Welcome back, gentle reader. Oh, wait… wrong show review! Sorry, this isn’t Bridgerton and I’m not Lady Whistledown. Although reviewing Bridgerton would have been a lot more fun, instead I am here to review this week’s episode of NCIS:LA and the first of two episodes that aired last night. Unfortunately, “Hard For the Money” stands alone as the opening act to the second episode that aired last night which will become another jewel in the crown for Eric Christian Olsen. I know you are waiting for that review (me too!) because this episode pales in comparison. It’s a good thing that it preceded Eric’s episode because that would have been a very hard act to follow!
“Hard For the Money” was a decidedly vanilla episode: courageous sailor tries to stop sniveling boss from selling classified documents to Libia and gets killed for her efforts. Sure, Sam and Sabatino made a cute couple with all their funny banter, rivaling the Sam/Callen bromance, but the storyline was banal at best. Not a whole lot of action or energy, very little Callen, and no Kensi at all. So, we’re going to do something totally different this week and withhold a detailed review. Since this website is dedicated to the magic that is Marty Deeks, let’s discuss what happened to Deeks during this episode instead. It turned out to be the most significant revelation to the Deeks backstory that we have had in a long time and is worthy of a brief discussion here.
With Kensi stuck at a deposition, Deeks is left behind to see to the home improvements needed at Chez Deeks to prepare for a possible adoption of a new family member. Deeks is frazzled and stressed as he races against time to get ready for the home study by social services. A few more quick measurements leave Deeks exasperated and tired of all the hoops that he and Kensi have had to jump through in the foster parent process. He’s beginning to wonder if it’s all worth it.
This leads us to the outstanding scene between Deeks and Kilbride at the close of the episode and successful completion of the case. Like Owen Granger, it has taken Kilbride a bit of time to warm up to Deeks and his unique style of police work, but Kilbride is slowly beginning to appreciate Deeks and the dedication he brings to the job.
Kilbride: You know, I’ve known you long enough to know that there are few things in this world that you like more than your work here and… talking incessantly. Now that being said, only a fool like me comes in on his day off.
Deeks is exhausted and frustrated but feels he can be of more value doing the work he loves best than trying to demonstrate that building new stairs and closets will make him and Kensi into proper parent material. The bureaucracy is overwhelming, and he’s had enough of trying to prove that they can indeed provide a loving home to a child in need.
Deeks: So every facet of our lives has been probed and prodded and dissected. It’s like a white glove inspection on steroids.
His sour mood makes what he says next to Kilbride even more telling. Despite Kilbride’s explanation of what his family life was like serving in the military, Deeks is stunned at Kilbride’s admission that he was more than lacking as a husband and father. When Deeks asks if his son is OK, Kilbride admits he hasn’t spoken to him in ten years. When Deeks suggests that he still has time to fix things, Kilbride walks away defeated. Deeks calls out:
Deeks: I guarantee he doesn’t hate you half as much as I hated my father. I mean I shot the guy. In all fairness, he was pointing a gun at my mother and I and I was eleven years old, but I still shot him. I stopped talking to him and now he’s dead. What’s crazy about that is despite all that if he was to ask for a second chance, I would have given it to him in a heartbeat. You know, just to see, as hopeless as it may have been, just to see if there was any way to salvage that relationship. My point is I think you should call him. Like it or not, you’re still his father.
Deeks leaves angry and hurt, remembering a sadder time that changed the entire trajectory of his entire life. He also admitted to himself, maybe for the first time, that he really loved his father and would have given up everything to change that one moment in time when he decided to pull the trigger instead of trying to save a doomed relationship. Deeks was just a boy, but he has been wrestling with this moment his entire life. It has colored all the decisions he has ever made in his life and whether they were right or wrong. He knew there was no way to salvage that relationship, but he always wondered if firing that gun and waking away was the right decision. He’s angry and jealous that Kilbride still can make things right again with his son but won’t. Deeks knows he doesn’t have that luxury anymore and will have to live with that choice for the rest of his life.
This scene was a quick but telling look into his past and a little gem into what is going on in Deeks’ mind and heart. Just think how much more we could get with a full-blown episode that would be entitled “Deeks, M.”? Well gentle reader, we’re not giving up hope just yet…
So, what did you think about this latest look into Deeks’ past? I know we are all interested in reading next what Karen P. has to say about EOC’s episode and that will be coming up soon. So, stay tuned but remember to return this week for Deeks’ Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal. See you next time.