Review: NCISLA “Outside the Lines” (S9E19)
This week’s NCIS: Los Angeles episode was the final contribution from one of the show’s best writers, Joseph C. Wilson, who’s leaving for a new production deal (thanks Tess for the info!). With “Outside the Lines,” the man who gave us “Personal” and “Plan B” delivered a fine, layered script about life’s many shades of grey (thanks also to first-time director Suzanne Saltz). The episode had suspense, romance(?), character backstory, and more hints about what’s to come. Unfortunately it also carried with it the same flaws as many episodes this season, partially built on new characters amidst a partner-swapping epidemic.
Everything isn’t black and white
The episode’s main storyline had Sam consulting King/Dana, the “Queen Pin” who, when last we saw her, had been working hard to move up the bad guy ranks only to be taken down by the team. That was quite the cushy deal she worked out for herself, living in picturesque, peaceful surroundings with private guards. A deal fit for a queen, indeed. At any rate, the point here is that Sam had developed some sort of relationship with Dana, visiting regularly as she worked to recover from her injuries. Did anyone else immediately call to mind Kensi, who around the same time was also recovering from a coma and learning to walk again?
Again I digress. Sam clearly had found someone to confide in about his grief over Michelle’s death, and he in turn provided her with encouragement and support. I loved that the exact nature of their “relationship” was blurry, definitely not “inside the lines” of his federal agent role. It felt more complex and therefore more adult than this show sometimes manages.
Hidoko: You and King seem close.
Sam: It’s complicated.
Hidoko: Complicated feelings?
Sam: More like respect. She’s been through a lot.
Hidoko: So have you. Sam, no one would blame you…
Sam: As much as we’d like to believe it, everything isn’t black and white. Nobody’s all good or all bad. We all have flaws, we all have virtues. It comes down to choices.
I’ve always seen Sam as more of a black and white thinker (Kensi too), seeing people as either worthy, noble and good, or criminals who’ve crossed a line. (I think it’s one of the reasons he and the iconoclastic Deeks didn’t connect.) Here he shows a lot of forgiveness towards Dana for her past actions (I can’t remember what she did but I bet it was pretty terrible). Perhaps Michelle’s death has changed Sam’s perspective on the world into one with more shades of grey. While he had clearly anticipated a betrayal of some kind, he still appeared to recognize the good in Dana and saw her in a much more nuanced way than I think he might have a few years ago. He may also be viewing his own job as a less than 100% noble profession. After all, it’s what led to Michelle’s death.
I also appreciated how much Sam respected Dana for her strength. That’s always been a trait of all the men on this team, and it’s one of the reasons I love this show. Also of note were the parallels with the last time Sam got involved while undercover, with Jada. Jada and Dana couldn’t have been any different in terms of victim vs. criminal. I think Jada’s worldliness helped her to understand Sam’s experiences and provide him a level of support that naive Jada couldn’t. Other than the whole criminal thing, I could easily see Sam and Dana as a couple, whereas it always seemed that Sam simply felt guilt for misleading the purely good Jada (and you know, totally disrupting her life and nearly getting her killed).
It’s OK to feel
I’d have been just as happy to see Callen be the person in whom Sam confided about his relationship with Dana, but Hidoko just keeps worming her way towards becoming a series regular. In this episode she definitely got better scenes than Kensi did. I have nothing against Hidoko other than that there’s just not enough room for another character on this show. It was nice to hear a little more backstory about her tragically short marriage, and I like seeing her friendship with Sam continue to develop. Too bad it’s at the expense of other characters about whom I care much more.
Hidoko: You know I may be out of line, but I think it’s OK to feel. You perform like a superhero but you cannot forget that you’re human.
Hidoko was genuinely supportive and non-judgmental of Sam, and maybe Sam will someday help Hidoko deal with her own loss. I just hope they don’t end up together together. The age difference is too too much, not to mention the supervisor-supervisee dynamic. Seeing Sam act as a mentor to someone as capable as Hidoko (compared to hapless Dom) is refreshing and exactly the kind of support he should be providing to a young agent.
You gotta follow your heart
How fantastic was the taco truck scene with Deeks giving Callen advice? His impetus to support his partner was typical Deeks behavior. He’s always tried to bond with everyone he’s ever partnered with, be it a dismissive Sam in quite a few episodes, or when in the field with Nell or Hidoko. Here he seemed almost too anxious to share all his thoughts with Callen. It was as if he’d been sitting in that truck working out exactly how he could best help his latest partner. It reminded me of his offer to run lines with Sam in “Backstopped.” Unlike snide Sam in that instance, here Callen questioned Deeks’ eagerness but also opened up to him about the ATF investigation. This scene was gold both for Deeks’ lovely words but also for Callen’s brilliantly timed one-liners:
Callen: What are you doing?
Deeks: I know that you’re used to confiding in Sam, and I want you to know that I’m here for you.
Callen: That’s not weird at all…
Deeks: I mean, as a cop I’d say not to worry about it ‘cause these things take time, right? As a lawyer, I would advise you to pick a story and stick with it. But as your friend I would say you gotta follow your heart, man. ‘Cause honestly, whatever it is that you choose is gonna affect the rest of her life. [Puts hand on Callen’s shoulder.]
Callen: Sam never touches me.
Deeks: It’s too much, right? Almost nailed it.
They made me laugh out loud. This might be the first time I’ve really felt any true chemistry between the two. It only took eight years! I shall consider this a definite upside to the partner swaps.
Where everybody knows your name
Ah, the much-discussed scene where Deeks reveals he’s been thinking of opening up a bar. For me this scene worked well insofar as it showed us how serious Deeks is about escaping from his dangerous job. He is taking his own advice and following his heart. Since there’s no apparent reason why he couldn’t just go back to a nice 9 to 5 legal job, I’m assuming he’s looking for something he and Kensi can do together. They’ve discussed such things in the past- not running a bar, but ways they could earn a living together flipping houses or being personal trainers. I can’t imagine he’d want to leave Kensi at NCIS with a new partner watching her
The actual discussion with Callen was beautifully written, again filled with shades of grey about the relative dangers of their work. This time it comes from the two characters who I think most easily see those shades everywhere they go.
Callen: And how’s Kensi feel about being married to a bartender?
Deeks: Well, first off I prefer the term mixologist and secondly I haven’t told her, yet.
Callen: Wait, you’re serious?
Deeks: Yeah, man, I’m serious. I mean, planning for this wedding’s got me thinking, you know? I mean, how much longer can we roll the dice?
Callen: Ah, that’s just your nerves speaking.
Deeks: No, it’s not man, it’s me thinking ahead. To be honest I think that we’ve gotten lucky so far. And I wanna, you know, I wanna have kids, you know? I want a family.
Callen: Sam made it work.
Deeks: Mmm. I mean, not to be insensitive, but considering what happened to Michelle, you’re proving my point. It’s just not a conversation I’m prepared to have with little Deeks.
Callen: Livin’ our lives by playing it safe? It’s not livin’.
Deeks: I agree with that. I’m just saying there’s a lot of miles between safe and terrorists trying to kill you with automatic weapons every single day.
Callen: Alright, well here’s to little Deeks and fewer terrorists.
Deeks: I’ll drink to that.
I’m pretty sure this is my favorite Deeks-Callen scene of all time. The dialog is beautifully written and fits both men so well. Plus they’ve let go of their respective silliness and snark and are just two guys in a bar having a conversation about a difficult subject that doesn’t have an easy resolution. Could these two actually be bonding? That’s something I never thought I’d see.
Although I loved the scene, I agree with everyone who’s already commented elsewhere about why Deeks’ idea of owning a bar is a bad one. To name just a couple issues, the crazy hours aren’t exactly conducive to putting your kids to bed each night, and it’s hard to picture Deeks wanting to deal with people who remind him of his alcoholic dad on a nightly basis. But at least it didn’t sound like a long-held dream of his, as the press release had led us to believe. Instead I’m going to chalk it up to his predilection for half-baked ideas along the lines of ether-coins, house flipping, investing in Eric’s crazy ideas, and avoiding Mercury in retrograde.
All the Densi
Oh, that’s right, there wasn’t any. Again. Sigh. It actually felt like they went out of their way to keep these two from appearing on-screen together. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that these two actors must hate one another and refuse to work together. It’s been the case all season; even in the great “The Silo,” the two were separated for much of the episode.
