Author => Gayle (@DensiLand)

About Gayle (@DensiLand)

Gayle joined NCISLA Magazine in fall 2013 and contributes the weekly Previews. Known as "DensiLand" on Twitter, Instagram, & Tumblr, Gayle obviously "ships" Densi and has sincere love for the entire cast (& crew) of characters. In October 2013 Gayle attended the Fan Meet in Los Angeles, coupled with a set visit. She is blessed to (unbelievably) visit the set again in spring 2015.

Next… on NCISLA! Chernoff, K. (6×24) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Next graphicChernoff, K. (6×24) Preview

by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Kyle Harimoto; Directed by: John Peter Kousakis

Official CBS Press Release – “Chernoff, K.” – The case involving Arkady and his personal connection to an oil tanker now leads Callen, Sam, Deeks and Kensi to Moscow, where the team must assume multiple undercover identities to locate their suspects. Meanwhile, Callen uncovers new information regarding his father, on the sixth season finale of NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, May 18 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The finale? Already? Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday Sam and Callen’s brewing bromance was tested in being confined in a sinking sub with a band of brazen baddies? Perhaps more importantly the show-runner, cast & crew, and fans alike were tested with the jolting move to a new night and time. Oh how things can both significantly change, yet steadfastly remain the same over the course of a single season.

As we bid the team another “bon voyage” this time it’s across, rather than under, the sea. In keeping with the show’s strongest theme, Callen’s past is again thrust to the present. We (and he) can expect at least one new notable piece of his puzzle to be placed. As always the usual questions of who, what, when, how, and why deserve consideration.

Callen’s certainly primed to be pushed to his limits in having to juggle his cryptic boss, insightful partner, junior teammates, and a valuable resource stolen to be auctioned/sold by a ruthless assassin all in a foreign land, which is only further complicated by the presence of his baffling “comrade” who obviously has his own agenda that we can expect to be at odds with the agent’s professional directive. Just another typical day in the life of an NCIS Team Leader, right? It’s no wonder this Lone Wolf chooses a personal life of relative simplicity.

As chaotic as this situation seems, it doesn’t even mention the topic of his father! (Hello, elephant in the room!) At the core of this is a man, some old newspaper clippings, a rare coin, and two colleagues who he often questions their truthfulness. This is the foundation of the entire series: it’s about the man, not the mission.

Repeated from last week’s preview, we are again graced with a customary “last name, first initial” title, which begs the question: Who is K. Chernoff? It is expected to be someone with (or who serves as) an piece to Callen’s past. Yet in what capacity? Does Callen make this discovery on his own or do either Hetty or Arkady reveal it to him? Is the admission voluntary, forced, or accidental? Is this person even still alive?

And speaking of our unpredictable pal Arkady, in a rare glimpse behind the scenes, a page of the script was recently posted. Fans are in for more uncomfortably humorous interactions between two of Callen’s oldest associates. While Arkady is accustomed to ruling whatever room he resides and company he keeps, a major exception (in all cases for all people) is Hetty. In the land of the “hammer and sickle”, Henrietta the Hammer will likely feel right at home in their presumed cover house appropriately armed to the teeth! Which of these two incredibly entertaining characters will best deliver an amazing line in this episode? (We might consider who inevitably wins the upper-hand, but that would question Hetty – something no one is foolish enough to attempt!)

On the topic of covers, we’re prompted that each of the four primary team members will “assume multiple undercovers”. Intriguing! Will they be working in tandem, as a group, or individually? What level of danger might each encounter in carrying out their assigned duty? Does this mean they might be lacking traditional back-up, especially in this foreign land?

From the writer of the glorious holiday gift that was “Humbug”, Kyle Harimoto has the exciting, yet nerve-racking task of penning the next NCISLA finale. It’s no small feat to add to the elite group consisting of such notable episodes as the unsettling “Sans Voir” pairing and horrifyingly, breath-stealing “Descent”. Directing the team across this next “finish line” is Executive Producer, John Peter Kousakis. This sends a clear message: By having a “big boss” lead the final charge, there was no messing around with this finale. While the team is most likely to face various forms of jeopardy, with these two, the team (& fans) are solidly in safe and secure hands.

