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Review: NCISLA “Knock Down” (S11E20)

As much as I love NCIS: Los Angeles and try to support it, I have to level with you lovely wikiDeeks readers and say that I did not enjoy this week’s episode, “Knock Down,” written by Jordana Lewis Jaffe and directed by Tony Wharmby. It aimed for a level of irreverent humor that it didn’t quite hit, and in the process it did a disservice to some – but not all – of the characters we love.

The Tender Lovers, Together at Last

Let’s start with the positive. The episode’s highlight was getting more of Deeks and Eric together. These two have always been a winning pair, but this season the writers have really let the duo shine, giving them more small scenes together that showcase Eric Christian Olsen and Barrett Foa’s outstanding chemistry. While some of their scenes here were a bit over the top, like Deeks sneaking around to avoid Eric at the episode’s start, they all put a smile on my face. They gave us an Eric who seemed less childlike than he sometimes does and one who is coping with his partner’s absence quite well. And they gave us a Deeks who, while a little silly at times, was determined to support his friend whether Eric wanted that help or not. While I missed Deeks in the field- and with Kensi- this seemed like a good way to utilize what little shooting time ECO apparently had this episode.

My only issue with the duo’s scenes was Deeks’ reaction to Eric talking about departing with Nell. His surprise that Eric would consider it felt a bit ironic given Deeks’ own often-expressed desire to move on. It seemed unlikely that he’d be unable to wrap his head around the idea that Eric might have reasons to do the same. Plus, didn’t they already assume Eric had moved on when he took that tech job/secret undercover assignment? (And did Eric know from the start that it was a secret undercover assignment? ‘Cause if he didn’t, then he’s already made this whole “moving on” decision once before and it shouldn’t be that big a stretch now.) Anyway, it was a small issue with what overall were some nicely played scenes.

Trouble in Paradise

Unfortunately, the opening bullpen scene with Callen returning from his staycation gave us an indication of the somewhat forced, somewhat awkward humor we saw through most of the hour. Sure, let Sam toy with Callen and pretend he doesn’t want to hear about his vacation. That would be cute. But Jaffe never let Sam pull back from that teasing to let Callen share what was apparently a great deal of happiness. The man was practically bursting to talk about his time away with Anna, and he never got the chance. Because the humor came at Callen’s expense, it just felt mean. I mean, look at that picture – when have we ever seen this man so upbeat?

Callen’s clear desire to share, something Sam has encouraged him to do for, oh, I don’t know, about eleven years, made Sam’s repudiation feel cruel. And that made it feel completely out of character. Sam Hanna is a flawed human being, but he loves his partner, he’s always wanted him to be happy, and nothing I saw in the episode made me understand why he’d behave this way. Giving him a date with Katherine at episode’s end only made his behavior more confusing, for it seemed to remove jealousy as an excuse. (And I can’t see Sam ever allowing himself to be cruel out of jealousy.) I could go on, but I’ll stop here. Maybe you all can make me feel better about this scene and Sam’s behavior throughout the episode.

Monogamy and Motherhood

The next scene contained the dialog that threw me the most:

Kensi: Hey you know who’d have bailed out on us by now?
Fatima: Who?
Kensi: Deeks.
Fatima: No!
Kensi: [laughs] Are you kidding me? Yes, he would’ve… But I like this, I like changing it up. You know we never do that. I like working out with you.
Fatima: I feel like you guys always change it up.
Kensi: What? No. There’s so much drama and intrigue out in the field that when we’re home or at the office we’re like slow and steady monogamous… lifers. Actually we’re like NCIS agents by day and CPA’s by night.
Fatima: Well I won’t tell Deeks you said that.
Kensi: That is actually, probably for the best. He’s not exactly my biggest fan right now.

Color me confused. Kensi sounded downright bored by her life with Deeks outside the job. I get that she’s enjoying having a new friend, someone she can mentor. And I can’t begin to wrap my head around the total amount of time that Kensi and Deeks spend with one another. It only makes sense that Kensi is enjoying the variety. But “slow and steady monogamous… lifer” makes her sound almost restless, unhappy even. Is she rejecting the idea of motherhood because she thinks it will make her whole life boring? I’m never good at analyzing Kensi. All I know is if Deeks had overheard her say that, the hurt expression on his face would have broken my heart. The scene felt a little like Jaffe using Deeks as the butt of a joke, something she does way too often. But the end result was, I felt, a disservice to Kensi’s character.

Perhaps Kensi’s ennui was meant to tie into the pretty ridiculous scene with Agent Rush at the boatshed and the discussion of motherhood, but Rush, with her lack of focus and oversharing, felt like such a cartoon that it was hard to feel any emotion when Kensi finally got her to share how she really felt about becoming a mom. Even Kensi’s unanswered question about how pumping feels seemed forced, as surely she’s had plenty of opportunity to find out about it from her friend Mandy? It would have been so much more interesting to have Rush behave like a real, capable, exhausted, conflicted, new mom who’s chosen to continue risking her life despite the addition of a baby. It felt like a lost opportunity. Again here, the humor all came at the expense of Rush’s character. Where Jaffe did succeed with a working woman was with the Battalion Fire Chief, who managed to be incredibly capable while also cracking plenty of jokes. 

The Densi ending was cute but again felt like a missed opportunity. Rather than more humor at Deeks’ expense (at least he didn’t get kicked in the nom de plumes, as I believe Jaffe has done to him twice before), I’d have loved some reference to Kensi’s takeaways from her day without Deeks. 

