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! Blaze of Glory (6×19) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Next graphic Blaze of Glory (6×19) Preview
by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Joe Sachs; Directed by: Terrence O’Hara

Official CBS Press Release – “Blaze of Glory” – When a missile test is hijacked and sent off course, the team searches for the hacking group responsible for the attack with the help of a young computer specialist Hetty brings in to assist the team. Also, Nell sees the bond between the tech guru and Eric and she becomes jealous, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, March 30 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

While this week’s episode, “Blaze of Glory” might evoke memories of Bon Jovi’s 90s hit rock anthem, this definitely isn’t an accurate interpretation of the familiar title. No, in this case “Blaze” is a rare name, the name of the young female “techy” Hetty applies to aid the investigation. Now wait a minute. Two issues immediately require attention. First, between Nell and Eric the overwhelming expertise of The Wonder Twins requires supplemental input? This must be a very specialized technical element demanding additional brain bandwidth for the Masters of Ops.

Second, yet another “stranger” is invited into the Mission? Really? They’ve already been “infiltrated” more than once. Of all people, has Hetty not learned her lesson? They’ve dealt with the malicious Mathias, a battery of DOJ investigators, their specially-skilled and wise (but now dearly departed) Gurkha, and even held hostage by a mole-ish colleague’s patsy. (And all of that was just this season!) With all this new foot-traffic it’s beginning to feel like the Office of Special Projects’ cover might have morphed from a condemned Spanish Mission into a friendly neighborhood convenience store! So applying faith in the Operations Manager, could this youngster be a personal acquaintence or perhaps an even younger version of the still-unknown-ultimately-IQ-gifted Miss Jones with a particular knowledge niche? This girl must have something if her clearance is higher than Deeks (not that we actually know what that means).

It’s one thing to compare brain power, but it’s yet another to compete in matters of the heart. So Eric will form some connection to the youthful Blaze. Will this be based solely on intellect or might they share other commonalities? Is their something about the young woman that intrigues the often bumbling Beale to the beautiful Blaze? If there’s one thing we’ve learned about this close-knit team, it’s their shared familial possessiveness. However, similar to Densi, Neric is in a completely different category. What even happened during their holiday escape and has there been any sort of resulting shift in their non-technical togetherness?

We’ve seen Eric get his “shorts in a twist” when the duo encountered both Nate and even case-related geeks as he’s awkwardly attempted to stake his claim with the Mighty Nell. However, it sounds like the roles may be flipped in this instance. A jealous Nell. That could very well be the most dangerous aspect of the entire case! Will Nell keep her emotions locked up in her encrypted mental hard drive or might human nature override the normally controlled intelligence analyst?

Speaking of human nature, Deeks goes deep into child psychology. Could this simply be more insight into his rarely referenced tumulchuous youth (and/or an infusion from ECO’s own college studies)? Perhaps Sam’s prior words about partners and kids prompted Kensi to share the conversation with Deeks. Might the topic of mutant ninja assassins have resurfaced in a more serious manner?

On a related note it seems the revelation of Densi’s status has passed without incident along with Deeks’ own consideration of the calendar. (This seems somewhat strange for a guy so hurt by the honest birthday forgetfulness of his partner….) Financial savvy trumps sentiment? Sounds like a man who honestly works to get the most bang for his buck! They do say “good things come to those who wait”, right? Could this serve as foreshadowing to the highly-anticipated upcoming five year partnership anniversary of Densi? Only time will tell….

Also telling is the effortless inquiry of Callen about a Densi Valentine’s Day. Let the light-hearted mocking ensue – even if none of them really want to know! Further, Kensi immediately responds truthfully, not pausing over the fact the issue is now public knowledge, and everyone continues the conversation as if it’s not a notable change within the team. May this ‘ship only continue its smooth sailing!

The ever-present bromance of Sam and Callen endures even through another disagreement about culinary habits. Regardless of the topic, their vehicle-based verbal sparring is always entertaining! Yet, don’t forget the security of an unknown number of missiles is their primary task. Call it skill; call it luck. The team will again need all it can to solve this latest case – so perhaps Deeks’ delayed “Luck of the Irish” efforts with a few four-leaf clovers aren’t as frivolous as one might expect. Let’s hope those mischievous little leprechauns deliver only “pots of gold” Next… on NCISLA!