As much as I enjoyed the Callen-Deeks mini-bromance, imagine how much more intense that bar conversation might have been if it had been Deeks actually running his idea past Kensi. And poor Daniela Ruah. As far as we know, she doesn’t want to reduce her time, yet she must have been rather bored while filming this episode. Other than that initial bullpen banter, she had no witty exchanges, no real fight scenes, just nothing of interest to play.
It’s such a contrast with earlier seasons, which were much more structured around the core pairs. Introducing just one extra person means adding a third wheel or splitting out into additional groupings, resulting in reduced screen time for some, not to mention needing to split up at least one of our favorite pairs in order to work the new gal into the mix. I’m beginning to think we might be better off if we added a partner for her, allowing everyone to at least stick with their real partners.
Still, Deeks’ plans drove home how burnt out he’s become, and how anxious he is to move onto another stage of his life. To me the bar plans feel like Deeks is just grasping for any way to get Kensi away from her dangerous job, like he’s feeling almost desperate to make it happen before fate catches up with them. And the fact that he hasn’t talked to her about his plans and feelings is troubling, although I could see how he’d want to have all the details lined up before presenting her with such an unexpected option. It’s hard to see how the writers will resolve this for Densi in a way that stays believable yet keeps them both working in the field, and it is causing me some degree of anxiety around what’s in store for these two as the season comes to an end.
- If bitcoins are this easy to steal, it does not make me want to invest. (Sorry Deeks.)
- Oh, Kensi, of course Deeks has already seen Star Wars. The woman who had never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark really does need to try harder to keep up with popular culture.
- While technically Mosley did little to annoy me this episode, she added absolutely nothing to my enjoyment. Oh, Linda Hunt, I miss you! That pep talk to Eric would have sounded much more sincere coming from Hetty. Plus doesn’t it seem like overkill to have the Executive Assistant Director of the entire agency overseeing a random OSP case?
- I know Kensi enjoys hearing Deeks talk detective, but I definitely prefer hearing him spout legal advice. Please tell me more, Counselor.
- I can hear you from here, Randy. These writers sure have it in for country living. That farmhouse looked ridiculously idyllic to me. I wouldn’t mind serving out a jail sentence in that type of “secret relocation,” relaxing outside in the sunshine any time I felt like it.
OK, that’s it from me. Be sure to check back later this week for new installments of Deeks’ Surf Log, Kensi’s Journal, and the Drabble of the Week. And check out the details on our fabulous giveaway of our last three autographed images. We haven’t had many entries yet, so at the moment, your odds of winning are very high! Help us go out with a fund-raising bang, and win yourself a wonderful keepsake from the show.
What did you think of “Outside the Lines”? Was the bromance enough to make up for the complete lack of Densi? What did you think of Sam’s relationship? And how do you feel about Deeks’ plans for getting himself and his ladybird into a safer line of work? Let us know in the Comments below.
Thank you Karen for your great review.
Even though I have loved Joseph Wilson’s previous work I have to admit that this episode was disappointing for me. . The characters felt so out of character, especially Sam. For example this Sam/King-storyline seemed a little bit like Sam/Jada Khaled- storyline and after how that storyline affected Sam and his family I just can’t believe that Sam would do anything like that again. In my opinion Deeks and Kensi seemed a bit out of character too, Deeks and the bar – storyline… I better not get into that because I am not sure if I would be able to stop my rant 🙂 and Kensi as a character seemed to be more like the character was in early seasons of the show, especially in that banter- scene (about watching Star Wars and spoilers), I didn’t find that scene funny, it just didn’t really work in my opinion. The acting was really good as always, especially ECO was great , but the writing and especially OOC characters were the things that really bothered me. No Densi 😞 and I missed Hetty too in this episode.
There were things I liked , I liked that robbery scene at the beginning of the episode and I did like Beale working in the OPS and how he helped to find Sam. Some parts of Deeks/Callen talks were great and we haven’t had too many Deeks/Callen-scenes where there is serious talk (there was huge potential in this episode) and the acting was great, but again that bar-storyline… I do understand Deeks wanting a safer line of work and I love hearing Deeks and Kensi talking about future ( I miss Densi scenes like that in the episode Silo), but a bar feels too out of character for Deeks in my opinion.
I hope I don’t come across as too negative and critical, I do love this show, but in this episode some of the characters just felt so out of character that it made this episode disappointing for me.
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As you mentioned, the scenes with Deeks and Callen were lovely conversations. However, it was a strange use of their skills during an op and with Sam abducted to boot but I suppose it’s necessary to do the grunge work at times. (They’re being paid how much an hour to sit in a food truck and bar? Surely there are other agents, lower level agents, available who can sit and watch for hours. Ok, ok, moving on.). Is Callen really that into Anna? Really? Ugh. Kill her now. (Die, Anna, die).
The Star Wars scene *was* awkward. Kensi is not a geek like that. And it seemed like a dated joke. Having it be about Black Panther or something a LITTLE more recent would have at least worked better.
Beale needs a pep talk how many years into his job doing this kind of work specifically now? Nope, this doesn’t work for me either.
So did they ever say where Hetty was during this ep? Home? DC? Spa day? Gone rogue AGAIN? I mean, who knows at this point? They need to chip her.
Does Nell’s homeless person coat have a name? Sorry, Deeks does it better. He gets into his character better, looking way dirtier and smellier. And the teeth. Come on, Nell. Step it up.
On Sundays, one of the channels does a NCISLA marathon of old seasons. I’ve rewatched some of the eps. The pacing, the story, the involvement of the team, Hetty …. everything was so in sync. Now it’s …. different. Hopefully with a confirmed season 10 then can get their mojo back. I’m looking forward to the last episodes in this season with everyone saying it’s Densi heavier and a wow finale.
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The press release of the season finale doesn’t wow me. Sigh.
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hard to believe that with everything going on and all the open story arcs…
that the season finale will focus on that…really?
bitterly disappointed in that decision.
…unless she gets her kid back and then leaves to retire and go spend time with him.
hey, that would work.
hopefully we get the Densi we have been promised. it would be nice for a change.
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Karen….did you just write that you miss Hetty? Wow! Didn’t see that coming. But, I miss her too. She has gravitas, unlike Mosley. They are trying really hard to nice her up and used Mr. Beale to do it.
I didn’t quite buy into the Sam/Dana relationship, but I liked the twist at the end. Well written. I think ECO will miss Joey Wilson. He writes Deeks well, So I’ll miss him too. As for the scenes between Deeks and Callen, all I can say is…it’s a start, hopefully for a closer relationship in the future. I agree with you Karen…the bar idea will fade away as another one of Deeks’ crazy ideas. It did scare me though. The idea the showrunner is even considering writing Deeks out of the show to complete this storyline scares the heck out of me. Maybe Callen will change Deeks’ mind about going the safe route. A season without seeing Deeks’ blue eyes behind that gun taking out bad guys…well that would change everything.
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I didn’t realize how much Hetty was the grounding force of this team until this season. She is their anchor. Something Mosely will never become. Even with Granger who was not one for team building there was always Hetty….steady as a rock. It’s a big loss when she is not in the Mission overseeing her chicks.
I too worry that all of this anxiety that Deeks is displaying lately is going to add up to something we are not going to want to see taking place. Are they preparing us for something devistating? Hopefully this is nothing and just Deeks’ insecurity. But it does give me pause.
I will miss Joey Wilson. He gave us some great Deeks’ episodes. (Oh for the good ol days!) He will be missed.
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I liked the Callen and Deeks scenes. That’s about it. The show seems so splintered. I think with all of the increased time off all the actors affects filming scheduling. I don’t mind mixing it up, but the core 3 team ups aren’t so core anymore. And getting a whole group scene is few and far between. Things are a changing and I don’t like it. I watch the show after the original airing. It is not “must see tv on Sunday nights”for me anymore.
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Thanks Karen, great to read your review. I had mixed feelings about this episode. I loved Callen and Deeks as partners in the field, and I agree with you that the conversation in the bar was my favorite Callen/ Deeks conversation ever. I really liked Kensi and Nell in the field . I thought Sam and King/Dana were great, they have a lot of chemistry and they both played their parts really well. I had mixed feelings about the Sam /Dana relationship though, it almost felt like they killed Michelle so they could tell these kinds of Sam stories.
I was annoyed, frustrated, and angry that once again there was no Densi. I kept thinking in this episode if we got no Densi, they could have at least paired Kensi with Sam. They could have updated those wonderful scenes from “Fighting Shadows” when Callen is partnered with Deeks in the field and tells him everyone knows about he and Kensi and Kensi is partnered with Sam and they discuss the same topic. I think it would have been incredible to have Callen and Deeks in the bar discussing the future of Deeks and Kensi while in parallel we got Kensi with Sam discussing the same thing with Kensi bringing up Deeks wants to leave this job and her concerns and turn it into a discussion about Michelle, kids, etc, and then end with Kensi getting shot. I think it would have improved this episode immensely.
