The Top 3 Granger Danger Scenes
Miguel Ferrer’s Assistant Director Owen Granger began as a tough character to warm up to. Gruff and seemingly uncaring, he provided a foil for Hetty and her team, someone they distrusted and disliked. Memorably at the end of one episode (“Fallout”) where he’d been kept in the dark about their plans, he disgustedly told them, “You all deserve each other.” But over time, he started to show he really cared. He offered words of advice and looked out for them. Plus, he consistently had the show’s funniest one-liners, delivered with an utterly straight face. It was that deadpan delivery that made me first start to love him.
At the first NCISLA Magazine meet-up, attendees had the opportunity to submit advance questions to the cast, some of which were answered via video. I was lucky enough to have Miguel answer one of my questions, about whether he thought Granger was misunderstood. I don’t remember the details of his answer, but I remember he did think so, and very sweetly spoke about his character. Miguel’s passing has left a huge hole. He’ll be sorely missed.
So at Cladani’s excellent suggestion, let’s use this listicle format to celebrate some of our favorite Granger moments.
I have to admit to having less time than usual to research this topic, so my list is likely quite incomplete. You all will have to help fill it in! In an effort to keep things simple, and closer to what I’m likely to remember, I’ve limited it to scenes that involved both Deeks and Granger.
The Top 3
In reverse order of importance, my Top 3 is…
#3. Deeks “not really” backing up Granger in “War Cries”
“War Cries,” written by R. Scott Gemmill and directed by James Hanlon, came in the midst of Kensi’s Season 5 Afghanistan arc. At the time, Deeks was worried sick about his partner and blaming himself for her dangerous reassignment. Early in the episode, Granger makes an unexpected appearance at OSP and Deeks quickly pounces on him for information. He’s also quick to question why Granger would have left Kensi without back-up and offers to go himself. Granger in turn mocks Deeks’ ability to function in a war-torn country halfway around the world. It’s a great scene, but I think it’s merely a set-up for my #3 pick.
That scene comes later in the episode when Deeks invites Granger into the field in a continuing effort to get information about his partner. Deeks tells him he’s “not really” in communication with Kensi. Granger tells Deeks there’s “not really” anything he needs to know about Kensi’s mission. A few moments later, Deeks gets some payback by allowing a bad guy to force Granger to his knees before coming to his aid. Granger asks him if he couldn’t have come out from hiding a little sooner, and Deeks replies, “Not really.” This scene was also in the running for The Top 3 Cheekiest Moments because of Deeks’ bold behavior with the Assistant Director.
But I don’t like it merely for the humor and for getting to see Deeks get the upper hand for a moment. It’s a great scene because of how directly Deeks addresses Granger when he tells him, “Kensi and I aren’t just partners. She’s my friend… and I look out for her. And so I’m asking you man to man, is there something I should know about?” Unfortunately Granger doesn’t know what’s really going on either (thanks for nothing Hetty!). Deeks doesn’t learn anything new, but it was satisfying to see him be so direct – and cheeky – with his boss’s boss.
#2. The hug at the end of “Black Wind”
Written by Joe Sachs and directed by Dennis Smith, this scene almost made the top spot, but I figured I’d keep the list in reverse chronological order. Deeks has just spent the last part of this episode trying to protect a mother and her son from cartel bad guys. He and Kensi have brought them over the border into the U.S. with promises to them and their father-in-law/grandfather that they’ll all be kept safe. Unfortunately he didn’t really have any power to make good on his many promises. When ICE arrives to take granddad into custody, and they learn that mother and child will be sent back to Mexico where they’ll likely be killed, Deeks is beside himself with worry and feelings of guilt (I sense a theme here!), something not helped by Granger’s chastising words (“Don’t make another promise you can’t keep”) or those of the little boy (“You said you were the good guys!).
But give the Assistant Director a few hours and he works some bureaucratic magic behind the scenes and makes Deeks’ promises a reality. Deeks is so filled with relief and gratitude that he hugs Granger in one of the sweetest team scenes ever.
“Oh my god, I’m gonna hug you,” he announces to Granger.
“No you’re not” Granger replies.
Deeks contradicts him with a big “Yes I am,” as he gives him a big, genuine hug. Granger seems completely surprised and befuddled by what he must see as rather unprofessional behavior.
