Review: NCISLA “The Monster” (S9E17)
My favorite NCIS: Los Angeles writer Frank Military, AKA The Prince of Darkness, was back this week for only the second time this season, with “The Monster,” co-written by Adam George Key and directed by Dennis Smith. And yes, it had all the darkness – and more – we’ve come to expect from a signature Military episode. So much, in fact, that it couldn’t all fit into a single episode… It looks like the team is in for still more trouble from these creepy serial killing bad guys, and I for one am afraid.
Let’s just dive into the darkness, shall we? The episode, with its two separate cases, felt oddly disjointed, like it was written by two different people. In fact, I’m guessing that’s exactly what happened, that Military handled the Mosley/Callen case and newcomer Key wrote the serial killer case. April Fool’s! Of course Military would have handled the serial killer case. No one else on staff could have dreamed that up!
Having said that, the serial killer case definitely held my attention. The opening scene was gripping, appalling and disturbing. The Lieutenant Commander’s terror, well played by Andy Marques, jumped right through my TV screen and I really felt the horror of his situation.
There was definitely something off about the auto shop owners and employees. They were overly cheery, which I just chalked up to bad acting. I should have known there was more going on than met the eye. While more than a few employers might hire someone with a drug-related arrest in their past, how many of them would so blithely hire someone who’d committed murder? They definitely seemed just a tad too forgiving. Just what you want, an “overly flirty” employee who once dismembered a woman- not exactly what we usually put in the job descriptions at my office.
The scene at the theater where Deeks discovers the body was – dare I say? – beautifully shot. The dramatic lighting added immensely to the creepiness, and Eric Christian Olsen provided a perfect reaction of horror and confusion. (It was quite flattering lighting for his close-up too- is it wrong for me to notice that in the midst of the horror?)
This was a really good episode for Deeks fans. We got the delightful Densi conversation to open the episode (see below), plus a couple of fantastic scenes between Deeks and Hidoko. Deeks was such a great mentor to Nell when she came out into the field, and it’s lovely to see him attempt to be the same with Hidoko. Too bad she seemed so able to resist the Deeksness. In fact, that just might be the only part of the scene that didn’t ring true, for how could she continually knock down his efforts at bonding? He’s pretty irresistible after all. I think with a bit more time, he’d get her to spill the beans on her past, including the origin of her name (which I assume belonged to her husband).
Hidoko: Did you ever hear that curiosity killed the wild jungle cat?
Deeks: Did you just call me a wild jungle cat? Well played.
Again, ECO proves that he has great chemistry with literally everyone. Andrea Bordeaux plays the scene totally straight and yet he imbues it with such wonderful charm. His mentoring continued as he cut their interview with Huang short to follow her instead. “The wild jungle cat lays in wait for its prey”- well played, Detective. Then at the theater he looked out for Hidoko, ensuring she was careful when securing Huang’s weapon, and again making sure she was OK after getting a look at the crime scene. He does want to protect everyone around him, doesn’t he?
The highlight of the episode for me was listening to Deeks talk about his struggles to be accepted by the team. His description of taking on Sam in “Hand-to-Hand” reminded us of how much this team has evolved over the years, and of how they really are a family now. I absolutely loved hearing Deeks say it out loud, and it makes me happy for him that he feels that way, and has allowed himself to embrace them as family. It also echoed Hetty’s words to Mosley a few weeks ago. Combined with Deeks’ frequent jokes in this episode about being reassigned to LAPD, it also reminded me of Mosley’s plans to break up this little family.
Deeks: You know when I first met this team, Sam and I were basically in a steel cage match to the death?
Hidoko: And you survived. Impressive.
Deeks: I thought so, you know, ’cause he weighs like 245 pounds and I’m like 180. It’s not the point, the point is I know what it’s like to be the new kid on the block, especially when everybody else has grown up together, and it’s tough.
Hidoko: You all seem to get along fine.
Deeks: Yeah, now we do. Now they’re my family, I love ’em, one of which I love so much I’m gonna marry her. But my point is, that didn’t happen overnight.
I’ve often wondered what it was like for ECO coming onto a set filled with actors who’d already bonded and developed a shorthand with one another, only to have to pretend-fight LL Cool J in his first few scenes. It must have been so intimidating. He was as much a new kid as Deeks.
What with another partner swap, we only got one real Densi scene this episode. It was short but incredibly sweet and romantic. Deeks this episode wasn’t just wearing his heart on his sleeve, allowing us to sense his feelings by the power of his expressive face. He was out and out saying exactly what he was thinking through the whole episode, whether it was his worry about Callen being fired or him being reassigned, his horror over the serial killers’ actions, his declaration of the team as family, or here with Kensi discussing wedding plans. Those communication skills certainly have come a very long way. I love Unfiltered Deeks.
