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Review: NCISLA “Battle Scars” (S8E21)

With this week’s NCIS: Los Angeles episode “Battle Scars,” we’ve headed into the Season 8 home stretch. And with it, writers Jordana Lewis Jaffe and Andrew Bartels and director James Whitmore, Jr. have given us a strong team episode filled with wisecracks and emotion.

A Case from the Past, A Glimpse of the Future

The case of the week was an involving one featuring “one of their own,” a former team member of Hetty and Chegwidden’s who helped rescue Granger in Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam War. What worked well about the story was that it personally involved a few characters (always a plus), but at the same time remained a full team effort. Everyone got at least a moment or two to show some humor or drama.

All the guest actors were strong, from Carl Lumbly as Langston, John M. Jackson as Chegwidden, and James Remar as Dexter’s dad Bridges, to the ridiculously perky FBI agent played by Erin Way. She spoke like someone from an R. Scott Gemmill banter-heavy script (that’s a compliment) and I loved her. The wisecracks flying everywhere from all these folks were so entertaining!

I could have listened to Jackson and Bridges take on Sam and Callen for the entire hour. In fact, watching them occasionally get the upper hand and watching Agent Morris do the same to everyone she came across was somewhat unusual- our beloved cast usually gets the last word. It was fun to see the tables turned. I don’t think Sam and Callen recognized it, but Chegwidden and Bridges just might have offered them a preview of what they’ll be like if they’re still working together in 25 years. It reminded me of the con artist couple in “Old Tricks” who offered Densi a glimpse into their future.

To counteract all the hilarious dialog, we also had moments of genuine emotion such as when the team learns more about Granger’s fate. While I did find it odd that they hadn’t already been filled in on some of the details, I was moved by their reactions, and really just at the mention of the character. Sam’s description of “sly fox” Granger’s “dry sense of humor” – along with his many skills and “cunning” – compared to Chegwidden and Bridges made me smile in remembrance of Granger’s downright hilarity.

Making this episode part one of a two-parter was key to its success. It allowed the writers to take their time with every scene so that we could sit back and enjoy the banter, as well as take in the emotion evident in many scenes. Knowing they have another episode to get all the plot details covered let Jaffe and Bartels slightly alter the usual proportion of plot to banter and character development. And they did it not on a season finale, or on a big Callen backstory episode, but rather on a rather random story, showing that two parters don’t need to be saved for such “special” stories. In fact, I’ve long wished for more stories to be told this way.

Love and Support, Trauma and Regret

Sam and Callen had the hilarious banter well covered this episode, which allowed Kensi and Deeks to provide a few more emotional moments. It started with a Deeks who’s mysteriously less laid back than normal. At first I thought it was the writers setting up something really dramatic in part two, like either Deeks being nervous about an upcoming proposal or planning on telling Kensi about his confession to Detective Whiting. But then I realized the reason on a second viewing, when I finally recognized the hospital courtyard, the scene of so much heartbreak earlier in the season.

The duo also have a wonderful talk in the cemetery, unfortunately interrupted (what’s new) by the discovery of their victim. Here, as in “767” and even “Queen Pin,” Kensi expresses gratitude for Deeks’ support and concern for his emotional well-being. I love this Kensi, who says what she means and shares her feelings so freely. I also appreciate her persistence in trying to get Deeks to talk about his experience. He’s blown her off twice now, completely minimizing the difficulties he faced (the other time was in “767” when he said he had just been “along for the ride”). It would make for a great scene if Kensi succeeds in getting him to open up- I know Eric Christian Olsen would crush the emotions there, and I think Deeks deserves a chance to express to Kensi how incredibly hard it was (traumatic even) for him to stay strong and positive when he wasn’t sure if Kensi would ever recover, or even survive. If we’re proposal-less in next week’s episode, let’s hope we at least get this kind of juicy emotional scene for Deeks.

