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Review: NCISLA “Answers” (S11E11)


This week’s episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, written by Kyle Harimoto and directed by Frank Military, gave us almost the polar opposite from last week’s “Mother.” Where “Mother” was filled with action, drama, and non-stop suspense, “Answers,” was quiet and contemplative, and unlike any NCIS:LA episode I can remember. It served as the perfect follow-up to “Mother,” and did indeed answer lots of questions about these characters’ futures, even as it opened up a whole new set of questions.

Big Questions

I don’t think we’ve ever seen an episode like this, where the case was so completely secondary to the characters and their individual journeys. I have to admit that its quietness threw me a little at first. It felt like going to a rock concert with your favorite band, only when they finish, a harpist comes out for the encore. But the longer the episode went, the more I appreciated seeing all our favorite duos in lengthy conversations about important stuff. It really did feel like a Christmas gift to us obsessed fans, maybe even at the expense of the casual fans who might not know or care about these characters’ life choices. That possible cost to the show made the gift even more valuable than, say, the “Deliverance” call-back in “Mother,” which wouldn’t have interfered with a casual fan’s enjoyment. So thank you Kyle Harimoto, R. Scott Gemmill, and all the other showrunners. And happy holidays to you too!

Hetty was absent from the episode, but that didn’t stop her from being the subject of a lot of conversation. Namely, will she retire soon, and who might take her place? It made sad sense that the team is thinking about this, given Hetty’s age and recent events on the show. And sadly for us fans, it may be inevitable that Linda Hunt may wish to depart. Perhaps she’ll continue making the occasional appearance, although if Hetty is no longer in charge, it may become increasingly difficult to find ways to include her in the storyline. I do hope that if Hetty/Linda ever retires, we’ll get a really spectacular send-off, some kind of dramatic and exciting, or sad and bittersweet, final story for her to play.

Densi

It’s always a good sign when the cold open involves one or more team members, and this week we got all of ’em working together to locate stolen intelligence. Deeks was adorably “Malibu chic” and “cute with a touch of moron,” and I’m a little sad we didn’t see more of T.J. undercover. He even earned a compliment from Callen. Do you think he named his alias after T.J. Hooker, one of the supposed reasons he became a cop? But seriously, I’d love to see them explore more of what happens when one of this pair has to go undercover in a romantic relationship. We’ve only caught glimpses but it would be super interesting to see how married Densi handles this. I also thought it was a nice parallel to “Command & Control,” also written by Harimoto, with its opening involving Kensi wearing an incredibly expensive dress after seducing and arresting a rich criminal.

While I’m making comparisons to old episodes, was it just me, or did Densi’s cover kiss look exactly like the one from “Neighborhood Watch,” except here neither one hesitated, and they both seemed plenty happy about it. Ah, how things have changed. By the end of the scene, though, Kensi looked like she wanted to hit someone. I’m not sure if it was Mara, or her hubby for calling her an “older lady.” Not cool, Deeks.

Once we found out about Kensi’s frustrations over failing to get pregnant, it was easy to see why that comment might have hit her hard. Sure, he was teasing, but she’s now genuinely concerned that she’s waited too long, so his timing was terrible. Speaking of timing, these two have apparently been trying to make a baby for three months! Not sure how that works into the last few episodes. Was there a big time jump we weren’t aware of?

Deeks: And that’s when I started dating Helen Mirren. [silence] Wow. OK, I fully digest the fact that I’m never gonna be the guy that can buy you the dream ranch in Montana or get you into the Soho House, but there is one thing that I do better than anybody else on the planet and that’s make you laugh. And for whatever reason today, I can’t even get you to crack a smile. You wanna talk about that?…

Kensi: Look yes, it’s only been three months and yes, what I’m feeling is not necessarily rational at this point. But the thing is, when I got my period this morning it just kind of like planted a seed in my head and I’m having so much trouble shaking it.
Deeks: Baby, it’s OK. Hey, hey, hey…
Kensi: I can’t shake it, you know? And we’re always used to technique and protocol, and control and I don’t know how to do that with my body.
Deeks: It’s OK. No matter what happens, we’re OK…
Deeks: I was thinking about our path and maybe we should consider adoption. [Kensi stares at him.] Just, hold on. There are so many kids out there that could use an amazing mother like you.
Kensi: And I appreciate the sentiment, but I am definitely not there yet.
Deeks: Yeah, I’m not there yet either. I don’t know why I said that, I’m just trying to figure out what to do.