So what hi-jinx might these gentlemen have planned for us to endure and speculate about over the (seemingly endless) summer hiatus?

  • Will Callen gain a new insightful clue about his father and/or past, or will another opportunity dissipate like vapor?
  • Are those Callen trusts actually being truthful with him?
  • What might prompt Callen to seemingly threaten Arkady? Will he be driven to implement his ultimatum?
  • What role will Anna play in Callen’s future?
  • Might Sam have to pull Callen back from going rogue (again)?
  • Will the entire team actually return home safely at the episode’s conclusion, or will some tumultuous turn of events hold them within the borders of Mother Russia?
  • Might they be forced to make an unenviable choice among taking down Karposev, securing the oil, rescuing Anna, and/or keeping each other safe?
  • How will Nell and Eric be challenged to support the team abroad?
  • With the team split between two continents, where’s Granger?
  • How will Kensi once again impress with her lethal knife skills?
  • Will there be any hint about the status of Deek’s Internal Affairs investigation, or will we have to (impatiently) endure the next four months in frustrated anticipation?
  • What other hidden seeds might have been planted throughout the season that just now are brought to light?

As this “super sixth” season comes to a suspicious conclusion, what “cliffhangers” might leave us yearning for more Next… on NCISLA?

Next… on NCISLA! Kolcheck, A. (6×23) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Next graphicKolcheck, A. (6×23) Preview

by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Joseph C. Wilson; Directed by: James Hanlon

Official CBS Press Release – “Kolcheck, A.” – Callen and Sam search for answers when they find dead crew members from the missing oil tanker used in Arkady’s deal with Russia, and also discover Arkady’s personal connection to the ship, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, May 11 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Words spoken in the promo clip succinctly yet comprehensively describes the foundation of this show and it’s compelling cast of characters:

HETTY: Don’t let the personal get in the way of the professional.

CALLEN: And if they’re all wrapped up together?

While Hetty works to maintain her manager role, even she can’t refute the near-impossible task of completely separating various components of life. Its the beauty in being complex humans in which experiences overlap, complement, and conflict, sometimes fulfilling, sometimes damaging. Lines must be drawn, but often those lines are gray or blurry. Callen questions this obvious and dichotomous dilemma; it’s a matter the entire team battles on an almost daily basis. How many times have we seen personal aspects forge their way into the bullpen and, too often, a case? Consider the fallout endured by these internally fragile people based on operational results. It’s a wonder  Nate isn’t on constant “stand-by” status.

So onto the issue at hand! Yes, the oil tanker is located, but in a world where nothing is ever easy, the findings only present more questions. The crew is dead? How? By whose hand? What is the nefarious intent? An overriding question for all of this is: How much does Arkady know? Does he hold the key to halting this potentially international catastrophe?

Both this week’s episode and next week’s season six finale feature a long-standing NCISLA tradition: a title of last name and first initial. In the past such episodes have centered on a particular team member or someone connected to their past. As such, with this offering and the straightforward press release, it’s easy to proclaim Monday night is all about Arkady. Right? Not so fast.

True fans on their weekly treasure hunt for clues will take note of a curious, yet telling character on the guest star list: Anastasia Kolcheck. Yes, it seems an in-person revelation will be make with the previously mentioned “Anna”. This begs the question as to how this woman is related to Arkady with odds-makers leaning toward a potential daughter? While Arkady knows Anna, does Anna know Arkady? Others more aligned with deep conspiracy theories have gone as far to speculate “Anna” could even be Callen’s presumed dead sister, Amy, whom Arkady has been hiding/protecting all these years. Wow! What other possibilities are already swirling? With the creative (and at times, twisted) imaginations of the show’s guiding forces, we might very well be foolish to even attempt delving into their psyches!

