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Review: NCISLA “Signs of Change” (S12E16)

This week’s NCIS: Los Angeles episode “Signs of Change,” written by Indira Gibson Wilson and Jordana Lewis Jaffe and directed by Dennis Smith, provided us with some heartwarming moments between the characters we love. It also brought us a guest character with an intriguing background, even if the plot itself lacked the originality of last week’s “Imposter Syndrome.” (Stolen military technology? As Callen said, “Here we go again”). Thanks, by the way, to Diane for taking on last week’s review. I just got to read her entertaining post and the interesting discussion it generated- if you haven’t yet, check it out now.

Here we go again.

The stolen technology plot may have been old hat, but the episode’s opening scene was unusual in that it began without dialog and with only muffled sounds. The presence of background music made this difference slightly less apparent at the time, but once the nifty action ended, we discovered that the episode’s main guest character, Sienna Marchione (played by Raquel McPeek Rodriguez), was deaf. It then became clear that we had been experiencing the world through Sienna’s ears, providing a creative introduction to her character.

The whole episode did feel a little “Make a Wish,” to borrow from Admiral Kilbride, but Sienna was likeable and she did provide useful assistance to the team. Perhaps she’ll pop back up one day as a new NCIS agent, much like Ehsan, who worked in much the same capacity with Deeks in “Allegiance.”

While Sienna did seem to fit right in, her initial conversation with Densi got off to a poor start. The level of hostility Deeks exhibited towards her felt just a bit off. Sure, it did seem awfully coincidental that she was out getting coffee when the bad guys arrived, but wouldn’t the fact that she captured two of them make her less suspicious? This non-“warm and cuddly” version of Deeks didn’t feel totally in character, although his apology did. Also unfortunate was the writers’ choice to have Deeks later brag about his interrogation skills for humor’s sake (and maybe as an excuse to give Eric Christian Olsen a lighter schedule?) only for him to apparently fail in his off-screen attempts to get the bad guys to talk. You all know how I feel about Competent Deeks.

Everything is gonna be fine.

If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again (I can be at least as repetitive as the show!): While it’s understandable that efforts to have a child would be a primary source of conversation for Kensi and Deeks, these exchanges have long since stopped feeling new. I appreciate the writers trying to give us some angsty Densi (it is my favorite form of Densi after all), but much like the wedding planning, these conversations have lost their appeal a bit.

This episode’s opening Densi talk was also confusing for me. In “A Line in the Sand,” Kensi told Deeks that she wouldn’t continue to do her dangerous job if she became a mom (“I wouldn’t do this if we had kids”). Was that just something she said in the heat of an argument? Has Deeks’ becoming an NCIS investigator somehow shifted their long-range plans? While it did feel awkward and insensitive for Deeks to be pushing Kensi to figure this out before she even gets pregnant, it simultaneously confused me because I thought they already had some sort of plan.

Perhaps it’s just the showrunners way of walking Densi back from a place they can’t be- stay at home parents- while still remaining a vital pairing on the show. Maybe it’s their way of planting the seeds to allow Kensi to have her “little ninja baby” (perhaps during the summer?) and then keep them kicking bad guy butts until the show inevitably ends (say ten or fifteen years from now). If so, I can happily go with it. Seeing Deeks become a father and giving him a chance to put some of his self-doubt to rest is more important than plot consistencies.

While Deeks didn’t understand the reasons behind Kensi’s desire to work with Sienna in the first place, he sweetly went along because he sensed the presence of said reasons. As Nell said, “Couple goals.” But the whole connection between Kensi wanting Sienna to work with them and her not wanting to work out the particulars of parenting seemed a bit tangential at best, and the final Densi scene, while sweet, again felt like a scene we’ve seen many times before. Still, it’s always nice to end an episode with supportive Densi.

Feeling the feelings

The other team members provided their own strong contributions throughout. Sam telling Nell about his intended graduation gift for Kam was moving not just for Nell, but for us. I was “feeling the feelings” too, Nell. It’s nice that the showrunners haven’t let Michelle’s memory die, and Kam will surely appreciate the gift (along with those tickets to Italy!). Uncle Callen also provided more nice moments to reflect on Michelle’s loss (and her strength), and he was cute taking care of Sam after he got shot. The discussion of the dangers of Michelle’s job served to highlight the Densi need for a parenthood plan, and made Sam’s injury during the shoot-out all the scarier, for we knew in the moment exactly what- or whom- he risked leaving behind if he were killed in the line of duty.

