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Review: NCISLA “Sorry for Your Loss” (S13E04)


This week’s NCIS: Los Angeles was neither too dark nor too light, delivering a mostly just right case of the week for us to relax and enjoy. Written by Chad Mazero and energetically directed by Eric A. Pot, the episode gave every team member a chance to shine. Well, except for one who may be starting to wear out his welcome. Let’s discuss!

Not a Silverlake preschool

The episode’s tone was set in the cold open, with its jaunty score, fun camera work, a funny hearse-themed license plate (“DRLY DPT”), and Kensi and Callen’s apparent lack of concern over being surrounded by four armed men with automatic weapons. It communicated right from the start that the stakes this week wouldn’t be too high. (“This is awkward. I never thought I would die in a hearse.”) It would have been a fitting way to start the season, as I assume was originally intended, given it was the first Season 13 episode filmed.

Much like Mazero’s “High Society,” a highlight here was the witty banter. Everyone got in on the fun, from Rountree’s reactions to Sam’s “life lessons” and Fatima’s asking about a dead suspect’s apartment, to the core four’s playfulness. Some of the best lines belonged to Callen, replying to the idea of his future Viking funeral with, “Only if I get to use Sam’s boat,” and to Deeks, who dryly threw Kensi’s earlier criticism of his meddling into the neighbor’s affairs back at her when he popped up in the hearse, telling her and Callen that he’d remained silent, “Because I don’t just insert myself in other people’s business.”

At this point it sounds like the newbies are getting what Deeks likely received after he got shot in “Personal,” a big dose of mentoring courtesy of Sam Hanna. I like knowing that it’s happening, given it’s the role Sam wanted to play with the newer agents. Rountree seems to be taking it in stride, and feeling more comfortable overall working with Sam. Perhaps their funniest exchange was a physical one, with Rountree patting Sam on the shoulder as he reassured him he could help Sam communicate with much younger college students, and Sam returning the “pat” in a way that made Rountree wince. That’s definitely something that must have happened to Deeks at some point.

Fatima also seems to be handling Sam’s mentorship gracefullly, although her continuing self-absorption is not endearing. Ignoring new cases because she’s desperate to move out of her parents’ home and then boring an obviously uninterested Kilbride with her problem was annoying, even if she did have a funny line or two.

I enjoyed Deeks and Kensi discussing how much involvement to have in their neighbors’ lives, and the absence of baby talk was again, refreshing. And for the record, Deeks absolutely does have “an innate ability to bond with people very quickly” and it is one of the things that makes him so very good at his job.

Pot always seems to bring something a little new and different to the director’s chair. The action throughout was well filmed and I really enjoyed the slow motion fight scene with Sam and Rountree. The technique gave us a few extra seconds to appreciate the choreography and stuntwork involved, to admire Sam and Rountree’s skills, and to see how much of the work LL Cool J and Caleb Castille did themselves. But my favorite part was the look of disdain on Sam’s face at the bad guys who dared to think they could take him down. It was perfectly in character and made me laugh, especially at the obviously inept truck driver.

I know I’m a broken record, but the continuing age jokes are feeling very, well, old at this point, whether they’re from Kilbride, Fatima or Rountree. But here, the one character who really rubbed me the wrong way was Kilbride. His actual yelling of so many of his lines was completely over the top, particularly given the relatively low stakes of the case, and especially when the team had done nothing wrong. He’d be so much more likeable – and interesting – if he could tone things down a little bit and show more dimension, and way less outright hostility. No one made him take this job and move to Los Angeles. Here’s hoping that this episode, meant as the first to air, was intended to show Kilbride at his worst, and that he’ll continue to behave more and more like an actual human and not this caricature of a cranky old man yelling at the kids to get off his lawn.

Definitely not the pool boy

The episode’s most enjoyable conversations were played between Deeks and Miriam Sivac, played by Isabella Hofmann. It’s rare for us to see Deeks out in the field on his own, and it definitely lent his three scenes with Sivac a different vibe. It toned down his humor just a touch and allowed us to appreciate the investigator at work (see below for more about said “investigator”). In other words, it gave us a lovely helping of Competent Deeks.

Of course, there was humor, particularly when he was first mistaken for the pool boy, and Sivac came on to him by sharing that, “Even mothers have needs, Investigator Deeks.” Hofmann gave a strong performance and matched up well with Eric Christian Olsen.

The last scene in the boatshed was beautifully lit and provided a nice twist, revealing that Miriam was responsible for her stepson’s death. I also appreciated the reference to Deeks’ love of theater. One of the reasons these scenes worked so well in their ever so slightly more serious tone was that they gave us a break from some of the more over the top performances, particularly from Kilbride and the tiresome Corey the Coroner, who felt more like a Saturday Night Live character than a real human, even though Daniela Ruah’s and Chris O’Donnell’s reactions to him were amusing.

Not special

One other source of consternation centered around the multiple references to Deeks’ new title. First Kensi felt the need to correct him when he joked about being a “Special Investigator.” Then Kilbride chimed in to make it clear that he doesn’t “run his office like a Silverlake preschool” so Deeks would have to do something to get a better title (as if he hasn’t already more than earned it). And finally, it came up in the last scene when Deeks corrected Miriam after she referred to him as a detective, telling her he’s “an investigator, just an investigator.”