Instead what we got , in my opinion, was a scene in the car where Sam showed more emotion about Dana than Harley exhibited in her story about her husband; it was like she was just reading her lines. It felt like a reprise of the scene of Harley and Deeks in the car in Monster, where Deeks talks about his start on the team and Harley just sits and says her lines. It seems like what could have been a great scene between either Callen and Sam or Kensi and Sam was just a flat dull scene between Sam and Harley.
My overall reaction is just mixed. Season 9 has the look and feel of a different show than NCIS LA had seasons 2-8.The look and feel of the show I fell in love with and especially the character development does not seem to exist anymore. I was going to say at the beginning of this review, I would miss your season 10 reviews, however, I thought about it and really if they write Deeks out , which I cannot believe they would do, I will be done watching …
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I loved your review – as always, we are in sync.
I didn’t love the situation with Sam/Dana, but it was not surprising to me. I have previously stated my opinion that if someone were to “cross the line” it would be Sam. I got pushback for that, primarily because Deeks is the one who has already killed his partner. But to me, that is different. He did something terrible to protect vulnerable people. I’m not saying the end justified the means, but there is an altruistic and noble explanation for his actions, wrong though they were.
Sam, on the other hand, has always worried me with his excessively buttoned up exterior. Too many years dealing with people in crisis/trouble, I suppose. But in my experience those are usually the folks that do have a lot churning underneath the surface and when it becomes too much they start to show cracks on the surface. I think the death of Michelle has created a few stress fractures in Sam’s exterior shell. Although his relationship with Dana did ultimately serve as a vehicle for capturing the villains, it was not intended to do that from the beginning, nor did he know that it would work out that way. There’s not really a noble, or even logical, explanation for an NCIS undercover agent to be developing a personal relationship with a known criminal – even though she is in protective custody – never mind a romantic relationship. It seemed pretty clear to me that this was, how did Karen say it an “adult” relationship. And towards the end he made it clear that this was not just physical, but there were definitely emotions involved on his side.
Why would you do that as an undercover agent? How incredibly risky! I would think in real life this would jeopardize his security clearance and his job!
More importantly – what would “old Sam” have had to say to Deeks had Deeks done this?!
Sam’s situation this week is a real “hold my beer” to all those (several seasons ago) who lamented that an official Densi relationship would put them both at risk of harm in the field if their emotions got too involved.
Anyway, this is just my long-winded way of saying “I told you so.” 😉 Although I don’t like that Sam is in that situation, it’s the sort of thing that I long feared might happen to him. Hopefully his friends see the big red flag waving out of his psyche and help him before he gets himself in even bigger trouble than he was this week.
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A fantastic review as always.
you do such a great job of hitting all the little nuances of the episode.
Thank you all for the warm welcome back. it was very kind.
By the time you get done reading, you will likely wish you hadn’t said anything.
sorry in advance.
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Welcome to the “How does Ed feel about the last episode” part of the program…
Watching the show was like having a Colonoscopy.
You know you have to do it even though you pretty sure you aren’t going to enjoy it very much.
And then when it’s over you feel like someone shoved a stick up your butt.
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Anyone else think that Callen is the last person on earth to give advice about career choices, relationships, work life balance, and raising a family.
Just putting it out there.
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Can I just say that I have completely lost interest in the revolving partner pairings.
Just what is going on?
If the only new situations and interesting conversations that the show runners can come up with require guest actors, new or recurring characters, or swapping out partners…then this whole thing isn’t going to end well. My passion for the show I love is still there. Not sure where that show went though.
Unfortunately, what we are seeing isn’t the NCIS LA show I fell in love with.
I don’t know what they are doing every week, but it sure as heck isn’t what got them a successful show and loyal following for 9 years.
I feel I am watching a car crash in slow motion or a house burning.
You know it is happening and there is nothing you can do.
You just watch as something you love comes to an end.
Seriously, please raise your hand if you have any intension of watching that episode ever again…because I’m not.
Sorry, This sucks
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The de-evolution of a wonderful character.
We seem to have lost canon, lost history, lost the maturation of a character and a relationship, and lost our minds.
With so little Deeks air time all that is left are the jokes and using hom as comic relief. All the consistency and balance is gone.
Deeks with Bit coins…really, while they are saving for a wedding.
Just a way to use him as the comedic butt of a joke. I hate seeing him incompetent.
Then owning a bar…really.
His abusive alcoholic father and Kensi’s uncle being killed by a drunk driver…seems like a great plan.
Well, at least owning a bar wont take up much time or keep him away from Kensi and their kids at night, Right.
Everyone knows running a small business is easy, and a stress free 40 hour/ week job right? Hmmm
Then there are the secrets.
What the H…
Deeks seemed eternally grateful that Kensi forgave him for the secrets during internal affairs.
So, now, he runs around to restaurants then tries to lie his way out.
And…doesn’t tell her about the Bar. A decision that will affect both their lives for a long time to come.
This from the guy that was so excited about flipping a house…
And swore no more secrets…
It just doesn’t ring true.
We have talked about the bar being out of character.
I would think with their backgrounds that some of the other careers previously mentioned are more in character.
I would think that doing something for the underprivileged, homeless or in trouble would be far more likely.
Either a shelter or supporting one.
Say, something like affordable aid to the needy, helping battered women get away from the problem, helping them file papers, petition for custody…things like that.
Kensi teaching them self-defense and confidence to make the right choice.
Swing… and a miss.
From a Densi lovers point of view…
Although Joe Wilson has been involved in some great Densi scenes, and many fans had a lot of faith in him to produce something memorable for fans of the couple…
I would have to say that in the Densi department he did not live up to the hype this time.
I’m not saying it wasn’t a well written scrip, because it was.
And I am not saying it didn’t have some great dialogue, because it did.
The issue was for me that the partners were swapped around yet again and way to much this season.
Also, the dialogues should have taken place between other people.
Kensi and Deeks…not Callen for example.
Also, there was too much out of character.
As previously stated,
Kensi is not a geek, heck she hadn’t even seen Raiders of the Lost Arc before…
Now she is a Star Wars Geek…nope, doesn’t work.
…And NO DENSI will just never work for me, sorry.
To quote Deeks…he won a steaming bucket of fail.
Was Nell actually dressed in a circus tent?
What the heck was that fabric print???
Where do you even find something like that?
I am not usually considered a fashion guru… but that was less than outstanding.
Wants, needs… and the complete lack of adult conversations…
Any chance we can get an adult conversation and some progress on the Densi front. Just curious.
I am still puzzled and disappointed by the way things have been handled lately.
The delay seems out of place, out of character and is almost becoming awkward to watch. It is like they don’t know what to do.
I have expected to see Kensi want her ring.
After Jack I never felt that Kensi would want a long engagement.
Then, with Michelle, I expected some urgency for them to make it official.
If life is short, why would these 2 want to waste time on tablecloths and centerpieces.
I just don’t get it, and I feel it is out of character for them.
As beautiful as the rooftop scene in the silo was, I really wanted a little more or another short follow-up scene.
Even after the Monster, there could have been an important bonding moment that we just didn’t get.
Kensi has been rattled a couple of times lately…actually they both have.
And I would expect for them to want to comfort each other and to seek out comfort from each other.
Even just to validate their bond and that they are both still here, fully committed to each other.
…yet we don’t see it.
When the world around us is chaotic, things are in turmoil, and we feel shaken…we usually reach for solid ground. A rock in the stream to hold onto. They are each other’s rocks, yet we don’t se much of it. Even less than before. It just sucks. Period.
Here is what I would have expected after the monster, when they were both shaken a little. Or, anytime recently actually. After the silo maybe?
Kensi: Come on Deeks, take your wife home.
Deeks: Are you Okay? Did you bump your head? You do know we aren’t married yet.
Kensi: yeah, well…, maybe we need to fix that. Soon.
Deeks: What do you mean:
Kensi: What I mean is I am tired of waiting. I want to be your wife, I want you to be my husband.
Deeks: I know, me too.
Kensi: Then what are we really waiting for? I don’t care about tablecloths or flower arrangements, I just care about you. All I need is
Kensi: We will talk about a good time to change jobs and start a family. It will be soon, I promise, but it is actually step 2… Step 1 is you, me, and a couple of rings.
