A Marty Deeks who’s nervous or uncomfortable is often a Marty Deeks who rambles. These “incessant babbles,” as Snyder described them in “Wanted,” can be hilarious. But they can also be revealing, giving us a real time stream of consciousness glimpse of what he’s really thinking. These unedited thoughts frequently show us his sweet or vulnerable side. At the very least, they tell us what’s really on his mind.
I should say that I don’t have a hard and fast definition of a “ramble.” I just know it when I see it. The only rule here is that we’re talking about Deeks. Other characters have been known to ramble, but none of them do it quite as charmingly as Eric Christian Olsen’s Deeks.
The Top 3
In reverse order of importance, my Top 3 is…
#3. Discovering the sex dungeon in “Neighborhood Watch”
Alright, Deeks’ reaction to seeing Brett and Polina’s sex dungeon is not revealing of his softer side. It’s just hilarious. It’s so well acted by Eric Christian Olsen that it feels completely improvised, although judging by the high quality of Christina M. Kim’s entire “Neighborhood Watch” script, I can only assume it was largely scripted. Right from the first moment, where he can’t even get “Raise your… hands” out of his mouth before he’s completely distracted (and who wouldn’t be?), every line is delivered perfectly.
Deeks: Actually, I would like to know what you were thinking. I mean, mostly out of professional curios-… I can read it in the report… Listen, Brett, you do some good work. I mean, this is some fine, fine, fine craftsmanship. As much as I would like to stay, ’cause I really would like to stay. [To Polina] I see you… Rain check.
#2. Talking about trust with Sam and Callen in “Bounty”
Dave Kalstein’s “Bounty” opens with a Deeks and Kensi bickering about the lack of trust in their partnership, and a lecture from Sam about the importance of gaining that trust. By the end, Deeks has opened up to Kensi by offering to let her hold his gun, an important moment in their partnership. But the final scene, where Deeks shows Sam and Callen that he’s taken Sam’s words to heart, is one that features a sweetly sincere, albeit rambling, Deeks. Sadly he’s rambling about a fictional story Hetty made up to teach Densi a lesson, so Sam and Callen don’t take him seriously. Even so, Deeks is the star of this scene, both for his comic babbling and his genuine effort to have a serious moment with the older agents.
Deeks: No, I just, what I, what I wanted to say is that I heard about whole 2007 New Year’s Day and with the Armenian mob and they came in and dragged… This actually went better in my head. I’m derailing. Let me finish. Uh, I have a lot of admiration for the trust that you two have in each other… That’s it… OK. Uh, good night.
#1. The Shaolin monk/young bull/charismatic cheetah talk with Hetty in “Unwritten Rule”
I don’t want to like this episode, written by Joseph C. Wilson and Jordana Lewis Jaffe, what with the “let’s take away Deeks’ bike” storyline. I don’t even want to like this scene, given Hetty’s refusal to say more than a few words (and nothing reassuring). But the episode still sits on my DVR, largely because of the opening scene of Deeks on his bike (swoon) and for this spectacular ramble. It reveals a Deeks who’s still struggling to move past his traumatic experience at the hands of Sidorov. His vehement defense of his current health, both physical and mental, is so over the top that we know he’s hiding the shakiness underneath. Plus there’s the big slip about Kensi’s importance to his “emotional center.” He’s funny, sweet, and vulnerable, with additional points for sheer length, which is it earns the top spot as my #1 Ramble.
Deeks: My head is right, I’m feeling good. You know, feeling strong. I could rock out 50 burpies for you right now if you asked me to.
Hetty: How’s your heart?
Deeks: My heart? My heart’s great! Are you kidding me? I’m running sub-five, 30 miles, I got a new road bike, thinking about doing the Malibu Ironman. I’m like a…I’m like a Shaolin monk with a… with a young bull, mixed with, like, a very charismatic cheetah.
Hetty: I meant your emotional center…
Deeks: Okay, all right, let’s just say for the sake of argument that I do follow you. Then, I would say that it’s fine. I’d say that it’s better than fine. I’d say it’s phenomenal. I mean, you heard what I said about the Shaolin monk, right? With the cheetah?… Okay. I understand that you worry about me more than the others. Um, that’s mostly because I’m your favorite. Obviously. Don’t say otherwise. It’ll break my heart. But I want you to know that I’m great. I’m actually… I’m better than great. Kensi’s great.