Memorable Moments

  • At least the blame for last episode’s boom has moved in Sam’s mind from Deeks to where it belongs, with Agent Roundtree, who, as he relayed to Callen, “almost got himself blown up.”
  • It felt odd to me how everyone just left the little green safe house to pursue bad guys or protect good guys. I assume the dead body inside the house was one of Rush’s FBI colleagues? No one seemed too broken up about his loss, or even to remember that it had happened.
  • Deeks being replaced in most of Kensi’s scenes drove home for me for the first time just how, well, dull, Fatima is in comparison. She doesn’t joke. She doesn’t even banter. Bantering should be prerequisite number one for being on this team, and it worries me that we haven’t really seen her do much of it. Because Fatima doesn’t banter, it made it hard for Kensi to have a lot of fun without it feeling forced. In sum, she and Deeks really need to be together, like, all the time. 
  • Sam bouncing off a car brought back memories of Kensi doing the same all the way back in Season 2’s “Overwatch.” These two are both pretty indestructible.
  • It didn’t exactly seem like Kensi had the boatshed on “high alert” as she’d been advised to do. Random people were both coming and going without even knocking, as she and Fatima joked about getting popcorn to watch Agent Rush get scolded by her boss.
  • I have to quibble with the cause of Deeks’ broken toe. There were so many funnier and more interesting ways for that to have happened.

What did you think of “Knock Down”? I hope you liked it better than me! Either way, tell us about it in the Comments. And I’m sorry to throw out any negativity into a world that needs nothing but the opposite, so I’ll leave you with ECO’s Instagram post that celebrated the episode’s good points and best messages…


About Karen (287 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.

54 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Knock Down” (S11E20)

  1. I’m pretty much tapped out with this season anyways, so this episode had no real negative effect on me. I fully expected it would: Be funny. Continue to disrespect Hetty in so many ways that proves that answering that endless list of questions related to Season 10 and this Season needs to be TOP PRIORITY for Season 12. i was not disappointed in any of those factors.
    Oh, and the season finale on the 26th will air at 10 instead of 9, and I’m not even mad about it. Cuz this season has sucked so much, airing at 10 won’t hurt it one little bit.


  2. theultimatetvfangirl // April 14, 2020 at 6:09 AM // Reply

    JLJ is a very underrated writer. And this has been a comment


    • I think JLJ is the absolute worst writer of the entire group of writers. She’s not funny and she doesn’t seem to know the characters at all; she just writes caricatures.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I have to agree with your comments Karen…I want to see kensi and Deeks in the field can we even think they want a child when there is no banter, no sly hugs, nothing..Fatima should stay in ops with eric, I thought that’s what she was hired to do, I thought doesn’t look like from next weeks reviews we will see much of Deeks again..sam and callen, that was just different, especially for there characters..I hope if there is a season twelve that they get back to the basics that we have come to love..catch the bad guys, the banter and Densi..oh well just my thoughts..

    Liked by 2 people

  4. michelle mcnally // April 14, 2020 at 6:51 AM // Reply

    i didn’t watch because i didn’t see deeks in the promo. from the reviews i am glad i didn’t. how sad disrespecting hetty and deeks and messing with characters we love.i won’t be watching anymore especially since deeks will be seen less. what a shame this has happened to the most amazing show. i think it is called jumping the shark. i will be watching my dvds from now on. good luck making it w/o hetty and deeks. sounds like jaffe is a lousy writer.


  5. michelle mcnally // April 14, 2020 at 6:59 AM // Reply

    i am also thankful for ion tv where i watch all day fri and sunday. i just can’t stand to watch the sason 11 die

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bluenet13 (Jess) // April 14, 2020 at 7:03 AM // Reply

    I have a rule by which I never comment on reviews of episodes that I hated, I just don’t like adding negativity into the world or the fandom of a show that I love. But I need to break this rule this one time cause this one was personal for me and I very much disliked it. I know this is a personal complain, but I usually don’t care about the plot but in this episode I had to, and it was a total fail. I’m Venezuelan and this episode was a disaster in it trying to use the country for a plot. None of the characters that were supposed to be Venezuelan even remotely look, acted or spoke like someone from there. The episode completely ignored the current state, or lack of, relationship between the US and Venezuela, and it just threw away names like any other. They could have replaced Venezuela with any other country in political turmoil and the episode would have been the same. What makes it worse is that Seal Team also used Venezuela in a couple of episodes earlier this year and those were absolutely amazing. The plot of those could have only been related to Venezuela and they did it justice by truly reflecting what’s been happening down there for the past years and the current state of relationships with the US, and even using real shots and statistics in regard to the crime rates and political protests down there. Comparing the two episodes, the Seal Team one just had an amount of depth that we rarely see in NCISLA nowadays and that’s sad to realize about my favorite show. Can ECO just write more episodes? Cause “Mother” was truly great.

    Moving on, usually the characters can make up for a bad plot, cause they’re what I care about in most eps. But here, that was just another fail. Most of them just acted very ooc and this is the second week in a row that I have really disliked Sam. He was jerk to Callen throughout the episode and I can’t even blame him cause he didn’t act like himself at all! He can always tease Callen but he obviously cares about his partner deeply and I know he would have been glad to see Callen looking so happy. It all just felt forced, like the supposed “humor” of the episode, which was just childish and close to offensive. Continuing on the ooc moments, how can Deeks not understand or see Eric leaving NCIS when Deeks himself has been talking about leaving for years? All his words to Beale could have been thrown back at him and it just felt like another badly written scene. As for Kensi and Deeks, was there even any Densi? I also hated the talk with Fatima and it made me angry at Kensi for using Deeks as a reason to joke around with Fatima. I know their work lives are stressful but I would have imagined their personal lives being full of excitement and love… Just a happy couple taking surfing trips to Mexico, or visiting the new restaurant or food truck in town. Definitely not living monotonous and boring lives that make it sound as if they’re tired of each other. But, ultimately, I don’t know if this is a true reflection of the current state of their marriage or another poorly written scene. Guess only time will tell but I will try to remain optimistic for now. As for the only positive I can think of, I really liked the scenes with Deeks and Beale and Deeks trying to be a supportive friend throughout the whole episode. They were both familiarly weird in a charming way and it was the only parts of the ep that put a smile on my face.

