Ascencion (5×01) Review by @Phillydi



Ascension (5X01)

WRITTEN BY:  Frank Military

DIRECTED BY:  Terrence O’Hara

The spoilers have been excruciating.  The rumors were agonizing and the wait….unbearable.  The fans of NCIS Los Angeles have endured a rough summer waiting for the exciting conclusion to last season’s closing episode Decent.  From the title of this opening episode, we can only hope that the team will emerge victorious like the phoenix rising or ascending, in this case.  Yet, if we can believe all the spoilers, there’s going to be some painful times ahead for this team in order to return to normal, if ever again.  We can only assume that the recovery time will be a long one.  On top of all that, the team still has to recover the missing nuclear weapons that were left in the hands of Sidorov.  So much to mend, so little time!

We pick up where we left off last season with Kensi trying to save Michelle from the Russian Bond girls.  Once Michelle is safe and on her way back to Sidorov, it was satisfying to see Kensi and Granger working in tandem in order to find Sam and Deeks’ tortured bodies in Sidorov’s hideout.  When Kensi finds Deeks I just couldn’t stand to watch the sad, imploring look in his eyes when she tells him she has to leave him there for a bit longer.  It’s distressing to see Deeks’ face particularly disfigured and not surprisingly both Sam and Deeks are physically hurt, disoriented and dazed.

Michelle Hanna…Hide your Barbie Dolls!

Once Michelle finds Sidorov, she has to convincingly prove to him that she didn’t know Sam was a federal agent.  You think Michelle was badass before all this?  Well now she doesn’t blink an eye when she shoots Sam and Deeks at point blank.  Talk about insult to injury. (Although I never did figure out how they survived those gun shots to the chest…any ideas?)  But she proves to Sidorov she is for real and even Sidorov is a bit scared of her now.  Aunjanue Ellis was brilliant in that scene.  No Barbie dolls for her!

When the team finally comes back for Sam and Deeks, Sam is still demanding from Deeks if he gave Michelle up.  Sam is not sure about his partner.  The hospital scene was gruesome and brutal.  Deeks couldn’t stand to be touched by the doctors or look into Kensi  eyes.  He was already suffering from the stress of being brutally tortured.  He was still searching for Sam’s approval, even after all he went through.

Callen, Janvier and Revenge!

In the mean time Callen and his team are using Janvier to complete the arms deal to the Iranians.  The gold is exchanged for the bombs and all parties go their separate ways including Janvier, who escapes in the most disgusting way possible….he cuts the patch of tracking spray off his own neck!  Janvier is still playing chess with Callen and lives to get his revenge against the agent even if it comes at Callen’s own hands.

Heartbreak and Atonement

Sam….Deeks…. hospital room.  Probably the most poignant conversation I have heard between any two characters on this show….ever.  Watching Deeks begin to cry as Sam leaves his room just broke my heart in two.  For Deeks to say he didn’t want to be a cop…well you know he was suffering and in a very bad way.



At the Mission, Eric and Nell are tracking down the bombs and discover that the devices are bound on a ship to Iran.  The team splits up to follow the dealers to see which one will lead them to the ship first.  When Sam finds out that Michele is still in Sidorov’s grip, he doesn’t waste any time tracking her down even if it means discharging himself out of the hospital.

First a cop….always a cop!

Sidorov is on his way to San Diego where a plane will take both him and Michelle away to spend his millions in luxury.  But Michelle has been made after Sidorov realizes she lifted his phone to get a text back to NCIS.  Luckily,  Sam never follows orders when it comes to the safety of his family and colleagues.  With Michele’s life hanging in the balance again….Sam goes in with Kensi to save his wife and kill Sidorov once and for all.  The dance with all parties on top of the helopad was wonderfully choreographed.  With everyone circling the black top, Sirorov is threatening to kill Michelle if Sam and Kensi don’t lay down their weapons.  But like the great first responder that he is….Deeks comes in to save the day!  Amazing.  Our LAPD Detective is back!  He may be beaten but he’s not down!  Everyone’s good. Right?

In the end, Callen never gets to give Janvier his wish for  revenge and an easy death but knowing that Janvier gets a triple life sentence will have to be enough.  As Janvier says to Callen they consume each other and so the feast continues.  The game is not over.

The final scene between Deeks and Kensi was probably their first genuine talk ever.  Even though both of them were still holding back for different reasons, it was beautiful music to my ears.  Did you see the infamous box in the background? A talisman that will always stand for their relationship.  Nice touch.

I, for one, am happy to see this episode come and go.  The spoilers and pictures of all the pain and carnage the whole group goes through weighed heavily on the entire fandom for months.  Awaiting the fate of all these beloved characters was enough to give anyone who cares about the show an ulcer.  Now we can all take a big breath and watch how friends like Nate and Hetty come in and work their magic and  hopefully try and put Humpty Dumpty together again.  They certainly have their work cut out for them.

Show Highlights:

  • It was hard to pick out just one or two because everyone one gave such great performances.  It was a first class episode all around.  Bravo to Frank Military and Terrence O’Hara as well.  But if I had to pick the most gut wrenching moment it would be in Deeks’ hospital room with Sam.  That scene will always make me cry.

Best Lines of the Show:

Michelle:  You sent Barbies after me?  I hate Barbies! I use to pull their heads off when I was a kid?

Sidorov:  How did you find me?

Michelle:  A Barbie told me right before I pulled her head off.

Bromance Moments:

  • Normally our bromance section centers around Callen and Sam but this week Deeks and Sam are in the spotlight as they are forced to take their past relationship into account particularly after Deeks proves that Sam’s prejudices in  regards to his character was all wrong.  Deeks will have Sam’s thanks and Sam may owe him one but will he ever get his respect?  I think there is still more to come on the future of this relationship.

Deeks:  I think I’m done being a cop.

Sam:  That would be a huge mistake. You’re a great cop and you’re going to make a great agent.

Deeks: I never thought I’d hear that coming from you.

Sam:  Yeah, that was my mistake.  I won’t make it again.

Densi Moments:



Poor Densi.  The heartbreak is just beginning in this relationship and as Shane Brennan has promised… don’t expect a happy ending…at least not yet.  So many areas threaten to rip these two apart now and it will be interesting to see how and IF they can fight their way back to each other despite all they have been through.  After witnessing the kiss between Deeks and Kensi, fans have had a hard summer speculating on what it all means for the endearing couple.  Our heart breaks along with theirs as we watched their conversation at the end……  It’s going to be a bumpy ride this year and all Densi fans should be prepared.

Kensi:  Listen, I know what you’re going through.

Deeks:  I really hope that you never do.

Deeks:  Kens, I just want you to know that the place I went to in my head to stop the pain was you.  I just kept thinking about your smile and your laugh…everything.  That’s the only thing that got me through for whatever it’s worth.

Neric Moments:

Not much about our favorite teckies this episode due to all of the action swirling around the other character but I am starting a Neric section to the review particularly in lieu of all of the teasers we have gotten about Nell and Eric’s relationship heating up later in the season.  Let’s see what happens, shall we?

Check out my interview with Danny Gonzalez who guest starred on last night’s episode.  Find out about his time on set and working with Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen.  Also I have an updated interview with Tim Murphy as well, who told me what it was like returning as one of the show’s greatest villains, Sidorov.  As we get further into the season, the drama relating to this episode will only continue and it will be interesting to see how our favorite characters recover from this ordeal and if in one piece?!  Come back next week for our review of Impact (5X02).

