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Review: NCISLA “Imposter Syndrome” (S12E15)


Hi folks!  I’m filling in for Karen this week and it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these reviews so go easy on me.  But you know what they say about riding bicycles… you never forget how to ride one and you never forget how to write a good review when you have an outstanding episode like this one. This week NCIS: Los Angeles gave us an exciting storyline penned by Samantha Chasse in her first solo effort for the show. It successfully melded the newbies with the core pairs of Sam-Callen and Deeks-Kensi while offering some sweet Densi emotion and some kick butt action directed by Eric A. Pot.  

I have written many a review of this show in my day, and I have learned to leave the plot way behind as I searched to pull out those bright nuggets of character interaction and development into the forefront.  It’s always what kept me coming back week after week. You didn’t think it was all those explosions, did you? Yet this episode was different  despite the exciting fireworks at the end because there were many shinning gems to be found throughout the story.  Lets look at some of those highlights…..

Although I have yet to warm up to Fatima and Rountree I have to admit their characters may be growing on me despite the fact that I feel most of the time they are superfluous and not needed. Even Callen’s not too sure about the new recruits, “The kid’s got this right??” But this time was different. The young agents actually felt like one of the team and not isolated from the whole. Actually the entire team seemed to be back on track again and working together like the NCIS gang of old. Welcome back guys, we missed you!  

It was fun to listen to Deeks’ impersonation of Doc Holiday and Kensi’s lament about changing the Netflix password. But Kensi is troubled and still at odds over the ‘magic of matrimony’ especially while her demons are still churning inside her head. Poor Deeks (Lord, how many times have I written that phrase?) is trying desperately to bring her out of her funk to no avail. The guy tries soooo hard.  Sometimes you have to wonder why Kensi can’t see how much Deeks is suffering alongside her as they wait to find out if she can conceive a child. This is killing Deeks because he wants so much for her to be happy in her pursuit of becoming a mother. They are going through this together, but it seems Kensi can only see her own pain. I get it, never having kids, I can only imagine how heartbreaking it is to yearn for a child that may never come. So, I’ll give Kensi a break and show some compassion. But I just wish she didn’t need to feel her only option is to take it out on Deeks. Yes, another angsty night at the Deeks’ household.

Back at Ops, Nell is having her own problems trying to take the mess that was Hetty’s former office and redesigning it into an organized space she can use. She may not be picking out paint but it is a ritual that she needs to perform desperately. She has real doubts about filling Hetty’s shoes and like Kensi, those same demons of doubt keep swirling around in her head as she clears the disorganization from Hetty’s office. Can she measure up to the job? Despite being a pint-sized ninja, Nell has the right to be dubious and skeptical. She’s young and inexperienced and Hetty is a legendary icon who is most certainly an enigma, and maybe impossible to live up to. But even Hetty had to start somewhere and eventually Nell has the potential to be a great OSP manager, if her insecurities don’t tear her up first. This week she showed some real nerves of steel. She just needs to believe in herself. But will she stay long enough to find out or let her insecurities override the potential within?

Why is it that every store Kensi and Deeks investigate has some sort of employee from hell? In this case, Danny is ready to gleefully throw his manager under the bus and provide the intel they are seeking to lead them to a viable suspect in the case. The best parts of these scenes are the faces Eric Christian Olsen pulls to express doubt, suspicion, or surprise at some the employee’s theories. It’s worth it just to watch Deeks try not to make fun of these airheads. Making us smile is what Eric does best especially when he’s trying not to make us laugh.

As the team tracks down who created the deep fake, the action in the apartment complex is exciting to watch as Deeks is filmed in slow motion as he dodges bullets in the hallway. Nice touch.  Pot does a great job of creating the tension throughout the scene. It was so creepy hearing the digitally created voices of the team answering Nell’s questions in a zombie like fashion which added an additional terrifying aspect to the scene. The comms have been compromised and Nell is faced with whether or not she gives the terrorists what they want or risks the lives of her team. This is where the metal hits the road, and Nell finally shows us she has what it takes to lead this team. It was satisfying to watch her grow stronger and more confident.

Digital immortality. The premise of this episode has far reaching implications for the world and the burgeoning of want-to-be dictators. If this technology is currently in place or being developed, the world just became a scarier place. As I listened to Callen interrogate this terrorist his words were unsettling. The battle for ideologies has reached a whole new level. The next Bin Laden will never be silenced. Not a lovely thought at all, Callen.

What if we’re never pregnant? Kensi decides to acknowledge the elephant in the room and address the question that needs to be asked. Always jumping to the worst case scenario, Kensi decides to berate Deeks for not seeing the big picture. But one of the reasons we truly love Deeks is his joie de vivre, always choosing optimism over pessimism. (Unless it comes to himself but then that’s for another show and review.) This show has the ability to douse us with a large dose of reality, yet Deeks is always trying to bring things into perspective by teaching his partner that life is a series of paths to be taken and they need not be all dark roads to be traveled down. I laughed when Nell tells Deeks, you can’t fake that level of annoyance. He may be annoying but he’s usually right. In the end Kensi realizes love is all that matter and she truly loves Deeks. Once she gets done berating herself for not being perfect, she gives into the possibility of optimism, forgives herself and picks up the paint brush.

The episode came to a rousing and final conclusion with a big boom! The action and choreography was so well done, and harkens back to episodes which have become legendary with fans. Pot and company did a great job. Seems like we’re still grappling with Katya and the aftermath of the Russian debacle so this whole arc of the series is still in play as well.

We only have a few more episodes left this season and it will be interesting to find out where the showrunners will take us next. What did you think of this week’s episode? Leave your comments down below. Don’t forget to return later in the week for Deek’s Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal as I’m sure they will have much more to say about this week’s case.

