It may not be safe to entrust Eric Christian Olsen with spoilers. “I’m off to go get killed,” he says, picking himself up from a shaded picnic table and heading back out into a Southern California winter heat wave. In the parched hills above Santa Clarita, sets for an Afghan army base and village have been constructed, making NCIS: Los Angeles suddenly seem like NCIS: Afghanistan. “This,” he repeats, “is the scene where Deeks dies.”
He’s joshing, of course, since the only fatality for Olsen’s character this season is more along the lines of “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight,” if you can stand an ’80s-music reference. His Deeks and Daniela Ruah’s Kensi have long provided the implicit romance that complements the bromance of LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell on the smash series. In November, the two finally hooked up, however briefly, shocking fans who expected an endless variation on the unconsummated flirtation common to coworkers on TV procedurals. But no sooner had the pairing known to shippers as Densi become an actual thing than Kensi was sent to Afghanistan, where, in the upcoming episode I’m observing, her partner and putative beau has come looking for her.