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Review: NCISLA “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (S12E12)

NCIS: Los Angeles is on a roll with two strong episodes in a row. This week’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” written by Lee A. Carlisle and directed by Tawnia McKiernan, continued a complex storyline filled with Russians that also provided several great scenes spotlighting Deeks and two of the show’s best pairings: Densi and Deeks & Sam.

Unfortunately, my time is extremely short this week so I’m gonna see how much I can quickly share, and then you all will have to make up for whatever I leave out.

Sweet, Supportive, and Giggly?

The Densi scene where Deeks administers Kensi’s hormone injection was a delight. It could have gone in an angstier direction, but Carlisle’s dialog kept things from getting too dark. Carlisle also gets huge kudos for the callback to “Touch of Death” and Deeks getting “fainty” around needles. The mention of his competitiveness with Danno was a great detail. Moments like this are clearly written for long-term, die-hard fans, for who else is going to have any idea what they’re talking about? And that’s why they’re so special.

Instead of angst, we got a patient Kensi encouraging Deeks to overcome his fears, and a supportive Deeks worried about hurting the woman he loves. The ending, where Deeks/Eric Christian Olsen started laughing after he went a little big with a line seemed like a clear moment of breaking character, as did Daniela Ruah’s valiant efforts to maintain her demeanor and finish her own lines. Yet the giggling only added to the scene, making it feel unrehearsed, charming and real. It’s no doubt why the director and editors chose to use the take.

The scene in the bullpen was lovely as well, and I assume Kensi’s dizziness offered a smart way to give Daniela a bit more time to work on the post-production for her directorial debut, which aired last week. Deeks couldn’t have been more supportive, just as we expect, but I loved how sensible Kensi was, actually heeding her partner’s pleas to stay behind and play it safe. Seems like a sign of progress. Also, do we think the face Kensi made was an improvisation from Daniela?

Chemistry and History

The episode’s highlight was seeing Sam and Deeks work together. They have always been the show’s oddest couple, and have always had amazing chemistry. What I enjoyed the most about Carlisle’s portrayal was how little mocking Sam did. Compared to last week’s great “Russia, Russia, Russia,” this week’s episode lacked the full-on humor that Gemmill gave us, but it made up for it in sincerity and sweetness. Instead of Sam giving Deeks a hard time, he showed respect and listened to his advice. Again, another sign of real progress.

And again, we got another incredible call-back to a past episode, all the way back to Season 2 Episode 3’s “Borderline,” one of my all-time favorites. Here’s the dialog from when we first heard about Darryl Donkins:

Deeks: [fires his gun] It’s OK. It was just a rattlesnake, it was getting ready to pounce.
Kensi: Snakes don’t pounce, they strike.
Deeks: Uh huh. This one looked like a pouncer. Listen, I’m sorry about that, but when I was a little kid, my friend Darryl Donkins’ boa constrictor tried to strangle me to death at his eighth grade birthday party.
Kensi: Darryl’s, or the snake’s?
Deeks: See, you think it’s funny but it’s not funny, alright? Paramedics had to use the jaws of life to set me free, made the front page of the Encino Times. My mom still has a copy laminated on the front of her fridge.
Kensi: Deeks?
Deeks: Yeah?
Kensi: Your fly is open.
Deeks: Son of a-

That Darryl would grow up to run a reptile zoo couldn’t have been a more perfect addition to this backstory, and again, was planted there for us long-time fans to really enjoy.

Sam’s willingness to even open up to Deeks about what was going on with Kam showed more trust than we normally see from him, or at least indicated how anxious and lost he was feeling about the situation. It also seemed like an example of social distancing- having the two actors on comms rather than walking together- actually making the scene better because Sam probably did feel more comfortable revealing his concerns to Deeks from a distance, and his openness in turn felt more natural than it might have otherwise.

But his words after Deeks finished- “You know, Deeks, I never would’ve thought this when we first met, but someday you’re gonna make a great father”- gave me some major feels. I’d have loved to see the camera linger on Deeks’ face just a few seconds longer before the bullets started flying, so we could really savor him taking in Sam’s words. For it was a profoundly important compliment from someone Deeks looks up to, maybe more than he should, someone Deeks no doubt sees as a great father. And it was about the thing Deeks is least confident about, and probably most terrified of screwing up.

I also enjoyed seeing the duo take on Agent Carlson in a rapid fire exchange, and the funny callback to last week’s script with her “the SEAL and the hyphenate” label. How about a spin-off with that title?

Memorable Moments

The episode offered a lot of other interesting elements, among them:

  • Deeks may be the oldest ever NCIS Investigator, but it’s never going to make me – or Deeks, I suspect – feel any better about how he got through FLETC.
  • Nell and Kensi’s talk was also very much in character and filled with love and support. Nell’s description of herself as “kinda your boss but as your always friend” was adorable.
  • Wow those Russians must have literally flown to get from the Angeles National Forest to the Port of Los Angeles so quickly.
  • Callen may be secretly operating as a double agent without the team’s knowledge, but at least here, when he had multiple opportunities to ditch them all, he kept in contact. Again, a sign of progress.

Carlisle really excelled at giving us the team as a family, and I look forward to seeing more of his work. What did you think of the episode? Tell us all about it, and help fill in everything I missed, 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.

35 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (S12E12)

  1. 1st time I’ve ever been completely unable to really judge an episode as actually good or bad. (not that that’s actually a good thing.) I clearly have too many expectations now for how the 2nd part of a 3 parter should go thanks to the sheer awesomeness of Praesidium and Under Siege.

    I’m really over this whole fertility thing. Most might think it’s sweet, but I think it’s completely rushed and unrealistic, and quite frankly, a bit stupid.

    Hetty using her spy techniques is always good.

