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S07.E14: Come Back

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After Kensi and Deeks make an announcement, they are assigned to protect Kensi's ex-finance.

 

 

Like that's not going to be awkward!

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Oh holy heck was that awkward. Good awkward but yes, awkward.

 

Not quite what I expected it to be but a decent entry. Kensi is a far more forgiving person than I am, that is for sure. My grudge-holding heart would have gone off on Jack and then Hetty.

 

Deeks continues to hide a very mature person beneath a very deceptive layer of man-child. Sometimes I think he's the sanest one there (tied with Nell).

 

Granger's crack about Hetty poisoning him was the funniest line of the night.

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Deeks continues to hide a very mature person beneath a very deceptive layer of man-child. Sometimes I think he's the sanest one there (tied with Nell).

 

I really appreciated Deeks in this episode. He did his best to manage the tension in an incredibly awkward situation, and was completely focused on helping Kensi get what she needed out of the situation, with not a hint of jealousy. I loved that the writers resisted the "old significant other causes problems for the new relationship trope" and instead wrote this as though it was clear to everyone from the beginning that, while the situation was uncomfortable, Jack posed no threat at all to Kensi and Deeks' relationship. 

 

I LOVED Kensi and Deeks' talk on the roof of the building. We so rarely get to see Deeks being the voice of wisdom/pep talker to Kensi. I agree that it's a reminder that he's actually a mature, grounded person underneath all the antics. I would say he's second only to Sam in the emotional maturity department on our team. 

 

That being said--WHY, Hetty? She herself previously acknowledged that her Afghanistan plan was a huge disaster and that it was her fault. Kensi being kidnapped and tortured was on her, as was putting the rest of the team in jeopardy and handing money over to terrorists to save her life. It is still my biggest problem with Hetty to this day. So I really, really did not enjoy the encore performance of sending Kensi into yet another situation with Jack with no forewarning. What if either or both of them had suffered a PTSD episode upon seeing the other? Putting aside the fact that it's obviously ridiculous to ask two people who are so emotionally involved in the situation to be effective bodyguards. I know this had to happen for TV reasons, but it doesn't hold up to even a tiny bit of scrutiny. 

 

I was also slightly underwhelmed with what Kensi eventually said to Jack. We got all this build-up and then what she wanted to say to him was...sorry for not calling you. Really, Kensi? On the positive note, I liked that we got more hints about what pre-war Jack was like, with the tetritos and the cards. 

 

Finally, I'm on the fence about Deeks' admission to Jack about his nightmares. On one hand, excellent reminders throughout the episode that Kensi and Deeks still both battle their own trauma, and it made a really nice full circle about Deeks handling his trauma differently than Jack and therefore being a better man for Kensi. That being said, are we really supposed to think that in the year they've spent together, Kensi hasn't seen Deeks have a nightmare? According to the show, they spent pretty much every night together for months after initially getting together, and then only took a night off every once in a while. Very difficult to believe that these two wouldn't have known all there is to know about each other's nightmares yet. 

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That being said--WHY, Hetty? She herself previously acknowledged that her Afghanistan plan was a huge disaster and that it was her fault. Kensi being kidnapped and tortured was on her, as was putting the rest of the team in jeopardy and handing money over to terrorists to save her life. It is still my biggest problem with Hetty to this day. So I really, really did not enjoy the encore performance of sending Kensi into yet another situation with Jack with no forewarning. What if either or both of them had suffered a PTSD episode upon seeing the other? Putting aside the fact that it's obviously ridiculous to ask two people who are so emotionally involved in the situation to be effective bodyguards. I know this had to happen for TV reasons, but it doesn't hold up to even a tiny bit of scrutiny. 

Yes - Why, Hetty??? they didn't even TRY to explain it! At least Callen (i think) questioned why she keeps doing things like this. What was the value AT ALL of surprising Kensi? Not one reason passes muster. harrumph.

 

I loved Deeks.

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So what did y'all think of the episode . . . wasn't it great?!? This is how you introduce an ex to a ship w/o playing the triangle, petty, sexual angel. The maturity was refreshing. Deek encouraging Kensi to find closure w Jack wasn't about him but was about her and him wanting Kensi to find some piece w her past. The talk between Deeks and Jack + Kensi and Jack were terrific. I just loved the way it was handled. Oh and the ending w Densi? Perfect
PS: What the writers have done, this season especially, with Densi has been amazing! They're smart, funny, sexy, loving, mature, realistic ... and they (the writers) have maintained and not sacrifice them as fantastic individual characters. 