 

About Diane (367 Articles)
Founder, Writer and Contributing Editor of wikiDeeks. Always wanted to put together a talented team of writers and graphic designers who loved NCISLA and Marty Deeks in particular! My dream came true! Hope you enjoy what we have created!

65 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Imposter Syndrome” (S12E15)

  1. Valentina Vella // May 4, 2021 at 9:20 AM // Reply

    it was a pleasure read this review Diane, thank you. I think it was a great episode, I appreciate how it was directed. I agree with you about the Densi Storyline, we often see Kensi in pain, but they never talk of how Deeks is feeling. I hope for more undercover operation with Deeks and Kensi in the future. Thanks wikideeks 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you Diane, you definitely haven’t forgotten how to write a great review. It filled in some gaps for me and I’m really looking forward to watching the whole episode. not just clips. Did I actually see Deeks getting annoyed with Kensi, in the opening scenes? If so it’s about time, I’ve lost count the numbers of times she’s got angry with him. I’m probably alone here, but I have wondered what Kensi would do, if the doctor told her the stress of her job was hampering getting pregnant. Would she choose a baby over her job? The whole Densi baby question is really divisive, so I think I should stop now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess the 1 way to get myself to enjoy a Hetty less episode is to have a very good team centric episode, and that’s exactly what this episode was!
    Case was beyond creepy, and I wasn’t actually bored by the episode.
    Loved the Hetty mentions, especially that note at the end.
    (and speaking of, you all might want to check TV Line today, there’s 1 incredible spoiler for the finale that’s up right now that I think you’ll all want to see!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hetty is back in the season finale. Whether or not it is for good remains to be seen. Mainly due to what will Linda’s own decision and her fear of Covid.

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  4. Thank you Diane for a great review, still not used to the new recruits. But glad to see they are teamed together and callen/Sam, kensi/deeks and Nell and Eric are back to being teamed together. I wish kensi could see that deeks is in pain too. But deeks has always tried to lighten things up with kensi when she goes to the dark place. Baby or adopt, I hope they get to enjoy parenthood. But time and the storyline will tell.. thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ivelina Plamena Georgievi // May 4, 2021 at 1:31 PM // Reply

      Densi pregnancy and Densi twins -boy and girl!
      Fans will be happy!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Donna l Hartle // May 6, 2021 at 9:29 PM // Reply

      my thought on the note from Hetty, how did Callen get the bottle? I mean he pulls it out of his bag. Does this mean that he has been in touch with her all this time? I thought no one knew where she was

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      • It was mentioned in episode 3 that Nell and Hetty have been in communication from time to time. And in Ru Ru Ru, Kilbride said she might be somewhere near Syria.
        I like to think she and Callen have been in communication which each other, (I’ve even written about it) their relationship is my favorite.

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    • Please see my comment below. Would love to hear your opinion.

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  5. It was a great episode and your review was pretty much spot on. I think Nell dug deep and found that she could do the job, her way. Densi, Kensi needs to somehow work out her stress and not on Deeks. I question how much Kessler is messing with her head and hope this gets resolved soon. No matter what, Deeks will be there for Kensi and hopefully Kensi can lighten up a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 100% agree. Deeks is enabling instead of intervening. See my comment about the roles being resversed……would be a whole different matter…..

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  6. Kensi’s pretty much always taken out her frustrations on Deeks. I don’t see that changing without some kind of intervention…maybe a useful role for Mother Deeks (although she’s usually busting his chops, too…).

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nutterbutter // May 4, 2021 at 6:23 PM // Reply

    Just watched last night’s episode and man was it intense .Thanks for your review it was spot on and described what I feel especially the part Deeks and Kensi discussion about conceiving a child it was like she deliberately choose to ignore his feelings despite he is always there for her physically or spiritual and supporting her in every step of the way and let’s not forget that he was the one that always wanted to have kids and she was hesitant now she is usually mad at him if he suggested a new doctor, or try hormones therapy, or being optimistic to paint the room for their unborn child . His emotions and reactions to her were really spot on and not over the top and that’s why he’s the one on the team with the most consistently realistic and human response to what they routinely experience, in my opinion. Yet another reason he’s our favorite. Kensi seemed to be frustrated and aggravated that she can’t conceive and Deeks just looked sad and resigned after her discouragement words and the only way to interpret her anger and forgive her attitude if she was suffering mood swings from the pregnancy and if they couldn’t conceive a baby there is a sergeant mother, or adoption that’s not the end of the world at least they have each other. To be honest the last scene with Deeks and Kensi was the highlight of the show. I think that because Kensi didn’t want to paint the room earlier, so as not to be reminded of not being able to get pregnant, that she is still willing to keep trying. IMHO Deeks was there to support her and that he loved the color that she had picked out for the room

    As for storyline I thought we were done with the Russian connection I really thought we were done with Katya for a while. Her obsession with Anna has already taken over so much of the show, we hope this isn’t another loose thread used to keep her around. I hope the writers will get rid of Anna. She is a narcissist, a liar and very untrustworthy, in my opinion.

