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S07.E21: Head of the Snake

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After Operational Psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor) fails to check in with Hetty while working undercover on a mission linking organized crime to terrorism, the team learns he is working with an infamous crime leader.

Edited by betsyboo

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Um - ok. I get that this show kills/shoots people willy nilly all the time. But are we really supposed to hand wave Nate shooting the guard with a SHOTGUN? I mean even the black widow used a taser!!!!

Also, my 10 year old nephew has a code word for someone other than his parents picking him up at school. You mean to tell me that this "elite" unit doesn't have a safe word to clue Callen in that Nate is still on the good team???? Or a phrase that would sound natural but alert Callen?? "So Callen. How's your mother these days...?" Harrumph

I'm annoyed that they all let him get away with it because it worked out. Well - yes Sam told him he was lucky, but he'll be back to work with no repercussions. It just seemed even more ridiculous than usual. (I do realize what show I'm talking about...) Have we reached H50 levels of incredulity!?

Edited by betsyboo
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Yeah, that was pretty much a fail all around. Nate got in way too deep and there was apparently no back up channels, no code words, nothing to indicate that he needed help?  

 

Overall it was a good ep. Well scripted and well played and I like that it connected back that Omni organization from Season Five. But our Ops team management didn't look at all. Nate was stranded and what would have happened if the team came to the conclusion that he had turned on the, rather than that he was in too deep? We'd have a dead Nate on our hands, that's what. And that poor guard getting shot like that is probably not going to conclude that Nate did it for the greater good.

 

Also, if Deeks is sleepwalking that badly, I'd be concerned and possibly headed for a sleep clinic. Sleepwalkers have been documented doing all sorts of unsafe activity, like driving cars or trying to swim. This is something to be worried about, not joking about.

 

Kensi, if the food is not yours, then you cannot have it. Whether the owner of the food plans to eat it or not. That is basic good manners.  Please behave better, we all know you are capable of it.

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The whole episode I was waiting for Nate to give Callen a safe word or some sort of clue, rather than only intervening when they were about to be killed. It was so bothersome that it took away from the episode.

 

Also "is it really a gamble if you don't lose?" - yes, Hetty, yes it is.

Edited by secnarf
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Seriously, TF is up with the way they're writing Hetty? She's supposed to be chaotic good. When you're playing wizard chess, you protect your pawns. She's taking completely unnecessary risks with hers.

And, yeah, not really on the train with the way they're writing Kensi either. She was raised in a military family. She may not be interested in following them, but she knows exactly what the rules are.

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Yeah, that was pretty much a fail all around. Nate got in way too deep and there was apparently no back up channels, no code words, nothing to indicate that he needed help?

 

Yes! And really, they never explained WHY he never made his contacts/check-ins or how he had gotten in so deep...the whole thing made very little sense to me. And while I know they were trying to create suspense, did anyone REALLY think that Nate wasn't actually playing for Team Good Guys? Of course, in my cynical brain I started wondering if Nate is also being positioned for possible Ruah Baby Watch in the upcoming season. 

 

 

I despise Hetty.

 

 

Seriously, TF is up with the way they're writing Hetty? She's supposed to be chaotic good. When you're playing wizard chess, you protect your pawns. She's taking completely unnecessary risks with hers.

 

This. And this. It made my blood boil to have her just sit there being cavalier about whether one of the agents she had placed had become a terrorist. I really can't stand the character anymore and don't understand why they write her this way. Her short stature doesn't make her willingness to play with people's lives endearing. I have no idea how in just a few seasons we've somehow undergone a shift in which Granger is the sympathetic one the team can count on and Hetty is a diabolical dictator who's best left to her own devices. I love the actress, but I am beyond done with Hetty.

 

The Kensi and Deeks C plot was so stupid it would have been better not to give them one at all. Sleep walking? Stealing leftovers? Kensi, in particular, is really a character who suffers from the whims of various writers taking a hack at involving her in Deeks' hijinks. Kensi should be either the co-banterer or the straight man to Deeks. They shouldn't try to have her out-goof him with her antics/lack of respect for shared living spaces/etc. It just doesn't work and it makes the character feel shallow and mean. The actors have such a great natural chemistry that there's no need to try to force the vibe with dumb sidebar clowning, especially the type that resolves in heretofore undiscovered sleep walking. Come on, people. We're not five. 