Nell and Kilbride are developing a lovely relationship. His mentoring reminds me of how Granger used to talk to her. And while it would be great for Nell to finally shake off her confidence issues and just own her new job, Kilbride has brought a dose of straight talk that will hopefully pull her out of her tendency towards self-pity, the feeling that she’s stuck with a job she doesn’t want. His advice to forget WWHD could really help her flourish. His sharing his regret about the military’s decision to forbid deaf people from serving was also a sweet moment well played by Gerald McRaney. Kilbride’s tartness balances Nell’s sweetness, and I find myself enjoying Nell more when he’s around. I hope they give us more of this pairing.

And sorry, but I didn’t even notice that Rountree was missing.

Memorable moments

  • Do we think Kensi trying to reassure Deeks by saying “Everything is gonna be fine” was intended as a callback to “Blye, K” and Deeks using that same line with Kensi? She actually used it three more times in the hallway when discussing having Sienna help in the investigation. I’d like to think it’s become a thing between them over the years since Deeks used it to bring a smile to her face that first time.
  • I appreciated the inclusion of Callen’s off-hand comment noting the irony of another team member searching for a box.
  • The prototype of the tech didn’t seem all that impressive- it looked like a simple piece of plastic. They’d have been better off without showing it.
  • Did you laugh as hard as I did at the description of the Operations Center as requiring “top secret clearance”?
  • It made me nervous that Kensi and Fatima stood on either side of Owen’s front door, leaving Sienna front and center, exposed to any gunfire that Owen might want to shoot through the glass.
  • It seemed like Fatima could have done more to stop Ehsan from driving off, like maybe pull her gun or at least race back to her car to pursue them. At that point, it was more important to stop him than to chase Owen.
  • Whoa, the car chase moved from the 10 Freeway in the middle of Los Angeles (west on the 10 past La Brea) to a little airport that was clearly out of town in an isolated area. The contrast was a bit jarring.

That’s it from me. I’m looking forward to next week’s Frank Military written, directed, and acted episode. Check out Lyssa’s preview this Saturday. In the meantime, be sure to come back later this week for new editions of Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal. And tell us what you thought of “Signs of Change” 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.

25 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Signs of Change” (S12E16)

  1. This was an okay episode, with some slow signs of showing some resemblence of the early Seasons.
    I’m glad Densi is actually considering other options.
    Nell doing nice things for the guys might have been nice, but it looked liked ‘sucking up’ to me. (I mean, a private jet is definitely a Hetty move!). I’d much rather see Hetty do those things instead of someone else who has said multiple times she doesn’t want the job forever! (and sorry, but her scenes with Kilbride are giving me the creeps. I don’t see anything nice about them at all, other then trying to force her to like a job that she’ll only have for 1 more episode.)

    I’ll be feeling very thankful after next week’s episode for sure, cuz that’s when we’ll finally have Hetty back!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review of a so so episode. It was a mish-mash to me, if that’s even a word. I couldn’t quite get a handle on a consistent storyline. And I hated how they had Deeks babbling and running around like an idiot, except for that early scene when they questioned Sienna. I feel as if this season they are trying to change Deeks character, to show that he’s an adult now, an investigator who needs to look the part, yet in this episode he looks bewildered about what he’s doing. It’s confusing, and I hate it. The short hair too. Not my favorite episode as you can tell. Hopefully the show finishes strong, and we get a better written Deeks with Frank Military penning the next to last episode.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well all I can say is there is definitely a lack of creative script writing in Season 12. Realizing that Covid was present it was obvious that the team bantering and interpersonal relationships were interrupted, I still think the lack of creativity was present for a show that has always come through with action and adventure. Deeks has grown. And that is not a bad thing. It would be foolish to keep his silly comments and antics alive as he is now a married man and 12 years with Kensi, he has changed his perspective on many issues. Although the Kessler episode was a bit on the “dark side” it was more in line with what NCIS LA was like in the past. I welcome Mr. Military’s writing for all of the scripts. We need cliffhangers again. “So- so” is a good way to describe this episode. It was nothing to get excited about. I am still hoping that the writing improves and that the time slot is changed. The pre- empting and delays during football season as well as network “specials” do not help in keeping NCIS LA alive!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nutterbutter // May 12, 2021 at 6:31 PM // Reply

    Thank you Karen for this review. Not the best. Seemed like a filler episode .Sienna was a welcome addition; I hope they incorporate her into future episodes or see her as a regular as they could use her in ops now that Eric is gone and Nell doing both job .she really knows how to act which something I can’t say for Anna.
    I loved the connection between Sienna & Kensi as the daughter of a military father; Kensi knows exactly where Sienna was coming from. I also loved the way Deeks backs off and gives Kensi the space to work with Sienna because he can feel it’s about something more than just helping her as he instantly knows what Kensi needs and doesn’t hesitate to give it to her whether it’s some time off, space or Just a hug to express his understanding and support for her feelings he is so patient with Kensi as if he still keeping his promise to her in the frozen lack. But to be fair I’m on Deeks’ side on the need to figure it out now especially as this has always been a concern of his and she always fend off his discussion about this topic as.
    I enjoyed the end Densi scene as Deeks tries to keep kensi spirits up. I know it doesn’t always work, but one about Deeks he keeps trying and being positive. Side note the way he was excited in the beginning and said cornflower blue was just amazing and lifted my spirit but come on Kensi Its seems he just can’t say anything right these days to change your mood. She can’t just let him be excited about something without raining all over it.

