Review: NCISLA “Party Crashers” (S9E01)
After an eventful end to Season 8, I tuned into the NCIS: Los Angeles season 9 premiere, “Party Crashers,” looking for clues about where Season 9 might take us. What would the ramifications be from Michelle Hanna’s death, Granger’s departure, and Densi’s engagement? Written by showrunner R. Scott Gemmill and directed by John P. Kousakis, the episode didn’t reveal too much, but somehow made me think that the more things change, the more they are likely to stay the same.
Departed Bosses and New Arrivals
Even if we hadn’t read the spoilers, would anyone have been the least bit surprised at Hetty’s retirement? I wonder if she turned in the same letter she had used on multiple past occasions (I’ve lost count!). As much as the team will likely miss her, it will be interesting to see how her storyline, set in a distant land away from the team, plays out. On the face of it, a Hetty resignation/retirement is nothing new, but this time it had a slightly fresher feel because it seems to mark the start of a new story, rather than coming as a reaction to on-going events like the Comescu’s feud or Janvier killing two agents. But if her new mission becomes more mystical – if anyone starts talking about tribes rather than mere ghosts – count me out.
Miguel Ferrer’s tragic death and Hetty’s new storyline have created a huge gap at the top of the OSP leadership. Thankfully Nell wasn’t promoted, as I think she could use another decade or two of experience first, but the jury’s out on Granger’s replacement Shay Mosley, played by Nia Long. While it’s no doubt impossible to replace Ferrer with an actor of equal gravitas, I’m not sure Long convinced me of her character’s “Executive Assistant Director” status.
Mosley’s apparent unwillingness to assess the team in person, or listen to any of their input, before making judgments was frustrating. Of course, it’s merely a set-up for conflict, which the showrunners seem to feel is needed between the team and their superiors. What’s really a shame is that she’s also completely lacking in warmth or a sense of humor. But then again, that’s also what I thought about Granger for his first several seasons before his sardonic wit started shining through. Eventually I decided he was the funniest character of all. Maybe Mosley will loosen up with time?
It felt almost surreal to hear her complain about the team’s frequent use of “lethal force.” It’s always been part of the show’s very formula, so she has her hands full trying to change the team. It seems much more likely that being in L.A. with its “more dangerous criminals” will change her instead.
Her assistant Special Agent Harley Hidoko, played by Andrea Bordeaux, was much more likable. Her inability to get her tablet to sync with the big board made me laugh, as did her dry observations about all the things Mosley disliked. In the end, while she hasn’t yet sold me as being authoritative enough to be a Special Agent, I did find her kind of adorable.
Deeks Disappears and Sam Returns
As for Mosley breaking up Densi? As Deeks would say, it seemed a bit excessive. She clearly has her mind set on how things should be done, and LAPD liaisons don’t seem to be part of her plans. How refreshing was it that Callen fought for Deeks to stay, and plans to continue to do so? It did stress me out a little to hear that she’s looking for a Deeks replacement, but I’m hoping it will lead to a juicy Deeks-centric storyline so I’m willing to live with the ambiguity.
The biggest question heading into the premiere was how Sam was coping with Michelle’s death. I assume we’ll be exploring this life-changing event more in the future, because we sure didn’t get much here. The conversation at the trailer where Callen tried to convince Sam to come back to work felt forced- it just didn’t ring as true as I would have expected from Gemmill. For example, asking if Sam was holding out for more money or a private office, while it must have been Callen’s way of poking his friend, felt a little impersonal. Sam’s motivation to return, that he couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to his team, did ring true, reminding me of the many veterans who re-enlist because they want to get back to their unit.
Either way, Sam’s absence felt like it was resolved a bit too quickly. The team is torn apart within the first 12 minutes but is reunited before the final act? It felt a bit more contrived than had either character’s absence lasted into a subsequent episode or two. It remains to be seen how much they revisit Sam’s emotional well-being in future episodes, but if it’s not addressed in a major way, it will make Michelle’s death an even bigger waste.