After last season’s painful FLETC storyline that ended with Deeks’ new title, I would have hoped that the showrunners might display a little sensitivity to what many of us perceive as yet another slight against Deeks, who was apparently not considered worthy of being named a Special Agent like the rest of the team (newbies, Nell and I think even Eric included). To raise it here as a source of humor, as a way for Kensi to tease him and for Kilbride to mock him, really threw me. 

What seemed particularly sad was how Deeks himself was the one who brought it into the conversation each time. He’s clearly sensitive about this difference and perceives it as a lesser title, even if we aren’t entirely sure that it is. Heck, he’s even throwing his middle name into the mix as a way to give the whole thing more weight. And while I love hearing him use Atticus, I hate seeing him feel bad about himself – it’s sadly one of the things he’s good at. I can only hope that it was introduced because someday the showrunners actually plan to give him the title he deserves, but I’m not holding my breath.

No forgetting about Russia

Quite surprisingly, the episode managed to mix in a totally separate storyline, as Callen attempted to get Katya’s ex-girlfriend to help him find her. Even more surprisingly, the scenes between Callen and Angela were nicely written and didn’t detract from the zaniness of the main story. In fact, out of the entire Katya-Joelle-Russia storyline, they were easily my favorite scenes to date.

Both COD and Yssa Mei Panganiban, who played Angela, did well. We learned enough about Angela to actually care what happens to her, and to worry about whether she’ll actually end up better off by helping Callen in his quest. Can she trust him? I’m not so sure. It’s not that he’d deliberately hurt her, it’s just that she could get caught in the proverbial (or literal) crossfire. At least Sam and Callen got to ride off into the sunset together, the perfect way to end the episode.

Memorable moments

  • With another nice acknowledgement of the past, Michelle’s school was starting a scholarship in her name. A nice opportunity to remember her, even if we didn’t spend much time on it. And it was sweet to see Callen keeping Sam company on what is sure to be an emotional trip.
  • And we finally got to see the shot of Deeks that’s being used in this season’s opening credits, with his arm bandaged while shooting at the bad guys. My favorite part of that sequence, other than Deeks’ great line in the hearse, was seeing how worried Kensi was. She’d heard him being attacked and she was obviously torn about whether to go track him down or to follow Callen. A sweet partner/wifie moment.

Be sure to come back later this week for new entries in Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal, and this weekend for Lyssa’s preview of “Divided We Fall.” In the meantime, what did you think of “Sorry for Your Loss”? Tell us all about it in the Comments below!

About Karen P (250 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.

65 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Sorry for Your Loss” (S13E04)

  1. I’ll admit, from viewing the live tweets of this episode, it looked pretty fun, and for filler episodes these days, that’s a rare thing. But, i can’t tolerate filler episodes anymore that completely ignore Hetty and try to pretend that a grumpy a-hole is what the team needs in a leader.

    Can’t it just be confirmed already that everyone is afraid of each other’s shadow? Because I watch numerous other shows, and they are no where near as awkward looking as each scene everyone on this show is in! (yeah, I was hearing stuff about how the episode looked)

    Sam is just, overrated now.

    The jokes are nice, except for the whole ‘let’s mock the young ones’ junk, not every young person out there is an idiot!

    Somebody, PLEASE go rogue and bring Hetty home from Syria and end this madness!!

    And here’s your scary thought for an episode that aired on Halloween: I don’t really mind belting out my negative thoughts as I used anymore. Yeah, I’ll always be disgusted a bit by it, but frankly, with the absurd way this show has been since Season 11, it deserves it.

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  2. Thanks Karen, I enjoyed the episode..there were certainly parts that I wasn’t thrilled, always Deeks, to us he is a “SPECIAL “ investigator, why kensi or anyone has to point it out, that he is not is beyond me..I was upset on Instagram, when someone said the last episode was lowest rating for NCIS la.. please rating go up and down, do I miss kensi and Deeks more romantic interactions..yes, I miss eric and Nell in opts..kilbride hasn’t changed..he has always been gruff and sarcastic..do I wish Russia was over with “ yes” I enjoyed Sam and Callen this episode..For me I am glad it’s still on, and get to see my favorites, kensi and Deeks, and I will be sad when it over with..Good episodes or not, I love NCIS la ❤️And Marie sad to say not sure we will see much of hetty. 13 + years for her is a long run and I do hope if she doesn’t come back she is honored for all she has brought to NCIS la…

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  3. Thank you, Karen, for another great review. I agree with you on a lot of things you pointed out.

    I am not quite sure why Callen is still after Katya, mostly because I fast-forward through those scenes (storyline), so my bad on that one, but it really really needs to end.

    Apparently, the writers have run out of topics to the point where they are now resorting to NCIS helping out ATF. I did not like the slo-mo “Matrix” type shots. It felt like fillers, no good scenes to write so stretch out the time with tricks…..?

    Also, did Sam mention Hampton-U or Howard-U? Because Hampton-U is in Virginia and Howard-U is in DC. The scholarship in Michelle’s name was a sweet touch but such scholarship come with huge private funding, so who is funding this….?

    Again, throughout this episode, the team was split up and not partnered with what the viewers have been asking (begging) for: Deeks and Kensi – Sam and Callen. The team was all over the place with different partners. It brought nothing to the investigation/operation, which clearly could have been done (as was the case last week and the week before and the season before) by the OG team itself, and just emphasized the point that the replacements should have been for Eric and Nell, not two new agents in the field.

