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Densi: Imperfect Apart, Perfect Together


When all of your flaws and all of my flaws
Are laid out one by one
The wonderful part of the mess that we made
We pick ourselves undone

– Bastille, “Flaws”, written by DANIEL SMITH
© Universal Music Publishing Group

I’m sure many, if not most, wikiDeeks readers have spent a fair amount of time watching Youtube Densi videos posted by creative fans. Many songs seem tailor-made for this couple, but there’s always been one that brings them to mind every time I hear it. It’s called “Flaws,” performed by Bastille and written by Daniel Smith. It’s about how two imperfect people complement one another perfectly. For me, this is the quality that makes them such an epic pairing, one of television’s all-time best.

All of your flaws and all of my flaws
They lie there hand in hand
Ones we’ve inherited, ones that we learned
They pass from man to man

We’re all flawed, but sometimes fictional characters are a little too perfect. That’s not the case for Kensi or Deeks, for they’re both imperfect, maybe even a little broken. Deeks largely “inherited” his flaws from his father, although I’d argue many of his flaws aren’t so much a genetic birthright as a legacy of his traumatic childhood, courtesy of said father. Like Gordon John Brandel, Deeks has a dark side, a temper, and the ability to lash out at others. I see this inheritance as the predictable effect of child abuse and other childhood traumas.

This difficult upbringing also gave Deeks his self-doubt, his seeming belief that he’s not worthy of a happy ending, and his jokester side that uses humor to alleviate tension, but also to hide his real self and keep people from getting too close. As Eric Christian Olsen once put it, “A lot of people say, ‘Well he doesn’t seem to care that much,’ and it’s not that at all.  I think he uses it as a shield. I think it’s a form of, kind of, self-preservation.”

Kensi “learned” some of her flaws when she lost people she loved. The list is long- her father, Jack, and Dom to name three. Her estrangement from her mother may have been self-inflicted, but it was still a huge loss. These losses all piled up so high that they morphed into those giant walls around her heart, making it tough for her to become close to anyone. They may have also taken away her ability to really laugh, to feel true joy.

There’s a hole in my soul
I can’t fill it, I can’t fill it
There’s a hole in my soul
Can you fill it? Can you fill it?

Consider Deeks and Kensi when we first see them, back in Season 1 and early Season 2. Deeks has been living an apparently empty life as “Party Marty” in a job where he’s generally disliked, seen as a rat or maybe even rumored to be a killer. There’s a hole in his soul left by his abusive father.

Kensi has been living an empty life of first dates, lying to her friends about what she does for a living, and living in the same city as her mother yet failing to reach out to her. There’s a hole in her soul from losing people she loved.

You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve
And I have always buried them deep beneath the ground
Dig them up; let’s finish what we’ve started
Dig them up, so nothing’s left untouched

Kensi can’t help but put her flaws out there. Her lack of a sense of humor is on full display, no matter how hard she tries. Even a bikini bar bartender can tell within seconds of meeting her. And those walls are also quite clear to anyone who might try to breach them. Early on with Deeks, she has no trouble shooting down his frequent efforts to flirt or even simply to joke.

Deeks on the other hand tries to bury his flaws so deep down that no one can discover them, so deep that even he doesn’t have to face them. Here’s how ECO described it during the “Internal Affairs” arc: “…there’s kind of darkness in everyone, and it’s just a matter of how deep it’s buried. For Deeks, I think this is a darkness that potentially he’s buried from everyone, including himself. Because for the characters and his relationships with them, if it’s true, it’s almost too much to rationalize or justify. And he knows that, so I think that he’s obviously trying to hide whether it’s true or not. Even the possibility of it, he’s trying to hide from his mom and from Kensi.”

Then there’s the humor that Deeks uses to keep people at a distance. It makes them think he doesn’t take things seriously, but really he doesn’t want them to see the real Deeks who cares deeply. He keeps his dark side tamped down to the point that he sometimes lets Kensi and the others treat him less than kindly, only rarely lashing out or allowing himself to become upset. He tries his hardest to keep Kensi out of the same room as his alter ego Max, and he keeps the truth about killing Boyle hidden as long as possible.

All of your flaws and all of my flaws,
When they have been exhumed
We’ll see that we need them to be who we are
Without them we’d be doomed

And yet somehow, these two people who both want to keep others away from their hearts, if not their true selves, can’t help but draw the truths out from one another, to bring each other’s flaws into the open. Deeks points out Kensi’s lack of humor. Kensi points out his apparent lack of seriousness. They vow to try to do better.