Two Favorites Reappear
As unnecessary as Deeks going back to LAPD seemed to be, it did result in some delightful silliness. Patrick St. Esprit was back as Lieutenant Bates, who’s moved to a new office (one that’s likely on the Paramount lot rather than on location) since the days of “The Debt.” Eric Christian Olsen seemed to be having so much fun playing off of St. Esprit. It made me think of my long dreamed of spin-off. I used to think it involved Deeks becoming a private investigator. Now I realize he simply needs to be permanently reassigned to LAPD so he can banter with his boss like this in every episode. I wonder exactly how much of their dialog was improv?
Bates: Do you know what I hate about lawyers, Deeks?
Bates: Everything. How are you settling into your new desk?
Deeks: About that… I thought we were ah, I thought we were friends.
Bates: Deeks, friends are just people who haven’t figured out what they want from you yet. So, what do you want? And don’t say ‘a different desk’ because that’s the best I could do on short notice…
Deeks: I’m gonna go to the crime scene and then check on my mom.
Bates: You forget the lunch she packed you?
Deeks: No, I just, I haven’t heard back from her in a couple of days. I’m gonna check in on her.
Deeks: Yeah, I’m gonna make sure she’s OK.
Bates: No, I mean why are you telling me this? You’re a grown man Deeks, I mean what do I care if you go see your mother. Do you need me to write you a note or something?
Deeks: I’m used to working on a team, and therefore I thought I was being considerate in case anyone here needed me.
Awww, Deeks is no longer the lone undercover operator he was back in Season 1. That seemed like a revealing line. It makes me wonder whether this is the season where he finally becomes an agent (and we finally get a “Deeks, M.” epiosde!). Between Mosley and the IA investigation, it sure seems like events are aligning to push him in that direction.
It turns out St. Esprit isn’t the only guest actor who can hold their own with ECO. Pamela Reed, playing his mom Roberta was delightful as well, laying into Deeks for failing to share the good news about his engagement. I loved how she controlled Deeks (and the whole scene), never letting him get the last word about anything. She has a welcome place in my spin-off! In fact, I think I just might ship Roberta and Bates. They seem like they’d get along well, their respective high levels of sassiness would result in high level banter, and their being together would freak Deeks out completely. Yep, let’s make that part of the spin-off- Bates as boss and father-in-law! What a great sitcom they would all make.
Roberta: What’s the matter with you?
Deeks: What’s the matter with me? What’s the matter with you? I’ve called you every day for like the past five days.
Roberta: No you haven’t.
Deeks: No, I haven’t. But I called you five times today.
Roberta: I was busy.
Deeks: Yeah. That’s obvious that you were, you were busy. Ohhh, OK. You know what Mom, I was worried about you, OK? I was worried about you.
Roberta: Well then you should have called me several weeks ago. And then you coulda told me about your engagement.
Deeks: So Kensi’s mom called you.
Roberta: Of course she called. She was ecstatic. I on the other hand was surprised and embarrassed since I didn’t know a damn thing about it.
Deeks: Listen Mom, I’m sorry. I just didn’t-
Roberta: Ah, save it. You don’t want me to get involved? I get it.
Deeks: No, that’s not what it is.
Roberta: Yeah, that is what it is. But you know what? I don’t care.
Deeks: Don’t say that, ‘cause you do care.
Roberta: No. I’ve got a wedding of my own to plan.
Roberta: It’s high time you finally had a new father.
Deeks: Oh my god, Mom!
Roberta: Relax Martin, I’m just kidding you. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. We’re just friends…
Deeks: OK, that’s fine.
Roberta: …With benefits.
Deeks: Stop talking.
Roberta: If you know what I mean.
Roberta: The sex.
Again, ECO seemed to be having a lot of fun with this guest star. Now this is the kind of winning dialog no one writes better than R. Scott Gemmill.
Classic – but Brief – Densi
The lone Densi scene on the beach was well done, although I have to say I was a bit distracted by how long they were running, wondering how many times they had to shoot the scene and how winded they would be by the time it ended. Still, the Densi banter was just what we’ve come to enjoy.
Kensi: When was the last time you talked to your mom?
Deeks: I don’t know, why? What?
Kensi: You haven’t told her yet, have you?
Deeks: Trust me you do not want me to tell her because once I tell her, she’s gonna be all over this.
