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Review: NCISLA “Overdue” (S12E07)

When I first read the synopsis for “Overdue,” it sounded like a fantastic opportunity to give Marty Deeks his due, to show viewers why he’s so valuable to the team. It also sounded like a possible excuse to make jokes at his expense and portray him as less than competent. I went into the episode nervous about which path writer Chad Mazero and director Terrence O’Hara would take, but I ended it happy, thanks to the episode’s strongly written scenes showing our favorite character in his best light and providing Eric Christian Olsen with another showcase for his talents.

A Rocky Start

The episode got off to a slightly rocky start, at least as concerned Deeks’ storyline. We began with a nice Densi walk and talk. Kensi did her best to reassure Deeks, but his nervousness was palpable. Throughout this season, Kensi has been so upbeat, so sure of a positive outcome to Deeks’ career troubles, that she’s bordered on insensitive to his concerns. This conversation had a similar tone, particularly in her joking final words to Deeks that she had to go because she actually has a job. It felt more harsh than necessary.

Still, how wonderful that “Momma D” sent Kensi the Contaminated Cherries album. And what a great name for a punk band. I need to see the cover art please! And now that we know Deeks had two different bands, we really need to hear him do some singing on the show.

We also watched the new Beale ramble on about tea and getting religion as he spoke with DCSA Agent Martinez about Deeks. He does have a bit of a history of rambling awkwardness when being interviewed/interrogated- I’m thinking about the various special investigators who’ve descended on OSP over the years, or his abduction in “Kill Beale: Vol. 1.”

The focus on humor with Beale is at this point to be expected, but the continued use of humor when Sam took his turn with Agent Martinez was a little disappointing. Yes, Sam’s approach was funny, and no doubt a dramatic way to explain just how great Deeks really is- that he shouldn’t be underestimated, and you can’t judge a book by the shagginess of its cover. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see the payoff to Sam’s set-up, so we were left to wonder exactly what he’d shared.

Overdue Acknowledgment

The Deeks story began to right itself when Sam reassured a nervous Deeks, albeit with less candor than might have been helpful. Deeks made clear that his nerves were caused in part by his lack of a back-up plan for his life. He’s no doubt feeling tremendous pressure to not let Kensi down and to provide his share of income. And even more, he has to be feeling high anxiety at not being able to watch Kensi’s back with a revenge-seeking madman on the loose.

Sam tells Deeks, “You’re good at what you do. You have instincts. You have the guts to follow them. If you keep following your gut, you won’t need a back-up plan.” It’s Sam’s honest assessment of Deeks capabilities and unlike anything we’ve ever heard from the man. The closest we got was him telling Deeks that he made the team better in “The Debt,” and that he was a great cop in “Ascension.” Here he elaborated on what makes Deeks great. We could see the respect behind those words as it registered in Deeks’ eyes, and it was wonderful. After so many years of out and out hostility, I will never get enough of Sam telling Deeks that he’s worthy, and I suspect Deeks never will either, particularly given his struggles with low self-esteem. Sam is nothing if not honest, and we know how much Deeks looks up to him, so his words carry a ton of weight.

I bet those same words also carried a ton of weight with Agent Martinez, who came into their interview already impressed with Sam’s record. It was frustrating that Sam couldn’t have assured Deeks that he’d had his back, and that we only got to see the opening of Sam’s interview, but it was easy enough to infer what he said. Still, just one extra sentence at the end of Sam’s response to Martinez could have made a world of difference. Something like, “Now let me tell you why first impressions don’t mean a thing when it comes to Marty Deeks.”

Overdue Information

Atticus FinchThe episode’s biggest shocker had to be learning Deeks’ middle name: Atticus. I’m so glad we didn’t know this was coming. I wonder if the showrunners had any idea how excited many of us would be at this reveal, but for me it was on par with learning the contents of that the darn box. It’s never been the biggest mystery about Deeks, but it’s long been a subject of discussion.

I had never expected Deeks’ middle name to carry a lot of significance- I was just curious because it was a gap in our knowledge. But the selection of Atticus carries with it a whole potential backstory. I’d like to assume that his mom chose it after Atticus Finch, the Alabama lawyer in Harper Lee’s 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, who defends a Black man unfairly accused of rape. His willingness to support victims of prejudice has (until recently) made him a hero to many. Maybe his willingness to defend the underdog resonated with Roberta, or maybe she just thought Gregory Peck was handsome. Either way, it’s hard to imagine a literary figure who’d have been a better inspiration for young Marty Deeks.

What I loved about this is that it felt like a fact that the showrunners had known for a long time, that maybe it was something Shane Brennan came up with. It didn’t feel like something Mazero had to invent on the spot. Now more than ever, though, it makes us wonder about Deeks’ career choices and makes it all the more important that we get our “Deeks, M.A.” episode.