Deeks: …and a honeymoon, don’t forget the honeymoon
Kensi: Yes Deeks, and a honeymoon
Deeks: You, me Monty and the beach is sounding better all the time.
Kensi: Yes, it is. I want to do this, you’re my world Marty,… I’m yours forever and I want the world to know that.
Deeks: To the end of time and back Kens.
Kensi: The end of time and back Marty, the end of time and back.
Deeks…I love you.
Kensi: I love you too, Marty. Now take me home and I’ll show you how much.
Now was that so hard.
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Enough with the background stories already…
Now we get Harley in the mix. Really?
I still want Deeks.
I want some context around him shooting his partner and so on.
Isn’t it about time?
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I might need a little help here.
I still have my Mosely Voodoo doll and I feel I am making progress.
I have now soaked the doll’s feet in olive oil, so if during the show Mosely falls down …that’s me.
I shoved a paper clip through a kneecap, so if Mosely breaks her leg…yep, me
I set a match box car on the doll constantly, so if she gets hit by a car…I am pretty sure I am responsible.
I repeatedly drop red LEGOs on its head, so if a brick building fall on her, it is probably my doing.
And I still enthusiastically push it off my coffee table onto the floor every time I walk by, so Mosely falling off a cliff is a distinct possibility
Okay people, I am doing my part. How about you.
Make your actions count.
Don’t be a face, be a force.
Yep, stole it…
Last week there was some discussion as to whether the showrunners felt that they could do without ECO and/ or Dani…and continue on without a full time Densi if a Densi at all.
My thought is N.C.I.S. LA
No. Chance. It. Survives.
I just can’t see it. It is not just the value the characters bring to the show, it is the value of the actors. It can’t happen. It just won’t make it
Getting your Money’s worth…
I brought up the value of Kensi and Deeks to the show, so I thought I would elaborate. So, using bad math and faulty logic, I will take a swing at it.
Shows get expensive as they mature. The cast usually get raises along the way. Additional guest actors add to the price tag. Advertising is expensive…
So, the show wants to get its money’s worth for what it spends.
Actors get paid to act…no kidding, but they bring more than that.
Some bring more than others.
I am going to offer some thoughts, and in no way intend to slight the talents of anyone involved.
Again, this is about the extras, not the talent.
Linda Hunt is a fantastic academy award winning actress. That said, she shows up on time, reads her lines, stands where she is told, and then goes home.
She does her job very well but little else. She does exactly what she is paid for, but that is about it. No promotions, no tours, no fan meet and greets, no social media stuff.
We are talking value for money.
Todd (LL) is a force of nature, no doubt.
That said, he has a ton of things in motion and is juggling a lot of interests. For the amount of social media stuff he does and all the
promotions he is a part of, the actual percentage of them involving or even mentioning NCIS LA are is rather small It isn’t usually his focus.
He does promote himself constantly, just not usually about this show.
He has stumped for Lip Sync Battle a lot more than this one lately.
Chris O’D- Chris is great, but he is not overly active and when he does post something, although it seems to go in phases, it is usually him playing golf, him with his dogs at the beach, or about that pizza place
he part owns. He is a great interview though.
Renee and Barrett just don’t have the draw or following. That said Renee is usually focused on her new hat or her cute little dog rather than the show….
Nia and her sidekick…don’t care move on, nothing to see here.
You sure can’t plan for them to be the catalyst to draw in fans…
That would be a rather poor business plan in my opinion.
Saying they don’t matter may sound harsh, but , well…never mind
Now we are to Densi
Eric and Dani.
They are wildly popular, understand how to promote themselves, and are out there with the best of them.
From the social media outlets to interviews, they are all over the place.
And, they never hesitate to sell the show.
Their fan sites do the same.
Facebook, twitter Instagram, print interviews, media clips, tv appearances, magazine covers meet and greets, comicon…the list goes on. …and they continue to promote.
ECO is such a fantastic interview and his smile is infectious. He always draws a crowd and never hesitates to sell the show and the great things
yet to come.
I love ECO, but let me take a closer look at Dani for a second.
Every guest appearance, interview, photo shoot…she is out there.
From ambassador for a cosmetics line, a national airline campaign (TAP)
to a host at the national holocaust museum and everything in between….what can’t she do.
And now she is presenting for the Eurovision song contest.
Not too big in the US, but in addition to all the promotional stuff, she will be hosting 3 nights of a live show viewed by somewhere around 200 million people.
And everyone of these situations presents the opportunity for someone to ask her about that show she is on. She brings it up, they bring it up…doesn’t matter. It gets out there. If people like her, and it is hard not to, they may look to she what else she does…and presto…
They stumble across a show they might like.
It draws attention and creates exposure without costing the show a penny.
That is what I mean by value for the money.
She brings an international exposure that no one else does.
All the extras and additional publicity that the show gets just because she is associated with it. Yes, the show was her big break, no doubt.
But, it is a 2-way street, she pays it back constantly.
ECO and DR are the best promoters the show could ever hope to have.
No one else even comes close.
They are fantastic on screen and the chemistry is outstanding. Sure,
But the banter is real and they are just as entertaining in real life.
The fans are drawn to things like that and eat it up.
They are just so real and approachable.
I am not talking about who is the best actor. I’m talking about additional effort and all little things,… the extras.
The show is full of very good actors that all do their jobs well.
But these 2 do so much more.
I feel that the ratings would plummet without them.
So keep them around, get them married and let the banter continue until they get their own spinoff show….”Densi with Kids”
Again, this is opinion only…no real facts were harmed during the fabrication of this comment.
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Very good analysis, Ed. I hope TPTB read it and get reminded of it and then they in turn translate that into “Gosh, we should give them more screen time, not less.” From your fingers on the keyboard to their ears.
Conspiracy Theory 101.
I was wondering,
Does anyone have a theory as to why Rick Tunell is no longer able to post the production schedule calendar?
Seems pretty easy to walk by and snap a pic of the calendar.
And the fans love it. So what gives?
It doesn’t make sense for him to just stop on his own. So who told him to stop and why?
What info could be there that the producers or someone else doesn’t want to get out.???
What’s actually on there.
Episode number, production number, director, shooting days, holidays and filming breaks?
Late in the season we often see them film an episode or two for the next season. Especially in relation to an ongoing story arc or a cliffhanger at the end of the season.
Crew members time off???
Could that be it?
They don’t show who is actually there, but time off early gets posted.
And the absence and time off of a cast member shows up..
Could it be because some fans are invested in certain characters and if they know that the actor is off for most if not all of the filming days that they will have very little air time.
Are they afraid that if ECO is gone for 5 or 6 out of the 7 filming days that they assume he will not get much to do. So they assume the episode will get overloaded with Mosely/ Harley scenes. This leads them to not put in the effort to watch live, since they won’t see their favorite character anyway.
Is this about fans tuning out when they know they will not get what they actually watch for.
If I am being honest, I am a huge Densi fan. Yes, I know that is not really a surprise to many of you.
When Dani or ECO are not around my interest wanes. I enjoy their banter and chemistry. They are both fantastic with other actors in their scenes or as partners…
But, that is not why I watch.
I don’t tune in to see Harley be bitchy to Deeks. I really don’t.
So, is it just about the numbers?
Is it about the privacy of the actors and their time off?
Or…or is it about not posting something that could let info about a surprise out of the bag. Would someone’s appearance or absence from a simple calendar spoil something???
It seems pretty harmless. So why stop posting pics of it.
My theory is a basic one: safety of the actors. Stalking is a concern for those in the public eye and one that turn very ugly. That production calendar actually provided a lot of access info.
that was my first thought as well, but I am not so sure.
the pick I have noticed don’t show much more detail about the actors other than a post it saying Linda Off …or Chris off by 3…stuff like that.
so, I guess that someone would know that COD would be leaving sometime before 3 .
but, they don’t punch a time clock. So his scenes that he is shooting may be over at 3, or 2 , or 1230…who knows. I guess someone could wait. but , with that little it still didn’t say if they were shooting at the studio or out on location somewhere.
maybe you were seeing something I missed.other than the simple calendar.
I am not discounting it , but I feel it is something else.
if security is the real issue, I would be far more concerned about the social media posts.
especially the same day posts with them and their kids. you know where they are and what they are wearing. even the fan photos cause that info to get out there.
Dani takes a pic with a fan and all of a sudden everybody knows where she is and how her and the kids are dressed. I wouldn’t really love that.
but then again, I am the paranoid guy that doesn’t post vacation pics until I get back so people don’t know I am not home.
