NCIS Los Angeles “Unwritten Rule” Picture Recap by @sindee303

My favorite scenes in pictures:


What case…?” WROOOM


Deeks doesn’t know THE RULE.


How is Deeks’ emotional center ??


Nell & the Scooter Man


Risky behaviour or not… ??


I think it’s more about cute girls with guns.




Jason: “We served together.” Deeks: “Obviously not a submarine.


I was just about to jump out of the way.


I could kill you with this pen.




Hetty got the motorcycle afterall…

I really enjoyed the team banter scenes in this episode… they were both fun and profound. Also did I like how the episode title “Unwritten Rule” was reflected in the case (When a person in the military comes into a lot of money, they can get permission to leave because it’s felt that their service is no longer a first priority.) as well as in the secondary storyline about Deeks’ motorcycle.

What do you think about this episode ?? Leave a comment with your thoughts…

18 thoughts on “NCIS Los Angeles “Unwritten Rule” Picture Recap by @sindee303

  1. Evi

    Oh boy where do I even start. There were soooo many hints and hidden treasures in this episode. First of all you can’t mention psychopaths,flame-guns, scissors, muffins, weekends….and don’t elaborate. We want details people. You can’t just throw such lines all over the place.

    It is funny how they kept on saying how dangerous bikes are, and yet the bad guy crashed his huge car -while barely doing 40 miles/h- and died instantly.

    I loved how Kensi openly expressed her concern about him. I can’t decide wether she had studied about PTSD and its link to risky behavior when she was with Jack, or now because she is worried about Deeks.

    I also loved his conversation with Hetty although lately I can’t figure her out. I also can’t figure out the “kensi is great” line. Was he refering to her well being, or about how kind and supportive she is towards him? I need to do some thinking about it.

    It is official now that he aknowledges her feelings and he knows she tries to deny them because of the nature of their job and the complexity of their relationship. He almost said it. I just hope they get to speak about the kiss at some point.

    Seeing Nell and Eric out in the field is always a pleasure. With Kensi gone in the future I have a feeling we will see more of her.

    I was thinking about the huge revelation about on episode 18 and I strongly don’t believe it will be Jack. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is going to show up somewhere between 10-18, but he won’t be the big unexpected shock they keep talking about.

    Anyway, overall a great episode.

  2. SnoopGirl

    The writing for the team in this episode was brilliant. The acting from everyone was awesome and more than made up for what I thought was a really lame case.
    Many great scenes throughout. One of my fave episodes of the Series.


  3. Richtsje

    Liked this episode, it was ‘lighter’ than the one before, and team centered indeed.
    The ‘guy with guns’ or ‘cute girls with guns’ was such a brilliant remark, and there were more great lines in this episode. Like Eric who doesn’t need a gun ‘I can kill you with this pen’, he was obviously worried about those young geeks with Nell 🙂
    It was a bit like back to the early beginnings of the series, things were like this before imo.

  4. SD

    I was seriously waiting for a review to come up. Coz…the episode just went over my head. Yes, totally agree that it was a lame case which helped us see Nell out in the field wielding her gun, Eric getting a lil but possessive/protective about Nell and venturing out of geeky aloofness alongside showing us the unwritten rule of Navy and the NCIS team…its all about you don’t take unnecessary risk and since unnecessary risk cannot be measured or categorized objectively it becomes an unwritten rule subjectively.

    What bamboozled me was Hetty and Deeks scene. After the Ops briefing on the case, it is understood that Deeks wanted to get out of his chest at having broken Hetty’s rule and slyly wants to win her favor in keeping the bike, I couldn’t get if Hetty heard him mention his bike. And more than that…what was all that about puzzling talk about emotional center. Deeks was so right saying…suddenly I feel all cold….because I felt the same. Hetty acted so distant ….that I was like I need to watch the episode second time to catch what I missed. But truthfully I pity Deeks the character who may have felt bamboozled out of his warm morning with that Hetty session. Sigh! I always love Hetty-Deeks interactions, but this one…was like ….was it supposed to be endearing or supposed to be intimidating….Confused !!