Overdue Respect

Deeks’ interview with Agent Martinez was where Mazero really won me over. Martinez surprised me, in a good way. This show so frequently brings in outsiders to judge our team and they are mean-spirited, not that bright, and/or cartoonish in some way. Martinez was different. She felt real and friendly and normal in a way I found unexpected and almost shocking. It made the entire discussion feel realistic and allowed Eric Christian Olsen a chance to play it straight and really shine.

Martinez: Why don’t you tell me about your life before NCIS?
Deeks: Yeah, no, of course. Before I was, uh, a lawyer, which seems like a lifetime ago.
Martinez: What made you get into law?
Deeks: Um, that’s a great question. Uh, growing up, I saw, um, a lot of injustice. I saw a lot of things that weren’t right.
Martinez: You wanted to fix them.
Deeks: Turns out there’s a few more questions on the California Bar I had to answer first.

When Deeks stalled on “that’s a great question,” I flashed back to Mosley asking him why he wanted to work at NCIS. He’d given her a weak answer that invoked the NCIS motto. Here, he was nothing but serious and sincere. And again, his motivations just encourage us to want more backstory, to hear more about what he experienced growing up.

Martinez: I talked to some of your former colleagues at LAPD. You don’t seem to have a lot of fans down there.
Deeks: Yeah, well, you know, you can’t be everybody’s cup of tea, right?
Martinez: No shortage of tea references around these parts.
Deeks: There’s a reason we work so well together.
Martinez: Is there a reason why you didn’t work so well with LAPD?
Deeks: As a former lawyer, I know when you’re leading a witness. You can just ask the question.
Martinez: [Drops file on the table] The Internal Affairs investigation.
Deeks: And there it is.
Martinez: Dead partner. Missing informant. It’s a complicated file. But the one clear through line is that you did not look good in any of it.
Deeks: I’m sorry, I didn’t… I didn’t hear the question in there.
Martinez: Your LAPD files don’t make you out to be a team player. Do you have any regrets about that?… I’ll rephrase that-
Deeks: No you don’t have to. I, uh, spoke out against a partner and a significant portion of that department that was rotten to the core. And in turn they retaliated against me, so do I have regrets about that? Absolutely yeah, I’m lousy with ‘em, but not because of the punishment or the backlash. My only regret is I didn’t speak out sooner, louder, and more often.
Martinez: I’d say that answers that.
Deeks: Agent Martinez, the world can be an ugly place and you can trust me when I say that I have seen the absolute worst of it, and my greatest fear, the thing that scares me the most is not being able to fight to fix it. And I’ve thought a lot about this, I’ve thought a lot about NCIS over the last [unintelligble] and I think it’s true, I think sometimes you gotta lose something to love it. But this is more than a job to me, this is more than an occupation, this is about purpose. ‘Cause the world is always gonna have that dark side, but at least here I get to get up every single day with a team that I love and respect and go out and do everything we can to shine some light. So if you need to write anything down, it’s that I will do everything that I can to keep doing that.

The episode’s highlight was the discussion of the Internal Affairs investigation. First we got a glimpse of Counselor Deeks, who confronted Martinez about leading her witness and waited for her to actually ask a question. I love seeing his legal mind at work.

Then he addressed her concerns clearly and emphatically. But even more important, he launched into a monologue about why he does what he does, why he is who he is. Seeing his passion, sincerity and integrity so clearly on display brought a tear to my eye. Mazero gave us a beautifully clear window into this character we all love, showing us the hero at his core.

The discussion carried echoes from Deeks’ words to his mother in “Internal Affairs” (co-written by Mazero): “What happened to me, that is what drives me. That is what makes me get up every single day and do what I do to make sure the bad guys don’t win… And if I have one regret it’s that I didn’t do it sooner, because after he was gone, this- you and me- that’s what makes me who I am.” The acknowledgment of how his past drives him even now, how he gets up every day to pursue his calling, and his never regretting taking on the bad guys, all repeated themselves, not in a duplicative way, but in a way that reinforced what this character is about.

The discussion also provided us with a reason for Deeks’ apparent change of heart, an explanation for why he’s now so motivated to continue working at his dangerous job. Over the past few seasons, Deeks’ greatest fear has been not getting out of the field before the job claimed his or Kensi’s life. Now he seems to have abandoned that line of thinking in favor of following his calling in life (with a side bonus of being able to continue to protect his wife). Because the showrunners had long focused so heavily on Deeks’ desires to leave, this turnaround didn’t ring totally true for me. But it was at least plausible and does provide a good reason for Deeks to stick around, so I’ll happily go with it.