I certainly wouldn’t post a real time pic of me and my whole family on vacation at my cabin in another state…along with both my dogs…so everyone with internet access knows my house is empty. and we are 11 hours away.
my brother’s house got robbed that way when his daughter posted a facebook pic and someone at her school saw it and knew the family was away.
they were caught, but still…you feel violated.
it was a tough lesson for young girl to learn.
…anyway, I still think it is probably something else.
Well, if Sarah’s new show gets picked up, as a CBS production, it could be filmed at the same studio in New Orleans as NCIS NOLA.
Would that be interesting…
Let’s say that that although NCIS LA continues, it does so without the complete cast. That does seem to be a real fear.
If ECO is the one leaving at the end of the year. Maybe Deeks joins NCIS and then Mosley transfers him to New Orleans…
I mean, they do have a vacancy, right?
Maybe ECO goes onto other things and Deeks is relegated to a recurring character with a few Densi scenes every year as he runs the bar and is more of a stay at home dad.
Not sure I really like that at all.
On the other hand, if ECO had a full time, prominent role on NOLA, I would absolutely start watching that.
I wondered if somebody would jump on that…
switch teams when your favorite player gets traded, so to speak
INSERT INFLAMITORY STATEMENTS IN THE SPACE PROVIDED BELOW
Well, I feel the lack of ECO, Deeks, and Densi this season is troubling
Either it is a horrible plan from the show’s leadership, or it is due to the lack of availability from some of the cast.
If it is an availability issue and this is due to the sheer volume of time away that Eric negotiated this year…
Then ECO may have negotiated himself right off the show or even negotiated the very end of the show itself.
The Ratings Genie isn’t happy with the result and next year they have a big hole to try and dig out of.
I like and respect the heck out of ECO as an actor and a person, but he may have a lot more time for his pet projects than he bargained for if this continues.
Either way, TPTB aren’t making good use of the time he is on screen so I hold them accountable regardless.
Yes, I know that ECO is allowed to have a personal life.
But when it affects the show it affects other people’s livelihoods as well
At a certain point is can become selfish.
I do not know about all of you, but for most people, when you tell your boss that you need time off so you can go work for someone else for a while, it is a challenging conversation.
Making some accommodations is expected, but at some point it becomes excessive. And a problem.
Just an opinion,
I guess the point is that many of us agree that when ECO is gone it affects the show.
If it affects the show it affects the ratings.
Thus the add revenue
Thus the renewal prospects and the dollars available to the cast and crew for salaries, raises and bonuses.
So it has an impact on your coworkers, their finances and potentially their employment status.
So, be responsible about it.
The average US full time worker works 260 days / year with2 weeks off.
So lets say 250 days/ year.
The show produces 24 episodes with a 7 day production schedule.
Lets see, that’s 168 days.
Subtract days the actor isn’t needed for filming and the additional requested days off and you are around 150.
150 days/ year for a full time job, we should be so lucky.
I appreciate and respect what Eric does.
But, the statement that he works too hard, needs a break or really needs to spend “a little time with his family” just sounds hollow.
I love his work, but I struggle to work up much sympathy for his supposed lack of ability to spend enough time with his family.
He gets about 100 more days with his family than most of us do.
Enjoy the summer.
suck it up and get back to work.
I know it must be tough…
.yes, I do get the irony that this may be the worst website on the internet to post this…fire away.
First of all, have you ever thought that the actors are tired of the constant scrutiny and judgement from the fan more than tired of the show itself. I mean how would you feel if every tiny bit of information about your life, like say a holiday with your kids, is over-analysed and frowned upon by your “fans” because you appeared 10 min less in their favourite TV show on Sunday. It is great to be supportive of what you love, but remember those guys are humans, and entitled to live their life. I am sure they appreciate the support but it must be so overwhelming when you state that your life gets worse because the guys takes time off with his children.
Second, “150 days/ year for a full time job, we should be so lucky”. Once again, how condescending! You can not think of such job in such simple terms. Think of the years of struggles to get there, financially and psychologically from the constant instability. Think of work days that last 14+ hours. Think of all the extra as you talked about, like comic-cons and interviews. Every appearance, even on Instagram or twitter, is work! Plus all these guys are doing many side jobs on other movies, shows etc. so they do not work only 150 days/year. My guess is they overall work more than the average american if you add up everything in terms of hours/year.
I too love this show and the actors. I also want to crap on whoever is shaping this terrible S9, and someone in a writing room has a lot more responsibility regarding the bad rating of S9 than the actors taking time off.
I think that you gotta step back and remember that for you, whatever deep attachment you feel to it, it’s still just a show, for them its their life playing there. Let them have it. Otherwise, that may be the reason they’ll leave the show.
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Darn it, you got me
Yes, I did make contradictory statements.
And yes, rather than just posting a question, I made a statement and an inflammatory one at that.
All for the purpose of eliciting a response and conversation.
You brought up some good points, so let me try to address them and clarify my thoughts.
I will just play the devil’s advocate so to speak.
Just posing an argument, no facts or even necessarily my firm opinion.
First off, I knew that putting the words Eric Olsen and selfish in the same statement would rile people up.
I got slammed a lot less that I thought I would, actually.
I honestly do not believe that at all. he seems to be a great guy.
Bored or complacent possibly, in light of the recent show direction, but never selfish.
He appears to be one of the most generous kind people I have ever scene.
Let me start with the job.
As one of “those guys” that gets paid for 10 hours whether he works 8 or 12, I get it.
Sometimes you get them, and sometimes they get you.
If my work location is 30 min or 3 hours from home doesn’t matter, neither does staying in a hotel away from the family for days or weeks on end.
The pay is the same…so I do get it.
Let’s keep in mind that more often than not those 14 hour days are more for the crew setting up and breaking down a field shoot location as opposed to the full cast.
Long days are usually the result of traffic control issues, permitting requirements, lighting issues, access to the location and so on. But it does happen obviously.
Then again, so does the 4, 5 or 6 hour days when you aren’t needed the whole day.
We have seen them let Dani phone in her lines when she is off screen playing off the on screen actor even, which is pretty cool.
The 14 hour days do not usually require the actor to be present the whole time. 5 hours in the morning with a few in the afternoon, with a 5 hour break in the middle does happen…dead time in the middle of the day is the worst in my opinion. Getting away for a while or having lunch with the family is always an option though.
Let’s not forget that the actors all rave that the show is so family oriented.
Dani and Eric have both mentioned that for the most part they are home for dinner with the family every night.So, the long days are the exception to the rule, or at least not the most common.
As far as the additional days worked.
Other than the standard negotiated “publicity” or public appearance, fan appreciation days…the rest is on them.
They don’t travel to Germany for Comicon because the show made them.
They do it for themselves and the money.
Yes, the show benefits from the residual publicity. Immensely
But, they do these things to make money, promote themselves and increase or thank their fan base.
I do not think any of them are required to fly to Europe or maintain a certain number of social media accounts as a condition of employment.
We all (or most of us) do things or provide extras for work on our own to some point.
Whether it is tools, a required class, work required clothing, footwear, and so on, most don’t get to go shopping on company time.
It is usually your own time and money to do these things.
We just take it as being required.
If your work has a dress code, do you get paid overtime when you are buying work clothes on a Saturday or get paid time off to do it. Some do and some don’t,… I don’t.
Linda Hunt doesn’t participate in these things, so there is obviously a way out if they don’t want to. Correct.
The time off comments
Actually, I don’t recall ECO saying he was tired or needed time off to spend with his kids.
Some fans suggested it and made a comment that he was working a lot.
I grabbed onto it to start a discussion.
I meant that all the extra work was on personal projects and not required by the show.
“I worked too hard over the weekend” isn’t a great excuse to not show up to your job on Monday…usually anyway.
The “need time off with the kids” comment is kind of a bulletproof, no brainer, get out of jail free kind of statement in this politically correct era we are in.
Awful hard to argue or find fault with a request like that.
It is actually the best reason I can think of.
But let’s not assume that is what all the time is for.
There was the trip to Europe to support and participate in his friend’s film.
Then of course there was the annual motorcycle ride around Europe with his buddies.
Pretty sure his wife and kids weren’t on the back of the bike.
So, he actually took time off to get away…without the family actually.
A valid reason, but just wanted to clarify.
As far as the constant scrutiny you mentioned from fans goes, I would never be good at dealing with that.
And honestly, I don’t know how they do it..
in my completely uninformed opinion.