“You’re giving me a hug,” he tells Deeks. But he returns it. Granger’s deadpan expression makes the moment funny, but we also know that Deeks’ action has touched him. With the whole team looking on, it’s symbolically a big moment, as if Deeks is pulling Granger into the team. I know it was a big moment for me as a viewer and as someone who had a very hard time warming up to Granger. If Deeks felt this way about him, then it made me believe I should too.
#1. The Granger pep talk in “Home Is Where the Heart Is”
“Home Is Where the Heart Is,” written by Joseph C. Wilson and directed by Eric A. Pot, comes early in Season 8, at a time when Deeks was spending most of his time worried sick about Kensi and doubting his ability to help her recover. Just after Deeks tells Anna that they refer to the Assistant Director as “Granger Grumpypants” or “Herr Geezemeister”, Granger walks into the gym and tells him (not for the first time) that “Assistant Director will suffice.” But Granger’s unfazed. He ignores the digs and pulls Deeks aside to offer wise words of advice and encouragement. The “two dudes on a bench” have a great heart to heart. Granger really makes an effort to get Deeks to talk about his feelings, and he tells him just what he needs to hear to be able to handle a combative Kensi later in the episode. Granger’s thoughtfulness and caring is so clear here.
Granger: So how’s it going?
Deeks: Kensi’s got a long journey ahead of her, but she’ll get there.
Granger: Mmm. But how’s Deeks doing?… Listen, you gotta roll with this a little bit here, help me out.
Deeks: Um, honestly I don’t know. At this point I can’t tell if I’m, if I’m comforting her or just myself.
Granger: Well if it comforts both, does it matter?
Deeks: No, no I guess it doesn’t, does it? You know what’s crazy about this is that, you know, we say these things like ‘we’ll go to the ends of the earth for somebody,’ but then you’re called on, and you realize you don’t know how. And I don’t… I don’t know how.
Granger: You’re at a place in your life right now where you have to realize you’re not just responsible for yourself. You’re responsible for all the lives you touch.
Deeks: Yeah, no, I realize that, and I’m, and I’m trying. Kensi, God bless her, she puts on a good face. I just don’t know if I’m doing a great job.
Granger: The only way you’ll fail her is if you quit. So don’t quit. You got this.
Deeks: Thank you, Assistant Director.
Granger: All my friends call me Granger.
Deeks’ emotions here were not unlike those he was experiencing back in “War Cries,” but we can see a huge change in Granger’s demeanor. He’s come so far with the whole team, Deeks included, to the point where he wants them to think of him as a friend. In the opening Granger Danger scene in “War Cries,” Deeks calls out to Granger by his last name: “Granger!” Just like in this scene, Granger responds with, “Assistant Director will suffice.” What a contrast with his last line here. What a great arc for his character to have traveled, from potential enemy to a real friend, a father figure even. It’s a tribute to the wonderful performance of Miguel Ferrer. Granger told Deeks that he was responsible for all the lives he touched, and on behalf of those of us at wikiDeeks, I want to thank Miguel for touching our lives with his work as Owen Granger.
Also in the Running
I considered a few other notable scenes, among them:
- Calling out Granger for getting fooled by the “Crimeleon,” who “is very, very good,” according to Granger (written by Frank Military and directed by Terrence O’Hara). “Good enough to have fooled you,” replies Deeks. (Also in the running for The Top 3 Cheekiest Moments)
- Bonding over Swedish nachos (which I had remembered incorrectly as Norwegian tacos, LOL) in “Forest for the Trees” (written by Gil Grant and directed by Diana Valentine)
- Granger ordering Densi to stop discussing circumcision and their future ninja assassins in “The Seventh Child” (written and directed by Frank Military)
- Granger reassuring Deeks that Kensi is “doing good over there” and that “She’s a big girl. She can take care of herself” in “War Cries”
- Granger staring as Densi babble about their need to carpool, whether Deeks wears his underwear on the inside of his pantaloons, and being “just partners” in “The 3rd Choir” (written by Dana Scanlon & R. Scott Gemmill, directed by Diana Valentine)
- OK, no Deeks in the vicinity, but I have to mention the hospital scene with Kensi’s mom in “Black Market” (written by Jordana Lewis Jaffe and directed by James Hanlon)
We’ll return to our regularly scheduled Top 3 next week, with The Top 3 Most Romantic Scenes. In the meantime, help us flesh out our list of the best Granger moments in the Comments below.