You can find me on Twitter @Phillydi

Exclusive Review

60 thoughts on “Ascencion (5×01) Review by @Phillydi

  1. Jess

    Thanks for that review 🙂
    PS I reckon Kensi and Grainger fitted Sam and Deeks with bulletproof vests before Michelle “shot” them as a set-up in front of Siderov 😉

  2. Mckenna

    I’d say that the “kit” Kensi threw Granger was for the shootings, like the blood packs they use for faking them? Maybe Michelle shot blanks too…

    1. Diane

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. Even though that’s what I had in my mind, it was still hard to watch Deeks get shot 🙁

  3. Bumblebea9

    What a way to start the season! It answered the questions we’ve been waiting all summer to have answered but of course left us with more.
    ECO knocked it out of the park and it’s nice to see “the powers that be” are finally let him show his acting chops.

    Sam and Deeks – loved the scene but I think it was a little to late Sam.
    Kensi and Deeks – he opened up to her (what a confusion) and she says nothing again.

    There was a couple big holes though. Michelle shot Sam and Deeks but it was never addressed why neither didn’t have gun shot wounds. They could have shown vests when S & D was brought into the hospital.

    Also, if Janvier cut off a piece of skin that big shouldn’t there have been blood?

    I’m glad they didn’t kill Janvier off because he will appear in the future season when we least expect it.

    I wonder how their going to write DR pregrancy into the story line. I hope they do and here’s my thoughts – Kensi finds out she’s pregrant with Deeks baby and turns to Hetty for help. After she has the baby she gives it to Hetty and they agree not to tell Deeks. In a future season, something happens to Kensi and Hetty has to tell him about the baby.

    Just my thoughts. Can’t wait to next week!

  4. suzzie

    great review love last episode and best best line for me was when said Deeks: Kens, I just want you to know that the place I went to in my head to stop the pain was you. I just kept thinking about your smile and your laugh…everything. That’s the only thing that got me through for whatever it’s worth. i just love then i really cant wait how rest season goes 05×01 10 out 10

  5. Sweet Lu

    This episode was heart wrenching. ECO’s performance was so raw and so real I was holding my breath through each scene he was in. How he does that, I will never know, but he made Deeks’ trauma explode off the screen. The hospital scene almost seemed like a documentary. My heart was pounding before it was over and broke my heart when the only person he would look at was Sam. I wanted the scene between Deeks and Sam in that hospital room to be longer, but the intensity of it brought tears to my eyes. Deeks not wanting to be a cop anymore almost broke my heart. It’s who he is and if he can’t be a cop than I think he’s going to be totally lost. So much to love in that last scene with Kensi, but when Sam says “laughing is good” and Deeks sad eyes as a response was just heartbreaking.

    As always Di, you write the best reviews. Thanks for this one…it was a rough ride for all of us fans after the long wait. This was a good one.

    1. Diane Post author

      Thanks Sweet Lu! No doubt about it… ECO was extraordary! I thought his interaction with all of the characters was heartbreaking. I don’t expect any of them to change overnight so I wasn’t surprised by their reactions. Even Kensi stayed true to character….if she hadn’t the show would have been over and we could have closed the book on Densi. Which only means we have a ways to go in that relationship and I hope that we get all season to keep chipping away at her resolve. For me this episode really helps me check off a lot of the boxes on my Deeks’ wish list. For that alone…I will always love it.

  6. tara

    Another great review. The premiere was awesome! So much drama, action and of course, heartbreak.
    In response to you were wondering how Sam and Deeks survived those gun shot wounds to the chest. It was staged, just like the episode from season 1 when Kensi and Sam were shot in that bank. As undercover operators, the team has to trick the bad guys to get the job done.

  7. Sweet Lu

    Additional thoughts about the ending…

    I don’t think the others realize just how traumatized Deeks is. They joke with him because I think that’s how they deal with things, and because that’s what Deeks does all the time. But, I believe they think he will let what happened roll off his back like he does with their teasing. They appear to think he will just get over it and from all the teasers, we know that doesn’t happen. I was greatly disturbed by the promo for next week. It is hard for me to believe that Hetty is not willing to fight to save Deeks. She seemed cold hearted in that small clip and that makes me sad.

  8. Savi

    They fitted them with squibs and she was shooting blanks. You can see the blood cap on Deek’s white shirt when the paramedics start stripping him to check him out (while Sam is yelling “did you give up Michelle?”

  9. mary

    oh my gooood …..I cried like a fountain
    the interpretation of Eric Christian Olsen is something exceptional, like that of all, also the “thank you” by Sam sighed was heartbreaking. One of the best premiere ever written!!!.
    The last scene between Deeks and Kensi was wonderfully sad, they were both about to cry, and maybe something would happen if Sam and Callen had not interrupted. As promised by the producers us Densi shippers we expect everything, but we remain hopeful. I’m already looking forward to seeing the second episode.
    Ahhhhhhhh my Densi feeling.
    ps: Italy loves you XD

  10. Carrie

    I.LOVED.IT.! *and breathe*

    ECO was amazing! like Sweet Lu was saying, I don’t think I took one breath the entire time Deeks was on scene. And Callen’s madness/obsessiveness over Janvier had me wanting to run alongside him to help catch him.

    I loved how Hetty already knew Sam was at the hotel with Kensi 🙂 I giggled!

    I think for me I have two scenes that stood out. 1st one in the hospital emergency room when Deeks saw the drill and literally freaked while the doctor yelled at him. I was so startled by ECO’s amazing acting and the second the conversation between Sam and Deeks!

    I saw the preview for next weeks episode and I am quite worried about Hetty’s comment about his future on the team. But darn if I didn’t die laughing when she jumped out from behind the curtains!

  11. Evi

    Great premier!!! I don’t think Sam and Callen realize just how much Deeks is affected by this operation. The joke in the end wasn’t of course disrespectful towards Deeks. All they wanted was to see him laugh and smile like he always does.

    Based on the spoilers I expected a heartbreaking conversation between Kensi and Deeks but it ended up to be more of a confession. God, I don’t know if that scene shattered my heart or just melted it. Either way it was just perfection. I only wish they had given Kensi the opportunity to reciprocate. I love how she closes the distance between them with every word she says. And how her body seems to relax when he utters those words. For me, it is the closest thing he has to an “I Love You” . And the way he says “everything”….oh I am going to start crying again! The only thing I didn’t understand was the “for whatever it’s worth” he added in the end. Did he mean that he loves her, but just can’t do this right now?

    I trully felt sorry for her when he said he wanted to get away from everyone. The tears in her eyes were heartbreaking. When Deeks told her “I hope you never know what I am going through” she looked at him quite hurt. Don’t underestimate her Deeks. She knows exactly what you are going through. She’s been through all it with Jack.

    I also hope the Deeks/ SAm scene was a bit longer, but I guess they said all that needed to be said. Callen really needs to get over Chamelon. This obsession of his, is consuming everyone around him. He was so focused on him that he seemed less interested in Sam and Deeks. Fail Callen!!!

    All in all an amazing premier. Can’t wait for the rest of it although we all know the road is going to be bumpy!

  12. Caroline

    This was a huge disappointment. The acting was pretty good. ECO was outstanding. It felt rushed, with more focus on action than the effect on the characters. Deeks would have sustained serious mouth injuries making it hard to talk. He certainly wouldn’t have been fit enough to ‘save the day’ and then go out for a drink. Sam really didn’t seem very contrite and there was no exploration of Callen’s feeling of guilt. The whole concept of Janvier’s fake daughter and Janvier finding Vasiri made no sense. Suddenly finding the bombs after making the point that there are thousands of shipping containers wasn’t credible. Janvier having time to cut off a large piece of skin when Callen was only seconds behind him and then walking away as if nothing had happened? Absolutely unbelievable. This was a wasted opportunity and should have been played out over two episodes. The time jump at the end was also disappointing although I look forward to ECO’s continued excellent acting while he battles with his demons.