    Anyhow, very sorry for another super long comment and for my personal rant. Maybe I shouldn’t have written this after all. And thanks Karen for continuing to write these great reviews, even when the ep is not so great, and giving us a space to talk (or vent) about our show. Hope everyone continues to stay safe, healthy and sane.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I can agree with everything written. Why are the writers separating Kensi and Deeks? I watch the show for them. We have another week of their not being together. What are the writers thinking? There are so many inconsistency- Fatima riding a motorcycle, Beale wanting to leave but Deeks doesn’t understand, kensi’s saying marriage is boring etc. I am ready for this season to be over. It has been bad. It seems like the writers are trying a variety of different approaches to see what sticks. I would love to here ECOs take on this year.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ivelina Plamena Georgievi // April 14, 2020 at 9:50 AM // Reply

      Fans want more Densi moments!

      Liked by 3 people

      • This fan, just wants to see Hetty more. and to see her get more respect then she’s gotten in this trash heap of a season


        • Ivelina Plamena Georgievi // April 14, 2020 at 11:19 AM // Reply

          Yes! DENSI and Hetty

          Liked by 1 person

        • How do you feel Hetty has been disrespected? Not arguing, just curious. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          • It’s plenty of reasons.
            1, The ‘mention but not seen’ excuse is just really lazy. (Understandable with last Season, but that had a legit reason, This Season, no legit reason)
            2, I think we long time fans deserve to know IN SOME WAY of what’s going on with her, instead of getting vague clues and having to speculate! (that’s 1 reason why that stupid rumor popped up again in November, 2nd reason is that whatever is going on with her is not being addressed constructively.)
            I dug up that old Parade interview from before this season started. EP says that that was their ‘easiest launch in years’, well, if that was really the case, then how come we’ve still seen so little of Hetty?? why wasn’t it mentioned that she’d disappear along with Eric for a time????
            3, TOO, MANY, UNANSWERED, QUESTIONS connected to Season 10 and this Season!! What really annoys me, is that this season, they could’ve addressed a lot of those, could’ve made a whole episode or 2 out of them. Instead, this Season has felt ‘winged’, no long arc, no direction (except for 2 ships I care about), a lot of filler. It’s like everyone has gone chicken about answering questions!
            There was no real excuse for this Season. Looking back on the fantastic premeire, it’s hard to believe how happy I was then. All we got was an incredible milestone episode and a ship evolution (ok, 2).
            One last thing: It feels like, since the premeire, and especially since the 250th, that she just dosn’t matter anymore. (Back when the promos earlier this season were actually longer and still ‘good’, I used to get a little annoyed when she was in them cuz it was obvious those scenes shown in them were NOT new, now, I wish she’d just be in them.) I don’t feel that way all the time, but it creeps up on me sometimes. Take that generic promo this season for instance, Back in Season 8 when there was a similar generic promo, She was in it. This one, she’s not.
            I hope so much that next Season is vastly different and actually answers questions, and that the ‘successor’ thing turns out to just be a backup plan for in case she can never come home


            • Hi Maria, thanks for answering my question. Here is what I think. Often Hetty is mentioned but not seen, you are correct. My theory, and it is just a guess on my part, is that the producers may not know from week to week if Ms. Hunt will be available for filming, whether it is because of health reasons or maybe she just doesn’t feel up to working long hours anymore. I think that she has looked very frail this season. Maybe she is having trouble remembering lines, who knows? I think they can’t write for someone if they cannot be sure of her presence on set. I say this because I own an actual script from season 10 (I won it in a charity auction). In the original script, Hetty has a major role, and several pages of dialogue. When the actual episode aired, most of her lines were said by Admiral Kilbride, and we only heard Hetty for a minute or two over the phone. Most likely Ms. Hunt was either ill or not able to work for some reason, and they had to quickly scramble to get Gerald McRaney to substitute for her. He originally only had a few lines in the original script. I think the producers would dearly love to have Hetty front and center in every episode because she is so beloved by the fans, as well as her cast mates. I think it all depends on Ms. Hunt’s health how much we will be seeing her going forward.

              Hope you are faring well during this difficult time.♥️

              Liked by 2 people

              • Thanks for the honest guess. Just, want to know what’s really going on here instead of having to speculate. Maybe if I had some real sense here instead of having to guess, I wouldn’t be miserable. I dunno. The episode you’re talking about, sounds like one of the 1st 4 episodes of S10, most likely had to revise it cuz, well. sigh. Sometimes I just don’t know why I keep holding out for some kind of miracle that brings back some kind of normalcy. But, I guess that’s just a con of being optimistic.


              • I checked. The episode you’re talking about is the S10 premeire. I almost cried at that phone call. Cuz I knew just how lucky I was to even hear her voice!!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Maria, Yes, that is the episode I was referring to. I have a copy of the script that was autographed by the cast. It is my prized possession (along with a little note from ECO). Ms. Hunt was to play a substantial role, but didn’t, for whatever reason. I sincerely hope you get your miracle next season, but I guess it all depends on Linda’s health or wishes. I suppose we will just have to be grateful whenever she pops up on screen. I personally am praying for the miracle of lots more Densi, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen either, lol.