    And since when Kensi is the sensitive one and Deeks is the hard, unsympathetic, stickler and by the book honestly what the writers doing to his character the last two seasons drives me crazy.
    For me Nell straggling to do her job is just getting old and her attempt to provide Sam with a private jet at the end it was nice but unbelievable for me because I don’t think Nell has the same connections and relationships that Hetty has. I really really miss Eric Though.
    And like you Karen Didn’t miss Roundtree at all actually to be more specific IMO I don’t think Fatima fits the show, or Roundtree

    It was ok it wasn’t one of my favorites. But next week looks awesome and I hope for gods seek that Kensi don’t go lone wolf on Deeks & the team to hunt Kessler down. Never works well and I hope they could end the Kessler story( VeryCreepy) without hurting Kensi she’s got shot, tortured, beaten, Kidnapped, and paralyzed before and now has a fertility issue with a sociopath torturing her , What else are you gonna do to her?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great review, as always! And right on point, as always! I couldn’t make sense of the opening scene at all. I still cannot figure out how the team got involved or what exactly they were investigating. The whole store-line was, as has been the case this entire season, all over the place.

    Sienna did not appeal to me on any level. The opening fight scene was laughable. She looks like a 15-year-old high-schooler and lacked total credibility (in my humble opinion).

    I was disappointed to see that, once again, such a serious and stressful topic as not being able to conceive was discussed/mentioned “on the go” (armory scenes), as opposed to having a private conversation in a personal environment.

    Deeks was, also once again, shut down when trying to relay his fears and concerns. To make matters worse, in the ending scene, Deeks felt it necessary to apologize and call himself a ‘dumb jerk’ (!) for having these feelings in the first place. The way he has been written this season is cringeworthy.

    Though I love Killbride’s character, isn’t he retired? Does he have any official standing to make decisions that are supposedly Nell’s (such as the deaf girl’s involvement in a case in the field; no way, btw!)? Although Nell sort of promoted herself as well, I guess.
    And did Sam say high school graduation? Wasn’t Kam at Annapolis before? How old is she…..? (see my comments below).

    Deeks and Kensi:
    In my Comments on Imposter Syndrome, I mainly asked the question “what if the roles were reversed and Kensi would have had to put up with Deeks’ treating her the way she treats him?”. No viewing audience would stand for it, nor would any show creator go near it.

    Unfortunately, the writers have painted themselves into quite a corner with the pregnancy scenario, knowing full well that, should Kensi become pregnant, she will put on desk duty immediately and the whole Densi (“our”) thing would be a thing of the past, which would cost the show millions in viewers and most likely end it.

    Though their banter was fun in the beginning, when they were both 25; now, at 43 and 38, it’s become irritating and emotionally abusive towards Deeks. All intimacy is gone (have we even had a kiss since the wedding episode?). Life changing discussions take place in the midst of flying bullets rather than in private, at home. This show desperately needs to hire a decent intimacy coordinator as other shows are doing just fine with intimate scenes (with or without Covid). I am also tiring of Kensi always being the aggressor in any PDA scenes – far and few in between as they are. Step up, Deeks! Somebody has to break this cycle! You are America’s safest husband to be married to, lol!

    I thought the Kessler episode was disturbing – and boring – in that it made zero sense at all. I could be wrong, but there has been no mention of a Kessler in 11 years. Then we get a few minutes of him in one episode and suddenly he is “in Kensi’s head” and now he is actively hunting her? Why? No background on this storyline at all either.

    DR made the personal decision to cut her hair, which she has every right to do (I do love Deeks’ hair clean-up, lol, finally!); however, for me, it was disastrous for her character and I would have taken wigs out of storage for that one. The new hair cut is far too harsh and is now combined with heavy layers of make-up, and a gaunt and far too thin and unhealthy look. It took away Kensi’s vulnerability and softness (plus, DR is naturally beautiful, why fix something that isn’t broken?). I have to make a note here about wardrobe as well; what on earth is with the monstrous orthopedic shoes?? Please give her back her black boots!

    Much has been said about the “wedding fight” (Mexico). Kensi had a meltdown and walked away in tears because she felt that Deeks made her choose between him and her job. The whole irony of that moment was that Deeks was standing in that garage with two security guards actually just having lost the job she was so offended about giving up herself.