At this point, Kensi is certainly All In on having a baby. She is intense and focused on her new goal. It’s a little shocking, but I guess since we weren’t privy to the initial baby-making attempts, she’s likely gotten more and more used to the idea over time. It was very in character for her to want to control the process, and their conversation about how it was beyond their control was beautifully written. I also loved that they broached the subject of adoption, my personal hope for them. I’m afraid, though, that I must quibble with Kensi, who seemed to blame them both equally for waiting so long to try to get pregnant. That decision was all you, Kensi.

Then Deeks shared his own worries, and as usual, his vulnerability was the most compelling part of the whole episode. Worrying that he won’t be able to provide everything his child needs reminded me of his different talks with Granger and Hetty after the helicopter crash, when he worried he wouldn’t be able to give Kensi all the support she needed. And just the acknowledgment that he had poor parental role models makes me so sad for him. I was intrigued by his description of Roberta as “non-existent.” Does that mean she was there but acted more like the child than the parent in their relationship, much as we’ve seen on the show? Or were they separated after Gordon went to prison? Their previous conversations seemed to have indicated that they were together. Again, these are questions a good “Brandel, M.” episode could answer.

Deeks: I’m scared to death.
Kensi: OK.
Deeks: I’m terrified that… I’m terrified something’s gonna go wrong, I’m terrified that he or she’s not gonna be healthy, I’m terrified that something’s going to happen in this baby’s life that I can’t solve or can’t fix and I’m terrified because I have no blueprint, I was raised by wolves. My mom was non-existent, and all of a sudden I’m trying to make a path-
Kensi: OK. I’m sorry. [kisses him]
Deeks: And I think that’s so ridiculous too because that’s if we have a baby because part of me just goes, you know, we’re not 30 anymore so maybe we waited too long.
Kensi: That is exactly what I was thinking. I think all we do is think about is this the right time for us, for our careers, for us financially.
Deeks: That’s just us being selfish and arrogant.
Kensi: Kinda like Babe Ruth?
Deeks: Yeah.
Kensi: Calling the shot?
Deeks: Right. We’re not Babe Ruth.
Kensi: This year, this day, you know, the sun’s going to be shining and we’re just gonna get pregnant.
Deeks: And then god just laughs at us.
Kensi: The good news is this.
Deeks: What’s the good news?
Kensi: That I’m ready now. In spite of all these things that we’re talking about. I know that I wanna have a baby with you… We’re ready to have a baby.
Deeks: Yes?
Kensi: Little baby wolves.
Deeks: [laughs] Yes on all that.

As for what this all means for Eric Christian Olsen and Daniela Ruah, it’s hard to say. Kensi and Deeks have both indicated that they wouldn’t do this job if they had a baby. What if they adopted an older child? Might they reconsider? As much as things seem to be left open for the other characters to stick around beyond this season, it feels like Densi has painted themselves into the biggest corner.

Neric

The Densi discussion wasn’t the episode’s only heart to heart talk. We also heard Nell and Beale trying to sort out their thing. I think it would be funny, and not inappropriate, for them to start referring to it as exactly that. While I’m not particularly invested in their relationship status, I do think it’s a shame that Nell seems to want to pull things back, and I wasn’t really sold on the reasons. It felt more like the show just doesn’t want another engagement and wedding.

I related to Nell’s heartbreak over her dad’s changing responsibilities. And wow, when Beale said he “kinda fell in love with it,” I thought he meant undercover work, and I may have uttered some unprintable words, thinking that maybe the showrunners hadn’t given up on turning him into an agent. But then he talked about how much he had enjoyed being a civilian, and “not having the weight of the world” on his shoulders. To me, that’s way more in character.

Sallen

The talk between Sam and Callen was the most shocking because Sam has tried countless times to get Callen to open up, despite how much we know he hates to share his feelings. And while I found the whole thing very much in character, it made me a little uncomfortable to watch, just knowing how uncomfortable it made Callen to be having the conversation. They covered a lot of ground, and the whole thing felt very organic, nicely staged over time and as they moved from the bullpen to the gym.

That Callen has come to a place in his life where he wants to put down roots, and that he’d talk about that, and talk about looking for Anna, seemed like a big step for him. Again, it didn’t feel out of character because Sam’s been after him, bringing up these topics for so long, and we’ve seen him taking small steps in that direction over time. The best observation Sam made was how Callen doesn’t know who he is without the weight of his search for his father and his identity hanging over his head. I’ve never felt like I knew who he was either, which made him less interesting to me. Seeing him take over the reigns and start to plant those roots might, somewhat ironically, actually make him a more intriguing character than the searcher Shane Brennan structured the entire series around.

