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Review: NCISLA “Vendetta” (S9E18)


If I watched NCIS: Los Angeles for the case of the week, this week’s episode, written by Jordana Lewis Jaffe and directed by James Whitmore, Jr., would have been a fine (and funny) hour of television. Unfortunately for me, I primarily tune in to see what’s happening with Marty Deeks and his ladybird, and there just wasn’t enough of them to satisfy me.

The Funny

Arkady Kolchek, played so wonderfully by Vyto Ruginis, is a treasure. So much so that I’m willing to tolerate his daughter Anna’s presence if it means we can enjoy more of the silliness and hilarity he brings. He lights up every scene he’s in, from telling Callen his nearly furniture-free house has an “interesting design concept,” to his towel-clad attempts to charm Mosley at the boatshed (“Do not thank me- it is my absolute wondrous pleasure”), to cutting the tension with humor at the hotel (“Is it just me, or is it extremely uncomfortable in here?”), he makes me laugh out loud. My favorite was his response to Mosley’s doubting the need for NCIS involvement, saying “Well when you say it in that tone…” Oh, Arkady, you have no idea- we’ve been listening to that exact same tone for the entire season!

And just like Eric Christian Olsen, Ruginis has great chemistry with everyone. Linda Hunt seemed to be having a marvelous time shielding her eyes from the sight of the towel-clad Arkady. Knowing that he has a thing for her, would it be wrong of me to ship the two? Arketty, anyone? And he has a little bit of a love-hate relationship with Sam. Heck, he even brings out the best in Anna, making her seem less one-dimensional.

The Awkard

I don’t think I’ll ever really buy Eric as an undercover operative. He brings plenty of humor to the situation, like when he discusses his choice of caffeinated beverages with Sam and Callen, but he struggles in the actual case, losing track of Leigha, unable to find a way to evacuate the building, and hesitating before shooting a bad guy. I find his lack of competence in keeping with his lack of experience, but I don’t like the way it’s played for humor. He could easily have gotten himself or someone else killed when he hesitated at the end. I liked him more before he became capable of shooting bad guys at all, before he became “cool” “Bulletproof Beale.” Like the Beale from “Rocket Man,” who nearly gets frelted- sweet and vulnerable and oh so good at his tech job.

Speaking of awkward, we did get one good Densi scene when the two went to the restaurant where Vladlena had sent her text message:

Kensi: Have you been here before?
Deeks: No I have not been here before.
Hostess: Deeks!
Deeks: Oh, god.
Hostess: It is so great to see you again.
Deeks: Hey.
Hostess: And you must be Kensi.
Kensi: Agent Blye, actually.
Hostess: You were right, she is all business.
Kensi: [to hostess] Excuse me?
Deeks: You have no idea.
Kensi: [to Deeks] Excuse me?
Deeks: Alright, listen. I have been here before…
Kensi: Evidently.
Deeks: …but it’s not what you think.
Hostess: He came for dinner, but stayed for dessert.
Deeks: See, I came for- what?
Kensi: Did you now?
Deeks: That doesn’t sound good… OK, just, here’s the deal. I’ve been here before because I was scoping out a potential venue for our wedding.
Kensi: Yeah – what?
Deeks: Our wedding. Oh my god you have the spiraling circle of death face. I literally just melted your brain. Your brain broke, you’ve gotta do a hard restart.

Both ECO and Daniela Ruah were quite funny here. Her “spiraling circle of death face” was perfect and it made me think of all the times we’ve seen ECO comment about Daniela’s fantastic reactions to his improvisations. But… the whole discussion felt unnecessarily awkward to me. I’d have preferred to see a little bit of a grin on Kensi’s face as she watched Deeks struggle with the situation. It would have implied that she of course trusts him and wasn’t worried about why he had been there before. Instead she looked genuinely annoyed that he had kept something from her, so the scene felt more tense than I would have liked. And then we never got a resolution. Has he been privately scoping out wedding venues for some time? And why? Why does he feel the need to wedding plan in secret? I don’t get it and I really disliked that we didn’t hear any follow-up that would explain this and resolve things between the two of them. Perhaps there’s a nice deleted scene that we might see in the DVD. Also, while we’re on the subject of wedding plans, it almost feels like wedding discussions are the only thing Densi can now do. I’d love to see a silly, flirty, totally meaningless but totally fun scene between these two. It would be a nice reminder of old times.

The Missing

I’m happy for Eric Christian Olsen to have been able to negotiate so much time away from set this season. He no doubt needs the rest, wants to spend time with his family, and has other projects to pursue. Unfortunately for us, however, I think his absences have really taken a toll on my enjoyment of the season. I can only assume he was away for part of this episode’s filming, given the relative lack of screen time that he and Daniela Ruah had. Of course, it could have just been the Arkady/Anna focus of the storyline that kept him and Kensi off-screen. Regardless, the lack of Deeks does not make for a happy wikiDeeks reviewer. I even pulled an “Ed”, to reference one of our frequent wikiDeeks commenters, and tallied up ECO’s screen time. He was present for seven of the episode’s approximately 42 minutes, and for a chunk of that, he was just a wingman hanging out at the boatshed with Leigha. And while I’ll keep tuning in to see any small amount of Deeks, this trend is just not conducive to satisfactory storylines for our favorite character.

Memorable Moments

  • I didn’t love how goofy they made Anna’s partner Gary. I’d have liked to see him a little smarter. (“Oh, snap. You guys are good.”) He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy Anna would go for, assuming that’s what we’re to believe happened? At least he was good in a firefight.
  • I wasn’t a fan of the wide angle lens used to shoot the scene with Eric and Leigha in front of Leigha’s office building. It did show off the colorful architecture, but it gave the scene a kind of off-kilter feel that I didn’t think matched the conversation.
  • Nice job stirring up trouble, Sam, by putting Callen and Anna together at the spa. Speaking of which, is that the same spa as the one in “Wanted”? There can’t be too many spas in Los Angeles frequented by Russian gangsters, right? On the other hand, the exterior didn’t feel like it matched- the “Wanted” scene where Deeks shakes himself dry felt more like they were in downtown L.A.
  • And I know that cemetery has been used in multiple episodes, I just can’t name them off the top of my head.
  • Wow, was that proper operational procedure for Callen to chase after Anna rather than stay and back up his team? Perhaps. It did make an intriguing twist to have Anna shoot an unarmed Sokolov. Will Callen cover for her? Was it done out of anger because he kidnapped her father, or was it a legitimate mistake since he appeared to be reaching for a weapon? And did anyone else immediately channel “The Debt” when Callen asked, “Where’s his gun?”