Next… on NCISLA! Fighting Shadows (6×18) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

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Fighting Shadows (6×18) Preview

by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Andrew Bartels; Directed by: Tony Wharmby

Official CBS press release – “Fighting Shadows” – When three FBI agents are killed in an explosion following a successful undercover sting operation, the team searches for the person behind the attack. Meanwhile, Deeks and Kensi realize the team knows about their relationship, as Hetty pairs Kensi with Sam and Deeks with Callen during the investigation, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, March 23 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Let’s start with the actual case. First, things are looking pretty successful with the operation, but then (as usual) it take a tragic turn with the assassination of fellow federal agents. So what was the basis for the original FBI effort? Terrorists? Drug cartel? Espionage? Hackers? Weapons of mass destruction? The possibilities are virtually endless (until they meet their ultimate and explosive end). Did the criminals escape and are still at-large? Will our NCISLA team be on the hunt for both the initial targets as well as the FBI attackers or could they very well be one-in-the-same?

Meanwhile, Grandmaster Hetty is yet again “moving the board” under her “pawns”. Repeated inquires apply here: Is this simply an effort to challenge the team members, to ensure they can seamlessly work together in any combination rather than the routine partnerships? Or could she have ulterior motives? (Doesn’t she always?) Is there a chance this is as obvious as it might seem on the surface, that she’s testing Densi’s relatively new ‘ship as Deeks again presumes, just as he did when Kensi was deployed to Afghanistan? Might the senior agents be quietly assessing Kensi and Deeks individually to determine how they currently function without the other by his/her side now that they are (officially) more than work partners?

Continuing, has the lovebirds’ shift in status actually affected their professional demeanor? While the expected answer is “yes” as blatantly displayed in a tangled series of events in a number of prior episodes, with them, perhaps the answer isn’t so simple. Between boldly going “All In” and heeding the wise words of their dearly departed Gurkha, could the junior members have somewhat easily found a solid foundation both in and outside of work? The playful, ultimately unrefuted conversation centering on a “bitten sex machine”(!) seems to indicate a resounding “Yes”!  While it’s nice to consider the duo has discovered mutual happiness, the path for these two is rarely this smooth (and even when it is, it doesn’t seem to last very long)!

This preview might be speculating a bit too deeply on the Densi topic, so taking the teaser at face value, hopefully at least part of the revelation of the team’s knowledge about “them” will be woven in humor. Does this actually become a “thing” among the team, or is it simply as the promo indicates, a quiet confiding and likely bonding moment between the team leader and the detective? How might Kensi (presuming she learns of this) and Deeks react to their secret no longer being secret? (Not that it ever truly was.) Perhaps the others, as demonstrated by Callen, feel they can finally address what has been evident for so long. Or might Hetty, cheeky in her own right, purposefully “out” them to move beyond the unspoken “elephant in the room” to focus on the case? Regardless of all these potential outcomes, who wouldn’t be amused to see Sam and Callen have a traditional “big brother” talk with Deeks? (Although based on the traditional role reversal for Densi, perhaps they should have that chat with Kensi!)

Back to the topic of secrets, it appears Deeks might have some, and troubling ones at that. Does Deeks have a stalker (other than countless fans)? Is this result from some recent events, or is this a ghost from his past haunting him in the present? Is this finally the start of the long-awaited back-story about Deeks? Compared to the other primary characters, we know very little about our shaggy California “dancing” surfer-turned-lawyer-turned-cop-turned-federal-liaison! Who has something to use against Deeks and what could it be? Has he been aware of this “risk” lurking in the shadows and simply been hiding it from the team? Might Deeks try to face this onslaught alone, concealing the issue from his teammates out of embarrassment or as an effort to protect them? Hetty keenly warns “They will use everything they have against you.” Does this make Kensi a target in order to get to Deeks, the opposite character application used in “Personal” (2×17)? If so, to what lengths will he go to keep her safe (and vice versa)? Will their Operations Manager again dispatch the agents to aid their unofficial NCIS comrade, similar to the efforts in “Human Traffic” (2×1)?

In a rare one-on-one conversation Callen references the element of risk. While this concept is core to their life with the federal agency, this time Callen’s words resonate on a personal level in relation to Kensi. Key to this issue will likely be Densi’s continuing struggle with communication skills, both in ability and voluntary inclination. If this is tied to Deeks’ past, does he openly share it with Kensi and what challenges will that present their status? Will it strengthen their evolving bond or only serve as yet another hurdle to clear?

While we’ll have plenty of obstacles to work through regarding the case and these characters, wouldn’t it be fun to discover who knew about Densi first and for how long Next… on NCISLA?!