 

I actually thought one of the more interesting parts of the episode was Deeks talking about deep undercover work. We know that he regularly did this type of thing before joining the team, and I would eventually love to explore that more with him, maybe in the form of one of his past cases coming up again. 

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Of course, in my cynical brain I started wondering if Nate is also being positioned for possible Ruah Baby Watch in the upcoming season. 

 

 

 

This. And this. It made my blood boil to have her just sit there being cavalier about whether one of the agents she had placed had become a terrorist. I really can't stand the character anymore and don't understand why they write her this way. Her short stature doesn't make her willingness to play with people's lives endearing. I have no idea how in just a few seasons we've somehow undergone a shift in which Granger is the sympathetic one the team can count on and Hetty is a diabolical dictator who's best left to her own devices. I love the actress, but I am beyond done with Hetty.

 

 

 

I actually thought one of the more interesting parts of the episode was Deeks talking about deep undercover work. We know that he regularly did this type of thing before joining the team, and I would eventually love to explore that more with him, maybe in the form of one of his past cases coming up again. 

You know, I was wondering why we seemed to get Nate out of left field like this.Usually he only shows up when one of them are having Issues (I had expected to see him after Kensi got back from Afghanistan). But if they are trying to lay the groundwork to cover a potential maternity leave then this makes sense. Last time worked because in-universe Kensi was only gone 4-5 months and it was easy to pull Nell out of Ops as needed. But an in-universe maternity leave is going to be much longer (I can't imagine a pregnant agent being allowed to the field work we see them dealing with) and it makes sense to have a longer term back up plan.

 

I don't understand Hetty anymore and I'm rapidly losing the desire to want to. I miss the Hetty that ruled the budget with an iron fist, insisted on in-service training, made sure that agents received medical care (whether they wanted to or not), chased down paperwork and somehow knew everything without appearing to try. *That* Hetty was amazing! 

 

Our current Hetty seems not care if her agents live or die, is willing to sacrifice them for the Greater Good as needed and apparently feels they are her own private chess playes, for her own private game. This Hetty scares me a little. 

 

Would have loved to see Deeks talking more about deep undercover work. It's a great part of his backstory and we know so little about it!

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I'm not too thrilled with the idea of Nate as a Ruah Baby Replacement. As a character, Nate doesn't inspire strong feelings in me. On the other hand, it's a better choice than Anna. She does inspire strong feelings in me - all of them bad.

I second the thought that we really need some further exploration of Deeks' background and experiences deep undercover.

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Well we know Nate. He's been around since season one, he's worked with our team and he actually works for NCIS. I'll take Nate over Anna any day if we have to start talking temporary replacements.

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I love Nate, but this episode was weird.  Did they swap writing teams with some other show or something?  Remember when Nate transitioned from team psychologist to field agent, and how worried and concerned Hetty was about him getting in over his head?  Where is that Hetty?  I'm OK with Nate seeming to go dark (though shooting the guy with the shotgun seemed a little extra dark) and have him keep Callen wondering, but to not have Hetty freaking the f*ck out about it just doesn't make sense. 

 

I'm trying to mitigate Nate shooting the guy, they did say he was in the hospital but OK.  Maybe Nate loaded his shotgun with rock salt?  Or a half load of gunpowder?  Waterboarding Callen was a little extreme, but nobody knows better than Nate how Callen is trained to respond to such things.

 

Who was the actress who played Nate's terrorist friend?  She was badass.

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I'm trying to mitigate Nate shooting the guy, they did say he was in the hospital but OK.  Maybe Nate loaded his shotgun with rock salt?  Or a half load of gunpowder?  Waterboarding Callen was a little extreme, but nobody knows better than Nate how Callen is trained to respond to such things.

Last we were updated was when Kensi and Deeks let his partner know at the hospital that shotgun partner was in surgery. :-(

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Who was the actress who played Nate's terrorist friend?  She was badass.

 

I looked her up. Remember the episode of the mothership with the models in bootcamp for reality TV? She was the model who wasn't a jerk.