    I agree with Karen regarding Kilbride; snarky, cranky and disrespectful, and making downright nasty digs (the “Silverlake pre-school” remark to Deeks scored no points with me.). Also, he still offers little to no leadership. The majority of the time the OG’s have to come up with their own strategies.

    What really bothered me in this episode was Callen jumping in the hearse, urging Kensi to get in, while Kensi was trying to find Deeks to which Callen answered “I don’t care, we don’t have time”. Karen remarked she seemed torn, however, within 5 seconds of “being torn”, she chooses – as usual – the job and left her husband behind. Deeks would never and has never left anybody behind, especially his wife.

    Would Callen have left Sam behind without knowing if he was safe?
    Would Sam have left Callen behind without knowing he was safe?
    Would Kensi have left either Sam or Callen behind without knowing they were safe?
    Would Deeks have left anybody behind, period?
    Yet, Kensi jumped into the hearse as opposed to “I’m not leaving without Deeks”.
    Their No Man Left Behind motto disappears when it concerns Deeks, even from his own wife.

    I loved the fact Deeks popped up in the back of the hearse. He would never leave his Kensi-girl behind after all despite the fact she just did the same thing to him. Did NOT love the fact that Callen immediately grumped at him with a nasty “what are you doing here?”. Maybe stop with the endless looking for Katya and be more respectful to the person who, again, put his life on the line for yours.

    I also agree with Karen in that the constant referring to age remarks are getting (no pun intended) old. What everybody seems to forget is that with age also comes experience, knowledge, expertise, loyalty and dedication. Let’s celebrate that instead.

    Another note Karen was spot on: I am tiring of everybody making feels Deeks like he is “less”. This has been going on for years now. It is bad enough he has to tolerate it from his so-called team mates and the new “leader”, but Kensi is still not letting up either and that is just wrong. He is constantly put in a position where he feels the need to prove himself. He’s done enough. Whereas Rountree and Fatima are treated as (as Robbie C so well put it) The Golden Children.

    As far as Fatima: Kilbride sent her a message but she did not get it because “her phone did not ping”……? And this person is a special agent and in OPS….? I am once more (and it will be the last time, it’s been beaten to death) going back to the Hijab (not being racist, I have 2 friends who are Muslim), but this time it was draped over her shoulder all the way down to her waist. To say it is annoying is an understatement. Karen was right on point there as well: Extremely self-absorbed, talking about finding an apartment, being on the computer or the phone finding an apartment. I would be fired on the spot and I am nowhere near in the type of job she is supposed to be performing.

    Once again, somebody was held in the boatshed and told not to leave (by Sam and Rountree). There was no arrest warrant, he was not read his Miranda rights, and he was not allowed to call a lawyer. If you want to stay current and relevant as a show, you need to stick with the times we are living in. I get you are making a crime show with entertainment value, and you were able to get away with all of this years ago, but those days have long passed.

    I also would like to see some sort of update on Hetty every episode, even if she is not in it. Not one entire member of the team even asks about her or how she is.

    The only good thing about this episode to be honest was ECO. He looked great (loved the shorter blonder hair and nicely trimmed goatee), his acting was right on par, especially during his one-on-one with Sivac.

    I do listen to the questions ECO answers for WikiDeeks, and I think is pretty awesome he takes the time to do this. However, during his answer to question 3, he expressed his gratefulness to the fans on WikiDeeks who “tell him what went right, but also what went wrong so we can fix the latter”. Uhm…..not exactly; the what-went-wrongs have been on here for quite some time and nothing has been “fixed”…..

    It’s nice Deeks is connecting with his neighbors, but where is the bar? Where is Mama Deeks. Where is Mama Blye?

    Kathy remarked the rating were down. They were and are again. And the fake/sleeper accounts are popping up everywhere on social media now, saying how much they love the show, the episodes and especially Fatima and Rountree. It’s quite insulting to the real viewers.

    And finally, if this show is, indeed, on its way out, at least let it go out with some dignity. Don’t botch the Kessler arc, which – unfortunately – I can already see coming….. ☹

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    • I don’t have much to say this time, so I’ll keep this short:

      The sparse Hetty updates have been annoying me for 2 years now. Like, 1 episode, someone asks about her, the next, no one seems the bit concerned? As conflicted as I was with Season 9, at least it did SOME things right: Like constant Hetty mentions!

      Last night on NCIS Hawaii: It got revealed that Jane is actually former CIA, along with her sister. Which now has me speculating that she’s actually 1 of Hetty’s prodigies! That would be so cool.

      You know what’s amusing? As old Hetty is, she’s not mocked for being old, yet everyone else is mocked for being in their 40’s or 30’s.

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    • One of the reasons they can’t fix what went wrong is the actors have no skin in the production game…not really, anyhow. This isn’t SVU or NCIS NO, where you have main actors serving as producers and directors on a regular basis. They can make requests, but if TPTB ignore them…that’s it. I suspect they want to create some sort of strange multi-cultural team like they feature on the train wreck that is NCIS Hawaii, but it won’t work this late in the game.

      Maybe I’ll write another Investigator Deeks story. At least then Callen won’t be snarking at him…

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      • Yes, you are so correct. Far too late in the game.

        You compared Ice-T (SVU) to Sam and you are right; there is no comparison as to how carefully and detailed Ice-T’s character and backstory was developed and played out over years whereas Michelle showed up a couple of times and then ended up dead, and Aiden and Kam were simply sent away.

