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S07.E19: The Seventh Child

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The team try to rescue a child who is in danger after being brainwashed by a terrorist.

 

This Case

 

Will Stop You

 

In Your Tracks.

 

"Get everybody out of the house."

 

Sam is awesome.

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Please please please please don't make Kenzie get pregnant.  I held my breath throughout the episode waiting for the shoe to drop.  It'll be a deal breaker for me if that happens.

 

That was a weird episode.  That poor family didn't know she gave birth to triplets.  I had my heart in my mouth when Sam broke that door down and found a room full of kids with bomb vests.  Yikes.  It's so hard to reason with terrorists and then it was children making it doubly hard.

 

Callan was so good with that little boy.

 

Good episode.

Edited by NYGirl
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Definitely one of the tenser episodes. 

 

So, we're looking at a marriage not a baby? I can live with that. Although my money says that the ground is being softened up because the writers are going to have to deal with a pregnancy in the next season or two.

 

Like that it was Callen that talked the first kid down. Sam was not going to connect with that child given his background. It had to be Callen. And I was delighted to see Callen acknowledge his name. What a great reason to do it!

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So ... these kids were born in India and lived there until recently with non-American jihadists and yet every kid had an American accent? Okay then.

 

I did like Callan acknowledging his name.

 

I know Eric Christian Olsen and his wife are expecting again, and I wondered if it meant Daniela was also trying (they had their first kids very close together). I have a feeling this was a "just in case she gets pregnant" thing so it wouldn't drop out of nowhere for the audience.

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So ... these kids were born in India and lived there until recently with non-American jihadists and yet every kid had an American accent? Okay then.

 

I did like Callan acknowledging his name.

 

I know Eric Christian Olsen and his wife are expecting again, and I wondered if it meant Daniela was also trying (they had their first kids very close together). I have a feeling this was a "just in case she gets pregnant" thing so it wouldn't drop out of nowhere for the audience.

I'm starting to think that too. I'm actually kind of glad that they are trying to plan ahead. Season 5 ended up pretty good but the first think Shane Brennan said in the behind-the-scenes material is that Daniella getting pregnant completely derailed the planning they done and they had to scramble pretty hard to cover.

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So ... these kids were born in India and lived there until recently with non-American jihadists and yet every kid had an American accent? Okay then.

 

I did like Callan acknowledging his name.

 

I know Eric Christian Olsen and his wife are expecting again, and I wondered if it meant Daniela was also trying (they had their first kids very close together). I have a feeling this was a "just in case she gets pregnant" thing so it wouldn't drop out of nowhere for the audience.

I was confused about the accent too.

 

I don't think any more groundwork is necessary for "just in case she gets pregnant". They don't need to make them engaged or married for that to work, or even talking about having kids. They're in a relationship and we know they're having sex. That's all the groundwork that is needed :P

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I'm assuming that since these kids were raised to be nothing more than bombers, that they were schooled on the accent so'd they'd blend in when the time came. 

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Let's just say if Daniela gets pregnant again (anytime soon) we will not see Kensi heading to Afghanistan again or Daniela won't have to hide behind things to conceal her baby bump. This definitely laid the foundation for that possibility. PS: Congrats to Eric and Sarah on the impending birth of their child. 

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What's with the NCIS franchise blowing up kids lately? I thought sure they'd have Nadir explain to the other children that they'd been lied to and actually do have families. It would make an interesting series tracking down all the other children who had been given to jihadists.

A very well written episode. Very few writers and directors know how to work with children. This was well done all the way around, from the Kenzie-Deeks bookend "baby talk" to the connection between Callan and Nadir, including having Nadir use Callan's first name, a name Callan only learned from his own father who he himself had just recently met.

It was an unexpected soft touch that hard-nosed Granger was so patient (up to a point) while Deeks and Kenzie were bantering about having kids.

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A very well written episode. Very few writers and directors know how to work with children. This was well done all the way around, from the Kenzie-Deeks bookend "baby talk" to the connection between Callan and Nadir, including having Nadir use Callan's first name, a name Callan only learned from his own father who he himself had just recently met.

 

I agree.  The kid that played Nadir did a really fantastic job, I was totally sold on all his scenes.  And, as you suggested, it was a perfect ending that he wanted to know Callen's name at the end.  All in all, a really good episode. I just caught up on last week's and this one to me was miles above.

Edited by pennben
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I haven't watched in a bit, but I think this is the first time (at least in my viewings) that the team did not shoot and kill anyone.

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Please please please please don't make Kenzie get pregnant.  I held my breath throughout the episode waiting for the shoe to drop.  It'll be a deal breaker for me if that happens.