Kensi: It was kind of weird being back at the VA Hospital, huh?
Deeks: Uh, yeah, I don’t, I don’t know. Are you, are you OK?
Kensi: Yeah. As long as I’m not goin’ in as a patient, I’m good… Are you OK?
Deeks: What do you mean?
Kensi: Um, well, you have a lot of memories from there too, probably more than me. I was in that coma for weeks but you were awake for all of it.
Deeks: Please, I’m good. You know, my part was, my part was easy, I just showed up, ate the Jello, and proposed to a girl in a coma.
Kensi: Yeah, I’m serious. You were there for me the entire time and I wasn’t there for you. I couldn’t be.

But Jaffe and Bartels weren’t done with Densi. They also provided that wonderful little pawn shop scene. It was a bittersweet moment seeing Kensi bring up Granger. She had clearly been affected by the news in the boatshed, maybe even surreptitiously wiping at her eyes. It’s so satisfyingto see something that we fans, and you fan fic writers, assume to be the case (that Granger would be the natural to walk her down the aisle) and have it made canon. Love it. Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen were both fantastic in the scene. Deeks’ shifting thoughts were so evident on his face, he really didn’t need to say a thing.

Deeks: I know that boyfriends are not supposed to weigh in on this sort of thing, but I saw it and thought that you would look, you know, absolutely beautiful wearing it, so…
Kensi: Um… That’s really pretty, that’s beautiful.
Deeks: What just happened? Did I just say something idiotic?
Kensi: No. No, I’m fine.
Deeks: What’s goin’ on?… Baby?
Kensi: Um… Since I lost my dad I was um, I was hoping to ask Granger to walk me down the aisle.
Deeks: Yeah. And he would’ve, he would’ve loved that.

Memorable Moments

  • The opening scene gave us the version of Eric who’s having a tough time as a field agent, this time grappling with killing someone. The heart-to-heart with Sam was nicely written. I appreciated Sam’s reassurance that it’s alright if Eric decides fieldwork isn’t for him- it’s true but also, it might be nice for at least one of these people to be happy staying in Ops to provide support! (I’m going to overlook the fact that right after he blew up the car, Eric was so unrattled that he turned around and kissed Nell. I’m also going to overlook the fact that Eric has killed people before this, just from farther away via drone strike.) I much prefer Sensitive Eric to Guns Blazing Eric.
  • Nice touch having Deeks be the one who understands that people treat the homeless as if they’re invisible- he should know from personal experience with his many undercover assignments.
  • I gotta admit to being a little confused about how Chegwidden and Bridges showed up at Langston’s house so quickly. I get that Hetty called them, but were they already in town? I thought Chegwidden lived elsewhere, “3000 miles away” according to Sam. Also, why was Hetty surprised they showed up there when she called them?
  • We also had a bit more canon reinforcement on the cooking front, with Kensi acknowledging that she can’t cook- but she can bake. Who doesn’t want cookies for dinner?
  • Kensi was way more prepared for the bad guys to start shooting, walking down that hallway with her hand on her weapon. I’ll chalk Deeks’ relative nonchalance up to ECO’s fever the day they filmed this. I did like the small detail of Deeks going to clear the rest of the house after all the bad guys were apparently dead or escaped.
  • It was a little hard to believe that this group of smart people couldn’t figure out a better way to either give away or hide their $40 million in gold. Was hiding it in a container safe really the best they could do?

We’ll see how this story plays out next week. In the meantime, what did you think of “Battle Scars”? Did you enjoy the Densi scenes? What are you expecting from the conclusion?

About Karen (287 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 “Battle Scars” (S8E21)

  1. Bravo! I have to admit that you do a great job. I love you cause my english is very poor and when I read you I can better understand the scenario and just for that, thank you. Mia except that ECO was sick but I do not attribute his behavior just to that. Something is bothering him, he was in his thoughts, Whiting or proposal? He wants to do something so perfectly for Kensi. Let’s not forget that Kensi was not told about his confession to Whiting (no more secrets ?? where are you?) The scene of the veil moved me much, and just like you, Sincerely hopes that he will be able to say sincerely what he has so badly lived through all the time of his illness.He should be emptying his heart and mind.Oh little personal remark, I preferred Chegwidden with Is beautiful beard, once again, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You covered everything so well in this review, Karen. I especially liked your comparison between the old guys and Callen and Sam. It was fun to watch.