Deeks: Wait a minute. I’m not saying that I don’t care about the length of the tablecloth or the color of the flowers…
Kensi: That’s exactly what you’re saying.
Deeks: I’m just saying, it’s the bride’s day.
Kensi: I don’t want it to be the bride’s day. I want it to be our day, Deeks.
Deeks: Listen, the day that you asked me? That was my day. Alright? That was my week, that was my month, that was my year, that was my lifetime, forget about it. Game over, drop the mic. So the only thing that matters to me in this wedding is that I’m with you.
Kensi: You really don’t care about the tablecloth?
Deeks: Not at all.
Kensi: You know what? Neither do I. But I need help, from you, to organize this wedding. So can you please please can you do that?
Deeks: Absolutely, I can do that.
Kensi: Thank you. I love you.
The highlight here is the super-romantic declaration from Deeks, but I also enjoyed the fact that Kensi also didn’t really care about the wedding details. I think that’s very fitting with her personality, even though we know she has a secret lacy, lady side. Let’s get that simple wedding on the beach already! And by the way, can we assume they’ve picked a date? Perhaps late May?
Ah, but hoping for a happy ending for Densi is where this episode really messed with my head. The fact that Kensi and Sam spent so much time amongst these creepy killers makes me worry that when they return, they’ll be coming for Kensi specifically. And even if they don’t, we know we’re not done with their story. I can’t even imagine having to watch a member of the team be taken by these monsters- it’s chilling to think about.
But it wasn’t as simple as the actual events of the episode. There was something about the contrast between happy wedding plans and awful serial killers that made it feel like the two stories were somehow intertwined. Plus Deeks watching NSA Agent Huang lose her partner in such a tragic way (“Jordan was my partner in Los Angeles”) totally brought back the events of Military’s other episode this year, the amazing “The Silo.” Deeks and Kensi grappling with the dangers of their job, and whether they want to continue facing them while risking all the happiness they might otherwise have, was a theme of “The Silo” and came up in other episodes this year too. (Perhaps they too should consider mutual tracking apps? Heck, I’d put that overwatch spray on the whole team, that’d save them a lot of trouble!)
It all feels like it’s building up to something, a series of events that could prompt one or the other, or both, to make a big career decision. (I refuse to consider that one or the other could be killed- that is too horrific to contemplate. They have earned a happy ending and I will continue to expect just that.) The fact that creepy serial killers are now in the mix with only a few episodes remaining in the season just creates a feeling of dread and impending doom that I now feel hanging over the final episodes, in a way I don’t remember experiencing before.
Even when we knew Sidorov was coming back to threaten nuclear annihilation, I had no idea beforehand that we’d have the darkness that was “Descent.” But Frank Military is like some of my favorite fan fiction writers who aren’t afraid to take Deeks to a dark place. I love the angst they create, but I’m also scared of what exactly they might do- they’re capable of simultaneously great and terrible things. Military imbues his stories with a real sense of danger that’s often lacking on a show of near superheroes who manage to dodge hails of bullets with ease. But hey, at least he’s not writing the finale. However, he does have me rethinking whether it’s a good idea to call AAA the next time I have car trouble!
For me, the serial killers were the real episode and the storyline with Mosley and Callen was a bit superfluous. Since we’d already been clued in about Mosley’s son, it seemed pretty clear from the start here who Spencer Williams was and why Mosley was so intent on apprehending him. I never quite understood why Special Agent Swan allowed her to be present in the first place. Although she showed vulnerability in the end by sharing her story with Callen, I still feel that overall, this character has a single pose, a single expression, and a single way of delivering her lines, and none of these seem likely to change.
On the other hand, how fun was it to see Hetty making herself at home at Mosley’s desk? She’s so skilled at getting under Mosley’s skin in the most pleasant way possible. This conflict between the two “diametrically opposed life views” has me really appreciating all that Hetty (and Linda Hunt) are capable of. At the end of the day, I don’t know whether we’re to think that Mosley still wants to break up the team or not. I don’t find it a particularly interesting storyline, save for giving Hetty a reason to toy with Mosley.
- Deeks was funny in Ops during the briefing, first by blurting out his concern about job security, and then with his not-exactly-under-his-breath groan when Hidoko talked over Sam.
- I did enjoy Callen asking Hetty, “Is this the part where you give me an answer that doesn’t tell me a damn thing?” and Hetty replying, “We’ve sung this duet before.” It sums up Hetty’s relationship with everyone pretty succinctly if you ask me.
- So many weapons get stolen from our military bases on this show that it’s amazing we have any left to defend ourselves with!
- I wasn’t sold on the dynamic between Kensi and Sam when they arrived at the auto shop- the need to drive, really? I’d have preferred they talk about something more interesting or different. It felt a bit forced, like Daniela’s and LL’s hearts just weren’t in it.