That’s all I have to talk about. What did you think of “Vendetta”? Were you satisfied with Deeks’ scenes? Was Arkady’s presence enough to compensate for Anna’s? Let us know in the Comments. And don’t forget to come back later this week for Deeks’ Surf Log, Kensi’s Journal, and the Drabble of the Week.

About Karen P (194 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.

59 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Vendetta” (S9E18)

  1. Thank you for the review. Good job!

    There was no need for Beale to go undercover. The thought process was Sam couldn’t do it because his UC was not supposed to be in town; the other three couldn’t because they were known agents. So send in Hidoko. She’s not a known face. She’s an actual field agent and one who is rather smart. I couldn’t accept the premise of this ep.

    I love and adore Arkady. Period.

    Die, Anna, die.

    Wtf is going on with the writers and lack of Deeks and Kensi this season? Seriously. They’re a couple who are happy so end of story? I’m becoming more than angry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Karen, thank you very much for this excellent review. I second each and every word you wrote above. I really tried to stay positive throughout this season but it became rather obvious back in October that we would not see so much of Deeks (just remember few episodes where he barely appeared). Actually, apart from The Silo and the last few episodes we haven’t seen much of Deeks at all. I do not know if it is request from ECO who wants to dedicate more to his family or to his new business with production or is it the wish of the show runners, but whatever it is, it took away my enjoyment considerably.
    I also agree with you that it is pity that Deeks and Kensi talk only about their wedding when together on screen. Every other topic of their communication is non-existent at this moment.
    So all in all good episode (I am glad they have wrapped up the story with Sokolov) but nothing worth mentioning ever after.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jess (bluenet13) // April 10, 2018 at 8:22 AM // Reply

    As always, thanks Karen for your great reviews, a high point after a disappointing episode. As a NCIS LA fan I was okay with it, as someone who loves Deeks (and Densi), I’m not a happy fan. Arkady is what made the ep for me, he’s a gift and I loved all his scenes. For whatever reason I was able to tolerate Anna more on this one than in her previous ep this season, but I’ll forever be disappointed about screen time for her over Densi. As for Eric, I like him and was happy to see him having a bigger part, but I don’t buy him undercover, much less against someone supposedly as dangerous as Sokolov. Nell or Hidoko would have been better choices.

    I’m not even sure how I feel about the sole Densi scene we got here. It was unexpected and surprising not in a good way. I didn’t enjoy the tension and Kensi showing worry. Neither the random reveal that Deeks is doing wedding research on his own (and in a place that doesn’t even feel like them). If we’re gonna have Densi babysitting for most of the episode, I at least, want a real conversation between them, Kensi’s speechlessness was funny but they’re better at communicating now. I also completely agree with your comment about wedding discussions; in the first part of the season they rarely mention it, now it feels it’s the only thing they can talk about. I miss old times and a “silly, flirty, totally meaningless but totally fun scene between these two” sounds amazing right now. Let’s hope for one soon.

    After loving every episode since the Vietnam rescue, this one brought the season to a low point again. But as long as we have Deeks I will always keep watching and hoping for better times.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love Arkady and his humor. That said, this season has frustrated me so much! Densi sounds more like an old married couple then two people planning their future together. That scene in the restaurant sounded like Eric improving/picking on Dani. But it would’ve been sweet to see Kensi impressed with Deeks trying to help out with the wedding planning. Or maybe a comment from Deeks saying he just wanted to surprise her. They missed out on a great opportunity for a great moment.
    I’m happy to see Eric get to spend time with his family, but he’s taken so much time off since last season. Is there something wrong? Is he just busy with other projects? Is he burnt out? Whatever the case, this season just isn’t as good without Deeks period.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for your excellent review Karen. I, too really wanted more Deeks and Kensi.
    I like Arkady and it was nice to see him again, he is hilarious.

    I really don’t like Anna, but she didn’t annoy me as much as she usually does, I am still not a fan of the character though. I liked the fact that Anna kind of stayed in the background until that ending (even though Anna had scenes they didn’t focus too much on Anna in my opinion). I am curious what the tptb are planning for Anna, I hope it is something surprising, something that we haven’t seen before ( i just hope that the end result isn’t that Anna leaves ATF and joins NCIS full time). I am kind of expecting that the reason why Anna shot Sokolov is connected to another case, like the mole storyline and Kensi in Afganistan were connected, but it is probably just my imagination running too wild.

    I may be repeating myself a little bit, but I am worried about the amount of storylines they have going on (Callen’s father, serial killer, Mosley’s son and now this shooting), especially when there aren’t that may episodes remaining this season. I hope that tptb really focuses on good conclusions for those storylines, sometimes the conclusion has been really disappointing for me personally.

    It was nice to see a little bit more of Eric, even though I prefer him working in the OPS solving cases. Some of those funny Eric moments (towards the end of the episode) didn’t really work for me and I would had liked to see more competent Eric to balance those funny moments.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. JACKIE CRUTHIRDS // April 10, 2018 at 10:20 AM // Reply

    All great reviews. I too feel like the Densi storyline is waning. It almost feels like they are phoning it in. With less Densi, of course there is more time for all the other character storylines which I guess is okay, but not why I watch. I’ve pretty much given up hope there will be a wedding this season or any significant screen time given to these two. With so many open story lines, I feel like the remaining five episodes will probably be devoted to that. Like rescuing Callen’s dad or Mosley’s son. I’m thinking one of these might be the finale. Guess I’ll have to tune in to find out.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing review, Karen, I agree with everything you wrote.

