What We Know
We’ve known since he was shot in “Personal” that Deeks does not share his father’s name. While it was teased throughout the episode, in the end we finally get confirmation that Gordon John Brandel was Deeks’ father and that Deeks was 11 years old when he shot the man in self-defense. We met Deeks’ then-nameless mother several years later at the end of “Citadel“. Her full name was revealed in “Internal Affairs” when she phoned Kensi and greeted her with “It’s Roberta” and Kensi called her Mrs. Deeks twice in the conversation that followed. Bertie even referred to herself as Roberta Deeks in “High Society“, so we can be pretty confident of it at this point.
We know that Roberta Deeks and Gordon John Brandel were married, likely after Deeks was born. According to Mama herself in “This is What We Do,” “Kensi honey, you don’t need to wait to get married to have children. I didn’t, and look!” In addition it was revealed that Roberta has actually been married twice in “Till Death Do Us Part“: “I’d offer you a drink, but it’s a little early and you probably should be sober for your vows. A mistake I won’t make a third time.” (Given that she admitted to being drunk at her wedding to Brandel, I certainly hope it happened after Deeks was born!) More support that the wedding took place after little Marty’s birth is found in California law, which states that an unmarried woman has the sole authority to choose her child’s first and last name while a married couple has equal rights in the naming. I find it hard to believe from what we know of him that Gordon John Brandel would allow his son to have a last name other than his own if he had any say in the matter.
Finally, we know that Deeks is obviously a name our favorite detective is proud of. After all, he uses it like a first name (yes, in part that’s a cop thing, but some friends outside of work call him Deeks too, and most importantly his wife does). Deeks is Roberta’s last name and we know from their jailhouse conversation in “Internal Affairs” and their dance in “Into the Breach” that her son loves his mama and credits her for making him the man he is.
What We Don’t Know
It is easy to assume that Deeks was Roberta’s maiden name and that’s why she chose to put it on her son’s birth certificate, but that is not the only option. It’s also conceivable that Deeks was named Brandel at birth but had his last name legally changed, either at his choosing or Roberta’s, sometime after the divorce. Given Brandel’s abusive nature, it wouldn’t be surprising if they wanted to be rid of any connection to the man. Another possibility is that he was born Brandel and was legally adopted by Bertie’s second husband, whose last name is/was Deeks. Kensi called Roberta Mrs. Deeks in “Internal Affairs,” which might suggest that she was married at the time. However, that could just be because women of a certain age, especially if they have been married/have children, tend to be referred to as Mrs. by default. This leaves Roberta’s maiden name and/or the name of her second husband as essential pieces of information that we don’t know at this point.
Also unknown is whether Roberta’s pregnancy was the reason she and Brandel even married at all. More about this next…
Why It’s Important
The knowledge that Roberta and Brandel weren’t married when she got pregnant begs the question: is that why they married? As wikiDeeks’ own Karen stated in her review of “This is What We Do,” “I can see how an abusive man like him might have blamed the pregnancy, and by extension little Marty himself, for forcing him to tie the knot. It might even have totally derailed big plans that he had for his life and could easily have resulted in a lot of bitterness.” Even though his history with his father is one of the significant parts of Marty Deeks’ life we have in canon, there is so much more that can be delved into there.
Additional questions are brought to mind (and beg to be answered!) if other scenarios are played out. For example, regardless of his last name, what happened to Roberta’s second husband? Does Deeks have any contact with him? If Deeks is Roberta’s second husband’s name, does that mean our Deeks had a good enough relationship with his stepfather that he would take and use his family name to this extent? If so, I for one would love to hear about that. We know something about the tragedy in Deeks’ young life, but could he have had a father figure whose name he wanted to carry on and possibly give to his own children? No matter the answer, one thing is for sure: we want to know more about the events that shaped Deeks’ life.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!