Edited by Samantha84
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What the writers have done, this season especially, with Densi has been amazing! They're smart, funny, sexy, loving, mature, realistic ... and they (the writers) have maintained and not sacrifice them as fantastic indicual characters.

 

1,000 time this!  I was just thinking the exact same thing.  I think the writers have knocked it out of the park this season.  Even though it remained my favorite show last season, I thought the individual episodes were very hit-or-miss.  There were a few I loved, and not just the Densi-heavy ones -- I loved Black Budget, for instance -- but overall, it felt like there was a lot of filler or missed opportunities for interesting story arcs.  The Arkady arc at the end of season seemed very underdeveloped and unsatisfying compared to previous story arcs (the Janvier and the nukes arc, for instance), and I LOVE Arkady.

 

This season, I feel like pretty much every episode is a keeper, with fun, fast-paced stories and character development that makes sense and moves everyone forward.  I love the way they've let Densi play out -- it's mature, sweet and very true to the characters.  I'm also intrigued by Callen and his choices.  One the one hand, it seems like a mature and sensible decision to let his relationship with Joelle end, since she clearly needed things from him that he couldn't give.  On the other hand, what is he waiting for?  Jo is a lovely, bright, engaging woman for whom he clearly cares deeply.  If he doesn't figure out who he is and what he wants, he's going to end up like Hetty, and I don't think he wants that.  I have high hopes that the upcoming episodes which are supposed to bring us closer to resolving Callen's daddy issues will help him move forward as a character.  I even liked the Sam/Jada episode, although it didn't make a  whole lot of sense.  I wouldn't mind some Sam-angst in the second half of the season, although Sam is such a mature, grounded, self-aware character that he doesn't lend himself to high drama.

 

But I'll freely admit that Densi, and Deeks and Kensi as individuals, are my favorite part of the show, and I feel I have been well-served this season.  This episode was golden.  I loved the mature and sensible way everyone handled Kensi and Jack's prior relationship, the concern that Callen had for her, and the efforts that Deeks made to leave the two of them alone together so that Kensi could have a chance to air what she needed to.  I also loved that we finally, FINALLY had an actual conversation about what Deeks did in Afghanistan.  Even though Deeks obliquely referenced it in "Three Hearts," it's nice to see that the writers haven't forgotten that pivotal incident.

 

NCIS LA -- the plots still don't make a lot of sense; the explosions, car crashes and gun battles are still way WAY over the top; the banter is still clever and current; and the characters and relationships are still smart, intriguing, well though-out, and make the show my favorite.  I find it frustrating that I can never convince anyone else I know that this is, in fact, the best show on television :)

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So what did y'all think of the episode . . . wasn't it great?!? This is how you introduce an ex to a ship w/o playing the triangle, petty, sexual angel. The maturity was refreshing. Deek encouraging Kensi to find closure w Jack wasn't about him but was about her and him wanting Kensi to find some piece w her past. The talk between Deeks and Jack + Kensi and Jack were terrific. I just loved the way it was handled. Oh and the ending w Densi? Perfect

PS: What the writers have done, this season especially, with Densi has been amazing! They're smart, funny, sexy, loving, mature, realistic ... and they (the writers) have maintained and not sacrifice them as fantastic indicual characters.

agreed -I loved their storyline last night.  but don't you feel betrayed by Hetty? Or at least that KENSI should feel betrayed by Hetty? And then the rando hug at the end as if Kensi should be grateful that Hetty gave her this chance for closure. If it were me - I'd still be nursing a grudge from the first time she sent me to him w no warning!

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agreed -I loved their storyline last night.  but don't you feel betrayed by Hetty? Or at least that KENSI should feel betrayed by Hetty? And then the rando hug at the end as if Kensi should be grateful that Hetty gave her this chance for closure. If it were me - I'd still be nursing a grudge from the first time she sent me to him w no warning!

Yes! This! So much this!

 

How on earth did Hetty think this was a good idea? Is this her twisted way of showing she's the Alpha and they are all her pawns? Cause Afghanistan showed that pretty damn clearly in the first place. Kensi is a better person than I am for sure, as I'm not sure I wouldn't have taken a swing at Hetty for that.

 

I do wonder if we are starting to see cracks in the team belief in the All-Powerful Hetty. Callen demonstrated pretty clearly at the beginning of the season that he doesn't trust her. Remember the end of Season 2, when all 4 of them took off after her without a second thought? Would that happen now?

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Well, this is the woman who monitored and then groomed orphans for intelligence work. I try very hard to forget that plot but episodes like this one make it hard to do so.