    This wasn’t definitely my favorite episode of the season, quite the opposite, I would say. To be honest, I didn’t have very high expectations considering the author (I don’t want to sound disrespectul, but I rarely like her scripts, when she’s the one to write, all the characters we love and know well seem to behave so OOC out of the blue) and the presence of Anna (never been a fan of her character and her relationship with Callen, so forced by the authors the very first moment she arrived).
    Luckily, I found Anna less annoying than in other episodes and at least her shooting an unarmed Solokov made me be a little curious about what the authors intend to do with her. Her tension with Callen was also well acted (thanks to COD, actually) and it seemed quite realistic.

    What I didn’t like at all (being a Densi and Deeks fan) was the only Densi scene we got, it seemed so weird and odd, both seemed quite uncomfortable, but not in a funny way, rather in a very OOC way, yet again.

    I wonder why this season Deeks and Kensi have only been talking about their wedding, without much progression (honestly, I doubt we will get to see them married by the end of the season). Such conversations are starting to become a little boring and make me miss so much, like you, Karen, their old banter and some silly, flirty, scenes. They behave like an old married couple without even being married at all! I’m quite angry because when given the right material (read dialogs and scenes), both ECO and DR are able to shine and portray their characters in an awesome and very realistic way (and they gave proof of it in The silo).

    I don’t want to spoil anything just in case some of you don’t follow spoilers, but the very recent (yesterday, I think) question ECO answered about this season’s finale wasn’t comforting at all (or, at least, it didn’t give me any spark, nor much curiosity to watch).

    Let’s hope the show will be at least renewed, so that we may have a chance to see the conclusion to all the storylines the writers have started this season, plus a Densi wedding as a bonus (I hope I will still be interested, though).

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Brenda (@bpnp) // April 10, 2018 at 10:54 AM // Reply

    Karen,

    Great review!
    “Perhaps there’s a nice deleted scene that we might see in the DVD.” – that earned an actual, prolonged LOL from me! Exactly!! Favorite line in the whole review. Might be my favorite of all the lines you’ve ever written!!

    I love Arkady, so that made the episode for me. But I’m really tired of what they’re doing with Densi. If I didn’t know they were renewed I would say this is a show that is starting to fade into the sunset with the decreased focus on two of the main cast, new characters that seem purposeless, all these hanging storylines in every direction (did we ever figure out who the mole was for sure?!). Not sure if they were going for some Callen/Anna/too cheerful new guy love triangle there, but I think they may have misjudged their audience if they think that might generate some interest. I groaned at the end with Anna shooting Sokolov and Callen figuring it out. Not interested in a soap opera where Callen gets in trouble for covering for Anna.

    However, I always love Arkady, so I enjoyed the episode more than the preceding paragraph would suggest. And we didn’t just get Arkady, but also Arkady in a towel! And Hetty’s reaction was awesome! Wonder how long he was wandering around set in that get-up?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks Karen for a great review and I agree with everything you said. I think if this episode had aired in season 7 where we got good amounts of Deeks and Kensi, it would have been an ok episode , but airing in this season where we get very little Deeks and Kensi, it is just a disappointment. I found this episode to have a few Jordana Lewis Jaffe signatures on it which I did not like. As everyone has already stated, I thought the Deeks/Kensi scene was awkward. Someone just wrote a very nice ,short fan fiction, that fixes the scene, by having Deeks there for a reason other than to scope out wedding venues on his own and it makes the scene better and made me realize it would have been easy for the writer, JLJ, to write a reasonable scene. Also, I like Eric Beale a lot, and I really am annoyed when they make him goofy. So he has to evacuate a building, anybody can figure out that the way to evacuate a building is to pull a fire alarm,but clearly he is such a doofus he cannot figure that out, and so Harley has to rescue the situation. I was offended by that scene. Not to mention that Nell ,his partner, should have been his backup, she is a trained field agent.

    I think we all agree the show is not the same without as much ECO, and whether it is by his choice, or because CBS figured out they could hire two inexperienced women cast members a lot cheaper than him, at this point it does not matter, the show is not the same , and definitely not as good.I think what bothers me the most is I really feel like TPTB are taking advantage of the Densi fans. The Densi fans have been loyal supporters of this show and have stuck with the show in all the ridiculous moves /timeslots CBS has put them through and contribute to keeping their ratings reasonable. I guess I feel as a Deeks/Densi fan that TPTB think we are so loyal they can give us minimal minutes of an episode and we will just go along and be happy, So I am going to steal from Peakae ,” I’m frustrated and angry. I’m frangry.” “Frangry” is the word to describe season 9.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. JACKIE CRUTHIRDS // April 10, 2018 at 11:36 AM // Reply

    I agree about being Frangry, but I don’t think it’s about money. I just think maybe ECO and DR enjoy less screen time because it allows them to spend more time with family and possibly pursue other interests. It allows the other actors more screen time too so they probably don’t mind at all. Also, I wonder if they might enjoy not having to worry about any awkward, (dare I say intimate), scenes that the normal progression of their relationship as an engaged couple might lead.

    Like

  11. [Agrees completely with everyting said and can’t add anything to the discussion. Sits here and shakes head in sadness and disappointment.]

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Arkady is fun. That’s all I got.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Will NCIS: LA’s Deeks and Kensi ever get married? So many viewers are waiting for their wedding. –Linda
    Well, we now know Deeks has been scouting on venues. So… baby steps? “Is there eventually going to be a wedding? Yeah,” Eric Christian Olsen recently ventured. The bigger question, he said, is this: “Is there going to be a lot of stuff to work through before we get there?” As he elaborated, “There’s some crazy stuff [in the last two episodes] that’s incredibly personal, and the goal with Deeks is always to play the human element of it; not the Bruce Willis version, but a guy who is flawed and is terrified of losing the love of his life. And as we continue to put ourselves in danger, at some point it becomes emotionally exhausting for him, like, ‘What is the plan here?’ So there are some interesting conversations about that – obstacles in an emotional sense, that make for compelling scenes.”