    And the banter between Deeks and Kensi where Deeks tries to convince her to support him keeping the bike was nicely done….but the moment she says strongly “I am your partner” there was a lot of meaning interjected into the scene. Kensi’s facial expression said more than what she meant verbally as Partner and mere responsibilty. Her words were professional and expression was all about her concern for someone dear to her and yet the forceful words make Deeks and myself not to take the words kindly. Deeks was like…Really ?! Just Partners ?! and knowing Kensi as he knows her and cares for her, never wanting to hurt her feelings, he doesn’t linger on that upsetting emotion and instead talks back in professionally amiable manner, of that of being her partner friend. He calls her Mommy and asks if she has a baby seat in the back of the car. That comeback from Deeks satisfied me because indeed she treated him as baby, not allowing him to ride the bike whereas she gets to ride it in the weekends.

    And Callen-Sam-Deeks banter was amusing and lovable. The muffin talk…yeah, me too was wondering what must have happened there.

    All in all, a puzzling episode for now until I go for a rewatch.

  5. SD

    I literally LOL’ed and quite loudly at that, when Eric said, “I could kill you with this pen”. My husband came out running from his room to check on me what happened to me. 😀 It was the best line of the episode alongside Vroom Vroom of Deeks as Callen asks him each time. Lovely teasing gems.

  6. Shelia

    I really enjoyed all the banter amongst the team from Callen & Deeks at the beginning (and wasn’t that a nice scene two gorgeous men and their rides) to Callen and Nell joking about cute girls with guns. It was lighthearted and truly enjoyable. Eric was the funny geek as usual trying to impress the other geeks over his connection to Nell. (I still only see them as really good friends).

    The Hetty/Deeks conversation at the beginning was a little off but I guess you can’t get everything right all the time. I look forward to watching this episode again. I love the way this season is shaping up.

  7. Laura

    How do I love you 5×05? Let me count the ways. Not actually, but this was one of my favorite episodes so far. I saw a lot of male bonding with Callen, Sam, and Deeks which I always like, having never really enjoyed nor understood them treating him as less of a man because he was LAPD and not an agent. Too bad it took torture to bring them around, us females never doubted he was all male, haha.

    Then contrarily, Kensi seems to be babying him. It was interesting that for the first time EVER standing in front of a moving vehicle shooting straight at it became a spectacular FAIL. Each of them has done this multiple times with no problem, killing or wounding the driver who veers off at the last moment, but this time it is a foolhardy moment for Deeks who requires a last second life-saving move by his partner who is naturally then concerned about where his head is at and the BS excuse he gives her immediately afterward.

    The conversation between Kensi and Deeks about his motorcycle was intriguing and multi-level. I think because they have (apparently) not dealt with The Kiss and were out in the field it had to be focused on the professional, their partnership, and his readiness to be in the field: Is he going to take greater chances with his life and therefore with hers, and is the motorcycle representative of that attitude? Obviously, this is very important.

    Notwithstanding the importance of their professional life, they better get on the stick and talk about their personal life to give Marty a happier reason to move past the trauma, in my opinion, or else, there’s just more anxiety being at work.

    Now for Hetty: She is an enigma wrapped up in a puzzle. It almost seems as if Deeks being tortured is her personal failure and she is projecting her anger at herself onto him. She recruited him, she fostered his relationship with Kensi, she saw Macy, Hunter, Dom, and Renko all die then Sam and Deeks get tortured. Deeks was the least prepared for what he went through, yet she appears to be the coldest toward him. Telling him to look up Reynaud’s Syndrome when he’s telling her that she’s freezing him out was downright mean. He’s been through hell and she won’t even throw him a frickin’ bone. Not to mention the curtain opening in his apartment that day. She is 180 degrees different from the pre-torture Hetty, and I postulate that either she has weighed him in the balance and found him wanting OR she wants him to resign before he gets killed or gets Kensi killed or both.

    Next the fun stuff: Nell/Eric/Callen. So this was a triangle, a threesome, a ménage-a-trois in my mind’s eye (okay that last was a gross-really gross-exaggeration!!) But for the first time the PTB showed us some palpable Nallen. Maybe I’m obtuse, but I’d never seen Callen so obviously admiring of Nell’s pixie charms before and please, if I’m wrong, give me the episodes where he said things like “pretty girls with guns” and where he hung all over her at her keyboard, and stared at her like a vampire in a blood bank. Dang that was adorable. Plus he made the not as adorable jealous and catty guy remark about the geeks sharing DNA with Eric. Obvious, much, Callen?

    And darling Eric… God, I love him so much. He absolutely worships Nell and is not put off at all by the fact she can carry and shoot a weapon, nope, he is proud of her, probably feels safer around her. LOVED his line about being able to kill with his pen.