                  Stay well, friend.☺️

                  Liked by 1 person

  8. This was not the NCISLA that we have come to know and love. When you watch old episodes, you can see how different the show is now. I thought this episode was boring and pointless, apart from Deeks and Beale’s comedic banter (these two are so good together). Sam and Callen’s interaction was to say the least, very strange. There have not been many good storylines and plots this season,for me “Mother” would have to be the best. Need some good Frank Military stories. Kensi and Deeks need to be partnered, they are the glue that holds this show together.
    Thanks Karen for the great review, as always to the poing and concise

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Thank you for the review. So well done as always.

    I’ve checked out on the show and only following via the reviews and comments here with the faint hope it will improve in the future. A part of me understands it’s a long running show, blah blah blah. But even though the initial creator and other writers have moved on, they pretty much have the pick of the crop of new writers aching for the job. Yet, they’ve chosen drivel, IMHO, and one has to wonder why because they have to know comparatively how not good it is, right?

    Watching reruns on cable channels reminds me of how good it was. And how much I prefer it there and so I go there instead.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Martina Pruett // April 14, 2020 at 8:40 AM // Reply

    I think Sam’s lack of interest in Callen’s vacation had to do with looking forward to his date with Katharine. Whom, by the way, I DON’T LIKE. Sam is ALWAYS interested in Callen’s love life. And now, all of a sudden, he’s not?
    I thought the scenes with agent Rush were hilarious! I loved them! With everything that is going on in the world right now, we need a little humor to balance and I think this did it for me. I also loved the Deeks/Beale (Deale o IG) scenes. It shows that Deeks a good a friend even if you don’t think you need to talk. He’ll just be there waiting for you when you do.
    I DID NOT like th at Densi was not in the field together. That’s like 3 weeks so far! And it looks like not next week either! I can’t take that anymore! Give me my Densi back! I feel like I have more to say, but can’t remember now 😅 When I think of something, I’ll make another comment

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for another review Karen. It is almost spot on to everything I would say about the episode. I wrote almost as I see the conversation between Kensi and Fatima in the totally different way than you. Have you noticed what does Kensi always do when she is partnered up with somebody who is not Deeks? She always finds a way to mention him and to squeeze him into the present conversation (just remember when she was partnered up with Sam back in 7th season or with Nell (I don’t remember when that was) and now with Fatima. Who does that and why? I think Kensi misses him so much that she subconsciously needs to mention him to feel closer to him when they are not together. And it doesn’t matter if she is joking about him or telling some anecdotes or whatever. She always mentions him and talks about him.
    Also what is wrong with saying that they live quite and monogamous life. She didn’t seem to be bored and dissatisfied with her life when saying so. She sounded like someone who chooses such life jointly with her husband and enjoying it. They have enough excitement during the working hours that they both want and appreciate the private life they lead. Honestly after I read your review and your view on this scene i watched it again but wasn’t able to see what you had seen in it.
    I agree that agent Rush was shown more like caricature than properly written character as she was over dramatic with everything especially when she was talking about her baby, but again Kensi saw directly through it and asked her openly to honestly tell how was it to have a child – and she got the answer she actually expected – that it was the best thing that ever happened to agent Rush. And Kensi’s face at that moment just even more strengthened my belief that Kensi cannot wait to have her own child and that she is sure that it would be the next best thing that ever happened to her (first of course being meeting and married Deeks). I really don’t want to sound like positive Polly but I watched the episode one day later after it was aired and having read some comments and opinions before hand I was kinda pre-formatted even before I started watching it, but found myself seeing it completely different. In the end i was pleasantly surprised.
    I do not know what happened to Sam as he was downright mean to Callen and it is not Sam. Although I have never been big fan of Sam ( I find him sometimes bully to some people, rather narrow minded to those different etc…) he was always more than supportive of his partner. He reminded me of Kensi in “Drive” so I came to the conclusion that Sam was jealous and that he called Katherine at some point that day to meet in order to start moving on and have a life outside of his job and kids.
    Deeks and Eric were great especially in their last scene on the stairs. Deeks got his hug finally but seems that Eric was needing it even more. We haven’t seen much of Deeks but what we saw was all good. JLJ is known to write Deeks much more worse.
    Otherwise JLJ is not bad writer but seems to me that she tries too hard and outcome is not rewarding. There is not much to tell about the case at all as I already forgot what it was about.
    All in all I could have spent those 43 minutes in the better way but then I would miss Deeks’ new haircut (which suits him great by the way).

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I love ECO new haircut. I miss Hetty always, and I miss Deeks/Kensi in the field together.They should never not be partnered in the field well inless you are trying to kill the ratings.Can’t decide if Jaffe hates ECO/Deeks or just densi.Loved Barrett and ECO scenes.Please hire better writers if their is a new season.Writers who acutally know and respect all the characters.let ECO and his partner writer a few eps,but please keep kensi and deeks as partners in the field and let Linda Hunt come back as her health allows cause we miss and love Hetty. Save the DENSI and Bring back Hetty lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you Karen for your thoughtful as always review. I intensely disliked this episode, and I am not sure if I have ever enjoyed any of JLJ’s scripts. I wonder what she’s got against Deeks/ECO. Let me start with the woman who portrayed Agent Rush. What a hammy, scenery chewing actress; I didn’t even bother to look up her name. I sure that she was written in to make Kensi wistfully long for motherhood, but her scenes just made me cringe out loud. The Fire Chief was amusing. I think I might be in the minority on the Deeks-Beale bromance. It was amusing, but went too long in my opinion. I don’t understand Deeks not understanding Beale’s thoughts about quitting, when Deeks about it all the time. I also felt that Kensi doesn’t feel happy in her marriage; maybe that’s why Deeks always seems to be scowling lately. Maybe the stress of trying to achieve a pregnancy is causing problems between them. RSGemmill hinted as much in a recent interview. It seems that ECO is spending less and less time on set. I wish that instead of squandering his limited screen time on silliness, the writers would give us some quality Densi time, either at home or in the field. The gym scenes could just as easily been Densi scenes instead of Kensi and Fatima. Please put Fatima back in OPS. I just don’t find her believable as a bad ass agent. I was happy that Beale was acting grown up for a change even while missing Nell. And what was going between Sam and Callen? I read that there will be a strain on their partnership next season. I am not sure why TPTB are messing with the dynamics of this show. The relationships between the core characters has long been the strength of this show. Seemingly things will be changing, and this viewer is not happy about it.