    My biggest gripe with this episode, was that Nell got that cryptic message and not Callen (the changed press release said that he was supposed to get the message!). Do you all know how long it’s been now since Hetty and Callen had an on screen moment? A year. A whole year when hiatus ends! And I hate it. Their relationship is my real favorite out of all of Hetty’s relationships with her team, and I hate how she and Callen have apparently not even talked to each other!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen, I have to say I really enjoyed this episode, just as much as last week. I couldn’t believe an hour went so quickly.. I loved the banter and the serious parts between kensi and Deeks, Nell and kensi, Deeks and Sam, and really left us hanging on what’s going to happen with Callen, Anna and poor Joelle. It’s exciting for sure…


  3. Wonderful review, Karen. Even though I loved the sweetness of the Deeks and Kensi scenes and Deeks giving advice to Sam for a change, there was an intensity to this episode that had me listening for any hint as to what the hell was going on. The plot was intricate and convoluted and even though we knew Anna was going to show up, there was still the mystery of how she was involved. I actually liked her in this one, and believe me, that is not easy for me to say. It kept me interested all the way through. The pacing was good, and the writing excellent. I don’t remember other episodes by this writer, but if anyone knows of one, please let me know.

    Now to end on a very shallow note: I miss Deeks longer hair. There…got that out of my system.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a really great episode. Good to see Nell back. The character interactions were great between Deeks and Kensi, Kensi and Nell, Deeks and Sam. And enough action to keep me engaged. The hour seemed to fly by.

    The writers have done an excellent job of late. Hoping they keep it up. On another note, as Lindy mentioned, I also miss Deeks longer hair.

    Thanks Karen for a great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry you didn’t have time to write more Karen, because I would have enjoyed your take on the whole Callen (and Anna) situation. Oh, and Joelle/Beth/former rogue CIA agent! Can I be a bad girl and admit that I turned to my hubby while they were listening to the recording threatening Joelle and said, “I can’t believe anyone still cares about this woman–her family thinks she’s dead, just let her die already!” (or something along those lines, lol).

    Oh well. I enjoyed the rest of the episode even though I wil also admit that I wasn’t trying too hard to figure out the whole Callen/Anna/Katya/Russian mole thing.

    I can get behind the infertility storyline if we get to see things like the bathroom and bullpen scenes rather than just hearing about it all the time (a la the wedding). Sam really surprised me with that comment of his, especially when his first words to Deeks when he showed up were “Pray you never have kids.”

    The callbacks were excellent–and they need to have this writer back if he knows this much about the show!


  6. I loved the callbacks as they finally showed continuity for the followers. I believe someone is reading these reviews by Karen as the script writing has really improved. I hope they keep it up. The fertility thread became real when we got to glance into their home and see what it entailed. That is the only saving grace on the continuing saga of Kensi, Deeks and this issue. I hope that the plot thickens with Callen and Anna. I would still like to see Deeks save his life or do something that makes Callen recognize his worth. Callen has never been warm towards Deeks. Anyway, it is actually getting exciting to watch the series again as the characters seem to be getting back to some of the regular bantering that made them click with one another. I still miss the opening morning talks at their desks when they go back and forth with each other.


  7. Nutterbutter // March 2, 2021 at 6:57 PM // Reply

    Amazing review, Karen! I didn’t think last night episode was that great sorry if my opinion disappoint any of you may be for the whole Callen, Anna, double agent thing.I am over it. I get the other stories just not Callens and Anna’s it was boring and this whole thing it officially became too much a long time ago, and then they kept going with it you’ve lost me. It’s exhausting. Anna has been around since season six. You’d think seven seasons in we could have figured out this relationship with Callen. And figured out communication, and trust. It took Kensi and Deeks less, and back in the day, it felt like it took them forever.
    Despite my Anna/Callen issues, however, the rest of the relationships on this show – this episode – work well enough to make this a pretty enjoyable hour. As always, the Densi of it all is treated with care I love their scene what a beautiful scene., it’s so good to watch Eric and Dani make dealing with Densi’s fertility situation so real , (thank you for writing a character that struggles with fertility. So many times, shows right characters that get married and have kids. So many women struggle with infertility and getting pregnant. This gives them a character to identify with and helps them feel normal and like there’s nothing wrong with) and it looks like this takes place at their home which is a first.. I truly appreciate this storyline, because we never ever get to see it, and it’s such a common thing that we should absolutely feel like we can talk about. One the most amazing things is that we get to see Kensi taking hormone shots and how she has to deal with it and of course Deeks being the supportive husband. And I really really wish to see this kind of support & protective from kensi
    I loved the Deeks and Sam scenes but mostly when Sam said to Deeks that he would make a great father someday. I couldn’t agree more with that. Even as Deeks and Kensi go through scary, intense stuff, it’s Deeks who provides some perspective for Sam as he tries to deal with his now adult daughter


  8. Thank you for another great review Karen. I’ve seen some clips and I’m looking forward to watching the whole episode. After seeing the Densi scenes, Deeks conversation with Sam, and Kensi’s conversation with Nell, I was still disappointed that Deeks didn’t get support from the team when he was out of a job. True Kensi did her best, but Callen and Sam were more bothered that he was in OPS when he shouldn’t have been, and threatened to have him ejected To be fair I didn’t see all the episode, I might have misunderstood. Celebrations were alluded to, but I don’t think we saw Deeks welcomed back into the team. I would have liked that.

    Things have moved on, and so should I. Have to say I agree 100% with everything Christine says. If someone isn’t reading your reviews Karen then I think your letter to R. Scott Gemmill did the trick. I hope so.

    Still not sure about the fertility issue, but it does show us a vulnerable Kensi. We are used to a strong, capable Kensi who has little time for weakness. Season 8 excepted, that is. This Kensi is far more interesting. I just hope she is at the top of her game when Kessler re-appears.