  13. Laura

    As usual, I am in sync with Caroline. I wish this could have been a two hour premiere because I can see exactly where they were trying to go with everything, and imagine that much of great beauty and quality was left on the cutting room floor especially given the nature of the hints ECO shared over the summer. He, Dani, Renee, and Barrett have all said that the first time any of them actually see the finished product is the same time we do, so I am sure the scripts contain somewhat longer scenes especially those containing dialogue, which can then be trimmed to suit time constraints. The scenes between Deeks and Sam and Deeks and Kensi were both wonderful and touching but somehow seemed truncated to me and not just because Sam had to leave and because Sam and Callen interrupted. The ER scene was in a way my favorite because it was so realistic and the bond between Deeks and Sam was so poignantly portrayed by the phenomenal acting of both ECO and LL, I just wept. Eric Christian Olsen is simply a bona fide award worthy talent and I really hope that next year the Emmys will give over and finally recognize that an NCIS franchise deserves this .

    1. Carrie

      I actually found myself a tad disappointed by Callen…We all know he is obsessed with Janvier and we all knew Janvier was going to try and escape. I wish they had left that whole chase scene in the mall for another episode.

  14. I Feel Possessed

    I thought I’d read too many spoilers so I was pleasantly surprised with the episode. There were a few plot holes (noticeably Hetty speaking to Sam when he arrived from the hospital to Kensi at the hotel – she didn’t call him on his mobile so would he really have an earwig in to hear her…?)

    Loved the fact that Janvier has lived to fight another day and there surely is no doubt that he will attempt to exact his revenge on Callen. Hopefully that will be a story for season 6 or 7 though.

    The final scenes in the Bullpen with Deeks and Kensi was so touching, after seeing the distress Deeks was in at the hospital and when Kensi first found him. Loved Callen wearing those dodgy false teeth – that was so un-Callen like to my mind.

    But to have such events packed into one episode does spoil it and I’m sure they’ve cut scenes which maybe would have filled in a few blanks. If only they could make the premiere 2 hours instead of 1…it did feel rather rushed. But I for one still loved it!

  15. Pam Ridgway

    My my sixteen and seventeen year old nieces have been staying with my husband and I for the past month. They are both social media “freaks” and huge NCIS LA fans. As such I have become quite familiar with the NCIS LA “fandom”and TV show. I also watched (with them) the last couple of episodes from last season. They showed me this website as well as the fan fiction site and all I can say is do any of you guys have a real life?????I and because I apparently have nothing better to do decided I needed to give my two cents. This show (more so than its big brother NCIS) is horrible — They plots are pointless the actors are mediocre at best and the writing — don’t even get me started!!! As for the premiere last night I have not watched it yet but got a blow by blow play when I returned home from a business trip earlier today — Thanks to Cindy for her comments above who I think are probably spot on —without even watching. I don’t have much time in my life for TV I chose a career in finance that keeps me pretty busy but what shows I catch up when on planes and when I can catch a few spare minutes of down time are Homeland, Breaking Bad, Downtown Abbey, Mad Men, Revenge — These shows with the phenomenal acting and writing are worthy of my time–apparently the television academy agrees with me based on the number of award nominations and wins many of them have received. Put NCIS LA up against a real TV drama not a realty show and I’ll bet you its not the number 2 show on TV for long—my nieces threw that number 2 show on TV thing up in my face -when I told them they were banned from watching this crap — No need to respond to my what I am sure will be perceived as vile, mean and I would guess bullying comments — As this is the first and last time I will be on this website.
    PS _Pay up Kristen and Katelyn — Auntie Pam won the bet!!

    1. Sweet Lu

      I almost didn’t write this reply, but this lady pissed me off so I decided to rant. I was happy to read this woman’s comment that she will not be returning to this site in the future. Good. How can you judge something you haven’t even seen? And if she not a fan why take any of her obviously valuable time away from high finance to comment at all? We all have lives, whether she thinks we do or not, so not only did she insult the show, the actors and the writers, but all of the our fandom as well. Oh, and by the way, in case her nieces show this to her…it’s Downton Abbey, not “Downtown Abbey”.

    2. trytofindme

      News flash – just because it hasn’t won an award doesn’t make it bad. At least I have watched an episode of all the programs that you have mentioned that you watch and think are good. Guess what, I can’t stand any of them.
      Do I bad mouth them and the people that put up their fan sites dedicated to the program? No, because to do any sort of fan site it takes lots of unpaid time and dedication to keeps people updated, it is a very thankless task.
      You may work in finance but that does not make you any better than the rest of us or do you just have an overinflated sense of self worth? Maybe working in finance has removed your care factor or maybe you just weren’t raise with the saying “If you can’t say something nice it is better to say nothing at all”.

    3. Live The Lie

      Um… Wow… What a disappointing example “Auntie Pam” has set for her nieces. I’m sorry Kristen and Katelyn, that she took something you seemed to truly enjoy and ruined it for you. So very sorry. #ifyouhavenothingnicetosay…

      1. Diane

        Touche, touche, and yes – you can touch my touche!!! You really shouldn’t comment on something you know nothing about – acting. ECO’s portrayal was so heart-wrenching. That’s acting at it’s very best!!! So many people cried during his various scenes so that just goes to show you how much his acting touched so many people’s hearts.

  16. Gayle

    In the end I was pretty split on this ep, which I say with great disappointment.

    The spoiler gave away the initial non-rescue of Deeks & Sam. If I hadn’t seen that in advance I would have flipped out. We know Kensi is wired for “duty first”, but I continue to wonder where her limit is for that? If it wasn’t here, in this situation, with him, I’m not sure it even exists. Kensi’s eyes & voice somewhat read the anguish, but it still felt like a front to me.

    The worst for me in the entire episode was the timeline. I couldn’t tell if these things were happening hours or days apart. Regardless some of it didn’t make sense. How long did it really take for Sam & Deeks to recover? How did they know where Michelle & Kensi were? Deeks was clearly not well mentally, already questioning continuing his profession, but yet he jumps out of bed, somehow acquires a gun and heads to where Michelle was? I can’t see this being a case of “unfinished business”. Very confusing.

    I just rewatched the closing Densi scene, which ended up being the worst part for me. Putting Deeks’ heartfelt verbal confession aside, Kensi was still clearly hesitant to respond to him verbally and minutely slow in physically moving toward him. While she might to cautious concerning his stability, to me it was an inexcusable reaction (or lack thereof). Good Lord woman! The man has kissed you and clearly laid his heart out for you, telling you in no uncertain terms you are the only reason he persevered, and what do you do? Virtually nothing?! And I’m not one to play the “I’m sure she talked with him in private later” card. No. No more.

    More than many I have personally connected with Kensi and been able to rationally justify her actions (or inaction) in the past particularly in relation to her trust issues. I understood her being closed off and behind her wall. If I’d had to choose a character to fight for it was always her. But this was too much; my patience with her on this subject is at an end. He needed her. He needed her to comfort him, to relieve him of the post-kiss anxiety, and to apologize for leaving him in that state of torture. What did he get? Nothing.

    The end with the guys joking about the teeth…. I realize where they were going with this, trying to gives Deeks his usual “cover tension with humor”, but (much like Sweet Lu) for me it was too soon. (Still don’t know how much time had passed.) It felt inconsiderate.

    Kensi had to tamp down her emotional reaction to finding
    Deeks and was affected by the issue of him not looking at her in the hospital. She also teared up at the thought of Deeks “leaving” at the end. We did get a brief handhold in the hospital, but it was more out of physical need/desperation than a declaration of true emotion.

    While Sam’s statements were long overdue and seemingly genuine, that situation still feels a bit unfinished.

    The best part of the ep for me (& I am surprised myself in this statement) was ECO’s performance. I know he said he read up on PTSD a lot over the summer, but it was simply amazing. Forget the jokester; forget Max. This was undeniably his best work ever in his entire career. This was taking the end of “Local Boys” and perfecting it. As ECO would say, he “crushed it”!