Kensi meets Max and doesn’t judge him. She simply supports Deeks on a really tough day. She does the same later, when Internal Affairs comes calling, looking for the truth about Boyle. She defends him vigorously (even to Hetty) and does everything in her power to protect him. She then waits patiently for him to confess his darkest secret, and even then doesn’t judge.

Deeks doesn’t just exhume Kensi’s flaws, he works doggedly to dig his way through those walls and into her heart. Over time he learns why the walls exist, as he finds out about her dad, her last partner, her ex-fiancé, and her mom. He gains a better understanding of Kensi but he also never judges. He merely offers acceptance and support, no matter the circumstances, whether she’s bringing justice to her father’s killer, reuniting with her mother, or having a surprise meeting with Jack.

Ironically (and wonderfully), it’s their flaws, or at least their origins, that help them to appreciate each other. Kensi’s experiences of loss in turn make her value what she eventually finds with Deeks, to make her want to fiercely hold onto it. She makes him promise never to get himself killed like the others she has loved. Those past losses make her incredibly loyal to Deeks, no matter what kind of dark side or troubled past he might have. And it’s that troubled past of Deeks’ that in turn makes him value strong women like Kensi, women who would never allow themselves to be abused. It also gives him the drive/obsession to protect people that leads him into Kensi’s life in the first place.

There’s a hole in my soul
I can’t fill it, I can’t fill it
There’s a hole in my soul
Can you fill it? Can you fill it?

They do eventually fill the holes, even if there are still a few gaps here and there. Over time, after gaining more trust with Deeks, Kensi allows herself to relax, to let her guard down, and to even be super silly. Deeks’ humor, even as it masks quite a bit of pain, still succeeds in drawing Kensi out and letting her experience the joy that comes from laughter. In turn, we can be sure that Deeks finds incredible joy in return. His comfort – his home – is, after all, in Kensi’s laugh and in her smile.

Deeks doesn’t actually become more serious, but he reveals to Kensi that he truly is serious- about protecting her, about taking down the bad guys, and about protecting people. And over time, as the trust between them builds and builds, ever so slowly Kensi’s walls come down. Deeks’ persistence shows her that he won’t abandon her, in the process breaking those walls apart so that Kensi can let herself be happy.

Kensi’s complete acceptance of Deeks’ dark side and her total faith in him lets him find maybe just a little bit of acceptance of himself. It makes him feel valued and allows him to start to believe he could have a happy life, proposing (multiple times) and hoping, and even planning, for an army of little ninja assassins.

You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve
And I have always buried them deep beneath the ground
Dig them up; let’s finish what we’ve started
Dig them up, so nothing’s left untouched

From their initial rocky beginnning, they built an amazing relationship. They had a rough start as partners, the lack of trust presenting a huge barrier to their even working well together. Yet they persevered, becoming solid work partners, then friends, then best friends, best friends in love, lovers, and betrothed. They’re partners in every sense of the word. They made it there by moving slowly forward together, learning how to communicate, and chipping away at each other’s flaws.

Ooh
Ooh

When all of your flaws
And all of my flaws are counted
When all of your flaws
And all of my flaws are counted

It makes their story epic because the way they fit one another so well, the way each person’s flaws lined up against the other’s in just the right way to heal them both, makes them seem destined to be together. Kensi is Deeks’ figurative home. They’re each other’s everything, to the end of time and back.

You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve
And I have always buried them deep beneath the ground
Dig them up. Let’s finish what we’ve started
Dig them up. So nothing’s left untouched

Because they seem destined to be together, it makes us root all the harder for them to overcome all the obstacles thrown in their path. And because they seem destined to be together, it will (hopefully) someday make their final happy ending all the sweeter, more emotional, and more satisfying.

Ooh
Ooh

All of your flaws and all of my flaws
Are laid out one by one
Look at the wonderful mess that we made
We pick ourselves undone

It hasn’t always been a smooth path to happiness. Far from it. The barriers to their happy ending have been too numerous to count. Their individual flaws may have felt like obstacles along the way, but in retrospect they actually appear to be the reasons for them to be together.

On his favorite scene (from “Impact,”) ECO said, “That’s the crux of the show. It’s two characters that are deeply flawed, deeply human. It’s the human experience, it’s the mortal coil. It’s two characters that have never found love before, they haven’t found comfort, they haven’t found safety. And somehow in this messed up world they find each other, and in that they find peace. And I think that’s the micro version of the macro version of what that relationship is and what the show is as a whole.”

