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Review: NCISLA “A Tale of Two Igors” (S12E18)


With “A Tale of Two Igors,” NCIS: Los Angeles closed the books on Season 12. How time flies! The season finale script, written by Kyle Harimoto and showrunner R. Scott Gemmill, was likely completed before the show received its renewal notice, and its air of possible finality provided a bittersweet quality even as the laugh out loud jokes flew fast and furiously.

The Funny

One of the episode’s strengths was its light tone, chosen by the showrunners to “do a fun, feel-good episode that leaves everyone happy and hopeful for what is coming down the line.” A major character was kidnapped, yet we never feared that he or anyone else was truly in danger. This carefree approach was very much in keeping with R. Scott Gemmill’s work, particularly over the last few seasons, as he embraced a wackier version of Beale and wrote (or co-wrote) a number of episodes that more closely resembled a single-camera comedy than they did a weekly procedural. For examples, see “Kill Beale Vol. 1,” “Till Death Do Us Part,” “Hail Mary,” “Love Kills,” and “Russia, Russia, Russia.”

The bulk of the humor was driven by Admiral Kilbride’s curmudgeonliness (nope I don’t think that’s a word either) and by Deeks’ newly inherited Russian crime syndicate. Kilbride had my second favorite line of the night in that hilarious scene where Nell got caught shaving off Beale’s stache: “Please don’t. You’ll only make it more disturbing.”

While I’d pay money for an angsty Deeks kidnapping storyline, it was hard to argue with the hilarity that ensued when Kirkin’s former staff nabbed him in search of a new trustworthy leader. Before the credits had even rolled, the jaunty background music told us that we shouldn’t worry about his fate, and the tone let us know that Gemmill had contributed to the writing.

Kirkin’s gang would have made him proud, taking care of Deeks’ nutritional needs and succeeding (mostly anyway) in freeing the Russian military dolphins. What a ridiculous storyline that I fully embraced right down to the final shot of the dolphins enjoying their newfound freedom. It served as a wonderful final(?) tribute to a beloved character. (It would be great to see more Kirkin-generated “gifts” in future episodes- the possibilities are endless.)

The bad guys were also quite amusing. I’d like to think that Igor 1 got his job because of his blond locks (or else it was a job requirement for him to dye his hair). The way all the guest actors, but particularly Igor 1’s Sandi Todorovic, delivered their lines with total seriousness and sincerity made them all the funnier. Henry crying over the dolphins, and then admitting to accidently shooting one, was a great touch too.

Eric Christian Olsen held up his end of this fun storyline. He perfectly delivered Deeks’ exasperation with being kidnapped. We didn’t even need to see his face under that hood to know his exact expression when he uttered a frustrated “Kirkin!” at the drive through. Deeks’ ability to do his job while embracing the craziness (telling a caller “Dasvidaniya”, for example) added to the fun. My favorite exchange of the entire episode was his quick delivery of “No one is over this Russian thing more than I am, no offense to you Grisha,” followed by Callen’s immediate “No offense Martin.” I hope that put a smile on every viewer’s face like it did on mine.

The Sweet

While I’m not sure if it was really him surfing (why can’t we get a clear shot of ECO in action on the waves?), Surfer Deeks will always be my favorite Deeks. This storyline also gave us a few seconds of Worried Kensi; seeing her protectiveness towards her husband is always welcome. We also got a relaxed and happy Densi at the end. Hearing Kensi joke and laugh out loud lets us go off to hiatus knowing they’re in as good a place as they can be. Plus, how adorable is it that she thinks of Deeks as her “little mermaid”? (I believe the term is merman, Kensi.)

The Grumpy (and Gruff and Crusty)

The episode was filled with grumpy characters. Ironically all the “crustiness” contributed to some of the funny one-liners, most courtesy of Kilbride as usual. Still, it was a lot of grumpiness to deal with. Kilbride’s gruffness had a harder edge than usual, with his ultimatum to Nell and his attitude toward Callen adding a nastier than usual tone to their conversations.

Kilbride’s telling Callen that Hetty “created” him brought up echoes from “Mother,” with its story of Hetty’s attempts to “help” orphans by molding them into agents and spies. Was this a clue that Kilbride knows something about Callen’s history with Hetty? Is that what Callen was searching for amidst the paper files? The whole conversation came out of the blue but might lead to some interesting places next season (spoiler alert: perhaps it will lead to learning more about Callen’s childhood, as Gemmill mentioned in a TVLine article).

Also in the Mr. Grumpypants category was Sam, who barely listened to anything Rountree had to offer on the case because of his preoccupation with Aiden’s flight test. At least Callen was able to pry his worries out of him and then offer appropriate support.

And then there was Fatima. Lashing out at others because you’re upset is not an attractive quality (see Kensi and Sam at various times, including the previous paragraph). Here, Fatima was giving off more attitude than a teenager. Kensi had the perfect reaction, a combination of hurt and anger, when she tried to get Fatima to open up and Fatima attacked her. I hope she can develop more maturity over time to enable her to handle her feelings better.

The Bittersweet

When Fatima did finally share the reason behind her poor attitude, it at least gave us an understanding of why she’d been so unpleasant all day. More important, it provided us with a key element of her backstory, the reason she changed from acting to fighting for the good guys. I can admire her for that change, although it doesn’t yet make me want to spend more time with her. (And no, I’m not bitter that we now know why a first-year team member made a career change when we still don’t know why Deeks shifted from attorney to cop. It’s all good.)

The lead duo of Callen and Sam got some nice scenes together, with Callen getting his partner to open up about his worries, with them reminiscing over the last trying year, and finally with Sam letting Callen know that he’d be a great dad. Chris O’Donnell beautifully played out the subtle emotions Callen experienced on hearing that compliment. And is that another breadcrumb about possible directions for this character to take next season? I can only hope that Densi has a child first to spare them the additional angst of watching their friends become parents before they do.

The episode’s big news, and the source of much of its emotion, was the apparently official departure of both Renée Felice Smith and Barrett Foa. Having Beale return provided a lovely way to usher Nell away, with a promise of new challenges and perhaps a rekindling of their romantic relationship. Their scenes here provided a reminder of how well they worked together, and how integral they’ve been to the cast. The two got a literal happy ending, riding off into the sunset, singing along to the music as they sped up the coast in a crazy expensive Lamborghini.

Yet even though we know Nell was never happy with her new job as Acting Operations Manager, her decision to depart NCIS and her subsequent good-bye scenes held multiple layers because we knew they were also our good-byes to the actress, and by extension, to Barrett. Seeing Kensi say farewell to the one person besides Deeks that she’s been able to open up to was a definite bittersweet scene, and knowing how emotional it must have been for Daniela Ruah and Renée made it doubly so. I only wished we’d have had time to let Nell and Deeks have a similar moment, but instead we got to enjoy a couple final doses of Beale-Deeks silliness. In lieu of a Shaggy-Velma scene, be sure to check out ECO’s description posted on twitter of working with her on that amazing scene from “Raising the Dead” where Deeks is fired.

The big reveal of the night, at least to viewers who hadn’t seen any spoilers, was Linda Hunt’s return. Just like with the fictional Densi wedding, I’d have to assume that Linda was determined to make an appearance to be part of a big milestone for the show, in this case Renée and Barrett’s real-life departures. Her scenes with Nell carried so much emotion for the characters, who’ve had a rocky but close relationship for so many years, but we know they must have involved even more emotion for Renée and Linda. What an incredible experience for Renée to have worked so closely with such a legend. It was also a reminder to viewers of how lucky we’ve been to enjoy both their work for so long.

Memorable Moments

  • How disorienting to see ECO apparently supplying Deeks’ wardrobe with what looked like his own Faherty sweatshirt.
  • Surfer Deeks and the whole gang filmed at my little neighborhood beach in San Pedro. Too bad I’ve been away or I would definitely have stalked them walked over to play paparazzo.
  • Nelverine, Nellosaurus, Martin Atticus Deeks, Martin and Grisha, Eric’s Ununoctium, the WonderTwins. Harimoto and Gemmill were definitely out to set a record for nicknames. It added another delightful layer to the episode, as each one carried the history of its origin and felt particularly intended for us long-time fans.
  • Sam: no texting while driving! You need to set a better example.
  • I so wanted Beale to finally acknowledge that he owes Deeks a share of his business. Even a miniscule fraction of a percent of equity would be worth a fortune and would be incredibly helpful to our struggling couple. A missed opportunity to save the bar. I mean, the guy is driving a car with a base price of $393,000!