    Me? I’m more excited for 5×2….

    1. Karen

      Gayle I was so curious to hear your thoughts on this episode, knowing how much you relate to Kensi. I loved your comments here and really shared a lot of the same feelings of frustration and disappointment in her.

      1. Gayle

        I was too rough on Kensi. It hit me last night that Deeks’ potential departure would likely resurface all of her trust and “every man leaves me” issues. So not only would she be cautious regarding his mental state and stability, but regresses to protecting herself as well. How does she navigate between his sincere words and actions vs walking away from the team and her?

        1. Karen

          I like that observation, that helps me to feel better about her in that scene, thanks! However, I don’t know that I can ever forgive her for abandoning him like that in the ER. Please give me an interpretation that will make that feel better to me…

  17. Diane Post author

    Thanks for all your comments. Had a lot of time today to think over a lot of the scenes and I still think it was a great opening episode for the season. We have a long ways to go and I don’t think they can get it all done in 44 minutes. I do feel if nothing else it sets up a great arc for the rest of the season in terms of Densi and some of the other characters. I’m looking forward to a different kind of year with lots of surprises.

  18. blue dogs rock!!!!!

    eco performance was amazing!!!
    have watched this episode 5x now and i keep finding little things that irked me ???
    overall i thought the episode was awesome

  19. trytofindme

    Like most people here, I wish it had a bit more filler scenes and made it 2 hours so we could get a sense of a longer time frame. I can understand why they wanted it all done in one episode but it did feel a little rushed.
    That being said I did like the mastercard priceless rip off by Callen.

  20. mistri

    First of all, wonderful review, Di. Spot on.

    I agree that the “kit” that Granger asked Kensi to toss him contained the blood pods, and I believe Michelle used a gun with blanks for this interaction.

    ECO totally blew me away. I cried during the second preview where Kensi rescued him, and I knew I would need a box of Kleenex for the premiere (the full box was nearly empty when the show was over). I am glad that they are going to at least realistically show that trauma like this cannot go away after one episode. It’s my opinion that it will take several episodes for Deeks to be fully functional again but it will happen. Also, I was buoyed by Brennan’s remarks about what would transpire between Kensi and Deeks and I have the impression that he’s not going to play cat and mouse for umpteen seasons with these characters like the Mothership did with Ziva and Tony. In other words, these two characters will end up together sooner rather than later. At least that’s the vibes I got.

    As to the troll and her uncalled-for remarks, well, consider the source. She reminds me of the “artsy-fartsy” fools who would only read “literary” works and never stoop to read generic fiction which often is better written and better plotted than Oprah’s chosen masterpieces that are depressing and, for the most part, suck. It’s a sad person with no life that has to take it upon herself to come onto a show’s website and chide others for their interests. If she thinks she was showing her superiority she has another thing coming. She showed she was exactly what she described–vile and nasty. She’s also a coward but then go figure.

    The hell with people like her. If she doesn’t like the show, fine. It’s her prerogative. However, it’s beyond the pale to
    act like the lot of us have no lives. Whoop-ti-do, she’s in finance. Big deal. Having been around NCISLA fans for several years on line and in every-day life, I can assure her that they are probably better educated than she is and have varied and eclectic professions, including many that are more prestigious than “finance.”

    Okay, sorry for that oration but I had to get it off my chest.
    I thought the show was excellent, and I’d love to see outtakes of what didn’t make the final cut.

  21. Lumy_Mee

    It was a great episode, with outstanding performances. Dynamic, emotional, it had it all!
    I kind of understood Kensi’s hesitation to offer more comfort to Deeks, she is now back to square 1 in relation to what happened in the Jack story. Jack went through trauma, she did her best to help him, she was pushed aside and eventually deserted. The situation with Deeks looks as if it might go the same way – no wonder she is probably considering whether she can go through this again.

  22. Evi

    Oh Gayle I have to disagree with you a bit. We all know Kensi it wired for duty first as you said, but I could clearly see it in her eyes and heat it in the tone of her voice that it hurt her having to leave him tied up. Even in the hospital apart from the physical contact she makes in order to calm him down and make him listen to her, it is quite evident that she didn’t want to leave him. If Granger wasn’t there I am pretty sure she would have stayed with him.

    Let’s not forget that in “Personal” she stayed by his side till the end. As well as with Renko even though they had a killer on the lose. Right now half the team was hospitalized and someone had to do the job. She had no choice over it.

    On the contrary I was angry at Callen’s behavior. His obsession with the chameleon is putting everyone’s life in danger. He really needs to get over him.

    I really felt sorry for Kensi when Deeks was packing his stuff saying he wanted to get away from everyone. Even her. That must had been a knife to the heart for Kensi, not ot mention a deja-vu (similar situation with Jack).
    I liked the fact the she didn’t put any pressure on him to talk about it. She just stated that no matter what, she is there for him.

    Those amazing honest words Deeks said, for me was his way of saying I love, but also right now I am too damaged to do anything about it. You are right, she should have said something, and IMP if the guys hadn’t walked in, she would have. Right now she is the one to make a move since he declared his feelings both physically and verbally.

    Anyway I’ll say it again. I wanted a hug betweern them. Not a romantic hug but as a sign of relief that finally everything is over, and everyone is – short of – safe. On the rooftop and the final scene was the perfect opportunity.

    BTW the hospital scene gave me the shivers. I don’t think we have ever seen Deeks turning violent against someone “innocent”. Aw, and the look in his eyes…..just broke my heart into a million pieces.

    I really don’t want Deeks to build a wall even higher than Kensi’s. He is not alone anymore and he has to realize the affect his decisions have on the team. I also want to know what happened within these 4 months.

    P.S I really didn’t want to get into it but I can’t….In response to Pam we all have lives and apparently we are not so self centered and have time for more things than just a carreer.

  23. Karen

    Thanks for your great review, and for giving us a forum for discussion. I’m sorry this is so long (the end result of a post-Descent obsessed summer), and I totally understand if you don’t post it!…

    At this point for me this episode stands simultaneously as one of the strongest, based almost completely on ECO, and one of the most disappointing and anger-inducing. I’m hoping my overall opinion might change in time; it seems that often the writers are planning for the long term, and maybe some of the things that disappointed me last night will prove in the end to be well thought out and lead to a satisfying long-term payoff.

    So I’ll start with the positive, which was ECO. I had assumed that much of his talk of “honest” and “heartbreaking” scenes was hyperbole. But dear God, he was, as Sweet Lu said, so raw and so real, I was simply blown away. Going in, I had as much or more confidence in his ability to pull off the drama as anyone, but I could never have imagined that performance. It was haunting and indeed, heartbreaking. I loved Sweet Lu’s description of his trauma exploding off the screen- it was shocking in its intensity. I think he was acting rings around everyone else, LL Cool J of course, but even DR, COD and MF.

    Then there are the disappointments. Overall each scene felt like a third the length I would have liked, which is an objection I frequently have with this show. They could have made such a magnificent 2-hour version, which also would have allowed them to stretch the timeline out a bit to make the plot more believable. Maybe Michelle actually would have slept with Sidorov for a few days (or a few weeks) while they tried to track down the weapons (maybe the Iranians could have stashed them in a safe place for a while until things cooled down before trying to move them out of the country). Then maybe Deeks could have had his oral surgery and had some time to actually heal before he left the hospital and went for drinks with his team. It feels like the show is written for the average attention span of, as Kensi might say, a 14-year-old, and that they’re afraid viewers will grow bored if a scene runs longer than 2 minutes. Sigh.