    Financial woes: Kensi makes about 100K, with Deeks’ salary in question; so far I have not been able to find anything to back up the fact that an NCIS Investigator actually exist, but I could be wrong; however, it’s probably half of what Kensi makes. In my opinion, he should have been bumped to Special Agent, considering his unwavering loyalty and dedication to this team. Let’s assume that between the two of them they have a salary of 150K before taxes.

    They have a bar that is bleeding money (and to date nobody knows what happened to the bar!), they went into debt over buying a house, and are undergoing IVF treatments with a basic IVF round going for 15K, not including the additional medications at around 1500/pop. It just does not add up. And Eric, a close friend for 11 years and now a billionaire would not lend his friends a helping hand? If I were that rich, none of my friends would have to financially struggle in life ever again.

    They have discussed a pregnancy for years now (even almost cancelled a wedding for it!), but still do not seem to have an actual plan in place, which Deeks almost seems to be too afraid to address these day due to Kensi’s inexplicable anger towards him (and – as I said before – this has been an ongoing pattern for years in their relationship).

    I am still a huge Densi (ECO & DR) fan, but season 12 has been immensely disappointing and frustrating. BTW, has anybody noticed that the promos for NCISLA-Densi are literally the only Densi scenes we get in the actually show? Super annoying.

    Nell and Eric:
    Eric came back a billionaire, for some reason worked in OPS for awhile, then disappeared to SF without lending his financially struggling friends a helping hand.

    As far as Nell; she has never been my favorite person. She was just kinda there. She’s no Garcia (Criminal Minds). With her horrific wardrobe, the Catholic school girl haircut, and whispering voice that couldn’t control a class of first-graders, we are to believe that she jumped from being a techie for 11 years to a position in which even Killbride outranks Hetty. How many people were in line for that position ahead of her? Not to mention that she still seems to be working in OPS, doing her own old job, as well as Eric’s job, and leading the entire OPS team, which she constantly whines about.

    Someone commented that Nell is still very young, she is not. She is 36 to DR’s 38. To still be a techie at that age without any training or promotion whatsoever over an 11 year time period and then be in charge of an entire OPS team……and by the way…who officially promoted her? Or did she just do that herself….?

    Callen and Sam:
    There is not much I want to say about Callen and Sam after the start of season 12 and the way Deeks was treated.

    There has been some but little background or character development. Sam seems to be saying the same lines in the same tone of voice over and over again, and Callen – in my opinion – has become a cranky and woefully out of shape old man (sorry, don’t mean to offend anyone, just my opinion, feel free to disagree anytime!).

    How they treated Deeks from the start has always been a thorn in my eye. Sam (after what Deeks did for Michelle – dead and alive) who threatened to come and rip Deeks’ comms out? All of a sudden he had a problem going rogue; it didn’t serve his purpose. (Kam’s aging didn’t go unnoticed either. In the skating rink scene in season 6, Kam seemed to have been about 8 years old at best. In season 12 – 6 years later -, she is a full grown woman…..? How long was I asleep….lol?)

    Callen has treated Deeks with disdain from the day he started, even though Deeks has put his life on the line for Callen’s father, Anna and Joelle. They have no problem going rogue for the people they care about but are unwilling to support Deeks when he wants to go with his wife to see a serial killer.

    I know how beloved Hetty’s character is, but tbh she has disappeared and left her team hanging without a clue or leadership a lot over the years. I have never been able to forgive her for what she did to Kensi by sending her to Afghanistan, full well knowing who The White Ghost was and that Kensi would purposely miss the shot, basically putting her in the hands of the Taliban herself. That trauma is solely on Hetty’s shoulders.

    Hetty and her Vietnam history is also completely unrealistic (as are the current scenes from a war zone somewhere), as someone of her physical statute and subsequent limitations would never be allowed to serve in that capacity.

    There is a way out of the pregnancy story line actually, a very easy one, in fact, there is a way to keep this show going with much higher ratings through at least a season 15, but – as a writer – you never give your ideas away.

    Well, that was my rant for the day! Thanks for listening!!! Hope I didn’t offend anyone, would looooove to hear your opinions!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • My op to all this:
      I used to really like Nell, but since Season 11, she’s just been all whiny whiny whiny and not interesting. And the only reason I’ve even tolerated her temporally being in Hetty’s position for this long is cuz this is apparently the only way to explain why Linda hasn’t been on set all Season due to ‘safety concerns’! (also, I think Kilbride is more suspicious then he looks. Like, keeps showing up at random times, is retired, only one who knows what Hetty is supposidly doing overseas? I think there’s something sinister to all this)

      The whole ‘Densi pregnancy’ woes have also annoyed me all Season. Like, what’s really the end goal to this? If you reduce 1 or both of them to stay at home parent and they’re off the Series Regular list and out of the field, this show loses a big chunk of this fandom. Then on the other hand, what kind of help can they expect to get if they DO have a baby and they both want to stay in the field? If you ask me, they should just drop this and just have them adopt someone.