Things to Come

That’s a wrap for Season 12. Let’s take a moment to celebrate that we will be gifted with a Season 13, and then we can dive into conjecture about what it will bring. Will Linda Hunt come back full time now that COVID seems to be coming under control? Will she at least appear more regularly? Is Kilbride her new foil, taking the place that Granger held for so long? He was issuing orders to change out the fancy frosted windows in Mosley’s old office, so it sounds like he’s planning to be there more often. And she was making sure her antique weapons were returned to their proper storage, so it looked promising. (See this TVLine interview with Gemmill for more about the finale and next season.)

What will Nell and Eric’s official departures mean to the team dynamic? A natural shift would be to move Fatima to Ops, which I’d welcome, but it would leave Rountree without a partner. Giving him and Fatima that nice scene in this episode really made it feel like they’re intended to continue as partners, so perhaps we’ll have a fresh face in Ops instead. Either way, we’ll have one less character overall which moves us closer to our old dynamic of a core four plus Ops and management. (I do think they should give Rountree- and if she continues in the field, Fatima- desks in the bullpen.) I also hope to learn more about what drives Rountree. He’s a good guy and I want to know him better.

And who knows? Since neither Nell nor Eric were killed off, we may very well see them again in the future, perhaps for episode #300. I will also continue to remain optimistic, like Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football, that we’ll finally get a “Deeks, M.” to learn more about our favorite character’s backstory. (It will only have been about six years since Shane Brennan promised us a “Deeks, M.” episode for Season 8.) Who knows, maybe that’s the episode ECO is writing (a girl can dream). (Of course, the only backstory Gemmill mentioned was about Callen’s childhood. Sigh.)

This episode overall felt like a dry run for an eventual series finale. Learning how it would feel to say good-bye to characters we’ve loved for such a long time can only help us prepare for that eventual good-bye to the show. But since that’s not going to happen for another decade or so, let’s not worry about it quite yet. Instead, let’s congratulate them on completing Season 12 under incredibly difficult circumstances.

Thank you so much for all your support and great comments all season long. I’m sorry I had limited time this year so couldn’t participate in your fantastic discussions, but I always enjoyed hearing your thoughts. Keep them coming one last time in the Comments below. Did you enjoy this light-hearted episode? How did you feel about the big returns and departures? How do you feel about Season 12, and what do you hope for in Season 13? Also be sure to come back later this week for one last entry from Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal. I can’t wait to see you back here in the fall. Have a happy and safe summer!

About Karen P (242 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.

55 Comments on Review: NCISLA “A Tale of Two Igors” (S12E18)

  1. I hate it when I can’t check my facts but I think Hetty’s earlier orphan/agent was Sullivan, we learned about him having been killed after Hunter was blown up. I know we’ve moved on but the ‘history’ of the show is shrouded in vagueness, if not mystery. The spin off episode of NCIS had Gibbs and McGee on Los Angeles. They met Sam, Kensi, Nate and Beale. Gibbs had to find Callen. Macey was in charge, she had covered up Gibbs killing the man who murdered his family. Callen got shot. First episode of Season 1, they had moved to a new office and Hetty was in charge. So who recruited Sam, Kensi and co? Did Hetty just recruit Callen for CIA not NCIS? When did Hetty take over OSP? Does it matter? They are certainly loyal to her even if she didn’t assemble the team.

    Are we supposed to believe all Hetty stories? She told the Comescu lady her father died just before she was born and her mother shortly after. She was brought up by family. I’ll buy that, but how did she get into all the secret squirrel stuff? She once said that it ‘found her’ but how? How did she fit her film making exploits with her CIA stuff? Where did she get her money from? How is she so well connected. You get my drift. She certainly is a mysterious figure. I don’t see her as malicious, sometimes misguided. As the boss she does have to make tough decisions. In Season 5 I’m willing to believe she sent Kensi to Afghanistan purely to protect Jack, not to separate Kensi and Deeks. True they probably did need separating at that time.

    It was easy to assume she recruited Deeks as a replacement for Dom, but he was still alive at that point. I guessed Deeks caught her eye as some sort of misfit, but what was she doing poaching from LAPD? Oh yes liaison. In ‘Citadel’ Deeks said he had been investigated by the Citadel Organisation for six months before being offered the NCIS job. I wonder when he found that out? Not in the bar when Hetty gave him the papers. I think I’ve strayed into the ‘writers not knowing backstories’ territory. Every answer brings a new question.

    Hetty is definitely an important part of the show and her absence is one of the reasons it has lost it’s way a little. Having her ‘in the wings’ didn’t really work. We don’t have to like her. We certainly don’t like her secrets, and keeping information from the team. Everyone keeps information from the team, I’d like that to change. She has been missed, it will be interesting how she deals with Kilbride.

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      • I think my last post might have come across as Hetty bashing, I didn’t mean it like that. I try to respect all opinions, people can think what they like. I like facts. Facts shouldn’t lie. I try to get correct names and events from the correct episodes. It is so easy to look too hard and get bogged down in details. Sometimes the facts are contradictory. I think we are supposed to believe Hetty put the team together, I think maybe not, but who cares? I think the writers have made Hetty so mysterious they have confused themselves. The fact remains the team would do just about anything for Hetty. It might be because they are terrified of her, I don’t think so.

        Callen being one of Hetty’s ‘orphans’ may have been a bit of an afterthought, an important afterthought. It seems she knew his mother Clara. Did she know the background of the other children? So many questions.

        I liked your description of the team as ‘dysfunctional people who are basically society outcasts led by a tiny but fierce lady’. They’ve all got their issues and baggage to some degree, some more than others. So yes, they are dysfunctional, they have to be, it would be boring if they weren’t. I think some people got hung up on the society outcast part. I can see why, but other than Deeks being rejected by LAPD, it’s the team that have done the rejecting. They have chosen to live in a world where they don’t tell people what job they do. Cloak and dagger, whatever. The job does set them apart from society a little bit. They are a collection of odd bods who struggle, and sometimes fail, to work together.

        Roll on October 10th.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well said, Well said. I choose to think Hetty put the team together for a good reason, and it definitely shows. The team loves her, and she loves them. She may not say it exactly, but she does care about them.

          Also, Dani is back on set today, if anyone wanted to know.

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          • Absolutely! Hetty cares about her team, as a good team leader should. Sometimes she gets it wrong, like the FLETC debacle, but at least she tried to help Deeks. Now if she bought the bar…..

            Yes I just saw DR on Instagram, I don’t know who the bloke was with her.

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  2. Nutterbutter // July 19, 2021 at 5:57 PM // Reply

    I know it’s been a long time since I commented here, but since the new season is started shooting I felt like I need to leave my thoughts and expectations for season 13 l refrained from posting new comments so not be sound like a broken record but I’ve enjoyed the discussion that’s been going on here. For me, season 12 was not their greatest one was there were a lot of misses than hits, but I’m grateful for their hard work under the circumstances (the Kessler storyline, the lack of Deeks screen time and showing he was incompetent, the Russian, the repetitive stories, Hetty’s absence, Nell in charge. for me it was Kensi centric season more than Callen we saw her in the field and off-field she got two storylines (Kessler & pregnancy) she expressed her opinion and feelings about every single topic.

    So fingers crossed that S13 they will be able to give us something new and along waited.
    From ECO’s comment about black clothes and DR’s insta story looks like she’s going to a funeral. So I hope it’s not one of the original cast or it could be a fake funeral as part of a disguise.

    I’m still hoping for Deeks, M, and I’ll keep asking for Deeks’s background story till the show ends.

    Broken record I know, But I hope they end the Kessler Plot without hurting Kensi and repeat the Sullivan’s and Afghanistan storylines all over again.

    I know Callen is supposed to be the lead of the show but I wish they could give us something differeknt other than the Russian stories and his love triangle.

    I for one looking forward to see Hetty & Kilbride running the OPS and how it’s gonna play out.
    I don’t mind the partners swapping as it gives us more interactions and makes us see new aspects of the characters.

    There should be a real discussion between Densi about their Job and their life without NCIS before deciding to adopt or having a baby.

    I want to see Deeks being supported by his team and have his back and Kensi chooses him over her job.

    That’s it for now, thought the rant will take longer, but maybe it’s for the best.

    Jessie, K

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    • I can agree with most of these. (and from the way those BTS videos looked, it definitely looks like an undercover op, everyone is signed on for Season 13.)