    I was wondering why ECO was kind of lethargic in this episode. The fever accounts for some of it, but I think Andree had it right. Something else is going on with him in this episode. I’ve been wondering when we’d get a follow up with Whiting, and this episode felt like a set up for that happening sooner than later. I think he’s also slightly afraid to discuss his difficulties when Kensi was in a coma. He doesn’t want her to feel bad and I don’t think he wants her to know that he wasn’t sure he was up to the task of taking care of her if she needed extended help.

    We have so few episodes left and I’m wondering if we even get a proposal this season. I love Sam, but his family has been in danger so many times I’m beginning to lose count. I’m hoping no one dies at the end, because I would hate to see Sam change. He is the solid rock in the center of the team and I would hate to see that end.

    I would loved it if the season was to end on a upbeat note, with Deeks as a real agent and a beautiful marriage proposal. Now that would be a change. Wishful thinking on my part…undoubtedly.


    • Okay Lindy,
      what ever you are having…can I have some too…
      “I would loved it if the season was to end on a upbeat note, with Deeks as a real agent and a beautiful marriage proposal. Now that would be a change. Wishful thinking on my part…undoubtedly.”…
      I’m missing my Unicorn. did you find it???
      I do love the thought, and actually I hope so too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic review Karen,
    thank you, you always do such a great job of breaking things down.


  4. OK,
    I love that Kensi is opening up to Deeks.
    She has come a long way from that closed off person that would hit rather than express her feelings. One date, no attachment.
    She seems to initiate the majority of the conversations lately and it is really nice to see.
    She is a long way from perfect, but she has matured.
    it is nice to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. From the moment that the V.A was mentioned Deeks was affected by his memories.
    I am bothered by his apparent inability to express his feelings.
    Kensi trusts Deeks with her life and has for a long time.
    She trusts him with her friendship, they are really best friends and rely on each other.
    I am troubled by Deeks lack of honesty and openness. Kensi has said no more secrets.
    How can she trust him with her heart what he cant be honest about how he feels.
    …as a huge Densi, really…I know you couldn’t tell…if Deek’s cant have an honest conversation, then they shouldn’t get married. He said he wasn’t bothered by the opp in Command and Control…but I am not sure if we can believe that either..
    Still no talk about Whiting, Denying his feelings…It bothers me.

    Oh, and the interruption again pissed me off. Are the writers even remotely aware that it is actually possible for a joke to get old??? give it a rest already, please…


  6. I cant believe I am grumbling even though we got an episode with some great Densi moments and lots of humor…
    I will stop soon, promise…
    I cant believe I am saying this on this site…
    ducking for cover as write this, just in case…

    I am disappointed in the way Deeks is being developed by the writers.
    most of the characters have developed. Kensi has evolved and matures as a person.
    I am not sure about Deeks. No doubt he loves Kensi, that’s not the point.
    I draw a distinction between learning about a character, and having them develop.
    Yes, we have peeled away the layers of Deeks, we have seen the depth of his character and learned more about him. But, I am not sure he has actually changed much.
    Kensi called him out on the mountain and got the kiss.
    Kensi called him out and he asked her home
    Kensi at least said they could work it out if they talked about it.
    She asked him to be patient with her.
    stupid metaphor, but at least she expressed how she felt with the frozen lake.
    She brought up their thing when he returned the knife.
    She started the” all in ” conversation on the ice rink.
    she asked him if he was bothered about her op in Command…
    at least she talked a little, very little, about being homeless in The Grey Man.
    She has tried to thank him a couple of times lately and he wont even engage in an honest conversation.
    he asks him how he feels, and he does the same thing.
    Humor or deflect.
    No Kensi is not perfect…a long way from it. she has her moments as well, obviously.
    They are both flawed, no doubt.
    I don’t know how to explain it…
    I love Deeks, but I am a little disappointed.
    learning more about him and getting to watch him grow and mature are two different things.
    I hope for more.
    …because, the Deeks we see right now…should not be married to Kensi…it is not fair to her…
    …There, I said it.
    Please, somebody explain it better or set me straight…
    I hate feeling this way, but I thought we would get to see some maturity and development in his character in these recent Densi discussions that has just not been there.