    Otherwise, I would say that while I love the hurt/comfort genre of story, I need a very strong dose of comfort with my hurt, and it was not to be found last night. That’s what made the episode very painful for me to watch. I could handle Deeks being traumatized- seeing him so vulnerable and real is compelling. But I couldn’t handle the way he got almost no love or support from his friends. That for me was the most heartbreaking part.

    I had figured out from the promo that they were going to leave Sam and Deeks at the body shop to save Michelle’s cover, so that first scene there went about as I expected it to, except that since they were trying to keep viewers in the dark about what was happening, they cut that conversation much shorter than I wanted. Frustrating. And for Deeks, that was the first of three separate times that Kensi walked away from him in this episode. Just awful, but at least on this occasion, I understood why she had to do it. I was also disappointed/angered that Sam would have still been doubting Deeks and questioning whether he had betrayed Michelle. That’s gotta sting for Deeks, tied there tortured for (according to ECO) seven hours, only to hear that Sam still isn’t sure about you. Grrrr.

    Then in the ER, I again agreed with Sweet Lu that it was like a documentary. I thought the brighter than normal lighting was the key to making this scene more vivid and scary than it might have otherwise been (and I’d say that overall, this was a really well directed episode). Deeks’ refusal to look at Kensi was telling about his trauma and what he may already be feeling about her having left him behind. I don’t know whether the fact that he had to look to Sam for support showed that he had bonded with Sam in some way, or that he was desperate and literally had no one else to turn to. That Kensi would have walked away from him like that was for me the absolute worst part of the entire episode. First, it didn’t make logical sense- if she and Granger had only 30 seconds to be there at the hospital because it was so important for them to be elsewhere, why did they come at all? Second, because even if they had to go, surely Kensi could have demanded an extra minute or two to try to comfort Deeks, or to at least let him know what was happening. Even if it didn’t seem like he was listening, how could she just walk away from him like that without a word? And she is the one with abandonment issues- what has she done here to poor Deeks?

    And really, how in the hell could she just walk away from him like that period??? What kind of person does that? I have always liked Kensi, and have never been disappointed in anything she has done (except for maybe her somewhat juvenile jealousy in Parley), but last night I was horrified by her actions. Leaving Deeks in such a moment of complete vulnerability and trauma seemed unbelievably heartless. Deeks would NEVER have done that to her. NOTHING would have dragged him away if their situations had been reversed. In fact, I’m not sure Deeks could have even left Kensi in the body shop, even if there were thousands of lives at stake, something that I think is actually very interesting to think about. I was left feeling like Kensi doesn’t deserve him, questioning whether she is good enough for him. Is she really so damaged that she could be that cold? I honestly don’t feel like I understood her at all here. My most charitable theory is that she was so overwhelmed and freaked out to see him like that that she couldn’t handle it and wanted to run away. In the previous scene when they did rescue them from the body shop, Granger was actually providing more comfort, physical and verbal, to Sam, than Kensi was to Deeks. It was like she was too stunned to do more.

    The scene in the hospital room with Sam was really interesting. I have been very angry at Sam since Descent, and this was the scene that I looked forward to the most, the one that I thought I would either love or hate. Surprisingly I came down somewhere in between. LL Cool J, to his credit, nearly had me forgiving him, but then I thought about it just a little harder and realized that I still want to hear more remorse from him. But more importantly, I feel like Deeks needs to be able to express what must be considerable anger towards three years of mistreatment and lack of faith. I have my fingers crossed that he’ll get to do that soon. And again, ECO was so heartbreaking and vulnerable here that it also made me less invested in what Sam was saying as I focused all of my attention on Deeks’ pain.

    And yes, while it was completely ridiculous that either Sam or Deeks would have been out of the hospital, I was happy for Deeks that he got to kill the man with the evil grin who had tortured him. I had been worried that the bad guys would get killed off without Deeks having a chance to confront them. While I still would have preferred that they got away until later in the season, so that we could have had more of an encounter between them, maybe even with some dialog exchanged, I’m glad he got to be the one to take Andros out. But of course here was yet another opportunity for Kensi to connect with him, to give him a freakin’ hug, and all she can do is ask him if he’s good. I’m going to need to really lean on the wonderful writers of fan fiction to help me understand her better.

    The final scene with Kensi, wow. First the disappointment that Kensi would willingly walk away from him yet again. How damaged is this woman? I think Gayle and I shared very similar sentiments about Kensi’s behavior. And then despite that, he yet again puts himself out there and communicates his feelings, this time with words. And what amazing words they were, powerful, emotional, beautiful, and so clearly conveying exactly what he meant. I love that now there can be no mistaking his real feelings. Each time I’ve re-watched this scene, it never ceases to make me catch my breath. I think Evi said it best- I don’t know whether it shattered my heart or just melted it.

    And then that darn interruption! (At least it wasn’t Nell yet again.) I had two different and conflicting takes on this part of the scene. The first was that it was nice that they had gone out of their way to do something to try to make him feel better, and that it probably is good to be able to laugh about such things. I liked the visual symbolism of the three agents on one side of the bullpen and Deeks on the other, until Callen invited him for drinks (BTW ridiculous) and he moved over to their side as Sam reached out to him. It was as if they were figuratively pulling him into their team, maybe for the first time. My opposite interpretation is closer to Sweet Lu’s- they don’t realize quite how traumatized he is (which makes them oblivious at best and callous at worst) and try to comfort him with jokes.

    The knife’s edge that ECO walked throughout the episode between barely holding it together and a complete breakdown was truly spectacular, no more so than in the final scene. He just seemed so completely lost, so at a loss as to how to handle things. ECO had said that he didn’t know if Deeks knew “how to get through it,” and that came across very clearly. It’s why I was desperate for someone to hug the guy- Kensi, Sam, Callen, Nell, Eric- I didn’t care, he just so clearly needed to feel some love and he only got Sam touching his foot, Kensi asking if he was good, and the relatively superficial team banter. It made me question not just what is wrong with Kensi, but what is wrong with all of these people? I mean, Callen just points at him- is that his manly way of saying thank you for saving my partner’s life and I’m sorry I let Janvier get you tortured? Are we supposed to assume that these things are said off camera?

    And then there’s the time jump. What are we missing? Surely Kensi and Deeks will have seen each other in the interim. Unless we’re going to get some flashbacks, I can’t help but feel like we’ll miss out on something we’d all want to witness. How could they not continue that conversation? (How could Kensi not have asked for another moment with her partner before they left for drinks to continue it on the spot?)

    And going forward, I really hope Deeks gets a chance to express his anger. Anger towards Sidorov, Janvier, Sam, and even Kensi. I don’t see how he can heal without that. Plus what the heck is Hetty saying next week? It reminded me a little of the way she coldly spoke to Kensi in The Debt about how maybe it was best if Deeks was gone. I have to hope that the quote was taken completely out of context; I can’t believe that Hetty wouldn’t be more supportive of Deeks- their relationship is such a special one and I don’t want to see it diminished.

    I have said before that I think when Deeks arrived on the show, he brought a sense of heart that for me had been missing amongst all these super-cool secret agents. Simultaneously he was a character who usually hid his true self behind humor. Seeing him stripped of that humor and so emotionally bare only adds to the humanity that I think makes him so special.

  24. Andieke

    I do have to agree with the idea that they tried to put too much into a short time frame. Two hours would have been better cause it would have allowed them to explain things better. Even when it had been in the same concept as the first one of season 4. Only at the very end you find out that missing details and the story suddenly becomes clear.

    While is seems unrealistic for both Sam and Deeks to be at the hotel, I like that Deeks was there too and judging by how Sam was acting he knew. I like that they didn’t keep him at the hospital as the weak one while Sam would be able to come to his wife’s aide. After all Kensi was there too and that should have meant something to Deeks.