Densi fans already lost their breath at the split-second shot of Deeks yelling to Kensi as a non-descript vehicle appears to ram into her side of their customary crossover. Is this really what happens? If so, we should all be thankful for the SRX’s six standard airbags, especially the front outboard head-curtain side-impact airbags. Cadillac even states they “are designed to help reduce the risk of injury in an impact situation”, and “you’ll feel secure and protected no matter where your travels take you.” (Yeh, this scene probably wasn’t what the car company had in mind with their initial design!)

Anyway, it appears as if our girl Kensi yet again demonstrates her fierce “Bad Ass Blye/Kick Ass Kensi” nicknames. Compared to most of her teammates she continues to be long overdue for serious injury. Yet promotional pictures for the season finale show her customarily wielding her rifle along with her equally equipped partner. Thus, no true harm appears to strike the striking beauty. (Although it’s just as characteristic for her – all of them really – to ignore their injuries. This recalls repetitive instances of disingenuous “I’m fine” proclamations.)

Although it seems somewhat unusual that automotive aficionado Joey Wilson would wreck the SRX; we’ll just chalk this up to making a sacrifice for the art! Fear not! James Hanlon, while somewhat new to directing NCISLA – this being his third turn at leading an effort, has also been part of an Emmy-winning documentary team!

As we prepare for this penultimate episode, is Arkady a prime trigger for the team’s impending departure to Russia Next… on NCISLA?

Next… on NCISLA! Field of Fire (6×22) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Next graphic

Field of Fire (6×22) Preview
by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Gil Grant; Directed by: Robert Florio

Official CBS Press Release – “Field of Fire” – The team searches for a former Marine and expert sniper who escaped a veterans hospital when they discover his connection to the leader of an extremist group. Also, the case reminds Kensi of her past as a sniper, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, May 4 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The last time we saw such a focus on Kensi behind her sniper rifle, she had been assigned an unenviable, ultimately life-altering task. Her mission was to take out a traitor to the United States. However, as we all keenly recall, in tracking her target a sudden, personal discovery was made. What began as a somewhat typical operation immediately had Kensi staring through the cross-hairs to her past, a past that left her with numerous questions, far more questions than answers. And she needed those answers more than water needed in that desert.

This thread of military (& team) PTSD has become a foundational component to NCISLA, likely because of its currency and relevance. Some may recall the initial episode tackling this issue, “Disorder” (2×11). (It’s no surprise Gil Grant was also a writer of that episode, so clear continuity is definitely expected in this continuing iteration.)

As Deeks details, the key characteristics are present in this target “mentally unstable, highly skilled sniper”. So is the former Marine truly a target to silence or a victim in need of protection? Why did he feel driven to escape the facility? How similar is this current assignment to that in Afghanistan? We can all imagine what Kensi envisions through her scope: Jack. Her own personal veteran, Marine, broken & damaged. Someone she knew. Someone for which she cared. Someone suffering through a trauma she tried so hard to understand and “cure”.

Waring imagines of her father might also be present. Even as a direct order, we know Kensi well enough and have faith she wouldn’t voluntarily assassinate an innocent and/or heroic corpsman. The memory of her father would never allow that. What else from Kensi’s past might be revealed and dictate her action (or inaction)? We know why she joined NCIS, but not the how or why of expertise as a sniper. Does this stem from early training from her father, natural talent, or something else? Does the physical distance from her target provide a desired protective environment?

Has Kensi really been charged with eliminating this serviceman? If so, will she apply her skills and reputation as “Bad Ass Blye” to successfully complete her mission? Or will the ghosts of her past return yet again to alter her shot? Further, can she bring herself to pull the trigger at all? If not, is a vital skill she brings to the team suddenly in question?

Also in question is the detective’s motives for volunteering as a youth mentor. (This is a voluntary effort and not part of some undercover op, right?) So back to the “why”? Could this be an effort to alleviate some growing guilt based on past case interactions with troubled youth, such as Javier from “Resurrection” (4×21) and Tomas from “Black Wind” (6×14) among others? Is there an altruistic drive to help a youngster avoid or cope with an upbringing similar to Deeks’ own?