    • Deeks’ first reaction will always be to avoid issues that trouble him, and to deflect with humor and self-deprecation. It’s part of his background and it’s in his DNA. That said, one of the reasons we’ve seen so little change in Deeks is that we haven’t really had much focus on him, apart from the IA arc which except for the IA ep itself and its use as a plot device (and hopefully set up for the future) in Hot Water/Under Siege). But how is the character supposed to grow and change when every time we are promised a Deeks arc, Dani gets pregnant and we get a Kensi arc instead?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I too am disappointed by the lack of a Deeks, M episode.
        I am not entirely sure just why we have had to wait so long. This season could have provided a good opportunity. At times, these story arcs and the way they are handled don’t completely thrill me. This season for example, we can call it a Kensi arc. Okay. But in reality, she had very little airtime for over half the season. This is a big cast and it is hard to get everyone’s story told, develop their characters and get them the screen time they deserve…I get that. So, with one less character there full time, and Granger mixed in sporadically at best…what happened?
        Instead of using the extra available time to develop Deeks, they chose to focus on Callen’s dad, family, and love life. Instead of a Deeks, M episode, we got 6 episodes full of Anna. Not the best use of valuable screen time in my humble opinion.
        Yes, I know it is not the whole story, and guest actors add some variety, but at times they seem to fill out the show with temps instead of using the time to focus more on the regulars. Not only did we not get an in-depth Deeks episode,… but they actually paid extra to hire someone else part time to fill out the show rather than doing so… they spent more money to not show more Deeks…Really???
        I know guest actors are necessary and important, but anna ate up huge amounts of airtime on occasion. I know the show is not just about Deeks, but I felt they missed a good chance to take a deeper look.
        I wish that when one or more of the actors are not available (which happens to all of them, I realize) that they would use that as an opportunity to focus on the others more in depth at times.
        Just my thoughts.


  7. I love that the humor was spread around.
    Beale is flip flopping again, but I like the stay in opps version instead of the over the top Rambo version better any way, so I can live with it.
    love the old folks and the referrals to Granger. well done.
    watching Sam and Callen get shut down was hilarious. the conversation don’t usually go that way.
    Chegwidden, needs to stay around and be part of the cast next year. He is a good fit.
    He is a good mix of grizzled vet, grumpy, funny, crafty, and sarcastic, as well as a natural leader.
    I vote: keep him…
    I love Kensi acknowledging that she was not in this alone, and that Deeks was affected by her injuries and rehab as well as herself.
    The talk about the vale was touching. I always wanted to see Granger give her away…( is that politically acceptable to say any more???) walk her down the isle, then.
    …so, who talks about a wedding, and this level of detail…with out asking at some point…
    get on with it already.


  8. It was such a good, emotional episode for all the reasons you detailed above Karen, and I am sooo excited for Part 2. This episode left me in tears for most of it. It was so sweet and emotional to have such a Granger-centered episode after Miguel’s passing. The call backs were great, especially about Granger’s first appearance in the show. I love how they truly expressed how much the characters grew to like and respect him, so similar to us fans. It was heartbreaking, but i will take more Granger moments any day.
    I still cry when I rewatch the scene with Densi and the veil. It wasn’t always easy to see how Kensi viewed Granger, but their relationship definitely developed over time, and he was a connection to her father for her. It was nice to see how deeply affected Kensi was by Granger leaving. Also loved the fact they’re discussing their wedding… i mean that was the most adorable thing, Deeks picking out her veil and all.
    I agree Ed, Deeks needs to open up about how difficult it was for him when Kensi was in a coma and then when she shut him out of her recovery afterwards… he also needs to tell her about Whiting. I am dying for a proposal, but he really needs to be honest with her first, or it just isn’t fair.