Sam has been doing a lot of thinking. When Callen got a bit testy about Sam being perfect, his retort about Michelle was exactly what I’d have expected him to say, and it was incredibly sad. But his words about wanting to reject the darkness because Michelle wouldn’t want it for him were beautiful, and full of hope. Callen’s heartfelt regret over not knowing how to support Sam surprised me by its honesty, but like Sam told him, Callen has actually been a great support since Michelle’s death.

Ever since Lance Hamilton showed up in their world, I’ve worried that he was LL Cool J’s exit strategy from the show. When Sam brought him up here, I thought, oh no, there it is. But Sam surprised me with his new plan to be a mentor to young agents. I didn’t quite buy that this would make the team better than ever, but I think many fan fiction writers have long thought the most logical next step for him was to teach somewhere. It also feels right that he wouldn’t really want to abandon his brother, who obviously still needs his guidance.

Sam’s plan to have Callen be in charge while he provides some sort of mentorship to new team members seems like a perfect way to allow both actors to take a step back from the show without leaving entirely. I found it very encouraging, and am hopeful we wouldn’t lose either actor altogether if the show gets another season.

I’m curious though how the bringing on of new team members plan has worked for NCIS and NCIS:NOLA. I don’t watch either, but my impression is that they’ve had principal actors leave the show over time in a more staggered fashion, allowing them to bring on and integrate new team members slowly. With NCIS:LA, the main cast has been together forever, so this feels more like they’re setting up for a total reboot. Only time will tell. Can I put my vote in now to bring back Ehsan as their first selection?

Memorable Moments

  • I couldn’t help but think about how this was exactly the kind of episode I’d wished for post-“Ascension.”
  • It wasn’t the most Christmas-y of holiday episodes, but I liked the fun Rudolph music at the beginning.
  • Kensi sure took her time getting out of that dress. I can’t believe she kept it on while cooking and eating loco mocos. (Who am I kidding? While she watched Deeks cook loco mocos.)
  • I’m not a fan of Shane McMahon as an actor. He makes the other wrestler who plays Lance Hamilton look really good.
  • I liked Frank Military’s elegant device of slicing through windows and video screens to move back and forth between conversations at the mission.
  • Egon! Deeks’ reference to Egon Spengler from Ghostbusters, played by Harold Ramos, was perfect. That bad guy looked exactly like him. I wonder if that was improvised once ECO saw the guest actor.

I went into this episode expecting that we might get answers to questions we have about these characters’ pasts, but we actually got a lot of hints about their possible futures. Again I have to thank Kyle Harimoto, Frank Military, and R. Scott Gemmill for giving us such a special episode where we got to see so much honest conversation. It left me hopeful for the future in that if the show gets another season, we might not have to say good-bye to all our favorite characters.

Be sure to come back later this week for new editions of Kensi’s Journal and Deeks’ Surf Log, plus a different look at “Mother.” (I told you in that review that if I rewatched it, I’d have another 1000 words on the topic. I might have a little more than that…) In the meantime, what did you think of “Answers”? How did the format work for you? Were the conversations satisfying? What do you think the future holds in store? Tell us all about it in the Comments below.

About Karen P (223 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.

19 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Answers” (S11E11)

  1. Bluenet13 (Jess) // December 10, 2019 at 6:36 AM // Reply

    I shouldn’t be writing a response to a review of “Answers” cause I’m not the biggest fan of the episode and I don’t want to bring the mood down. But I will try to keep this as positive as possible.

    I didn’t mind the format of the episode, even though it felt… weird? For lack of a better word. I would have preferred to have these talks spread out along different episodes but I get that Harimoto wrote the scenes and he’s not the writer every week. I did love Military’s filming and how he moved the camera in between conversations and locations in OSP.

    As for the content of these talks… there’s where I have a problem. I watch this show for the characters so I totally appreciate having an episode solely devoted to character development and answering questions. Unfortunately, it didn’t answer anything I truly care about. I want to know about their past. I want to fill the holes in their backstories. I want something like “Deeks, M”. What I don’t want is more uncertainty about the future of NCISLA. It’s been like this for the past couple of seasons and it always pushes me away from the show. This time I’m determined to not let that happen but Harimoto makes it so hard for me.