    Nell channeled her mentor Hetty last night, I thought, in that I didn’t really see her pick either one of the guys. She was equally nice to Callen and Eric and totally professional, of course. Depending on whom you ship, I guess you have made up your mind, but I think Nell just rolled with the flow. Nice to have attractive men find you attractive. Eric is really sweet, nothing bad to say about anyone, territorial, though.

    One last comment-many PTSD cases also commit suicide by their weapons. Perhaps Hetty might think about that while she takes away a form of recreation from Deeks that he and Kensi could have enjoyed together on the weekends. That whole thing seemed really stupid and unnecessarily demeaning to him, just like the case itself was stupid and confusing. Nevertheless I loved the show for the character interaction and development.

    1. Caroline

      There was a lot to like but also a huge disappointment.

      The team banter was wonderful. They are so much more relaxed with each other again. Deeks talking to Hetty and her just watching him in bemusement was masterful.

      I liked Sam’s reference to buying Deeks a muffin.

      Kensi’s reference to PTSD was interesting and, probably foreshadow’s Jack’s return. She was much more open about her concerns I thought which shows a growth in the Densi relationship.

      The plot was pretty boring and I’m not a big far of seeing Nell out in the field. Watching Eric’s jealousy was mildly amusing.

      Now for the disappointment – why no reference to Callen’s father or how he is feeling or what he is going to do next in his quest to find answers? Is he just going to leave it alone and be satisfied with what he knows now? Seems unlikely. He has also been through a severe trauma and it isn’t even mentioned!


  8. Sweet Lu

    I will leave the general review of this episode to others, although I thought there were a lot of sweet scenes between Nell and the geeks, including Eric. But I will just add my two cents about the Deeks’ story line.

    I think this episode is a continuation of Deeks trying to find his way back to normal. I think he is in denial about what being tortured did to him. In “Impact” he was scared, his emotions raw, and he was in hiding. In this episode, as in “Omni”, he is pushing himself to deal with it all with humor, his way of deflecting pain and anything else that bothers him. I don’t think he even realized that riding a motorcycle was risky as everyone kept telling him. He is going over the top in proclaiming himself to be fine, and good and telling everyone not to worry about him. Hetty and Kensi are watching and worrying, and although I think Deeks does know that, he doesn’t want to face it. He hasn’t dealt with the torture or his acknowledged feelings for Kensi. They are both ignoring that. Kensi is trying to protect him from himself in this episode, but he isn’t able to see that. He becomes defensive whenever anybody tries to make him aware of his own behavior. He is flying too close to the sun, and I wonder just when something will happen that reveals that fact and force him to deal with his emotions and fears that something inside is just not right.

  9. SD

    Okay I watched the episode again. I think they are overdoing the torture Impact for Deeks and underplaying it for Sam. Sam almost lost his wife. But he is a Navy Seal and so he is left after one episode. Callen’s find about his father in last episode is neither tacitly shown as joyous feeling for Callen nor any other aspect is discussed/shown that lets us know that Callen might be brooding on that detail. And Deeks; if he is considered that non-NCIS like, then how come he is able to handle tougher emotions associated with his LAPD undercover Ops. And in and out he is flitting between dangers like gunshots, explosions and speeding vehicles. So the torture and shot to his heart actually has made him scared of action ?! But that doesn’t convince me at all because in Season 2 Personal, Deeks was aimed and shot even if it was not to his heart that he took the bullet…but he did look into the man’s eye. I mean I am lil bit having a difficulty in digesting the overplay of trauma for Deeks and not the same for Sam. Hetty and Kensi are concerned… so does it mean they are going to stretch the trauma and the Kiss for the entire season? Kensi worried about the Trauma Impact on Deeks and Hetty worried about the Kiss Impact on Deeks. So basically he is the subject of worry for these two women when he could have a perfectly enjoyable male bonding with Callen and Sam which he never had before in the earlier seasons. And thanks to Deeks, we do agree that their job is actually risky at every step of it and they could have potential problems with partners they fall in love with, with or without torture and trauma involved. Even if the torture had not happened, Kensi would never have discussed the Kiss by herself and that is essentially Hetty’s problem. So I guess I got my answer to Hetty’s question,”How is Deeks emotional center?” She was basically asking Deeks, how is Kensi doing and Deeks could not even answer her. And that’s another worry for Hetty. There is Kensi who wouldn’t take the next step after the kiss and there is Deeks who wouldn’t go close to Kensi if she doesn’t answer his open question, “How that for communication?” So Hetty’s problem is that Deeks and Kensi are not talking and the bike is just a rule that everyone has to follow, it just became a catalyst for us to see Kensi’s opinion on PTSD patients because of her experience with Jack. She is seeing a Jack in Deeks. Now that does not look good at all to me.