Or, return to the last Top 3, the Top 3 Funniest Scenes.
Great list! You definitely got the ones that first popped into my mind. But can’t forget from An Unlocked Mind, when it is revealed that Sam lied to the FBI so that Deeks and Kensi could be retrieved from the cult. First Callen says he told Sam to do it, then Granger comes out out with this gem: “This fish stinks from the head, it was my plan, my orders. I’m a megalomaniac, just can’t be stopped. Be gentle with the cuffs, I have delicate wrists.” (Followed by the Nell comment about how she threatened to beat up Sam). Great teamwork, great scene.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Always love your lists. One moment, or line that first got my attention before I’d really warmed up to Granger is from Ascension. The moment when he assures Siderov’s henchwoman in the ambulance that she’s fine but ‘the bad news is these little piggies are going to jail’ really made me realize there was more to Granger than I originaly thought.
Nice list, my fave is the Swedish nachos.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great list, Karen. All right on, but it is your number one that touches me the most. That scene was such a surprise. Granger had surely read Deeks’ file and knew about his childhood and his lack of a father for most of his life. I can only imagine what Deeks must have felt after Granger pulled him aside for that talk, even though he joked about it at first. It was as close to a father/son talk as Deeks might have ever had. It had to have touched him deeply. I know it did me. Miguel Ferrer will live on through his work. So glad we had the chance to have him on our favorite show.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Many thanks for this Top Three, Karen, I’m happy you took my suggestion so quickly and dedicated this week’s post to the amazing character of Owen Granger and the awesome actor who brought him to life.
I was sure Wikideeks would find its special way to honor the memory of Miguel Ferrer who gave so much to NCIS:LA making Granger beloved and irreplaceable.
Who cast Miguel for this role was a genius. The way he interacted with the other characters was unique – both at the beginning when he was the cold and detached Assistant Director with a heart of stone and did everything possible to be “hated” by the viewers, and especially of late, when he had become more of a friend, a father figure, a person the team could count on because they trusted him and were sure he was on their side no matter what.
I have so many moments in mind that I really can’t choose this time.
His character will be dearly missed and I think the team will need to find a new balance and different dynamics.
And if one day in the show we are gifted with a Densi wedding, closing my eyes I’ll surely picture Granger walking Kensi down the aisle instead of whoever will have this privilege that day.
LikeLiked by 1 person
This is just great Karen, thank you.
You know, the usual theme is that we gradually grew to love Granger.
But the humor delivered with that perfectly straight face, deadpan delivery and subtle understated speech was always there from day one.
He was such a wonderful actor and immersed himself into the character immediately, making it his own…Simply fantastic.
So, I thought, since you did such a great job hitting the favorites, that I would look for something that was always there, before we appreciated it from the character. He was great from day one, but we saw him as an outsider and a threat to our team. Thus many of us didn’t recognize or appreciate the humor….but good grief he was funny.
Right from the beginning….in Watchers.
In the boat shed…
GRANGER- Special Agent G.Callen.
CALLEN- Who are you?
GRANGER- The direct approach.
You know, that’s an interesting tactic unless, of course, you walk directly into a trap.
CALLEN- Is that what this is?
GRANGER- Could be.
CALLEN- I know you.
GRANGER- Not nearly as well as I know you.
CALLEN- You know them, too?
GRANGER- That’s great, you brought your entire team with you.
Unfortunately, it makes it so much easier to blow you all up.
SAM- You twitch.I shoot.
GRANGER- Is that a catch phrase?
CALLEN- Who are you?
GRANGER- Owen Granger. I’m your new assistant director.
HETTY- I told him this was a bad idea.
But he’s the boss.
CALLEN- What the hell was all this about?
GRANGER- I wanted to see this team in action.
SAM- You almost saw this team kill you.
GRANGER- That would have been awkward.
CALLEN- We were in the middle of an operation that could now be blown.
GRANGER- I was listening in.If anything, I probably saved Blye from having to fake more than her identity.
DEEKS- I’m sure he means a headache.
GRANGER- So, Operations Center briefing in 20 minutes.
I’ll answer all your questions and concerns.
KENSI- It’s almost 4 o’clock in the morning.
GRANGER- I must still be on East Coast time.
In that case, make it 30.