- Speaking of Kensi, is it just me, or has she seemed slightly more subdued, somber even, at times this season? She just doesn’t seem to be taking as much joy in her work as she has in the past. It could be my imagination or it could be deliberate on the part of Daniela Ruah, perhaps showing that Kensi’s dealing with a little burn-out. She sure was the most relieved of all of them not to have to investigate the serial killings.
- I love when they feature one of the old theaters in downtown Los Angeles. There’s a whole district full of them. Some are maintained in their historical condition and used once or twice a year to show classic movies. Some have sadly been turned into swap meets or churches. Others have been restored and are being used for live theater. Every one that I’ve had the pleasure to see is simply stunning.
- I did wonder whether these kind of disturbing murders would really affect the team so much after all the other horrors they’ve witnessed.
- I enjoyed the big twist that the whole gang was in on the killings, and also the smaller twist that Huang was really NSA. It was cool to see her accent disappear. Well played Mr. Military and Mr. Key.
That’s it from me. Come back later this week for new editions of Deeks’ Surf Log, Kensi’s Journal, and the Drabble of the Week. In the meantime, what did you think of “The Monster”? Am I reading way too much into the proverbial tea leaves? Things are going to be just fine, right? Right?
Well reviewed Karen. I went into my Facebook group after the show and the vast majority absolutely HATED this episode. They said it was too much like Criminal Minds and if they wanted to watch that they would. The other huge opinion was that they still hated Mosley. I will admit there it was nice to see she was human and her taking Hetty’s advice and actually telling the team(right now just Callen) the truth and actually trusting them. I like Hidoko and I was curious about her last name too. I agree I’m thinking it was her husband’s last name. The one thing she said that really irked me is that her loyalty would always be with Mosley. I’m not saying she can’t be loyal to her but to survive in this group she may want to be open to the possibility of trying to bond more with the team. It would be wise if she is to be considered not the enemy attempting to help Mosley break this group up.
The murders were pretty creepy to me and tbh it didn’t dawn on me until one of them said about Frankensteining the body that was what they had done. I noticed the cuts not realizing what had happened (I didn’t look close enough at the whole body til after this was said). It creeps me out that Kensi and Sam were in this shop with all the killers not realizing til afterward. Honestly I hope they don’t have anyone kidnapped by this group to be killed least of all Kensi. Hasn’t the girl suffered enough throughout the course of this show? Shot at, held hostage by that crazy guy last year, taken prisoner in Afghanistan, pinned under a crashed plane (yes I realize those last 2 accommodated her pregnancies). Give the woman a break already! I’m with you Karen. Give those 2 their wedding. They’ve waited long enough for it and so have we!
Do we know who that last body was of? I don’t think it was Rand(which I did like seeing her in this episode-she was great!). People in the Facebook group were speculating it was Mandy. I have to wonder if it was that female owner of the shop. Anyway, it was a great review Karen.
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The last Frankenstein was composed of the owners of the body shop. Not sure when they found the time to do their sick work, but it sure was a creepy way to end it. Pretty brazen group.
I might have misunderstood but wasn’t the owners and employees used in the first Frankenstein body and that’s how it was discovered that the killers were impersonating them?
First, great job with your review. Second, yes, things are going to be just fine, Karen. You know how I convinced myself of that? The fact that when the killer (presumably Bobby) held up that reciprocating saw to the Lieutenant Commander’s leg, it reminded me a little too much of Ferris and Kensi (same type of saw in fact). In other words, a member of our team has been there, done that, and the baddie got a double tap to the head as a souvenir. So to do it again is beneath TPTB. I’m thinking the way our team gets pulled back into this case (because it really had nothing to do with national security as far as we know), is that the killers decide to taunt Sam and Kensi with the next kill, b/c they spent all that time together and never suspected a thing. That’s my rationale and I’m sticking with it [crosses arms defensively in front of my chest and stomps a foot half-heartedly].
The first time I watched the ep, I fast-forwarded past all the Mosley scenes except the last one with Callen. After watching the entire episode, I realized I hadn’t missed a thing. Yawn. Hopefully Callen (and the rest of the team? it wasn’t really clear if this was info he was permitted to share with them) will help her find her son and she can take some time away from work making up for the five years she’s lost with him.
And Hidoko can be the nanny, apparently, since she has now officially drawn her line in the sand between the team and herself and Mosley. I get it, character-wise. She got the there’s-no-second-chances-with-me smack-down from the AED and clearly cares more about what side of the bread her butter is on than doing the right thing. So she had her shields up and was (for the moment, at least) impervious to the Deekness. Her loss. But kudos to Deeks for always being the one to reach out a hand to the newbie, underdog, or defenseless. Also great characterization, IMO.
