. It is was so heartwrenching and my heart
    went out to both of them. As after thinking about it
    again, Kensi is in a too dark and bad place. She has
    been pinned under a helicopter and was thus gravely
    injured. She has always been very much her father’s
    daughter, and wanted to be the best in what she did.
    And she has always faced her challenges. But this
    is too big and she is truly lost. I do not know if
    breaking down in Deeks’s arms and admitting/
    accepting her vulnerability and first letting Deeks
    see it would offer a breakthrough for Kensi. Perhaps
    a psychiatrist could help her.
    The team continues to be wonderfully supportive of
    Deeks and I loved the scene between Hetty, Deeks
    and Sam.
    I liked the case of the week, and Chris O’Donnell was
    excellent and assured. And I very much appreciated
    David Paul Olsen’s short but memorable guest part
    as Sam’s old Seal buddy.
    But I am very concerned about Miguel Ferrer. I, too
    had noticed how he slurred his speech for quite a
    while now. And he looks so gaunt. I suspect and
    fear that either Hetty or Granger will sacrifice her-/
    himself in a confrontration with the mole.
    But I continue to appreciate how wonderfully the
    writers have developed Granger into a father figure.
    And I liked how Granger saw to it that Deeks did
    not quit.
    I am thinking about writing a story about a scene
    between Kensi and Hetty. Because I think that
    there are things which Hetty needs to tell to Kensi.
    Raven

    Like

    • Raven thanks for your comment. I would enjoy seeing Kensi break down and allow herself to be helped by Deeks, but I’m just not sure it’s in her nature, or in the writers’ plans. I guess we’ll see!

      Like

    • Kensi did allow herself to break down in Deeks’ arms in Afghanistan at the end of Spoils of War and again in the boat shed following the interrogation scene.
      Maybe one more time wouldn’t hurt…

      Like

      • Ed,
        You are right how Kensi allowed herself to
        break down in Deeks’s arms at the end
        of “Spoils of War” and then at the boat shed
        again. But I mean an emotional breakdown
        on a much bigger scale, as the crash and
        her grave injuries have flung her totally out
        of orbit. Her confidence, strength, all her
        hopes, dreams and certainties have been
        thoroughly shaken and shattered.
        Deeks still does not know or realise how much
        she panicked and how distraught she became
        when she saw the gentleman with the walker.
        Or the impact of her other fellow patients on
        her. For her part, she is not whole anymore
        and she feels worthless. His proposal hurt
        her incredibly as she is dependent on
        others, can’t stand or walk and has to use
        a wheelchair.
        I do know not if the writers will show such an
        emotional breakdown. As I do not know how
        they will portray the further development of
        Kensi’s recovery.
        But I would like to add how I greatly appreciate
        how Karen, Gayle, Lindy and Divergent have
        captured Kensi’s and Deeks’s voices, emotions,
        fears, thoughts so beautifully in Kensi’s Journal,
        Deeks’s Surf Log, the Fanfiction stories and the
        Drabbles.
        Raven

        Like

        • I agree with a lot of what you said, but maybe I look at her past a little differently.
          Here is why. She survived the emotional trauma of Afghanistan and her lack of control while being held because of her strong will and always looking for a way to make the best out of a situation….that there is always hope… a chance for improvement. you just have to keep fighting.

          Secondly, Kensi is a military brat, growing up on base. Spending years on base, between the medal ceremonies, rehab on the athletic fields and just being around,…she has been exposed to strong able bodied military personnel returning wounded. She has seen them honored, seen them fight to recover, and seen them live their lives….
          So I guess I struggle to see how she would consider someone in a walker as not being whole any more, being worthless, or not being deserving of a relationship and love.
          I just don’t see it.
          They should be look at as valiant, full of courage and determination… not as less than a whole person and in need of pity. She knows better and I am sure was raised better.
          Yes she needs to accept it, but accepting where you are now and accepting where you will end up are 2 distinctly different things. just like the cave was for her…she WILL fight. I am sure of it.

          Kensi needs express her fears and concerns to Deeks and they need a good talk. …Preferably a conversation that has some depth and is not interrupted by one of the writers ridiculous cliche’ endings like Nell and /or Eric interrupting or his phone ringing. Been there, done that….let the kids talk it out please.