Martinez: Detective Deeks, I’ve been through a lot of these interviews. I can’t tell you how this is gonna play out.
Deeks: No, of course, I’m sorry.
Martinez: But I can tell you this. Not many people can take an objectively bad first impression and still come out with the respect of those at the highest ranks of their team.
Deeks: Yeah, I’ve been told I come in a little hot.
Martinez: Even fewer would invest in their friends’ business endeavors one time, let alone seven. Especially when said friend is so, uh-
Deeks: Skulduggerous. The word you’re looking for is skulduggerous and just for the record it was eight.
Martinez: Most importantly, it’s exceedingly rare to find someone who’s willing to speak out against what is wrong, no matter what the consequences. But as I was saying, it would be highly unethical for me to tell you how you did.
Deeks: Of course.
Martinez: So I’ll just leave it at this. It was a pleasure meeting you, Deeks.

All of this was overdue praise indeed. Hallelujah! We may never get “Deeks, M.A.” but we have been granted with several episodes that could have been given that title, including this one (as well as “Personal,” “Plan B,” and “Internal Affairs”). I’m grateful any time we get to learn more about this character, or in this case, any time he gets a chance to showcase his finer qualities.

Martinez’s reference to just “Deeks,” after he had told her that he is, “Martin to my mom, Atticus to nobody and Deeks to my friends,” was a beautiful way to end their conversation. Mazero kindly kept Deeks (and us) from worrying about his fate. It also made clear that Deeks would be accepted to FLETC not because of his connections (although they did get him this far), but because of the content of his character. He deserves that, and it’s wonderful that Martinez lets him know.

Throughout the episode, Eric Christian Olsen was wonderful. He showed us Deeks’ nervousness, but it was never over the top (especially compared to every scene with Beale). He joked and used humor to defuse his own tension, but it was subdued and appropriate to the situation, and just showed him as a warm person you’d enjoy talking to. His small reactions, like his expression shift when Sam complimented him, spoke volumes. And his actual speaking volume was on the quiet side, but it only seemed to make what he said more important and intense.

The Millenials and the Old Folks

So far this season, our new recruits have received relatively little screen time, which has been just fine with me. But I’m afraid they’re getting stuck in a running routine where they whine about work and everyone makes jokes about how young they are. The millennial jokes at this point just feel lazy (although Beale’s “millenial mouse” insult made me laugh).

I know this show likes to reveal character history as slowly as possible, but we still don’t really know anything about Rountree or Fatima. Take the wonderful nugget about Sam’s dad driving the family to Ohio in the RV when Sam was a child. This is a great bit of history for us to learn about his character. But couldn’t Rountree have offered some comparison to his childhood as a way for us to learn something about him too? It could have been a comment about how his parents hated the idea of being cooped up in the car with his sister and him for hours, or how his parents divorced and he flew to see his dad in Texas, or whatever would match up with what the showrunners have decided is his story. Instead of joking and whining, let’s have a little more backstory sharing.

Callen and Arkady made up the episode’s other running story. Yes, Arkady exercising with a cigar, and calling Eric a “jumpy Urkel who mumbles in your ear,” was funny. Yet as the episode wore on, I found him becoming – dare I say it? – ever so slightly tiresome. It felt like just a little too much. Maybe it was the contrast with the serious Deeks scenes that didn’t work for me.

And the ending was so sad. Poor Callen, getting up the nerve to ask for Anna’s hand, then having to wait all day to get to the discussion, and then having his hopes dashed before he could even voice his intentions. That’s a lot of angst! I hope Callen asks Anna anyway- it’s not like she will care what Arkady thinks. I do wish he would confide some of his doubts to Deeks. They have so much in common in their childhood traumas and their impacts on their ability to form lasting relationships. It could make for a great conversation.

Memorable Moments

  • When I first heard the title, I thought Kensi might be late again. Alas, that seems an increasingly unlikely event.
  • Nell practicing delivering “hard truths” behind her/Hetty’s desk was pretty adorable.
  • Beale feels like he’s in a completely different show, but he did have some great lines, including that ‘Ma’am’ “felt wrong from the get go” and that he was “in a purgatory of our own making.”
  • Also, it’s now clear that Beale knows he owes Deeks, so hopefully he’ll fork over some money to keep the bar open and unsold.
  • And yes, I was annoyed at the apparent double standards for visitors to the mission. Beale didn’t even have a visitor badge, but he can apparently come and go whenever he wants, and even help in Ops?
  • Please can we have a fic showing us Roberta’s interview with Martinez?
  • The COVID creativity continues with this week’s way to avoid direct contact with a fleeing suspect: Rountree’s pot-throwing worked surprisingly well.
  • Oh and there was also a case. It seemed fine, but I was so caught up in Deeks’ scenes that I couldn’t be bothered to pay attention.

Spoiler Alert: I gotta say that my Deeks defenses are back up with that promo for the next episode and the synopsis for the one after. I don’t know who wrote next week’s ep, but it appears at first glance like they took the Jordana Lewis Jaffe approach to making Deeks look stupid for laughs. Not. A. Fan. I want Competent Deeks and I hope the promo is just misleading. It would be a shame to backtrack after this week’s progress.

I can’t wait to hear what you all thought of “Overdue.” Tell us in the Comments below!

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.