Loved the sole Densi moment, which had more great characterization, as well as some grown-up, mature, about-to-be-married-couple conversation and compromise. I appreciated the way they stopped short of the bullpen to have this little personal talk/disagreement, and how Deeks looked around to make sure no one was nearby at one point before continuing. See, they can be professional at work!
It’s funny you mention Kensi being more somber this season, Karen. During the Densi scene, I thought she looked a little tired (and dare I say older?), and I wondered if it was a lighting thing, an angle thing, a make-up thing, or a deliberate thing.
I kind of liked the Sam/Kensi banter about driving. I can only recall the two of them them driving together once before (he used touche in that conversation, I don’t recall the ep), and we know Kensi likes to be in the driver’s seat (see what I did there?) whenever possible, so it made a lot of sense to me. If LL seemed a little bored in his delivery, (and I did get that too), I figured it was just because in Sam’s mind, there really was no discussion/debate to be had here. He drives when he’s with Callen, he’s driven when with Deeks, there’s no way he wasn’t going to drive when with Kensi. Period, end of story.
As for the big story-line, when they “figured out” that Bobby couldn’t have been the killer, I paused the screen, looked at the time and said to DH, “So they just spent 40 minutes of the show questionning the wrong person. That doesn’t happen enough.” Heh, so much for that. And as for the other “employees” not having a problem with the fact that Bobby killed someone 20 years before, I assumed they didn’t know the details. As if he explained it by saing he was a heavy drug user and someone died as a result, so people could believe what they wanted (like maybe he was high and crashed into someone’s car). But the fact that Kensi and Sam spent several hours with multiple serial killers is chilling. And where were the body parts hanging out all that time? Good thing they didn’t get suspicious and start snooping around!
I’m pretty sure there was more I wanted to write, but sadly for me (and luckily for all of you), I’m out of time.
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Thanks for writing another great review, Karen. Always enjoy reading these, especially when we have lots of Deeks to analyze. I enjoy dark cases and Military episodes, so I LOVED this one and I’m glad the storyline didn’t end yet. I’m really curious of how they will bring it back, and if it will affect the team personally, I’m kinda hoping it does, but with a happy ending, of course.
This is the Deeks I fell in love with, and I enjoyed all his scenes. I like that he’s funny, but ECO is so much more than that, and he plays different emotions so well. I loved that we got worried, honest and serious Deeks and not just the typical comic relief. As a fan of his relationship with Sam, I really appreciated his words to Hidoko, but sadly, she annoyed/confused me in that scene. Last week she was all in for the team, this week she’s 100% team Mosley? And then she wonders why “after everything they’ve been through, they still don’t trust her enough to ask for help”. I also loved your comment about ECO being as much a new kid as Deeks.
I don’t even wanna think about the Mosley part of the episode. I agree that it felt disjointed and for me, predictable. I’m not a fan of Mosley and I don’t think that will be changing any time soon. The only highlight of having her in OSP is enjoying Linda Hunt and Hetty’s brilliance.
As for your last comment, yes I think (and want) for things to be just fine, but I wouldn’t mind getting a little angst, and maybe even danger, in between. I also wouldn’t mind waiting for the wedding if that means we get a season 10.
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Thank you for your great review, Karen. Frank Military is a great writer, but I have to admit that some scenes in this episode were a bit too much for me and I wish that there had been more balance in this episode (Now both cases were kind of dark (killer, agent killed, Mosley’s son missing), the ending was dark,both cases were left open and there weren’t much comedy relief)) . This episode was reminded me too of Criminal Minds and a part of me was kind of expecting the Criminal Minds-team to appear and this to be a crossover episode. I agree with Karen that the two stories felt a bit disjointed, sometimes it felt like they had just combined two episodes into one. I liked that there were movie-like elements in this episode, especially in directing, cinematography and background music, I did like that the serial killer -case wasn’t typical NCIS LA case (even though there were those moments that were a bit too much) and that Densi scene was great (wish it had been longer though).
Was that a small cameo from David Olsen and his and Daniela’s dog in that scene where Hidoko and Deeks went to meet Huang for the first time?
When it comes to the ATF-case, was the agent shot because they discovered that he was an agent and if so is there a mole in ATF? (I guess, if there is a mole, it isn’t Anna because that would be too similar to Joelle storyline, a part of me would had loved that though). I really hope agent Rand will not get hurt and she isn’t the next victim (or anyone from the NCIS LA team of course), I haven’t seen any hints/spoilers about that, but I am just worried because I have had such a bad luck with my favorite female characters in this show.