The mentee, Chad, has many similarities as Deeks outlines. Not only do they have common physical characteristics, likes, and dislikes, but the boy is also described as friendly and guarded as well as “bright, stubborn, and full of energy”. Add to this the mischievous smirk and rebellious locks and viewers are precisely presented with a long-imagined mini-Marty.

Could Deeks’ mentor role pursue more than one purpose? Aside from serving as a valuable role model to Chad, perhaps Deeks is individually testing his “father” persona. This could be a way to prove to himself he has the ability to positively fulfill this dream and avoid the dangerous example he experienced with his own father. Might this also be a casual demonstration to Kensi that he (& they) can realistically consider and create their own family in the future?

Via this recurring (& curious) topic of kids, the picture of many team members and offspring bloom: the current status of Sam, speculation of “lowercase Gs”, along with Deeks’ doppelganger. Yet the feminine representative of the field agents both uncomfortably slinks away and remains mysteriously silent. Kensi has been regularly struck by the mention of “mutant ninja assassins”, so is this storyline part of a progressive step for Kensi on her materialistic journey?

How might Kensi balance the conflicting visions of ending the life of a potentially guilty countryman, while her beloved partner works to improve the life of an innocent child Next… on NCISLA?

Next… on NCISLA! Beacon (6×21) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Next graphic

Beacon (6×21) Preview

by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Jordana Lewis Jaffe; Directed by: Diana Valentine

Official CBS Press Release – “Beacon” – Callen and Sam are shocked when an old acquaintance, who they thought was the recent victim of a murder, appears and asks for their help. As the team investigates, they uncover a possible breach of America’s economic sanctions against Russia, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, April 20 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

“The case that will change everything,” taunts the sinister voice in the promo. Everything? Wow, that’s a broad statement! “Everything” would be an incredible encompassing aspect in relation to just a single member of the team; to possibly apply this to the entire team is quite the overwhelming situation!

As the promo continues, we’re further struck with the realization of “They just don’t know it yet.” Well, of course they don’t; where’s the intrigue in that?! But wait. They don’t know? Not even Hetty? I doubt anyone is believing that!

An old acquaintance? Welcome back to our old friend Arkady! Life is always slightly more interesting (and usually in some form of jeopardy) when someone from Callen’s past is in the mix. However, based on a follow-up promo, might we be saying our final “do svidaniya” to the Russian comrade?

Is Arkady actually the (and/or only) acquaintance referenced? If he is, then it seems fairly simple to consider a notably long and distinguished list of those who might want the international transplant dead. Sam and Callen might have their hands full (and patience tested) if they have to investigate this familiar character! Yet as is the regular case with our beloved drama, the more important question is “Why might someone want Arkady dead?” Does he pose a threat? Does he know too much? (Just add these to the ever-growing, near-eternal scroll of queries true fans have accumulated over the years. Yes, we’re looking at you Executive Producer, Mr. John Peter Kousakis and your recent finale-related tweet of “Questions answered”.)

Keen viewers may have already taken note of another curious inclusion on the guest list: G’s woman, Joelle. Curious indeed. Will this episode present another instance of G’s precarious balance of work and social lives, or now that Joelle is part of their “inner circle”, have the two intermingled? Will Joelle provide needed comfort or only further complicate Callen’s focus? (This query could just as well be applied to his loyal partner as well.) Is there a possibility she is an element of this week’s mystery surrounding the team’s “lone wolf”?

On a lighter aspect the case seems to lead the team to an affluent pool area. We can only wonder what might force (other than Hetty, of course) Callen and Sam to be attired similar to “cabana boys”. (Wait. Isn’t Deeks the one with an affinity for cabanas?) Speaking of the detective, he and his partner broadly exercise their skills by investigating everything from a car trunk to an apparent mansion. (Could said mansion be the dwelling of the aforementioned Arkady?) Oh what a tangled web writer Jordana Lewis Jaffe has woven for us as the season winds down, but the tension continues to build!