      As bizarre as it may look, Kensi is not an abusive wife! Their weirdness and banter is just how they’ve always been, and not to mention, her body is going through a lot right due those shots, so it’s natural if she’s more moody then usual.

      I’ve always loved Hetty. When she’s around, everything just flows naturally. And when she’s not around, as the last 3 Seasons have proven, it’s chaos. She’s the glue that holds this show together, and it’s gonna be wonderful to have her back in the finale (and Nell either goes back to OPS or takes the offer Eric is going to offer her!) and in Season 13.

      The only team member who hasn’t really annoyed me this Season, is Callen.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kensi has always been borderline abusive to Deeks…how would people respond if a male character was always telling a female character she was stupid, incapable, and so on? Just because they’ve been ‘like that forever’ doesn’t make it optimal or acceptable. They do have their moments, but all too often she treats Deeks with the same casual disregard Sam and Callen have for him.

    As for Hetty, they’ve been taking her in a dark direction for some time. How long has it been since she’s mentioned Lady GaGa or cat videos? I think things stopped flowing naturally around her some time back, and the nail in the coffin was the death of Granger.

    And to M’s question, yes, there is an investigator rank in NCIS. It’s a Federal job classification like Special Agent is, although they are not used in the same capacities. Investigators don’t tend to be field agents, although there is a provision for them to act in that role with special training. The pay differences aren’t as major as you might think…and with Federal cost of living adjustments and so on they’d be ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for clearing up the Investigator’s rank!

      That was my entire point in my Imposter Syndrome comment: What if the roles were reversed and Kensi had been at the receiving end for years…..? No way that would ever be allowed to happen.


  7. Another great review Karen, thank you. Once again I only saw a few clips so please forgive me if I’m talking from the wrong orifice. I know it’s a keyboard but you know what I mean. I saw the Densi baby conversation, and I think I saw a conversation, quite early in the season when Deeks lost his job. Kensi was browbeating him into buying a house and pursuing fertility treatment. Deeks was reluctant due to financial issues, but they did it anyway. I guess we were supposed to feel sympathy for Kensi in her desire for a child, and I think we did. So in ‘Signs of Change’ after talking to Sienna she was able to tell Deeks she thinks they should stop fertility treatment. It would have been nicer if Kensi had spoken to her husband and they had reached the decision together. As M says a decision taken ‘on the go’. The only decision I remember them taking together was buying the bar, curiously Kensi let Deeks make the decision to sell it on his own. I sort of understand why Deeks might want to make plans, he tries to think ahead, but everything is taken out of his hands.

    Most comments seem to carry on from ‘Imposter Syndrome’, so I’ll carry on too. For the most part commenting on M’s comments, if that’s okay. I could just say I agree, but where’s the fun in that? I think Kensi and Deeks have always been written as ‘Badass Blye’ and ‘Dumbass Deeks’, it was irksome in the early days, more so now as Deeks has matured more than the others. From the start Deeks was in his thirties, a lawyer and experienced detective but he he has always been assumed incompetent. Treated with ‘casual disregard’ as RobbieC puts it. As to what would happen if the roles were reversed, and Kensi was routinely disrespected RobbieC and M are correct, it wouldn’t be allowed. Deeks wouldn’t allow Kensi to be routinely disrespected. I watched ‘Citadel’ last night. The one where we meet Roberta. The one where Talia and Kensi make Deeks uncomfortable in the boat shed, actually they embarrass him all through the episode. A huge joke at Deeks expense, the fact the ‘ladies’ acted unprofessionally didn’t matter, it was only Deeks. He you noticed how often Deeks mentions HR violations? He’s had more than his fair share.

    The question of Kensi’s abuse of Deeks, at least she doesn’t thump him at every opportunity like she used to. She does belittle him at every opportunity, I think it counts as abuse. This to a guy with self worth issues. If you tell somebody they are useless often enough, they will believe it. I could imagine Kensi’s father never told her she was stupid. Kensi is angry with Deeks all too often, but I can’t remember Deeks showing anger towards Kensi, and if the roles were reversed, no, I don’t think it would be allowed. I asked the question, did Kensi treat Jack the same way. Probably not, I don’t think she would treat a marine in that way, but what if Jack left because of Kensi’s behaviour. A question of respect.

    I thought I was the only one confused by Kam’s age. She was quite young in season nine, three years later she’s ten years older. Perhaps I should re-read M’s comments again, surely I can find something to disagree with.