    I found it unbelievable that Fatima would plug her phone into a stranger’s phone with no hesitation. That was a big plot hole for me.Looks like Sam will have to work on her trade craft, like he did with Deeks in season 2. I can’t believe she didn’t ask him what department he worked in that would be the first thing I would have asked if I did not know the person.
    Over all it was a good solid team episode with action, banter, humor, and solid acting by our team.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Debra Gillespie // May 5, 2021 at 12:40 AM // Reply

    Fine review, Diane. You slipped back into the “review” saddle with no problem at all. What you wrote and what other commentators mentioned are mostly my thoughts also, but I noticed a few other things after I rewatched this episode.
    I was interested in the cardboard target Kensi was shooting at the beginning of this episode, thinking it was a foreshadowing of something to come, and it was taking down the Russian girl near the end, when there was a hostage situation. I was reminded of when Kensi was taken hostage in “The Frozen Lake”.
    Like Nutterbutter mentioned, Fatima needs a few talks with Sam about tradecraft. He has several gym memberships, but she goes to the same gym every Friday? Definitely not good.
    When Deeks wanted to find out how much that cartoonlike squid figure was in the shop, I was wondering if it meant he still hasn’t sold the Squid and Dagger and was briefly considering buying it for a mascot, or has he sold the bar and he wanted the squid as a sort of memento? I’m sure hoping it’s the former.
    The chaos of the comms down reminded me of the intensity of “Mother”, when communication was limited when Ahkos brought down the power grid in OSP in that episode. It was great that Nell, like in “Mother”, after having severe doubts in such a stressful situation, came through for the team.
    The ending Densi scene I also thought was the highlight of the show, It was extra poignant for me as I saw a BTS photo on IG, showing that the cans of the paint Kensi was using were Sunshine (light yellow) and Gunpowder (bluish-grey). And it looks like the window frames were painted cornflower blue! A wonderful, subtle touch that Densi fans can appreciate.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is nice to read your review again Diane! This was a great TV hour, packed with lots of action, suspense, team, and partner work, an explosion in the end, with (almost) everybody competent at any time. I was reminded of the “Mother” while watching it, and I really enjoyed it.
    Now about Densi and not-so-popular opinion on this site. I do not know if any of you actually went thru hormone therapies and in vitro fertilization. Well, I was, and I am telling you it is no walk in the park. It puts unbelievable pressure on both your body and mind. It is messy, your nerves are all over the place, you are jumpy, you are full of water and gaining weight, your breasts are so painful that you can’t stand the bra and despite all of that you need to function like well adjusted and relaxed human being and partner and wife to you your husband. After you survive all of that and go thru the actual in vitro fertilization you have to wait to see if it will be a success.
    In our case, it was never a success. And let me tell you I was lashing at my husband, I was frustrated, I was angry, I was disappointed…to put it shortly I was miserable all the time.
    But my husband understood it, understood it for what it actually was. He tried to be positive like Deeks, he tried to keep us from drowning, he was extremely supportive of me throughout each procedure (we had several), but neither he nor I were even thinking let alone talking about how to paint and furnish the nursery.
    I love Deeks, he is the only reason why I still stick we NCIS LA, but I do agree with Kensi here. Kensi snapped because it was obviously not the first time that he mentioned choosing the colour for the nursery. It is also obvious that it was not the first time that Kensi refused to do so.
    I think that Kensi’s behaviour and Daniela Ruah acting are very realistic and spot on. She is not unthankful to Deeks, she does not love him less, she is no less devoted to him or their marriage because of that. She just needs him to understand and to verbalize to her that the baby could never come for them.
    In the end, she showed that she listened to him, that his positivism influenced her again, and took the paint and brush and start choosing the colour. Very emotional and strong scene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loved your comment marie, as I never went through infertility, I had no idea what your body could be going through..I do hope they find their happily ever after..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Debra Gillespie // May 5, 2021 at 11:40 AM // Reply

      Thanks Maria, for giving us a true life example of what Kensi is going through right now. Makes the final scene even more poignant.

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    • The only issue I have is she always snaps at Deeks. This isn’t an isolated incident. If it were I think it would serve to highlight the feelings you point out. I just rewatched the episode where they were leaving for Mexico, and her whole inability to hear what Deeks was saying in the parking structure summed it up well. And that’s a big reason Kensi came out rated as she does in the Ochoa report.

      Sadly (at least for me) the power of the scene gets lost in what we’re given as the normal dynamic: Kensi lashes out and Deeks takes it. If that were not the case it would have made the scene much stronger.

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      • I have to agree with RobbieC. If this was an isolated event I’d say well the circumstances warrant this behavior but it’s Kensi’s normal MO to lash back at Deeks. I would say you are correct Maria if this was a first time incident. I’m not saying women don’t go through these emotions while trying to conceive this way. But this is Kensi’s go-to reaction every time. Would I like to see Deeks get angry and call her on it. Probably not. That’s why I like the character so much and besides he just doesn’t have it in him. He loves her too much. And she’s probably not going to change and he realizes that. He lets her have her rant knowing she will come around again. I just wish she would take a pause and think before she speaks. But in this case those raging hormones may be working overtime.

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        • Nutterbutter // May 5, 2021 at 5:25 PM // Reply

          Thanks Maria, for explaining what Kensi is going through right now. But I mentioned above that I’ll only let her backslash slid if she was suffering mood swings from the pregnancy and hormones, but I’ve to agree with Diane & RobbieC she is always act like she is the only one suffering without paying any attention the other’s feelings she was angry with Deeks when he goes undercover and not telling her (The debt – Parley) ,she was angry because he never said what he means or when couldn’t take the shoot , she was angry when he was hesitant about having kids (the 7th child), most of season 8 was angry because her accident, most of season 9 she was the was constantly angry when she was planning for her fancy wedding even in the finale she was the was who’s mad when he asked her to give a deadline for being agents and IMO she was the one who changed her mind as every time Deeks brings this topic up her answer was that she hear him and support the idea, and now she is relentlessly angry for not able to conceive or have a baby. Sorry but Kensi seems to me all the time take any topic from her own point of view and rarely acknowledge Deeks feelings despite he is always with her and supporting her , for me Deeks was always the one to take whatever Kensi could dish out, letting her verbal jabs wash over but she needs to change that and consider his feelings a little bit. she is not alone in these matters (leaving the job – having baby)

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        • I honestly think he does have it in him to snap back, but recognizes that and keeps it under control. Max Gentry does come from somewhere inside him, after all. We have seen cracks in the Deeks cool armor from time to time (Mosley did seem to bring that out in him on more than one occasion), but for me what makes him such a good character is his ability to see that in himself and control it. For all his apparent lightheartedness and the like, Deeks is (in my view) a very controlled, tightly-wound individual.