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    • Nice to see you back Jessie. I tried to take a break from posting, but boom there was another one. So I just kept going. I like your comments, you write what I think, which is a bit scary lol.

      Still can’t comment on Season 12, but I am looking forward to Season 13. There are the obvious changes in Ops. I watched ‘Getaway’ last night, I still think Scott Grimes, Dave from ‘Red’, would do a great job there. It will be interesting how Hetty and Kilbride work together, if they do. I hope they don’t try to recreate the Hetty/Granger relationship. I like partner swaps within the team but I’m not so keen on partnering with outsiders. Kensi looked way too happy working with Sabatino. I think I wrote that somewhere else

      I saw ECO and the black pants. My thought was ‘Lawyer Deeks’, I was happy about that. Didn’t think about a funeral, but yes, it could be. Still wondering who the guy is with DR. Kensi let him drive! Does look interesting.

      I’m fed up with the Kessler storyline, and I haven’t seen it yet. Yes I hope Kensi doesn’t get hurt when it resurfaces. I wouldn’t mind seeing Deeks being the hero and saving the day. Might be a bit cheesy though.

      Most people seem to be fed up with the Russian storylines, no doubt I will feel the same. Callen’s romance with Anna doesn’t interest me much either.

      Yes I’m still hoping for a ‘Deeks M’ episode. I would like Densi to discuss things outside work, and not just do what Kensi wants. I think it’s interesting that Deeks seems incredibly passionate about catching the bad guys, yet he is the one who considers alternative employment. I’m not sure his current thinking on the topic though.

      Most of all I agree wholeheartedly with wanting to see Deeks supported by the team and Kensi choosing him over the job. Now that certainly would be a change.

      Like

  3. Now I know, the guy with DR is Clay Cullen, a stuntman. Just got more interesting. Doesn’t Dave Olsen do ECO’s stunts. So……

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    • Nutterbutter // July 20, 2021 at 5:07 PM // Reply

      Same here Patricia I missed commenting and agreeing with you, but as they say great minds think alike LOL.
      First off to answer your question about the guy with DR, as per the social media he is Chris’s stunt guy as he has been before for the show. So maybe they are really swapping partners for some reason.

      As for David being ECO’s stuntman, you stand corrected but I if recall ECO said before in one of his commentaries “I think IA ep ” that his brother was not available so they brought someone else. (Oh god I missed their commentaries).

      I’ve to apologize if we ruined S12 for you or we came too negative that you get fed up with the Kessler Plot before watching it. But like you, I believe we have mutual preferences and agreement you will hate it too. But I’m really eager to hear your thoughts about it and the whole season really.

      I couldn’t agree more; I hated seeing Kensi enjoying her work with Sabatino, Fatima, or even Sienna more than working with her husband.

      Ok, no offense here to all Callen’s fans but haven’t we kinda beaten the idea of adding to his backstory to death, in comparison to other characters we already know tons about him and his family even the families of his GF & EX- GF for crying out loud.

      I still really want Deeks to receive the recognition and the respect that he deserves from the Team as a whole and especially Kensi.

      Don’t worry it’s not cheesy at all, I love heroic Deeks saving the day at the end of the day he is the knight with the shining armor at least for me, “Chessy I know”

      I really wish the TPTB to hear our thoughts and give us a season that would satisfy all the fans whether they are Deeks’s fans, or Callen’s, or Hettey’s, and fill the gaps with solid stories that answer the questions that we have been dying to figure it out.

      Jessie, K

      Like

      • Nutterbutter // July 20, 2021 at 5:52 PM // Reply

        Sorry Patricia I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to say it like that I was meaning to say “Yes, that’s correct” but my laptop choose to write for me arghhhh Technology.
        “As for David being ECO’s stuntman, you stand corrected but I if recall ECO said before in one of his commentaries, “I think IA ep ” that his brother was not available so they brought someone else. (Oh god I missed their commentaries).”
        Sorry again

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        • Thank you for answering my ‘stuntman’ question, I was like a dog with a bone on that one. I remember ECO saying Dave was out of town for the ‘Internal Affairs’ stunt. These little snippets are working, I’m intrigued by what’s going to happen. So Kensi is partnered with Callen, okay.

          It’s my decision to wait for the DVD’s, just as it’s my choice to read all the reviews and comments. I enjoy it, so there’s no need to apologise. You haven’t ruined Season 12 for me, quite the opposite, I’m looking forward to it. There were a lot of positive reviews. We had a discussion recently about Season 8, still my favourite season. I think I liked it because for half the season Deeks wasn’t humiliated and got some support from the team. Last night I read the reviews of ‘Getaway’. Everybody seemed to think it was a terrible season. Most of the people commenting then aren’t commenting now.

          About Callen, well he is the man main and he does have his fans. I have to admit he is well played by CO’D. I’m not a fan. To be fair I’m not Hetty’s biggest fan but she does bring something to the show, I missed her. Sorry but I don’t think I would miss Callen. As you say we’ve had so much of his backstory. For me he doesn’t have any redeeming features. The only thing I’d like to know about him, is why he has a problem with Deeks. I could go on, and on…

          I don’t think it’s too much to ask, episodes giving all the team a chance to shine and satisfy all the fans, answering some of the many questions along the way.

          Don’t worry about your laptop interfering with your comments. I get things wrong all the time. I can’t even blame technology. So often I reread what I’ve just posted and think, that’s not what I meant. I think I’ve got this one right.

          Like

          • Nutterbutter // July 21, 2021 at 4:17 PM // Reply

            You got it right, totally agree. S08 was good especially as you’ve previously explained before that Deeks was getting some kind of support from his Team (Except Callen IMO).

            Also, you’ve mentioned how Kensi gave him the recognition that he deserved for being there for in her worst and taking all her frustration outta him, which by the way IMO was a bit justifiable as she’s been through a lot and had a lot in her plate (Her injury – PTSD – Therapy – Sullivan) but at the end of the day, she appreciated Deeks and his support. Something I can’t say she did this season. she was always angry and argue with him even when he tries to support her or pushing her not to lose hope and to be optimistic even in his darkest hour (losing his job & selling the bar to buy her dream house) & to think about it most of the issues she was angry with him are related and affected them both not her only. Hope we see some change in her behavior in S13.

            But to be honest, My favorite seasons of all the time are both S05 & S07. Both seasons at least for my were heavy on Densi & we get the many faces & aspects of My favorite Character and the layers of Deeks personality.

            Like

            • Of course favourite season isn’t necessarily best season, I like to think the best season is always the one they’re filming lol. I enjoyed seasons 5 +7 too, for the same reasons as you. I got the impression in Season 12 Deeks was continually beaten down, with no support and little respite. Even his moment of glory was denied him. Yet we were supposed to have sympathy for Kensi and her inability to get pregnant. Different from Season 8.

              I’m not sure what makes a good season. I’d like to see wall to wall Deeks episodes where he’s the hero and treated well, but it wouldn’t make a good season. A good balance helps, a nice arc, no Russians. Still looking forward to Season 12, oh yes Season 13 too.

              Like

  4. Because I’m insanely bored waiting on Season 13 premiere hints (there’s only 3 hints that there is so far: Sam and Roundtree teaming up, Kensi and Deeks probably on a undercover op, Kensi possibly paired up with Callen, though, that’s debateable right now since) (A BTS pic of Chris with Linda would be more interesting then all these hints! Though, that would probably be too spoilery), I’m gonna post this:

    I went back to Top 10’s after Season 8 (cuz there hasn’t been 15 good episodes since for me to rank), so I only did a Top 10 for Season 9, and here they are:

    #1, Goodbye Vietnam (For very obvious reasons)

    #2, Mountebank

    #3, Se Murio El Payaso

    #4, Can I get a Witness? (hated the ending, I’m sure you can guess why)

    #5, This is what we do (200th episode)

    #6, Liabilities

    #7, All is bright

    #8, 2 part Season finale

    #9, The Silo

    #10, Vendetta

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    • I haven’t seen any pictures of Kensi and Deeks together for Season 13, but there was one of Kensi and Fatima. I’ve only seen Deeks on his own, does that mean the team rescue him lol. Perhaps somebody could get Linda Hunt into Instagram, taking selfies and stuff.

      I thought you might raise the question of Season 9. I had a complete blank about the entire season. My excuse was that I only watched it twice. I’ve almost finished re-watching Season 8, next week I will reach Season 9. I’ve only looked at the titles as a bit of a reminder so this is going to be a bit hit and miss.