    I missed Hetty, but I really didn’t expect to see her. I didn’t miss Nell, though I thought I would. Loved, loved, loved ECO’s haircut, but then again, I always love ECO. Just wish we could see more of him.

    I hope everyone is staying home, staying safe and practicing social distancing, and tuning in for story time with the Olsen family on Instagram.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I wrote this elsewhere but posting it here. I’m trying to give this show a chanceeven though it has seriously ticked me off lately.

    This episode was such a disappointment. It felt all over the place, incohesive. As other posters have commented, the humor fell flat and was oftentimes cringy. I detested the scene with Fatima and Kensi in the gym. I’m never one to condone putting down someone especially to bolster someone else (Kensi about Deeks to Fatima). As a side note, it would be beneficial to introduce flaws in the character of Fatima. All of the other characters have them and several were depicted early on in said character’s introduction. I want to like her, but she is inching onto becoming a Mary-Sue. Granted, I missed an episode this season so it was perhaps included there.

    Moving onto the over-the-top scene with Kensi, Fatima, and Agent Rush. As others have stated, the supposed humor of Agent Rush pumping and then putting a girdle on while Kensi and Fatima looked on was distasteful. To be clear, I’m not saying pumping and/orthe act of naturally feeding your child is distateful but the scene itself was. The humor was immature, something usually found in a low-rated comedy not a successful drama series.

    To continue with Kensi, Fatima, Rush, and then the woman they were “protecting,” how did they all fail to keep her in the boatshed? I certainly understand that Agent Rush’s superior spirited her away, but Kensi and Fatima allowed themselves to become distracted by a phonecall and didn’t even notice until it was too late. Last week, Deeks was given grief over being a few seconds late to tell Roundtree not to sit in a car they were about to inspect. Roundtree may be new to NCIS but wasFBI and that likely was already in his training. So why does Kensi and Fatima get a break and not get blamed for allowing someone they were protecting to be snatched? Their saving grace was only that the victim was removed by someone not bent on doing her harm.
    Next point, who wasn’t surprised that the fires were not set by the group trying to nab the woman the FBI was trying to protect? I guessed it early on and that it was a rogue firefighter (the same company and same shift responding each time were huge clues)? I watch Chicago Fire though, so perhaps twists like that are harder to pull off. I did enjoy the Fire Chief and her ability to match Sam and Callen whit for whit.

    Also, Sam has spent ages on trying to get Callen to open up, express himself more and now when G finally does, Sam couldn’t be bothered. I realize Sam himself was nervous about his secret date that night, but you can be attentive to someone while still being aprehensive about some other matter. It wasn’t quite as noticible as Sam’s opinion on Deeks was pre-season 5, but for me, it drew similarities. To be clear, I know that matter was a two-way street.

    To continue, Kensi and Deek’s issue. Kensi, though unintentionally, hurt Deeks. He broke his big toe and had to be in a boot sidelining him from being out in the field. Yes, it was an accident and I’m sure everyone has done something careless whether it be leaving a box in the middle of a walkway or whatever. However, it was annoying that Kensi basically manipulated Deeks into forgiving her only for her to repeat the same action at the bar (and even tried to get Callen to take the blame) leading to him falling again. On reflection, that made the scene with Kensi and Fatima at the gym even more distastful. Kensi caused him to get hurt, and then snarks about her husand to Fatima.

    The only thing that really worked in this episode for me were the scenes with Deeks and Eric and even those were pushing it. They did reflect the characters truer to themselves than the other attempted humor. I was surprised that Eric while sad, understood Nell’s need to leave at least for a while. I’m also glad that he eventually opened up to Deeks.

    I barely noticed Nell was gone and as for Hetty, she’s been gone almost two seasons save for an episode here and there so I don’t miss her.

    All in all, I really hope the next couple of episodes are better than most have been this season. I have heard references to season 12, so I’m certain it will be renewed but hopefully it will be a lot better than this unavoidably shortened one (obviously that isn’t their fault).

    Liked by 2 people

  15. sassyzazzi // April 14, 2020 at 3:39 PM // Reply

    Karen, thanks for another great review. I agree with everything you said, just a very disappointing episode. In general I find JLJ ‘s episodes to be lacking. There have been some exceptions but mostly her stories are not cohesive , just snippets. In this case the story seemed irrelevant since there was really nothing specific to Venezuela . Instead we got a wasted scene with Agent Rush, Fatima and Kensi which I thought was not funny and almost insulting.

    I miss Kensi with Deeks, they are great partners. Their interaction even in a dull episode makes it worth watching. Fatima needs to stay in ops , partner with Beale while Nell is gone while they develop her character , right now she is not very interesting.

    I just watched the Siderov arc when it was on ION. These were pretty incredible episodes, lots of drama , great storyline, good acting, and lots of character development. As a fan I am more than okay with an episode that is filler, or disconnected as long as we still get some good arcs, some good acting, and character development. It feels like season 11 has been a revolving door of non memorable episodes with partner switches and new characters who seem to be front and center.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I think the only thing that keeps me going with this show is me holding out for a damn miracle when it comes to Hetty. I just don’t get how anyone can NOT miss her. She’s the most important team member for 9 seasons, 1 season had to be the ‘big exception’ due to ‘excruciating circumstances beyond control’, and some fans don’t miss her?? just don’t get it.