          I’ll just repeat what I said before…this was a well-done scene. I think it would have had much more impact and weight if it didn’t seem normal for Kensi to lash out at Deeks.

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        • Please see my comment below. Would love to hear your opinion.

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      • I hear you RobbieC, but do you actually think that Deeks’ insistence that Mexico would be the last job for them was fair to Kensi at that moment? I am not saying that either of them was right at that moment. They both were somehow right and wrong at that moment and each of them reacted in the way that we learned was typical for them.

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        • Not disagreeing. The ‘Mexico Argument’ was a scene that everybody saw differently. I haven’t watched it for a while. My recollection is that Deeks defended Callen, argued with Mosely and got fired. Nobody defended him. In a bad place, trying to make the best of things, he had the temerity to suggest Kensi went away with him. All while looking for a way to ‘rescue’ Moseley’s son. He was guilty of a poor choice of words, which Kensi took the wrong way. While being escorted from the premises he is stopped by Kensi and the argument escalates out of control. Kensi gets angry and storms off without letting Deeks finish. She goes off to ‘rescue’ a child that was in no immediate danger. I thought she was a tad harsh, but she was just being Kensi.

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      • I agree 100%. See my comment below. What if the roles were reversed…..?

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  10. Okay, here goes. I pretty much agree with all these comments. Nutterbutter lists numerous occasions that Kensi gets mad with Deeks, all too true. Kensi is not good at considering the feelings of other people. She rejected her own mother for fifteen years or so. Her messiness stresses Deeks out, but he has learned to live with it. I think Deeks may well have it in him to snap back at Kensi, but holds back because he knows he risks losing her if he did. It would change the relationship, Kensi needs to be in charge, and Deeks needs Kensi.

    Thank you Maria for the insight to the effects of fertility treatment. I do try to sympathise with Kensi, believe it or not. If Kensi is suffering as you suggest, then I question whether it is safe for her to continue working in the field. Should she still carry a gun?

    I do have problems with the whole fertility treatment issue. I think Kensi has ‘highjacked’ Deeks pain. Deeks loves children and has been fairly consistent in his desire to be a father. Only showing understandable doubts in his ability to cope. He offered to help Kensi make a baby as far back as season three. At the end of season nine Kensi was unable or unwilling to commit to starting a family and walked away from Deeks. It seems Deeks accepted he was unlikely to become a father if he stayed with Kensi. He chose Kensi over fatherhood. In ‘Yellow Jack’ last season when Kensi thought she might be pregnant, she didn’t exactly jump for joy. It wasn’t until ‘Mother’, when it seemed Deeks was going to die, Kensi decided she really did want a baby. Now having a baby is all consuming. Deeks was reluctant to try fertility treatment. Initially due to cost, but also he doesn’t want Kensi to suffer. Kensi has run roughshod over Deeks feelings, but he still supports her as best he can. Yet he’s still in the wrong. I would have more sympathy for Kensi if she had been wanting a baby since season three,

    One final thought. A baby would be great for Kensi and Deeks, but would it be good for the show? It would change the dynamics. Personally I would like Kensi to make peace with not getting pregnant and let nature take it’s course. I think that is what Deeks wants.

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  11. All your comments are great, just remember guys, all kensi and deeks actions and reactions are the writers .. I know they improvise some. But I think they gave kensi the hard edge ..deeks for the most part has always been the compassionate, protective, loves kensi through everything they have gone through. An example of the writers but was Mosley , I still don’t like how she treated deeks and rest of the team. Actually still won’t watch some of the scenes she was in. But great actress. I remember in an article Dani said in the reading before they shot the garage scene, she cried, because how emotional it was to even read. Love densi, and hope they show more romantic scenes .. pregnancy, still in the air about.. because unless they both leave NCIS la , they won’t be partners at work anymore and I would miss that.

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  12. Wow, I always love to see so much different views of the same thing. It really puts things in the other perspective. And I am glad to start such a great discussion. From one perspective, I agree with all of you, but something that I learned from my best friend came to my mind yesterday and still has bugged me today. Namely, being so stressed and frustrated about conceiving the child, I started to be harsher to my husband, for no reason at all, while I managed to keep my cool with the persons who actually frustrated me or made me angry or rubbed me the wrong way. I noticed that and I spoke with my best friend who is MD with a specialization in clinical psychiatry.
    We have known each other for ages, were roommates during our university years and I was brave and comfortable enough to tell her what I noticed and how it actually worried me. She explained to me something that I remember still today as I couldn’t believe it when I heard that. In a nutshell, she told me that I was not the first or the only one with such an issue.
    She told me that one of the very common phenomena in relationships is the immediate certainty that whenever something is going wrong in our lives, we think that it is first and foremost our partner’s fault. She also told me that because they play such a deep role in our lives we get angry with them, mostly due to our faith that they would understand the most hidden and obscure parts of us and our belief that their presence can solve all of our problems.
    Namey, she further explained to me, when it seems to us that the world is unfair to us, we are very rarely able to get angry with the people or situations that are really to blame, so we get angry at those who, we are sure, will tolerate us for blaming them. So we get angry with the closest persons around us, the ones who are the least likely to have harmed us and still chose to stay with us.
    Usually, we are very polite and kind to strangers, but only in the presence of someone we truly trust, we dare to be irrational and unkind.
    Of course, my first reaction was that was such psycho crap and that it couldn’t be, and who would in their clear mind stand such behavior. However, she also told me our hearts do not see such behavior as negative. Au contraire, our hearts see it as the symptom of love and dedication (!!!). When we love each other we enter very intimate and private zones from which everybody else is totally excluded.
    Crazy, indeed, but I see such a behavior pattern in Kensi and I refuse to believe that Deeks sees it differently than as complete Kensi’s trust in him and their relationship.
    I do not think that Deeks is some kind of the victim in this relationship and has to stand everything that Kensi dishes at him just because he loves her and is afraid that she would leave him otherwise.

