Ever since Deeks tried to clandestinely sneak a peek inside the box delivered to Kensi’s desk in the episode Kill House (4X12), many a Densi fan has been speculating on what could possibly be in this innocent, four-sided cardboard container. It’s been the brunt of many jokes on and off the show but like Deeks, we still want to know…. What’s in the Box? NCISLA Magazine decided we should put together our own think tank and invited two well known Densi fanfic writers, Imahistorian and Sweet Lu, to join us in a roundtable discussion to share their thoughts on the always electrically charged partnership. Before we try to come up with a list of what’s hidden in the box, we decided to take a step back to review the past year regarding Kensi and Deeks’ relationship and what we see in the future for our dynamic duo. Please note this discussion took place before the episode, Wanted (4X17).
Phillydi (PD): Before we talk about the infamous box…. What’s been going with the Densi relationship since Neighborhood Watch last year?
Imahistorian (IM): I think it’s just been more of the same. I don’t think there’s been a strong deepening of their relationship. Not from what we’re seeing, although there is always the ability for us to see otherwise. They have been undercover a few times, but as we have seen on the screen their partnership is still evolving. I don’t think the show is going to let it go a whole lot faster than what we are seeing.
Sweet Lu (SL): What’s interesting is that they are still doing that sexual innuendo with their banter like “she’s thinking about me in the shower” but it’s also as if they have taken a step back.
IM: I was also thinking that! That they went too far and now we’ve got to back up a little.
SL: With the fish tank episode he says that he was on a date this weekend, so obviously he is not sitting around and pining away for her. I don’t know what they are doing. I’m with Imahistorian that they are letting them play out as partners and as much as we want to see them get beyond that, I don’t think it’s going to happen this season unless there is something coming when they go into the woods together! She’s constantly holding up bras between History and Neighborhood Watch. I don’t know what that’s all about?!
PD: It seems like it’s always one sided because if anyone is trying to start something it’s him because I looked at Kensi’s face when he said he went out on a date and she had no reaction. So what’s going on here?
SL: In the Debt when Hetty asks her if she wants something more and she remains silent and then the same thing happens with that Astrid girl when she asks if Kensi is in love with her partner and she says nothing. So you can read anything into that that you want to. With the box thing it’s just this big empty box and you can put anything in there that you want as a fan fiction reader or if you are just watching the show. You can make it anything you want…it’s a blank slate.
PD: I was watching Kill House again, and did you notice the box has a This Way Up tag on it? So whatever is in there needs to be right side up.
SL: Maybe it’s a large cactus!
PD: Dave posted the picture of the box and asked what’s in the box that got everybody going and it was played throughout the whole episode and now we just found out the box is going to make a return. The return of the box! Deeks comes in and finds the box on his desk.
SL: So then maybe it’s not a cactus?!
IM: Sweet Lu and I watched this episode together in person and we both had reactions to the box and I automatically decided that it really didn’t matter what was in it. Because Deeks wants to know what’s in it and they talk about how it’s not going to change anything with that conversation in the car. I don’t think it physically matters what’s inside the box. It could be a metaphor for their romantic relationship or it could not be a metaphor but to me that’s what it sounded like. “The Box” is Kensi and Deeks as more than partners.
SL: I actually went back to transcribe it because I couldn’t remember the whole conversation in the car about the box and where she says “What’s to say it won’t be a big disappointment?” That’s kind of an interesting statement if you are reading something more into it as a metaphor.
IM: I think it means that television has a whole idea about the whole Moonlighting curse where if they bring an unrequited couple together it ruins the chemistry and there is nowhere for it to go…so I took the statement “What’s to say it won’t be a big disappointment” to mean what’s to say their love, their relationship, their feelings together as a couple wouldn’t be a big disappointment.
SL: I mentioned to Imahistorian that when I saw it the second time, I kind of thought that Deeks was talking for the audience, for the viewers and Kensi was talking for writers. To me when Deeks asks what’s in the box and she says ‘no the stakes are too high’ they don’t want to blow it. The stakes are high for who? The ratings?…for them?…not necessarily for us. He says ‘You know it’s not going to change anything’, and she says, ‘We’re still talking about the box, right?’
PD: So it’s almost tongue in cheek. They are talking to us from a sidebar.
SL: Then there is the whole opening scene where everybody keeps saying it’s none of your damn business so are the writers and Shane Brennan telling us to back off it’s none of our damn business! That’s true!
IM: That is true because we’re fans and we may want to see things happen but they are the ones who write the show and they are the ones who get to say what the characters do and how they behave. We want them to stay true to the characters they have set up and they generally do a very good job of that but at the same time they see the fan reactions on line and there is a mixture of excitement that they get so wrapped up in it and get so emotionally involved that sometimes they probably just want to be left alone to write.
SL: Like Kalstein says, “Hell has no fury like a Densi fan scorned!”
IM: That’s true of any fandom where you have romantic interaction and they become very possessive and that’s a good thing…that’s what they want which makes it fun for the fans.