      #1/2 A Line in the Sand/Ninguna Salida (Two powerful episodes together)

      #3 Can I Get a Witness? (Not the best Deeks episode, but I’ll take it)

      #4 The Silo (Not sure if I loved it or hated it)

      #5 The Monster (Did Hidoko not like Deeks?)

      #6 Party Crashers (Just for the scene with Deeks and Roberta, nothing else)

      #7 Goodbye Vietnam (How did I forget Hetty went to Vietnam?)

      Sorry Maria, that is the best I can do. Not that I didn’t like any of the other episodes I lust can’t remember enough about them.

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  5. I’m with Jessie on season 12, definitely more misses than hits. Like I said before, I don’t think they’ll be able to let the Russia or Kessler storyline go. Both were the center of season 12 and even though the show is notorious for letting storylines bleed out to nowhere, those were too big not to follow up on. Joelle, Anna (Katya?) are still out there and so is Kessler (not to mention Kirkin’s empire). I think we’ll see a lot of repetitiveness in season 13. For me, season 12 showed us that they have run out of original storylines completely.

    I don’t think we’ll see a real discussion between Deeks and Kensi about life-after-the-job-and-with-a-family any time soon (I wish!). They already sort of stated they are going to take a break from trying to get pregnant. If it does happen, it will be the last episode when she announces a pregnancy and he’ll announce new jobs. There’s no other way out of that storyline.

    I think the shot of Kensi with Callen’s stunt guy, btw, seemed like an undercover op in progress; however, after having fans complain about not having Deeks with Kensi in the field for an entire season, not a good start letting that particular clip out on social media, lol! (Though glad to see DR’s hair pulled back from her face again, yay!).

    I stand by my original statements, I hate Kensi being in the field with anybody else but Deeks because that’s where the magic is. She treated Deeks horribly while he was in FLETC but was very happy galavanting around town with Sabatino and whoever else she was partnered up with while he suffered alone. I have never fast-forwarded so fast and so much.

    I also wish Deeks would be shown and treated with more respect, both from his team and his wife, but I have my doubts. He has been type-cast as the comic relief for the show and I don’t think it is going to change in its thirteenth year. I think Kensi needs a hard reset. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Kensi, but this “I am the job versus I am Mrs. Deeks” needs to stop. They’re not 25 anymore. And after all the unconditional and unwavering love, support and understanding Deeks has shown her, he has earned some in return.

    I’m also done with Callen and his drama, GF, ex-GF, GF’s family, GF’s prison friend, ex-GF’s father, etc etc etc ect…..pfff…… I mean, all that time could have gone to other characters’ backstories.

    I know there are people who like Fatima and Rountree, but I am with Robbie on this: They are going to force them on us whether we like it or not, and – for me anyway – they don’t click with the team and are flat actors who are just not credible as the characters they are portraying. I know a few toddlers who could take Fatima down in two minutes. I don’t find Rountree likeable and the constant “banter/flirting” scenes between them are annoying as h*ll because they have zero chemistry and it is beyond obvious they are meant to re-create Densi. Please, don’t take personal offense anyone, this is just my opinion. If you do like them then happy watching!

    I agree with Patricia also, I don’t quite get the team’s loyalty to Hetty. She has left her team hanging too many times (with her disappearance to Vietnam for instance) and shown disregard for their safety and well-being (Afghanistan for instance).

    I’ll comment on Afghanistan below, it’s always been a sore point with me, but the whole Vietnam thing for example; if you – as a leader – need to go on a mission, you let your team know and assign an interim leader. She’s never done that. She just ups and goes. Too many secrets and too much keeping information from the team that has shown to have dire consequences for their lives. Robbie said it well: “Mama Bears don’t send their cubs off to take shots at their former lovers…or cast them out if they’ve been broken in the line of duty”.

    And where did she get all her millions? Was she part of the gold-smuggling Vietnam operation? Did she somehow get a cut in whichever capacity she was serving at the time? Apparently, she not only has millions in cash at her disposal, but also real estate, yachts, airplanes, etc. This was a great line from Patricia: “I think the writers have made Hetty so mysterious they have confused themselves”. I think the writers have done that with all the characters, haha!

    I don’t think Hetty put the team together that personally and specifically, with the exception of Callen. Deeks has stated he was recruited out of the LAPD. But why? Because he ratted out a dirty cop? Didn’t exactly make him stand out. Kensi joined to uncover the truth about her father’s death and Sam was a SEAL. And there were Nell and Eric, but they were never really stand-outs. Not for me anyway, but I know they had their fans out there.

    I agree with Robbie that Hetty is a fascinating character but she is not all that is good and righteous, as he put it. She doesn’t keep the cost of the mission into consideration versus the benefits in mind, in fact, she often simply doesn’t seem to care about the cost. And she taught the team nothing about respecting each other, i.e. the way Deeks is treated (or should I say looked down upon by Sam and Callen) is the prime example.

    She is a master manipulator and master manipulators know how to keep people tethered to them emotionally. But I do agree that without her the team does not seem centered and/or focused. They’re like keys without their keychain holding them together.

    I still disagree with the terms ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘society outcasts’. In this life, everybody is dysfunctional in their own way. Deeks certainly was no social outcast, he had a very happy dating life, it seems! He was anything but. Sam was married with 2 children. Kensi was engaged to be married. The job sets them apart but so do hundreds of other jobs in that field (and many other fields for that matter).

    I don’t know why people assume I don’t want a Deeks, M. episode. I do!! All I am saying is that soooo many questions and storylines have been left open, it’s going to be near impossible to unpack everything into 1 episode and I’m afraid it will end up being something flimsy that will only confuse, bring about more questions and doesn’t do Deeks the justice he deserves.

    Lastly, a bit of re-hashing: With regards to Afghanistan, someone said something along the lines of “Hetty is supposed to send them to catch the bad guys”. That’s not what she did with Afghanistan. She sacrificed Kensi to protect someone who – NINE YEARS PRIOR – turned his back on his Navy team, his country (he renounced his American citizenship), and his fiancée.

    Not only did she violate numerous foreign and domestic codes of conducts, she completely threw Kensi to the wolves. She failed to inform her of her details of the mission (which I know happens a lot but this one was personal and Hetty knew it) and didn’t care less of the enormous personal shocking blow Kensi was dealt when she saw her fiancée whom she had thought dead for years was alive and well (and married with children as we later found out). Disagree with me all you, but those are the facts.

    (Then she shattered her again by assigning her and Deeks to protect Jack when he was back in the US as opposed to giving Kensi the courtesy, care and consideration of taking her aside and letting her know where they were going and who they were protecting).

    With Kensi being captured by the Taliban, she then had no compunction of letting the rest of the team go over there to almost be killed, including the fact that Deeks had to waterboard a blind man (which is so against all he stands for and haunted him for years) to rescue the love of his life.

    (And all this because “Hetty felt they needed a break from each other”…..? Uhm…..no, not really. That’s what transfers to a different field office are for. Also, why would they need a break? They’d only just gone on their first date).

    And as far as speculating: I love it! I love speculating and over-analyzing and taking every little detail apart! But not everybody does and that’s okay. But don’t knock the people who do, please, lol!

    Rant over, thanks everyone! No hard feelings, I hope!!

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    • You can’t beat a good rant at the weekend M. What else would you do? Don’t answer that! Not going to talk about Season 12, I’ve done that enough and I don’t know what I’m talking about.

      I’m not expecting any real Densi discussions, it’s not what they do. Just bits and pieces at work, at least they won’t have Nell interrupting them. I would be happy to see Kensi pregnant in the series finale, not before.

      I keep trying to avoid all the spoilers and BTS stuff. It sucks me in every time and I always get it wrong. They are little tasters to get us interested and they’ve worked with me. I don’t mind partner swaps within the team, I like to see the team working together. I agree Kensi and Deeks belong in the field together. It might be my imagination but Deeks seems to be alone in the field quite often. Definitely don’t like to see Kensi so happy in the field with other people, especially when she treats an unhappy Deeks the way she does, as you say. I guess I will be fast forwarding too

      The whole question of Deeks being treated with disrespect. It really should change but I’m not expecting it. So many people have said much the same so many times, he is the kindest, most grounded of all of them, but routinely treated like dirt. I guess that is why I am 100% team Deeks and to be honest I don’t like any of the others too much. I don’t have to.