41 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Overdue” (S12E07)

  1. Karen, overall a great analysis of the episode.
    I would have also liked to see Kensi’s interview or a bit more of Sam instead of Beale’s.
    And Deeks statement about why he does it and why he changed his mind, i attributed it to having no alternative plan so he had to be convincing.
    Overall i loved the ending of the interview with the not-so-subtle hint of him being accepted because of his character.
    But once i saw the next 2 episode synopsis i admit i feel crushed.
    It doesnt make sense to give fans something they asked for for 11 years and then ruin it later…what was the point of Hetty’s xmas gift to Densi when you will just take it back 3 episodes later …


  2. Once again another excellent, thorough review. Thank you Karen. Once again I probably shouldn’t comment because I didn’t see the whole episode. I did find Deeks’ ‘speech’ on Youtube, and I wish the team would find it too. As I said earlier, I think what he said made the rest of the team look shallow.

    I share your reservations on the upcoming episodes. Again as I said earlier, I hope Deeks finds something amiss at FLETC rather than fail. We do want Competent Deeks.

    Callen’s situation is lost on me, it is a situation all down to him, I confess it doesn’t interest me too much. Deeks problems, which he is coping with as best he can are all outside his control.


  3. And all this time I thought his middle name was Andrew! Yeah, I agree with Kensi bein a little on the harsh side. Maybe a little less tough love from Bad Ass Blye, and a little more wifely support?? And I too am a little nervous about them turning Deeks at FLETC into, and I quote the late great Owen Granger, a “National Lampoons movie”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The good news is ‘Love Kills’ was written by R Scott Gemmill and ‘ A Fait Accompli’ was written by R. Matt Klafter and Kyle Harimoto. So Deeks is safe from Jordana Lewis Jaffe, for now at least. The promo for ‘Overdue’ troubled me a bit, unnecessarily as it turned out. So I’m just going to keep hoping for the best.

    Atticus, who saw that coming?


  5. Great review! My favorite part was when Martinez called him “Deeks”. And I was scratching at the preview for next week’s episode. He roughhouses all the time with Kenzi; he should be prepared for a little wrestling, doncha think?


  6. lightthenight // January 5, 2021 at 4:02 PM // Reply

    Amazing review for an amazing episode, Karen! I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.
    My mind is already sorting through multiple scenarios of what might happen to our favorite character. Deeks in danger? Honestly I’m sucker for hurt deeks or being in a dangerous situations especially he is least one to get hurt in the field or any mission despite they always say that he is least trained among them however the other agents get hurt or get capture more than him also. Deeks has had the greater share of watching his loved one in dire straits.
    as for his training I want Competent Deeks.


  7. Mallory Mills // January 5, 2021 at 4:42 PM // Reply

    So this is my first ever post and I have to say great review Karen, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Overdue’. We all know that Eric is a fantastic at what he does and when given good material instead of being the butt of the joke for his character. I loved seeing him being sincere and being passionate about why he wants to be an NCIS agent. WE FINALLY GOT A MIDDLE NAME!!! I had to rewind my DVR to listen to it again, I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next couple of episodes, it will be interesting to see how they actually take this character on that journey.

    Also I would have loved to have seen Kensi’s interview with Agent Martinez, I mean she is his wife and how do you look at them being married or what was her first impression of Deeks when she met him, the real story. I would have liked to have seen Sam and Callen’s interviews as well. They have known Deeks for a longtime and how he operates within a team atmosphere. Overall it was great episode, one of the best so far in the season.


  8. I only liked the Deeks Parts of this episode


  9. Very nice review! Sadly, I wish I had just skipped this episode. I only looked forward to this episode because of Callen’s talk. And that was a huge disappointment.
    The Deeks parts of this episode were the only parts I even ‘really liked’.
    Nell is now starting to really annoy me (that Hetty empression was really bad! I can do a better empression in the mirror!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve never cared for Anna, so any arc involving her has a VERY hard time holding my interest. That character always felt like a bad attempt to add another Kensi to the team, but this time tie her to Callen. Just never worked for me.

    I want to see Outraged Deeks again. We don’t see him very often (Mosley was guaranteed to draw him out, though), but I find the strength of character and conviction he shows in that mode to be outstanding and one of the best aspects of the team. ECO always makes Deeks’ convictions feel and seem real, whereas some of the others just come off thin (I’m looking at you, SamHanna…and yes, I ran the name together on purpose). I don’t think Sam’s thin because of how LL plays him…I think it’s more the writing. They all too often take the lazy “honorable SEAL” route without the shading or reflection that could honestly make Sam a great character instead of a caricature.


  11. Liked your review, but the idea that Deeks hadn’t made the connection between the character’s name and his own seems unlikely because Deeks is no dummy and since he went to school in California, Mockingbird is on almost every high school reading list. I also don’t get why anyone would ever think Callen was going to ask Arkady for “Anna’s hand.” That doesn’t make any sense. It’s a lot more likely that Callen just wanted to let Arkady know that he was going to ask Anna because they’ve been friends for so long and letting him know was more of a courtesy.