Hetty: I see.
Deeks: What do you mean, you, you see? Why, did Kensi say something other than that? Because if she said something that contrasted to that, I think it’s because, at this point, well, it’s, it’s difficult to explain. I think it’s personal feelings at…Now… Wow. No. I’m not gonna fall for this. I’m not one of your other little minions. I’m not gonna fall for your Jedi mind tricks.
Also in the Running
Some other excellent rambles that didn’t quite make the Top 3:
- Talking about his talkativeness in “The Job” (Frank Military, Christina M. Kim): What? Was that, uh, that aimed at me? Are you saying that I talk too much? Is that what you’re implying, here? Because, uh, I’ve never got that complaint before. Actually, people say that I don’t talk enough. They say, “You’re really charming. You should talk more. You should double down with that talking, ‘cause…” I’m gonna shut up.
- Getting a job offer from Hetty in “Imposters” (R. Scott Gemmill): This is for me? You want me to…read it…You want me to resign? Well, I-I thought I was doing a good job. Wait. Is this about your Segway? Because if I…
- Distracting the bad guy with some furry accomplices in “Dragon and the Fairy” (Joe Sachs): Hey, come on, get back, come here! I’m so sorry, he got away from me sir. The leash actually broke. I’m so sorry, we were doing some special Pavlovian training and there was some sort of movement in the underbrush, there was some sort of a hedgehog, maybe a rabbit they were running after. I’m so sorry… Monty what are you doing to the nice… No no! Oh, Blackhawk down! I’m so sorry… Rusty, sit down for a second. I’m not going to tolerate your insubordinance! Stop barking! Monty, I’ve got kibble. Uh oh! Oh, I just dropped it all over your face. Monty get away or I will pepper spray you. I’m trying sir. Ohhhh, that’s my bad, I’m so sorry sir. Believe me, it’s totally my fault… Hey, it’s an ice cream truck! That’s gonna wear off, you’ll be fine. Monty, you wanna fudgecicle?, huh, Monty?… Let’s go- fudgcicle!- kitty! Good boy, alright, let’s go hit on some poodles.
- Defending his overheard monologue about his courtroom performance in “Savoir Faire” (Jordana Lewis Jaffe): Hey, so just for the record, to clarify… I wasn’t really, I wasn’t talking to myself… earlier, when I was… that was, kind of, an inner monologue, that I then said out loud, subsequently, which kind of defeats the purpose, but um… Guys?
- Mistakenly telling Kensi about eloping in “Cancel Christmas” (Joseph C. Wilson): I think we have to elope…What? No. I mean, go off alone and spend the holidays alone. Not alone, together. But alone. Not other people there, just you and I.
- Talking about tattoos with Kirkin’s bodyguard in “Wanted” (R. Scott Gemmill): I like your tattoos. I mean, I don’t mean, like I like your tattoos, I just mean that I appreciate their artistic merit because I myself was thinking about getting a tattoo, you know, like a unicorn, except like a really badass unicorn that’s breathing fire and he’s got nunchucks and stuff… I just thought that would be a good idea…
- Trying to get out of a push-up contest with Sam in “Dead Body Politic” (Jordana Lewis Jaffe): Easy Wonder Twins, you’re scaring the old folks… No. I don’t, obviously, I don’t mean old, I mean older. And I don’t mean that from a physical standpoint because obviously you’re… I mean that from a metaphysical standpoint, because you have a much more mature spirit.
It’s so interesting to see which writers emerge on each Top 3 list. I can see here that Jordana Lewis Jaffe and Christina M. Kim write a nicely rambling Deeks. And R. Scott Gemmill, who dominated my list of Densi Banter and made many contributions to Deeks’ cheekiest moments, only shows up once here. He apparently doesn’t see Deeks quite the same way (or maybe I’ve left some examples off my list?).
Next week we’ll switch gears, going from words- lots of rambling words- to actions! We’ll discuss our Top 3 examples of Action!Deeks.
In the meantime, which instances of Rambling Deeks made your Top 3? What examples did I miss altogether?
Or, return to last week’s Top 3, the Top 3 Cheekiest Moments.