      Then there is Callen, it isn’t so much that I don’t like him, it’s probably worse than that. I don’t find him interesting. I know I should, he’s brave and skilled, difficult childhood and everything. He can’t find himself a place to live, or did he? Bit of a stereotype and I’m not fond of stereotypes.

      I don’t have an opinion on Fatima and Rowntree, as I’ve said before I’m trying to keep an open mind. It’s not easy.

      About Hetty, well we could go round and round for ever. We don’t have to like her but I think she does bring something to the show. Mischief, subterfuge, secrets, manipulation, I didn’t say it was all good, but she’s interesting. She’s not a stereotype, the most unlikely bosslady you’re ever likely to meet. She does belong ‘in the office’ where they can keep an eye on her, not gadding about in warzones. I think she does care about the team, in her own way. I also think TPTB rewrote history with Hetty putting the team together. She wasn’t around when we first met the team, but she seemed to know a lot about Callen and Sam working together. Another mystery.

      I can live with the ‘dysfunctional team of society outcasts’ probably because I didn’t take it to literally. In many ways they are an ill-matched bunch who shouldn’t get on together, actually I’m not sure they do, lol.

      Not going to argue the Afghanistan issue, I’m not 100% sure the all facts are right, but for the most part I agree.

      I think we all speculate to some degree, though I keep trying not to. I don’t like to over analyse either, seeing the wood for the trees and all that. Feel free to dissect all you want, it’s great that we all have a different perspective. Learning from each other’s point of view is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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      • You are so right, nothing like a good weekend rant!

        Yeah, that is actually also another reason I am not a Callen fan; I just don’t find him that interesting. The whole thing about him not being able to find himself a place for example because he is simply too scared to become emotionally attached is a bit over the top for me. Nothing to indicate he was that traumatized.

        Millions of people have had horrible childhoods (Deeks!) but he was a grown man when Hetty finally found him a house (where did he live before, btw?) and he still didn’t put any furniture in it but preferred to sleep on the floor and…eat of it until Joelle bought him a dining set….? Hmm…

        He was a foster kid. So? Pretty sure Deeks was too after shooting his father because his mother didn’t protect him. And Kensi was on the streets for a year. Again begs the question: What on earth did Hetty do with/to him when she got him that an emotional state that is so deteriorated he feels the need to eat and sleep in a completely empty house….?

        Many people on many many tv shows (and in real life!) are dysfunctional or come from a dysfunctional background. Still does not make them social outcasts.

        I know Hetty was not around when we first met the team, so there goes the theory of her specifically putting the team together (great catch, btw, thanks, totally forgotten about that!). It’s interesting that, during these discussions here, we seldom address Sam (apart from him leaving his children after Michelle passed and wanting to rip Deeks’ comm out). For me, Sam is just kinda there. He says his lines, shoots a certain amount of people, blows something up, and that’s basically it.

        I probably will continue to dissect, lol, one of my specialties, or crosses to bear, whichever way you see it, lol!

        And I do like hearing other people’s point of view!! Never a boring moment, haha!

        ===

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      • You are so right, nothing like a good weekend rant!

        Yeah, that is actually also another reason I am not a Callen fan; I just don’t find him that interesting. The whole thing about him not being able to find himself a place for example because he is simply too scared to become emotionally attached is a bit over the top for me. Nothing to indicate he was that traumatized.

        Millions of people have had horrible childhoods (Deeks!) but he was a grown man when Hetty finally found him a house (where did he live before, btw?) and he still didn’t put any furniture in it but preferred to sleep on the floor and…eat of it until Joelle bought him a dining set….? Hmmm

        He was a foster kid. So? Pretty sure Deeks was too after shooting his father because his mother didn’t protect him. And Kensi was on the streets for a year. Again begs the question: What on earth did Hetty do with/to him when she got him that an emotional state that is so deteriorated he feels the need to eat and sleep in a completely empty house….?

        You’re right, Hetty was not around when we first met the team! Great catch, thanks! Totally forgotten about that. So there goes the theory she hand-selected her team.

        Many people on many many tv shows (and in real life!) are dysfunctional or come from a dysfunctional background. Still does not make them social outcasts.

        I probably will continue to dissect, lol, one of my specialties, or crosses to bear, whichever way you see it, lol!

        And I do like hearing other people’s point of view!! Never a boring moment, haha!

        ===

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      • For some reason, my comment showed up twice. I don’t know why! It’s a mystery……

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    • Callen as a character is completely stuck, and has been for the majority of the show in my view. Every once in a while they’ll dangle something in front of us that might actually show progress, but rip it away again. He’s a compulsive lone wolf, horrible team player…you name it. Rather like Hetty in many ways. He’s also the only one who could be classed as dysfunctional or an outcast…the rest clearly are not. It’s a shame. Chris O’Donnell is clearly capable of showing character growth in the same way they had McGarrett grow in Hawaii Five-0, but for whatever reason they won’t develop those kind of plot lines.

      I also agree Kensi needs a hard reset. One thing they never quite dealt with was how she pushed Deeks away during her rehab yet let herself get totally sucked in by Sullivan. I don’t remember if he did this or not, but one thing Deeks would likely do as a cop is run Sullivan through the system to see just who he was (and he might have…haven’t seen that arc for a bit so I might not be remembering when he did). They’ve made Kensi too much “one of the guys” (as in Callen and Sam), and that holds her character back. They had a great opportunity after Mexico…when Kensi should have seen what Deeks’ loyalty to the team almost cost both of them. There could have been a fantastic moment when she could have called Callen out for falling for Mosley’s story…but it didn’t happen. Instead Deeks goes back to being everyone’s punching bag and Kensi if anything gets more macho.

      As for Hetty’s background, I don’t think she was an orphan at all. I think she was one of the rich Ivy League types who were attracted to the CIA in the late 50s and early 60s…say the second child of New England gentry (which would account for her money and many of her attitudes). Hetty clearly doesn’t come from a deprived background at all, and it would give her the emotional distance to operate the way she does.

      And not only did Hetty fail to tell Kensi the truth about Afghanistan, she failed to tell Granger. And Granger was also in the field and in the line of fire. And once again Deeks had to save them by figuring out who the old cleric was and getting there in the nick of time.

      I, too, would like to see a Deeks, M. episode, but like M I think it’s too little, too late. I’d be happy at this point if he turned his bar into something like Molly’s on Chicago Fire or Pride’s bar in NCIS NO…which I think was his intent from the beginning. Let him go out on his own terms to a place that gives him comfort and a sense of giving back to a neglected part of the community. There’s a dignity there that Deeks has certainly earned…even if he has to do it on his own. Not that I want the demise of Densi, but it’s about time she made room for what he wants out of life instead of mocking it at every turn.

      Just my not-so-little weekend rant.

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      • There is literary nothing I can disagree with here. Well said, Robbie, well said.

        Kensi seems to have become more and more macho (as I said before, her personal appearance has not helped either; not a fan of the new hair cut, she seems to be over-exercising and undereating at the same time, and not loving the wardrobe -shoes- either). DR is naturally so beautiful, what happened to our tough but still sweet and vulnerable Kensi?

        At the same time, they have turned Deeks into her – this is going to sound tough – whipping boy. He doesn’t stand up for himself, he seems to cringe inward whenever she snaps at him, he seems afraid to touch her, he constantly apologizes for something he never did wrong to begin with, and always ends up giving into her tantrums. What happened to our strong but unconditionally loving (safest husband on television) Deeks?

        One of my biggest pet-peeves is that Kensi does this to Deeks in public, in front of other people, in front of the team, in front of her superiors; making fun of him, telling people to ignore him or to not encourage him. Who on earth can (or would want to) withstand that emotional pounding day in day out? Deeks shakes it off but, IMO, nobody can withstand that for that long; this is not a healthy relationship anymore, television or not.

        I think the demise of Densi is inevitable if they want a baby. To date, we do not know what happened to the bar. Apparently, it was bleeding money last season. Why, we also do not know. They made the mistake of having Callen say they survived a global pandemic in the last episode even though they choose to ignore there was ever a pandemic during the entire season (!). A well-run, money-making bar would be a great option for Deeks (but please re-name it) but it sounds like it’s on the verge of bankruptcy. He can always go back to prosecuting and she can take a different position within the Navy. But if they want that baby, Densi in the field as we know it, will be gone.

        Mexico was indeed a fantastic opportunity for Kensi to show that she was and would always be Mrs. Deeks (fiancée at the time) but she chose the job instead, once again. As did the rest of the team. And when season 10 started, it seemed nobody had learned anything because they continued down that same path.