The best way to avoid being scrutinized and overanalyzed by the fans would be to stop posting stuff to your Instagram account for some 350 thousand people to see when you are hanging out at the Four Seasons in Oahu Hawaii soaking up the sun while the rest of the cast is working on filming an episode of a show that is struggling to maintain its ratings…
Wow, Did that sound harsh???
Yes, I know, This last trip was after the season, but several have not been.
Be on set, or fly under the radar, so to speak, Right?
We as fans can’t think the stars post all this stuff just because they love us all so much
It may not be the only reason, obviously, but there is a financial benefit gained by having a large and loyal following.
If they wanted for something to stay private, they simply post it to their “other” private account that is for their friends and family…you know, the one with the privacy settings switched on that you can’t get into, comment on or even see. Yeah, that one…
They only post stuff they want to share… unless they accidently upload it to the wrong account, which happens occasionally.
With this being a discussion board on a fan site, I feel reasonably okay bringing this up for a conversation, but..
But I would never post something like this on one of their social media accounts, public or not.
The comments I made would never wind up on Instagram for example.
Their jobs for better or worse, are far different from most of us.
Most jobs have someone with the ability to back fill or a way to make up the time or production.
For most people, if someone takes a day off, they can work longer hours the next day or over the weekend to catch up.
the actors are more like a star athlete.
His team needs him and if he isn’t there the team can’t replace him.
Having your starting quarterback or ace pitcher take game day off hurts.
No matter how much time he spends in practice the next week, it doesn’t help out the game he missed.
the show is a similar situation.
There is only one Kensi and Deeks.
When they are gone during filming everyone notices.
And no matter how much time they spend the next week on set, the opportunity is gone and they can’t change missing the episode.
You can’t just make it up
It is like missing a playoff game.
When it’s over, it’s over…
That’s my thought anyway.
They have a tough job, but let’s not pretend that they are working 14 hours a day in a coal mine.
And actually with his styled by pillow look, ECO quite likely spends less time in hair and makeup than the girls do…one would think. So, there is that.
On an interesting side note, Dani mentioned once that while discussing their “Bad Ass” female characters with her friend Cote de Pablo (Ziva), that Cote recommended the pony tail look for the character because not only did it look more realistic for field work, but that it dramatically reduced her daily time spent in hair and makeup.
Hence, the Kensi Ponytail. …most of the time , anyway.
Anyway, I found it interesting.
I in no way feel that Eric is selfish.
I do think he may be a little bored with this lousy season’s writing and story arcs…and reduced time on screen.
Sometimes complacency is the culprit. It has been so long, that the dedicated fans, the solid ratings, and the consistent paycheck they help generate…
May possibly get taken for granted.
We assume it is already there and put our attentions into something else. It can happen.
I just hope the cast… and far more importantly the show runners, put a little more attention into things.
The producers shouldn’t be trying to set op a down the road story , playing the long game…when the trouble is right in front of them.
Take care of now, and the future will work itself out. Otherwise it won’t be there down the road.
Oh, what happens doesn’t ruin my day. I am just very…animated and expressive…shall we say.
And if you want a passionate response, you need to show passion.
Neither I, nor the voices in my head have a problem…we really don’t.
Well, I am sure I have forgotten a lot, but I have lost my place again…
Please let me know what I missed.
I can agree with most of what you just said. As of the Instagram pictures of holidays and stuff, I really don’t think that’s out of appreciation for the fans or because they love showing off. It is money (I hope they get a great discount at this Hawaiian resort they tag on all their paradise pictures) and I would think for future acting jobs. Although ECO and Dani are good actors on NCIS LA, it may very well be their only big job ever. They wouldn’t be the first actors to fall into oblivion after being a big hit on a TV show. Actors have to sell themselves, and part of the package would be their online presence, number of followers etc, as well as any interaction with the crowd (comic-con include) showing they are somewhat bankable at their scale. Also they are obviously getting some revenue that way with advertisement. Linda Hunt doesn’t need that to get future jobs (if she wants any). Anyway, all that to say that I see it as a job thing. It’s not because your jobs does not explicitly ask you to do something that if you do it is not part of a job.
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they are marketing themselves.
Having other interests and multiple jobs is fine, but it needs to have some balance.
I fully agree that the vast majority of these additional extra things they are doing are work related or actual work. I get it.
The point is, that although it is work, it is not work for this particular show. What CBS is paying them for. It is for themselves.
Spending time advancing your career and doing your job aren’t actually always the same thing.
They might not be on the clock sitting at their desk at job A while talking on the phone to clients for job B and browsing the internet on the company computer for a potential job C…but it can be similar.
I think potentially it can often be a comfort level and complacency issue.
Taking things for granted, so to speak.
Being a full time main cast character on a solid, established, popular show is actually about as close to having job security as someone can get in this industry.
So, knowing nothing lasts forever, there is the temptation to take the regular paycheck, put the cash in your pocket, and look to see what other sources of income may be out there.
Some may be one-time things, some may be smaller commitments, some may just be potential down the road. But they are unsecured or fleeting. People tend to jump at them, somewhat neglecting the sure thing they already have.
I have a comparison that might fit, and if you are still reading this then I didn’t delete the crap after typed it like I should have…
I have an acquaintance…(I certainly would not call him a friend) who is an incredibly hard worker, maybe a workaholic. He is energetic ambitious and very good at his job.
He is actually a surveyor for a county public works department or something like that. A solid 40 hr/ week job that pays the bills, provides benefits, offers stability and so on. He is very good at it.
Here is the rub. He is always drumming up side work.
Developers, construction companies, small contractor renovations, property owners…the list is endless. All need someone with his abilities occasionally.
So, he does his best to schedule these things around work, but often runs himself ragged.
He also fields calls and sets up appointments while doing his “day job”.
Unfortunately, conflict come up, and when they do, his real job frequently looses out.
See, he assumes the regular job is there, and the other stuff is up for grabs. If he doesn’t accommodate them, they will just go somewhere else.
So…he takes time off, calls in sick or takes a vacation day, leaves early for a “Dentist Appointment”, whatever…to go do his side jobs.
The problem is back at his regular job, that there are schedules to maintain, and others may have to work around his work being pushed back by a day…but hey, the job is still there and the check still cashes…right?
His vision is to actually own his own business sometime soon, which is an admirable vision.
The problem is that he is inconveniencing others and costing his primary employer money, time, or bad press with the public while his work slips.
Leaves early on Friday and is exhausted on Monday…but hey he “worked all weekend”… but that doesn’t help his coworkers , his company, or his boss….just him.
I think at some basic level, these guys should be committed to the job they are getting paid for. Don’t just take the $850,000 ( or whatever it is up to now…that was a while ago) pay check for NCIS LA, put it in the bank, take as much time off as you can get away with, and then focus on all this other stuff.
Do it on the hiatus, or leave.
But,… if you want to be here…then be here…and act like you want to be here…
as my boss once said.
Good advice actually. never liked the guy, but it was good advice none the less.
Side jobs and special projects come up for all of the actors.
It is just trying to not do too much, maintaining some balance, and paying proper attention and commitment to your current job that is important.
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At it’s basic structure, this show is just a Crime Drama, police procedural, a buddy cop show…whatever.
There are a lot of them out there.
So, why do I like this one.
Car chases are a dime a dozen, as are shootouts, fistfights and explosions.
So, what makes this show different from. Say…NCIS, NCIS NOLA, any of the CSIs, or any of the assortment of similar shows.
The structure is the same, cases of the week are similar, so what is it.
It is the main characters and their relationships with each other.
That doesn’t mean romantic, just how they relate and interact with the group. Those connections are what make the show unique.
If you just want to watch Sam beat people up and shoot guns, then you are better off watching Seal Team or something.
Either way, nobody was tuning in all these years to watch Mosley, Harley, and an overabundance of guest actors get too much screen time.
Time to get back to the basics.
Spend a little time on the partnerships and relationships we grew to love.
We did wind up with the typical Sam undercover obnoxious thug Switch, but I was expecting nothing less.
My bigger issue it the vague cryptic comments in Opps.
What is actually wrong with telling your teammates that you have to resurrect a cover that you didn’t like or may not be viable.
What it with the “gotta do something I didn’t want to do” crap.
That line was used with Deeks about the Max persona and worked well. and we understand why.
It has been used by others multiple times since and works less and less each time they do it.
…so stop already.
There is no way that Kensi or Deeks will leave with the other staying.
They have an overwhelming need to have the other’s back.
Look at how protective Kensi was during the internal affairs issue and how Deeks reacts when Kensi is in danger and he is not there.
It isn’t pretty.