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    • This does make perfect sense to me and I have to say I think you are right. There is the saying ‘you always hurt the one you love’. That would explain why Kensi treats Deeks the way she does. I think her behaviour is made worse by her fertility treatment but is not caused by it. I still don’t think it’s right, and I do see Deeks as a victim. Deeks doesn’t, he thinks he is lucky to have Kensi and is prepared to take the rough with the smooth. I do think though, that his biggest fear is losing Kensi. Equally I think Kensi’s biggest fear is losing Deeks, she is the only one to fight for him.

      Thank you for starting this discussion, it is great to get all these different perspectives. That is what I love about wikiDeeks.

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      • The only real thing I see with the fertility explanation is she’s been treating Deeks like this from the very beginning. And as others have commented she returns to bashing on Deeks as soon as he’s not around. And her response to the whole Mosley thing? “Go home and let her cool off.” As if that would do any good. Mosley wasn’t the kind to ever reverse course or back down from a bad decision. But to my mind Kensi’s response was because she had bought into the Mexico thing so fully she couldn’t see beyond the mission and her role in it. And quite a bit of their discussion in the parking structure wasn’t so much Deeks giving her an ultimatum (which just isn’t in his nature) but trying to get her to see the consequences of that mission. They tend to clash when he starts thinking beyond the mission, while all Kensi sees is the mission. I think that bothers him more than he lets on.

        Kensi, to me, is still all about the mission. And once having a child became a mission, that was what she focused on.

        A tangent, but what was interesting about the Mexico thing is the only people who had serious reservations about it were Deeks and Hetty. Hetty’s were, I think, motivated more by her desire to protect her team (and she was very right to be concerned about Mosley’s casual disregard for everyone around her), while Deeks was genuinely troubled by the ethics of the whole thing.

        And yeah, we don’t ‘own’ the characters. But as a writer I like to dig into motivations and look for consistency in character behavior. NCIS LA does a pretty good job with this (as good as an open-ended show can, at any rate), so it makes for good discussion.

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        • I think we all agree we don’t like the way Kensi treats Deeks. Maria gives a good explanation why she acts like she does, but that doesn’t excuse it. The fertility issue may just have made it worse. The thing that struck me with the ‘Mexico Argument’ was that everybody had a different view. Some people thought Kensi was totally justified and Deeks was 100% wrong. Didn’t see it myself.
          About not ‘owning’ characters. Unlike you I’m not a writer. I do write, I fiddle about on Fanfiction and I’m not very good. I do ‘borrow’ the characters now and again, and I wonder what makes then tick. I understand why you say Kensi is ‘mission driven’ and I wouldn’t disagree. On the surface, given their history, you could expect the opposite. As I understand it, Deeks joined law enforcement because he saw terrible things first hand, and wanted stop them. Kensi grew up around Military bases, and joined NCIS to find out the truth about her fathers death. We could be forgiven for thinking Deeks would be ‘mission driven’ to stop the bad guys rather than Kensi. I’ve never got to grips with Kensi’s reluctance to commit to having children, she never actually said she didn’t want them. I guessed she wanted them on her terms, like she does everything else, seeing Deeks about to die focused her mind. I’d pegged her as a ‘spoiled brat’ turned ‘control freak’ but I think it’s more complex than that. Having a baby becoming a mission makes sense. Unfortunately for Deeks, finishing the house wasn’t a mission for Kensi. Does this mean finding her father’s killer was her first mission?
          I do try not to get too bogged down wondering why they do what they do. Sometimes you just have to sit back, watch the scenery, enjoy the journey and not wonder how the engine works.
          Does make for excellent discussions though.

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          • That’s part of the problem for me…I can’t really shut that part of the engine down. I hone in on characters because that’s kinda what I do. In terms of character consistency, I think Blue Bloods is perhaps the best show on TV right now. NCIS LA and NCIS NO are both pretty good in that area as well, with the edge going to LA because of core cast stability and some solid people at the helm. The shows I’ve really loved all had defined end-points, very stable show running teams, and stellar writing (The Shield, Justified, The Unit, and Longmire are my tops). For me, a show falls apart when characters start doing things they wouldn’t have done a couple of episodes (or a season) before.

            Back to Deeks…I think he’s mission-driven in his own way, but for him the mission always takes second place to the people involved. He’s seen (and lived) the human cost of events too many times in his past for it to be otherwise. He also has a connection to place that Kensi wouldn’t have as a military brat. I lived that life for a few years, and her lack of attachment to place, mission focus, and avoidance of close personal ties is rather characteristic of one of the ways military kids deal with their environment. Sam is in many ways the reverse, with his need for friends, routine, and over-attachment in some cases (Jada being one example), that was another way some of those kids adapted. Deeks, on the other hand, remains focused on how everything impacts the people involved because he had to live around those people. He couldn’t just pack up and leave if things didn’t work. I know during the wedding planning he tried to talk like he had done that, but I think it’s more in the context of college friends or those more transitional relationships. But he and Ray were very close…closer than anyone we see with Kensi or Sam. And his bonds with some of his former CIs also appear to be very strong.