        The characters and their backstories on other crime series have been so well developed without any loose ends or bread-crumbs dropped in earlier seasons that are then forgotten in later episodes to the point where fans have to remind the writers (!), that there really is no comparison to any other show.

        For instance; compare Fouyet of Criminal Minds (2 seasons) to Kessler (1 episode) or the exquisite A.J. Cook and her capture in the Middle East and how her PTSD played out to Kensi’s Afghanistan capture.

        Letting an actor (co)write an episode or 2 or (co)direct an episode or 2 is a very different scenario than being a part of the actual producing team, which none of them are and I doubt will be.

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  4. Karen, thanks for a great review. I really enjoyed reading it.

    It was a well-balanced episode everyone on the cast gets their moment, and it was a return back to the old theme and tone of the series, but with that being said, and despite it has all the right elements for a successful episode( the banter, fight scenes, competent Deeks, Densi Finally sounded like there old self with the banter and fewer baby talks ) but it missed something and I can’t put my finger on it. It missed that spark and energy of earlier seasons.

    This episode would make a lot of sense if it aired before last week’s episode 13×03 as it gave us the reason why they teamed up with ATF and the stolen weapons, IMO.

    What I loved about this episode was finally some writer show some respect for the older fans of the show and showed prepared and does his homework and keeps the characters consistent with Deeks’s love for theater as it was established when he went to Vegas without his partner to watch “the Phantom of the Opera”, and Kensi still a serial plant killer, and of course Kensi always the one upper when she was comparing titles with her hubby. (Nostalgia)

    Deeks snooping around & getting his nose in other people’s lives that’s a shocker!!! (LOL) How about when he was sopping around Kensi’s desk to read her journal or to know about the Box (these good old days)

    As you said Karen Deeks ability to bond with other people is not only the reason he is a fantastic investigator but also what makes him a great undercover operative

    I believe you are right Deeks has done more than enough to prove himself to the team or anyone else. He earned his place fair and square, and he will not be identified with whatever title he holds. What really annoys me when this topic was brought up they didn’t even try to decipher the difference with the titles Is it an age thing? Or training aspect? Or are they just trying to embarrass him in front of his wife and his team?

    At least Deeks was competent, skilled, composed, and imperturbable through the whole thing and saves the day in the end. But I wish the fight scene with Deeks was a little bit longer.

    I loved Kensi’s worry about Deeks and the way she was relieved when she finds he was at the back of the hearse, but again as M Said she once again chose the mission & her job over her husband.

    Sorry, I know I sound like a broken record here, but the way Fatima& Roundtree deliver their lines always seems like they reading directly from a script (not convincing IMO).

    Was I supposed to believe that Katya the heartless Russian spy to leave or forget something important that could use against her or track her with it with her ex? seriously!!
    I really hope they wrap up the Katya plotline as it got dragged out way too long.
    The same for the Kessler thing as they went nowhere with that character for a whole season.

    I know I have been the sound of negativity lately but I will be devastated if they canceled the show without covering all the untold stories and I will be shattered if I didn’t watch my favorite cop show period. The only thing I can do is keep watching and supporting my favorite show and hope for the best and the writing to be improved as I honestly believe the biggest difference is in the writing. Earlier episodes were very tightly written, with many intertwining storylines among the cast.

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    • I know what’s missing from “Densi”, Jessie. They used to be so in love, the way he looked at her, the way she looked at him. The way he called her baby hit people in the heart every time. A stolen kiss here and there, the way he held her and stroked her hair. That intimacy is all gone now. The chemistry is still there, but they can’t seem to portray it anymore.

      Like I said, it is weird if your RL husband is right on the set with you while you’re shooting a scene with his brother, your TV husband. As professional actors they should be capable of pulling that off, but it doesn’t look like it. It has trickled down since the wedding episode, was almost completely gone in season 12 and now seems to have vanished all together.

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      • I’d go along with that M. My opinion is that the writing over the last year or two has slipped a notch.The writing in previous years was excellent, with great, exciting stories. It seems that the Core four hardly ever work together anymore, which I don’t mind it occasionally.I want my team back together in the field and in the bullpen. I want the flirty Densi, I want the Sam/Callen bromance. Hell I even want Eric & Nell back in OPS, but one can only dream. SIGh.

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      • Ivelina Plamena Georgievi // November 3, 2021 at 2:03 AM // Reply

        Fans need DENSI KISSES!

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  5. Well again it is obvious that the original four are getting burned out. I feel like they are just going through the motions with no input on their part to make things better. With the ratings dropping and their livelihoods on the line, they do not seem very anxious to give their very loyal fans what they have been asking for – that being – the four of them in the bullpen bantering once more like the good old days. As far as Deeks goes – he has been such a good sport! Sometimes when you grow up being teased enough it rolls off your shoulder as no big thing. Deeks’s reactions reflect that. He has really not taken it as being hurtful. His lightheartedness still shines! From the beginning of this series my husband and I would watch this show every week. He passed away two years ago after 43 wonderful years of marriage, but I continued to watch it as we always got so many laughs from it together. He used to call me “ sweet cheeks” and laughed when Deeks called Kensi “sugar bear”. Those cute moments are few and far between now and the sparks amongst the fabulous four do not exist. I will continue to watch the series but am so very disappointed in the direction (or lack of) where it is going. Like I said, I personally think they want it to end. It is just sad they are just accepting anything handed to them to reach their goal.