    I gather the actual story was about Callen and Anna, and all their secret squirrel stuff, perhaps by the time I get to watch it I will find it interesting. They have been apart more than they have been together so I struggle to get a handle on their relationship.

    Yes, Lindy and Bobbiej I know what you mean about Deeks hair. I was going to say it’s growing on me, I really mean I’m growing to like it. Does it mean our boy is all grown up?

    Like you Psyched I enjoyed the call-backs, it’s great to have writer’s that know about the show and the backstories.


  9. I appreciate the review and the way you help us connect the dots and recall the details of the callbacks. I enjoyed the episode!! I am still trying to understand what happened at the end of the episode with the case, but I guess I will have to wait for part two. (What was Maxim’s angle? Was Katya really there?) I have to admit that Anna has grown on me over the years, as her acting has improved, and Callen clearly cares for her. I’m not sure why Joelle continually resurfaces. I feel like Callen and the team would try to save anyone who is being tortured and that it didn’t need to be Joelle.

    Of course Densi is still my favorite couple, and like many, I enjoy seeing the intimate aspects of their relationship. It is very common for people to struggle to conceive, and I think the show is handling this very thoughtfully. It’s an important topic for many people.
    This show is such a bright spot, and I’m so thankful for 12 seasons!


  10. So as I said before, pairing Sam and Deeks one of my favorites. A really interesting combination of a goofy blonde surfer and a stubborn ex SEAL. They look good together. They can also complement each other, but they are independent without each other. It’s a great relationship at work. Well, maybe I’m the only one thinking about this, but I think they were distanced on purpose for the balance of the show’s concept. In other words, showrunners don’t like Deeks having too much. Anyway, I enjoyed the scene of the two of them.

    What I can say about the Densi scene is that I’m not a fan of baby storyline yet, so I’m not sure if the scene was good or bad, but I’m glad they actually took a step forward, not just talking. And it’s not the writer’s fault that I can’t enjoy. It is the responsibility of the showrunner who started this. I like “This is US” but I don’t want to see anything like that in NCIS. In a similar case, I loved the wedding episode, but not some of the pre-wedding episodes. The difference between them is whether homely things were done involved in the case. Another issue with me is that we waited a year at the wedding and now we waiting two or three years at the baby storyline (and The bar). How many more years do I have to worry about? They has the power to formalize anything in just one line. Remember that Densi wasn’t normal and wasn’t Bridget Jones. Perhaps one of the reasons it’s so hard to see for me was that I loved seeing Deeks helping in the soup kitchen on Christmas night, or he taking care of someone(retired police dog Monty, some kids, or past victims or clients like Tiffany). He used to be more philanthropic and altruistic person like Abby or Reeves. And he knows from his childhood experience that it’s more important than blood relationships. We already know that what he introduced himself in the interview is true, but give him the opportunity to prove to a new audience. Then, I know that many Densi fans want a baby, but They are a particularly rare couple in a TV show where he shoot a few inches in front of her face and she proposes to him with grenade. I think the story lacks novelty and creativity. It’s not easy and not fair to say this, but the writers don’t really look like they want to write, they just look like they want to delay the show. I have similar concerns about Nerik.

    I’m sorry to rant, but I miss them who were laughing that they would be invincible together. And a very altruistic Deeks (not just Kensi). I don’t know if they are growing or regressing now. Both Deeks and Densi seem to be really underrated by TPTB than they were loved by viewers. They deserve a better plot. Moreover, Deeks and ECO isn’t really getting the credit he deserves. I hope the finale will solve all the stories that make Deeks feel sad or helpless.


    • There’s nothing wrong with a good rant Tess. Gets it out of your system, and what better place than here. Who knows, it might do some good. True Deeks and Sam is a fantastic pairing, but let’s face it, Deeks paired with anybody is pretty special. I haven’t seen him paired with Fatima, could he work his magic there I wonder.

      I’m not sure about the baby storyline either, but I guess it’s been bubbling under the surface for so long they couldn’t just ignore it. Deeks offered to help Kensi make ‘ninja assassins’ as long ago as Season 3. I’m not sure how they would deal with a Densi baby without one or the other being out of the field for a while. I’m glad it’s not my problem. In other shows characters have babies and keep working so I’m sure it can be done. It’s the partnership having a baby, that makes it more unusual.

      It certainly would be nice to see the carefree Deeks of old, but it’s been ten years since he helped in the soup kitchen and like most of us Deeks has moved on. In fact I think he is the character that has developed and matured most of all. His philanthropic nature is still there. He opened the bar as a place for people to feel at home.

      We haven’t seen incompetent Deeks for a while, so I am hopeful they will keep treating him better. It’s nice to see Deeks happy. I still think Deeks is a wasted resource. There is the the potential for so many fascinating storylines from his childhood and LAPD background. Maybe I’m just biased.


      • I don’t think it’s biased…it’s just noting that they have mined other characters’ backgrounds for stories (sometimes to excess, I think….yes, I’m looking at you, Callen…and does Sam have a family for any reason other than they can be kidnapped?). They occasionally tapped these in what I’m starting to think of as the ‘golden age’ of NCIS LA, but since the loss of Granger and the disaster that was Mosley they seem to have forgotten about Deeks in a meaningful way. It’s almost like they saw the potential in those scenes were Deeks stood up to Mosley and then backed away from it.

        Honestly, I don’t get that excited about a Sam/Deeks pairing. Deeks and Kirkin, on the other hand, are always pure gold. Deeks and Thapa were also very special, and I also enjoyed Deeks working with the Mexican police chief who’s character name escapes me at the moment. When you pair Deeks with Sam he usually ends up in Sam’s shadow, and that’s not a place he needs (or deserves) to be.