            Sorry for the ramble, but how characters fit together is a big part of any show for me. I likely spend too much time on it, but I like to think it makes the show-oriented fiction I do stronger. Old habits and all that…

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            • Oh dear RobbieC my amateur status is confirmed, no, underlined. The only show I watch at the moment is SVU. It reappeared on my TV a year or so ago, now showing 2019/20 not sure what season. I enjoy it, I like the characters. I miss it when it’s not on, but not for long. I used to watch NCIS, enjoyed watching ‘Timid Tim’ transform into ‘McGee the Man’. Last I saw he was stuck in Paraguay, never did know how he got out. The show disappeared for a while, it came back, but we never got back together. I never got into NCIS:NO and I don’t know why. I’m spoilt for choice but I don’t watch any British TV drama, again I don’t know why. I can’t really compare and contrast. NCIS:LA is the only show I’ve stuck with after it disappeared from my TV. The first three seasons are on a loop, I cherry pick my favourite episodes and stick to DVDs for the rest. Have to say I’m looking forward to the Season 12 DVD set. Yes I know I could watch it on Sky but…….

              I understand Deeks is ‘person’ driven. His priority is to protect the victims and to do that he has to take down the bad guys. I hadn’t thought about Kensi’s nomadic childhood leading to her lack of attachment to place. Is that the root of her attachment to things? She has to keep everything.
              Talking of Deeks moving on from people, I always took that to mean acquaintances, he is super loyal to his friends. Sometimes though, living your life, you just lose touch.

              The discussions following ‘Imposter Syndrome’ seem to bypass the plot, story or whatever, although is seemed a good episode. It seems most of us are interested in the characters interactions, especially between Kensi and Deeks.

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        • Agreed! Please see my comment below. What if the roles were reversed….?

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  13. Nutterbutter // May 6, 2021 at 6:33 PM // Reply

    First off let me start with how much I love this site and this discussion. I am definitely not a writer But as someone who is new to this site, and a hardcore fan of ECO, Deeks, & Densi I have to say how much I enjoy everyone’s opinions an insight.
    Secondly about the Mexico mission I mostly agree with Patricia Abbott & RobbieC. I know I’ll sound harsh on Kensi and I’ll sound biased but I’m team Deeks on this one he was really in a very bad place he was under much stress from the shooting and Sam being hit, even though he was thinking about leaving the job but he didn’t take that decision it was made for him by being fired by Mosley as I can recall he was hesitant in following Callen’s order to follow her to the warehouse. So that was that my first clue that he still didn’t made his mind to quit the job. The clue was he kept working the case after being fired & the third one he consider mosley’s situation and feeling and apologized but she insisted to humiliate in front of Kensi & his coworkers by escorting him out. IMO he was in a very bad position he was stressed, confused, angry, not to mention his fear of losing Kensi that eat him up the whole time and no one literally appeared to stand up to defend him or take his side (Despite he defended Callen) not even Kensi, She didn’t even try to calm him down or ease his fear or support his call, No she chose this awful time to tell him that she’ll not quit her job & needs more time. She stormed out of the roof and left him trying to explain himself but she didn’t even try to listen she turned the table and took it on herself and refused to consider his feelings or what he was saying. Even the hospital scene after the rescue he was the one who apologized and told her he was wrong, in other hand and that’s what really bothers me she never admits when she do something improper.
    Sure Kensi was the one who initiated that they get together,was worried about the IA investigation, asked him to move in together , talk about babies and proposed to Deeks. But To me, Deeks would always stand with her thick or thin, right or wrong. When Deeks commits to something or someone, he never wavers or sit on the fence, even at great risk to himself as he has a tendency to sacrifice himself for her or the others.
    As for fertility treatment I’m on the same page with Patricia Abbott and I loved her description of the situation (that Kensi highjacked’ Deeks pain) this maybe the most wonderful and accurate phrase to describe Kensi’s doings. I also agree with most of you about having a baby would change the dynamics between them. That’s why I want them to have kids when the show is over or maybe they can adapt or chose another way, but even though they will need some time off work to raise the child and take care of him as Kensi always said she’ll not this job if she has a baby.
    I also really appreciate Maria’s interpretation of Kensi’s behavior it gives me a new perspective about what she is been through. And I’m really and totally appreciating your honesty and openness to share your own experience it really gives me a way of looking things differently and have a high opinion of what all the women go through for fertility treatment.

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    • Yes Nutterbutter, we are on the same page. It feels like you’ve just done my homework.
      Thank You

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      • Nutterbutter // May 7, 2021 at 4:23 PM // Reply

        LOL, Sorry too much rambling I know I swear every time I decide to write a new post I vow to myself to keep it to a minimum and focused but looks looks like I’m not capable of that.
        None of my friends watch NCIS-LA, so I never have anyone to discuss it with me. Thank goodness I found Wikideeks

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      • Kensi high jacking Deeks pain is an excellent expression, however, this is more than that. It has been on on going problem for many years. Please see my comment below….what if the roles were reversed….?

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    • Please see my comment below. Would love to hear your opinion.

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  14. I just want to pose this question: What if the roles were reversed? What if Kensi were at the end of years of being the target of Deeks’ anger, barking, snapping, lashing out, hanging up the phone, and complete lack of emotional support? What if Kensi was the one who was being punched in the shoulder and called an idiot? What if Kensi was the one being made fun of, in her presence (“please feel free to ignore him, he’s used to it” or “please don’t encourage him”? or behind her back (“I really need a break from being home right now”). Every women’s right organization/[emotional] abuse advocates would be up in arms (and I am a female, btw).