Kensi: Deeks, you are putting me in an awful position, OK? She deserves to know. You have to tell her.
Deeks: I will!
Deeks: Right after the honeymoon.
- Sorry Tess, but the “Sans Voir” explosion is out of this season’s opening credits. I wholeheartedly agree that it should have a permanent spot, but I did enjoy all the shots of Shooting Deeks in the new version.
- Did Kamran end up going to a different school than planned? Not Keating but Stockdale?
- I was a bit confused by the Eric the Avocado scene. Were they on a stake-out for work or was he stalking her? Or was it some sort of training exercise?
- On a very shallow note, I did love Nell’s new hairdo, and shaggier than normal Deeks is very welcome to stick around. I kept looking to see if Kensi was wearing her engagement ring (or Deeks for that matter- what has he done with the flashbang ring?), but I didn’t see it. I suppose it’s not something she would wear on the job.
- In the scene at Roberta’s apartment, its large size and fabulous location overlooking the ocean were quite distracting. She seems to be doing well and I’m curious about her backstory. I know fan fiction usually paints Deeks’ upbringing as being relatively low income, but do we have anything to back that up? Did Roberta do well for herself only after Gordon was out of the picture?
- I know the ambulance was under water, thereby lessening the explosion, but would it really have been big enough to look like it came from an ICBM? While I liked the big splash effect with the cast standing there, it didn’t feel all that impressive as Booms go on this show. And for that matter, why wouldn’t the U.S. have been able to track the missile and know that it landed in the ocean? It’s not clear to me that the bad guys’ “bait and switch” plan was all that solid.
Come back later this week for the return of Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal, as well as the Drabble of the Week. And tell us what you thought of “Party Crashers” in the Comments below. Did it meet your expectations? I can’t wait to hear your opinions!
Thank you for this excellent description, your writing always perfect. What I did not like? Much of the episode. I was so anxious that the season started again that I think my expectations were too high. I do not like “Mosley”, too harsh, too quick, the first thing she did was send Deeks to the LAPD who picked up in a bakehouse, in the presence of 4 dogs, I imagine smell and Deeks who is so disdainful and clean. I did not like the little time devoted to Densi and especially I do not like the beard too long and the hair too long Deeks, does not look clean, I strongly hope that Hitty will talk to him severe on this subject. I did not like Kensi’s “almost indifference” when Deeks went back to the LAPD, she has been working with him for 8 years and who feels so safe to work with him, and the same for Deeks who seemed indifferent to his departure, he who likes to be with Kensi to protect her, so many bad things have happened, I did not like their attitude towards the departure of Deeks. What I liked … Sam’s return and the fact that Callen now enjoys a lot Deeks and is ready to do anything to get him back, after so many years making fun of him helped by Sam. In few words….I dìn`t like the episode, I habe been dissapointed, hoping the others will much better. The rating was very low this week for NCIS LA 8…millions.
Sorry for all my mistakes, my English is very poor, I work with Google and I think thy are not better than me.
Good point. Kensi’s reaction to not having Deeks as a partner was very very low key. She displayed more emotion about a similar situation during season 3’s The Debt. It should have had more of an impact — or at least show it to us.
I thought the same thing about Kensi’s reaction but then I realized that maybe she just didn’t want to draw too much attention to herself. Especially as now they’re not only a couple but engaged, and with a new boss and no Hetty to defend them. I did love Callen having his back throughout the episode and acting as the leader he’s supposed to be.
I lean with Jess on this. I think that given the situation (they had just been told North Korea may be planning to bomb LA) it would have been unprofessional for her to do more than look at him as he left. The fact that Callen picked up on her mood enough to ask if she was ok and her response about being unhappy that Deeks was sent back to LAPD, but what could she do about it? range true to me and clearly indicated that she was upset. But again, they were in the middle of a major case at the time and had jobs to do. And I thought she looked genuinely happy and relieved to see him after the shoot-out and really to know how his day went. So I chalk it up to the fact that they were at work, during a urgent case, and with a new boss.
Totally agree with all of this. I think if Deeks had been forced to stay for a longer time at LAPD she would have reacted and complain more. But the ep didn’t really gave her enough time to react as they were in the middle of a major case. Also, it would have only worked to draw even more attention to their relationship and give Mosley more reasons to separate them.