Edited by Julia

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I've had my doubts about how much Hetty cares about Nate since the episode where she broke up his relationship with the nice doctor he was seeing, because it wasn't convenient for Hetty. She's always encouraging the others to make connections, even helping them to build their relationships, but Nate didn't get to. She did give him a chess board to make up for it, though.

So I've always had the feeling she kind of hates him for some reason, and this episode didn't help to disabuse me of that notion.

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Last we were updated was when Kensi and Deeks let his partner know at the hospital that shotgun partner was in surgery. :-(

I am pretty sure that I also heard that he would be okay.  I was horrified when Nate shot him, thought for sure he had gone to the dark side.  Even a non-fatal shot would be pretty painful and Nate couldn't be sure it wouldn't be fatal.

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So I've always had the feeling she kind of hates him for some reason, and this episode didn't help to disabuse me of that notion.

 

I suspect it is his height.  :)

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I've had my doubts about how much Hetty cares about Nate since the episode where she broke up his relationship with the nice doctor he was seeing, because it wasn't convenient for Hetty. She's always encouraging the others to make connections, even helping them to build their relationships, but Nate didn't get to. She did give him a chess board to make up for it, though.

So I've always had the feeling she kind of hates him for some reason, and this episode didn't help to disabuse me of that notion.

I have doubts that Hetty truly cares about any of them, other than as means to an end. I get that she is the boss and does have to make hard calls. But she really seems to push things further than they need to be. Did Kensi need to go to Afghanistan? Yes but what purpose did serve to lie to her about why? Or to let Deeks think she'd been sent away as a punishment?

 

She's known Callen since he was a teenager and clearly was tracking him before that. And yet she wait at least 10-15 *years* to tell him about his mother when she had the info the whole time. I'd wager money she's always known Callen's name and his father's identity.

 

What purpose did it serve to break up Nate and Dr. Rose (the pretty coroner)? 

 

Why send Kensi and Deeks over to act as bodyguards for her former fiancee, without at least telling them is identity first? At least give Kensi the car ride over to deal with the shock.

 

I've said it before: Hetty reminds me uncomfortably of Dumbledore. She doesn't see people as people, only pieces to use in pursuit of some greater good. 

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Ooooh, that's a good analogy...  I remember being so mad that kindly, deep thinking Dumbledore turned out to be a manipulative, conniving chess master.  Learning that there are people out there willing to use other people as a means to an end--good or bad--is an important lesson for kids to learn.

 

Hetty may just be another example.  She plays a deep game.  Remember when she essentially forced that one retired agent to kill himself?

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I was under the belief that Nate used a bean-bag "non-lethal" shotgun.

 

OK I think I finally figured things out...so Nate was undercover, and then he figured out that the chick (after despising her on Heroes Reborn I hated seeing her back on screen) needed the JDX to sell to some big crime guys.  So instead of trying to arrange with the team a plan, he decided to tell the chick he was with NCIS, suddenly fell for her and her ideals and that he knew a convoluted way of getting his hands on the explosives...while also looping his team into the situation on the fly, and of course big bad killer goes along with it...along with the non-kill ways of Nate?

I think that would explain why the team was pissed, not by what Nate did during the operation, but the fact he decided to do it without consulting them first.  Of course it is hilarious hearing any of those guys talk about how someone else's reckless action puts lives in danger...like they don't do something like that EVERY SINGLE EPISODE.

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Ooooh, that's a good analogy...  I remember being so mad that kindly, deep thinking Dumbledore turned out to be a manipulative, conniving chess master.  Learning that there are people out there willing to use other people as a means to an end--good or bad--is an important lesson for kids to learn.

 

Hetty may just be another example.  She plays a deep game.  Remember when she essentially forced that one retired agent to kill himself?

I saw your post last night, and then thought of it this morning when I saw that JK Rowling posted on Twitter that Dumbledore is her favourite character.

I wonder if the writers feel the same way about Hetty as JKR does about Dumbledore.

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God, it's true. Hetty is the short Dumbledore. What a heinous thing. I for one haaaaated Dumbles from the first (the twinkly eyes gave it away) and knew he would turn out to be a puppetmaster interested only in his own game. Hetty seems to be following in his footsteps, willing to sacrifice her team to her whims and wishes. Gah.

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