        And you made the astute comment about Fatima and Rountree being forced on us whether we like it or not, which to me has always been nothing but a poor and failed attempt to faze Densi out.

        Callen (and Sam) has been stuck for ages. He is just going around in circles (see my response to Patricia).

        Hetty’s background was also very well described. It is very obvious she does not come from a deprived background. She lacks the insight (and care?) of emotional consequences on others. And the amount of rare objects in her office alone could feed a small country, imagine what she keeps at home!

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  6. I have a theory as to why we didn’t see Hetty in the backdoor pilot: She was off doing something at the time, then when she heard of Callen being shot, she came back early, then while he recovered, she moved the team to their new office. Also, I also think that Macy was just her temporally replacement while she was away. She still ‘hand picked’ her team, no canon change there.

    People show signs of being traumatized in their own ways. It might not always be visable, or something we can understand, but people show it in their own ways, same with dealing with grief, people deal with that in their own ways.

    I have my own theories to what Hetty did with Callen in her care, like taught him to fight, how to respect authority, and other things.

    You all might not believe it, but I like Kensi’s new look. Doesn’t make her ugly at all. It’s just a look that Dani wanted to go with.

    Just because it doesn’t look like Hetty didn’t come from a bad childhood, doesn’t mean she DIDN’T have a bad childhood. (I have my own theories on that, even wrote a few fics on her past.). She was in the spy life for a very long time, who knows what bad stuff happened to her in that time, like, maybe a lot of betrayals, and finding out the world can be a cruel place for well anyone! As for all that rare stuff she has, I have theories that they were either gifts, or stuff she bought. As for all that money she supposidly has, I think she earned some of it, and got most of it either from undercover missions, and I think some of it was gifts from important people. (maybe one of her undercover assignments was a bank robber. Chuckle chuckle.)

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  7. Nutterbutter // July 24, 2021 at 5:05 PM // Reply

    First I’ll go with Hetty yeah she is mysterious and has that super spy vibe especially with Granger & Mattias and I missed her in OPS and of course, Nell will never replace her or her charisma but with that being said Honestly I’m still holding a grudge against her because of the way she treated Deeks after his torture and expressing her willingness to let him go if he is not acting as he has been before, and during his healing and trying to figure out his way to adapt with his surroundings she took Kensi away from him and sent her to Afghanistan and left him with no explanation and leaving him with the guilt that eating him up and thinking that she was sent away because of him despite she was the one to go for it with her note, he even was willing to leave his liaison position and retune to LAPD just to get Kensi back.

    And when they left to save Kensi she instructed Sam to keep him away and outta the loop as he would compromise the operation which is an oxymoron as he was the one who saved the day by the end and proves that his head and his heart were in the right place.

    Some would say she redeemed herself after she what’s done with him in IA despite she kept the whole situation under the radar till they notice that they’ve been followed all she’d done was to swap the partners and create more doubt in Kensi’s mind that they can’t to be together.
    Then she goes and do it again and put her team in danger to catch the mole by putting Kensi’s life in danger again and sent all her team members to jail and give whiting the evidence that could incriminate Deeks,

    then leave the team in their time of needs after Michelle and Granger’s Death and the whole team was falling apart and under the teeth of one the most horrible and condescending person that I can imagine to run the OPS (Mosley)to rescue someone she lifted in Vietnam 20 years ago who Does that??? And to make the matter worse after the whole team went to save her she only expresses her worries for Callen and what’d happen to him despite her whole team was sent to Mexico with her liaison officer “the one she’s chosen” was fired and Sam being Shot and Densi relationship was falling apart, her only concern was Callen as he was like her Son What ?????? she supposed to protect her team and support them in their worst I know Maria will disagree and I respect that and would really like to hear her thoughts about that as she has more understanding and has the grasp of the depth of Hetty’s character more than I do.

    One of the thing that I love and admire about Deeks that he not easily intimidated or afraid to stand up for any authority figures who tries to use their power or manipulation to achieve what they want like when he did with Mosley and he did it with Granger but also when he faced Hetty with her actions after sending Kensi to Afghanistan or when after she returned and refused to send her to work in the field, or when Kensi got kidnapped by Sullivan
    I so appreciate how Deeks stays true to his values and isn’t afraid to stand up to those in authority when he’s given questionable orders. It’s a very admirable and appealing, quality.

    Just to clear that up, I don’t want Densi to have a baby or adopt right now as Patricia & M said before that will affect the due working in the field. All I’m saying is that they need to sort that out before they try to have a baby as Deeks said before they should’ve some sort of agreement about their future without any manipulation from Kensi and give him a straight answer to these questions as she always finds an excuse to leave these questions unanswered which by the way have been 5 years since he asked her about leaving the job and find another career.

    as I recall in S10 he said he missed being a lawyer and she made fun of him despite he proved himself being an exceptional lawyer like he said, wasn’t she the one who said life is so short and the proposed to Deeks, Then asked him how long will they keep doing this after the Silo, and then she asked the same question after better Angels .like she only waits for the for something major to happen to her to think about the topic and then confuse him (and me to be frank)with her answer. And when he tries to ask the same questions she dismisses him and accusing him of being self-centric or trying to compromise her identity or too optimistic. But for real it’s a legitimate question to be raised especially in this phase of their life.

    What’s really get on my nerves is she needs always to be right. They always have to do things her way. I don’t know why do we’ve to list all the things she has been through to sympathize with her and justify her actions) her father died, she was abandoned by her fiancé her partner was killed, she suffers from PTSD, or the treatments affect her mood). well she is not the only one who’s suffering, and let’s face it, Deeks has got more than enough of his own demons whether it abandoned by his family, or being abused in his childhood, he was an exotic dancer to pay for his college or being betrayed by his own coworkers in the police force, his partner or handler killed(Jess Traynor). So he has his fair share to be pissed off the world, but we don’t see him go now and then throw tantrum on her.
    They really downplay his hurt and his pain to the point that it will not exist.

    Jessie, K

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    • Most people I know of only look at Hetty in a negative way. I look at her in a positive light and try not to judge too quickly and try to understand why she does what she does. One of my big theories is that she took losing Granger harder then anyone knew (they were partners, and she knows perfectly well just how hard it is to lose your partner.), add what she went through in Vietnam and witnessing her team get blown up only a couple months after returning to work, who knows where her mentality has been the last few years. And that’s what worries me. I just wish there was proof in the show’s canon that shows she’s been trying to deal with what has happened the last few years in a positive way.

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      • Except per show canon didn’t she try to kill Granger at least once in the past?

        I don’t dislike Hetty, but I think they’ve taken her down a dark plot route and many of the things she’s done to “her” team (especially Deeks, but Kensi as well) are unforgivable. I don’t think Deeks has been personally loyal to her for some time…his main loyalty is the team. And as he proved in Mexico he’ll follow them to the end, not matter how little they deserve that loyalty. There are times when the writer side of me thinks one of the reasons Callen dislikes Deeks so much is he knows deep down Deeks is a better person and he’ll never be able to measure up to that standard. I also think that explains in part Sam’s dismissiveness of him: he simply can’t understand how someone who isn’t a SEAL can be as honorable and resilient as Deeks is day in and day out.

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        • That first part was never actually explained. (that came across as more of an accident then anything.).
          We all have our opinions, I choose to look at her in a nice understanding way, and you all choose to be critical. Nothing wrong with our difference in opinion.

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      • Nutterbutter // July 26, 2021 at 12:24 PM // Reply

        You know what Maria your theory may hold water, but the writers need to expand and explain that in their stories.

        By the way that’s why I asked for your viewpoint as you you’ve more understanding of the character than I can not claim that I do.

        Let me be honest I like, no I adore how you and all the fanfiction writers portray Hetty in their stories she is kind, caring, capable, authoritative in a good way, to summarize it she is like the mother hen protecting her cheeks.

        And I wish the writers in the show to illustrate that side of her more, that’s why they need to give every character the chance to shine and explain their action instead of concentrating on one side of their personalities or pit the spot on one character and neglect the others.

        ECO did a really fine job with Hetty in “Mother” he showed us something we rarely see in Hetty’s.

        So I blame the TPTB for damaging her good image but to be honest, they didn’t ruin only her they ruined Kensi and Deeks also. So I hope this season they could rectify their mistakes and give the characters the credit they deserve.