        • Not going to argue. We’ve seen every nanosecond of Callen’s backstory and it’s becoming a bit of a yawnfest. At least I think so. Any pairing with Deeks is good, and yes the pairing with Eva was especially good as we got to see Kensi’s ‘green eyed monster’. Aside from ‘Internal Affairs’ which I enjoyed, the only episode with Deeks backstory, that I can remember, was ‘Drive’ which they got brutally wrong. With Deeks they’ve got a goldmine, I’d like to see them get digging.
          Just sayin’.


          • Nutterbutter // March 7, 2021 at 2:55 PM // Reply

            I agree with pretty much everything you wrote, Deeks is my favorite of all the times He’s a lawyer who it looks like got there with little or no help despite his the abusing childhood. He is fine with being disliked by some cops because he is doing the right thing. This is someone who was working long-term undercover cases for LAPD alone and worked those cases well enough to catch Hefty’s eye. Was able to prove himself for all the team members that he has everybody’s back and can carry himself. Deeks is somehow fearless and cool in his interaction with everybody. ECO is an incredible actor, and he’s so much more than just the comedy the show so many times sticks him with. He can be hilarious for sure but some of his emotional scenes have been incredible. We don’t really know a lot about the extent of the abuse Deeks’s dad had done to him He said in one episode that his dad hated him. We’ve had insight into Callen and Kensi’s parents, so how about delving into Deeks’s past? Will his childhood affect his thoughts on parenting? It hasn’t seemed to yet–but there was that almost out-of-character episode (Seventh Child) where he seemed to cringe at the thought of parenting.
            I’ll also add a repetitive story line which is stuck Kensi with sociopath and watch Deeks freaks out to save her there are always someone who wants to go after her (the Chechen terrorist – her father killer- the white ghost AKA her ex-boyfriend –Carle Brown left her the poisonous flower in her disk – Ferris the rouge CIA agent – another ex-boyfriend in the Silo- and Recently Kessler) so I wish they could reverse the situations a little bit Like If the situation comes to choose between doing her job and follow the rules or go rouge to save his life like he did with her too many times before like in (Personal or the job or Blye-k or in Afghanistan or with Ferris or in the silo or in the many other episodes that the showed the length of what he will do to protect and save her whether he will risk to sacrifice his life, soul, or career to save her). So when push comes to shove will she risk her career to save him and stand up for him or will she follow the orders and ignore his emotions and risk put his life in danger. As I recall she left him in the body shop and didn’t stay with him in the hospital, she didn’t support him when Mosley fired him, even this season she didn’t stand for him when Callen threatened to escort him out of the building when he expressed his fear for her meeting Kessler


            • I agree. One of the weaknesses I’ve always seen with Densi is it seems to be a one-way street much of the time. Deeks is always there for everyone else, but aside from when he was recovering from being tortured we don’t see much in return. I found the way they all backed away from him and supported Mosley to be very annoying…even more so when they found out Hidoko was dead (and there’s no way she “went down there by herself”). He’s expected to support her and her career choices without question, but she so often mocks him when he expresses desires (the lead-up to the bar sticks out in my mind here).

              I mention it mainly because they have two great actors here and a golden opportunity to show a maturing relationship (sans kids…I just can’t get behind the fertility plot line) with adults who support each other. Sam and Callen can handle the random macho, thank you very much. They don’t need Kensi for a third.


              • Totally agree. I see the Densi relationship exactly the same way. Kensi will fight for Deeks when there is a chance she could lose him. As you say Deeks is supportive of the team, but the only time I can remember him having support from the team was Season 8, when he was caring for Kensi after the helicopter crash. Deeks has grown and matured so much over the years, but he is still the back-up guy. So much potential going to waste.


                • Nutterbutter // March 8, 2021 at 1:58 PM // Reply

                  thanks for noticing and taking the time to post your comment. I appreciate it I am a huge fan of Deeks and the Densi relationship.I love the character of Kensi and my issue is not with her, but the way the character is handled.
                  thanks for both of you for saying what I’m thinking and feeling especially about ” a one-way street much of the time” totally agree it’s always Deeks who’s watching their back and support their reckless decisions or breaking the rules and shows his loyalty to them on the other hand either it’s Kensi or the team they rarely show the same level of loyalty and support towards him


      • Thanks for correcting a lot of my assumptions, Patricia. As you say his philanthropic nature was certainly still there, so I reconsider it was a bit overreacting. I don’t know why I wrote that. Perhaps I just wanted to get the word out that Deeks has an incredibly complex layers and he has various expectations and possibilities. Furthermore, I’m worried about baby story because of how the show treats him and how they treat Sam’s family. In last episode Sam assured him that he would be a good father, but I’m scared to think that the writer would make a drama or comic by making him fail again. It’s painful for me to imagine he disappointed his child(or pregnant wife) more than his life is at stake. It may sound strange, but some of his fans may sympathize with it. Failure is great for making a drama, but the writers who stayed in the show are too used to making him fail and sometimes really lack respect. I’ve been complaining about this many times since last year, so it may seem a persistent, but I say it over and over because I realized this season that they would forget to be considerate with his fans when we were silent.

        I agree with you that Deeks is a wasted resource. I’m really curious about when he was a cop, class clown at the police academy, lawyer, or a law school student who had some part-time jobs. Besides, how he spent his boyhood with Gordon and Roberta, Ray and Kip. Speaking of Ray, the strange relationship between him and Ray’s wife is also a mystery. Ray knew Marty, but she met Max. The legend of MAX(and Finch) was potential that it was possible to make one season by itself like MacGyver. The little mystery was when and where he played the violin, what the band members were doing now, and whether Hetty and he are still interested in the model railroad collection. I think the bar can be used more effectively. Well, my interest in him is boundless.