(Place your bets in the Comments below!)


Next… on NCISLA! Savoir Faire (6×17) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

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Savoir Faire (6×17) Preview

by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Jordana Lewis Jaffe; Directed by: Eric Laneuville

Official CBS press release – “Savoir Faire” – While the team investigates the death of one of three Afghanistan soldiers who are training in the U.S., they discover two other soldiers are missing and must find them before they’re forced to reveal classified military operations to their captors. Also, Sam is back to work but his team worries it may be too soon, and Callen realizes he has very little in common with his partner, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, March 9 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

For those not proficient in the intricacies and elegance of the French language, a common definition of this episode’s title, “Savoir Faire” is “the ability to act or speak appropriately in social situations.” However, a more precise explanation is adaptability in a specific situation related directly to a particular individual. More specifically it applies toward being highly skilled in a distinct area, such as covert manipulation, as an example. Hmmm. What kind of situation might the team encounter to bring about this terminology? With that, what is considered “appropriate”? Which aspect of the title’s definition will relate to this week’s series of events? I’m sure we’d all present ourselves quite differently in having tea with Hetty versus gaming with Eric! Apply this to a sinister criminal act and the stakes begin rising quite rapidly. Who among the team can you guess would struggle in such unknown situations as opposed to who might be the best skilled (besides the aforementioned Ms. Lange)? Perhaps the entire team could use a refresher on this trade craft tactic!

Grab your flip-flops and floaties because this case takes the team back to a location of sun, sand, and surf. However, like usual, it’s going to be no day at the beach. Things are about to get down and dirty in the sandy landscape. An international aspect. Death. Hostages. Jeopardized classified information. Yep, sounds like a typical day for the LA-based federal agency! Is another foreign operative behind this latest travesty or is the culprit a fellow countryman? What aspect of national security might once again be at risk and in what manner?

The Big Guy is back! Yet, Granger is chatting financials? For real? Or is it an avenue to a separate topic? Is Sam trying to cover the true basis of their conversation? The family aspect of this team is sure to be on full display as their “teddy bear” returns, again patched up from a brush with evil. What characteristics might Sam express that prompts worry from his teammates? Is it something obvious to all or a slight tell, something only his longtime (yet apparently dissimilar) partner would detect? Resultant from Sam’s torturous electrocution experience with the dastardly Siderov, this recalls an ominous and concerned warning from the team’s insightful psychologist, Dr. Nate Getz, in “Impact” (5×2):

“But the trauma and damage he experienced, it’s cumulative, physically and psychologically, as you well know. If it happens too many more times, he could reach a breaking point where he can’t take it anymore. You also know what can happen then.”

Are these singular damaging instances culminating to have the negative effect previously suggested by Nate? While regularly absent, the team’s giant “shrink” has always been able to read each team member with profound accuracy.

This is the fourth NCISLA directorial installment for lifelong actor and director Eric Laneuville. Meanwhile, series staffer Jordana Lewis Jaffe’s pen (or keyboard) is sure to provide us with unexpected twists and turns in both the criminal case and interactions among our favorite characters. How will this rare female lawyer-turned-writer demonstrate her own “savoir faire” in this edition?

Might Hetty or even Granger have to yet again make a tough decision regarding one of their prime agents? And if so, how will the others react Next… on NCISLA?

Credit and appreciation to famous French fan Chantal (@Cashkend_o) for assistance in understanding and detailing the application of “savoir faire”. Any error on this topic is entirely the author’s.

Next… on NCISLA! Expiration Date (6×16) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

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Expiration Date (6×16) Preview

by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Dave Kalstein; Directed by: Terence Nightingall

Official CBS press release – “Expiration Date” – When Callen and Sam are tasked with apprehending a spy contracted by the CIA, Sam is shot and the team enlists the help of Thapa, the elite Nepali soldier from their past, to help to find the shooter. Also, Kensi and Deeks have their first official argument, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, Feb. 23 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Ernie Reyes, Jr. returns as Thapa and Parminder Nagra guest stars as the spy.

The much anticipated and highly promoted “Expiration Date” by the often havoc-provoking, yet endearing Dave Kalstein is finally here! Partnered with Terence Nightingall who makes his NCISLA directorial debut, is anyone brave enough to speculate what they might surprise us with this week?

During our last adventure it appeared as if Sam had been shot. While that was technically true, it was false in our regular understanding of the term. Tranquilizer yes, bullet no. This week however is definitely the real deal. We are again reminded even our (jokingly) self-professed superhero can’t escape the physical damage of a bullet. How might this affect his partner?