Let us also recognize a very special milestone of this 141st episode. It is the first time an NCISLA offering has been written and directed by a pair of skilled and passionate women! We send an enthusiastic collective “Brava!” to writer Jordana Lewis Jaffe and director Diana Valentine. How might their female power be expressed through our treasured characters?

Which definition of Beacon will apply? Will these latest happenings serve as a warning or enlightening “Beacon” of hope to Callen’s past  Next… on NCISLA?

Next… on NCISLA! Rage (6×20) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Next graphicRage (6×20) Preview

by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written & Directed by: Frank Military

Official CBS Press Release – “Rage” – Callen and Sam resume their undercover identities as a prisoner and guard to infiltrate a white supremacist group believed to be in possession of stolen nuclear material, while Kensi transforms herself into a tattooed biker to play the part of Callen’s girlfriend. Also, Callen’s first meeting with Hetty is revealed, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, April 13 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Spring has sprung and with it has brought rainbows, daisies, and blue skies. However, in the near single-season environment of southern California the monotonous climate may have prompted an uncharacteristic burst of rage. Rage? As everything is freshly in bloom?

This might very well be a case of “Rage Against the Machine”. (No, not the Los Angeles-based, now defunct, rock band.) This “rage” could be applied in its traditional terminology of “the machine” referring to a rebellion/revolt against society or the government. Yet, given the official press release, it seems we’re all in for a ride in the “time machine” as the inception of Callen & Hetty’s connection is revealed.

The promo shows a more follicle-blessed Callen. Is this from an extended cover or perhaps a memories of an earlier time. It can easily be considered this presents the “flashback” Executive Producer John Peter Kousakis tweeted about in February.

Focusing on the other member of this pair, did Hetty initiate their connection (as would now be expected) or did “fate” intervene? Perhaps most intriguing is the wonderment surrounding a “past” Hetty. Recall how the “early” NCISLA Hetty seemed far more jovial and concerned with appearances (and the near embodiment of the endearing, yet demanding, Edna Mode of Pixar’s “The Incredibles”)? How has she evolved? The possibilities are fascinatingly endless!

Likewise, what might the orphaned, frequently foster-system failed Callen have characterized in his younger years? Could his tattered upbringing have evoked overwhelming rage that Hetty aided him in controlling? How long have Callen and Hetty (mutually) known each other? Perhaps most important, under what circumstance did they meet and what provided the foundation for their longevity?

At this late point in the season with the well-known “dark” aspects commonly scripted by Frank Military, who also has the power to craft his vision from the Director’s chair, the unknown is surely on the horizon. His choice of title could simply stem from the case at hand, rage from a frustrated militant group. Yet, dedicated fans worldwide must share in the anticipated excitement of gaining yet another key element to Callen’s fragmented history.

Returning to the topic of appearances is the unusual choices for both Callen and Kensi. This harkens all the way back to a faux-drunken Kensi physically hanging onto Callen in “Hunted” (1×22). The press release blatantly mentions a tattoo for Kensi. Is this part of the cover or a true revelation?

One facet that’s simple to envision is the mockery throughout the team regarding Callen and Kensi’s romantic roles for the operation. Will everyone keep to their professional demeanors or will personal ridicule erupt in the Mission? Will either part of Densi react from their heart versus their head? Will this prompt yet another conversation between the duo? Previously the issue was keeping their personal ‘ship out of their work environment, but this situation demonstrates the opposite. Might Sam make either (or both) of his brotherly teammates targets of entertaining taunts? Could the repeated partner swapping serve as a secondary benefit in maintaining Deeks’ and Kensi’s physical distance related to his presumed continuing Internal Affairs investigation?

With these complicated and intermingled components of time and emotion, it’s sure to provoke some form of outRAGE Next… on NCISLA!