    While the Janvier story had a nice ring to it in the beginning, it’s getting a bit too much. I understand Callen’s obsession with him, but right now that obsession is getting other people hurt. And maybe he did need to see it, by going there to that prison he’s giving Janvier want he wants, his full attention.

    Although there was that moment in the car where Granger is talking about the goal and Callen telling him that the price is too high. I suppose it’s rather easy to say that one life can be sacrificed for the greater good, actually being faced with that is a whole lot different.

    Kensi, don’t know what to think about it. I think she does care and wanting nothing more then pull him out of that shop and stay with him at the hospital, or at least I hope so. I do think that her past, the whole story with Jack is in part to blame. In the end he left her and I suppose it makes her unsure of how to proceed.

    Out of the three she understands how much this is affecting him, just look at her with the gifts. She’s not too sure this is a good idea and it’s only when Deeks doesn’t freak out that she seems to relax. It’s also pretty painfull for such trained and experienced special agents that both Sam and Callen seem to miss the heartbreak and hurt on Deeks face when they present ‘their gifts’

    I think both Kensi and Deeks need time, he has told her what he feels about her and she’s not running for the hills (yet). Who knows what would have happened hadn’t they been at the mission and with Sam and Callen walking in. I like to think there is hope for those two, and maybe the path will be a bit more difficult, even with anger showing. I believe it will lead to a position where they both are forced to come clean about what they want and what they need. Just hope it’s the same 🙂

    That way ECO played Deeks. Man I really needed the little breaks in between, just to catch my breath. It felt real, and judging by the promo, the next episode will show us more heart break.
    I honestly hope they’ll show more intention to keep him on board than they did in this episode, but judging by Sam and Callen’s look when Hetty tells him she can’t allow him back untill he’s the man he used to be, shows me that they’ll not be letting him go that easy. Or at least that’s what I read into it.

  25. Evi

    Oh Karen I agree with you in some level. I also don’t think Deeks would ever leave Kensi behind if she was under THAT condition. That was my first thought the moment I saw the teaser. When Kensi was trapped among those lazers back in season 2 and pleaded Deeks to do sth cause she couldn’t stand there any longer, he took chare, reassured her everything was going to be ok and saved the day!!!

    A part of me understands Kensi. You could see it in her eyes that she clearly wasn’t in favor of that plan. Then, at the hospital she held his hand trying to calm him down but she got hurt when he refused to even look at her or talk to her. Again, it wasn’t her decision to leave him. The mission wasn’t over yet and someone had to backup Michelle and help Callen.

    The third time she made a move to leave him in the bullpen was again because she was hurt. He was packing to leave and I wonder if Kensi hadn’t caught him, would he have left without saying goodbye?

    I tottaly agree with you that she is the one that has to make a move right now. He kissed her, he opened up his heart to her probably for the first time in his life and now she is the one who has to tear down her wall. I am afraid though, it won’t happen. Having been through the same experience with Jack, will probably make even more defensive and scared. Of course she wants to help Deeks, of course she wants him back with her, but her heart may feel threatened of getting hurt again.

    I honestly don’t know what to speculate. There are so many ways they can play this through. H really hate seeing Deeks so valnuarble in next week’s promo. Is he listening to music because he is trying to ingore the phonecalls and visits from the team? And is Hetty paying him a visit as a last chance to bring him to his senses?

    I also agree with you Karen that Deeks brought his souls into this show. I don’t know if I would be so hooked up on it if his character wasn’t introduced.

  26. Sosou

    Hum, I totally want a vulnerable and honest confession from Kensi now, like in Wanted with the “promise me you’ll never do that”.

    But I also understand his behavior. She’s the only one in the team who seem so broken and affected by what is happening. She’s got tears in the voice the entire episode, but the others, at the end it’s like nothing happened. She’s also the only one who seems not confortable with the joke. She’s waiting for his reaction.

    She never had time to think, she needed to be strong for doing the job and saving his partner. How could they be together if they can’t work when one of them is in danger ?

    She tells him that she was there for him, with a lot of concern. Of course it’s not a hug, but she’s there. I think she’s completely and totally scared, she tried to help Jack and he walked away. What if she do the wrong thing again ?
    If all she has done for Jackd did not work, what she should do now ?

    He doesn’t deny her with the “and everyone”. She doesn’t want him to leave her but she also does,’t want to push him if he want some space.

  27. Lumy_Mee

    Sam, G and Kensi come from a different training background than Deeks. They were specifically trained to face and endure this type of experiences. It built them a certain psychological profile, better resistance and a different approach when having to cope with such trauma. Deeks has no clue what these guys really signed up for when he joins NCIS until he gets through this experience. It is a brutal initiation in this job – whose job description he did not fully grasped in the beginning. Any of the other 3 knows that if you chose to do this, you assume terrible consequences. It makes you more cynical, it makes you less willing to emotionally attach to someone.Add to this personal dramas coming from their past (which made them chose to do this in the first place) and you have a quite complex image of who they are. I think Deeks start to understand these guys better, now that he got to the core of who they are.

  28. diane

    Loved reading the review and the responses. I really liked this episode. I hated the season 4 premiere, but I think this episode bodes well for this season And ECO was phenom, throughout. Loved the Sam/Deeks and Kensi/Deeks scenes and Granger is starting to grow on me.

    Now I am going to go waste my time and go to a fansite of a show I don’t like and write a pointless review.

    1. phillydi

      Diane: I just had to tell you I laughed so hard at your last sentence, I almost fell off my chair! Well played!

  29. Marina

    Hola mis amores yo no escribo mucho por aqui , no hablo ingles pero el traductor es maravilloso jajaja! esa persona que critico este lugar hermoso donde uno puede expresar sus opiniones sobre un espectaculo que admiro y realmente disfruto me tiene sin cuidado ya que segun ella perdemos el tiempo ,pero al parecer ella lo pierde mas ,ya que entro aqui tan solo a criticar, pobre debe estar aburrida no?en cuanto a Ascencion fue para mi maravilloso … Me parece que ECO se comio el capitulo! toda su actuacion fue fantastica ,no podia evitar sentir deseos de abrazarlo no se, fue tan conmovedor ,la escena final me dio escalofrio por su confecion a Kensi ;su vulnerabilidad al confesar que penso en ella como diciendo “TE AMO” la falta de accion de Kensi me hizo sentir mal ,no necesitaba decir nada! tomar su mano ,una caricia algo una minima accion que el notara; bastaba y luego la entrada de Sam y Callem fue totalmente desconcertante ,que les pasa a estos chicos ? Deeks acababa de ser torturado de forma brutal y ellos vienen con burlas ridiculas ? bueno Sam tambien, pero no como Deeks! no se tal vez : “Deeks si quieres hablar o lo que sea estamos aqui cuentas con nosotros ,podemos ayudarte ” no nada !siguen las burlas estupidas .De todos modos espero que todo mejore para Deeks y pueda volver a ser el mismo !XDios que tremendo actor es ECO! estoy encantada con el es formidable ,la escena del hospital fue extraordinaria !!!Ufff no puedo parar jajaja creo que amo a ese hombreee!

  30. monty

    I think I’m the only one in the world who would launch the water jug at Sam’s head​​.
    Not only that, … I even would talk to Kensi. I would have taken my things and I would be gone.
    Instead, this first episode was too full of tears and phrases from soap opera.
    Sam and Kensi them spread the ashes on his head? Now they good think to Deeks?
    But it is a little too late?
    And Deeks him what to do? He cries, forgive them … has ceased to be a police officer, says words of love to Kensi and seeks Sam’s approval.
    I always thought that the character “Martin Deeks” was a great character … instead I feel enormously disappointing.
    Maybe Martin A. Deeks is only to tease a guy, maybe it’s just “Deeks” or “Marty” or “Shaggy. ”
    I believed that he loved being a cop. And above all, I thought that he, for himself was “Martin”.
    I am very disappointed.
    I did not like the 4×24 and I did not like the 1×05.
    I am very sad because, at the moment, I do not like even more Martin Deeks.