  8. NCIS LA needs writers who have their heart in it! These disjointed scripts just do not work. Can’t they find someone who has actually see all of the episodes so that the characters and background info are on point! There are so many discrepancies in the writing.
    I agree that Deeks has been the butt end of a lot of verbal abuse from everyone but he seems to take it in strides. When you grow up being put down you get used to it so you learn to just ignore it.
    I think they need an episode where Deeks gets seriously wounded and where they all gather around and reflect how he has positively affected all of their lives in flashback mode . Maybe then they will realize his value and get shaken up enough to appreciate him! Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nutterbutter // May 13, 2021 at 9:10 PM // Reply

    It’d be a great episode to watch Jane, especially they missed doing that while the interviewing them to make Deeks an agent, and I agree with you There’s no continuity or what so ever It’s as if they have forgotten what happened in earlier seasons, especially with Deeks. And to answer the question of Kensi’s abuse of Deeks for me I interpreted the punched as a gesture of endearment, but what always really bothers me the jabs and joking on his expense and she has been always taking out her mood on Deeks. And if the role was reversed I’d never believe that Deeks for one second that he could abuse her neither physically nor verbally. As he always feels resentment of anyone who ever was the person is whether it’s man or a woman (his father, Boyle, Mosley,…..etc.) using their power or authority to undermined others or weaken them. As I said before Deeks was always the one to take whatever Kensi could dish out, letting her verbal jabs wash over I believe this can be interpreted to his ability to take whatever comes his way and either let it go or joking about it or suppress his feelings. It’s as I said before part of his own coping mechanism. What really worries me that it never ends well when he bottling up his
    Emotions (shooting his father and Boyle, torturing the clerk, returning the knife to Kensi, beating Sabatino after Kensi’s kidnapping, challenging Mosley, calling off the wedding,… ). Now this season alone he’s dealing with financial problems, fertility treatment, losing his job, the FLETC Training, selling the bar, his fear of losing Kensi AGAIN because of the job and this sociopath who’s threatening her life) so I’m worried about his state of mind if she kept ignoring his feelings or trivialize his concerns and worries.
    And to answer Patricia Abbott question about Jack? the Answer is she’d never treat him like that and that’s not because he was a marine remember how she acted like when Det. Danny and Dinozzo came??? , hell she even apologized to Jake in season7 despite leaving her.something she didn’t do it or even considerate for Deeks. by the way if I remember correctly Deeks bought the bar behind her back and was afraid of her reaction.


  10. Debra Gillespie // May 14, 2021 at 1:48 AM // Reply

    Excellent review Karen, as always. When I saw that Jaffe was the co-writer for this episode I was nervous how she would write Deeks here, even before it started. She’s had him get kicked in his junk (Big Brother) and roughed up by a woman baddie (Provenance) so I was wondering who knows what Jaffe would do to him. I agree that Deeks was out of character in the beginning in the questioning of Sienna, being much more skeptical (and can I say cynical) than I’m used to seeing. Quite a contrast to the cheerful optimism he showed in the first Densi scene
    I actually liked Sienna, and perhaps she will make another appearance in the future. It sounds like Kilbride could influence a change in policy so she could serve, and I could see Kensi mentoring her if that happened, like Sam and Callen mentored Ehsan and Jasmine Garcia.
    I can understand how you feel Karen, that the angsty Densi scenes are getting to be repetitive this season, but since there’s been times that there has been a drought of them in seasons past, I’m still enjoying them.
    Definitely a so-so episode as Lindy D stated earlier. We had good scenes like Sam remembering Michelle with Kam’s graduation at hand and some good Sam/Callen and Nell/Kilbride banter, intertwined with some awkward dialogue scenes like when the trio of women were questioning Owen, Sienna’s colleague. That didn’t seem to flow well at all.
    As some people here as already mentioned, really looking forward to the upcoming Frank Military written episode; when he also directs it usually gets pretty intense, and some of my favorite episodes are those. But with the promos showing a Joelle/CIA storyline besides the Kessler one, I’m wagering that Kessler will be on the loose into season 13, as well as the Katya storyline. Something to look forward to, or dread….take your pick.
    On a side note, when season 12 is over and they produce the DVD’s for this season, I’d really enjoy it if they’d have an extra feature on the BTS filming of the episodes during the COVID pandemic – the logistics involved, what rules/regulations did the crew need to follow, etc. I’ve seen brief BTS videos and IG photos on what it was like filming, but I’d really like to see more.