          Like

          • Ed,
            I understand about Kensi’s background
            and upbringing. But I definitely did not
            intend to say that Kensi considers someone
            in a walker as worthless! I just tried to express
            how much she panicked when she saw the
            gentleman with the walker. And if she feels
            that they should have left her in Syria, I
            think that it might be an indication that she
            feels not whole anymore because of her
            spinal chord injury and paralysis.
            But I agree with you completely about what
            you pointed out about acceptance and how
            the writers still do not let Kensi truly communicate
            with Deeks about her concerns and fears.
            Raven

            Like

            • I agree with a lot of what you said, and I poached a couple of words from your comments for dramatic effect. I did not intend to put words in your mouth.
              I see her having those thoughts, but they should be fleeting and not all consuming. Yes thoughts of despair will come up, that’s normal, but I would think she would move past it and get to work…( recovery-wise that is). out of sheer determination. She has seen others done it, she can too.
              that is how I would expect her to handle it.
              Maybe she is still behind in the whole processing it thing, and that is all.

              The conversation needs to happen, and soon.

              Maybe it goes like this:
              Kensi- I saw the guy in the walker and I panicked, it just really hit home. that could be me forever. I just don’t feel complete, I cant do things for myself, I feel worthless…a burden…I am just not me anymore. I don’t want you to be stuck with me out of guilt or something.

              Deeks- Why, because you saw a guy in a walker. Do you think he is less than a whole person, worthless ?

              Kensi- Of course not, that’s not what I meant.

              Deeks- Then what did you mean, that he is such a burden to his family, how could his wife and kids still love him in this condition… that they would be better off with out him in their lives…. is that what you meant?

              Kensi- No, no, that’s not what i meant, I would never feel that way…I , just ….( followed by lots of tears)

              Deeks- Then snap the hell out of it and fight. I will fight this with you, by your side every day.
              I will be with you every step of the way. All I need is for you to let me. I love you….

              Kensi,-( through tears),….Ok,..I love you too…

              ….notice the COMPLETED conversation …with a complete lack of interruption from Nell, Eric, or a stupid cell phone…..
              attention writers….please take note…occasionally, every once in a great while, a couple does get a chance to actually finish a conversation,…please allow them to do so.

              Liked by 3 people

              • NCISLA writers, PLEASE make this happen. That would be fantastic.

                Like

              • Ed,
                I was not offended by what you said.
                But I like your suggestion/draft for a
                conversation between Kensi and
                Deeks very much. Perhaps you should
                expand this to a story and then submit
                it to WikiDeeks?
                And I understand what you mean about
                interruptions, I hate those too.
                Raven

                Like

  16. Thank you for the continued opportunity to read everyone’s take on the episode and for the chance to give my opinion. It’s a very enjoyable way to pass the time between episodes.

    I confess that I ff through any scene that wasn’t Deeks or Densi. I’ll get around to watching the entire episode this week.

    It’s understandable that Kensi has been acting like she has, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it or that needs to stop. I could never stand her stubbornness and I saw the trying to stand up and falling scene as classic Kensi. She’s gonna do what she wants and the consequences be damned. When I saw that scene I kinda wished that fall would have resulted in a setback to her recovery. Perhaps it would teach her patience, humility and grace. Perhaps I need to step back and not watch the show because her behavior is driving me crazy. Good for the physical therapist to call her out as there are people worse off. Geez, apparently I’m missing the empathy gene when Kensi’s concerned.

    Like

  17. I want a scene where Deeks feels needed, loved and some sort of acknowledgement from Kensi that he is an amazing man for always being by her side no matter what. I feel that short of the Internal Affairs investigation, Kensi isn’t really all in.

    How can she say no to that perfect angelic face? I wouldn’t be able to.

    Like

    • Kensi did say , this is not fair to you, so she is thinking of him, just probably not clearly. I would have really liked the scene to end, with Deeks saying to Kensi, if our situations were reversed, would you love me less? I think that would have been a more powerful ending.

      Like

      • I was thinking the same thing about situations being reversed. I wish Deeks would have asked her that as well. Or have Deeks call her out for doing the same thing Jack did to her to him. Kensi knows what it’s like to be pushed away as the “caregiver” when Jack was sick with ptsd. She thought about what more she could have done to help Jack. Knowing the pain of being unable to help your loved one, she’s pushing Deeks away. That’s what’s not fair. He doesn’t get a choice and if she doesn’t know that Deeks doesn’t feel stuck taking care of her then she doesn’t deserve him. I hope she lets Deeks in and doesn’t turn him away only for her to let the new character Sullivan help her through her recovery. Deeks looking in from outside would be awful. I’m hoping that since the producers worked long and hard on getting audience invested in Densi, they will deliver the happy ending.

        Like

        • I do hope, that after dealing with Jack’s recovery and living through his choices, that Kensi eventually realizes that she shouldn’t try to make Deeks’ decision for him.
          She is on the other end of the process, but thinking of making the same decision that Jack did that hurt her so….