Fantastic review. And you are spot on with the scenes with Deeks/Bates and Deeks/Roberta. They sparkled out of an episode of been there/done that.
I don’t like Moseley. Seems way out of her depth and a paper pusher. How was she qualified for the job? Liked the assistant but I don’t think they planned to have her around very long. Now she and Sam would be an interesting couple down the road (Sam struggling with the age difference but she seems a Mathalete) although I’m sure they have Moseley in mind for that relationship.
I too looked immediately at the opening credits and miss the San Voir explosion. Shooting out the front of the vehicle (which we haven’t seen yet) is awesome though. Nell and Eric now have more prominent placing.
I don’t know if it’s G’s character or Chris O’Donnell’s acting but he just doesn’t do empathy very well. It doesn’t read well on screen.
Eric and the avocado costume. I get the attempt of humor of the scene — it didn’t work, doesn’t work, please never do it again.
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I agree for Eric and the avocado costume, it was very ridiculous and stupid, this scene was completely useless, I did not understand its usefulness.
I was really confused with the avocado scene, it came as a little forced for me. I didn’t laugh with it but the sinking boat scene made up for it. Also, I laugh so, so much with Deeks’ scenes with Bates and Roberta that it was okay overall.
As for your comment on G, I actually love his lack of empathy and think it is a major personality trait for the character. It also makes sense given his childhood and lack of family/stable home while growing up. Which reminds me of last year’s ep “Crazy Train” when Sam and Owen tease Callen about been a “recluse with no long-term social attachments” and the fact that he “do have issues”. As for this ep, I think he tried his best to be there for his partner and I did enjoy both his scenes with Sam at the beach and trailer and the scenes at the bullpen with the team together again.
I loved it all! (even the avocado!) So nice to see them all again but please bring back Hetty and Monty soon!
For me the ep met my expectations in more ways than not. It has two of my new all-time favorite scenes (Deeks and Bates, and Deeks and Roberta) so that is a big plus. I hope they keep bringing Bates and Roberta back for more eps, both scenes were hilarious and I highly enjoy how well the two are able to hold their own with ECO and make each other even better.
I was really glad with Callen defending Deeks and having his back through the episode and with Mosley, but was a little disappointed by Kensi’s reaction. Though I can understand her not wanting to draw attention to herself and their relationship, but still I think she accepted Deeks’ reassignment too easily.
As for the new characters, I’m not too convinced with Mosley, especially if she keeps messing with Deeks, but I also used to dislike Owen a lot, and he ended up as one of my favorite characters ever, so I’m willing to give her a chance. In terms of the new agent, which I keep forgetting her name and have to go back to the review, I don’t dislike her, but I don’t love her neither. I see potential though and she seem to have chemistry with Renee and Barrett so that’s good.
Overall, I was pleased with the episode, the case wasn’t my favorite but the strong character scenes and dialogues made up for it. I loved the two scenes in the bullpen with the team back together again and Sam’s explanation on why he decided to come back was nice and so him, even the teasing of Deeks among the seriousness and emotion of the statement. It was really them, and a nice way to welcome the new season (and team back).
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If Kensi & Deeks protest too strongly, once Mosley finds out about their engagement it will only confirm to her that splitting them up permanently is the right decision. They need to prove that they aren’t too close to work together and a strong unwillingness to work with others when ordered to won’t help.
I understand that. That makes sense, yes. However, we get to see more of Kensi than when she’s in front of her superior at work. I would have swapped a few seconds off of the running on the beach scene for something of Kensi talking to Callen about it or Kensi and Deeks talking about it.
I wonder if a conversation scene like that was cut in the post production and editing room.
Mosley already knows about Densi`s engagement……at least that’s what I read in an interview that ECO gave to a magazine.