  11. Thank you Nutterbutter, you are right. Deeks did organise buying the bar behind Kensi’s back, I think I was taken in by ‘we’ve got a bar’. If Kensi had said no, would he have kept it? Maybe, maybe not. The question of whether she mistreated Jack. No I don’t think so either, but perhaps she treats Deeks as she does because Jack left her. Reject before you are rejected. I’m no psychologist, just guessing. Before Deeks came along Kensi was the best ‘first date girl’ and didn’t get close to anybody. Deeks wouldn’t go away however much Kensi tried to push him away. I’m going to try very hard to stop Kensi-bashing. She really does love Deeks. Very much. Who fought for him in ‘Internal Affairs’ and ‘To Live and Die in Mexico’? That’s the side of Kensi I like to see. Kensi has always been jealous when other women got close to Deeks, even before they got together. I think flirting with other guys is a bit of a reaction to that. I think Kensi often hit Deeks out of endearment, but she is a strong woman and sometimes she did hit him out of anger.

    I do think Deeks has had to deal with a lot with precious little support. Kensi gets a hug when she’s unhappy, Deeks doesn’t. Well not so much. No support at as far as I’m aware, from the team. Sam’s ‘you’re good at what what you do’ seemed a bit feeble. It does seem to bother us, well me, more than it does Deeks.

    How the team would react if Deeks was seriously injured is something I have wondered about. We haven’t seen ‘might die’ injuries, apart from Mexico but Sam and Callen were injured too. Once they’d got over the initial shock in ‘Personal’, it was Deeks’ fault he got shot. We didn’t see much concern after he was tortured. I do understand black humour, but Sam’s remark ‘laughing is good’, or something like that, seemed jarring after his remarks to Deeks before they were taken. I see there is a kidnapping in Deeks future. Will the team rush to rescue him? I hope so, I like to think so. I also believe in Santa Claus.


    • Nutterbutter // May 14, 2021 at 5:03 PM // Reply

      I agree with pretty much everything you wrote, Competent and hurt/vulnerable Deeks is my favorite of all the times ! My mind is already sorting through multiple scenarios of what might happen to our favorite character. Deeks in danger? Honestly I’m sucker for hurt Deeks or being in a dangerous situations especially he is the least one to get hurt in the field or any mission despite they always say that he is the least trained among them however the other agents get hurt or get capture more than him also. Deeks has had the greater share of watching his loved one in dire straits, and we could see how the team would react this time as they always seems to react poorly when he’s facing a dangerous situation (Career or life) also wanna see how Kensi would respond to this. would she be able to see beyond her job, the identity she had lived with and protected for so long and break the rules to save him?


      • Yes. I have lots of ideas how the finale will pan out. They are probably very different from what actually happens. We have wanted a ‘Deeks M’ episode for a very long time and I am still optimistic. In the eleven years Deeks has been with the team there have been very few Deeks centric episodes. ‘Drive’ was a complete travesty and ‘Internal Affairs’ was excellent. Much of the time he is eye candy something he does exceptionally well, but it is a waste of his talent. I want to see Deeks out there strutting his stuff, taking centre stage once in a while. They have plenty of material to work with, ex cop, lawyer, difficult childhood. We know he has skills but we don’t often see them. I am tired of Deeks being emotionally hurt. I want to see Deeks appreciated. I am a sucker for competent and hurt/vulnerable Deeks too.


    • Deeks will be kidnapped in the season finale (again….sigh….. no original story lines left).

      And what on earth happened to the bar??

      Let’s be realistic about Sienna. never would she be allowed in the field. The opening scene where Deeks and Kensi were standing behind her, calling her name, and she could not even hear them? They could have easily been her killers. Not in a million years.

      Deeks was seriously tortured when Michelle was kidnapped and took the torture to keep Michelle safe.

      In response to your question about Jack. It always puzzled me. The timeline didn’t really add up. She was 25 when she joined NCIS, Jack came up in season 5 (Afghanistan), so she would have been 30, but it was said she was engaged to be married to Jack 9 years before that, which would have made her 21. Meanwhile, she lived on the streets in downtown Los Angeles from ages 15-16 (another unexplored storyline, everybody knows what happens to girls who live on the streets in downtown LA), went back to finish high-school, attended Cornell, and was the agent afloat of an aircraft carrier. How did she manage all that between the ages of 16 and 2; and how long exactly was that engagement?

      When Jack came back, she had a scene on the roof with Deeks in which she told him that Jack was dealing with serious PTSD and she was crying all the time, indicating she did not (could not?) give him the support he needed to the point where he simply disappeared, married and had kids, letting her believe he was dead! Things must have gotten really really bad in a relationship for a financee to do that his future wife.

      I am not trying to “Kensi-bash”. I love Kensi, but this season….I do think she loves Deeks and he is the only person on the planet she trusts and who gives her safety. It’s just that these issues have actually been floating around for awhile, but intensified because the pandemic binge-watching magnified them, as did the “Competent Deeks” issue, and the terrible start and continuation of season 12.