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    • I think therein lies the rube, Christine, they no longer feel (maybe with the exception of DR) their livelihoods (and fame) are on the line. They have accomplished what they wanted. What’s sad is that there seems to be no consideration for the viewers who have gotten them to where they are in their livelihoods by staying loyal for all those years.

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    • Elaine Conway // November 2, 2021 at 5:43 PM // Reply

      I don’t think the original four are burned out. They’re performing the scripts they are given and following the directions of the director. I’m sure they have some input, but not enough to change the tone the writers and directors want. They film scenes numerous times, but it is the director who chooses the cut they’ll use. The actors don’t even know which cuts got used until they watch the show. There are probably times when they wish a different cut had been used but it’s out of their hands. I’m sure they have the same work ethic they’ve always had.

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      • It’s the showrunner who has the ultimate say. He outranks everyone with the exception of the Network, and the Network only interferes in cases of possible liability or lawsuits, etc. I agree with Christine, actor burn-out has been showing for a couple of years now. The passion and dedication is gone.

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  6. OT: Does anyone know what the word ‘murmuration’ means? Because I saw in a BTS pic just now that it’s the title for Episode 12. That’s certainly an odd word.

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    • I think that is when birds congregate and swoop. It’s beautiful, not scary like the film ‘The Birds’. Starlings used to do that in the car park where I used to work, it was mesmerising, unlike my job. I can’t tell you the exact meaning of murmuration, does all sound interesting.

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    • It has two meanings: 1) Starlings (birds) circling the sky in a large flock; a protective response against predators, and 2) Uttering of low continuous sounds of big crowds.

      Maybe it will be the Kessler ep where the teams bands together to keep Kensi safe…..or it could also be about saving Hetty…..who knows anymore…..

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  7. I just watch a promo clip for this coming Sunday on IG ( account DG251170) and again Deeks is being snapped at and just ‘retreats”. I honestly cannot take this anymore. This has to stop. Wonder if anybody else has seen it….? Thoughts…..?

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  8. I think we saw the same promo M, and I stick by my reply. Sometimes I write before I think, believe it or not LOL. What we saw is not the worst. Deeks makes a lame joke, which he routinely does. Kilbride cuts him down, which he routinely does. Kilbride seems to be snarky with everybody, so at poke a Deeks is no big deal, in the scheme of things. When Deeks makes these jokes I think he expects to be cut down, that’s Deeks being Deeks. He is, arguably, at fault so has to back down. My issue is with his skills being disregarded or belittled. I don’t like him being denigrated behind his back. Deeks being treated as some sort of lesser being is getting tiresome. Okay has got tiresome. Nothing people haven’t been saying for years. I just think it reflects badly on the team. If they are confident and happy why the need to put down anybody on a regular basis? I know I’m a year behind everybody else, still catching up on Season 12, my feeling on that is Deeks needs to find a better team to work with.

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    • I saw that 1 of the BTS dudes was promoting Sunday’s episode on Twitter last night.

      While I admire his promotional efforts, I really don’t see how this episode is going to be all that impactful. Spoilers for Sundown indicate that no one is getting suspended or heading off to Syria, so, what’s really so big about this episode?

      Always welcome to be proven wrong in some way, though, that hasn’t really worked out for me so far. 😦

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      • I think that’s the point, sadly, Patricia, people have been disregarding, degrading, and belittling Deeks for years. Just because he pretends to handle it well and it has become a habit, doesn’t mean he deserves it nor that it doesn’t tear him down inside every time.

        Personally, I thought Kilbride’s remark and tone of voice were completely out of line and over the line. His constant barking is getting on my nerves. And Kensi’s look at Deeks didn’t help either. And I’m saying all of this based on a promo, not even the whole episode, loool!!

        Deeks has been wanting out for years. He has always maintained it is because of having a baby, but the fact that he is constantly being ripped by his team mates, “leaders” (look how Mosely treated him) and – especially in Season 12 – his own wife, is probably a big part of it.

        I know I would not want to risk my life for people who snap, snark, and swap at me all the time. I worked in an environment like that for awhile. Eventually, it starts to eat away at you. It’s toxic. Your humor becomes a survival skill. And we all know his only reason for staying is Kensi. Who should support her husband and not participate.

        Just my opinion…….

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        • I can’t help but compare how they treat Deeks with how Sebastian was treated on NCIS NO. They’d rib him from time to time, but he was a valued member of the team. They all helped him, Pride had his back in more than one difficult situation, and at times he gave as good as he got in the ribbing department.

          Mosley was horrible to Deeks….Hetty’s treatment of him was often in the realm of benign neglect…and Sam and Callen are of course awful. But the worst comes from Kensi in my view because she’s the one who SHOULDN’T be treating him this way. Of all people Granger was perhaps the fairest to Deeks, recognizing his ability and allowing it to grow. Some might say Hetty did the same thing, but I don’t agree. She brought him in for a specific purpose, but he was a tool to her. Nothing more really.

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          • I never watched NCIS NO, but there is a difference in giving a newbie a good ribbing for awhile, you’re right, and the way Deeks is still being treated after 12 years is perplexing. I found Mosley’s horrible treatment of Deeks dumbfounding. There was zero ground for it. And in the end, he was the one who got her and her son on the helicopter.