Thank you for your amazing review Karen. There was a lot going on in this episode, maybe a little bit too much for me personally. I did like that Densi scene (reminded me of that 7×01 “party Marty”- scene, I hope it is a good sign because I loved season 7), Callen defending Deeks and the team was great and of course Bates and Deeks are always great when they are in a scene together
I wish there wouldn’t be this Mosley vs the team “drama” (especially after all the team drama that happened last season), it feels a bit boring for me and something that we have already seen before. If there needs to be drama, I wish it would be someone else than Deeks who is the biggest “problem” for Mosley. Are Nell and Eric now in a relationship too (at least they kissed ) and does Mosley have a problem with them working in the field?. I am not sure what Anna and Callen’s relationship status is, but if Anna comes to help the team does Mosley have a problem with her (if Anna and Callen are together)? I actually thought Mosley would have a bigger “problem” with Sam , who returns after really dramatic events, than with Deeks. (I do love that Sam is back).
One thing I really hoped for was a scene with Sam and his children, if they are in school maybe a phone call or text message,some kind of communication between them that would show Sam being there for his kids. I think I will forever be in denial when it comes to Michelle’s death.
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I totally agree with almost everything you said. I also loved the Densi scene at the beach and all the scenes at the bullpen with the team reunited and Deeks with Bates and Roberta.
I understand a little of the drama and team vs Mosley thing. I think it is to be expected that the team will have a bit of issues at the beginning, especially with such a close-knit team which also has a bad record opening up to strangers, as we saw when Deeks and Granger joined the team. But I do hope they revolve it quickly instead of dragging it on for too long.
Overall, I was happy with the premier and see potential for the new season. I’m not a Mosley fan yet but I’m willing to give her a chance, but also hope Hetty is back soon and for Deeks to remain in the team for good, maybe even finally become an agent.
Thank you for your comments.
Yes, I agree that maybe this team vs Mosley was expected, but I just hoped for something different this time around. The way they introduced Granger was amazing from the first time he met the team and even though I didn’t like the character in the beginning there was something intriguing about the character and I loved the snarkiness and humor. Maybe introducing Mosley in a way where the team already knew her (for example like the team know Chegwidden) and would had made it easier for both Mosley and the team. It is interesting to see what happens in the future episodes, but I, too, hope they won’t drag it too long.
I hope Hetty is back soon too (even if I don’t always agree with what she does and how she does it) and can’t wait for a scene with her and Mosley.
Thanks for your reply. Totally agree with all your comments about Owen. I disliked him a lot at first but he ended up as one of my favorite characters ever. His humor is fantastic and his one-liners were epic. He also had great chemistry with everyone on the cast. I really think he is irreplaceable and I’m still so sadden by Miguel’s passing.
Hope Mosley finds an understanding with the team soon. Also for her character to show something more, it’s hard to explain, but she seem flat to me.
Great review as usual. Loved all the ECO scenes. Love his hair but trim the beard back to scruff. I don’t like Nia Long’s character but then I think it is the intention of the writers. What I really don’t like is the show overtly showing federal officers disdain of municipal police officers. They had gotten away from that in recent years but it looks like game on again. This is one of my pet peeves. I have known way many agents from DEA, FBI, ATF, and yes NCIS to know that’s not the norm. And truth be known, they need us lowly city police more than we need them. Also, we don’t relinquish crime scenes to them as is often shown on the show. I’m very willing to suspend belief for a good show but it’s untrue and I wish the writers would lay off. All great books, movies, tv shows, etc. need conflict to keep things interesting and I think they’ve set up a boatload of conflict for season nine. I’m on board and looking forward to it.
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It was really interesting to read your take on the whole conflict between cops and federal agents and I agree that they should lay off. I saw a lot of potential in the ep and I’m super eager to see the rest of the season.
After the summer hiatus I’m so glad we finally have a brand new NCIS:LA season to watch and speak about, I really missed the show, all the characters (well, most of them…), the previews, the reviews, this amazing site, all the comments and great job by everyone. Now it seems like the band’s back together!
To be honest, the episode was not my favorite, but way better than Season 6 premiere with Sam and Callen trapped in the submarine.