  11. Elaine Conway // March 7, 2021 at 4:24 PM // Reply

    Speaking of The Seventh Child it always bothered me that Kensi was pushing to have a baby in that episode. It just didn’t fit. It made me wonder if the writer even watched the show. It was so out of character. I guess Deeks wasn’t quite ready to be a stay at home dad at that time knowing Kensi wasn’t going to quit her job so he did the pre- proposal instead. After that Kensi was no longer interested in a baby whenever he brought it up including the scene in the parking garage when she let him know maybe she never wanted kids. So was The Seventh Child just poor writing just to set up the pre-proposal or did she play him to get him to move the relationship forward? I was never quite sure how to take it. That was a great episode, but the Kensi and Deeks storyline was strange.


  12. There are so many inconsistencies in the storylines and in how the writers have handled Deeks. Kensi slapped Deeks in the face for not taking the shot in the Thapa episode because he got too personal with her and did not want to take the chance, yet when Sam refused to take the shot when Siderov had Michelle ( even though she yelled at him to take the shot) that was understandable! Sam didn’t get slapped for that, nor did Deeks get a pat on the back for leaving the hospital to save Sam and Michelle. When Kensi went on special assignment Sam told Callen they should have brought Deeks along because he saved Michelle. What about pulling him out of the pool and performing CPR to save his life too! In Season 11 Deeks tells Kensi he was raised by wolves and his mother was non existent yet he tells his mother, on two different occasions, that she did a great job raising him. In Season 12 Deeks is freaked out because he overheard what Kessler is going to do to his wife. Sam especially should have jumped in to defend Deeks instead he tells him he is going to rip the coms from him with pliers. Sam would have done anything for Michelle yet Deeks cannot feel the same way towards his wife Kensi? I have no problems with some inconsistencies in the script writing but I do with the way they treat Deeks. He has been so loyal to all of his teammates yet I cannot say the same for them. Has Eric attempted to pay him back? Had Sam ever really gone out of his way to tell Deeks he understands how he feels about the Kessler threat knowing what he went through with Michelle?
    Has anyone on the team other than Kensi said anything about his newly hard earned position?
    Maybe all of us on this “WikiDeeks” are so bias towards our hero that we want him to be recognized amongst his peers. Truth be known, that is not how it happens in real life! There are so many unsung heroes in this world and our hero is no exception. I am wondering how the Kessler storyline is going to play out. I think it will be a finale cliffhanger linked to Kensi and Deeks and their baby issue. It is going to be a very interesting season finale! I just wish they would move the show back to Tuesday nights after NCIS where it used to be! Now following the Equalizer and Sunday night footfball, it is as if CBC is trying to choke it out like they did with NCIS NO!


    • Nutterbutter // March 10, 2021 at 2:34 PM // Reply

      Many times I have the impression that the writers drag out some stories indefinitely while they could explore, develop or invent more interesting ones, instead. I know we can’t do anything about it, but I claim the right to be bored and sometimes uninterested like Anna’s storyline, I just really hope we will get a full closure (whatever that closure might be) and that they don’t drag the storyline for too long. I feel Anna storyline will become similar to mole-storyline that did last for a long time and still left many questions unanswered. The writing has changed and doesn’t do justice to all the characters and Deeks’s lines are not as good as in previous seasons and what frustrates me the most is it been 12 season 12 years and I still have more questions than answers about Deeks background It’s as if they have forgotten what happened in earlier seasons, especially with Deeks. There’s no continuity or even addressing some of the main questions about his life Deeks’ tough childhood and family life, his collage & why becoming a lawyer the work environment at LAPD , problematic situations undercover , the circumstances of killing Boyle Deeks still like an enigma wrapped in a riddle for me. And it’s not only Deeks even Kensi we don’t know much about her background (Even Nell & Eric) so instead of going with the same routine of throwing some ex-boyfriend that we don’t know about or the appearance of one of her nemesis out of the sudden (Ferris, Kessler,..) I’d be more interested to find out about her childhood especially the period she’d spent alone in the street or her work as agent afloat and please don’t take it the wrong way I love DR Ruah is amazing also I loved FM as Kessler his portrayal of Kessler was top notch but why is it always Kensi who has someone creeps around her & If they have Kensi taken by the serial killers and a total repeat of “Payback,” or get physically hurt I’m going to be really really really really unhappy.
      I’m not interested in the new characters’ backstory at all, at least not before getting the long-awaited Deeks’ backstory like I said it’s been 12 years guys and all we have is the same story about Callen or Sam I think through 12 years they covered all angles of their background that now they try repeat all stories again (bring the Russian ties , Bring Anna & Jolle again , put Sam’s family in danger again and again but different character each time, some old enemy with rage) I don’t know how long will show last but I can’t believe they could end the show and leave those stories without closure especially it’s uncertain how long will the main cast stay in the show and most of them occupied by other projects and there is no grantee that they will play the same rule or the show gets renew indefinitely


    • Well said, Christine!

      I’m not going to argue because you say “no problem”, but I have some humble opinions here. First, I thought it was a white lie that he told Roberta on the S10. He would be sweet to someone even if someone threw him into hell, so I loved the scene even though I just not entirely convinced by how Roberta was brought to the show. He forgave and respected Sam after “decent”, so of course he forgave and respected his mother. He can sometimes bitter to person who betray him, but he doesn’t push it down when they really regret it. His forgiveness has been proven everywhere, such as he saving the detective Whiting and he telling Kilkin that he was glad to be him alive. It’s no wonder Kilkin feels attached to him. LOL
      Secondally, It’s made a really good tension when Kensi hit him in Frozen Lake. After that, she ignored the order and jumped into the building to save him, then he grew up and was able to shoot a few inches in front of her face, so the whole episode show them a incredibly strong couple. On the other hand, Sam and Michelle are already married and have children, so she completely understood his feelings and didn’t hit him. Maybe Kensi won’t hit him anymore. At least, I hope so.