    As for the specific contents of the talks. I’m glad to know Kensi is finally on board with having kids, seemingly as much as Deeks. But 3 months? Didn’t see that coming. I wish Deeks could have continued talking about his past and parents because now I have more questions than the answers I got. Moving onto Neric. The breakup or whatever they want to call it, didn’t make much sense to me but I did appreciate Nell’s brief talk about being a full-time caregiver. And now onto Sallen. I don’t even know how to feel about them. Ever since that other guy started guest staring on the show, I thought Sam would leave to work with him. Now I see that maybe he’s just waiting for Densi to leave so he can start building a mini Sam Hanna army.

    As for what the future holds? I don’t know. This episode left me with two possibilities: the show is either cancelled or Densi leaves and Sam and Callen replace them with two new agents to train. And I honestly wouldn’t be happy with either. If Densi were to leave, I would try my hardest to keep watching and supporting the show, but deep down I know it wouldn’t work out. Deeks is the reason why I got into LA and subsequently obsessed with it and things wouldn’t be the same without him. But let’s hope I’m just foolish and paranoid and the show will be renewed with all our favorites still in it.

    Thanks Karen for another great review, and to everyone at WikiDeeks for the great “Mother” post-ep coverage last week. Happy Holidays to all of you!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I wasn’t a fan of the episode. Too talky. It didn’t feel like a holiday episode. Maybe if it was not the last ep before the break, I would have liked it.
    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for the review! I was looking forward to it.

    I appreciated this episode. Yes, it was different but it’s nice to shake things up the formula from time to time. I also had the expectation that “Answers” referred to the past. 🙂 Not so fast, viewers! I did like the team discussing their future. It has felt like we’ve been stuck in limbo for SO LONG because the writers themselves didn’t know where to go with this show.

    I think Miguel’s death threw them for a complete loop. He was the only plan for when Linda wanted to retire from acting and I think she has been ready to go a few seasons ago — but things happened. I think they then thought Mosley was going to be the next best thing. (oh so wrong and I blame casting for that one). So they’ve been treading water, not going anywhere.

    In this episode, Sam’s plan works for me except I don’t know if I would watch the show if it changed too much with newbies (also kind of anticipating ECO and Dani moving along with other projects eventually). The mother ship has been doing this almost from the beginning as actors have rotated out and new ones in. It would be successful on NCISLA, in theory. And they’ve even tried it lately with Hidoko and Jasmine, not entirely successfully. They need to work on that though they did it successfully in season two with Deeks and Nell.

    So this episode worked for me – the only kinda strange thing was the “Merry Christmas from the show” end card at the end like they forgot when the show was going to air. 🙂 Quick! Do something says Christmas! Nice for the thank you. We appreciate it.

    The part that bothered me was Neric. Nell. I understand completely that she has been concerned for her mother (over and over) and that’s a legit feeling as well as loving and caring for her family and the changes occurring. However, her response is so over the top. It is upsetting realizing that one’s parents have shifted into that phase of their lives, but it happens to all of us and you don’t completely stop living your life because of it. End rant.

    Three months isn’t a long time. I think common consensus is that Kensi is very used to setting her mind and getting things accomplished and she considers herself failing. Enjoy the process! Things will never be the same after a child enters the equation. And the show wants to prolong her dealing with pregnancy and baby for a while which I’m ok with.

    It was interesting to watch Sam lead Callen bit by bit to the scenario Sam envisioned for the future. But for Callen, I wish it didn’t include Anna (Die, Anna, die).

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Thanks for this great review, Karen.
    All in all I liked this week’s episode and its slow pace. Since the preview, I must admit I had had a feeling the “answers” of the title would be more about the future than about the characters’ past. I am glad this season the authors have remembered a lot of details from past episodes, it all seems more coherent and plausible.They seem to have been doing their “homework” more often than they did in the past and in my opinion we have had fewer and fewer out of character behaviors.