Familial fallout is an extended theme as Michelle and the Hanna offspring are notably mentioned. In that Granger effortlessly voices the thoughts of many in alluding to Hetty’s existing yet often veiled maternal words and actions. To whom might he be connecting Hetty with? The orphan Callen? The young tech experts? The long-brewing romantic ‘ship between Fern and Shaggy? Most likely, in one manner or another, every member of “her” team.

Partners will be more important than ever this week when the team comes under attack by a group of less-than-humanitarian… surgeons? They’re dressed in scrubs brandishing “scalpels”, right? Whoops! Definitely not helpful physicians! More like present day ninja assassins! And it’s easy to surmise “an apple a day” won’t keep these “doctors” away!

We know a case takes a serious and usually more deadly turn when a third party is brought in to assist our expert team. This week reunites OSP with the uniquely skilled Jemadar Thapa. Wait. What?!

In burying the lead, the Gurkha’s back! As Deeks responds to Thapa about his partner being sharper than his weapon (massive understatement), we are immediately thrust back to the famed Season 5 episode of “The Frozen Lake”, sending certain fans into a winter avalanche of “Densi Frenzy”! Might the show’s newest “bromance” be a blade-wielding Nepalese warrior and a gun-toting California surfer? Will Thapa simply provide a follow-up to his past advice, offer new wisdom or warning, or even expand his sage advice to the fair lady of the situation?

Speaking of Ms. Blye, it appears we may have the female agent’s version of her own “dream sequence”! Intriguing. Yet based on her response, could this be her feared occurrence of “too much too fast”? Could Kensi realize she’s already crossed/crossing her “frozen lake” or might something occur to cause her pause in her progress? What effect might Thapa have in her advancement with Deeks? (Likewise, the same question can be posed in reverse.)

The Gurkha’s previous visit ended with one agent being deployed to the other side of the world, launching the rest of the team into months of anxiety resulting in personal torment and life-threatening events. What repercussions might Thapa’s latest appearance produce Next… on NCISLA?

Next… on NCISLA! Forest for the Trees (6×15) Preview by Gayle (@DensiLand)

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Forest for the Trees (6×15) Preview

by Gayle (@DensiLand)

Written by: Gil Grant; Directed by: Diana Valentine

Official CBS press release – “Forest For The Trees” – Callen and Sam are kidnapped when they follow an anonymous tip about a missing NSA agent. When the team discovers they are nowhere to be found, they realize it could have been a trap set by terrorists, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, Feb. 9 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

“Forest for the Trees”? Now there’s a telling title. Might the team be challenged in discovering the true motive of their current targets because the investigation is masked by distractionary details? With a cryptic Gil Grant script, one never knows. Likewise, the direction of long-time NCISLAer Diana Valentine is sure to highlight the individual talents of this incredible cast that she knows so well.

A NSA agent is missing. How does this connect to NCIS? Or is this simply a case of a sister agency lending a friendly hand? Our team faces regular threats: drug cartels, psychopaths, bio-weapons, even an occasional local “nut job”, but ISIS?! We’ve reached a whole new level with this one!

Via the promo we see what appears to be a malicious setup for Callen and Sam, being victims of a diversionary flash grenade. [This is somewhat reminiscent of the epic roadside scene in “Empty Quiver” (2×16) that was partially shot in slo-mo and accompanied by the theatrical tune of “Running up that Hill”.] As if that weren’t detrimental enough, during the melee Sam is shot. As much as we’d like to hope the big guy had pro-actively donned his protective vest, that doesn’t seem to be the case. To complete the traumatic trifecta, the guys are taken hostage! Wow; there’s no shortage of action and intrigue this week! (Or could it be possible the guys purposefully got themselves captured in order to gain first-hand knowledge of the captors and confirm the location of the NSA agent? Conspiracy theories abound!)

With the senior agents out of commission, this certainly puts the pressure on the rest of the team – Kensi and Deeks in particular. The duo find themselves literally and figuratively “in the woods”, where we can expect outdoorsy Kensi to take the lead. Yet it’s “city mouse” Deeks who physically throws himself into the uncomfortable environment to take down a target – landing in murky waters. Might this result in a Whiny Deeks or perhaps even a compassionate Kensi? We have to wait for the issue to rise to the surface….

With at least three federal agents now missing and some of the most lethal terrorists in the world now in-country, what creative efforts might the team need to retrieve their missing comrades Next… on NCISLA?