Thank you Eric and Daniela, and all the writers and showrunners who’ve given us this beautiful love story.

About Karen P (185 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.

7 Comments on Densi: Imperfect Apart, Perfect Together

  1. What a wonderful, well-thought out discussion of something I think we all love about our favorite couple. They do complement each other perfectly (Hetty’s master plan, no doubt), trust each other unconditionally, support each other fully, and love each other absolutley. And it is wonderful to watch and root for. Thanks for writing this, Karen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very well-written. Thanks for writing so beautifully about my favorite obsession.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In the early days of this series I wasn’t in favor of Deeks and Kensi getting together. Maybe I just wanted to keep Deeks to myself…maybe just a little jealous. It was fun to watch him flirt with other women, and see them succumb to that warm smile and enticing blue eyes. Kensi was too uptight for such a seemingly easy going surfer dude like Deeks. But as their relationship evolved it was hard not to picture them together. It seemed meant to be and then I was slowly drawn in and began to root for them to quit messing around and kiss already. That kiss scene in Descent was explosive, and I yelled out loud when it happen. As reluctant as I was to see them together in the beginning, after that kiss I was solidly into Densi…it became a real love story. Who knew it would take this long to culminate in a wedding. The ride has been rocky, with twists and turns, dives and ascents, barriers to be fought through, a kidnapping, a coma, an arrest, another kidnapping, and day to day dramas…but through it all, they persisted, and so did we all. Now where is that damn wedding?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very beautiful article on my favorite couple! Thanks Karen for writing it so full of emotions. The title is perfect: about Deeks and Kensi, I have always thought they are imperfect apart but perfect together! This is what made me fall in love with them very early on in the show.
    To be honest, I liked them together since the very beginning, since the moment Deeks was introduced and they set eyes on each other, but I didn’t know Detective Marty Deeks from LAPD would be such an important character for the series and a regular too, so I thought it was just wishful thinking only to imagine they would end together… But they did, making in my opinion one of the most beautiful and interesting TV couples. I was so glad when the showrunners didn’t transform them into another TIVA, because I think with Deeks and Kensi together they have had a chance to explore something that would have remained untold and unexplored in the NCIS:LA universe (partners in the field and in life) if Densi had never happened at all.
    I think they now deserve their happy ending with a wedding that suits who they truly are, something simple and cosy (and possibly on screen!).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sassyzazzi // May 13, 2018 at 2:36 PM // Reply

    Karen this was just a wonderfully written piece about my favorite couple. I am not sure I can add anything to your summation, it was perfect, “their individual flaws may have felt like obstacles, but in retrospect they actually appear to be the reasons for them to be together”. I truly hope the show runners deliver a wedding that respects this couple, the actors, and their fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. candyman1973 // May 13, 2018 at 5:38 PM // Reply

    one word,, perfect.. if ncis ( the mother ship of the ncis franchise) can do 15 seasons there is NO reason ncis la can’t ( in my opinion ncis la is better anyway) densi all the way we need the deeks m episode and the wedding next season, I love this site and i’ll be sad to see it go when this season is over, where will I get all the fan fics, all the stories that are already on here ( I re-read them all over and over again ) thank you all for all of your great work, I love (almost) every story

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jess (bluenet13) // May 15, 2018 at 8:01 AM // Reply

    Karen, thanks a lot for writing this piece and the one that came before. As someone that started watching the show late, I enjoyed reading the perspective of someone who has accompanied Densi since their beginning.

    My experience with LA is a bit different, because I discovered the show a year and a half ago and, for better or worse, “Humbug” is one of the first episodes I watched. I was traveling outside the US, and found a channel with reruns of American shows, I watched a few but NCISLA and a certain detective caught my attention and after watching a few episodes from season 3 and 6, I was hooked, so I started watching from the beginning. That being my experience, I enjoyed watching the earlier seasons knowing they would eventually get together, but still wondering if it would last and whether or not they would be allowed their happily ever after.

    In one chapter of a fic I’m writing, I described them as “two friends whose own symphonies had managed to merge into the perfect tune and whose still jagged pieces had converged to form the perfect picture.” This will always be my favorite thing about them and I thank you for writing a whole article about it.

    Ultimately, I think their imperfections, both individually and as a couple, is what makes them perfect, and why so many of us, that are invested in their relationship, want to see them get their happy ending.

    Like

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