 

I don't think they would, if it were up to them. But it might not be. As we saw in season five, this isn't a show where they could conceal a pregnancy, if it happened, without some major tinkering and rearranging. I'm just as happy with them laying the groundwork to deal with the possibility, particularly because I think it's a realistic and important thing that would come up between two people in their positions. 

 

The "proposal" completely caught me off guard and shocked me, but in a good way. I didn't see them going there in this episode. I loved Kensi's happy grin when she was facing away from Deeks. My only nitpick is this--and it is a nitpick, because I liked the storyline tonight overall--the last time Kensi and Deeks discussed kids (which was before they were romantically involved), Deeks was pro and Kensi was anti, listing a number of reasons including fears about being a mom and her career. Tonight's episode was a 180 on that, and I wish we had just a little more understanding of how Kensi got to this place. 

 

Another rainbows and kittens episode from Frank Military! I agree that the entire thing really hinged on finding a child actor who could pull it off, and they did. I loved the way Callen was used in this story, and the ending was very satisfying. I couldn't help but think about the implications for the families who would be taking in a biological child who would likely need years of deprogramming and mental health support. Overall, I thought it was a good and thought-provoking episode, well written and well executed.

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Whether or not they go the baby route (and I think we're headed there), I'm just glad Kensi and Deeks *talked* about it. Too many times we see couples on TV just seem to have kids happen. Like it's not a huge life changer and should be talked about and hopefully planned for. And their jobs are a legit concern. Someone could very well be killed and leave the other as a single parent. They have to think about and discuss this stuff.

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Did anyone else think that calling the stolen terrorist kid Nadir was a little on point?

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My only nitpick is this--and it is a nitpick, because I liked the storyline tonight overall--the last time Kensi and Deeks discussed kids (which was before they were romantically involved), Deeks was pro and Kensi was anti, listing a number of reasons including fears about being a mom and her career. Tonight's episode was a 180 on that, and I wish we had just a little more understanding of how Kensi got to this place.

 

Imho - Kensi's viewpoint changed when she entered a relationship w. someone she'd want to have kids w. Sometimes it's just that simple. Personally I'd like to have more insight on Deeks's turn around than hers.  PS: I LOVED that proposal. It was "Densi-styled" and just inline and perfect for these characters; this couple. 

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I don't think they would, if it were up to them. But it might not be. As we saw in season five, this isn't a show where they could conceal a pregnancy, if it happened, without some major tinkering and rearranging. I'm just as happy with them laying the groundwork to deal with the possibility, particularly because I think it's a realistic and important thing that would come up between two people in their positions. 

 

The "proposal" completely caught me off guard and shocked me, but in a good way. I didn't see them going there in this episode. I loved Kensi's happy grin when she was facing away from Deeks. My only nitpick is this--and it is a nitpick, because I liked the storyline tonight overall--the last time Kensi and Deeks discussed kids (which was before they were romantically involved), Deeks was pro and Kensi was anti, listing a number of reasons including fears about being a mom and her career. Tonight's episode was a 180 on that, and I wish we had just a little more understanding of how Kensi got to this place. 

 

Well the last time the kids subject really came up was back in season 4. They weren't involved at that point. Now it's almost 3 years later. Kensi has put a lot of her demons (Jack, Afghansistan, the loss of her dad) to rest and is in a better head space to consider it. Unfortunately now Deeks is post-Siderov and post-nasty IA investigation (which brought up a lot of his childhood issues) and in the middle of a case where kids are being used for suicide bombers. I'm not shocked at the reversal of of opinions for either of them.

 

Not to mention, I'm the same age as Kensi (mid-30's) and the whole kids thing is getting to the 'make up your mind' point. In the next few years it becomes a more complicated option that is harder to pursue. If she really wants kids, she has to find out fairly soon if her partner wants them too. Because if they can't come to an agreement one way or the other, that is usually a dealbreaker. 

Edited by anna0852
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Well sweet baby JEEBUS. I'm glad I didn't watch this last night! I was completely shocked when the first boy ran into the street. Shit! No kidding that NCIS is killing off kids who are being forced to terrorize/think they have no other option.

I realize it's a tv show and they prob had to have a happy ending but I don't care - my squishy middle was SO GLAD the parents immediately accepted him and wanted to claim him and raise him. My grinch heart grew three sizes today.

The room full of kids: ACK. and the storyline over all -- to think that there could be another child out there stolen from a family who didn't even know he existed AND was told his parents abandoned him! My empathy bar is very high right now.

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I was a little freaked out by the child as bomb angle too.  And wondered if they used twins or triplets or one boy and spliced it in.  Mostly I was appalled that a parent would even want their kid memorizing lines like what the kid in the water spouted. Or envisioning a scenario where they were in that room.  No amount of wanting to be an actor would make it worth it to me to put my kid in that situation.  Who would do that? 