  12. Debra Gillespie // January 6, 2021 at 1:15 AM // Reply

    Wonderful review Karen, as always. It made me change my mind about a couple of things, especially after I watched it again. Like you, I felt Deek’s turn around from just a couple of years ago, wanting to leave his dangerous job when Kensi agreed to it, seemed a little far fetched. But after reviewing all the drastic changes in his life and career in a relatively short time….losing his NCIS liason job, being furloughed by LAPD, having Kensi being in danger by a psycopath and unable to protect her as he could normally, etc, made his statement to Martinez “sometimes you gotta lose something to love it” convinced me of his change of heart. I thought of the lyrics from the song “Big Yellow Taxi” – “you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone”.
    I’m still a little bummed on how abrupt Sam was towards Deeks two episodes ago, when he was so worried about Kensi with Kessler. But I was also heartened with his support to Deeks here; I was reminded of the encouraging talk he had with Deeks when he was so nervous at the beginning of the wedding episode. I also would have liked to have seen a minute or two more of Sam’s interview, where he obviously explained about his first impression of Deeks.
    Atticus is his middle name…I certainly didn’t see that coming. Deeks didn’t even mention it in his wedding vows. I wonder how many fan fiction writers will decide to go back and edit their works if they used Andrew as a middle name, or Alexander as in one of my favorite fan fiction stories. But as an fan on another social media site said, we might have had a hint, as Deek’s alias in “The Frozen Lake” was Marty Finch, lawyer.
    It looks like Eric is really missing his former position in Ops; he seems to use the slightest excuse (flying down in person versus just a Zoom call for example according to the interviewer), and he’s defensive on how Fatima is doing his former job. Like Deeks, he’s realizing how much he’s missing working at Ops. And I agree…Eric, pay back those loans!
    The interviewer bringing up the IA investigation reminded me how in “Internal Affairs” Deeks and his mom brought up his abusive father. His juvie records were sealed according to that episode, so I couldn’t help but wonder…did Martinez have any access to those records for the interview? Deeks of course didn’t say anything about them, but from “Personal” we know Hetty knows about his past, so I couldn’t help wonder if any one else has knowledge of those records. Roberta obviously didn’t talk about that part of Deek’s history, or I believe Martinez would ask about it. And on a side note, yes…please, could someone write a fan fic about the interview with Roberta? It could be a hoot.
    Looks like the Covid pandemic will delay filming in California for at least a week, but here’s hoping everybody stays safe. Looking forward to see how Daniela does directing an episode, which I believe is the one they’ll work on first when filming resumes.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. When I saw the preview and promos for “ Overdue” they had me convinced that Deeks would strike out as a candidate for FLETC , but his eloquent composure and overall sincerity proved us wrong. “With age comes wisdom “ and Deeks’ performance showed us how much he has matured from a “ footloose “ guy to a man of great integrity. Eric is so great with this role of Deeks. He played it so very well in this episode and showed a side of Deeks that everyone on his team has finally acknowledged. The exit scene with Martinez was very touching. Deeks is looking down with his hands in a prayer mode – humbling! Then he acknowledges Martinez calling him simply “ Deeks” and the look in his eyes and the relief he felt thereafter is worth far more than a thousand words!! I think the previews for next week are as misleading as they were for this episode – at least I hope so! With 11 years being with NCIS Deeks should have no problem joining the team in the near future. They should give him credit for life experience!


  14. What an awesome review. I couldn’t even tell you what the rest of the episode was about but was on the edge of my seat when Agent Martinez was interviewing team members and Deeks. I was disappointed with Kensi’s lack of support for her husband at the beginning of the episode. Maybe that was harsh but to remind her husband that she has a job (unlike him) is a low blow for anyone’s ego. Especially just before going into an important interview.

    I would have liked more of Sam’s interview and to hear what Callen might have to say. I tend to think a Kensi interview would have been inappropriate since they are married and there would be perceived bias so it didn’t surprise me. The interview with Beale was a bit of a surprise to me since he’s not employed at NCIS anymore. But then, I would think he would have a lot of positive to say.

    I loved the succinct answer Deeks provided about LAPD and his follow up as to what it is like to work with a team he “loves and respects” obviously giving Agent Martinez how there was that lack of respect at LAPD due to corruption and how his assignment to NCIS brought out the team player due to working with a team with integrity.

    I loved the final Deeks – Martinez scene. It was obvious that Martinez was impressed with Deeks and rightfully so. We may not have seen the interviews but it’s obvious that Deeks is respected by the “team.”

    Looking forward to watching this episode again real soon. I hope we’ll see awesome Deeks showing FLETC his experience in the real world but I fear the writers will give us something less appealing. I haven’t seen the promo yet for the next episode so we’ll see.


  15. The Topiary Cow // January 6, 2021 at 8:35 PM // Reply

    Thanks for a great review which really gave me in-depth perspective, Karen.