    Hi from Roma (00.34)
    Sorry for my english.

    Sad, sad, sad Monty

    P.S. Mr. Olsen is a fantastic actor. He is talented and beautiful.

  31. Beth

    The review was very well done. This was an awesome (although too short) episode. The writing and direction were awesome and as has already been stated in many of the comments, the acting, especially that done by Eric Christian Olsen was phenomenal! I wasn’t surprised by this as I had seen ECO in ER in one of his earlier performances where he played a burn victim with burns over much of his body. I enjoy the comedy that ECO adds to the show, but I was also hoping to see more of his serious acting ability. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Sounds like there’s a lot more to come from listening to/reading spoilers.

    As others have said, I would have liked to see this episode stretched out into 2 hours, but this may have impacted whatever plans Shane Brennan has for the remainder of the season.

    I thought the scenes between Sam and Deeks and Kensi and Deeks were well done and at least a good start to what could be in store in further episodes as this Arc continues.

    I am looking forward to IMPACT and the conversation between Hetty and Deeks which will be taking place after Hetty opens up the drapes in Deeks’ apartment. After seeing Hetty’s face in the end of Ascension and in the preview for Impact, I wouldn’t say she’s cold-hearted, but seriously worried about her team.

    Besides the interactions with Deeks and Nate and Deeks and Hetty next week, I hope they have additional interactions with Deeks and both Sam and Kensi – maybe continuing a little from Ascension. I also would like to see a hint of what happened over the last 4 months because 4 months seems a little long to wait before bringing in Nate.

    About Callen’s obsession with Janvier – considering the fact that Janvier has an obvious obsession with revenge against Callen, I think it was actually important that Callen go after Janvier, especially since he has mentioned more than once that he will go after Callen through people he cares about – which he obviously has done.

    Two things that I would like out of this season would be another appearance of Monty and for someone to call Deeks by his first name – other than when either introducing him or using his name for some improvised undercover plan.

  32. SnoopGirl

    Overall it was a good episode. Callen was awesome. Granger was wonderful. Michelle was a pleasant surprise holding her own against Sidarov. Janvier is a freaking psycho! Christopher Lambert is the best TV villain I have seen since C. Thomas Howell on Criminal Minds. I like Deeks but not always a fan of his “sense of humour”, but in this episode he was the star with his magnificent acting and the heart-wrenching emotions he instilled in me as a viewer.
    Two small things and one big thing kept this from being a great episode. Deeks laying on his back while profusely bleeding from his mouth was a major faux pas. The chatting teeth were not funny and Callen’s fake ones were stupid. Reminded me of a scene on BONES when Booth had a pacifier in his mouth. What possesses people to come up with this stuff?

    Sam and Deeks’ “miraculous recoveries” were ridiculously unrealistic.
    For such a great show with amazing actors and writers, it was a disappointment to see this in the very hyped up Season 5 Premiere.

    I hope the 100th episode doesn’t have ‘oversights’ like this episode did.

  33. Karen

    Two more details. First, was there a deleted scene from the hospital? There was a Nurse Sarah listed in the credits for the episode, above the Oral Surgeon. She would have had more lines than the ER doc did. I wonder what we might have seen…

    And I didn’t notice until I saw it pointed out, but Deeks actually sheds a single tear after Sam tells him he won’t underestimate him again. I guess my high def isn’t high enough because I missed it originally. ECO was just perfection.

    1. monty

      Wow, Karen you have been right!
      A single, sad tear.
      Great interpretation of Mr. Olsen.

      A single tear.
      Just like Denzel Washington.
      An actor superlative and… the most beautiful man the universe.

      Hi from Monty.

  34. Richtsje

    What’s more to add to all these replies and reviews?! It rocked. And allright, maybe some things were less realistic but hey, I never cared 🙂

    Best scene?
    To me, it has to be a Callen-scene… The way he stood in Janvier’s cell and waited for him. Self assured, supersexy. Can watch that part over&over again!

    There was something good in this episode for all NCIS LA-lovers IMO! It rocked, indeed.

    1. SnoopGirl

      The end scene with Callen and Janvier was awesome and did help make the oversights more tolerable. The line I LOVED was Janvier telling Callen in a very subtle way that he has succeeded in making Callen as obsessed with him as Janvier is with Callen in seeing who can extract the greatest revenge. I wonder who will make the NEXT move?

  35. Evi

    Oh, I forgot to mention something. Lately, it looks like when they say “I’m good” they are definitely NOT!!!I have a feeling that it has replaced the “I’m fine”.

  36. Sweet Lu

    I am still obsessed with this episode and wanted to add some final thoughts, and then I will shut up.

    I refuse to be super critical of this episode, simply because of Deeks. They have given us an amazing development of a character who up until now was portrayed as slightly annoying and only good for a few good jokes and a hot bod. They have fleshed him out in this episode, opened the door to his soul and made him someone we can finally get to know on a deeper level. Every other character is super cool. They are each the best of the best at their jobs, and Deeks is our way into that world. He’s the one that asks our stupid questions, he’s the one that is just a cop, not a super agent, not a deadly, kick-ass assassin like Kensi, not a hard, tough Seal like Sam, not a calculating, incredibly smart super agent like Callen, or a jaded old agent like Hetty….he is the everyman of the show and I think it’s why we love him. He is accessible and now more than ever. We have all wanted to know more about him, especially his early life, and I think they will let us see that now and maybe let the team see that part of him too.

    I realize that a lot of the time line wasn’t clear in this episode, even though Shane Brennan said it took place over weeks, that wasn’t obvious. However, the only thing I want to remember is ECO’s performance. It was stunning and that chasm between the super agents and Deeks at the end was symbolic of how good he really was. His performance was brilliant in its intensity. He was head and shoulders above them all and that’s the memory that stays with me.

    I have thought about the next episode and Hetty’s remark in the promo and it still bothers me. I do wonder if it’s a ploy she uses to get the team to reach out to him. She has always been on his side, but the others have not. I remember the episode when Callen tells her he didn’t hire Deeks, and we know Kensi didn’t warmly welcome him and we know how Sam felt, so she may be playing them. I hope so. If it’s only Hetty that works to bring him back, then it wouldn’t mean as much to Deeks. He needs each member of that team to fight for him. He needs Sam to make him believe what he told him in that hospital room, that he would make a good agent. He needs Kensi to communicate her feelings and he needs Callen to fight to keep him on his team because he truly wants him there. Those are my hopes for the season…and I really do hope they come true.

    1. monty

      You are right, Sweet.
      Even I thought of all this Martin Deeks.
      I’ve always thought, however, that his patience sooner or later, would be terminated.
      This was the best opportunity.
      Instead, after seeing the 5×01 ​​I have to admit to myself I was wrong.
      Martin Deeks is under the thumb of Sam & Kensi, the two people who have treated him very badly for a long time.
      In Italy we say “see fireflies instead of lanterns.” This is what happened to me.
      I always thought he was a strong man and determined.
      Now he is whining, and servile. I am very surprised about this.
      I can not stand to see him like that.
      I hope that her trauma gets out his strong character.
      Nobody in the world should be so dependent on others.

      Hi from sad, sad, sad Monty.

    2. Phillydi

      If you read my Deeks wish list last week this episode checks off almost all my boxes! Because of that it’s hard to find any fault with this show. I was watching Hand to Hand this week on the marathon and you can see how far Deeks has come in four years. He was so serious in this episode and when he used humor it was sarcastic and dark. He obviously found a home at NCIS and became content there and happy. So to see him so sad and dark again was such a contrast which made it all even more dramatic. So I have to wonder now if there was a method to the madness throughout the four years by the writers and producers that made Deeks transition so much more amazing. It was wonderful to watch and I think we are in for more angst as we go into the second episode.