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I caught Nell's little smirk when Eric was badgering her about "Indiana Jones" Jones and trying to picture her with a bullwhip...

I think that Nell might just already have a whip.  Just sayin'

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Well, this is the woman who monitored and then groomed orphans for intelligence work. I try very hard to forget that plot but episodes like this one make it hard to do so.

 

I actually love that part of Hetty.  Ravens and Swans is one of my all-time favorite episodes.  It makes her character make sense a little.  Hers is the only character that seems to have no basis in reality, and the team's reactions to her similarly make no sense for the most part.

 

I agree that Kensi should be furious with her.  So should Deeks.  She basically allowed him to believe for five months that the reason she sent Kensi away was because he'd acted on his feelings.  The only reason I can see for her doing that was to get him off the scent, so that he would feel so guilty and conflicted that he wouldn't press too hard about what Kensi was actually doing. That is beyond cruel, and a huge betrayal.

 

At this point, I just throw my hands up about Hetty.  I love Linda Hunt, and I love the idea of this tiny little Super Spy, who has fingers in every pot, can out-think any villain, and always comes out on top.  It's just that, with the comparatively reasonable emotional and professional arcs the other characters are on, she makes no sense, and their reaction to her makes no sense.

 

Like I said, I throw my hands up and say "whatever."  I still enjoy seeing Linda Hunt on my laptop every week.

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I actually love that part of Hetty.  Ravens and Swans is one of my all-time favorite episodes.  It makes her character make sense a little.  Hers is the only character that seems to have no basis in reality, and the team's reactions to her similarly make no sense for the most part.

 

I agree that Kensi should be furious with her.  So should Deeks.  She basically allowed him to believe for five months that the reason she sent Kensi away was because he'd acted on his feelings.  The only reason I can see for her doing that was to get him off the scent, so that he would feel so guilty and conflicted that he wouldn't press too hard about what Kensi was actually doing. That is beyond cruel, and a huge betrayal.

 

At this point, I just throw my hands up about Hetty.  I love Linda Hunt, and I love the idea of this tiny little Super Spy, who has fingers in every pot, can out-think any villain, and always comes out on top.  It's just that, with the comparatively reasonable emotional and professional arcs the other characters are on, she makes no sense, and their reaction to her makes no sense.

 

Like I said, I throw my hands up and say "whatever."  I still enjoy seeing Linda Hunt on my laptop every week.

I think that is because she is very close to being a villain.

 

We know Hetty was born in a Displaced Person's camp right after WW II and orphaned shortly thereafter. I wonder how much of her childhood and education was spent in the Eastern Bloc and therefore how much that mentality might still be influencing her, even today. Things like grooming orphans (3 that we know of) and manipulating everyone around her with just about every interaction points to an unstable upbringing at best.

 

She is really starting to creep me out. I wonder how much longer this can last before someone really and truly revolts against her. We saw Kensi come pretty close in Internal Affairs. What's going to happen if she puts Sam's family in a hard position? Or Deeks takes exception to something she asks Kensi to do? Will they accept the request as they always have or will someone say enough is enough?

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Hetty has always been the mystery that keeps me coming back to this show.  That character just screams for an actress with the gravitas and air of her own mystery like Linda Hunt.  The part absolutely had to have been written for her.  Go back to when she won her Oscar, and try to think of the other best actress and best supporting actress nominees in the role of Hetty:  Jane Alexander, Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine, Cher, Glenn Close, Amy Irving and Alfre Woodard.  Go on.  I'll wait.

 

See?  Not a single Hetty there.

 

I love to see all the glimpses into Hetty's backstory, her clandestine lifestyle, her ruthlessness...  My favorite part of last night's show was her scaled down mini-desk and chair--so very, very not a child's set--in her lovingly furnished meticulously-maintained-as-run-down bolthole.  That told me this is definitely a private place for her, where she caters to her obvious physical limitations in a way she never does in "public."  Her desk at headquarters is huge, yet she fits there too.

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I like the episode, but there is one thing that really bothered me. I know it's a TV show and good guys always wins in the end, and they exaggerate, but the amount of time from the time the main bad guy (don't remember his name for now) told his underling to kill Jack, and the team can't get there for 10 seconds, why is the underling hesitating to shoot for that long of a time. They had no problem gun blazing going in, but now they have them dead to right, the underling decided to wait till the good guy show up to get shot. I really dislike that part.

 

They could have had the conversation and then as he said kill them, and 1 second later, the good guys comes in shooting, but 10 seconds is ridiculous of a long time for bad guys to be hesitating.