            Hetty did give her name as Deeks’ emergency contact after his torture, but her biggest neglect came from not demanding Sam and Callen be respectful towards him. And of course she used him as a tool for a specific purpose, she does so with everybody; recruiting 8 year old orphans for mind reprogramming….? Look how messed up Callen is.

            I agree that the worst comes from Kensi where it absolutely shouldn’t, and not only right in front of him but behind his back as well. He’d lay down his life for her, but would she do the same for him? As we saw in this episode, she again chose the mission over her husband by jumping into the hearse with Callen.

            All I can do anymore is SMDH…..😢

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            • Actually she listed herself as his emergency contact after he was ambushed and shot. After he was tortured, her comment to Nate was something to the effect of “if he can’t come back the way he was, I don’t want him back.”

              My theory with Mosley is she was so horrible to Deeks because she knew she couldn’t manipulate him the way she could the others. If Hetty brought Deeks on belatedly to be the the team’s conscience, Mosley would see that as a threat. She could play Callen like the proverbial fiddle, and she knew if she got Callen, Sam (and of course Kensi) would follow. Deeks wouldn’t. Not in the same sense. As he proved in one of the best scenes (IMO) in the series, he’d go with the team because of the team…not because of Mosley or anything else. This is all, of course, meta, because I doubt TPTB really planned out any of it based on their track record.

              Given the way they write them, I really do doubt Kensi’s dedication to Deeks. Mexico was in so many ways the line in the sand, and she stepped over it. They’ve tried to paper over that whole thing since, but it really changed the dynamics of the Densi relationship in my view…and not for the better. She proved her real loyalty was with the job, and Deeks is too smart to not know that. But he loves her so much he wants to make it work even knowing that. A great character wasted in what’s becoming a train wreck of a series in my view.

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      • He did the same thing on his IG account. But tbh, what has been the big deal about season 12? Or the season 13 episodes we have had so far…..?

        I saw one pic of a Densi hug that will air on November 21. Yay!!! But that one pic, knowing from past experiences, will probably all there is….. 😦

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  9. If Callen and Sam wouldn’t act holier than thou(in other words like they know everything) maybe Kilbride would seem more a leader and not so much like someone yelling at his kids. You could see his exasperation in last weeks episode and this one.

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    • Nah. Kilbride’s always been annoying.

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    • Very true re Sam and Callen’s attitude, although his exasperation should be with the newbies, especially Fatima who was looking for apartments as opposed to focusing on the mission. That he can tolerate?? But Deeks gets yelled at? 🤦‍♀️

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      • I don’t think they could get away with having Kilbride yell at Fatima. Not these days. Deeks, however, remains fair game.

        I do miss the interactions between Granger and Neric in Ops, though. Who can forget the classic Granger “That’s all fur now” and Eric practically wetting his pants…”did he say ‘fur?” Or Eric’s list of things to ask Nell about that Granger got ahold of? Granger had a way about him…very much the missing piece these days.

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        • I think Kilbride has always been written as a tetchy old codger, who has to snark at everybody He might mellow and turn out to have a heart of gold, but he is unlikely to be in the same league as Granger. Don’t forget Granger was disliked and distrusted in the early days. It took a while for the team to accept him. So sad Miguel Ferrer died.

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        • Thanks for the reminder about the emergency contact and the comment to Nate. You have a great point about Mosley knowing she could not manipulate Deeks. It drove her crazy.

          Yeah, Heaven forbid anybody puts the Muslim girl in the hijab in her place, right? No matter how negligent or dumb she is or who she snaps at (Kensi!). But let’s continue to use Deeks as a target in the meantime. The way Kilbride throws shade at him all the time is cringeworthy and unwatchable. It’s disrespectful and completely over the line. I don’t find it funny at all. And then have your own wife give you a ‘yeah, shut up’ look on top of it. How about she stands up for Deeks the way Deeks stood up for everybody against Mosley? But then again, the risk of losing the precious job is higher than the pain it is causing her husband.

          I feel so bad for Deeks because he really IS too smart to not know that he is being stepped on continuously and the one giving in every single time, but he also knows his love for her is all-consuming. And she takes advantage of that fact.

          They were the best tv couple (IMO), because their uniqueness came from the fact that, from the moment they met, there was never anybody else. That is quite unusual. On other shows, characters cross-dated and cross-slept. Never Deeks and Kensi.

          I said ‘were’ and not ‘are’. IMO, ‘Upstead’ has taken over that spot. Why they had to turn it into, as you call it, this train wreck is beyond me. That being said, I think they know the end is coming and they are just not invested anymore. 😢

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  10. Anyone find it sad that every temporally boss the team has had since Season 9 has ended up being terrible?
    Mosley went off the deep end, Nell was cringe worthy, Kilbride is beyond annoying.

    Just, couldn’t Hetty have gotten at least ONE partner who respects her and the team?!

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    • I actually did like Rogers (he was invited to the wedding too!). He was also never disrespectful to Deeks.

      Nell was a techie. She was never up for the job. Why the shows chose to go there is a mystery to me. She also bypassed a huge line of higher ranking people to boot. You don’t go from being a techie to the leader of an Office of Special Projects overnight.

      I think it is hard for anyone to come in and lead a team that has done things a specific way for 12 years if the OG leader is never there. That’s why I think Hetty should be there remotely (Zoom) every episode to at least check Kilbride. But this is hard to do if the actress herself does not want to anymore, and you have writers who cannot handle that particular development.