    One thing that really intrigued me was how Kensi mentioned that Deeks knows she doesn’t cook… so let’s go back to that episode when she left him dinner in the fridge with a note saying ‘i made it myself’ after drinking beers with Sullivan ….. does this mean the writers are admitting to us she lied? I hated that episode, and this doesn’t make me like it any better. anyone have a different explanation???

    Liked by 1 person

    • nope, you only have two options.
      Kensi lied about the cooking dinner thing…
      or once again the writers mess up their own cannon by not comparing notes and looking at previous episodes,
      Kensi is a liar, or a lack of homework from the writer and staff…not good either way.
      I wish the little details didn’t bother me so much…but they do.

      and I agree, I didn’t like that episode either…especially the end.


  9. Kensi said she didn’t cook, she baked cookies.
    But she made a quiche didn’t she…true, she put it in the fridge and left Deeks home alone…
    but still…she cooked.
    i would like to see them in the kitchen together…maybe season 9 or 10…
    A setup for some great humor, don’t you think.


  10. I miss seeing Deeks’ comment about just needing 4 minutes…
    can we get it pinned to the home page somewhere???


  11. Mark D. Spremulli // April 26, 2017 at 4:53 AM // Reply

    There wasn’t any lying or mix up with Kensi making a quiche. You don’t cook a quiche you bake it in an oven. If she can make cookies then she has the Skills to make a quiche.

    Liked by 1 person

    • very true, I could have phrased it better.
      my point is that a quiche is not cookies. so she can use the oven, great
      if the oven or baking is the key…
      how about how about some lasagna, pork chops, pot roast, potatos au gratten..
      there are a lot of things that can be thrown together as easy as a quiche, thrown in the oven on 350 and set the timer.
      …she played the cookies card..
      she can obviously do more than make the ready to bake snicker doodles that we got in season3
      I realize I am probably being too picky.


    • Is it so important that she made a quiche or not, there are more important things to discuss besides the fact that it was not mentioned that she had already made a quiche.


  12. No Ed to me Deeks is the adult in the relationship not Kensi. So she is opening up a little now. Deeks was not only open he was there for her at the time of her accident and during her recovery. He never knew which Kensi he would get from day to day. She was angry and felt sorry for herself and Deeks stood by her no matter what she threw at him.

    So no wonder he doesn’t want to upset her. He loves her and I’m sure he is trying to protect her from any fallout.

    Deeks is the one who moved from an apartment to a house, he is the one who can cook, he is the one who works at the homeless shelter, who has a pet, who bought a ring, who proposed, who gives Kensi anything she wants.

    If she really wants answers don’t bring up these subjects at work, sit down with the man you love and ask him what’s going on!

    Liked by 2 people

    • well said,
      I was hoping for a response, and boy do i love the passion.
      I think while i want a Deeks, M episode…we will get the much wanted backstory. more depth.
      more layers of the onion…but that is not the same as evolution. I want to see him develop and mature. he is usually more adult…but then he always has been.
      while I agree with a lot of what you said, I do look at a few things differently.
      while work is a bad place for a discussion, it is not the only place it has come up.
      Kensi tried during the first fight, and while she was trying to express her need for a little space, what did Deeks give her…awesome…totally and completely awesome.
      yes, an attempt to diffuse, but not a healthy talk
      then in bed she said thank you and we got a… I was just along for the ride…
      again diffusing and not wanting her to feel bad…I get it.
      but would saying something like he will always be there for her, that’s what all in means.
      that he loves her and there was no other option…is that so hard to say, it is bonding much more than making her feel bad, it should make her feel loved and form a closer relationship…
      …it is as much about him not acknowledging his feelings as not wanting to hurt hers, I think.

      in any case, he is protecting her feelings by not wanting her to feel bad about his confession to get out of jail to protect her. I know that.
      …but , if she finds out first, without him telling her,,,how do you think that will work out for him.
      sometimes it is about trust…not just feelings.
      he got forgiven, got a second chance, and got an warning…no more secrets…
      yet…here he goes again…the why wont matter if he gets caught hiding things. it might be over…
      love and trust are not the same thing.