    And one last thing: Densi IS NOT this show’s only issue!! there’s other issues you can gripe about!


    • Maria, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and I mean no disrespect, but you have to remember that this is Wikideeks, devoted to all things Deeks/ECO, so of course the majority of comments will be about Deeks, Densi, and of course our gorgeous ECO. We love him as much as you love Hetty.

      As for Hetty, she has been mostly missing for so long now that most of us are used to it. When she does appear, I just consider it a lovely surprise bonus, and enjoy it, but her presence is not essential to my enjoyment of the show. Good writing is essential tho, and that has been sorely lacking this season.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Donna Hartle // April 14, 2020 at 6:49 PM // Reply

    Im lost was Hetty even mentioned in this episode. If she was where? As for Densi, how can they be in the field together if ECO is too busy doing other things. If he wasn’t off doing other things he could concentrate more on NCIS.
    As for Ms Hunt how can she be in the episodes if she is taking time off after her accident.
    The writers can only write for the characters if the actors were more invested in the show as far as I am concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Once again another great review Karen. Once again this season, we can’t assign blame(much) to the cast who is doing their best with what’s in the script. That having been said, the writers are breaking my heart. It’s as if they are trying to steer the ship right onto the rocks sometimes. Many of us have in the past commented that the bashing of and the jokes on Deeks wore thin along time ago. And how they have been writing Kensi lately has been incredibly frustrating. The chat with Fatima in the gym…..and just barely over a year….not for nothin Kens, but didn’t you promise patience in your wedding vow? Yeah, it’s been rough to watch at times, I honestly don’t know what to expect, and this is not the kinda roller coaster ride I’m looking for. Hoping for the best, bracing for worse…..

    Liked by 2 people

  19. So spot on with your review. I don’t know what is going on with this show, but I’m not liking it.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. I didn’t like the episode. I thought Sam was terribly mean to Callen, and after he was the one who suggested that Callen probably wanted to be with Anna in “Answers” to be so uninterested was hurtful to watch. I’m not a fan of the Kensi – Fatima pairing. The “training” of Fatima has happened far too fast to be realistic (earlier this season she was just okay on the firing range, but now she’s a sniper?). Agent Rush was just silly. Why are so many of Jaffe’s characters so extreme, like cartoon characters? It’s one thing to be eccentric; it’s another to be so absurd that there’s no sense of reality to the character. I didn’t even like the Deeks – Beale scenes much because Deeks hovered over Beale so much it was sort of creepy. And I don’t think it’s very likely that Deeks picked up the technology by osmosis. I hope next week’s is better, but it looks as if it’s going to be Kensi and Fatima as partners again (not a fan). I know there are changes coming, but I don’t like it when the characters behave so out of character (I don’t see Kensi talking to Fatima about her life with Deeks at this stage of their relationship; Fatima is not Nell, and Kensi has always been sort of private except around Callen and Sam)

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Debra Gillespie // April 15, 2020 at 1:30 AM // Reply

    This was such a head-scratcher of an episode for me. Of course, I’m assuming that scratching one’s head is a bit safer right now than the social warning of not touching your face during this pandemic.
    Usually after watching a new episode, I like to read the great reviews and/or comments on Wikideeks before watching it again on the CBS All Access app. Even before seeing the reviews here, I haven’t been so reluctant on re-watching an episode since last season’s “Superhuman”. Like several of you have said already, this was all over the place and a lot of the characters were so off base. I also liked the Deeks-Beale banter despite the lack of continuity, I was glad that Eric was acting more the in control smart geek and less of the blithering character we’ve seen so much lately. The last few minutes at the bar were the highlight of the episode for me.
    I couldn’t help feel what a missed opportunity “the federal agent with a child gives Kensi points to ponder about having a child” was here; it could have been a more serious, thoughtful storyline. But like many of you have commented, Agent Rush was such a cartoonish character, written up for somewhat cheap humor. If written more seriously, I felt having a once again pregnant FBI Agent Rand (she mentioned in season 7’s The Seventh Child she had a son), or even a pregnant petite Agent Zoe Morris from season 9 – who seemed to have more natural humor than Rush – could have made much more interesting scenes and give Kensi better insight.
    I’m glad the most recent TV Guide had such a good article about what could happen in season 12. One wonders if it was written up before the quarantine shut down and how much will change over the summer in what the PTB originally had in mind. A small silver lining of this shut down could be that the writers – both the established ones, ECO hopefully, and any new ones that they may add – will have far less distractions and have ample time to write some entertaining episodes for (what looks like now will be) season 12.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Sam and Callen and Deeks and Kensi are the heart of this show if they kill these partnerships then the show dies and no reason to have a season 12.It is sad what the writers and Gemmill have done to this show.Sam being mean and uncaring to Callen was bad.Kensi spilling her guts to someone she doen’t hardly knows.Kensi doesn’t open up to anybody hardlyever.The writers are making Kensi look bad.Maybe the writers are jealous of ECO writings because that man and his partner know how to write the characters because something is definitely going on/I don’t think they have a baby together and the way their writing these days it be luck if they even have a marriage or a work partnership.It’s sad miss the old writers and Shane.The ratings are suffering in last few seasons.Please hire new writers.I think we are watching our favorite show die a painful death before our very eyes.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I too watched the episode after having read many negative/snarky comments about it, so I went in prepared. That said, I wasn’t as disappointed as others, and the episode wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. It wasn’t great (by any stretch of the imagination), but it wasn’t horrible for me either. Without a doubt there were too many inconsistencies in characterization (and canon), IMO.