SL: Absolutely. It keeps us coming back every week to see if there is a small glimmer of hope that he will get to kiss somebody. I don’t care who he kisses as long as it’s a woman!
IM: I care who he kisses…I want him to kiss Kensi! But I don’t want it to be too soon.
SL: You want it to be meaningful when it happens.
IM: Yes, and this is just me. They are great as partners but they are both very mistrusting in many ways….
SL: You know what was interesting to me in the opening scene of Kill House where Sam is saying, no more secrets, let’s all be one for all and all for one. I don’t know what they are going for there.
IM: I thought that scene was weird too. Here was a guy who freaked out when Eric replaced his office chair and now he’s taking over Deeks desk and I thought ‘Wow, Sam is turning over a new leaf!”
SL: I don’t know if they were saying they were going to do more of these scenes where they are working more as a unit instead of just partners because I thought that was the strongest part of that episode where they were all working together. There is a different dynamic when they are all together like that.
PD: I think Sam was predicting what was going to happen when they go into the kill house for the first time where they separate and they fail in the mission and I think it was Dave setting us up for what’s going to happen….
SL: Well it was Callen’s command that had them separate, so it was all his fault!
PD: Going back to the box…. How about the last line in the car, where he says I think you sent the box to yourself so we can have this conversation.
SL: That’s interesting too. I wrote that down…”You’re diabolical!”
IM: I don’t think Kensi is a terribly direct person so she is not likely to sit down and say ‘ok, let’s talk about what’s going on between us’.
SL: She’s afraid to and after the birthday fiasco.
PD: So now we have the box returning…other than the cactus, do we have any ideas of what’s going to show up inside?
SL: You know he’s going to open it…this is Deeks and he’s going to go crazy if it’s sitting on his desk.
IM: Oh God, yes. If it shows up on his desk and it’s at work and maybe I’m reading too much into this but I don’t know if it’s going to have deeper meaning because I don’t see Kensi doing something that publically.
SL: And why does it take her so long too. If it was a birthday present she would have done it the next day. If it’s for him why didn’t she give it to him in that episode? Why take it home? I think they are taunting us.
IM: I think there might be a little cat and mouse thing going on here and it could be all of nothing…I honestly don’t know.
SL: At this stage, maybe there is nothing in it. It comes all the way back to they are playing with our minds as usual. But I do have a questions about the new show….Do you remember that episode where Deeks wasn’t on it at all and Granger told Kensi to start thinking about her future…do you think they are going to try and recruit her for that group.
IM: I think there is a distinct possibility that they might make that offer to her.
SL: So then she has to decide.
IM: I honestly don’t think Kensi, the character or the actress is leaving the show…but it might be an interesting story plot.
SL: Right, there is a plot in there and I don’t know if it will force Deeks’ hand or not if they did that…but that whole episode felt like a set up for me for some future episode.
IM: It could be Deeks’ who is offered to join this new undercover team!
PD: I’m really wondering what that whole conversation between Hetty and Granger was all about…regarding Deeks’ future.
IM: That’ why that makes me wonder if the conversation with Granger means that Deeks might be offered the position with the Red Team?
SL: Do you really think he respects Deeks and likes him? I don’t.
IM: I don’t know…I wouldn’t have said yes awhile back but I find Granger to be a difficult character to read. When I think he’s a terrible guy, he does something that is marginally ok even though I don’t trust him so it’s hard for me to know what he thinks.
SL: Well I killed him off in my latest story so you know what I think!
IM: I don’t buy him as a good guy because he has done too many things where he has gone too far past the line to be redeemed.
SL: He’s a bureaucratic, political character that ruffles some feathers and has his own agenda and in that scene where he and Hetty are speaking and she warns him not to get Deeks hurt that means to me that he is going to send him on some undercover op that doesn’t include the team….isn’t that what you got from that?
IM: I think it’s definitely possible. They are definitely laying the foundation, laying down the possibility.
SL: I’m still surprised he wasn’t in the episode at all. I thought that was strange.
PD: That was strange, because I didn’t hear of anything Eric Christian Olsen was doing outside of the show that week when it was filmed, like he couldn’t be there.
SL: I’ve seen some behind the scenes photographs that show him on the set. But he wasn’t in the show…so I don’t know if they had a scene with him and they cut it? It’s a mystery! Probably in that box! Wouldn’t it be great if he opened that box and there would be nothing in it… empty?
PD: You never know with Kensi.
SL: You never know with Shane Brennan and Dave Kalstein!
PD: It is interesting that Kalstein is not writing the new Red crossover episode but the box is important enough to make a return in this episode.
SL: I thought it was interesting where Kalstein said he writes all the action and the drama parts and then he puts in all the funny parts later.
PD: Have you guys read that blog about Deeks getting killed off?
IM: I don’t buy that for a second.
SL: Why would they think he was dying?