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      • I imagine Hetty is keeping an eye on Kilbride in her own sneaky way. (In my head, anyways)

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      • I get that it might be tricky to bring in someone new, even if it’s just temporally. Except that OG NCIS has done this kind of thing so well! (there’s a couple other things that OG NCIS has also done better, like writing interesting episodes.)

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        • A lot of shows do it very well. Law & Order: SVU does it all the time. But like Robbie said: It’s tricky when the actors themselves do not have a stake in the show and are not invested anymore, and I sadly think that is the case here.

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          • I think Chicago Fire is exceptionally good at rotating in new cast members, although the departure of Casey and apparent downplaying of Boden are going to be hard blows to overcome. But Dick Wolf franchises tend to be dedicated to plot ideas (or formulas, really) and not necessarily cast members, which makes such rotations easier.

            And to Maria’s point…Hetty DID have a partner who respected her and her team: Owen Granger. In fact, one might argue he respected the team as a whole more than she did.

            I know I read once that NICS LA was modeled in some ways after Miami Vice, and that could be the root of some of its issues. Vice was always about a look and style, with plot often being a secondary consideration. Character continuity was also somewhat theoretical. It’s reasonably clear Hetty was intended to be a Castillo figure, although (obviously) with a different style and feel. The agent pairings were also fairly consistent with Vice in its later days (a tech guy and two pairs of detectives/agents working the field). Nate was an interesting concept that for whatever reason didn’t quite take off. And then Deeks came along and broke the mold. The paired teams are still there, but it’s a tough sell when your secondary team starts outshining the primary team.

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            • I was never a fan of Casey, so seeing him go was not a bad thing for me. It will be interesting to see if they can keep House 51 together without Boden though. Things seem to be going off the rails a bit. Example, what happened to Stellaride? We finally got the engagement and she vanished (I know the storyline, just another why-go-there that mystifies me).

              I had to warm up to Granger, I admit. But I will never forget that scene with him and Deeks in the work-out room, sitting together on that bench. And he did look at the team more as a whole rather than separate pawns. I think with Nate it came down to pure poor casting choice.

              As to your point about the secondary team outshining the primary team: Could not have said it better myself. Deeks, indeed, broke the mold. And from the minute he was partnered with Kensi, it was basically over for anybody else. I think that is why the wedding was 10 years in the making; fans held on and TPTB knew it.

              Unfortunately, they made the mistake of thinking fans would not expect more and Densi was easily replaceable. The Kessler, pregnancy, FLETC, Fatima/Rountree and everything else but the kitchen sink quick-fixers backfired and now not only are they stuck, it is too late to backtrack and repair.

              The Big Bang Theory was one of my employer’s shows. It is always better to go out on a high note. Jim, Johnny, Kaley, Simon and Kunal did not want to do it anymore, but they went out with…well…a Big Bang, number 1 on the ratings chart still at the time of their last episode. You owe the fans at least that much. Just my opinion…..

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  11. I know I am a little late to the party but bear with me here. As much as I hate the way Deeks has been treated and featured in the last couple of years whether, by his wife or his team, I don’t think the issue with Killbride or Mosley, I believe the crucial issue here, as I said before, is with the writings of the characters and the inconsistency in developing them plus casting new characters with no personality or chemistry or even have the ability to act.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of adding new characters to the show as it gives a new dimension to the show and to the OG characters, hell If they didn’t add Deeks to the main cast I wouldn’t be a fan to the show.
    The problem is Deeks was added and it was a game-changer for the fans and TPTB then Nell was added which create a great dynamic in OPS then they introduced Granger which we all hated at first then the TPTB developed his character that became exemplary to all the becoming characters, and we start to compare him with anyone else. Then, Michelle and Jolley were introduced and we all had been rooting for them and wanted to explore their lives with their significant other.

    Since Miguel’s death” may he rest in peace ” and I think that both the writing and casting have been deteriorating. They killed Michelle, then ruined Jolley’s character and made her enemy then they added Anna (with zero acting ability and chemistry # die Anna die) to replace Jolley and they keep shoving her into our throats. Sabatino was the frenemy then the enemy, then frenemy again and now he is the one who is the team goes to for help, PSI love Eric Palladino but I hate the way the character has been written. Then Mosley and Hodoko were added and there was unanimity in hating the new addition and they were taking too much screen time from the OG and they are now doing the same mistake all over again with Fatima& Roundtree. Despite there were a lot of other alternatives they can go with and fans would like to see them with the team ( Dichamp, Talya, Zoey, etc..).

    Killbride was likable before when he was a guest star since he got promoted to permanent and they make him too angry, snappy, and so hard to be pleased. And he is not the only one who changed his character for the worse.

    Also, The way they have been handling ECO & Linda’s absence was disastrous and outrageously awful. Don’t tell me that the writers on one of the long-running shows can not come up with a better arc or story to cover their leaves other than sending Hetty to an anonymous place doing who knows what or why and keep this for 2 or 3 seasons or send Deeks to LAPD for any trivial reason for a couple of episodes or get him fired and make him incompetent and use him as a punching bag for his wife, team, or anyone who is having a bad day. Couldn’t they for the love of God just send him on an undercover mission and keep his job and dignity!!!!

    Wow, this is too long sorry that wasn’t my intention, but I stand by my opinion that there is no one to blame here, other than the TPTB and writers.