    What I would have really liked in this episode, though, since it was supposed to be “festive” was to see Deeks and Kensi HAPPY. Excluding their wedding day (on which multiple fights did take place anyway and let’s not forget Kensi walked down the “aisle” with a torn dress), when was the last time we saw them HAPPY on screen? When? I honestly can’t rememeber, while almost all the scenes I rememeber with them were full of tears, angst, desperation (Kensi under a helicopter, Deeks proposing to Kensi in a coma, Kensi almost killed by Sullivan, Kensi proposing to Deeks with Michelle in the morgue, almost splitting up before Mexico, Deeks almost dying in Mexico and dragged by Kensi in the desert, last week’s bomb, just to mention the most meaningful ones that come to my mind). I know I have always liked very powerful scenes between Deeks and Kensi and angsty reunions at the end, hugs and kisses among tears, don’t get me wrong, but when I read Deeks and Kensi had many pages of dialog this week, I had hoped to see a domestic Densi scene, with a cosy atmosphere and them HAPPY, possibly talking about their future and having kids but with joy and hope.

    I thought the Christmas episode would have been perfect to let us see the exact moment they decided it was the right moment to try and that Kensi’s words last week were not said in a moment of fear of losing Deeks forever. I would have liked to see Deeks’ HAPPY and surprised face, to see them hope and dream a little together. That would have been the real festive Densi scene I hoped for, the scene it would have warmed my heart after how long it took them (Kensi) to decide if they were ready, not to see this quite strange time jump and the baby talk already turning into sadness and a sense of failure. I know we love realistic characters and such long journeys to have a baby can happen in real life too (even if three months is not a long time at all), but this week all I needed and would have really liked was a moment of genuine HAPPINESS in Deeks’ and Kensi’s life.
    Sorry for this very long comment, but I am a bit disappointed and afraid we may have another Densi drama for the sake of drama from now on.

    Happy Holidays to everyone here at WikiDeeks.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you for your great review Karen.
    For me highlight of this episode definitely were those Densi-scenes, great acting from both Daniela and Eric.
    I have to admit that overall I was kind of disappointed with this episode, especially after the previous episode was so amazing. This episode was definitely different, the writing wasn’t bad, but this episode was just too different for me personally, I love cases and now the case was almost nonexistent and I wish this had been a little bit more like a traditional NCIS LA Christmas episode.
    Karen mentioned that this was an episode that would had been great after “Ascencion” and I totally agree, this kind of episode would had worked a lot better after that kind of episode. And the talk about Anna in this episode… well not that surprising, but have to admit I hoped they wouldn’t bring her character back.
    Not sure if this episode was just a one special episode or a hint of a bigger and more permanent change, I guess we will have to wait and see. I personally love cases, action and teamwork and (even though I love Densi) I really hope they don’t completely forget those in the future and become too focused on relationships and personal drama. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the future.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ivelina Plamena Georgievi // December 10, 2019 at 12:17 PM // Reply

    3 Densi kisses!!!
    The best episode!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Karen, thank you so much for your thoughtful review. I am really happy that Wikideeks gives all of us fans a wonderful forum to talk about my favorite show. I thought about not posting a review because I was not the biggest fan of the episode I did not want to be seen as negative, since I really have been enjoying this season.

    I guess more than anything, I had different expectations for the episode and as such was disappointed. “Mother “ was such an incredible episode, and I know there is no way to deliver an episode like that every week, but it had many elements of the early seasons, a lot of action and a reveal about a key character’s past. I thought since it was Christmas we would get an upbeat positive story and as a a long term fan I thought we would get some reveals to the characters past which most of us have wondered about, especially with Deeks. Instead it seemed we got a “where do we go from here “ episode.

    The vignettes for each pair were certainly well done, but I felt like we got Sam and Callen talking about the future of the operations in LA without any feedback from other team members. We got Deeks and Kensi having an emotional conversation about trying to have children that focused on their stress, not their happiness. And to be honest I am not sure where Nell and Eric ended up , sounded like they decided to be friends , not lovers, but I am not sure.

    I think I would have preferred three episode, each with a real case, real action, and each episode devoted to one of these stories , so e.g. we got a Deeks and Kensi subplot, of having a baby, when they decided , what they will do when they have a child, etc.