IM: Someone was interpreting the fish tank scene where the fish that was Deeks was somewhat sickly and seeing the possibility that Deeks was going to be exiting the show. Then Eric Christian Olsen retweeted that blog and didn’t comment one way or the other….but there is no way that will happen. But it’s somebody’s theory and it has just as much validity as the box being a metaphor of their relationship!!
SL: They are not going to get rid of him.
PD: The other part of the blog mentioned getting rid of Deeks and bring in Nell as a field agent to work with alongside Kensi as a partner.
SL: No, no, no, no, no!
IM: I think they realize the chemistry they have with the actors. The thing that always impressed me about NCIS Los Angeles is that whenever they had an issue or a deficit in terms of chemistry like with Dom and Kensi in the first season…they took steps to change things up and make it different. The actor playing Dom, although there was nothing wrong with him, he was good but the chemistry wasn’t there. At first Kensi was a marginal character and they said ok, we need something different. In the first season of a new television show (to do that) was a real interesting move and I have to give them credit for making the hard decisions. And bringing in Deeks was a hard decision at the time. So I don’t think now they would decide to get rid of him.
SL: No they are not going to get rid of him. It was like that first season when they said they were going to kill Hetty.
IM: Oh, Hetty is always at death’s door! A couple of times she has been shot or going to be killed and she jumps back pretty well.
PD: Teflon Hetty!
SL: This hasn’t been my favorite season so far, but I’m hanging in there because I like these characters, I think they are great characters and I want to see what happens and if it comes in increments that’s fine with me. You want it to go on for a long time. It’s like writing a story; you don’t want it to just rush to the end. It’s the journey…it’s always the journey. They are very slow in developing these characters…I mean there is so much we don’t know about Deeks. We know a whole lot about Kensi after last year and we are going to know a whole lot more about Sam after this year. Callen is the only one they haven’t spent much time on this year.
IM: The only time we find out about Callen is the beginning of the season and the end of the season! I do agree with Sweet Lu it’s the journey that’s important…and I think it’s the journey that makes it’s meaningful. It’s going to take a while partly because they want the show to go on…it’s realistic for people to take time, especially because of the kind of characters that these are. They are trying to come together and work together. I’m content to continue to go along with it and see how meaningful it becomes.
SL: We all think of seeing Kensi and Deek’s relationship in a sexual way and anticipating that’s the way it’s going to go. Imahistorian and I talked about on Free Ride, where on the aircraft carrier Deeks falls out of the garbage can and Kensi is trying to help him up and then the scene is over and gone. If they have a scene where they can either comfort each other or hug each other or something that shows more of a personal connection than just partners, I think people would grasp on to that and the fans would say, “Great, they are closer because they are at least touching each other and she’s not punching him!” Something that is a bit more tender between then and then I think the fans would be happy with that.
PD: I totally agree…all we want are little moments. I definitely don’t want to see a huge, blown out love affair because then it’s over and done and gone. I definitely don’t want to see that and anyway that’s what fan fiction is for! We can always get that fix by reading fan fics. But on the show, I don’t want to see that at all.
SL: And I think in any relationship in real life it takes time and if you are at a working relationship it takes even more time especially in their line of work where they are going out there and shooting bad guys everyday…..they don’t have a lot of time to get intimate with each other right away….plus these are closed off, damaged people. All of them except for maybe Sam. So, they don’t open up to each other and that’s why I thought the conversation that Sam had at the beginning …no more secrets, all for one and one for all was an interesting idea. It made me wonder are they going to start revealing some personal aspects of these characters so that we can delve a little deeper about who they are and what’s happen to them in their lives.
IM: I agree with that.
SL: Especially Deeks…we only really know a few things about him.
PD: Oh, I think we can spend a whole season talking about Deeks. There are so many layers to that character.
SL: I’m sure he will get an arc some season, maybe the next one. There’s always next year!
PD: Yes, there is! Thanks for joining us guys! Let’s do it again!
It looks like the famous box will have a recurring role in the fourth season when it finds its way over to Deeks’ desk during the NCIS Red crossover episodes. After last week’s episode, Wanted was aired, Densi fans were amazed and delighted that there was some movement in the relationship. Much more than we have had in a long time. Deeks was shocked to see concern and emotion come from Kensi. He was so use to Kensi hiding all her feelings that he was a bit stunned at the end and mesmerized at how she smelled like sunshine and gunpowder. So what does this mean in terms of the box? Is Kensi really softening towards Deeks? Now Shaun Brennan will take the baton from Dave Kalstein and continue what will probably go down in Densi lore. Will it reveal absolutely nothing of interest to the shaggy detective or will we be shocked and awed at the contents inside. The bigger question is like Pandora’s Box before it…do we really want to open that box and find out what’s inside? What chaos will it lead to? If you are like Deeks you may just need to know regardless of the consequences. What conclusion have you come to? We want you to join us in our discussion and let us know what you think is in the box and where it could lead our favorite agents. Big thanks to Imahistorian and Sweet Lu for taking the time and joining us for this fun-filled discussion!