    Kensi joked about Deeks quitting the workout; history has shown us he would have complained and probably tried to get Kensi to cut it short, but he would have kept going as long as she did. Also, we’ve seen a lot of variety in their work-outs over the years, so her comment about them not mixing it up was inaccurate as well, as far as I’m concerned (and that is what I think she was “complaining” about in that we’re-so-boring comment–their workout routines, not their marriage). I didn’t see Kensi’s responses to Agent Rush as horrified or upset (surprised at first, definitely) and don’t think this will make her change her mind about kids. I agree that Rand was cartoonihs, but it didn’t really bother me until the whole slapstick of her trying to put on the girdle in the background.

    Why was Deeks so unwilling to tell Eric how he broke his toe? The last time Kensi’s messiness at home got out of hand, he got Callen to “gift” her with a book about tidiness. So it makes no sense to me that he wouldn’t have let everyone know how his wife left a box in the middle of the hall that he walked into. At least he was in character with trying to get Beale to open up about missing Nell. And the only thing that kind of redeems Deeks’ shock at Beale’s announcement that he could leave NCIS is that Beale prefaced it by saying how much he loved his job. Nell and Deeks, clearly not so much anymore (not to mention Kensi’s having such a hard time leaving bc she loves it so much). The Densi scene when they were leaving the mission rang pretty true to me, with Deeks annoyed and Kensi trying to get him to forgive her. Kensi knows (as we all do) that he can’t stay angry with her for long.

    Callen who? Who is this man who is willing to (dare I say wants to) talk about his first vacation (with a girlfriend!) in forever. I don’t care; this Callen needs to stick around. I like to see him happy, even if it is with Anna. I’m glad Kensi was interested enough to ask about his time away, even if she didn’t get to hear about it bc she didn’t learn her lesson about leaving heavy boxes in Deeks’ way. Kens, he might not be able to stay mad at you for long, but Deeks can certainly get angry again if you keep doing sh!t like that!

    As for Sam, I got nothin. Like many here, he came across as mean and uncaring to me, and particularly when it comes to his partner, he is anything but. He’s also historically been a Nosey Nellie when it comes to Callen’s love-life, so what gives? I can’t rationalize his behavior and attitude knowing that he goes to Katherine in the end; in fact it makes even less sense to me. Unless she’s abusing him, why is he being so icky? He was never like this when he was going home to Michelle after the average work day or a longer separation. Unless maybe he just gets off on the challenge of getting the lone wolf to talk about himself and finds it no fun to have it laid out at his feet? Yeah, neither one of those seems likely, so again, I got nothin.

    Like many here, I enjoyed the fire chief. Even more bc she called Sam on his crappy attitude.

    One thing that was not inconsistent about this ep? Karen’s solid review of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Debra Gillespie // April 16, 2020 at 1:36 AM // Reply

    Just one more comment that I have – why is Deeks suddenly being called Martin by his work colleagues after so many years? First Hetty a few weeks back, and then Eric calls him that in this last episode. Was there a memo circulated in ops about this, that we didn’t know about?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Eric was just trying to match Deeks and the way he said “Eric,” he matched him in tone and using his first name. I know Eric typically goes by ” Eric, ” but at least that is my theory. Hetty has called Deeks ” Martin, ” a few other times in the series (memorably in season eight’s “Sirens”).

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Wow, what a great discussion of a not-so-great episode. I’m truly happy for the few of you who liked it. Thanks to everyone for commenting, and here’s hoping that the next ep will be better. And, thank goodness we have a Frank Military ep to look forward to after that!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hello friends! This question has nothing to do with the most recent episode. I was watching the episode where Kensi is drugged and kidnapped by Ferris and taken to a church basement. The team gets a tip, storms the church, only to find Joelle, tied up, gagged and hooded. Fast forward and we find out that she is an undercover CIA agent who has been lying to Callen and the Hanna’s all along. My question: how did she come to be at the church? Was she in on it with Ferris? I feel like I am missing something.

    Thanks everyone. Hope you are all safe, healthy, and doing well during this awful pandemic.


    • Hi @reebelle4, sorry but that whole mole storyline was incomprehensible, at least to me. Wasn’t that the same ep where somewhat hit her with a bat in the boatshed? If so, then I’m assuming that she was somehow involved. She was in on it with Ferris and maybe???? Sabatino? Sorry, I don’t retain many non-Deeks-related details. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I know we haven’t even started reviews for tonight show..but are kensi and Deeks even married anymore, she makes plans and doesn’t even call…I know I might not a good review on this but I was so disappointed..they don’t even sound like team mates sounds like everyone want to leave..can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks..I love this show..but I love kensi and Deeks as partners..they had 3 seconds the writers not like Deeks anymore…sorry to rant on last weeks message. Just so sad…


    • Agree with a lot of what you said and will expand on tha t once either the review or discussion thread is up

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hated the show tonite too.The writers are killing densi.I would not blame ECO if he didn’t renew his contract. He said he love working with linda hunt and dani and he loved the densi relationship and now the producers are killing that love and their partnership. if the producers do that they might as well cancel it now.Someone is who on instagram should ask Dani about them killing Densi and their by ruining the show, Die Fatima Die cause you are helping kill densi.Now I understand how some people feel about Anna.Kensi and Fatima together is like watching paint dry BORING and in away weakens Dani/Kensi acting. She trying to hard to make us like Fatima it is not working.A bad hire like Mosley character.Srry to vent.just really pissed off for them separating Deeks and Kensi.Deeks is the reason I started watching and he be the reason I stop.LOVE LOVE ECO!!!!


      • I don’t think it is the writers fault in this instance. I think that ECO has so many other projects in the works that he just doesn’t spend as much time on the set of NCIS LA anymore. He has greatly reduced his filming schedule, and I would guess it is hard to come up with a great storyline for someone who is not always there. Same for Hetty, she has also reduced her time at work, too. When ECO does film, it seems that his scenes are in the bar or in Ops. He hasn’t really been in too many action scenes with Kensi or the team for that matter. The show suffers because of this in my opinion. I think the producers are willing to go along with his requests in order to keep him happy and on the show because of his great popularity with the fans.