 

And yeah, it was emotionally effective maybe but it also had a very high ick factor for me that the show has not had before.  SMH.

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I was a little freaked out by the child as bomb angle too.  And wondered if they used twins or triplets or one boy and spliced it in.  Mostly I was appalled that a parent would even want their kid memorizing lines like what the kid in the water spouted. Or envisioning a scenario where they were in that room.  No amount of wanting to be an actor would make it worth it to me to put my kid in that situation.  Who would do that? 

 

And yeah, it was emotionally effective maybe but it also had a very high ick factor for me that the show has not had before.  SMH.

I see your point. I often wonder about that. Like the adorable little boy who was in The Room this past award season. Or any of the kids talking about their "private parts" and "bad touching" on SVU.

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Experienced actor Gavin Lewis played all three triplets, with clever staging and stand-ins when they appeared together on screen. It takes a combination of responsible directing and emotionally mature actors when such themes are depicted -- even some adult actors can get lost in the characters they portray. I think by law a parent has to be on the set now when child actors perform. Fortunately, the nuts-and-bolts experience for the actor is different than the finished performance that the audience sees. Very well done, by all.

It's ironic that Marty and Kensi spent the whole show talking about having kids in the abstract while it was Callan who spent the hour in a life-and-death relationship with a real child, the difference between the effect parenting has on the parents and the effect parenting has on the child, and the reality that children do have lives of their own.

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I thought it was very odd that they caught the adult terrrorists casually watching TV news about the bombing, with a room full of kids in bomb vests just upstairs.

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They were probably trying to gauge how effective the first two child bombers were and therefore how to deploy the rest.

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If I'm not mistaken, that was the first time I've seen such young kids being used as suicide bombers. Very disturbing. I did like that the kids had a change of heart once they learned they had families out there. Yes, young Mr. Lewis did a fabulous job with very mature material.

 

So who was the 7th? The title -- "The Seventh Child" -- there were the twins (well, two of three triplets) and then four boys in the upstairs room. So who was the 7th? The other triplet in Israel?

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I think the seventh "child" was Grisha Callen. Could be wrong, but his childhood experience raised in a series of abusive foster homes was how Callen was able to relate to Nadir.

It's easy to overlook, but the first line of dialog in the episode had to do with the boys being unable to get out of their vests -- they never really wanted to die, in spite of the brainwashing.

Last season, NCIS-DC had a young teenage terrorist recruit blow himself up, on a bus in front of the team.

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Damn. That was a heavy 45 minutes.

 

How exactly were those triplets born? Were they supposed to be identical? I thought I heard them say something about implanting more embryos than they should, which means fraternal triplets, aka they should not be identical, just like brothers born at the same time. Identical triplets, which is how they played the kids off as, is one embryo that split into 3 upon implanting. (fertility lecture out)

 

Child suicide bombers... I don't even know what to say other than that is a heavy topic and I'm not sure how much I want to think about the fact that kids are in those situations around the world.

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So, I've been watching my newly acquired Season 7 DVDs, in preparation for the Premiere (I admit it, I can't wait :)  and I just watched this episode again.  I think it has to be one of the best episodes of the entire series.  In fact, I would personally rank it only after Spoils of War and Descent/Ascension.  It has everything I love about his show in one very precise package -- the story is a little out there but tied into reality enough to be credible if you squint ;)  the guest cast is terrific (that little boy is a real find); and most importantly, it combines expertly written and executed action with profound and well-earned character beats.  I read an interview with Eric Christian Olsen where he commented that while in a melodrama like "Brothers and Sisters" (on which I guess he played a role), every show was about character relationships and personal interaction, in a show like NCIS:LA you get to work a little of that into every episode and it builds gradually.  So when it pays off, it really pays off for the audience because they've watched literally years of the characters getting there.

In this episodes, that theory of procedural character development plays out beautifully.  Kensi and Deeks have their personal moments, concluding with the monumental marriage proposal, but they've totally earned it and it seems completely consistent with their characters.  And Callen's ability to relate to the lost little boy is so on-point it's almost painful.  Especially the final scene where Nadir calls him by his given name, and you can see the tears in Callen's eyes.  And then there's Sam, talking the poor suicide kids out of blowing themselves up by explaining his own take on Islam.  The whole thing is just masterful.

I wish I could convert other people to how great this show is, and I've sometimes wondered what episode I would show someone if I was trying to get them hooked.  This episode is probably too invested with the show's history to be a good first introduction, but it is a great example of exactly how to make transcendent genre television.

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