I was slightly disappointed with Hidoko and Mosley’s characters, this “hot and cold” behaviour towards the team is really distracting for me and that makes it so hard to connect with the characters, especially when there are two kind of similar characters and those changes in their behaviour are sometimes so random and inconsistent. That Deeks and Hidoko talk in the car was great (especially ECO ‘s acting was amazing and felt so genuine and heartfelt), but I was a bit confused by Hidoko, she seemed to want that the team trusts her and wants to be a part of the team, but at the same time she is on “team Mosley” (makes it difficult for the team to trust her). That scene where Mosley told Callen about her son didn’t make her more sympathetic character for me, i don’t know if it was that lack of connection I have with Mosley’s character (maybe that was what made that scene a lot less heartfelt) or something else, but for me something was missing in that scene and actually some parts of that scene made me almost feel like Mosley is using that son storyline to set up the team and it is just a plan to destroy the team or put the team in danger (I don’t really believe that but I just had those kind of thoughts during that scene).
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Anne, the big bad guy said that one of his men recognized the ATF agent as a Dade County Sheriff from 10 years prior. So I don’t know if they knew he was ATF or a federal agent or exactly what he was, but the fact that he had been a sheriff was a big tip-off that he wasn’t a legitmate baddie as he was claiming to be. That doesn’t lead me to believe there’s a mole in the ATF. But its a good point you make, since this show has had it’s share of moles in government agencies; it’s probably why they even bothered to explain it for the audience.
Thank you for so much for answering. I missed that part and I was a bit confused. I think there has been so many moles that it is the first thing that came in to my mind 🙂
Thank you for the review! Because of the sneak peek 2 of Deeks in the theater, I was looking forward to this episode. And absolutely yes, that scene was shot beautifully. It would have been interesting to start the story from there. Wow. Knowing it was a Military script also helped.
I wish this episode had been earlier in the season. Showing Mosley as human would have helped but for me it’s too late; I want her gone. The actress does better in the quiet intimate scenes. She fails when she has to play a leadership role and proclaims everything in one tone. She needs to be on a show that allows her to play to her strengths. It’s not this one.
I also wish this episode had been earlier in the season because it was finally back to their previous narrative high standard form and was actually suspenseful i.e., what the hell is happening? (to quote Deeks). It’s a serial killer team versus our team. I am nervous for our team’s safety. This isn’t a cartoon villain from a country we don’t want to piss off PR-wise where we know the team will be ok.
And I loved the stare down Deeks and Hidoko had that emphasized their height differences.
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I know I’m a little weird when it comes to dark matter, but I found a strange connection between the different, seemingly unrelated parts of this story. It was all about families in a way. Kensi and Deeks starting a new one. Deeks sharing how a team of unrelated people become a family. Mosley trying to find the missing piece to hers. And all overshadowed by a family of sickos sewing various parts of different people into one whole. Now whether that was intentional or just the way I saw it, I don’t know, but Frank Military is certainly capable of thinking that way. The ever present battle between good and evil presented in stark contrast. Yeah…I know…I’m weird.
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Thanks for your review Karen, and for all the comments so far! Confirms my decision not to watch the episode – although it sound like it might be worth watching the Densi parts. I stopped watching Criminal Minds years ago because it was too dark for me. Since CBS has a show like that, not sure why the need to import that style to NCIS:LA.
Aside from the case, it seems like the confusion re: the purpose/value of Mosley persists. If she was supposed to replace Granger – in a similar “gruff to begin with but eventually grows on you” style – it’s not working. Granger was gruff but multi-dimensional, and it sounds like she was as flat as ever in this episode. Will definitely fast forward past those parts if I hunt out the Densi scenes in this episode.
Karen, great review. I thought you did a wonderful review of the Deeks scenes, and no you are not wrong to notice how the the lighting flattered ECO’s closeup.I kept thinking the old theater was just beautiful, and Deeks in the lighting was so striking and then there was the horror within the theater.The serial murder story was very dark but very well done, well written, and very well acted. I thought ECO gave an incredible performance in this episode. The only thing I felt lacking in the serial murder story was a heartfelt Deeks and Kensi scene. I truly enjoyed the opening scene with Deeks and Kensi but I would have liked an additional, albeit short scene , with them where although they are surrounded by darkness, they have each other, sort of a Spoils Of War ending, Silo ending, or Seventh Child ending . I think I would have less dread about what was coming in future episodes if we had a scene like that.
I agree with you there seemed to be a disconnect between the two stories. It seemed like the secondary story could have been shorter and accomplished the same goal, and maybe then the serial murder story could have given us some more team moments , especially Deeks and Kensi. I just cannot fathom what they think they are doing with the Mosley character, it feels like they are trying to gather sympathy or understanding for her, but it is not working. In this episode, she was condescending and arrogant to the woman from ATF who was in charge of the operation and then put her own agent, Callen, in incredible danger by contradicting the ATF agent who was in charge.She had a personal conflict of interest and caused interagency conflict. There really is no excuse for how she treats people or the fact that she touts her own authority and belittles her agents for lack of respect, but then tries to override another character’s authority during an operation.She is an unpleasant character to watch in action .