Which is why with that level of obvious love and commitment, and the willingness to do anything to be together, that the delay in the wedding seems off to me
They would be on their honeymoon in Bali by now.
Kensi and Deeks in swimwear riding horses on a beach…sign me up.
…I need to go now…
Is it getting hot in here?
It’s not a question of Deeks or Kensi leaving while the other one stays. It’s whether ECO or Dani leaves while the other one stays. And then the writers would just have to accommodate that, which maybe they are with this OOC bar thing. Just don’t get me started on how the show gets turned on its head when Dani takes maternity leave, or doesn’t start filming season 10 because she’s got a eurovision gig; but if ECO takes a few weeks off during the season, his character gets only lame attempts at comic relief and weak excuses for his absence. How much would it have hurt the show to create an ongoing arc with Deeks undercover for LAPD, something he couldn’t share with the team until it happened to tie into a case at the end of the season? But for that to happen, TPTB would have to value both the character and the actor, which clearly they don’t. And they’re being rewarded with crappy ratings and a fading fan base.
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I am afraid that one of them may be gone
all the actors take time off.
the show has done a horrible job of managing it.
it is so hard to find enough time to all the actors the time they deserve.
yet, when one is gone, instead of using that additional available time to focus more on the other team members..
the show has this habit of dumping in a bunch of guest actors to fill the perceived gap.
so, instead of a good character based episode…say Deeks, M…
we get flooded with a bunch of fill ins and they spend way too much airtime cramming Mosley and Harley down our throats.
it is really getting old.
for as long time now , when someone is gone they feel the need to backfill and we get a story involving the temp instead of a more in-depth focus on the remaining cast.
I personally feel it one of the show’s biggest faults
Sam’s undercover seems limited with his appearance as he has bulked up.,
It was better before in my opinion when he was physically fit but thinner and more natural looking.
How many homeless, druggies, or street criminals look like they spend 30+ hours in the gym each week?
Earlier in the season they tried to make him look timid by putting glasses on him…really?
6’3” 240 with huge muscles and he is supposed to be frail?
Hey, just add a pair of glasses and presto, instant wall flower…
Nope, just don’t buy it.
With all the bulging muscles, the large and unique tattoo (requiring the use of a long sleeve Henley most of the time) being so big, and the bald head, he has trouble blending in in many situations.
For a guy that criticized Deeks’ appearance, well, for an undercover operative, he is making himself too noticeable and limited.
Just a thought…
Karen, thanks for your review and thanks to everybody for their comments. I read all of them carefully and I agree with almost everything that’s been said, so I’m afraid I won’t add anything that’s not already in the opinions above, but I know it’s one of the last times I can write something about NCIS:LA on this amazing site and I can’t waste the opportunity!
I have tried to analyse Season 9 which is now almost complete and I think the real problem this year (for me) is that most episodes (all?) were just a sequence of disjointed scenes that could have been placed in whatever moment of whatever episode, nothing more, nothing less. A lot of these scenes worked in themselves, but the whole episodes really lacked something, being fragmentary and discontinuous, with a lot of loose threads or unoriginal cases of the week.
Moreover, a lot of screen time was reduced for the characters I liked the most, Deeks and Kensi and almost ALL their scenes together!!! It’s been just ridiculous and I still can’t understand if it was for reasons beyond TPTB’s control (more time off negotiated by the acotrs) or part of a precise still mysterious plan. A way or another, the thing is that, for example, this season the new addition Hidoko had more and sometimes more beautiful scenes than Kensi (with Deeks, with Sam, with Nell, with Hetty, some dialogs and interactions in OPS, just to mention a few). Unbelievable.
Another thing that has been bothering me all the season is how many OOC scenes and dialogs and characters’ behaviors we have had to bear nearly in all episodes. In other seasons such OOC moments were just an exception, this season they have been the norm. Didn’t the writers even try to be coherent and plausible? Didn’t they even care to check the backstories of their own characters? Have they just been lazy? Or were they more focused on casual viewers than the loyal and dedicated fans? I simply don’t understand.
In conclusion, do you think we are now allowed to say out loud (being the season almost over) that the “reset” that was meant for this season didn’t work at all? Or should we first wait for the “crazy stuff” that was promised us in the finale?
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yes, I will say it with you…
the reset didn’t work.
they seem to be more focused on switching things up to attract new viewers than in keeping the old ones
this can work if the numbers work out.
but the ratings would tell us that they are loosing more of their established viewers than being replaced by any new ones they may be getting.
I am not overly happy
Thanks for another great review Karen, I’m sure gonna miss them next season. You described my thoughts perfectly and in more coherent words that I’m able to. As with the rest of the season, I have mixed feelings about this episode.
The Deeks and Callen scenes were the upside of the episode, but they didn’t feel enough given the complete lack of Densi. Shouldn’t Kensi know if Deeks saw a certain movie? Isn’t Deeks supposed to discuss his life plans with his future wife? Their relationship feels sorta stranded to me, and that is not something I enjoy. I wonder if it’s a showrunners decisions, just unfortunate bad writing, or if there’s something more going on behind the scenes?
As for the rest of the characters, I enjoy the chemistry between Sam and Dana, but I don’t like him going down a similar route as Jada, especially after what happened with Michelle last season. As in the rest of the season, I don’t dislike Hidoko, but also don’t think she adds anything new or interesting to the show; but I still see potential, especially if they keep writing scenes between her and Hetty, as that has been my favorite Hidoko scene so far. And, Mosley… Can she rescue her son in the finale and take some time off to rekindle their lost relationship? At the beginning she was just a conceited and unidimensional character, now it feels the showrunners are making too much of an effort to make her likeable and show her connecting with the team. I think it might be too late for that now.
Lastly, I hope I’m just paranoid but all this leaving NCIS and bar talk is making me really nervous. I hope ECO/Deeks are not leaving the show, as that would break my heart and destroy my favorite show for me.
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The backup syndrome. ( or the hero in waiting)
Quite often, the assistant coach or the backup quarterback is one of the most popular people on the team.
There is this perceived wealth of untapped ideas, skill and possibilities.
Every time things aren’t perfect, people look to them, wondering if they could do better. It is really a perfect spot to be in.
So, when there were a few hiccups with Shane Brennan at the helm late in his run, there was a lot of excitement around R S Gemmill taking over.
Unfortunately, it is much harder to actually do the job than it is to point out what you think you could do better as someone else struggles.
There is the common honeymoon period…where everyone blames the “previous guy” for the mess you were left with and you get a free pass.
…but eventually you have to stand o your own merits and take the credit or blame for your success or failures.
His vision and experiments are just not working out very well.
and by now, it is firmly in his lap.
The poor guy needs a life preserver, he steered us into an iceberg.
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With Granger gone and Hetty (Linda Hunt actually) wanting a dramatically reduced workload this season, there was a unique opportunity to focus in-depth on some of the remaining cast.
Unfortunately, the focus for most of the season was on the 2 additional characters that got dumped into the mix.
A missed opportunity.
To quote Gibbs…”you don’t waste good”
I feel that there have been some misses this season and hate to see things slipping away a little.
a lot of underutilized potential.
for me, the highlights of this season have be watching reruns from other seasons and reading fanfiction
…sad, I know.
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I agree and second every word you posted! When JPK posted that they are back from the Olympic break and to expect plenty of Densi ahead I was excited. What a liar! Now we find out that the 2 hour Finale is about Sam getting shot and looking into Mosely’s sons case. The one picture that is that of Kensi & Callen , So thanks to r.scott for saving me $50 on not buying the dvd.. They didn’t even have Dani and Eric on the same stage WTF???????
Ed, I really appreciate all your comments, you have touched on so many emotions that I have about the show and opened the floodgates on season 9. Well done. I thought I would just add this as a new comment in response to what you wrote.
For me, I am not sure what caused the decrease in screen time for anyone on the cast, whether it was their desire, show runners desire or CBS and how they pay their long term secondary actors. No matter what the reason the end result is the same.This season Deeks and Nell saw quite a significant decrease in screen time and Kensi and Eric have had less screen time than in previous seasons but not as decreased as Deeks and Nell. The show has added two new characters. Although I do not like the Mosley character I do not believe she is taking screen time from existing people, her screen time is probably the same as Hetty/Granger. Harley is a different story, there is no part for Harley, she is in ops, she is in the field, and realistically all of her screen time comes from someone else. Since Callen and Sam have not had a decrease in screen time , all of Harley’s screen time comes from Deeks, Nell, Kensi and Eric and her presence impacts the screen time for Densi and Neric. This makes me really unhappy.