    From TVLine
    Hmm

    Like

  14. Kaytie G. Marek // April 11, 2018 at 6:02 PM // Reply

    Thanks for the review. I don’t mind the wedding talk as that does seem to take over people’s lives when planning a wedding. I do mind that Kensi and Deeks don’t seem to know what’s going on in each other’s lives sometimes. Little stuff I wouldn’t mind, but big chunks of time kind of seems weird. I used this week’s chapter of Season Nine Nuggets (shameless plug) over at fanfic.net to remedy this a bit.

    I love Arkady. I am curious to see where this thing with Anna shooting the unarmed guy goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks everyone for again making me laugh so much! I really enjoyed reading through all the comments. And Kaytie G, I didn’t know you were gremlin2318. Your story was an excellent fix-it fic. As for that spoiler ron shared, it does make me look forward to the final episodes, expecting to see some of that Deeks angst that I enjoy so much. Fingers crossed!

    Like

    • Sadly for me it didn’t work this way. After reading this spoiler by ECO and the “crazy stuff” it might happen at the end (maybe to save Mosley’s son?), I couldn’t help saying: “How new, original and refreshing!”. It sounded déjà vu long before even watching it, and please forgive me, but I’m not interested in the new characters’ backstory at all, at least not before getting the long-awaited Deeks’ backstory (“Deeks, M.”, the unkept promise).

      I’m well aware of the fact that Deeks and Kensi have to discuss about their dangerous job and a possible career change for at least one of them before seriously starting a family, but I guess drama for the sake of drama and forced angst is not my cup of tea anymore.

      Maybe I’m still not over Michelle’s death in Season 8 finale and the way the scene shifted from Kensi kneeling down to propose to Deeks in a quite sweet and “so them” moment to Sam mourning his wife at the morgue.
      I thought (and still think) the Densi engagement which we Densi fans had been patiently waiting for all the season, after the emotional rollecoaster of Kensi’s recovery, deserved something less rushed. I think the same about a possible Densi wedding: make it special, make it be a happy and memorable moment for them and their team and family (and the loyal fans, thanks to whom, maybe, the show is still rather strong) and not something bittersweet, yet again. And please make them stop talking about it with no progression!

      I’m sure what I’m saying comes from how disappointing (and few) almost all the Densi scenes have been this season so far (with the exception of The silo, which, anyway, led nowhere). No spark between them, no fire, only some very rare glimpses of the old electricity which was the first reason I had instinctively chosen them among many other TV couples as my OTP.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cladani I totally get what you’re feeling. I’m in agreement about the quality of the Densi so far this season. I guess I’m hoping that their discussions about staying in the job, which the showrunners have done a good job at planting along the way, are actually going to culminate in something meaningful besides just more hand-wringing. I always like when they can successfully bring a storyline across multiple episodes. Of course, as I think someone in this discussion pointed out, they don’t always finish off such stories well (e.g. the mole). If they have Kensi taken by the serial killers and a total repeat of “Payback,” I’m going to be really really unhappy.

        Like

  16. Probably in minority here but there’s a part of me that wants CBS to go ahead and cancel the show since they’re ruining Densi and Deeks seems almost like a recurring character. Hidoko, a bonafide recurring character has way more screen time than ECO. Even ECO and DR don’t seem to enjoy their scenes. I don’t watch the show live anymore and only fast forward to the Deeks scenes. I don’t even watch Kensi without Deeks anymore. The show I loved ended in S7. Downhill after that. For me, I’d rather they CBS cancel it and let ECO work on another or movie where his acting talents are fully utilized in a role. Jmo.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. In an interview on the 200 episode exp joked they would break up nd Weeks would leave but I am beginning to think they are going down this path as there is an emotional episode for them coming up. He has hardly been in it and even when they it feels as if they have just been dumped in with some silly lines to keep fans happy they are having parts together but to be honest they both seem bored themselves it’s as if the writers have given up on the characters.. But I do love arkady episode

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Deeks and Kensi (I’m wondering if ECO and DR as well) seem so bored in their scenes that they are almost making me not feel the need to watch them together anymore. And I really can’t believe I would have said this out loud one day. So sad.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. I do not see them bored at all. My main objection is to the lack of any other topic for conversation apart about wedding between them. But it is also true that we see them together so rarely now and their scene are so short that they are even not in the position to talk about anything else.
    Also I do not find Deeks scouting for the wedding venues (without telling Kensi) as keeping secrets. Kensi obviously asked him to help her organize the wedding and he is doing that exactly. I am sure that Deeks checked more possible venues and he will tell her about possible candidate(s) once he sees it/them. I honestly see it as his way of surprising her and showing her his love and commitment.