    Thank you all. Now I feel, that I got the episode. 🙂

  10. I Feel Possessed

    Plot was secondary to the characters, loved the banter between the partners.

    I am worried they are setting the scene for Nell to partner Callen in the field a little later in the season. Don’t like the idea of this, not sure I like the idea of Nell in the field. And I certainly don’t like the vague idea of shipping these two characters (would rather have Paris…OMG did I really just write that?!)

    Others have commented on Hetty, Deeks and Kensi. I don’t think Hetty was being freaky, just allowing Deeks to talk himself into realising he’s a little OTT and still not fully ok.

    And it’s a shame there was no mention of Callen coming with the revelations of last week’s episode but then this was filmed as 4×25, so maybe the powers that be were a little unsure as to when they would air this one…

  11. Jan

    This was a fantastic episode. I am always most drawn in by the characters’ relationships, so for me this was great. We got great dialog, some great Densi interaction, some Bromance (could have used some more), an appropriate amount of Neric, and we got Hetty tending her flock in her own mysterious fashion. I chuckled at the thought of Sam buying Deeks a muffin.

    So far as the plot, everyone of our team had something useful and appropriate to contribute to the resolution, and I really wasn’t sure until the big reveal whether the boyfriend was good guy or bad guy. So that was nice to see even though the case was apparently a stand-alone with no ongoing ramifications.

    Some continuity issues: Yes, Kensi is skinny again for one episode, and Deeks’ hair sure grew a lot since the last episode.

    Where exactly are we going with Deeks’ PTSD? Kensi seems to realize he’s having problems, as does Hetty. Deeks himself seems to be in total denial. I’m not sure where Callen and Sam stand on the issue. Callen seems to be treating Deeks normally, but it’s hard to believe that he has totally resolved his doubts about Deeks’ state of mind. Sam is a little more difficult to read – clearly he has every reason to be supportive of Deeks, but he would never do that at the expense of anyone’s safety, especially Deeks himself. I’m hoping for some more male bonding between Deeks and Sam to explore this issue.

    I was bummed that Deeks didn’t get to keep his bike, but that’s just a tiny quibble with an episode that is already one of my favorites.

  12. SL

    I’m putting this down as one of my favourite episodes because of the banter between the characters and lots of great Deeks moments. I loved his scene with Hetty, one of their best with Deeks reduced to a rambling monologue to try and extricate himself from any of Hetty’s ‘Jedi mind tricks.’ So funny! Their relationship fascinates me. Hetty seems to have a soft spot for Mr Deeks. 🙂

  13. justdreaming-83

    First of all, let me say how much I enjoyed the “favorite scenes” pics, sindee. What a fun way to recall all the things I loved about this episode! And I DID love “Unwritten Rule.” I agree that the plot was secondary (even though I thought it was a good one.) For me, this story was more about getting to know our characters on a different level, and watching their relationships as they transitioned. It was a “lighter” episode; as some have said, more of a Season 1 feel. But after the overwhelming pain and suspense of the season opener, and then the highly emotional 100th episode, I personally was more than happy to be dished out a big plate of fluffiness and humor.

    In his very first scene, it was obvious that Deeks has gone through some sort of metamorphosis. Prior to his traumatic experience in the “torture chamber,” could we have imagined him “Vrooming” Callen while G was attempting to ask him a question? Yet he did. TWICE!!! I was already laughing, and then he gave Callen that big, toothy smile. Yep. Marty Deeks has lost all sense of danger.

    Even though Deeks and Sam had very little interaction, we were reminded of Sam’s new fondness for the detective before they had even been summoned to Ops for their new case. Who would have thought that the single word, “muffin,” could speak volumes? (A bran muffin, to be exact. Sam would never offer an unhealthy food to a true friend.) For me, the brief “muffin” conversation was classic bromance.

    Come to think of it, Sam and Callen may have spent less time partnered up than in most episodes. But they don’t have to be together much for us to appreciate the longevity of their partnership. Just a quick exchange of glances and they know exactly what the other is thinking. And simultaneously saying “front,” when asked which door they wanted to cover, just proves it. (Deeks was right about the “partners in sync.” It WAS adorable.)