The sensation I have is that Season 9 premiere offered the viewers “too much”, but without exploring anything in depth. With this show we have been used since the very beginning to a great blend of humor, action, drama, explosions, feelings, sometimes even laughters, but this time I think not all the scenes worked well (like the avocado Beale or even Deeks’ scenes with Bates, he seemed so out of character this time) and some sounded quite forced (even if I like the actress a lot and she’s extraordinary with ECO, and although we don’t know mama Deeks so much as to say what is in character or out of character for her, all the scene with Roberta Deeks seemed a bit farcical and exaggerated for me) while other scenes appeared a little superficial and didn’t give much insight of the characters (for example I think Kensi lacked her usual fiercely combative side, and I honestly would have liked to know more about Sam, his children and where they stand now after Michelle’s tragic death which is still a shock for me).
About the new additions, I think the show only has to gain from new characters and I’m sure the beneficial effects will be seen as soon as the writers understand what they really want from them (I hope with all my heart Mosley will not go on like this for all the season!).
All in all, an average season opener in my opinion, I hope better episodes will come in the following weeks, but I’m anyway excited that Season 9 has started. Thanks for your great job, WikiDeeks staff!
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I agree at 100%
I didn’t like it. I felt like the whole hour was lackluster. It tried too hard to be funny and felt poorly edited. The only time I laughed was when Bates asked if anyone (other cops) needed Deeks and the voice in the background yelled, “Who?” I felt underwhelmed by all of the performances too. Kensi seemed like she didn’t GAS about Deeks being moved and the gang seemed underwhelmed about Sam coming back. I just felt everything was downplayed and everybody was off their game.
The new additions? Eh, although it seemed the assistant could fit in because she had a fun aura about her and eventually would fit in with the group.
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And we’re back! Always impressed by the quick turn-around on your reviews, Karen, and you didn’t disappoint. I have to say, I enjoyed the Deeks/Mama Deeks scene, but thought it would have been better placed in another episode. One in which Deeks wasn’t the punchline of so many jokes. It was like he was perpetually being sent to the corner in this episode. And I agree with Deeks about Bates – I too thought he was being an ass and I wonder why (aside from the obvious that TPTB are trying to make him look like a bad guy or suspect him as such).
And speaking of suspicious Guys (or “Gees,” hee), Roberta’s friend with benefits is set to be on a few times this season. Why? Does this mean we’ll be seeing more of Mama Deeks? We have never had a relative (and her bf) of one of the team recur like that outside of Michelle and the Sidorov arc, so it makes me wonder if Guy will factor into something else along the way.
As for Nia Long, not impressed, but I din’t know if it’s the character or her acting. I must have seen her in Third Watch, but I honestly don’t remember her character, so I can’t comment on previous acting jobs of hers. I did like Andrea Bordeaux/Harley Hidoko, though. Do we know if she’s meant to go out in the field or just assist in the background like the Wonder Twins used to do exclusively?
I totally agree with you re: the initial Sam/Callen scene. I guess we’re supposed to assume they’ve had all the supportive I’m-here-for-you-partner talks already? But the comment about the office and the raise was not cool, IMO. And yes, we’d better get more than this quick resolution to Sam’s grief. Only a few months have passed – the man still needs to be shown suffering and missing his wife (and now his kids too).
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I really enjoyed reading the review and now all the comments. Even though the ep and case were not perfect I had a good time watching and enjoyed a lot of the team moments and interactions.
Overall, I’m just glad that the show is back. I only discovered NCISLA last year and binge-watched all seasons in an unhealthy amount of time. It turned into my favorite show really quickly and I’m super excited to watch live for the first time.
And honestly after I discovered this site, my experience of watching the show got so much better, I spent a lot of the hiatus reading old articles and now I’m really looking forward to posting and interacting with everyone here.
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Me too! Yay for newbie fans! And there’s been a few of us I’ve found, which does say something positive for the program at least. Able to pull in new fans so far in.
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Great review, Karen. And, great comments from everyone.
As excited as I am about the new season, not sure what I was expecting for the premiere episode, but this wasn’t it. I was actually stunned by the first scene with Callen and Sam. It was if Sam had not suffered a life altering event. There wasn’t even a hint of sadness, just smiles and banter, except for that one shot of him looking at his wedding ring. I recall all those past episodes where Sam became so emotional if Michelle was in danger, and now we get nothing to show what a great loss it was for him. It wasn’t believable, and it clouded the whole episode for me. We invest our emotions in these characters, and when one as powerful as Michelle’s is taken from us, we need to mourn too, and I was looking to do that through Sam. But all we got was same ol’, same ol’. I was disappointed.