    Like

  19. In a word…Meh.
    I was going to say I just do not know what to say…but some of you know me better than that.
    So, I will rant instead. Buckle up.
    What the heck has happened to my favorite show.
    CBS doesn’t act like they care. Very little network promotions, mostly short, local stuff.
    How may time has it been moved around now. 9 Tuesday, 9 Monday, 10 Monday, 8 Sunday, 9 Sunday…WTF
    Then we get Wisdom for a lead in…really. Just a complete lack of respect. Put it back where NOLA is and see what happens.
    Even NOLA got to stay on the same night when Bull came out.
    Yet we loyal have followed.
    Is the tension over the Donald Bellisario lawsuit over “spinoff rights” till around? Is this an intentional lack of support actually a long festering, passive aggressive retaliation???
    But either way, it is not all on them.
    The show blunders…oops, I meant runners (maybe). Are making some royal mistakes.
    There have been mistakes in the past.
    Laura Macy didn’t make it out of the pilot…hetty was an afterthought.
    Dom was a miss.
    Nate wasn’t really main cast material.
    Deeks was added.
    Nell was added.
    But then they had a formula that worked.
    When Granger came in, even if you didn’t like the character, or at least what he was doing, it was a well-built and deep character played to perfection by a great actor. RIP Miguel.
    I still don’t think we have the show that we would have had if Miguel had not gotten sick. I feel that Linda Hunt would have already left the show last year. There was a void at the top and look what we got…crap.
    A part time Hetty , No Granger, and a cardboard Mosley.
    Why did we spend years of screen and story time setting Nell up as Hetty’s next in line, only to get this lame stiff Mosley instead.
    Mosley and Harley are just not a good fit, period. And, we have spent way too much airtime trying to cram them down our throats in an attempt to make us connect with them…news flash…it doesn’t work.
    Ca you actually believe that these two can make Anna somewhat more palatable. NOTHING LIKE GRADING ON A CURVE. Hey, you got a 71%…but everybody else sucked too, so you get an A…great job.
    Is that what we have fallen to? Really? To quote Kensi…Is that the best they can do?
    One of the problems with a long-time show is costs. The actors get raises. Adding all these additional recurring and main cast characters sure doesn’t help that problem.
    Densi is being handled horribly.
    They are barely given main cast air time any more.
    Can I really be right in thinking that even though Kensi said she needed it for motivation and something to look forward to, that we haven’t actually seen the ring since she was in the hospital, Really?
    It is the little things that make a show work and the characters feel real and relatable. I understand the whole at work thing, but wouldn’t it have been a nice touch to have Kensi wearing her engagement ring while her and Deeks were walking Monty after work? Heck, that is a freebee. No extra time or dialogue needed. Just a 5 dollar prop to make the fans happy…but , nope.
    It is like the writers aren’t even trying to make us care anymore.

    The other big issue for me is the whole team dynamic and the actual meaning of “Special” in a special agent.
    Although very slim, Dani is athletic and at nearly 5-10 tall she makes Kensi fairly believable. We have also seen the effort she puts in to being good at her job.
    Kickass. Badass Blye…aren’t we led to believe she is special and somewhat out of the ordinary if not truly unique? Isn’t Deeks value supposed to be in his great ability to operate undercover. ???
    A team is composed of complimentary parts, not redundant parts. The members of the core team each bring something special to the whole. But that isn’t what we get these days. We get everybody getting their chance at playing Rambo, and it just doesn’t work. First it is Super Nell, totally unbelievable. But it is a ridiculous list. Hetty is bad enough, but Nell, Eric, Nate, Harley, Mosley…really. is everybody a bad ass now? Manager, intelligence analysist, tech operator, Psychologist, Director, suck-butt assistant. Really? Isn’t this supposed to be an elite team? But is seems that anybody and everybody can do field work, undercover, fight and shoot just as well as them. They are obviously overpaid id Beele and Jones can do everything they can in the field and all the tech stuff too. A team doesn’t need 11 goalies, quarterbacks or pitchers…it needs a blend of skills. Kensi and Deeks seem far less unique and interesting when the very show writing makes it just so obvious that they are ordinary and easily replaceable. Isn’t the position of an executive assistant director one that would require admin and office support. Shouldn’t it be in a regional headquarters office building and not in a clandestine, supposedly secret building used by a undercover division. Seems pretty stupid to me. Seems like they have skipped about 2 levels of management.
    I have a very ominous feeling about the future of the show. Will Hetty leave, maybe soon. Will either Kensi or Deeks leave, quite possibly. Or break up???
    Can you see Kensi leaving and Deeks staying? Not likely, unless Kensi took a desk job once she finds out she is pregnant or something. I do not see her not having Deeks’ back, and if he was in she would miss the job too much. I see no way at all that Deeks leaves work and stays with Kensi while she continues to work. His worst reactions are when she is in danger and he is not there with her. He doesn’t ever like her in danger, but when he is not with her he has a hard time controlling his emotions. He would never be able to handle it. Period.
    Would they both quit together…I could see that. Will Kensi get hurt, maybe grazed by a bullet (since she has never been shot only to find out she is pregnant when they do the bloodwork in the hospital…I could see that. That would likely lead to an ultimatum from Deeks I feel. Could Kensi get hurt and actually loose a child she didn’t know she was pregnant with yet or was trying to make up her mind when to tell Deeks about. Hope not, but there is more of the crappy angst that gets put in their relationship. It would crush him.
    Wouldn’t you like to see Paul Angelo return to do something horribly over the line for Hetty or the team to repay the debt he owes hetty.
    Her rescue, the mole…nope…maybe with the next villain. Maybe get him to get rid of Mosley. I would have rather seen him involved in Hetty’s rescue than Rio…Seriously…
    How does the casting department come up with some of their choices. We get Granger, Chegwidden and Arkady…then we get Anna, Mosley and Harley.
    Either they are drunk half the time or they are flipping a coin. There is no way someone could actually be that inconsistent by accident.again, what the hell are they thinking.
    AAARRRGGGHHHHH
    Ed Out,
    Thanks for listening.
    Repeated myself, thoughts all over the place, no spelling and punctuation, half the facts wrong, obnoxious as usual, mad as can be…and bitterly disappointed.
    Sorry,
    Ed

    Liked by 2 people

    • [Slow claps] Ed! We’ve missed you all season. Glad you got this off your chest! And as far as I’m concerned, you’ve never been in our doghouse. But maybe next time, you can let loose a little and tell us what you really think? 😉

      Like

      • there might be a 12% chance i have been holding this in too long…ya think.
        thanks,
        Ed
        By the way, I usually spend some time in the LA area every year, even visiting and eating at some of the various locations seen on the show. Not why I go, but why not mix it in, right?
        Everything from the Venice Boardwalk to Giorgio Baldi.

        Stayed away this year in fear of running into the show filming. I may have been arrested for choking out one of the producers if I saw him. (name deleted to keep Ed out of Jail)
        …moderate levels of sarcasm may be present in the above statement…not the visiting sites part…that is real.
        thanks,
        Ed

        Like

    • Sassyzazzi // April 14, 2018 at 3:43 PM // Reply

      Ed, so glad to see your review and comments. I have definitely missed you this season. Hopefully you will find time to review the remaining season episodes.