      Then, I feel that TPTB has not yet explained why he is an “investigator”. For some reason, they seem to believe he deserve it. Really? I would rather not believe that the Navy in “NCIS” is such a ruthless institution. I understand that they describe the PD, CIA, FBI,or etc as such a ruthless idiot in the show. But isn’t the Navy also appreciating his achievements? He deserved many medals. The show treats him sometimes unbelievable and then I forget that the show is one of the NCIS series. Hetty is the only one who appreciates and impresses his loyalty. It wasn’t just “Decent” that he showed loyalty to Sam, he took a call from Tahir on behalf of Sam at the S8 finale. He wasn’t afraid of the sniper and then told Kensi to shoot back them. He suggested Tahir put a grenade in his mouth, which was really cool and made me laugh. I think Gibbs team will appreciate him more. So WHY? Sure, we have a bias for him.


  13. Hello Tess, I read your comments this morning, but didn’t have time to reply. In the meantime I’ve been trying to marshal my thoughts, but it’s like herding cats, so I think I’m just going to ramble, sorry. I think none of us are completely right nor completely wrong, we just see things differently. My take on the Deeks/Roberta relationship is that Deeks childhood was awful while his father was in the picture. His mother was effective as a breadwinner, not so much caring for him. After he shot his father Deeks was a mess and Roberta stepped up and straightened him out. That is the relationship Deeks meant in ‘Internal Affairs’ and ‘Into the Breach’. That’s the scenario that works for me but it might not work for anyone else.

    In ‘The Frozen Lake’ Kensi was angry Deeks didn’t take the shot, do she hit him. Later she was angry because Deeks did take the shot. That seems normal for Deeks, he is wrong whatever he does. It did help Kensi to focus. The situation with Sam and Michelle was different, but Deeks should have had some credit/gratitude for saving them. Again normal for Deeks to be unappreciated. I do hope Kensi doesn’t hit him again.

    Like you I would like to know why Deeks is an Investigator. Maybe there isn’t a reason, he just is. My preferred option is that he didn’t want to be a ‘Special Agent’ in case it made him mean spirited like Sam and Callen. I don’t think that scenario would work for anybody else. I do like it, that in recent episodes they have referred to past situations, like Deeks dislike of needles.

    I try not to be annoyed over inconsistencies, mainly because I frequently misremember things. A while ago RobbieC made a reference to Sam lightening up on Deeks in Season 5. I was a tad sceptical, but I’m currently re-watching Season 5 and guess what, I was wrong. There are some huge discrepancies though, the motorcycle issue being one of the biggest. I always thought ‘The Unwritten Rule’ where Hetty took Deeks’ motorcycle away was unfair and the worst example of double standards, given that Kensi had a motorcycle. Then last season Fatima rolls up on, guess what, a motorcycle!. No explanation of what happened to Hetty’s rule, they never said it only applied to men.

    Finally, I am so grateful to Diane, Karen and the team at wikiDeeks for giving us somewhere to vent and exchange views. Somewhere to discuss NCIS:LA while we’re waiting weeks for another episode.


    • I tend to get irked about inconsistencies because I write, and to me they’re just signs of sloppy writing (or in this case I think TPTB shift enough no one keeps track of the smaller stuff). The motorcycle thing always bugged me, because it felt like it was something created just so they could mess with Deeks. After all, no one gives Sam crap about destroying a Challenger every other week (can you imagine how many tax dollars go away for his insurance? but I digress). At the rate his cars get shot to pieces I would have hoped someone would have taken them away from him (now there’s twist…Sam has to call an Uber every time he needs to follow someone, or ride shotgun with Callen like he used to do on occasion).

      The Investigator thing is interesting, but I don’t think he’d really have a choice in the matter (title is based on job code and so on…it’s not a choice). I have a couple of ideas about it, and maybe at some point one of them will find its way into a story.

      My take on Deeks/Roberta is slightly different. I tend to think there was someone else in the picture…an older mentor of some sort. He always had a very interesting relationship with Granger, so perhaps it was an older uncle or something. Or maybe even a cop or his public defender (he likely would have had one after the shooting incident). Either way, I always felt there was a distance between him and his mother. Just my take, but it does inform how I write Deeks when I do.


      • You’ve sort of made some of my points here. Everything seems to mess with Deeks, it shouldn’t but it does. Whatever he does it wrong. He’s mocked when he should be supported. We’ve seen Deeks take an Uber, ‘Better Angels’, for a start. Anybody else? Okay Kensi, moving on….Don’t get me started on Callen.

        You’re probably right about the Investigator thing, I don’t think Deeks had a choice in it. I don’t think he has a choice in anything much, it would make a great story if he did. Over to you…

        The thing with inconsistencies, I write but I’m rubbish at it so I can’t judge. I’m not sure it’s written for us hard core fans. If you dip in and out then you don’t care about about the backstory. I don’t think it’s right, I really don’t, but I think that’s how it is. For the record I am biased, 100% team Deeks.

        The Deeks/ Roberta thing, I think every single one of us sees it differently, such is the power of NCIS:LA. Not necessarily a bad thing, it makes us think. I’ve only ever felt a geographic distance between Deeks and Roberta. Most likely there was some sort of mentor, or professional person in the picture but I see a closeness with his mother when it was just the two of them. It would be great if they could tell us what happened. That would mean a ‘Deeks backstory’ episode, not this season then. I just hope we find out before the show is cancelled.

        Just wondering how the Kessler thing is going to work out.