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Good point about the conflict of interest. I would think her boss (SecNav) would know her history and we saw Mosley report to SecNav so there should have been an order for her to not get involved. Hetty knows Mosley’s history as well. SHE should have said something unless Hetty wants some leverage against Mosley which is entirely possible. And I’m sorry, the comment about Callen being the best Mosley’s seen just doesn’t ring true. He’s good and he as a member of his team is very good. The best?
Thanks for an awesome review! I think with a two hour season finale we are definitely getting a Densi wedding this year. I liked that this case is so sick and horrifying that it does rock our group of seasoned agents and they don’t want to have to be anywhere near it. It creeps me out too that Kensi and Sam spent so much time with the killers. (I wonder if real agents would have asked for ID or anything, or if they would have just assumed they were talking to the real shop owners.) I think maybe agent Rand gets kidnapped by the killers and the FBI asks for NCIS’s help and that’s how they get dragged back into it. I don’t think Hidoko is going to be able to resist the Deeksness for long. I think she wants to be friends with them even if she is loyal to Mosley. I knew right away that Mosley had her son taken away, but it will be interesting to see how the team helps get him back.
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Thanks, Karen, for your review.
To be honest, I found the episode quite disturbing and scary and a strange feeling of uneasiness hasn’t left me since I watched its darkest scenes.
What I really liked were all the ECO scenes, luckily this week he wasn’t underutilized as many other times, Deeks was smart, competent, handsome (yes, he was) and also very nosy with Hidoko, which made me remember with some regret all the old, glorious, early-Season-2 Densi scenes, banter and hilarious interactions.
The Densi scene at the beginning was nice in itself even if it didn’t add much to the wedding plans storyline, which, as I already feared, is going to be dragged all this season (not a fan of such important events spread in so many episodes, as it happened last year with the Densi engagement).
Now, after this episode and the recent interview by ECO in which he hinted at something unexpected and “heavy” almost at the end of the season (“a freight train”, “It’s a deeply personal story, and you don’t see any of it coming”, “in that second-to-last episode we have continuous turns that I did not see coming, from an emotion, character and plot standpoint. It gets heavy”), I’m beginning to be quite nervous and worried.
Might it have to do with Deeks and Kensi? with their wedding? with an unexpected turning point that might force one of them or both to consider a career change? In the (I hope likely) event of a Season 10, would ECO be going to stay? I must admit I have been very concerned this season about Deeks or Kensi leaving NCIS to start a family. All the hints, some conversations, the beautiful and emotional Silo ending, single details that might imply one of them is going to leave. I get it would be more realistic than both continuing to risk their lives on a daily basis, but I can’t even think about the idea of watching NCIS:LA without one of them. This scares me more than any serial killer born from Frank Military’s mind!
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After reading all the comments, I wanted to comment on that scene where Deeks is being his charming self trying to get Hidoko to reveal a bit about herself. The banter is all one sided. She stonewalls him, all of her remarks delivered in a cold off-putting manner. The woman has no sense of humor whatsoever. Talk about guarded. Does Mosley have something on her that she’s so afraid to connect with anyone other than her boss? Deeks was at least trying to reach out to her. She’s become colder than Mosley, if that’s possible.
I totally agree with your assessment. I felt she was cold and humorless, and as a result for me at least I felt she was behaving in an arrogant way toward him, like somehow she was better than him.
I think Hidoko’s response (or lack thereof) to Deeks (you described it well as cold and off-putting) is directly related to the smack-down she got from Mosley last week after clearly siding with the team and not telling Mosley what they were doing. She put her neck out there and tried to be part of the team and then was told in no uncertain terms that she was not the best person for the job but she was picked anyway so she basically owes her career to the AED (what that tells me is that Mosley thought she could control Hidoko and have her personal little minion to get her coffee, spy on the team, and report back every little move. When Mosley realized her control was slipping and that Hidoko wasn’t as loyal as she’d hoped/thought/planned, she very clearly put her back in her place (i.e.,I brought you here, I can send you away again too). Hidoko in this episode is acting like the puppy who got hit with a rolled up paper for the first time after running through mommy’s garden; she’s reluctant to show herself and put herself at risk again. And when Deeks gave her an out and noted that the team is smart enough to see Mosley and Hidoko as individuals, she openly aligned herself with Mosley:
Deeks: What I’m telling you is that you’re only attached to her if you want to be.
Hidoko: I want to be. She’s mentored me. She’s gotten me this far. I’m loyal. I’ll be happy to go down with her if that’s what happens.
Deeks: Fair enough.