    Sorry for the typo

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  12. I am sorry to admit this, I never thought I ever would: it’s a train wreck. TPTB and the writers ran out of ideas circa the Densi marriage. That event should have been the concluding episode. Thereafter, the writing has been declining in quality. This is why the commissioning of the next season is OK’d later and later. Season 13 was given the nod after everyone thought 12 was the last. Successful lobbying by TPTB?

    Shane Brennan created the Callan and Hanna partnership as the primary team. Introducing Deeks changed that. Thanks to the talent of ECO, Deeks became the fan favourite and his partnership with Blye became more of a don’t miss than that of Tiva.

    Despite his years of service, proving how damn good he is, Deeks has returned to ground zero. Being condescended and generally treated as incompetent by the other team members. TPTB couldn’t be bothered to give Deeks a Special Agent status. Once again treating the fans’ favourite as incompetent. Meanwhile, Kensi is treating her ‘everything’, her partner and husband, as an inconvenience to fulfilling a mission. Mission. Me. Callan and Sam. Deeks. Thereby returning Kensi to pre- ‘Hand to Hand’.

    TPTB have tried stemming the haemorrhaging of viewers by tinkering with a successful formula and the established characters. Rather than improving the scripts. Good job. Even more viwers left.

    Fans who remain loyal cannot believe what we are watching: a slow motion train wreck.
    The actors can only work with a script they are given. TPTB hobbling them with their vision of where the show is going. I feel that the cast are also losing their faith and hence the performances are looking jaded.

    Soon there will only be Deeks fans who continue to watch. Enough numbers to encourage a season 14? ‘Ya think!’

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    • I totally agree with you. Especially when you have all the successful elements and ingredients to make this show run for many many years. As M has mentioned before They are trapped in a loop and keep spiraling around it.

      Even if they ran out of ideas and new plots they shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that and find other ways to get creative ideas and new plots to explore and at the same time maintain their success instead of repeating the history or formulate a new one that will not hold water with the fans to cover for another missed up plot or cast new characters from different generations, ethnics and hope that will do the trick for you and draw the fans around.
      They should listen to what the fans want to see and recognize what they are looking for in the show.

      I read a lot of fantastic ideas for the character’s development, arcs, and an unimaginable number of theories about the character’s backgrounds, “and most of them are not even professional writers or even write for fun” they are only loyal fans who comprehend the show’s main theme and the characters’ behaviors and I am not talking only about Deeks and Densi, I’m talking about all the characters. And maybe be that is one of the few reasons the actors/actress are seeking new opportunities and new jobs as they feel like they trapped in with no room for growth. That’s why Neric departed from the show and we began to see less and less of Deeks and Densi as they didn’t give the characters or their fans the recognition that they deserve. plus this lack of attention to detail and disregard of what’s gone before is annoying, some would say unforgivable.

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    • Everything I have been saying since the start of season 12! You summed it up! Totally agree.

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  13. Sneak preview of my thoughts on tonight’s episode when the review gets posted:

    There’s a very big chance that Kilbride is going to go off the deep end ala Season 9 finale later this Season. And this whole hour definitely sets up that big chance

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  14. RobbieC, Sweet Lu, Tess DiCorsi, et al. Fanfic authors whose storytelling, plotting and character development run rings around what the professionals produce under the guidance of TPTB.

    I read fanfic and then re-read from my bookmarked favourites. If they were paper novellas they’d be dog-eared. Their work excellent. Their storytelling more satisfying and more enjoyable than most episode plotting by TPTB. Despite poor Marty Deeks seemingly getting hurt – a lot.

    Shane Brennan might own the characters but the fanfic authors have taken those characters beyond where TPTB imagine is possible, working within the characters’ cannon, even adding to it.

    I’d be sorry if the show is cancelled. But it will continue to live on, in the true fans who are able to turn their very talented hand to fanfic.

    Oh… if only TPTB would leave their ivory towers and read a few of those fanfics!

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  15. My sincere apologies, Maria.

    I should have recognised the Hetty-centric OPS Manager to be your work.

    I particularly enjoyed ‘The Power of Forgiveness’ and ‘The Color of Rain’.

    The shipping of Granger and Hetty is an interesting concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I miss Miguel’s portrayal of Granger – ‘the big lug’. As Hetty calls him in ‘The Power of Forgiveness’.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Not sure if this is absolutely correct but I think it is why Deeks is an Investigator
    and not a Special Agent. LMK if any one finds facts to the contrary.

    NCIS Navy – Qualifications/Eligibility Requirements
    https://www.ncis.navy.mil/Careers/Special-Agents/

    As a condition of employment, Special Agent trainees must successfully complete the Criminal Investigator’s Training Program and Special Agent Basic Training Program aboard the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.
    Looks like Deeks only completed the “Criminal Investigator’s Training Program” hence he is not a Special Agent.

    Also found this:
    NCIS Special Agents have a mandatory retirement age of 57. In order to achieve the required 20 years of service for retirement.

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    • There also has to be an opening for a Special Agent. I pulled down the entire NCIS manual (all two volumes of it) and went through the stuff to see. I think it was just TPTB messing with Deeks or possibly Hetty’s revenge for him not accepting her offer to join in the first place (the theory of all-powerful Hetty does cut both ways, after all). I like my option…Granger created a phantom position in the LA office to be ready for Hetty trying something…thus Deeks had a place to land and (thanks to Ganger and Ochoa) something meaningful to do aside from being the team’s punching bag and general water boy.

      Like

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