    Kensi got Deeks to a point where he is almost afraid to come near her (when she almost passed out on the stairs due to IVF side effects) he didn’t immediately rush over and pick her up but stood 5 feet away, asking her if she was okay. He needs to stop talking to her like she is a toddler not wanting to eat her carrots and “grow a pair” (the way she talked to him about the nursery at the shooting range and the way he tried to spin it).

    His love for Kensi being so blindly unconditional does not make this okay. This did not start with the IVF treatments, this has been an ongoing pattern for years. I’m almost at the point of saying “Come on man, you deserve better than this, this is your life too”. As for Kensi’s anger and trauma? Her dad died and she didn’t get along with her mom so she ran away from home. Big deal. We saw a few minutes of Kessler in 12 years and he is in her mind….? Uhm…no. There is no excuse or plausible background for this ongoing behavior.

    I 100% agree with everyone, this has been a pattern for years. There is no TV series anywhere where a male would be allowed to behave towards or emotionally abuse a female this way. This is no longer adorable. Please think about that for a second: What is it was the other way around?

    Just wanted to leave it there. Curious to see what people think if this was a reverse scenario.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have wondered about this too, and I have to say I agree…….100%.The punch to the face in season five always troubled me. Was it okay because it was Badass Blye?

      I do have one question. Did Kensi treat Jack the same way?

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      • Always wondered about that one too. What if Deeks would have punched her? He’d be in jail!

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      • I suspect she got involved with Jack because he reminded her of her father. She seems drawn to that kind of man, though…witness how easily the rogue CIA guy posing as a wounded Marine gained her trust during her rehab. Her treatment of Deeks during that period was awful as well. Don’t get me wrong…I do like the Densi combination quite a bit. But it does feel unequal at times…and sometimes crosses a line for me.

        And the whole “what if the roles were reversed?” question has always been in the back of my mind, too.

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        • Unfortunately, the show has been really bad about making background stories clear. It seems Deeks had it much worse, forcing to shoot his father at age 11 and, assumingly, a mother so neglectful he was put in that position. So we don’t really know anything about Kensi’s father or the type of man she is attracted to. She went, very confusingly, over the line when DiNuzzo visited and kept comparing his looks to Deeks (right in front of Deeks no less). In season 12 though, for me anyway, it seems she might be more in love with the idea of how much Deeks loves her than the actual fact of that he simply loves her, and lost her capability to reciprocate that love. It also seems that DR’s acting has become more “angry” in itself and I often wonder about her personal state of mind. She has become extremely thin, a result of over-exercising and under-eating (something I struggled with myself and I recognize the gaunt look), which affects all aspects of your life. In a podcast she admitted to being really depressed during the lockdown as well.
          Either way, still no excuse. I show up at my job every day with a smile on my face, no matter what my struggles are.
          The main people to point the finger at, are, as always, the writers, who seems to have given up on the show entirely……

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          • Actually we know a fair amount about her father, or at least the “type” he’s supposed to be. He was a Marine scout-sniper who was murdered for his strong ethical stance regarding missions (something he and Deeks have in common). Kensi’s “rogue” moment came when she was chasing his killer. We know she’s relationship-averse (Sam and Callen were joking with/picking on her during one of the pre-Deeks or early Deeks episodes about how she only dates someone twice). We know Jack was also a Marine, and the guy who grabbed her during/after her recovery from Afghanistan posed as a Marine to gain her confidence (which he did very quickly…and she pushed Deeks away at the same time…this was the period of his first proposal to her).

            I’ve always felt Deeks’ mother was at least neglectful of him, as he seems pre-disposed to seeking relationships with women who act in a similar way (Hetty and Kensi…and in the Ochoa Report I suggest this is precisely why Hetty added him to the team). Note he doesn’t seem to suffer abuse of power well at all (Mosley).

            I’ve been watching NCIS New Orleans of late, and it’s interesting to compare the team dynamics on the two shows. NO is far more centered on the team as a family of sorts, while LA seems to be having trouble making up its mind over the last 3-4 seasons.

            On the Miami Vice site where the bulk of my show-centered fiction is posted I’ve gone back and forth with others there about the responsibility for character drift. While it’s popular to blame the writers, I feel more responsibility lies with the producers and show-runners. They, after all, approve the scripts. Writers can ‘push’ a show in one direction or the other, but only with the consent (or neglect) of those who run the show. Just an aside/observation.

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            • Thank you for reminding me about about Kensi’s father! You’re right! I also felt that Deeks’ mother was hugely neglectful, if her son felt he needed to shoot his father at age 11…which other conclusion can one draw, after all? You are absolutely correct in saying that the showrunners do outrank everybody (with the exception of the network itself). Pete Kousakis (NCISLA showrunner) is actually a close friend of my employers (who are also in the industry). A storyline for an episode is created in about 2 weeks in the writers room. Usually the head writer is allowed on set to make adjustments while shooting. The showrunner decides the ultimate outcome of a scene and the story. It still seems though as if they’ve given up on producing decent content.

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              • I’ve always felt there was a great deal of tension between Deeks and his mother, though I know others don’t agree. She’s dismissive of him, while he remains protective of her and at times obviously frustrated. Not unlike his relationship with Kensi.

                As far as the show goes, it feels to me like they’ve been on autopilot for a couple of seasons. Introducing new characters didn’t help (not that it ever really does), and they’re dragging out old plot lines (Callen and Russia, Sam’s family members kidnapped again) almost out of habit (at least that’s what it feels like to me). I always felt the Mosley plot arc really painted things into a corner, and they’ve been trying with mixed success to get out of that corner.