      Remember when Tony visited and Kensi constantly made comments, in front of Deeks, how she loved the way he was dressed, etc? Suppose Deeks would make comments like this to another woman in front of Kensi?

      When Deeks was telling Kensi how much he was struggling during FLETC, she simply told him to suck it up (no verbatim quota but that is what is came down to) and hung up the phone. Imagine Kensi being on the other line, crying, saying how much she was struggling and Deeks saying “you know what, suck it up, gotta go”.

      Nobody would stand for it. Deeks nowadays seems to be afraid to say anything to Kensi (or touch her) for fear of a tongue-lashing. This has been a pattern for years, did not start with the fertility treatments.

      You have to think about how Deeks was raised, someone who lived under such dire circumstances he was forced to shoot his father at age 11, someone who has been put down his entire life. He doesn’t need it from the one person he loves more than anything. He seems to fall back into a pattern which he most likely has had to maintain his entire life, just take it and try to hide his feelings by banter. Doesn’t make it right. Especially when he is married to the person he would die for.

      And again, I would like to point out that he apologized at the end of the last episode for being a ‘dumb jerk’. Really? That’s how far down this relationship has gotten him. That he feels it necessary to apologize for his extremely valid feelings and call himself names. This is his life and his child too. What if Kensi would have been brought down so far that she would have said “I’m sorry, I’m such a dumb b*itch”. Once more, nobody would stand for it.

      I am personally a bigger fan of the vulnerable hurt Kensi (Better Angels, for example, where she sobbed into Deeks at the end).

      As I said earlier, the whole Kessler issue makes no sense, and I think is just being used to draw viewers in, however, the first Kessler episode only had a little over 3M viewers, making it the lowest watched episode in years, so the writers should tread lightly.

      I have yet to see truly Competent Deeks. He is actually the most competent of the team, because he is able to keep his morals intact, but the writers seem insistent on writing him as the class clown when, in fact, he is the one with the most integrity and loyalty.

      I hope Santa Claus brings you what you wish for this year, Patricia, lol!!


      • Thank you M, I was hoping Santa would bring me the Season 12 DVDs but I’m not sure I can wait that long. I’d be happy with a bottle of Scotch.

        You mention Kensi telling a struggling Deeks to ‘suck it up’. She used a similar term last season after Rowntree sat on a bomb. I thought it was a bit harsh. We first learnt about Jack in the Christmas episode of Season 2. Kensi said Jack had PTSD and she did all she could to help him. Did she tell Jack to ‘suck it up’? Wouldn’t have been helpful. I do prefer the more vulnerable Kensi but she is totally focused on being the best, as is Sam. They have to experts in everything, fittest, fastest, strongest. Deeks on the other hand is focused on doing the best. Admittedly he tries to be the best husband.

        There is so much in the backstory timelines that make no sense to me. It gives me a headache thinking about it, so I try not to. Not sure where the Kessler storyline is going. Still waiting for Janvier to return.


  12. I have a difficult time watching Deeks get smashed with comments from his wife and teammates. Kensi did not want to be referred as “ Mrs. Deeks”.She married him! Surely she should be proud to be his wife! Sam was going to take out Deek’s com with a pair of pliers. If it were Michelle and someone told his wife was threatened he would probably kill anyone who got in his way to protect her. Why should Deeks be any different! They always have offensive comments to make towards him although the bantering between Sam and Callen is quite the same. Maybe we are so zeroed in on our hero that we fail to see the others making digs towards each other as well. Eric gets his fair share from all of them. I do think Kensi has done her fair share of putting down Deeks from the very beginning but lately there is a more tender side of her towards him despite her frustrations wanting to get pregnant. That being said, we all have such an attachment to our hero that anything offensive towards him is taken personally and we long to protect him. I like Jane’s idea of a Frank Military story centered on Deeks. Something tragic must happen to him to wake up everyone to reflect of the great guy he is and how he has been there for everyone along the way. We need to get back to the action packed drama with the interpersonal relationships intertwined.


    • Deeks (again…..sigh…) will be kidnapped in the season finale.


    • I am with you completely. I could accept the offensive comments towards Deeks if they were balanced with praise, but it never happens. Callen and Sam insult each other all day long, but there is respect between them. An element of elitism perhaps, they consider themselves above the rest. There is no respect for Deeks. Eric has also been routinely disrespected, particularly by Sam, some might say bullied. Deeks has always treated him fairly, a kindred spirit maybe. I like the idea of any story centred on Deeks, but it shouldn’t take him being injured to make people realise his worth, sadly it wont take anything less.


      • Agree completely, Patricia (and Christine) !!! I replied to your question regarding Jack as well (see above), Patricia. That one has always puzzled me.


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