      as screwed up as Kensi often is, her character is better at talking to Deeks about how she feels than she used to be. we still see the same things from Deeks. He is better, but I want more.

      yes I want to learn more about him, but I want to watch him grow as well.

      oh. and I completely agree…rehab Kensi sucked.
      some of the things the writers came up with for her to do I still have issues with. thanks,

      on a slightly different note…
      If her dad taught Kensi to shoot, hunt fish track and camp…you would think she could heat up a piece of meat…build the fire, clean the game, throw it on the fire and feed yourself…
      or did they live on smores and granola bars for weeks at a time…
      no take out in sight…
      as much as she loved her dad and what he taught her…I am sure she can heat up a chicken breast or a piece of fish enough to eat.

      then, at Christmas past,when they went to Sams house… we heard that Deeks couldn’t cook eithe,r unless it was fritattas, right?…I find it confusing and a little silly, that’s all



    • nj,
      I love this line from you…

      “If she really wants answers don’t bring up these subjects at work, sit down with the man you love and ask him what’s going on!”
      A great point.
      I agree completely. the issue seems to be that the writers will not allow much opportunity to do so. If it doesn’t happen at work, then we usually have to assume that it happened off-screen.
      We get very little personal interaction between them. yes, we did get a nice scene in 767.
      …but as usual it was short, at just 78 seconds before they were interrupted, (quite unexpectedly, and originally) by a phone call. No bonus points for creative there, I mean really, come on…

      come to think about it, just how many personal conversations have they had away from work and the team?
      I want to be at my house right now with you,
      all in
      the first fight
      command and control breakfast,
      767 bedroom apology.

      I have a lousy memory, but everything else was work related, at work, or with the team around wasn’t it?
      I guess you could include something from earlier this season, but she was in the hospital due to work…
      maybe when she first got home and they linked fingers???
      not many for 7+ years and half or more were interrupted by a phone call



      • Ed, I think your point about personal Densi conversations happening off screen is a good one, and also an important one in regards to Deeks not yet telling Kensi about his confession to Whiting. I’m holding out hope (along with the tethers on your unicorns, perhaps) that when the topic does come up on the show (whether that’s this season or next), it will be clear that they already DID have that discussion, off-screen. Kind of like no one mentioned Whiting at all after she was shot until how many episodes later, when Hetty gave Deeks the “good news” that Whiting was out of ICU. Obviously, discussion was had and we just weren’t privy to it.

        Given all they’ve been through, whether Deeks has evolved much/at all or not (and I see your point about him having not evolved), I really don’t think Deeks would keep something like this from Kensi, especially now that she’s back in every possible way (emotionally, physically, sexually). I’d think he would be more afraid of jeopardizing their relationship by keeping his confession from her (regardless of the how/why) than he would be of upsetting her. At least I hope so.

        That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Gotta run, off to feed the unicorns!

        Oh, and great job, once again, with the review Karen!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Psyched,
          I love your thinking and I shall embrace it whole heatedly. I shall assume it not the characters withholding information, but rather, that the writers are just not showing it. Let’s chock it up to just skipping over some relevant plot points again. I cant wait for our couple to move forward in their relationship, for Deeks to propose and Kensi to say yes, and for Whiting to agree to drop the investigation if Deeks leaves the LAPD ( thus freeing him up to become an agent).

          on the wishlist I will add Sabatino actually being a good guy and helping when he returns, Sam’s family being all okay,… now a biggie, the writers already filming a scene where Granger gives Kensi to Deeks, even if they just get to talk if he cant walk her down the isle…not sure how the scene shouls go, but maybe saying something to the effect that her dad would have liked Deeks, been very proud of her and be happy for them both..could they have pre-filmed that as well??? . then I would hope that Anna gets hit by a bus, shipped over seas on an extended assignment, or gets her butt kicked by Joelle….maybe all three.

          now that that is settled, lets saddle up the unicorns and go for a ride through a field full of wildflowers and butterflys…there is supposed to be a rainbow just before sunset..the unicorns will love it.