        • Nutterbutter // March 14, 2021 at 3:12 PM // Reply

          I agree with everything you have said Patricia Abbott and you made plenty of good points First: the mocking they always use Deeks to defuse the tension and I’m okay with that as long as is not at the expense of his misery or underestimating his ability but I have never seen them show him the respect and the support that he deserves maybe Sam exhibited some concern in season 8 like you said before and after Sidorov mess or after Kensi going to Afghanistan, but don’t let me start on Callen he always seems condescending and expresses skepticism towards Deeks he doubted him after Sidorov to come to work, he wasn’t compassionate toward him after kensi departure and when Sam got accused of a murder he began to question Deeks motives when he asked for some clarification about the surroundings of the case he even didn’t give a chance to bond with him when Deeks asked him to go out in a guy night and he is always taking the offensive side him. IMO both of them failed to support him in time of needs like after the torture or when was under investigation or when Mosley fired him and then got injured in Mexico they left him with Kensi however when kensi got stuck under the helicopter they refused to leave I don’t know if this means they trust Kensi to have his or more qualified than Deeks is. Also Callen’s reactions during this season the Kessler case or Deeks departure or FLCT training I couldn’t see any sympathy or appreciation from Callen he Didn’t Even try to reassure or comfort him.
          I also hate the double standard of moral they have like Sam blaming Deeks for tradecraft but it appears that he forgot to applied to his family or learned to his partner whose home is always comprised, or both of them going rogue & displaying the rules or seeking revenge from their enemies, and they always seem to justify their missteps like Sam going after Taher and torture him
          Second Point : For me The Frozen Lake is metaphorically the lake that Deeks has crossed to be with Kensi. They get official to become Densi. Kensi seems to struggle with being partners at work and now becoming partners otherwise in the beginning after seeing the consequence of the conflict, but for Deeks I think he still struggling till date showing that emotions takes control of his heart when it comes to protecting Kensi or saving her whether she’s taken as hostage, kidnapped, physically hurt & PTSD or even facing danger in any kind of form. In the end he proves to Kensi that they can become be both partners at work and otherwise as long as they have the objective and role play clear about what role they are playing. Kensi loves men with those brave, warriors like qualities But here, for her, Deeks was not the brave man, but an honorable man ready to sacrifice himself to redeem the mission. Probably that becomes so endearing to her, apart from the fact that Deeks was also happy of her accepting him and was able to redeem himself as he always blame himself for everything that could possibly go wrong as he said before ” It’s one of the things I’m good at ” he even was having such a hard time being happy before season7 ending which I believe that Deeks’s foundation is based on fear. He’s got everything he’s ever wanted. It seems he’s waiting for it to be taken from him

          As for Kessler story, I guess there are a lot of directions they could go with it but for god’s sake hope they don’t go with the scenario of hurting Kensi physically to the point she could suffer a miscarriage or needs a Hysterectomy so they prolong their suffering and the baby’s storyline to keep kensi in the field and repeat the events of season 8 all over again.
          wow looks like I’m not capable of writing small posts & sorry for my Gibberish just venting out my thoughts till the next episode like you said


          • It’s nice that you agree Nutterbutter, thank you. You’ve made lots of points I have to agree with. However long the post, there’s always more to say. For example, I think it was Teresa who made the comment that ‘they’ didn’t need to kidnap Joelle as Callen and the team would rescue anybody being tortured. That is true, as long as Deeks is one of the rescuers. If Deeks needed saving I’m not totally sure Callen would be too bothered. In ‘Human Traffic’ he asked if there was a military aspect, before Hetty told him Deeks was ‘as close to one of them as it gets’. He didn’t fall over himself to help Deeks in ‘Internal Affairs’. Kensi on the other hand would do anything to save Deeks.

            Much is made of Deeks skills or perceived lack of, but does anybody question Callens ability? True he speaks every known language and is skilled in spycraft. If indeed he is Team Leader, he is spectacularly bad at his job. If he isn’t team leader, disregard all of this. In NCIS Gibbs has his faults but he cares about his team. Callen might care about Sam and maybe Hetty, but no-one else on the team. More than once he has led his team on unsanctioned missions. More than once Deeks has offered Callen advice and support, most notably when Callen was having to testify after Anna had shot an unarmed man. Has Callen ever helped Deeks? Maybe, but not that I can remember. There is more to being team leader than telling people what to do, like get out of OPS. The rule of thumb with all these shows, is that people have to be skilled at their jobs, even if they are personally flawed. I don’t mind Callen being a bit cold, but he should have the welfare of his team at heart, he doesn’t. Okay, so my bias is showing again.

            The one thing most people seem to agree on is that we want Deeks to get some appreciation, not just from us.


            • Nutterbutter // March 15, 2021 at 4:13 PM // Reply

              Again your observation is Spot on Patricia Abbott Honestly it is starting to deeply affect my liking of Callen as a character. In 12 seasons Deeks, Kensi and Sam have evolved a lot as characters, in their personal lives and their professional ones. However Callen seems stuck in the same persona, both personally and professionally. He is still playing solo most of the time, and not trusting the team completely. He is still a tormented little kid without family as if he is the only person with a terrible childhood. He is still super dependent on Hetty. After 12 years as a “team leader”, he actually seems to be regressing in this role more than progressing.
              Also I’ve to agree with you about Kensi saving Deeks and she’ll do it in a heartbeat, but let’s be honestly she doesn’t support him or his decisions, and she always takes her frustration out on him, and when push comes to shove she choose to follow the orders instead of saving him or support him. On the other hand he is always there for her, and supporting her 100% in all her actions. Please don’t get me wrong I Love Kensi I really do, but sometimes she is too caught up in her own pity, that she doesn’t recognize whose she hurts in the process.


    • Thank you for your reply, Patricia. You’re right I don’t want to change the opinion of others because we’re all right(that’s how we all enjoy fiction). Btw, I needed the help of someone’s comment to keep my hair on. This is my ego and I’m a completely D-biased person, so I’m grateful that everyone’s passion and compassion comments about him on wikideeks really comfort me.