    I hope everyone has a very happy holiday, and I am looking forward to the second half of the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you Karen for your excellent review. I was so looking forward to this episode, and to finally getting answers to some long held questions about our beloved agents and what makes them tick. But the show only posed new questions, and thinking about them has left me, frankly, quite sad. And I feel even sadder after reading Karen’s review, because the thought never occurred to me that maybe the show is preparing a complete re-boot. Now, I am filled with a sense of dread. Maybe I am a rose colored glasses kind of girl, but I never thought of COD and LLCJ taking a step back from the show. This would break my heart. The idea of mentoring young agents is interesting to me, but I still need them working and bantering together. I fully support Callen working on developing human feelings like a real boy, but I hope he finds a new love, and not Anna. I am a card carrying member of the Die Anna, Die Club. I would like to see him spend time with his nephew. As for Sam, I was relieved to hear him say that while he considered working with Hamilton and the DOJ, he wasn’t ready to make that move yet. Maybe now, he is ready to be happy again, without feeling disloyal to Michelle. I have been in his shoes, and I totally get it. I am totally okay with Hetty retiring. Hell, she is hardly ever there anyway, so I have already adjusted to her absence. I am always happy when she is around, but her presence is not essential for me . Like you Karen, I have never really been invested in Neric as a romantic couple. I prefer them as the nerdy geniuses who complement each other seamlessly, and not the babbling dork and sobbing sally that the writers have turned them into the last two seasons. The minute RFS starts crying I hit the mute button; this type of drama is just not in her wheelhouse. And I totally didn’t believe that she asked Sydney to move in and Beale to move out. That came totally out of left field, didn’t it? I thought she couldn’t stand her sister, lol. If any of the characters were to leave, these two would be my pick.

    This brings me to the reason I fell in love with this show, and that of course is ECO/Deeks. I love this character so much. Deeks to me is the most interesting, well rounded, multilayered, romantic character. There are so many sides to Deeks and they are portrayed brilliantly by ECO. I love that he is smart, humorous, serious, angry, fair, vulnerable, brave, scared, kind, patient, loving, protective and romantic all at once. The romantic girl in me loves the way he loves Kensi. Of all the storylines on the show, Densi is the one I find most interesting. They have come so far these past ten years, and I just love them. I am not naive, I know that ECO has a ton of outside projects going on, and I know that he will probably move on from NCIS LA sooner rather than later. This current story of the couple trying to achieve a pregnancy probably signals ECO and DR’s exit, as they both have stated that they would leave NCIS once kids entered the picture. I am hoping that perhaps the writers might explore a miscarriage or an infertility storyline for them instead of getting them pregnant right away. This would be a compelling story for these wonderful actors to play, and it would also allow Densi to keep working together. Some fan sites have suggested that Kensi could move into Hetty’s job, which might make sense for the character. (I just can’t see her serving up breakfasts at the Squid and Dagger). But where would that leave Deeks? Stay at home Dad?

    I was a long time fan of the original NCIS until they installed a revolving door for their characters. I was unhappy for a long time with the actors they brought in to replace the originals, and I lost interest, watching only occasionally. But with a lot of trial and error, the new cast has started to gel. Maybe this will happen with LA if a bunch of new characters are brought in, if in fact a re-boot is in the cards. Maybe I am a Pollyanna, but I hope our core actors remain, at least for one more season.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Thanks for the review. I think Callen and Sams plan is a good idea. I want Densi to stay also.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fantastic review and analysis, Karen! I have to say I enjoyed the episode. I didn’t mind the completely personal storylines or slow pace or the oh-yeah-there’s-should-be-a-case-this-is-a-crime-drama-after-all feel to the case du jour.

    Great question about the TJ cover name—that he chose it for TJ Hooker is now my head-canon. And good catch wondering if it was Deeks’ use of “older woman” annoyed Kensi’ because of her worries about getting pregnant; I hadn’t made that connection. But I have often thought that I would love to see more in-depth reactions when one of them has to get romantic with someone else for an undercover op. I also wondered about Deeks description of his mother as non-existent and tend to agree with those on other sites who think she must have been working a lot to support them financially. As for the corner Densi painted themselves into, I agree that it would be a huge about-face for them to decide to stay in the field once they have a baby (and I hope they don’t do that). That doesn’t discount adoption of an older child, as you said, although the same principle should apply—they don’t want to risk leaving a child with one or no parents, no matter how old the child. In my mind, that means the door is still open for fertility problems (not loving that idea) and/or for the writers to just drop the issue until this time next year. 😉

    As for Neric, I was confused as to why Sydney moving in with Nell would necessitate Eric moving out unless they live in a studio apartment (which I kind of doubt). I also wasn’t sold on the reason Nell expressed for whatever it was she wanted (or didn’t want) to do with their ship. But I too am less invested in them, so it’s easy enough to just let that slide.

    The Sam and Callen convos were very compelling and I guess we know what Callen plans to do over the summer hiatus. Though what good would it do for him to find Anna if she’s a fugitive and can’t come back to the US without getting arrested/returned to prison. Glad to hear Sam wants to make a team full of mini-me’s, but I’m not sure how he plans to make that team better than the current one. Maybe he should work on improving the current team in the meantime?