          • I think we all need to stop watching now for the summer, because I have a feeling at least one of those wishes will go up in smoke with the last few episodes. So let’s just leave it here and cater to the unicorns over the summer, as everyone knows unicorns are fanfic writers’ sources of imagination. I’d rather that than have to stew about whatever the finale is going to leave us with for the next 4-5 months.


  13. Karen great review. I really enjoyed this episode. I loved the old guard and their stories. It was a lot of fun but also very poignant in the discussions about Granger. It was well balanced and I loved that Sam and Callen are back, they are bantering, they are comfortable together, and just wonderful partners. It is such a wonderful change from the awkwardness of Callen and Anna. It was also nice that we got an episode with a serious Deeks and Kensi , From their talking about Kensi’s time in the VA hospital to Granger walking her down the aisle, I thought those scenes were beautifully done and beautifully acted by Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen. I certainly think we will get the proposal by the end of the season since Daniela Ruah said we would. I just echo what others have said, I would like a beautiful marriage proposal, a beautiful acceptance, and an upbeat path forward for Deeks and Kensi in season 9.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thank you for your great review Karen. I did enjoy this episode a lot, there were couple things that others already have mentioned that I would like to change (for example Interrupting Densi and Kensi cooking jokes have become a bit boring for me too).
    That pawn shop scene was amazing and emotional (those emotions felt very real) and I loved how that scene kind of reassures that the answer will be yes next time (a part of me wanted that engagement before wedding talk though). I really want to see Kensi wearing that veil in their wedding.
    I like Chegwidden and it is nice to see him, it will be interesting to see what happens to the character in the future, if he becomes a regular character I hope they develop the character in an interesting way (in a personal way so that the character doesn’t become too much like a Granger copy).


  15. I enjoyed this episode, not just for the poignant and bittersweet mentions of Granger, but for the humor, which for once did not come at any character’s expense but from the situation. I’m so used to the writers treating either Deeks or Eric like buffoons that I normally cringe at what passes for humor on this show. But this time, the characters who often get treated like fools got a chance to be serious, and they truly shined. See, writers, you can have humor without being mean-spirited about it. Please try to do it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. They say “serendipity is the traveler’s strongest ally”. This week I indeed was a traveler and in the episode I found at the same time something pleasant, entertaining, touching and emotional which was not looked for. The veil scene, Kensi mentioning Granger and her wedding day, Kensi acknowledging Deeks’ burden during her coma and long journey, were all little gems inside an episode that also worked as a whole. A great unexpected surprise for which I thank the authors. And now I really can’t wait to watch the second part.


  17. One evening I was looking for something interesting to watch on the TV and I happened to arrive on an episode of season 8 deNCIS LA I was completely conquered and the next day I went to buy the DVD of the last 7 seasons I watched in a loop even going to bed in those nights.I had become completely hooked. What I would like to know when according to you Kensi and Deeks fell in love with eache other. Thank you for answering.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I only enjoy character moments right now, the writing of the show isnt top notch anymore. Cartoonish and childish. That is were you overstretch comedy scenes.


    • I agree. The writing is uneven and swings from great (Deeks proposing to coma Kensi) to ridiculous (Eric out in the field). Even the actors seem bored with their material at times. S8 had great promise with the Kensi injury but writers didn’t really do a great job of portraying her struggles. I for one am disappointed with this season. At least there were some sweet Densi moments after Kensi woke up and realized that Deeks was there for her. Now it’s her turn to show that support back to him. The one thing that will salvage this season for me is the engagement. Not another proposal but an actual engagement.


  19. Another excellent discussion! Andree, your English is excellent and to answer your question about when these two fell in love, let me refer you to a previous debate on the topic: It’s definitely a great question!

    Ed, your points about Deeks’ lack of growth as a character are really interesting. I’d respond that I do think he’s grown quite a bit, and I’ll self-servingly refer you to the last Bringing Up Brandel (, which talks about some of the things that have enabled him to do so. Let me know what you think!


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