Give you a chance to grab some coffee.
I’m gonna take a nonfat latte with an extra shot.
How can you not love it.
what a way to start off, right.
He also told Eric to “swing by wardrobe and have them fit you with some big boy pants”
LikeLiked by 1 person
one more, up in Opps.
ERIC- So, Assistant Director Granger, you moving to the West Coast permanently?
GRANGER- They don’t let you out much, do they, Beale?
ERIC- Why do you say that?
GRANGER- Lucky guess.
That and you kind of remind me of one of those Twilight kids..
I just love these
LikeLiked by 1 person
You hit the big moments, but I also enjoyed the deadpan one liners from Granger.
…From things like ” Those two Meerkats you have working in ops are getting stranger.”
to “It’s still early, but that’s my pick for understatement of the year.”
There are just so many of them that make me smile.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh, I am laughing with some of the comments I read, and with some of the funny one-liners Granger threw earlier in the series. I just watched the episode when he first joined the team, and it was hilarious to see him like that from this perspective, now that I like his character, and understand the importance of A.D. Owen Granger to the team.
Miguel’s death hit me hard, and I started crying the moment I read about it, and I couldn’t gather myself in a while. It was really hard, and I still can’t believe he is gone. I agree with Cladani, whoever cast Miguel for playing Granger did a great job. I liked him as Garret Macy in “Crossing Jordan” some years ago, and I still remember him and how he ran the pathology, and he really was a great actor. He was in two of my favorite shows, and I will be more than grateful for what he did as an actor with his characters in them. He will be greatly missed. And I am asking myself how it will be without him now, that he is dead. Somehow he grew on all of us, and it will be hard to watch the episodes without him being there, since he was such an integral part of the team.
As for the scenes, my number one scene is with the Swedish nachos, because it was so awesome that Granger liked them when no one did.
Number two is the hug in “Black Wind”. That and some other cool Deeks scenes make that episode my most favorite of all from the whole tv show.
Number three is the talk when he told him all his friends called him Granger.
That was the sweetest and the saddest thing I’ve heard, because it was somehow emotional and funny at the same time, because he was actually calling on Deeks’ nicknames for him.
It was a friendship that could’ve been further explored, but Miguel left us. Let’s hope that he is watching everything down here and he knows how much we respect him and his character (this coming from a fan that didn’t like Granger from the beginning, but damn, he grew on me)
LikeLiked by 1 person
This is not a Deeks/Granger scene per se, but one of my all time favorite Granger scenes was in Ascension, when Callen talks about the cost of the mission being too high. Granger reminds him what’s at stake, and Callen replies that he’s aware and keeps doing the math in his head. Granger responds “so do I.” It’s one of those moments that show the conflict between the job and an agent’s basic humanity, and Miguel pulled it off so very well.
Though Granger was written, I believe, as the foil to the group and probably as a replacement for Linda Hunt should she decide to leave, I’ve always enjoyed Granger’s dry crankiness. He was the Oscar the Grouch of NCISLA. I love all your choices; I can’t improve upon them but I will add a quick comment.
The humor that they have for Beale irritates me to no end. This to me is in the category of stupid to the point of idiotic and insulting to our intelligence. Slipping on a banana comic relief. I prefer the dry, sarcastic wit of Granger. One of my favorite scenes was when Granger and Kensi were in Afghanistan waiting to do the call to Ops and she is messing with her hair. She’s explaining she has helmet hair and he replies “I wouldn’t know about that.” 🙂 I would love someone to put together a very long, very thorough youtube video of his one liners and asides. All of them.
I think a memorable interaction between Granger and the Wonder Twins in OPS last season was this one:
Granger: The only guarantee in life is that one day it ends
(he rubs his chin, turns and walks away; OPS door closes)
Beale: And that’s why his job at Hallmark didn’t work out
I remember I found it so hilarious at the time. Now after Miguel’s recent passing and knowing the tough battle he must have fought for quite a long time, I wonder how difficult and sad for him it was to deliver that line and how personal it must have sounded to everybody present. My respect and admiration for this man who did his job the best he could until the very end is immense.
Thank you everyone for the wonderful examples and remembrances. I loved reading them all, and was struck by the fantastic mix of hilarious one-liners and genuinely sweet gestures and actions on Granger’s part. We’ll miss Miguel/Granger so much.