      Like

      • I will do my absolute best to find time to complain about the ongoing mishandling of Densi for the remainder of the season.

        I have also bought a couple of Voodoo dolls that I constantly drop Legos and rocks on in the hope that Mosley and Harley have a building fall on them.
        I also push them off the coffee table every time I walk by, so they could fall off a cliff before the end of the season…
        here is to hope…
        thanks
        Ed,

        Like

    • Kensi had her ring on in the season premiere when she and Deeks were out running, and another time when she and Deeks were with Roberta and Guy in the restaurant. But that is about it. I thought, as you did, that she should’ve had it on while walking Monty, And why not have them hold hands? SImple stuff!!

      Like

      • exactly,
        a few simple details, that don’t even take up any extra airtime would mean so much.
        it can change the entire tone of the scene.
        with the strain that the Silo created, it would be a reassurance that things were still solid between them.
        maybe I am to suspicious and distrusting of TPTB, but it always seems an easy way to interject some drama and angst into the show by putting another roadblock into the Densi relationship
        lets hope not for a while.
        Thanks,
        Ed

        Like

  20. Great review as always.
    I still love this site, read everything and enjoy all you fantastic folks do. it is so obviously a labor of love. I am having trouble finding much to be positive about this season and didn’t want to just come her to vent.
    I miss interacting with you guys, I really do.
    Even when I was in your doghouse or on the other side of the discussion, I enjoyed the conversation
    thanks,
    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ed!
      I agree with everything you said.
      Karen WTF I’m sorry you guys are closing up shop I miss you already with all the great info this site provides… but WAIT you guys know something don’t cha??????????????????????

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Ron! We’re all really sad but we all have other responsibilities that are pulling us away. I know the timing makes it seem like we know something, but we really don’t! We’ve been planning this awhile but wanted to wait until closer to the end of the season to announce it.

        Like

        • oh come on, you can tell us.
          you wont have the time to maintain the site when at least 3 of you will be writing full time for the show once many of the current writing staff gets booted for the sake of the show and in the interest of quality television. Maybe they can help create dialogue for infomercials selling blenders on late night TV…something suiting their talent level. (a couple of them anyway)

          it is either that or this group will be running the staff for the new Densi spinoff.

          either way, congratulations. and share the good news when you can.
          thanks,
          Ed

          Liked by 1 person

  21. taking the chance that the elephant in the room will fall over and crush me….

    ECO is a devoted family guy
    Sarah, his wife just got cast on a new show (Skinny Dip)
    The show is set in south Florida, so will be filmed somewhere…wait for it…not in California.
    Is he leaving the show and moving the family?
    Cant see him being happy as a long distance father if Sarah takes the kids back east while she is filming.
    any thoughts?

    And Dani seems to have a lot of irons in the fire so to speak. she is really growing as a brand lately and could move onto something else.

    not my wishes…just thoughts.

    what do you think?
    right, wrong, maybe…or just shut up Ed and never sat that out loud again…..
    thanks,
    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah only filmed a pilot. The show has not yet been picked up nor has it been said where it would film. it is a CBS produced pilot, so it might even be at Paramount studios.

      Like

      • okay,
        thanks
        I thought the show was supposed to take place in south Florida and was filmed in one of the gulf states…Louisiana or some such place. Do you know just where the pilot was filmed?
        The greater LA area can accommodate a lot of backdrops, but a southern bayou isn’t really one of them. or even the topography of the Keys and so on. Depending on the type of show it is, the backgrounds may be difficult and or expensive to deal with and seriously restrict camera angles out doors. So, I guess I figured that to control costs and give a lot of flexibility. it would be filmed somewhere with an appropriate backdrop.
        I didn’t dig too deep, so I may be missing a piece or jumping the gun here a little.
        thanks,
        if it is a CBS production, was it filmed at the same studio where NCIS New Orleans is produced.?
        Ed

        Like

  22. And ECO cancelled at Philly Comic Con due to filming???

    Like

  23. Just perfect….more perfect examples of thy the writing is the problem and why I am so irritated this season
    as long time fans, we have put up with a lot. the flip flopping with the Densi relationship is a constant issue. I can understand a slow burn, but what we get is more like a light switch being flicked on an off repeatedly….as the writers apparently forget who wanted kids and who didnt, who was good with kids and who wasnt, who wanted to get married and who didnt…and so on.
    Even who wanted a relationship and who didnt seemed to change every other week…for years now.
    Kensi wants the ring for motivation and never asks for it once she recovers,…hmmm
    So now Kensi wants Deeks help planning the wedding and then acts weird when Deeks is scouting venues, really.
    and why would he go there and not tell her??? just ridiculous.
    …and now for the latest insult to our intelligence and memories.
    the final insult to our ability to remember back past last week…
    Deeks wants to own a bar…
    Could anything be more out of character than that for our couple to be involved with a bar???
    Kensi’s uncle (her Dad’s brother) was killed by a drunk driver, her dad’s murder was officially reported as a drunk driving. Deeks dad was a mean drunk that
    while intoxicated beat him and his mom. His old partner used to get loaded and beat up hookers
    which led to Deeks defending Tiffany by killing someone. Heck, Deeks even acted as a sorta sponsor for Detective Versey (I think thats the name, right)….

    So, let’s all open up a bar……Really ??? do these people even bother to see where these characters even came from and have been through….
    How about he turns Jewish and decides to run an pig farm and sell Carnitas.
    Or becomes a vegan, buys a slaughterhouse, and starts competing in hot dog eating contests…
    silly, I know, but you get my point.

    It is like they have stopped even trying to care.
    just treat us as a bunch imbeciles and move from one cheap laugh for Deeks to another at his expense.
    the fans are more sophisticated and intelligent than that…
    …are the show runners…I’m not so sure any more.
    Out
    Ed

    Like

  24. Ed’s obnoxious rant, part 2…or is it 3…
    I lost track already, my bad…

    Not being a show running, story arc creating savant….
    Someone needs to explain what I am obviously missing.