Edited by swifty
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I wonder how much longer this can last before someone really and truly revolts against her. We saw Kensi come pretty close in Internal Affairs. What's going to happen if she puts Sam's family in a hard position? Or Deeks takes exception to something she asks Kensi to do? Will they accept the request as they always have or will someone say enough is enough?

There can be no revolt.  Nobody can say "enough is enough".

These people are federal agents with a chain of command and they have two choices--obey their superior or resign.  There is no in-between. 

If Hetty is acting irrationally or inappropriately, there are only TWO people who can call her on her shit--Director Vance and the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV).  Granger supposedly outranks her, but he doesn't boss her.  We have seen that Hetty doesn't back down from threats but Vance could just fire her and be done with it. 

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Ok, revolt was the wrong word. I don't mean someone is going to ferment mutiny. I meant more along the lines of resigning rather than do something they disagree with or lodging a cannot-be-ignored complaint with Director Vance.

 

Or HR. It's been my experience that HR can make anyone miserable, no matter how high up the chain.

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That being said--WHY, Hetty? She herself previously acknowledged that her Afghanistan plan was a huge disaster and that it was her fault. Kensi being kidnapped and tortured was on her, as was putting the rest of the team in jeopardy and handing money over to terrorists to save her life. It is still my biggest problem with Hetty to this day. So I really, really did not enjoy the encore performance of sending Kensi into yet another situation with Jack with no forewarning. What if either or both of them had suffered a PTSD episode upon seeing the other? Putting aside the fact that it's obviously ridiculous to ask two people who are so emotionally involved in the situation to be effective bodyguards. I know this had to happen for TV reasons, but it doesn't hold up to even a tiny bit of scrutiny.

 

Thank you so much for saying this!  I didn't even watch the episode until today because of how much Hetty's, if you'll allow it, fuckery in this storyline back in the day enraged me, and I didn't want to watch again after the first couple of minutes I saw earlier in the week.  It is such utter nonsense the way she has behaved here, that the woman should have been fired for it in the first instance, regardless of her great mythical background, and seeing it all over again held no appeal for me. I'm happy to move along from this again. 

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I think Hetty likes secrets and likes to be the person pulling the strings. All she had to do was identify Jack as the person to be protected before anyone left the office. Taking 5 minutes was not going to make a difference either way. 

 

And she didn't do it.

 

There was no reason to keep that secret from the team. They were all going to learn that identity as soon as Kensi and Deeks arrived on site. Heck, she told Callen and Sam as soon as the other 2 were out of the building. Which tells me she knew what kind of reaction was going to happen. She could have just as easily sent Callen and Sam to do guard duty. 

 

What was the point of sending Kensi in blind? Force her to confront and resolve her Jack issues once and for all? I would argue she did that before leaving Afghanistan. Maybe not as neatly as it could have been done but given we never heard his name again, I have to believe some closure was achieved. Put strain on Kensi and Deeks relationship? I've suspected for awhile now that Hetty is not happy that they have moved forward and while she can't outright demand they break-up, she's not above putting on the pressure where she can. 

 

For me this just illustrated that Hetty might have been a great spy but she is a terrible leader and she's managed to mask that with a great deal of charisma and manipulation over the years. She actually reminds me of Dumbledore (from Harry Potter) quite a bit. So focused on maintaining her influence and doing what she feels is in the Greater Good, that she can't or won't focus on the people that get caught up in her machinations.

 

For all that he's a grumpy cuss, Granger is the far better leader. He is willing to provide information to the team, he goes into the field and takes the same risks and he is willing to draw the do-not-cross line as needed.

Edited by anna0852
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For me this just illustrated that Hetty might have been a great spy but she is a terrible leader and she's managed to mask that with a great deal of charisma and manipulation over the years. She actually reminds me of Dumbledore (from Harry Potter) quite a bit. So focused on maintaining her influence and doing what she feels is in the Greater Good, that she can't or won't focus on the people that get caught up in her machinations.

 

 

 

Hey now, there's no reason to bring Dumbledore into this!:) 

 

I do otherwise agree that her machinations and manipulations are not a sign of good leadership, it's a sign of learned behavior that has been rejected and doesn't really have a place in our country.  It's not something to be applauded, seeing her overcoming what she was trained to do in her early life would be something to be applauded.  And yet, the show presents her as always right and always all-knowing.  It would be more interesting to me if she started to question her methods or have others around her question them.  An all-knowing character gets boring to me after awhile, especially when they make stupid moves.

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