      I also think that Deeks had to be the hero at the end. After all he went through not to let him save the day would be criminal. It may not seem realistic but sometimes as in a fairy tale you want a satisfying ending if not totally happy. Besides, the guy went to hell and back so let’s give him his day in the sun briefly before the clouds of PTSD come sweeping back in.

      I hope you are right about Hetty. I can’t imagine she would give up on him so easily. It’s just not in keeping with her maternal maneuvering as to how she runs the agency. I have to trust she has a plan!

  37. Jan

    I’ve watched and rewatched this episode a few times now (obsessive much?) and read the review and comments. I agree with the pervasive feeling that it felt kind of rushed and the timeframes were compressed and confusing. But better to have an episode that leaves me wanting more than one that makes me look at my watch waiting for the end. Anyway, here in no particular order, are my thoughts on this episode (until I think of some more).

    The acting: Oh my goodness. ECO is just incredible. There were some moments when it must have been tempting to go over the top, but he never did. He took us right to the edge, but never over it. I hope someone submits this episode for Emmy consideration.

    The ER scene: Sam was the only one who could see that Deeks just couldn’t take any more, to understand that Deeks needed for everyone to stay out of his face (literally). That’s to be expected from the doctor, but Kensi just didn’t seem to get it. Yes, he does need to listen to the doctor, but first he needs a moment to gather himself. Loved how quietly supportive Sam was. I also loved the way the scene was so brightly and harshly lit; it added an element of realism to it. And the comment about him having swallowed so much blood. The way Sidorov was holding Deeks’ head tilted back during the torture with all that blood spurting around in his mouth, Deeks must have felt like he was being waterboarded in his own blood. No wonder the guy’s a mess.

    Granger: “This little piggy’s going to prison.” Bwahaha! I laughed out loud at that line. He had a few other great lines: the one about not caring if any of the 3 villains spent another day on Earth, having to do the math every few minutes just like Callen, and “let’s be clean about it” if Janvier wants suicide by cop. Granger is really growing on me, he clearly cares about his agents (but seems fairly cold and distant about Deeks – or is it just me?) but still makes the mission the priority.

    The hospital scene with Sam: LL played that one perfectly. Calm and under control, but totally honest and humble. I loved the little gesture where he touches Deeks’ foot through the blanket, it was just a perfect gesture of reassurance and affection but it still respected Deeks’ sudden reticence. And the idea that Deeks would open up to Sam of all people about being done with being a cop – that would have been unimaginable before. I really hope these two guys can bond on an ongoing basis.

    The “false” rescue scene: I can’t get over the look in Deeks’ eyes, and his desperation to get way from that awful place.

    The “real” rescue scene: Why is Sam asking Deeks if he gave up Michelle? Shouldn’t Granger and Kensi have already asked that before setting up the fake shooting? Plot hole!

    Callen: Strategist, man of action, team leader who can’t stand the idea of any of his team being hurt on his account. Even though he didn’t have a lot of direct interaction with any of his team, you could see the concern and the determination to save them.

    Kensi: Okay, I did have some issues with this character. Not with her leaving Deeks behind the first time, because she really had to do that, and Deeks seemed clear enough on the planned deception to play his part. But in the ER, as I said before, she really didn’t seem to get that Deeks had absolutely reached his limit. And the comment that she knows what he’s going through. Um, no Kensi, you don’t, and I can’t think of any reason why she would believe she did.

    Janvier’s daughter: Is there going to be something more? I can’t believe the powers that be invented her existence just to provide a plot device to lure everyone to the apartment.

    The skin ruse and the dismemberment: Ick. But so very Janvier.

    The bullpen scene: Again, ECO knocked this one out of the park. Deeks just looked and sounded so lost and confused. I’m glad no one tried to give him a hug though – I don’t think he could take it. He needs to get himself together before he can reach out to anyone for help. I love that Sam was the one to tell him laughing is good.

    Loved this episode. I can’t wait for “Impact.”

  38. Elizabeth Turner

    So it’s been 5 days since seeing S5E1. Five days to reflect. I share many of your same thoughts.

    First, the look Deeks gives Kensi when she tells him he has to stay strapped to the chair a little longer . . . brutal. To leave him there? Wow. I can see that she had to, but wow.

    I really liked the emergency room scene. I liked when Deeks pushed the doctor away and when he didn’t want to open his mouth. It was the first time he had control. Many of you felt that Kensi should have stayed. She had a job to do and regardless of her feelings at that moment she had to leave.

    I liked the scene between Deeks and Sam in the hospital room. I think in upcoming episodes we’ll see Sam become one of Deeks’ strongest allies.

    I loved the ending scene in the bullpen between Deeks and Kensi. I feel that his last remark of, ‘for whatever it’s worth,’ is saying I don’t want to deal with us right now. I think her own coping mechanism kicked in then and that’s why she didn’t say anything. Perhaps just about the time she was going to say something the others came in.

    The fact that Sam and Deeks were able to save the day was a little far fetched, but I’ll let it go. I am glad that Deeks was able to kill his tormentor and Sam kill Sidorov.

    I think the interaction between Deeks and Kensi on the roof was perfect.
    After going through what Deeks did I don’t think he would want to be touched, so the no hug on the roof was good. And although Kensi tried to hold his hand in the ER Deeks didn’t hold hers. And he turned away from her. He wanted his space then and he still wants it at the end.

    I thought it odd that Sam, who didn’t do any screaming, was in the room within a room. And Deeks who did a lot of screaming was outside the room within a room.

    I was under the impression that the episode took place all in the same day because Kensi has on the same shirt throughout the whole episode.

    Someone said that ECO said Deeks was tortured for 7 hours. Maybe ECO was filming for 7 hours.

  39. Evi

    Wow Elizabeth you really made a point here. I was also among those who were in favor of a hug between Kensi and Deeks but I think your explanation makes absolute sense.

    She decided to give him the time and space he needed in order to pick up his pieces. That was the first time he looked so defeated so I think hugging him would only confirm the fact that he was indeed weak. He needed a boost and that was her was her way of giving it.

    I hadn’t realized he didn’t hold her hand at the hospital. Good job picking that up! BTW I loved the whole hospital scene. I only hope Deeks won’t turn violent or combative against his own friends as well. Of course he might need time and space to heal, but he should always remember he has friends that are more than willing to help him with the process.

  40. BH72

    I loved Ascension. It brought to a closure the horrific cliffhanger we’ve been on for the past few months. All the cast performed their parts brilliantly. Although there were many spoilers, I was still surprised by how they told the story. NCISLA is an action show, with banter and emotion pulled in the mix. We have grown to love the characters and continue to watch the show. The cast and crew work so hard each week to bring a brilliant show. There are not many I watch on TV because they don’t pull me in like NCIS and NCISLA. So I am sad to see a bitter woman who a) doesn’t watch the show, and cannot spell what she does watch correctly; b). Has reacted to her two nieces who love the show. Please don’t anyone take what this woman has written in the comments above to heart. She obviously has issues of her nieces who have been staying with her who love the show. Shall I just reiterate that to you all. LOVE THE SHOW :). And to write comments like she has about do we have a life? Well yes we do. Many of us are professionals, with careers that are fulfilling, parents who have a busy enough life running around for our children, as well as university students learning to do something amazing on this planet. I think her comment says it plainly, she doesn’t have a life outside her work, and that in itself is sad. I hope these words can ease some of your anger and frustrations to someone we hopefully will never meet. Back to Ascension; the story will play out throughout all of season 5. So if anyone thinks there wasn’t enough emotion played out in this one episode, keep watching. There’s going to be a whole lot more coming our way.

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