    I do think, like I thought last year when most of these storylines were starting, that TPTB is preparing to end the series should it be cancelled, but also to continue it for a S12 [fingers crossed]. There’s enough flexibility in many of these arcs to account for reduced filming for any of the actors should that be what keeps them in contract for another year or two. All we can do at this point (like always) is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Debra Gillespie // December 12, 2019 at 3:24 AM // Reply

    Great review as always Karen, and I agree with a lot about this episode that’s already been said. I noticed the TJ Hooker reference also, and I could see the possible callback to “Neighborhood Watch” with that undercover kiss. The seamless going from one duo’s scene to another was great. But this was the Christmas episode…was there any Christmas decorations in OPS at all? Was Rogers being a grinch again and not allowing holiday cheer of any type there? Except for the opening scene and the brief glance in Deek’s bar, I wouldn’t have known it was the Christmas episode but for the techno holiday music and the Happy Holidays credit at the end (which was nice, I’ll admit).
    This episode was a nice change of pace after the adrenaline/emotional rush that was “Mother” and I liked the introspective conversations we had here. I agree with Karen that this type of episode would have been good to have after “Ascension”, and I propose that another one like this would have been nice after “To Live and Die in Mexico”…there was a three month time jump after that one, so it could have been fitted in with little problem.
    For me “Answers” should have been named “More Questions” as I had plenty of them afterwards…too many to discuss here. But Deek’s “non-existent” comment about his mother really bothered me. I agree with Lindy P’s statement in the most recent article about how Roberta was ineffectual compared to Hetty in “Internal Affairs”, but Deek’s talk with Roberta in that wonderful mother/son dance in last season’s “Into the Breach” – on how well she raised him – seemed like a contradiction to what he said here. I agree with Psyched and others that Roberta’s working hard as a single mom and not being there for him a lot was probably what he was actually saying. I certainly hope there’s a “Deeks, M.” episode, or at least some “bar talk” scene later in the season that might clarify this.
    I realize that Anna’s possible re-appearance is not a fun prospect for a lot of fans here, to put it mildly. I’m rather neutral regarding her character; not excited about her but I don’t hate her either. But if she shows up, dear father Arkady shouldn’t be too far behind, and I’d love a visit from him on the show.
    Wishing everybody here a great holiday season, and may 2020 be a great year for you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. There are some that didn’t like this episode, but I really enjoyed it. I couldn’t help thinking with the talk about babies, Hetty and her future and LL and his possible plans. If someone said it looked like they were looking for reasons to close out this wonderful show it wouldn’t surprise me, but the show is so successful with wonderful ratings I just can’t imagine it. I loved your review Karen and I hope NCIS LA and wikideeks have many more years. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Find it surprising that everybody is all crazy over Densi, but Neric is a definitive No go. Even so much that if the characters would to leave the show, that most wouldn’t even mind them leaving.

    Like

    • I like the characters of Nell and Eric, but I have not been happy with the way they have been written of late. Both characters started out as quirky tech geniuses, capable of total brilliance in their field, but they have gradually degenerated into a babbling spaz and a whiny mess. In “Answers” flashes of the old, totally focused OPS team was back when working on finding terrorist Ethan Peretz, and that’s the Eric and Nell I want to see. I never really bought them as a romantic pair.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Wow, thanks everyone for your insightful comments. To those who didn’t like the episode, never feel bad about sharing your opinions. It makes the discussion much more interesting. I also wanted to say welcome to a new commenter, Ivelina. It’s great to see new people joining us after all this time.

    And to Bandabou, I think you need to keep in mind that this is a site dedicated to Deeks, and that most of us Deeks fans (fanatics?) enjoy his romance with Kensi. Speaking for myself, he and they are the most important characters on the show, even though I like all of them and enjoy seeing them work together as a team. I know there are big-time Neric fans out there, on twitter and Tumblr and Instagram, but I just think you’re dealing with a biased sample of fans when you read comments on this site, if that makes sense?

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I enjoyed the episode and the discussions it got into. I did feel like it was setting us up for this to be the last season or for several of the major stars to make their exit. This would make me sad but it is understandable this far into the series.

    I do have to say I don’t think this season has given us the Nell we have grown to know over previous years.

    Liked by 1 person

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