Another disappointment was Mosley. To be shallow…too much hair. A bureaucrat in an unremarkable suit. Not sure where they are going with this character, but it would have been nice if they had shared some of her background. Instead of that scene with Eric in an avocado costume, a little hacking on Mosley would have been welcomed. They did that when Hunter came in unexpectedly, so why not here? I know…it’s a long season and the show will reveal more about her as we go along, but even a little information about her past would have helped. I know they wanted us to be unsettled when she shook up the team, but the team’s response was a little underwhelming, except for Callen. He fought for Deeks, and a lot more than Kensi did.
Loved bushy bearded Deeks. I wished they had let his banishment to LAPD play out over a couple of episodes. It would have been nice to see more interaction with Bates, who seemed a bit weird here, and with all those barking dogs. Deeks and dogs…a lost opportunity for some great improv. They did give us Deeks tackling an almost naked old man. Not sure I needed to see a just-out-of-the-shower Mama Deeks. TMI. But, she does know how to rattle her son. His comment to Kensi about her actions scarring him, instantly made me think of his childhood. So much we don’t know. Maybe this year they will put us out of our misery and give us some insight into his past. One can only hope.
It was good to see the team together in the end. That scene in the bullpen, and Deeks’ comment to Bates, solidified that Deeks is an integral part of the team now. All for one and one for all.
But, what finally got me excited was the new thread of intrigue in the final scene of Hetty meeting with an old source in Vietnam about a mysterious man from the old days. Loved it. The location was fresh and unexpected and bodes well for future episodes. Deeks and the team going tactical in the jungles of Vietnam. Now that would be exciting.
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I definitely was not 100% in love with this opening episode. It didn’t really feel like a premiere to me, more like a one-off episode. Definitely don’t like Mosley, not a fan of doing the “evil boss tries to change everything cuz they’re the boss” thing again. I laughed majorly at all of the Deeks silliness, but it felt just thrown in. Especially given all of the other things Deeks has going on in the near future (a wedding, and the blackmail), it seemed like standalone silliness instead an introduction to any of those plotlines. I mean, if we want this to be the season of Deeks and he gets everything going on, well, I wouldn’t complain…. but I feel like a season opener should’ve had more to do with the overarching plots for the coming season.
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Very sad about the loss of the “San Voir” explosion. It was their best stunt.
I adore Mrs. Deeks’s (Bertie!) apartment. Oh, the ocean just out the window.
Great review (as always!).
I liked all of ECO on the episode… with Bates was great! I liked the scene at his moms apartment although I’m not completely sure what was going on there. Oh it seems obvious but she could have just been taking a shower after a workout with her trainer and he could have just been changing clothes.
It seems a little odd that she was going into so much detail unless she was just playing Deeks for not telling her he was engaged and pulling his gun on the trainer.
Anyways I would love if Deeks mom and Bates were together! With Deeks helping Whiting investigate Bates this would so interesting!
It feels so good to be back on this site reading (again) Karin’s review and all your comments .
This year’s hiatus felt pretty long to me and only some great fan fiction stories (lucky for us some new excellent writers joined this fandom last summer) helped me sailed relatively smoothly thru it.
Now back to our season opening. I do not know if it is the consequence of this long hiatus or my longing to see band back together but I liked this episode. It felt so really good to see our dashing detective back and it outweighed all lower moments. I like bearded Deeks and I love him with longer hair and seeing him with Roberta was one of the best scenes of the episode for me. I could easily imagine how it looked growing up with such a mom and why is he the man he is now. And I find her way of dealing with her soon spot on as he really showed only cowardice not informing his mom about the engagement. So he deserved everything that he saw and heard. Roberta’s apartment/house looks great and we also were able to see from who Deeks inherited good sense for interior decoration. It would be good to learn more about Roberta’s life and background, but I am not hopeful…
The other excellent scene was with Kensi and Deeks running together and talking about his mother and their engagement. They seemed genuinely happy and relaxed and safe together. After everything they went thru together and after the years of loving each other (including the ones when they were not able to act on those feelings) one can see that they are at the right place right now with each other. They have now so much more than they had back when “Debt” was aired. Their present relationship is not defined by their partnership only, they are so much more to each other now, and therefore I didn’t even register any lack in Kensi’s reaction when Deeks was “fired”. Actually it is new boss’ right to organize the team as she/he sees it fit. It was not up to Kensi to question her boss’s decision but Callen’ s (as the team leader) and he did so resulting in bringing Deeks back with the team. Kensi obviously showed her dismay with the situation as the Callen felt compelled to ask her how she felt.
