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?