    ..the Densi wedding, venues, decorations, the ring, the delay…all of it.
    I struggle to find much at all of what is going on to make any sense in the context of the history of the characters.
    Having watched from the very beginning, it just doesn’t ring true.
    There is nothing new about their love, they know each other intimately (pun intended) …what is the hold up. Getting married now changes nothing. The ring on Kensie’s finger has nothing to do with how Deeks feels about her or how he will react if she is in danger.
    That ship has sailed. It stays the same. Just because they get married doesn’t mean the kids talks stop. Leaving the job to find something safer would be based around when they decide to have kids, not on the day they get hitched, right.
    Ring or no ring, they will defend each other the same way tomorrow, right.
    Kensi being engaged to Jack would be a sort of trigger I think.
    The way it ended would stick with someone.
    So, with everything the couple has been through…
    Siderov, Afghanistan, finding Jack, Paul Angelo, Jack again, Syria, the recovery, Ferris, Michelle, THE SILO…
    What are they waiting for.
    Putting this in perspective, I would think Kensi would not really want a long engagement. And when the day comes, she would want to die married to Deeks.
    She would want to Die a married woman.
    Although the big event may be nice, deep down, they just need each other, nothing more.
    The have said in the past that “they will work it out, they always do”.
    So, get married and keep talking about the Kids. Change jobs when the time comes…
    But holding off until they leave seems very off to me.
    After the conversation following The Silo…I really hoped for a quick ceremony to make it official and maybe not telling the team for a while or something if they were worried about Sam. Plan a big reception, celebration or even another ceremony on the beach later, but they can no longer wait….
    I truly believe that Sam would be happy for them and tell them to do it soon. Not to waste another moment, because life is short.
    As painful as loosing Michelle was for Sam, I am sure their time together as a family was the best moments of his life.
    That is what I really expected…….well maybe just wanted, because I really have no idea what to expect from the writing this season.
    Except for inconsistency, obviously.
    I try to think about it personally, logically, emotionally, from the characters point of view, both in the present and putting their pas history into the equation…even from a show point of view it just doesn’t make any sense.
    The drama doesn’t have to end, right.
    The kids talk could continue. When to leave will still be a point of contention. Undercover opps could prove interesting…imaging the rich jerk and Kensi undercover. Kensi has a possessive streak of her own. Their jealousy coming into play on an opp could prove entertaining.
    A pregnancy scare or an abdominal injury that could prevent her from having children could provide drama…the list is endless. There is just so much intense drama and even dare I say angst available in this story arc, why not give it a gentle bump forward. This part of the curve has been worn out, time to move on. The wedding would actually make for a pour end to the show. It would be too rushed. It should happen soon and let the family discussions continue. Them leaving the team to start a family would be a far better way to end the show IMHO.
    It is like they have gotten lazy and are riding this one trick pony into the ground. Enough already..please…

    So, now that I have put out my shortsighted and uninformed view…
    Will some of you kind people please take a moment and point out what am not seeing. I have to be missing something.
    …otherwise, show me the damn ring already!!!
    Thanks,
    Ed

    Like

    • I just guess that after the Silo, I expected something to change.
      Yet nearly a full half a season after that intensely personal, intimate and honest moment on the roof, nothing has changed. No move forward, no stronger commitment, no sense of urgency to bond yourself to the love of your life forever…
      That should have been a turning point, a milestone in their relationship…but nothing.
      11 episodes and they argue about tablecloths…really?
      My level of disappointment is unexplainable.
      Ed again

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Welcome back, Ed, I have missed your comments so much this season and many times I found myself wondering what you would have had to write about some frustrating episodes. Now I know. I assume after “Vendetta” your disappointment was forcing its way out, wasn’t it?

    Like

    • well, I am nothing if not shallow and predictable…
      i fact I pride myself on it.
      I thought i would sit back and let the showrunners step up and do their job of getting the show back on track.
      An obvious miscalculation on my part.

      so without further ado,
      more unsolicited, unorganized, poorly punctuated comments from “that guy”

      Although it is just my opinion, I feel that they have done a rather poor job of handling the cast turnover on the show. whatever they were trying to get out of the Mosley and Harley characters, they missed the mark. in an apparent effort to get us to bond with them, they have given them too much airtime and made them too much a focus of the show.
      everyone on the main cast gets their moment in the sun, but overall, the show works best when the main 4 field agents lead the way with all others providing much needed guidance and support. they all step into a lead roll occasionally and that is to be expected.
      the new members are way to prevalent in the show at the determent of the other characters, the story arcs, the continuity and the very success of the show.
      the phrase “nobody cares” may seem harsh, but to a point it is true.
      care about Harley’s last name,,,nope, not at all
      Mosley’s kid…nope…couldn’t care less.
      are we expected to care and be interested in their backstory when we never got a Deeks, M episode and the wedding seems on pause.
      Really,
      If I an being honest here, I don’t really care about Callen’s dad sister and nephew either.
      the show never gave us a reason to care. I don’t care about Nell’s sister either.
      What’s next? Eric’s brother or Sam’s crazy aunt with all the cats.
      I will never invest in any of them until we get some progress on the Deeks backstory, what really happened with Tiffany and Boyle, and some progress in the Densi relationship.
      Did they actually expect us to care about and embrace these new characters and their stories at the expense of Densi screen time…really.!!! Wow.
      I think most people do not watch the show for Harley and Mosley…I know I don’t.
      There is a reason we watch the show, and when we don’t get it we loose interest.
      I feel they have stretched the good will and dedication of the Densi fans to the breaking point and it is starting to show. Loyalty should be appreciated and rewarded…not taken advantage of.
      they are either working in a vacuum or they are choosing to ignore the feedback they are getting.
      I find it highly unlikely that any given group of 10 people you could scrounge up would vote for the the direction the show is headed and have a positive response to the way things are being handled this season.
      I have said before that good, experienced, highly skilled, intelligent, motivated people do make mistakes.
      This is a big one.