        Jessie,K

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  8. So about Callen, I’ll try to be brief but I can’t promise anything. As RobbieC says, Callen as a character is stuck. Apart from finding a family he hasn’t moved on, he hasn’t done anything much. When we first met him I think he had been living in cheap hotels, maybe lodgings. Then he moved in with Sam and his family. He was up all night keeping Sam awake. Not a thoughtful or considerate man then. Effectively he was homeless, unlike the majority of homeless people he presumably had a decent salary. Hetty negotiated the purchase of a house, one he had lived in as a child. He reluctantly became a house holder, I couldn’t say home owner. I guess he had a good reason to avoid having a place of his own. When his house was compromised and he had to leave, Deeks let him live over the bar, rent free. I can only guess but I would imagine renting accommodation in Los Angeles would be expensive. So two years later, or whatever, when Deeks is in financial trouble Callen wasn’t able or willing to help. Not a generous man then. He doesn’t seem to have shaken off his rootless childhood, still sees himself as some sort of victim. He doesn’t do anything to help anybody, other than Sam or lost boys. I’ve always assumed Hetty ‘rescued’ Callen as youngster at some sort of crossroads, and steered him away from a life of crime, towards the CIA. It’s not that I don’t like him, I don’t find anything interesting or likeable about him. Again as RobbieC says Chris O’Donnell is capable of showing character growth.

    As a pairing Sam and Callen, can be amusing. I quite like their banter, cruel but fair, as the saying goes. Sam is completely different from Callen, but I’m not a fan of his either. At least he has done things. A career as a Navy SEAL, married with two children and became a legend. Insufferably smug and judgemental. I will never forgive his remarks to Deeks just before the torture business. What gave him the right to say those things and why was he never brought to book for them? Moving on. He is routinely told how much he is respected, a good honourable man, why wouldn’t he believe it? On the other hand Deeks is routinely told he is useless, why wouldn’t he believe that? I digress. It’s not all bad, he has occasionally shown he cares for his team mates, not just Callen. I think deep down Sam does actually have a heart. I still think he should have been with his children after Michelle was killed.

    I think I have muddied the water a bit talking about Hetty not being in the pilot therefore not putting the team together. It’s just that the NCIS episode popped up on my TV a few weeks ago and stuck in my mind. I think the point is it was NCIS not NCIS:LA. At that time NCIS:LA was in a state of flux. Can I say that we can all believe what we want to believe because there is not really anything to prove it one way or the the other.

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    • Pilots don’t always bear any resemblance to the actual show because there’s always the doubt they’ll be picked up (look at Red, for example). I don’t tend to pay a lot of attention to them in terms of character backstory or continuity because of that.

      Callen was never homeless, at least not when he was with NCIS. He always lived in cheap, long-term hotels and such, and the impression we’re given is he did so for the anonymity they provide (but they also attract law enforcement attention…something TPTB seem to have overlooked). My assumption was they were trying to show his penchant for blending in and being able to disappear at a moment’s notice. You see some echoes of this with the Gray Man episode.

      Sam…yeah, I think he has a heart, but it’s got the SEAL trident stamped on it. I also think TPTB put so much effort into creating SuperSam they don’t quite know how to back up and show him as human and vulnerable (although Frank Military should be able to do this based on his experience with The Unit). This is especially obvious when it comes to Deeks. Like you, Patricia, I have never forgiven Sam for what he said to Deeks prior to the torture, and for someone who’s supposed to be honorable his failure to correct his mistake (beyond the brief and seemingly-forgotten exchange in the hospital) is a permanent black mark on his character for me. Rather like Hetty throwing both Kensi and Deeks to the wolves at different points.

      Let’s go back to FLETC for a moment. Deeks going there is somewhat paralleled by the experience of Sebastian in NCIS NO. But that show handled it far better. There was a special agent vacancy for Sebastian to fill BEFORE he went, and it was revealed later that LaSalle worked with Sebastian extensively (on the range and in fitness stuff) prior to FLETC to make sure he was ready to go. The team supported him the entire time. And then we have Deeks, who somehow goes from fit and very tactically competent to Larry (The Three Stooges) at FLETC.

      I bring up NCIS NO because there seems to have been some bitterness in that fan community that NO was cancelled but LA was not…and they point out many of the plot and character flaws we’re discussing now. I have to wonder how much LL Cool J’s star power has to do with LA surviving another season, honestly. NO certainly has its flaws (and the final cast was much weaker than what they had in season 2), but the team spirit was much stronger and on the whole the plots were reasonably varied (they had their fixations from time to time, but nothing like the never-ending Russia thing). I also feel the show brought in the stress of law enforcement work and some of the emotional pieces better than LA does.

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      • I take your point that Callen wasn’t homeless inasmuch as he didn’t live on the street, but as a grown man he didn’t have his own place. It might have been that his possessions would fit into a luggage locker so he felt he didn’t need permanent accommodation. With NCIS he stayed at the boatshed or slept on a couch in the bullpen. For a time he lived with Sam until Hetty made him buy a house. Not sure if it was for Sam’s benefit or Callen’s. Whatever, it wasn’t a healthy arrangement, but it suited Callen. I understand when he was doing his secret squirrel stuff with the CIA he had to disappear at a moments notice, but as I see it he was just taking advantage of Sam.

        I never saw much of NCIS NO, not sure why but I never got into it. I do seem to remember there was more of a team spirit about it. Pride seemed to care about his team and I always thought Deeks bar was supposed to be a Californian version of Pride’s bar. I always hoped that I’d got it wrong and Deeks did get support from his team when he went to FLETC, but I guess ‘m going to be disappointed when I get to watch it.

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        • It took me a bit to get into NCIS NO, but once I did I found I like the show quite a bit. It did suffer from some significant cast changes (losing LaSalle pretty much knocked the wind out of it, and I don’t think it every really recovered), and in some cases the new characters weren’t as good as the ones replaced (I preferred Brody to Gregorio by a wide margin, and the departure of Sonya was also a blow…she had great chemistry with LaSalle).

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  9. I’m having a good day, because DR took the time to check out my IG page and liked one of my Densi throwback posts.

    People absolutely deal with grief and trauma in different ways, it’s just that Hetty has never really shown she came from trauma or deprivation. The only way she has been seen dealing with whatever it is she went through later in life, is by taking it out on her team, putting them in constant danger rather than protecting them.

    Nobody knows exactly what Hetty did with Callen in her care or why she ripped him away from what seemed to be a loving and happy foster family (or how she even got the right to do so) at such a young and influential age. In my opinion, she didn’t do a very good job.

    She turned him into an emotional loner who lacks the capability to even so-much-as rent an apartment or buy a house, commit to any relationship, and looks down on people he feels are (for whatever reason) beneath his level (Deeks), and who he feels he has the right to treat likewise.

    He expects 100% loyalty from his team including Deeks when it comes to the people he does care about, such as his father and sister (Deeks reminded him numerous times they’d be committing treason) without giving one iota of the same consideration to them in return.

    And she certainly never taught him to respect the people you work with and who put their lives on the line for you without giving it a thought (Deeks again). If that was Hetty’s doing, it leaves much to be desired.

    Many of the things Hetty has done when it comes to Deeks and Kensi are simply unforgiveable.

    We have no proof that Marcy was a temporary replacement while Hetty was away plotting something. Marcy just didn’t click with the team/audience so she was replaced with Linda Hunt. The team existed before her, there was no hand-picking. Those backstories about that were made up years after that.

    Pilots (pilot season) are never/seldom the same as what follows. Pilots (pilot season) are a merely tests to see whether or not a show will be picked up.

    Unless you are a CI, you don’t earn any money from undercover missions; they are part of your job. When you are a CI, you get a percentage of the take. For instance, if you play a part in taking down a multi -million dollar drug bust as a CI, you get 10% of the takings. Hetty was never a CI.

    I agree with Jessie, Hetty continuously throws Deeks and Kensi to the wolves. And also with the fact she goes to rescue someone in Vietnam after TWENTY years, just like Jack after NINE years without any consideration for her team. Where is that loyalty to the current present team?

    The show has turned Sam into some sort of a superhero, like Robbie said, and his humanity has suffered because of it. I also think Robbie brought up an excellent point in that Callen and Sam do not like Deeks because deep down inside they know Deeks is so much better than they could ever be. I think jealousy over the relationship/love Deeks and Kensi have come into play with Callen because he knows he will never be capable of having such (and this is due to what Hetty turned him into, I believe).