    I was bored with Callen and Arkady. Loved Beale’s digressions. Every moment Deeks was not onscreen was a disappointment.

    I have tried to like Roundtree but he stumbles over his lines and his haircut is like a poodle sitting on top of a bald man’s head.

    Fatima seems utterly charmless and her wearing a headscarf for modesty yet skin-tight pants seems disingenuous.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for the great review, Karen. This is one of my favorite episodes of the season. Wish there was a compilation of all the Deeks’ scenes so I could watch them uninterrupted. ECO gave a perfect performance, showing both vulnerability and calm strength. It also showed his uncertainty about what the others might say about him. He seemed to fear their judgement, and I found that very sad. He’s still not convinced he has been fully accepted, that he’s held in high regard. As a child of an alcoholic, it’s not unusual to feel uncertain about where you stand. In an earlier season when everything was going great with Kensi, he was afraid it was too good to be true, that the other shoe would drop. He showed that same fear in this episode. He didn’t take it for granted that things would go smoothly, because as a child of an alcoholic, you walk on unstable ground every day. Things change in an instant and you have no control over what happens. He couldn’t control what his team would say about him, or the outcome, and it added to feelings of vulnerability that he was quite familiar with. When he told Martinez that the world is an ugly place and that he had seen the worst of it, it made me want that Deeks, M two part episode more than ever. We have waited so long to know just what he went through to turn him into the man he has become.


  17. Becky Shugart // January 7, 2021 at 1:59 PM // Reply

    Great review as always. ECO scenes were terrific.Eric is such a talented actor with comedy and drama.Unfortunately the writing has been all over the place.He can’t get in he is too old,he can can get in because Hetty pulls strings but did anyone ask him if this is what he really wants.He needs a job, he needs to protect his wife but there is a reason he hasn’t became an agent and that the fact that he loved being a cop.I’m afraid the writers/producers are gonna get the audience all excited about him becoming an agent and then pull a fast one on us.Pull the rug right out from under Deek’s feet. I hope i am wrong and Deeks gets his proud moment in the sun but im kinda worried . What can is say i love Deeks and the Densi!


  18. Terry McQueen // January 8, 2021 at 3:36 AM // Reply

    Thank you, Karen. I always enjoy agreeing with your assessment of episodes. We needed more Martinez interviews of his colleagues as they assess Deeks; your Fanfic is an excellent interpretation of your similar thoughts on the matter.
    I, too, was surprised, and actually pleased, to know Marty’s middle name is Atticus. This is because it engenders him with personality traits often associated with the Atticus of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ (certainly not the racist Atticus in the sequel Go Set A Watchman) — a penetrating intelligence; courage; tolerance and fair mindedness; one who carries out his duties with integrity and sincerity; a need to see right is done whether that makes him popular, or not (general LAPD attitude to Marty, anyone?). Thank you, ECO, for all of your performances as Deeks, for already previously invoking a few of these Deeks/Atticus traits.


  19. It is great to feel the positive vibes coming from the comments on ‘Overdue’. So nice too, to see so many unfamiliar names. So many people, so many great points. If I may, I have some more observations/questions.

    I have always had reservations how Kensi treated a downcast Deeks. It wasn’t till I saw the recent, and troubling, spoiler that I saw a comparison between Kensi’s situation after the helicopter crash, and Deeks problems now. The similarities are that Kensi faced losing everything she held dear, except Deeks, and Deeks now faces losing everything he holds dear, except Kensi. The differences are that Kensi’s recovery was pretty much in her hands, while Deeks problems are totally outside his control. Deeks was totally supportive, encouraging and devoted throughout Kensi’s recovery, never telling her to ‘suck it up’. Kensi knows how to support Deeks, as in ‘Pro Se’, not so much now, a little too dismissive for my liking. Deeks always tells Kensi to be careful, Kensi never said the same to Deeks. Perhaps I’m seeing something that isn’t there.

    Sam’s conversation with Deeks was supportive, but didn’t go far enough for me. To say ‘you’re good at what you do’ could apply to Kessler, it didn’t endorse Deeks’ character at all. After his remarks in ‘Descent’ it should have. I have to share Robbie’s opinion of Sam. We might see ‘Angry Sam’ or ‘Snarky Sam’ but nothing much underneath, yet Deeks respects him so much. Why?

    I have a sneaking regard for Topiary Cow’s take on the newbies. I couldn’t quite place why I didn’t trust Fatima. Absolutely, the headcovering and skin tight pants, so disingenuous. I think I can tolerate Rowntree, I like poodles. It seems his heart is in the right place. At least his has a heart, I’m not so sure about the rest of the team.

    I have no idea about the Callen situation, perhaps somebody will explain it to me. I am speaking from ignorance, I didn’t see the scenes. I gather he talked to Arkady and wanted to propose to Ana. So Ana wasn’t comatose or in a wheelchair as Kensi was when Deeks proposed the second and third times. Nor is she being stalked by a psychopath, not sure where the angst is.