With Mosley, there’s seems to be no middle ground; if you’re not for/with her, you’re against her. She has made her position clear to Hidoko, who has now made her choice and is being cold and with-holding with her colleagues because she doesn’t want to find herself liking/siding with them or being perceived as liking/siding with them.
Psyched, I see the scene with Hidoko and Deeks differently. Although you are making a valid point about Mosley your argument makes Mosley the bad guy and Hidoko a victim and I do not accept that. Hidoko is a trained agent who is an adult, she is responsible for how she treated Deeks. She could have responded with kindness to him, all it would taken was when he said he was marrying Kensi , she could have said I am really happy for both of you, there was no kindness in her voice at any point in the conversation with Deeks. Hidoko owns her actions , and perhaps she was handpicked by Mosley because she is a lot like Mosley.
Sassy, I’m not trying to say Hidoko is a victim and that she didn’t make a deliberate choice. Just the opposite. I think she recognizes the position she is in and is choosing to side with Mosley because her job is more important to her than having done the right thing in “Warriors of Peace.” I do think the reason she behaved this way toward Deeks is because she is trying not to connect with them any further than she already has, and perhaps to sever whatever connections she’s already made.
Thanks for the clarification.
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Hidoko was alone in that car with Deeks, and unless Mosley bugged her or the car, there is no way Mosley would know what she said to Deeks. I don’t think they were on comms at that point either. So, I’m not sure the way she acted was because Mosley might find out. This was something else. She’s definitely protecting herself, for what reason I’m not sure. Maybe they’ll let us know by the end of the season, if anyone cares by then. Maybe she just doesn’t like Deeks.
Now that’s just the most outlandish thing I’ve ever heard, Lindy! How can ANYONE not like Deeks?! 😉
I don’t think Hidoko was afraid Mosly would find out if she had a friendly convo with Deeks or confessed to him that she’s afraid for her job (yet another thing they’d have in common–and Hidoko certainly knows how hot Mosley’s been to get rid of Deeks). I agree she’s protecting herself, and I also agree that no one will likely care if they ever get around to revealing her reasons to be anything other than what I suspect (that she’s trying not to connect further with the team and/or appear that she is doing so).
I am really tired of her hot and cold attitude. First she’s all with the team and then she’s only loyal to Mosely. I’m tired of both of them. I have yet to feel like they will ever fit in. Having said all that I Must say this is the first episode I’ve truly enjoyed all season. It had it all including a very serious Deeks which I love. And that scene in the theatre was magnificanly filmed by Smith. I’ve never seen Deeks look so amazing. I had to freeze frame it just to soak in all his Deekness! LOL!
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ECO was the perfect choice to find the body. He has the most expressive face, and he looked truly shaken. Looked pretty damn good too.
They shot that in the same theater as the first part of Blye, K. The lighting made it look completely different and really creepy. I was wondering who did the rental agreement for that ugly little show, and how they were feeling the next morning. I’m thinking they probably got fired.
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Welcome back Karen. Great review indeed. I expected a lot from this episode and it was a good hunch. Excellent episode, definitely one of the two best so far (don’t worry I am not referring to Goodbye Vietnam, I was thinking about The Silo).
I enjoyed pretty much your review but also comments from the other readers and I must admit that I love to see so many outstanding fanfiction writers commenting here.
I agree with the most of what has been already said above, but would like to add my thoughts on Deeks/Hidoko “partnership” in this episode. What I noticed first is that Deeks immediately took the lead and what is more important that Hidoko followed him. I was little bit surprised with that since Hidoko is agent, maybe young one but, I would say, also experienced enough and most definitely very “ready in all aspects” field agent. What I want to say is that she is not by all means, probie or rookie (even Sam hasn’t questioned her abilities for a moment and we all know how it went when Deeks joined the team), and yet she followed him, trusted him to find the truth behind Mandy’s story. I have never had that feeling watching Deeks with Nell (and I find Hidoko better filed agent than Nell). Nell was always shown as little genius that often rubbed me the wrong way. Further, I have also noticed how Hidoko looked with concern at Deeks when Mandy admitted that she was in love with her (now late) partner. It was very quick glance but it was there nevertheless, and I appreciated it very much. That brings me to the next thought connected with Hidoko’s unwillingness to talk about the origin of her surname. We know that she was married and that she lost her husband and that she was more than reluctant to talk to Hetty about it. So maybe her refusal to talk to Deeks about it stemmed from the fact that it was too painful for her to talk about her late husband, so she simply deflected and being smart as he is he didn’t pushed thereafter.
All in all, it didn’t bother me at all that Hidoko was not opening to Deeks. There were simply too many other great things about this episode than to think about Hidoko (for example Deeks’ jacket and how great he looked wearing it!!!) .