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                • Bit late to the party here, but I’m the one who disagrees about tension between Deeks and his mother. There is disagreement over the trauma. Mama Deeks blames herself for what happened, while Deeks blames his father. Kensi is pretty much a female version of her father, she adored him. In many ways Deeks is a female Roberta. They are both funny. Both have a bravado that masks insecurity, both are in or were in abusive relationships. Kensi has a bit more control than Brandel who we gather was an alcoholic. Roberta is an upbeat lively character, unpredictable, a bit of a loose cannon. She has a sharp tongue and speaks her mind, sometimes inappropriately. While Deeks has a tendency to ramble and talk nonsense. Deeks lives in fear of what his mother will do next, that may well cause a bit of stress. Deeks and his mother are protective of each other. Roberta is very fond of Kensi, maybe because she is drawn to controlling characters.

                  As to rehashing old plot lines. That is annoying especially when there is Deeks backstory just waiting to be told. A lot to be told.

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                • I agree with this as well. She brushes his feelings aside easily (as does Kensi) and seems unapologetic about their past. Though Kensi adored her father, there was no clear reason why leaving on the streets (also a back story that was never explained, what happened to her on the streets in LA?) was better than living with her mother who she reunited with, seemingly without a single problem after 15 years, either.

                  Show has definitely been on auto pilot, rehashing things without explaining of or building on back stories that were dropped left and right over the years. Then again, when a show is in it’s 12th season, it’s too late to start explaining and building…..

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                  • Certainly Mama Deeks is dismissive of Deeks, but no more than everybody else. Deep down she is protective of him, as is Kensi, as seen in ‘Internal Affairs’. I think Kensi’s relationship with her mother was far more troubled than the relationship between Deeks and Roberta. Kensi turned to Deeks’ mother on her wedding day, rather than her own. I could never see Deeks turning his back on anyone.

                    Living on the streets of LA would have been an awful experience for Kensi. Yet the thought of Deeks having to embarrass himself by exotic dancing, to pay for accommodation was hysterically funny to Kensi. No thought he might have been having a difficult time, but we’ve been here before.

                    I’d like to think it’s never too late to start joining the dots but……..yeah about that.

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                    • Agreed! Not to mention; what happened to him after he shot his father? No way he would have been returned to his mother. Foster care like Callen. Kensi (as we are made to believe) returned to school after a year, then attended Cornell (who paid?), joined NCIS LA (when she was only 25 mind you) as a special agent, was the agent afloat for an aircraft carrier, and was engaged to Jack 9 years before she met Deeks…..? How many years did I miss, lol……

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                    • RobbieC // May 9, 2021 at 3:09 PM //

                      The school thing’s pretty simple: she would have gone on her father’s benefits (Post-911 GI Bill could be transferred to children). She’d also have his SGLI (service member’s life insurance) to draw on as well. Given what we know about their relationship, I’d wager he made sure his daughter’s financial future was as well-provided for as he could manage.

                      I’m not as sanguine about Deeks’ relationship with his mother…there is a distinct distance between them at first and you still notice it in little things (like him almost constantly referring to her as either mother or by her first name or nickname). Deeks isn’t going to make a big thing about it like Kensi or Callen might, so it’s not as noticeable. But it’s still there. I think he tries to overcome it because he thinks he should, though. Typically Deeks in that regard.

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    • Nutterbutter // May 8, 2021 at 6:30 PM // Reply

      I think we’ve a glimpse of what she’d do if the role was reversed the only thing that I came up with or I could remember right now about Deeks making fun of her about being hoarder and when he tried to discuss that with her, She as usual turns the table and she acts out till he apologize like when he had to shower in boatshed or when he tried to clean her disk. So we now know how they settle their differences he will apologize even if it’s not his fault like he said in “Wanted”. Maybe that’s why I love him, he’s mature enough to accept her flaws and adjust to it, but Kensi apparently is not able to understand his needs to be optimistic and making fun of the situation as it’s his coping mechanism with cruel reality. But they are couple for over 6 years now, shouldn’t they have an understanding and communicate their problems without hurting each other.

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      • That’s not really what I meant. I meant that the viewing audience (or any show creators) would never allow a female character to be treated the way Kensi treats Deeks. Everybody would be up in arms and begging her to leave. The hurting part always comes from Kensi towards Deeks, never the other way around, which has been getting worse and worse in Season 12.

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  15. Thanks for the great review, Diane! I agree, it was a great episode. It was a tight, tense 42 minutes of entertainment and NCIS: LA at its best.

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  16. BTW, your review was great, Diane!! You’ve got nothing to worry about!!

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  17. I thought Deeks Calls his mother Mama and refers to her as my mom. The first time we saw Roberta, Deeks put his arm round her and kissed her head. didn’t he? Sorry, never seen any distance between them

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    • I think it’s more emotional distance. I find both Kensi’s and Deeks’ relationships with the parents confusing. They both separated from their mothers under traumatic circumstances for years and then reunite as if nothing happened. It’s never that easy.

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      • I think it’s great we have different opinions. As a teenager Kensi chose to live on the street rather than live with her mother. That’s what I call a rift. It’s a bone of contention that we’ve never known the details of Deeks childhood. I assumed (I know, never assume) Deeks and his mother were separated, but not by their choice. They were reunited when Deeks was still young. In the final scene of ‘Into the Breach’ I saw two people with a close bond, a bond that came from shared trauma. “You did a great job with me Mama” never suggested a rift to me. Having said that, they do exasperate each other. Roberta acts like a teenager, with an inappropriate taste in men, and Deeks never phones his mother. I don’t think Roberta moved away till Deeks was older, they were both just living their lives.

        The new episode ‘Signs of Change’ has aired, I hope it was a good one. I guess everybody has moved on.

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