NCIS: Los Angeles Review: "Personal"

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NCIS: Los Angeles is really coming into its own these days. In this terrific Deeks-centric episode, we learned more about the newest addition to the team, with a surprising twist.

I've always enjoyed Eric Christian Olsen's character since he joined the cast, but this definitely cast Deeks in a different light, and as so much more than one-note comic relief.

In "Personal," he was shot twice in what appeared to be a robbery gone haywire, but turned out to be a deliberate attack on the LAPD officer turned NCIS special ops agent.

What I didn't expect was the reason he was targeted.

G With Sam

The fact that Deeks' shooting was only a trap set to get Kensi, who helped a Chechen family escape years ago, wouldn't have been necessary to make this a solid episode.

Instead, it was a testament to the show's writing and made for a great ending, with Deeks personally saving the day, mustering whatever strength he could for that shot.

You don't give Kensi Blye an opening and live to tell about it. Once Deeks bailed her out, she took care of the rest, cementing her reputation as L.A.'s most bad ass cop.

The witty banter between Kensi and Deeks has been great this season, but adding a new dimension to their partnership will only enhance these blossoming characters.

Episodes like this are what make NCIS and its spinoff more than standard cop procedurals and speak to their popularity. The action is great, but it's all about the people.

Being the newest full-time member of the team (save for adorable Nell), we knew the least about Marty Deeks coming into last night, and what we discovered was striking.

He shot his father in self-defense when he was a kid. That will give you pause even though he's a fictional character. No wonder it led him into a law enforcement career.

His rough upbringing may also explain why he's a loner with no next of kin, but what was surprising is that it doesn't make the man paranoid or high-strung in the least.

Perhaps he's overcompensating with his laid-back nature and ordinary-guy routine, but it almost got him killed as the hired guns were able to stalk him to use as bait.

These guys could have finished him off easily with stronger firepower, as the team astutely discerned, but left him alive in hopes of luring his partner out of the shadows.

Next time he may not be so lucky. One thing he has in common with Sam, his supposed polar opposite, is that he does his job well. He has a laundry list of enemies.

Some final thoughts and observations on last night ...

  • Deeks' remark that being shot isn't like the movies was great for a TV character.
  • The "humble brag" references were hilarious. You know people who do this if you think about it. I am absolutely calling them out using this phrase next time.
  • "Lange, Henrietta." Kensi would be a good next of kin, but it made more sense for matriarchal figure Hetty. Maybe Kensi can still be his emergency contact?
  • Here's hoping for an episode taking place on assignment in Iceland at some point to complete Sam's dream. Outer space might be outside CBS' budget.

What did you think of last night's NCIS: Los Angeles? Discuss!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (86 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


This ep was rerun on 06 Dec and I thought the Kensi-as-the-target twist was brilliant; maybe there was a backstory I missed, but it just seemed like they threw the Chechen family in at the last second to provide a reason. In reading some of the comments about Deeks' DOB, you may be overthinking and/or making false assumptions. I think we all know that where domestic violence is concerned, restraining orders, protective custody/relocation, and anger management/counselling often substitute for jail time. That being said, the crime for which his father was sentenced in 1991 may not have been the violence against Deeks. For all we know, Dad could have been out of the picture in the late 80s/early 90s and committed some other crime.


replace the kid with an adult or i want watch iy next season


Great episode, but one thing didn't make much sense (not many may have even noticed). When Nell showed Hetty the paper with the info on Deeks' dad it showed that his DOB was 1969. If Deeks was shot when he was 11 and his dad was released on bail in 1996 after serving 5 years,the shooting would of happend in 1991, making Deeks DOB in 1980 and his dad only 11 years old when Deeks was born. Maybe it was a step dad. Who knows. Maybe I'm thinking too much. Anyway, other than that minor detail it was a great episode.


Fantastic ep! Loved getting more insight into Deeks. Nice to see Kensi show her soft side with him, she's caring about him not just as a partner, but as a person. Also loved that Hetty told him to put her down as his next of kin. Great rapport between those two. Finally, I'm sure Sam is really going to enjoy updating Deeks on his security protocol!


So I wonder if we will get to meet the father and where the family I got to say I was worry about these not involving the name of the show but they prove me wrong


Fabulous ep. Though for what was supposed to be a Deeks-lite ep, he was in it a fair amount. But he got to rest ;) Very glad Eric had to do film reshoots and we got this ep. Now Deeks needs to find out about Sam's comic book collection and they'll have something in common. Deeks does hide an awful lot behind his jokes and bravado. The props department needs a kick in the pants, according to the file Hetty gave Nell, Deeks father was born in 1969, meaning he was around 11 when Deeks was born (assuming 1980). In this dvd age you need to have everything within the realms of possibility because we'll be pausing. It does clash with what he told Kensi when they were out in the desert, that his father pointed a shot gun at him 6 years previously, but it's easily enough handwaved as being a partial truth. The full truth would have had Kensi questioning. I think she will have put it together now. Loved her pause/facial expression when she was querying next of kin and asked about girlfriend. Want to know what Deeks was going to ask her about the comics. One thing that's really bugging me - how did Deeks make it to the parking lot and shoot the bloke before his guards got down there? And nice to get more of an explanation why Deeks isn't liked in LAPD. Adore scenes with Hetty and Deeks. There is a real rapport between them.


one of the best episodes yet


I thought this was a great episode, I loved all the twists and DEFINITELY did not see it ocming that Kensi was the target all along. Love Deeks saving the day, it's episodes like these that shows how much Kensi and Deeks care and look out for each other. But ehm.. "The fact that Deeks' shooting was only a trap set to get Kensi, who helped a Chechen family escape years ago, wouldn't have been necessary to make this a solid episode." No offends people, but this Chechen Family was featured only a few episodes ago. And she didn't help them escape, Kensi and the rest just made sure the father couldn't kill the mom.


The Deeks character is turning out to have a wonderful depth! I really would like to say to the writers: FANTASTIC JOB!


Deeks is full of remorse, and it is most delicious.

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