I kinda hope that both Mosley and Hidoko will leave the show at the end of this season and will not return in the next one. Now when we know that Mosley is looking for her son, I am inclined to think that she is not in LA to “dismantle” the team, but to use them to find and bring her son back. So I tolerate both of them hoping they are not here to stay.
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Hi WikiDEEKS fans! Thank you to all that puts this site together each week; previews and reviews; its flat out amazing all information that’s put together for us fans and its very much appreciated. I’ve changed my name not for any particular reason except that it was time for me to do so; or so I feel in my head anyway :-)!! I honestly don’t want to comment on this episode but I would like to thank everyone for their comments and insight. Although I haven’t been on responding I have come here to read everyone’s comments/insights and I thank you all!! I’ve been dealing with losing my mother and sister in less than 1-1/2 years; whoa what a mess and challenge but now I feel I’m getting back to myself and to my life. Back to living!!!
I would like to note though that I am NOT the thumbs down person; who the hell comes on here and just thumbs down everyone; my message to that person is don’t come to this site its called WikiDEEKS for a reason!
Again thank you everyone; those that run this site and those who engage in comments; I’ll get there; baby steps right :-).
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Wow, thanks for all these awesome comments. You all gave me a lot to think – and to laugh – about. A few thoughts to add…
About Hidoko, I’m on the fence about her. She is always serious but has managed a few good one-liners here and there, like in this ep with the wild jungle cat line. We don’t know how recently her husband died, so maybe she’s still in mourning like Sam. Maybe that’s why those two seem to get along so well- they’re both serious by nature and are recovering from a huge loss, even if Sam doesn’t realize that about her. My conclusion- they just need to get her drunk.
But you all made me think about Hidoko as yet another example to Deeks and Kensi of losing your significant other because of their dangerous job. Her story also overlapped with the theme of family that Lindy noticed in this ep. Hetty had noted that he died a hero, so I assume he was also NCIS or potentially some other alphabet agency, or perhaps military. Perhaps later this season, Deeks will finally wear her down, or else at the right moment, she’ll offer some heartfelt advice to the couple about getting out of their current line of work before they suffer her fate. I think I’d really like to see that.
I agree with several of you that Kensi really better not be the one in jeopardy at the end of the season. Enough already with the limb severing threats. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing Deeks as the damsel in distress.(Sorry, to quote Lindy, I’m weird that way.)
As for the body (bodies?) at the end, let me get this straight… It was made up of parts from the actual garage owners/employees, and then the body at the theater was made up of (yuck!) other parts from the same people along with the Lieutenant Commander? Thanks for helping sort that out and/or please correct me if I’m still confused. On second thought, I don’t really need to know.
AnneS, good eyes on the possible DPO spotting! I’m not familiar enough with their dog to have an opinion.
P.S. Lindy you are so NOT weird!
I did like the jungle cat comment from Hidoko. However, has he called himself that around her? If not, how did she know to call him that?
And Karen….it’s good to know you don’t think I’m totally weird…but maybe I am just a tiny bit.
I don’t think we’ve witnessed Deeks calling himself a jungle cat in front of her. I assume she overheard him say it to Kensi at some point.
OK, if you’re a tiny bit weird than so am I. 😉
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Great reviews and comments. I just have a question about the show renewal. I see CBS has already renewed several shows. Does anyone have any insight into what’s going to happen to our favourite show? The Sunday night programming doesn’t seem to have helped ratings. I, along with all of you will be devastated if there’s not another season. Any ideas of when we might find out?
Dianne, from what I’ve read, the show is expected to be renewed. It’s owned by CBS so they have a bit more incentive to create additional content they can sell in syndication later. Plus I don’t blame NCIS:LA for its troubles this year so much as the poor lead-in that ended up getting canceled. I think (hope) CBS will feel the same way.
Thanks Karen. I’m from Australia so don’t really know how that side of things works. Thanks for explaining to me. I imagine we should find out in the very near future?
I finally got around to watching this one, minus the creepier scenes (thanks for the warnings.) If Frank Military were my neighbor, I’d move far away. I do like dark episodes as much as anyone, but parts of this one crossed the line into sick territory.
Not much to add, except to say that I liked having Deeks paired up with Hidoko. Sure I wish she had been nicer to him, but we’ve heard worse, and if it comes from Kensi it gets labelled as banter and is declared to be hilarious. I couldn’t help but wonder though whether Deeks’comment that Harley was her own person, not joined at the hip to Mosely wasn’t the writer’s shot at some fans who seem to condemn both characters based only on their dislike of Mosely. I thought Nia Long did a good job portraying Mosely’s desperation at the possibility of getting her son back, I didn’t see it as butch or haughty or any of the other words I’ve seen used to describe it.
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The arms dealer got away, the death cult got away, I need closure!