          Like

        • oooohhh, Daisy,
          after reading your thoughts involving Kensi’s recovery…
          I am now disappointed in Kensi, already hate Sullivan and am mad at you for putting such a horrible thought in my head…awwww man….
          I am going to go stomp on a flower, kick a butterfly and throw rocks at a rainbow…..
          then cry myself to sleep……..I never even thought of that scenario….and now I am depressed….
          sniff, sniff.
          thank you for the wonderful thought process….I think.
          that would be horrible
          I need a tissue

          Liked by 1 person

        • obvious sarcasm noted above.
          Daisy…
          you made me have the same reaction that Kensi had with Deeks whole 50 shades of Hetty comments…..I cant get it out of my head. that would be a awful twist wouldn’t it.
          I am trying to have a little faith in the writers, but I struggle to believe they will stop putting isssus between the couple instead of around them and allow them to work through things together like the rest of the pairs of partners are allowed to do.
          thank you, a interesting thought.

          Like

          • Ed,
            I would also like to respond to what you
            said in your previous comments.
            I agree with you that Deeks is near
            emotional exhaustion and that he
            desperately needs a positive response
            from Kensi. From the way Daniela
            portrayed Kensi in “Crazy Train”, I
            think that Kensi is almost breaking
            down completely. His proposal only
            aggravated her intense turmoil, and
            her anguish is too extreme. As the
            writers put them on different planets
            now and put a too big obstacle between
            them in shape of Kensi’s grave injuries.
            After the beautiful way in which
            Kensi’s and Deeks’s relationship
            was developed during the previous
            season the writers have completely
            turned it upside down again.
            And Kensi’s grave injuries and
            eventual recovery pose the
            most severe test to them. Just
            as much as Deeks needs to have
            a positive reaction from Kensi, she
            desperately needs some progress
            in her situation which can inspire her.
            I try to keep faith in the writers, but
            it is difficult and the tips of the veil
            which were lifted by Daniela and
            Eric comfort me more.
            I dearly hope that the writers will
            let Kensi and Deeks work out
            things together and not apart!
            But I think that it would be stimulating
            for Kensi to interact with her fellow
            patients. Perhaps that’s the reason
            why the writers are bringing in Sullivan.
            Or perhaps there may be a very dark
            reason.
            To get back for a moment to the case
            of the week. For my part, I think that
            if Granger had allowed Deeks to go
            undercover at the mental hospital.
            I do not doubt that Deeks would have
            been extraordinary at that assignment.
            Raven

            Like

        • Daisy, I always enjoy reading your passionate comments. I do feel empathy towards Kensi, but of course you’re so right that Kensi is pushing Deeks away just like Jack did to her- and just like Deeks did post-Ascension. I feel like she really needs more perspective, like the therapist tried to do just a little by pointing out other struggling patients to her. I also feel like she’s playing catch-up, that Deeks had however long she was in a coma to process things and she didn’t get to use that time, and also that Deeks feared she might never wake up so to him, the present circumstance is actually a huge improvement over Comatose Kensi. They just aren’t on the same page, and it’s painful to watch them struggle. I do have faith that the writers (well, I’m not actually sure about Joe Sachs this week) will take good care of them in the end (fingers crossed).

          Liked by 1 person

  18. Agree completely about appreciating the lack of “tidy endings” to the Densi scenes. Life rarely wraps itself in a bow, especially not situations like these.

    Like

  19. Absolutely fantastic discussion! I so enjoy reading everyone’s thoughts.

    Like

  20. you know , something just struck me….no it wasn’t a bus or lightning…
    As I try to think through Kensi’s mental state, I think back to the scene where she fell.
    When the aid came over Kensi immediately became clear and focused. She sounded sure and together and was able to steer the conversation the way she wanted ( to keep herself out of trouble with the PT and doctors obviously.) She even turned on that beautiful smile of hers a couple of times ( when the guy was watching).
    Now I am even more concerned, that for the most part, she cant even be bothered to “fake it” and smile at Deeks, appear positive or even fully engaged.
    most troubling, I think.

    Like

    • I’m not as concerned, Ed. I think Kensi knows she doesn’t need to fake it with Deeks. She is confident that she can be her currently unhappy self with him and he will still keep coming back. I think that’s because she is confident in his love for her. I think we are often most hurtful to the people we love and trust the most because we know they can and will take it when we need it give it. Obviously this is not what anyone wants all the time in a relationship, but in extenuating circumstances (which this is), I can accept it and forgive it.

      Liked by 1 person

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