    I bet Deeks is beginning to think Aliens have abducted his partner and left him with this maternal look-alike. It seems to be driving him nuts that she is this worried about him. I was wondering if her overprotectiveness has less to do with his PTSD, and more to do with having deeper feelings than she knows what to do with. Losing a partner was hard enough. But the possibility of losing one she is falling in love with?

    The Nell/Eric thing was quite cute! Eric just couldn’t stand the thought of those other guys being that close to her. Normally, our Eric experiences a high degree of anxiety when called on to leave the comfort of his computer haven. You know he had to have been extremely jealous to come in all brave, and “I could kill you with this pen.”

    And I thought Callen was so sweet with Nell. He hovered over her like a protective big brother. I believe he was even taking care of her when he let her in on the fact that the geeky dudes weren’t necessarily interested in her gun. This was quite the adventure for Nell. I loved the impressed looks on everyone’s faces when she fired her weapon. You go, girl!

    Now… onto Hetty. Why do we try so hard to figure this tiny woman out? It’s HETTY. I was as confused as Deeks by her “emotionally centered” inquiry. It reminded me of the “well-sharpened pencil” lesson she tried, and failed, to teach Callen a while back. I guess she thinks the best way for them to learn is for them to process the information, and then come to the conclusion on their own? I don’t know. See? Still trying to figure her out. Hetty Lange is mysterious, wise, and sometimes a bit harsh. But in the end, we can be assured that she has the best interest of her little chicks at heart.

  14. Lumy_Mee

    This episode seemed a bit odd to me, as I somehow felt it was shot at a different time. Something in the overall atmosphere was not 100% right. I think that as the actors experience things alongside their characters, they acquire a certain aura that was present in all previous episodes in the season, but not in this one.
    Still, it was a good episode, with some great moments. Scenes of anyone with Hetty will always be my favourite, no matter how weird they can be.
    I think Kensi and Deeks are trying to fix their partnership first, and their personal feelings after, which seems to be the wrong order. Their partnership is affected by their personal feelings, and when (because I am pretty sure they will get there) they reach the emotional bottom, they will realise this. Or someone else may stop them just on the brink of a catastrophy.
    I think they want to address the issue,just don’t know how and can’t find the right moment. I also do not believe it is Kensi’s turn.It would have, had the torture thing not happened. But after that, she does not dare to challenge Deeks on any emotional grounds, she may also wonder if Deeks did not just tried his ‘mojo’ on her (considering his popularity with girls that she witnessed on more than one occasion). Deeks used to connect emotionally while undercover, so maybe he does that on a regular basis?
    I like Nell and Eric when they are in their Ops area, and I find them cute in small doses.
    I also want to see more of Callen & Sam, preferrably together.

  15. Elizabeth Turner

    I agree with what Sweet Lu wrote. I think Kensi is very familiar with PTSD and she sees hints of the symptoms in Deeks. It’s clear that Deeks has been doing dangerous things: the motorcycle, jumping on a moving train, the flame thrower, standing in front of a moving van a little too long. He’s also physically challenging himself; he lists a couple of things during his talk with Hetty. His announcement that ‘Uncle Marty’ is back lets Hetty know that he’s decided to stay. I think he’s in denial about his emotional center being great, ‘better than great’ and Hetty and Kensi know it. Deeks and Hetty’s discussion was classic, I loved it.

    Kensi’s concern for Deeks is predictable and expected. I like how she confronted him about PTSD and she wasn’t deterred when Deeks tried to make light of it.

    Finally, I think the writers have pushed the reset button on Deeks and Kensi’s relationship. Bringing up the kiss and their relationship as it was before the traumatic event is not healthy for either one of them at this time.

  16. SL

    I just came across a Shane Brennan interview for the start of the season and he commented about a ‘train episode’ they were doing in episode 5 – so it looks like we will get to see Deeks ‘stopping a train before breakfast’ after all. I guess they messed up continuity by giving us the episode they filmed last year as episode five.

  17. SD

    Also, I was confused in the first place by Hetty-Deeks talk and everyone’s worry about Bike riding as risky behavior because in last Episode 100, Hetty actually answers to Granger’s query on Deeks bouncing back and if she feels alright about it, “I wouldn’t have encouraged him on the bike if I didn’t think he could ride it.” It could be metaphorical and yet I do feel that continuity would have if Rezhnikov N was after Unwritten Rule as then Hetty and Granger’s statements about being worried for both Deeks and Kensi would have made sense in this order especially when Deeks could not answer Hetty’s emotional center question, and would have been understandable why no one was asking about how Callen was feeling or how far Granger is recovered from the gun-shot wound.

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