  28. I still think even with Eric schedule they could film around it, have the banter in the morning like they used too, have eric with danilla, here and goodness they worked around 2 of Danilla pregnancy, they certainly be able to work around opinion anyway..I don’t like they totally separated danilla and eric..and evening sam and callen are forced…love the show but was really frustrated last night..


    • I totally agree if they can writer around Dani pregnancies they can write around Eric schedule,They choose not too.Season 11 has been bad lazy writing plain and simple.Eric and peerzada wrote the best ep this season.When rookie writers show up the main writers something is very very wrong.Don’t think the producers/writers appreciate that either.I hope things change for better maybe Dani will take up for ECO since she good friends with Gemmill and his wife.


  29. Save Densi Save Densi Save Densi.Heck save ECO/Deeks!!!!


  30. Warning, Bad ideas below, read at your own risk!
    I do believe it is possible to shoot quality episodes around ECOs absences, but certainly not the way they are doing it. First everyone needs to realize that the lack or Deeks and the lack of Hetty are due to ECO and Linda Hunt not being available, and should stop blaming the show.
    The quality is a whole other matter, it is pretty bad at times. No doubt.
    Okay, the show manages to write around Chris (Callen) and the Pro-Am tournament every tear. We all know about it and don’t freak out. Because everyone knows. And it planned well in advance.
    We also got info about Barrett in advance (Eric) and it went reasonable. True, they were consecutive episodes, which is much easier. With Dani, at least it was all in a row and there was some advanced notice to everyone. In addition, she stayed after shooting the season, along with just a few others after most of the cast and crew left for the summer hiatus to create a bunch of scenes to show throughout the season. All with the same writer/director. They shot most of her scenes for the story arc at once. Again, with the advance planning…it works.
    Unfortunately, with ECO it seems hit or miss as he is working around other production schedules. And, there is no public announcements so the rumor mill runs wild. In addition, when an actor under contract is not there, they have to round up, write in and pay someone else. Not as easy or cheap.
    The way this is being handled is not fair to ECO, (who constantly gets asked if he is leaving), the show runners, the writers, the other actors or the fans. It is not fair to anybody.
    It is a mess.
    As a point of comparison, take a look at the way Hawaii 5-0 handled a very similar situation.
    Scott Caan, the #2 co-lead didn’t want to remain in Hawaii to film the entire season without spending time off with his family. They negotiated his contract for only 18 or 19 episodes each year, (and set his pay accordingly), so he missed 5 or 6 episodes. He would take off every 5th episode or something similar and fly back to the mainland.
    The network knew, the show runners knew, the writers knew, and so did all the other actors as well as the fans. All well in advance.
    And it all worked a heck of a lot better than what we get here.
    And it worked for years
    Yes, I know that we all want to see ECO every episode. But I would certainly give up a couple of episodes to have the rest be better quality Deeks/ Densi, than the mess we have now.
    Unfortunately, that impacts a lot of different writers and directors, along with the guest cast, if it runs through the season.
    So, you either shoot a bunch of home stuff, have him at the bar, or have him by himself where he doesn’t affect the rest of the cast. Remember, we are talking about guest actors, shooting locations (especially those outside that need permits) rented/borrowed vehicles, costumes and clothing that may not be made yet by wardrobe. It is endless.
    There was a reason that Kensi was in only a couple of different sets and a couple pairs of clothing most of the time in Afghanistan
    That or agree to let him miss a set number of episodes, negotiate it, plan it and announce it. ECO tells them what he needs in the way of time off, they agree to it (or not), and they both stick to it, plan it in the off-season before the writers report, tell the world, and just move on.
    …Or you are going to continue to get a lot of Deeks at the bar, Deeks away from the team, a lack of Densi, and a lot of confused, pissed off fans.
    This trying to straddle both sides of the fence to stay in every episode is a mess. It just isn’t working. it needs to be handled differently.
    Want to stop the unnecessary drama. ECO, the show and the fans would all be far better off if there was a solid plan for his availability for the season and it was announced to the public where people didn’t have to ask or dig for it.
    Inquiring fans want to know…

    Just my .02 and usually wrong opinions.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Several years ago ECO asked for 4 weeks vacation during the season instead of more money. He wanted these weeks to be able to take mini vacations with his family. I remember him going to Hawaii and taking a motor cycle trip with a friend. He may have gotten the idea from Scott Caan who is his friend. That’s when you started seeing him doing scenes separate from most of the cast. I imagine he did his scenes before leaving. Now these vacation weeks seem to be used for his other projects. So I‘ve never blamed the writers. I also think when he was taking these vacations they could plan ahead. Now I think maybe things suddenly come up and maybe they don’t have so much planning time for these absences. So once he decided he needed these extra vacations I guess there were always going to be 4 episodes that his fans found less than satisfying.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Your right, just miss them..I am sure there are reasons, and who would deny him or the others time to spend with family or other projects..

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Warren James // April 25, 2020 at 4:38 PM // Reply

    Regarding Kensi’s response to Fatima – boring monogamous CPAs, etc – Fatima was saying that D&K ‘change it up’ – she was definitely *not* referring to Deeks’/Kensi’s exercise routine. That’s why the tone of the response. / that said, K&F dont work. Don’t think Dani Ruah requires ECO to play off of – anyone who had seen the first 3 episodes of the A Espia mini series will see her amazing acting chops. Fatima needs a different pairing if she’s going to survive – anyone looks pale in comparison to Eric.

    Liked by 1 person

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