    I’m not sure where this is all heading, like everyone else I want to see Deeks come through this as Competent Deeks, not Dopey Deeks we’re tired of that. Yes, like Robbie I’d like to see Outraged Deeks, and like Becky I’d really like to see him get his ‘proud moment in the sun’, he deserves it. I have a theory that the team are ‘Special agents’ and just think they are special. Deeks is separated from Kensi, had his hair cut (think Samson and Delilah) and being turned into something he doesn’t think he is, special. What could possibly go wrong?


    • Anna IS being pursued by a psychopath–one who’s every bit as dangerous as Keller–Katya, but the problem is nobody except the people who cleared Anna’s conviction know it. Callen and Anna also have very different personalities from Kensi and Deeks. They aren’t nearly as open with their feelings for each other or about other things in their lives (Deeks is the most emotionally open of all the agents & Callen is the most private).


      • Thank you Bliss, I had completely forgotten about Katya. Callen and Ana are apart most of the time so their relationship has never held my attention. Individually they don’t fascinate me either.


        • This is the same problem I have with them. Anna to me has always felt forced, and Callen is so tightly wrapped in his angst I find him a very static character now (and have for some time). The writers had chances to have both him and Sam grow, but for some reason they skirted those chances. I honestly think some of the best Callen moments we’ve had are those later scenes with Joelle, but they wasted them by trying to make her out as some sort of noble, mission-focused warrior not unlike him. Please! Here’s a guy who NEVER opens up but somehow managed to with her only to find out the entire thing was a lie. Hetty’s role in that always left me a bit uneasy, too. And of course there was Sam. I would have expected him to be more angry, having his honor violated by being used to set his partner and friend up with a CIA agent. But it all passed very quickly.
          Of the team, Deeks has been the one who’s grown the most, followed by Beale. I haven’t watched episodes from this season yet, but if you look back Beale has really grown from the dork in the shorts to an actual (if deep down reluctant) agent who’s had to kill people. His remorse over that part of his job is genuine, yet he’s still able to play a role when required (like when he was being bullied by Carl). I think character-wise one of the things that leads him to support Deeks is his admiration for Deeks’ moral courage. You could tell Beale wanted to stand up to Mosley but couldn’t find it in himself, while Deeks was more than willing to do so, even if it cost him his job (which it did, but his point about her being dumb enough to fire the star witness against her was a very good one).


          • For me, Ana is a bit like next doors cat. Sometimes she’s there, sometimes she’s not, as long as she doesn’t dig my flowers up that’s fine. She doesn’t have a fraction of her father’s personality. I neither like nor dislike her. Unlike Callen, I don’t miss her when she’s not there.

            For someone that has found their family and lost them again, Callen hasn’t moved forwards, other than hook up with Ana. Nice banter with Sam but never really interacts with anyone. I think he has hidden depths but they are frozen over.

            Equally Sam hasn’t really moved on, other than hook up with Katherine? He’s like a lot of people I’ve worked with. Good at their job, but a bully in the workplace, Deeks and Beale anyone? Yet in a domestic environment they are quite submissive. He wouldn’t have said ‘Boo’ to Michelle.

            I think Beale is the only character to be treated worse than Deeks. At times he has been made to look a complete imbecile. He has been put down by every man and his dog, (that’s sexist, every person and their dog), only Deeks has reached out to him at all. Well maybe Nell did a bit, but what’s going on there?

            Can’t say anything about Deeks that hasn’t already been said. A sunny personality with hidden depths. It’s disturbing that the writers are plunging him into those depths, giving us some great scenes though. I hope he will be returned stronger. We see so many versions of Deeks, yet only one version of each of the others.


    • The Topiary Cow // January 10, 2021 at 10:27 PM // Reply

      Interesting insights, Patricia! I’ll bet since you have a fondness for poodles you would also like Topiary Cows!!!hahaha.

      Please put down those pruning shears, if you promise not to do any hedge clipping I will strive not to try to trim that poodle on Roundtree’s head. 🙂


  20. I like that Deeks is open and vulnerable But I do not want the writers/Producers to nake Deeks into a whiney wuss,we have enought of the whining from Fatima and Roundtree.Open, loving brave, kind, smart and funny just not weak pathetic or weak, Deeks is a very strong man physically and mentally he had to be to live though the hell like child hood and adulthood he has.Please writers don’t make him into an incompetent weak man because that couldn;t be further from the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Elaine Conway // January 9, 2021 at 9:44 AM // Reply

    According to spoilers he gets kicked out of training in the January 17 episode so it looks like the one-trick pony writers are once again up to their one trick unless he’s kicked out for some noble reason.