Now as far as storyline goes it is different , both Mosley and Harley have taken storyline time from Deeks, Kensi, Nell, Eric, and Callen. I do not think they have taken storyline time from Sam, since he has had as many or more storylines as previous seasons.
As a long time fan of this show, I thought season 9, would finally give us the backstory on Deeks we have been promised , some really good scripts/acting with Deeks and Whiting and the IA thread, and some good emotional Densi as we move forward on the wedding planning. I also think season 9 storylines should have lead to some progress on Neric and some ongoing stories about Callen and his new found family. Instead we got new storylines so we could try to develop/showcase both Mosley and Harley. Mosley got developed into a bad female boss, and Harley , a perky agent who bounces back and forth between allegiance to the team and Mosley.
I guess I find it hard to believe that TPTB who gave us season 8, which had character development for each character, Deeks, Kensi, Nell, Eric, Sam and Callen and relationship development for Densi, and Neric, would give us a season 9 which was devoid of character development and repeatedly presented such out of character behavior for all the characters . Season 9 was also devoid of relationship development for Densi or Neric .
I really feel TPTB have taken advantage of the loyalty of all of their fans who have supported this show over the years in all its schedule moves.
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Hit the nail right on the head!!!!
Fantastic comments. I completely agree.
As I try to figure out just what they are thinking, my brain go some odd directions.
Her is one.
I find it hard to believe that Gemmell has a loyalty to Brennan so much that he is wanting to continue his vision to the detriment of the show.
I thought with Gemmell that the vision of the show that Brennan had could be changed.
Late in his tenure Brennan was not overly happy with the direction of the show but had public and financial pressures to adjust his original plan.
See, Shane had said from the start, that this show was about Callen and his journey to find his family and happiness.
It was never about the junior agents.
It was originally envisioned to be more like a Miami Vise setup with Crockett and Tubbs. 2 undercover operatives with a support staff.
Roughly 50 % + of the airtime would be reserved for them alone.
Think how the show started, with Kensi in opps half the time or a third wheel …or minor Dom scenes, that just didn’t work. First season wasn’t very good in my opinion.
Then ECO came in and Densi was born.
Some comic relief…Okay, good. Maybe a background story arc over a couple of seasons…just second tier filler really. thats what he wanted.
Unfortunately for Mr. Brennan’s plan, Densi gained a life of its own and had the most vocal fans. Even if they weren’t the most in number, they were the most rabid and loyal.
The public appearances and the talks shows came along, and there was no stopping it. Densi kind of took over and demanded far more attention and screen time than Shane had originally intended.
His vision was off track and it was hard to get it back. He never had any intention to give the junior partners anywhere near the billing they have gotten. His true buddy cop show had company and too much competition for the headlines.
He wanted Callen front and center…Just like Don Johnson’s Crockett was.
Here is a clue…take a look at the DVD covers…that is what Shane Brennan wanted …you sure don’t see Densi anywhere…Right?
I can’t imagine R Scott trying to continue that thought, can you.
So, what gives? Is he actually trying to push Densi to out if the limelight into the shadows, or even end them?
The partnership sure doesn’t seem to be much of a priority to him recently.
Pieces, puzzles and the plan.
Just what is the plan?
We have some new pieces, some missing ones, and some we aren’t sure about…so, what is the plan?
It is tough to figure where all the pieces might fit.
Sadly, Granger is gone. And, also sadly…we got Mosley and Harley.
So where does Mosley fit?
Is she here to replace Granger, Hetty, or both?
Or is she gone to take care of her kid after the rescue?
If she is just replacing Granger, then her and Hetty don’t really fit.
She belongs in an office building with an admin staff, not a clandestine undercover headquarters.
And if she is a direct swap for Granger…we sure got the short end of the deal.
Granger wasn’t all that present initially, so maybe we see a lot less of her.
A big part of this is what happens with Hetty.
Linda Hunt has been rumored to be looking to retire, and her dramatically reduced time this year lends some validity to that train of thought.
Does she stay and fight with Mosley?
Or does Mosely replace both her and Granger as Hetty retires yet once again.
If Hetty leave, Mosley is far from a manager, she is about 3 levels above that job, right. So, do they backfill with someone else?
Ideally, Mosley gets her kid and Mosely and her lap dog Harley ride off into the sunset on their sea slugs, leaving Hetty in charge.
If they leave Grangers spot vacant, and Hetty takes on a reduced role…
Briefing pre assignment and then observing from opps, interacting with the meercats occasionally, and making her presence felt, it could work.
More time could be spent on the core partners, Hetty around but less so, and no new guys to deal with….that might be the best outcome.
Linda gets more time off that way.
I would see it more like how Vance is used in the other show.
Around, but not as prevalent, and not even in every show.
If Mosely replaces Hetty, I suggest this is the way she should be used….
Not seen much…show up 3 or 4 times a year to say something profoundly managerial…wander off acting all important like…and get shoved back into the closet for a few episodes.
What will they do with Harley?
She doesn’t fit anywhere…unless something bad happens.
She is kind of a third wheel. And if Hetty goes, Harley is not capable of filling that position.
Actually Nell has been groomed for years to be the Hetty replacement, but could she work with Mosely?
And then, Harley can’t backfill for Nell in opps, So she is still the third wheel.
Who would fill in for Nell if she moved to manager anyway… Blaze? Hmmm.
So where does that leave us?
If Harley stays, then someone from the core 4 would likely have to go to make it work.
I do not like this. At all…
It does almost seem like they are trying to see who the actress fits in with best and may have chemistry with…which is scary.
Callen seems solid, I just don’t see him leaving.
This is certainly not about who my favorite is…just who is likely to stay.
Sam , well he could die while rescuing Mosley’s kid. That would be interesting.
Uncle Callen becomes their guardian. He is probably already their god father anyway. And they are getting pretty old anyhow.
Kensi or Deeks leaving or dying…this would piss me off, but could happen. Dani and Eric may be the most likely to leave…after Linda, of course.
Deeks character appears to be set up the most to leave the job.
Does Eric’s recent comments and actions lead anyone to think he may be ready to leave the show? I’m not sure.
He does seem more likely than Dani, but you never know.
In addition, Eric’s spouse is between jobs and Dani’s spouse owns his own business in town. So, relocation may be more of a challenge for her. Then, there is lots of work in LA.
Heck…I’m off track again, sorry.
The point is, where does Harley fit?
Kill off Sam and have her with Callen?
Or split up Deeks and Kensi, get rid of one of them, and have Harley pair up with the sole remaining member of Densi…
Nope…don’t like it.
So, now thay I have confused myself with this mess.
I know I missed some options, but I give up.
What do you think?
What do you want to see?
And, what do you thing is most likely to happen?
My head hurts,
Thanks everyone for another great discussion! I started writing a response to your many thoughts on Deeks’ future, and it got so long it’s turned into a whole separate post, LOL. For now I’ll just say that Yes, Lindy, I do miss Hetty. She frustrates me like crazy a lot of the time but she’s a fantastic character played by a great actress. I was also thinking about Chegwidden, and how much fun it would be to have him step in to replace Mosley, or even if Linda Hunt wants to step down, to replace her (thereby diminishing some of Mosley’s screen time). He is so funny and entertaining. And if, god forbid, ECO were to leave or have fewer appearances, Chegwidden’s sarcasm would be sorely needed to lighten the mood.
sassyzazzi, your idea to have had Kensi partner with Sam so we could have parallel discussions about Densi’s future is absolutely brilliant. I need it to happen. Any fan fic writers out there want to write us an alternate scene? And hoopsdiva, your alternate storyline to explain Deeks’ absences is awesome as well. Hmmm, if only you were a great fan fic writer who could write that for us. 😉
Thank you for the great review and all the comments. I agree with many of them. I had not realized how much of avoid Miguel Ferrera’s death left in the show. It took an emotional toll on everyone. As upset as I have been with Hetty she is missed. I don’t think she would be missed as much if Granger was around. They followed the pattern of making anyone who comes in to lead the team the bad guy, bad boss. They could have made an arc with her looking for her son and slowly dropping hints throughout the episodes with the team being suspicious. Then they could end up helping her. It would not surprise me that someone on the show would want to leave after so long. I do think the writers missed some great opportunities with character development. Thanks for making my watching the show even better with all that you do.
Season 1 was nice, Season 2 was my favorite, Season 3 superb, Season 4 superb, Season 5 slowly turning but nice ! All the other seasons got worse and worse , what the hell happened in the writing room ? They should never create characters Mosley, Harley and Ana. God damnit !