      I was surprised at your comment about “special agents” and found it very interesting. However, From my point of view I couldn’t imagine because ECO’s acting makes me believe that he felt like a family with his teammates. No field agent has shown as much dedication to the team as he does, and not everyone has a different chemistry like him. This is one of the versions of Marty Atticus Deeks that I want him to be and I’m not trying to deny yours. And even if I thought he wouldn’t, the idea makes sense to me. Nell respecting Hetty, but she was afraid to be in her position.
      To tell the truth, I didn’t really care about motorcycle rules until I saw some comments here. Because there was no doubt that Hetty and Kensi wanted to protect him. I would be a little happy to think if the team protected him by using a makeshift lie. Maybe I have a positive bias because he was really cute throughout that episode. Sorry, I feel a little ashamed. I don’t lie, so I tend not to mind about story contradictions for such a silly reasons. He was delighted with the reward muffins that caught a psychopath before breakfast, he shared an funny conversation with Hetty, and Kensi was desperately trying to protect him in that episode. One thing to complain about in that episode would have been better if Hetty get him in her Jaguar after receiving the key in last scene. How did he get home?
      I agree with you that Deeks and Roberta wouldn’t be bottled up now, even if I thought he was not able to get in touch with her until a few years ago. In my fictional story, Hetty helped find her and brought them back together. My guess is that the show didn’t conceived his mother when “Personal” aired, so I think they wouldn’t be able to answer our question exactly. I really bothered me when Roberta was brought to the show because I liked his relationship with Hetty in “personal”. Perhaps it was a TPTB decision and I thought it was unfair that they didn’t need two lonely wolves who have a parent-child relationship with Hetty. For a while, I wasn’t looking forward to their family comedy. However, despite the sloppy changes I thought, but he completed chemistry with her on the S10. Why can he always do this?

      Sorry for the long rambling post. I read new comments before I posted, then I wrote more and more. I can’t join the discussions because I’m slow, but I enjoy exchanging comments between you and Nutterbutter.


      • Hi Tess, I will be the first to point out that I do contradict myself, and I do change my mind sometimes. Also I am happy to discuss Deeks/ECO all day long. Your view of the motorcycle issue is interesting. It never crossed my mind that it was a white lie to keep Deeks safe, I just never thought the team would do that. Not sure I agree, but it’s a good point. I just saw it as another way to make Deeks unhappy. They could have just got him to sell the bike, not take the keys away from him. I think he does care for the team and treats them all with respect but I never feel the team reciprocate this respect, perhaps they don’t know how to.

        I try not to get annoyed over the contradictions. Like you, I think they hadn’t thought of Roberta when ‘Personal’ aired, it was just inconvenient they brought up the next of kin issue, which was probably to make Deeks more interesting. Part of the problem is that, as fans we are routinely re-watching old episodes, or is it just me. We remember things. The writers are always looking ahead, always planning new stories and we don’t know what other factors they have to consider.
        It seems as if they have been looking back more, I think that’s great.


  14. Debra Gillespie // March 15, 2021 at 2:23 AM // Reply

    Great review as always, Karen, even if you considered it shorter than usual. I rewatched this past episode twice to try to wrap my head around the Russian defector/mole/CIA/Russian military/Anna/Joelle twists and turns, and I think I finally figured our the plot after the third showing. The action and pacing of this episode was excellent though, and I’m rather impatient for the upcoming “Red Rover, Red Rover” in less than two weeks.
    I’ve always liked the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, especially the Frankie Valli version, but the using of it in the gunfight here creeped me out a little; I’m sure I’ll never hear the song the same way again, like “Funk 49” always reminds me now of the ranch shootout in “Venganza”.
    I can understand Psyched’s reaction of “Joelle again?” from this episode. But Callen probably will always have a sense of obligation of helping her, as despite everything she’s done, she and Anna did find Callen’s father. Rather like if Arlo Turk showed up again in trouble, despite getting Deeks in dire straights in “Better Angels”. The team no doubt would try to help him, since he’s NCIS and he did save their lives in Mexico (as he said numerous times).
    Like many of you, I really enjoyed the Densi, Sam/Deeks, and Kensi/Nell scenes. Glad to see that Nell is back. I’m always happy when they have a domestic Densi scene, and this one was great. Had to smile when there was a brief shot of the pair of sinks in the bathroom – one could tell immediately which one was Kensi’s, as the clutter around it was very much like her cluttered desk in the bullpen. And wow – a rare Callen/Deeks pairing the episode before last, and a Sam/Deeks pairing here. I like how more natural that Callen and Sam are acting around Deeks, and besides other factors I believe that subconciously they respect him more since he’s now NCIS and truly one of them, even though Deeks is an Investigator and probably slightly below their pay grade.
    All in all, a really good episode IMO, other than trying to keep up with the plot. Some excellent callbacks as already mentioned. Thanks Karen for reminding me what episode Darryl Donkins was mentioned….I knew I had heard the name before but couldn’t remember where. By the way, in this episode, Deeks says, “Au contrare, mon frere”, at one point, and I’m trying to remember what past episode he said that before…anybody remember?
    From an article in the latest TV Guide issue, it looks like this Russia storyline continues for two more episodes. I hope they are as entertaining as the first two.


  15. Yesterday I watched ‘War Cries’, from Season 5 (when Callen first meets Joelle) and co-incidentally saw the spoilers for ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’. I just wondered if the writers knew Joelle was CIA, or whatever she’s turned out to be, back in 2014.


  16. I know this page is mostly about Deeks, but I gotta say… if these writers are at all true to character, Anna will have forever burned her bridge with Callen. It takes him so long to trust someone, to let them get close. …he was going to marry this woman, and then he finds out she is lying to him. Supposedly to protect him, but that doesn’t make it right. Callen/Anna almost seemed to be a parallel story with Sam/Kam: Sam is trying so hard to keep his daughter safe that he has taken away her agency. Anna did much the same to Callen by lying to him.

    Callen has long since made his peace with the manipulation Hetty has played in his life, but if anything, that should make him more guarded against it the next time around. Maybe this is my bias talking, because I have never liked Anna and I think she is no good for Callen. But this should be the end of their relationship.


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