      I feel that i am on the Titanic.
      A magnificent piece of design and engineering,
      capable of great things.
      it is foggy, icy and conditions are changing.
      there are warning signs in the air.
      other are warning as well
      but ignoring them..
      the captain says full speed ahead.
      good thing I got my floaties.

      this downward slide didn’t happen over night. it is not the slip, it is ignoring it that matters
      It is not change, or the new problem that is the real issue, it is how we react to it that determines if we are successful.
      the show’s leadership needs to step up, look at what they have done lately, look at it with an unbiased eye, and evaluate if it worked or not. They need to be willing to change tactics and not let complacency or pride get in the way of getting things back on course. They are obviously capable of it, they just need to do it. Admit the mistake, and fix it.

      thanks for listening
      Ed

      Like

      • Sassyzazzi // April 15, 2018 at 4:12 PM // Reply

        As a Deeks fan who has been anxiously awaiting Deeks, M promised in season 5 then again in season 8 and now never mentioned, I find it astounding that TPTB would think I would have any interest in a backstory for either Mosley or Harley without having them first deliver on the promise they made fans. I do feel TPTB have lost their way or alternatively believe they do not need either the Deeks , Kensi, or Densi fans.

        Like

        • wow, just wow,
          I am still amazed at how good you are at expressing how I feel..
          While using about 15 times fewer words that happen to be in complete sentences and all spelled correctly. Outstanding.
          well done I say, well done.
          thanks
          Ed

          Like

  26. Ed! It’s great to have you back.

    I’m sad to see that this site is going away after this season. I was hoping that it would stick around until the end and then we would have a long bitch session on why the show got canceled and hear everyone’s favorite screw-up. Like you, I feel there is something wrong with this season.

    Normally, we would have heard some gossip on why Linda Hunt missed the first 13 episodes, but all I’ve heard are crickets. I know that R. Scott said he wanted to do a “reset” and I wonder if that means to be as boring as the first season, or bringing back Adam Craig (Dom) to show everyone it’s ok if there’s no chemistry between partners.

    We’ve had about 8 seasons of missed opportunities and I’m sure there are some writers on fan fiction that could point out each episode of some malfeasance. I was thinking that in episodes 2-10 through 2-20, Kensi and Deeks would be spending time off eating pizza, drinking beers and watching movies at each other’s apartment. Then, in episodes 2-20 through 3-22, Densi is humping their brains out like a herd of rabbits. At the end of 3-22, and when they are told to “sleep in preferably their own beds”, they would pick up Julia and go to Vegas to get married. They would keep this a secret from the team until Dani’s first pregnancy. Then everybody finds out, Kensi has her baby and no Afghanistan, no White Ghost, and this continues until she has her second baby. No helicopter crash, or the threat of limbs being severed, and we get to see the Densi babies as frequently as we see Sam’s kids, etc., etc. until the end. There are literally hundreds of scenarios, but the main idea is Densi is easy to write. We don’t need teenaged “high school” love angst with a 30+ year old couple. Since the writers make the words come out of their mouths, we don’t need all of the silly road blocks that they have come up with (3 Hearts), etc.

    If we are to suspend disbelief that these four mopes can save the United States from a nuclear disaster, we can certainly believe two partners can fall in love and get married. I know R. Scott likes to chop up his actors and if he has any intention of making a Densi meat puzzle, he should send that to the writers of Criminal Minds (by the way, my wife is a huge CM fan and LOVED the The Monster episode 9-17).

    I think what’s needed is a Densi episode like Neighborhood Watch to get things back on track, and more air time for Eric and Dani. Or, a crazy, mad bomber that blows up Mosley and Harley. But something needs to be done or this season will rank even lower than the first season. I hate to think it’s too late, but these show runners seem to have the Castle “destruction syndrome” and don’t seem to care what the fans like. I know JPK tweeted that plenty of Densi is coming in these last episodes, but we shall see. This year, I’m not pre-ordering the DVD’s until I hear Eric and Dani have a commentary on one of the terrible episodes we’ve seen so far.

    Die Mosley Die

    Like

    • I love your thoughts and adjusted time line.
      I really think that all the “will they wont they” in their relationship has worn thin.
      it did shift from sleeping together, to being a couple, to getting engaged. and now onto getting married…but it is still the same.
      The exact specifics may have changed slightly, but it is the same old song and dance.
      I would much rather watch them navigate the fun times and perils of undercover opps as a couple for a while. it would be nice to focus on the banter and not the wedding issues for a change.
      There are plenty of possibilities for some drama around when they decide to have kids and such. They are making it far to tough on themselves. complacency leads you to stick with the same old thing…but then you have a tough time keeping it fresh and original. I think it would actually be easier on them to find new scenarios for the couple to navigate if they allowed them to get married.
      My fear is a rushed conclusion that will wind up as unrewarding at Tony/ Ziva or Castle Beckett.

      And I am down with a Neighborhood Watch part 2.
      bring it on.

      From past performance, and excerpts from ECOs comments that you have already mentioned…
      I am far inclined to believe in a Densi related cliffhanger, (whether it is danger or breakup related) than I am in a Densi happy ending to the season. i just do not trust em.

      I am a paid up member of the “I will believe it when I see it ” club.

      There is a real lack of comments on the future of the cast, you are right. There could be something really big happening.
      Ed

      Like

  27. JACKIE CRUTHIRDS // April 16, 2018 at 7:50 AM // Reply

    Ed, I love and agree with everything you said. Not sure if ECO’s schedule this month has any bearing on his future at NCIS LA, but it looks like he is busy filming something else this month. CANCELLED: DUE TO FILMING, ERIC CHRISTIAN OLSEN WILL NOT BE ATTENDING THE GREAT PHILADELPHIA COMIC CON APRIL 27-29, 2018.

    Like

  28. OMG Ed is back 🙂 I, too, hope that you find time to review rest of the season, I love reading your comments.
    .

    Like

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