    • Like everybody else I am fearful for Deeks in all of this. At least he is kicked out, he doesn’t quit. He has started from a point of low self esteem and has been on an emotional roller coaster, having his hopes raised only to be repeatedly dashed. It’s touching that all through his problems he has worried about Kensi. He is showing strength not weakness, he hasn’t done anything wrong. To get through FLETC you need to be on the top of your game, and Deeks clearly isn’t. No surprise if he struggles. We know he survives all this, I just hope the outcome is earned, that his ability is recognised, not just more string pulling.

      I am looking forward to reading the reviews of ‘Love Kills’ and eventually watching the episode.


      • The question is, if he can’t even pass basic federal agent training, why would anyone let him be on the field to have people’s back…
        As far as being recognized, the way the writers treat him, I have my doubts on it.
        And also, Hetty with the “xmas miracle”, Hetty with the life changing surprise, Hetty with the magic wand … Great writing …


        • He managed very well with NCIS for eleven years with police training. During that time he would have acquired more than a passing knowledge of NCIS/ federal agent protocols. Some people might prefer that to a ‘wet behind the ears’ rookie.

          We can only guess what happens, not always what we expect. You may well be right and it all ends as a big let down, but I would prefer to see the outcome before criticizing.


          • From my understanding FLETC is intended more to give agents a common baseline of knowledge and training. Deeks would actually be well ahead of most of them, given his law degree and years of experience. FLETC isn’t some kind of “secret agent boot camp” or anything like that. How well the writers know that is another question, though. Frankly, of the group I would have seen Sam having the most trouble with the training because having been through BUDS he might be inclined to see it as too easy. Plus the law stuff would be totally unfamiliar to him. Callen would have at least had experience with the alphabet soup of Federal agencies he’s been with (although given his age one must wonder if it was like his foster homes…two weeks with one, ten days with another…).


      • The Topiary Cow // January 10, 2021 at 10:33 PM // Reply

        Patricia, you should be able to see the current episodes for free using the CBS app on your phone. Maybe not if you are not in the US though. Might be worth a try!
        Excuse the comment if you have already attempted this.


        • I must admit I’ve never looked into watching NCIS;LA ‘live’ for free, I’m sure I could. Truth is I am so old school you wouldn’t believe it, dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It might sound weird but buying DVD’s when they come out works for me. I even go to the shop to buy them, don’t want the shop to shut. There are so many clips when the show airs that I feel I’ve seen it. Watching them ‘fresh’ a few months later, when I’ve forgotten what everybody has said, just works. Well it works for me.

          I like it that you seem to appreciate my attempts at humour. I think life and NCIS:LA (especially Deeks) should be enjoyed. I’m sure I would like Topiary Cows, my shears are safely stowed away.


          • The Topiary Cow // January 11, 2021 at 6:51 PM // Reply

            Hi Patricia, that’s cool that you buy the DVDs, me too! Just didn’t want you to miss out seeing the episodes live if there were any easy fix!

            I love the dvd commentaries by ECO and also Foa and Renee F. They are great and so funny and have great details. It is too bad no other actors do commentaries. I just finished watching Season 8 on DVD and I think it was the best yet!

            Thank you, Patricia, for your kindness to all Topiary of the world (greenery rustling appreciatively). Yes, love your humor and thoughtful insights!


            • Thank you for you kind words. Last night I started re-watching all my DVDs, starting with Season 4. Hopefully by the time I get to the end of Season 11 the current season will be available and it will be a seamless transition. I enjoyed the commentaries too, sadly I think they are missing from the more recent seasons.

              Season 8 is far and away my favourite. Similarities with what’s going on now, Deeks under pressure. In Season 8 everybody thought Kensi would wake up and everything would be all right, Deeks knew different. This season everybody thought Hetty would sort out Deeks situation with a phone call, Deeks knew different. While in Season 8, the team supported Deeks, (loved the scene with Granger!), this season he has been all but abandoned by his team mates.

              I’m really looking forward to the reviews on ‘Love Kills’, going to be very interesting to find out what everybody thinks. Not sure where it’s all going. I do have some reservations.

              Whatever, we’ll always have Season 8.


              • Granger provided a key element that is sadly missing now. He was the untouchable voice of experience (even more than Hetty in some ways) and was capable of evaluating the entire team without any personal stakes. His endorsement of Deeks was a huge and (I think) often unappreciated moment. He was also totally willing (and able) to call out Callen, Sam, and Kensi. And some of his moments with Nell and Beale are among the best and most understated in the series… Miguel’s passing was a huge loss, and if the powers feel compelled to keep adding people to the team they should try to find another Granger instead of layering in “brash new kids.”


  22. Becky Shugart // January 9, 2021 at 7:44 PM // Reply

    Is there someone of the staff that doesn’t like Deeks and Kensi working together.Deeks and Densi working together is the main reason I’ve struck with the show.Deeks is who made me start watching to begin with.Please writers and producers don’t screw it up.


  23. Ivelina Plamena Georgievi // January 12, 2021 at 1:41 PM // Reply

    Densi are the best!


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