    With Sam, yeah, he definitely sees resilience, strength, compassion, and excellence in the field in Deeks, and cannot wrap his head around the fact he basically is as good as a Seal without actually being one. No excuse to treat him as a lesser person though. The pat on his legs in the hospital after the horrendous torture was not nearly enough, and he fell right back into the pattern of thumbing his nose at him after that.

    Like Patricia said, if people continuously praise you, you start to believe it. That is why I have such a hard time believing that Deeks shakes off all the put-offs and down-grades, humiliation, harshness, jokes at his expenses and being demeaned. There comes a time when you just start to believe it. Remember, he had an incredibly traumatic childhood. He was never that that secure to begin with. And then his own wife started in on him. Eventually, it all starts to eat away at you. Jessie is right, they cannot continue to downplay his pain. Something’s gotta give. Some people will say their healing comes from taking care of other people, but does merely pushes your own unresolved trauma down until one day it resurfaces because it never healed to begin with.

    I know some people like Kensi’s new look and good for them. It’s good to think different about things and people. We don’t all have to agree, lol. DR is naturally beautiful! All I am saying, she doesn’t need all the make-up (which Deeks hates anyway) nor her hair in her face on one side all the time (which is quite dangerous in the field as well).

    I know Maria is a big Linda Hunt fan and I just want her to know that I am not Linda Hunt bashing, I think we’re all just giving our opinion of what they have done with her character, that’s all. I think we all love and have the utmost respect for Linda Hunt (I know I do).

    Deeks will never be afraid to stand up for what is right and though he seems to shake a lot off (which as I said I do not believe; we saw an example of that in his hotel room at FLETC after he told Kensi he was struggling and she hung up on him), he never loses his moral compass or his integrity, but he has been through the ringer and season 12 was just too much.

    If they do decide to move forward with the baby, like I said, it will be the demise of Deni and it will have to happen in the series finale. There is no-way-no-how Deeks will bring children into the world with their current jobs. It has been years, as Jessie said, with him trying to get a definitive answer out of Kensi or at least a timeline. She should be there by now. Deeks is 43, Kensi is 38, they’ve officially together for 6 years and married for 2, how long is he going to let her make him wait?

    But I think TPTB know this will mean the show is going to end. They painted themselves into a terrible corner with the whole baby storyline. I know not everybody thinks Deeks and Kensi are the heart of the show (I do!) but I doubt the show will successfully be able to continue without them.

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    • Just because we don’t see Hetty struggling on screen, doesn’t mean she’s NOT emotional when no one’s looking. WE all act differently when no one’s looking. Though at this point, I think we’re just repeating our opinions!

      I get it, you don’t like Hetty and I love her. I find her tough, caring, amazing, funny (her sense of humor is amazing!), and all around awesome, and I’ll defend her if I see fit to. I think she cares about her team very much, and you disagree.

      It might be easy to look at her first glance and think she only cares about herself, but to me, it’s not that easy. Yes, there’s a lot of unanswered questions about her past, and other things, but that’s what makes it fun to guess what her past might have been. (to me). All we know is what we see in the episodes, how our brains interpret what happens off screen is different.

      Years ago, back in 2014, I had no idea anyone so small could do anything gutsy, then I saw the end graphic for the upcoming episode The 3rd Choir (the end graphic was that scene where Hetty jumped out of that window), and I was like ‘WHAT?! How can someone so small do something like that?!’. Then I saw the episode itself. That’s when my fascination with Hetty started. (though, maybe I just have a thing for older people. Chuckle chuckle.)

      With this show, I think you need to look at it in 2 ways: What you see, and what you don’t see. What they say and what they don’t say. It might seem easy to just judge what the team does at first glance to some, but to me, it’s not really that simple in some cases.

      Yes, I can see that you respect the actress, I respect her too!

      And FYI, I think Hetty is the real heart of this show, she’s been with this show since Season 1, and Densi only got started in Season 2. Plus, it’s become a bit obvious in the last 3 years that this show is definitely lacking something without Hetty.

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      • Actually, I was just agreeing with the other people on here regarding Hetty……nothing I said differs from what the others have said and repeated. All you have to do is look at everybody else’s comments. I’m not saying anything new…..shrug…..but okay……sigh….

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        • Yep. Hetty is an interesting character. But caring about all of the team? We will disagree here (Afghanistan and the aftermath of Deeks being tortured are both examples of, and I’m being generous, less than optimal behavior on the part of Hetty). And I’m surprised no one mentioned how she pushed Nate out of OSP and into field work. Hetty has her moments, and the character was much better written prior to the whole mole arc. Now the writing is a pale imitation. And if we’re taking seasons as the gauge for heart of the show, Callen and Sam must be there as well, along with Eric (even though he’s gone).

          One of the biggest flaws with blog format as opposed to message boards is sorting through this kind of stuff. It’s much harder to follow and track on a blog.

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        • I know that. It just feels like everyone else on here has said the same thing about Hetty over the past couple of months, and you’re all allowed to think the same thing, and I’m allowed to disagree on it all.

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  10. This would be one big snooze-fest if we all thought the same. There would be no point posting comments if we all agreed. We all have a different perspective. Most of us are Deeks fans first. Maria is a Hetty fan first and there’s nothing wrong with that, quite the opposite. Keep fighting Hetty’s corner Maria. M puts the show under a microscope, it works for her. Lots of inside knowledge too. RobbieC judges the the show from a writers standpoint and compares it with other shows. It’s all good. We can learn from each other. I see it from an outsider’s viewpoint, it’s fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nutterbutter // July 26, 2021 at 4:18 PM // Reply

      Well, Said Patricia, I couldn’t say it any better.
      I think every character or even actor has its basic, hard-core fans that will justify all their actions despite their flows.
      In NCIS LA we have Deeks who has murdered his partner & cover it up, has some anger issues that appear Cleary when someone treats the women in his life specifically or any women generally.
      Kensi is ambitious and chooses her job over anyone and her anger and frustration when she is not in a controlling position.
      Callen with his lone-wolf behavior and his trusting issue. Sam with his condescending attitude.
      Hetty and her many secrets and manipulative behavior.

      So As a Deeks fan, I’ll root for him and I’ll to defined him in every possible way and justify his actions even if they aren’t justifiable, exactly like you do with Hetty.
      That’s why (for me at least) I seek different reviews, and sites to know everybody’s reactions and understand where their point of views are coming from, and sometimes (only sometimes) I change my view after being convinced by other’s opinions.
      Even Deeks fans have different reactions & interpretations for the same episode or season.

      So embrace who you are and who you root for and don’t de afraid or coy to express your opinion
      Jessie, K

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  11. Hi there, love seeing all the comments, some I agree with some not so much..but that’s what makes this interesting..all the points of view..watching Mondays NCIS La marathon shows, I miss the bull pen banter, when all 4 of them, Sam, calllen, kensi and Deeks. Just listening to them before eric blows the whistle for a case, just them kidding around…I miss kensi and Deeks as partners and their sexual tension before the wedding, the banter between Sam and callen, not worrying about Russia and who is dating who..looking at the old episodes, it’s actually exciting to watch…hope we see some of the old NCIS la come back this season..time will tell..

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    • Absolutely Kathy, I think my default reaction to most comments is, yes…but. When it comes to re-watching episodes, I often notice something I haven’t seen before, just because of something someone has said. Equally someone has claimed something happened, I watch the episode and think, no it didn’t. It’s good to keep an open mind.

      I think Jessie is spot on with her assessment of the team. Like her I am protective of Deeks and I agree we’ve all got our own version of him. When it comes to other characters, the original team at least, I think it is their interaction that makes the show, regardless of whether we like them or not. I like to see the team working together, I like a bit of banter. Even if Hetty is the Wicked Witch responsible for all that is wrong in he world (I’m joking Maria) I still prefer an episode with her in it, to one without her. Yes, I would like to see some of the old NCIS:LA back.

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      • I agree. (and yes, I know you were joking.)

        I tried to get myself to rewatch a few Hetty less Season 9 episodes last year, but I couldn’t do it. To this day, the only Hetty less episode I’ve even rewatched is Season 10’s The Guardian. (which was part 1 of the JAG reunion.). There HAVE been a few okay episodes without Hetty in them (like Better Angels), but in all honesty, without Hetty in the episodes, it not only feels like something is missing from the episode, but it also really decreases my chances of wanting to rewatch the episode in the future. (In this case, there’s only like, 13 episodes from the past 3 Seasons that I even have remote interest in ever rewatching in the future! And, that is what I consider ‘bad’)

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