Bates seemed to me the same as always. I haven’t found anything strange in his communication with Deeks. What I did find however, is that Deeks considers him either as friend or he doesn’t obey hierarchy and/or authority since he openly called him an ass (despite the fact that it was well deserved on Bates’ part). So nothing new there.
Sam/Callen – this is another scene that didn’t strike me as unusual or strange. It is obvious that Sam is grieving, is still missing Michele and is trying to cope with his loss and he is clearly not ready to return to work yet. And Callen knows it. I understood their conversation as something that is so much them, something that represents their relationship (both partnership and friendship) very well. I do not think that Callen think that Sam will come back to work if he gets bigger desk or office, it is just the way they always communicate. I would say that Gemmill knows his characters well and everything they done was so much them.
There were some lows of course, the biggest of them being new assistant director that I didn’t like at all. But I suppose that we do not have to like or love all characters as long as they are portrayed seriously and to some depth (I understand that one cannot get into deep character exploration in such a show). There are some very much unlikable persons in everyone’s life and you simply learn to live with them. I just hope they are not going to make her nice person behind unlikable exterior and that she would simply be gone. .
And for Hetty, as Scott wrote on his tumblr :” One day I will care about Hetty. Today is not that day.”
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Thank you Karen for a great review. It is good to be back to new episodes and wikiDeeks providing a safe forum for us fans. I decided to hold off on my review until I watched the episode for a second time. I did not enjoy it the first time through , it seemed off, and I thought I was allowing my view of the new characters to too strongly influence my opinion. Upon second viewing I definitely enjoyed and appreciated it a great deal more and realized it was the new characters that were off. I loved your review of Eco’s scenes. I know there are some folks who did not like the scene of Deeks and Roberta but I liked it and I thought it was really funny and I enjoyed Eco and Pamela Reed in the scene, they have chemistry. Overall, upon second viewing, I get the feeling that this episode is really a set up for the future episodes, it touched a lot of topic areas and characters and I think they were just beginning the season storylines. We know that Roberta’s trainer has a recurring role, so I am guessing he is not what he appears, and certainly we have the potential for a fascinating Hetty storyline.
Now to the new characters. I will start by saying, I truly understand the need to add new characters. However, the introduction of Executive Assistant Director Mosley certainly ruined any scene she was in for me. I understand they will probably morph this character over time but for the life of me I cannot understand why they wrote her this way. She is a bad version of Duggan, and he was bad, I perceived her as a Washington bureaucrat who comes west to fix something. We have no idea what her credentials are. Her first act is to exhibit her incompetence by sending a valued team member away without knowing anything about his abilities and contributions to the team and her second incompetent act is ignoring the team leader who has led successful operations. That combined with the actress( I have no idea what the actress’ credentials are) , delivering every line the same way and the only expression she seemed to exhibit was a smirk instead of a smile to Callen led to just a dreadfu/painfull introduction of a permanent character.
At least to me it seems that the only person on the team one needs to worry about at this point is Sam, who experienced a life changing catastrophic event. For me it would have been a good story to show her questioning the return of Sam, perhaps the use of Nate, and perhaps conflict with Callen over his partner. This also would make me believe there was a purpose for killing a favorite character ,Michelle.
I truly hope they fix her character sooner than later.
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Great review Karen!! Kept smiling over and over at how you took the words right out of my head! That’s why I always love writing with you – we have a very similar writing voice and similar perspectives. I don’t have a thing to add, but wanted to say thanks for the review!
This episode may have gotten mixed reviews, but your discussion was 100% excellent. Welcome to the new additions and our returning friends!