NCIS: Los Angeles Review: The Mysterious Max Gentry

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Marty Deeks was forced to re-use an old alias Tuesday night on NCIS: Los Angeles, which led to an interesting character examination of both Deeks and Max Gentry.

Max let us see a new side of the shaggy, happy-go-lucky LAPD liaison, one that shed more light on his troubled upbringing and made him seem surprisingly complex.

At what point did the alias stop being an alias? How much of Deeks' feelings weren't an act? Particularly when dealing with Ray's wife, that line was distinctly blurred.

Kensi's reaction summed it up perfectly. She was stunned, as were we, by the dark, supremely confident version of her partner - and more than a little jealous.

Deeks = Shaggy

Eric Christian Olsen was outstanding in "Plan B," an episode that let him almost try on a new character. While it's clear Deeks dreaded playing Max Gentry in a sense, part of him liked it. Perhaps a little too much for his own good.

NCIS: LA has featured so many Callen and Sam aliases, but never Deeks, usually the affable sidekick to these hardened federal agents. That's what made it so effective.

While last night's NCIS illuminated parts of Tony's past via flashbacks, LA used the alter ego of Max Gentry to peel back a new layer of Deeks. The big revelation?

Undercover Deeks fell for his best friend's wife. She fell for his alias.

Watching Nicole learn that Max Gentry doesn't really exist was heartbreaking, given her genuine emotion, and you could tell how badly it hurt Deeks to reveal himself.

The plot ostensibly centered around the hunt for Ray, Deeks' old friend who became an informant after Marty busted him years ago, then helped him nail an arms dealer.

Only Ray slipped out of protective custody just as he was about to assume a new identity, putting himself very much in harm's way, and even Deeks had no idea why.

To find Ray, Deeks slipped into character as Max Gentry, who's not afraid to throw down first and ask questions later. Kensi was equally parts impressed and appalled.

When "Max" laid out the guy in the bar, then made the utterly crass joke about it being his time of the month, it was like we were looking at a different actor on screen.

Kensi was repulsed, but Deeks is an undercover cop. Hetty doesn't just sign up any stiff off the street, remember. As a walking Wikipedia, Kensi should remember this.

Both Olsen and Daniela Ruah were terrific, exhibiting chemistry that's so much more than that of a buddy-cop partnership. It was as obvious to Ray as it was to viewers.

They totally have a "thing" even if they don't know it yet.

People will do a lot of things for love, and to turn the page in life. The fact that Ray risked everything to be with his pregnant girlfriend was a surprising, poignant twist.

After faking Ray's death a second time to satisfy the dealer's thirst for revenge, they faded away into the sunset, leaving Deeks to ponder where his own life is headed.

Having learned so much more about where he came from and what makes him tick, we can't wait for the next chapter of Deeks. Even if Max goes back into retirement.

A few final thoughts:

  • Callen referring to himself as “Mr. Carl” in a Salvadorean speakeasy? Not unhilarious. Now there's an alias they need to bring back at some point.
  • Never again will we mix up alligators and crocodiles. Thank you Kensi.
  • How much would you pay to see Callen riding in the sidecar?
  • I was actually fooled by Ray's second "death." You?

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


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (112 Votes)

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


I would totally pay to see Callen riding in the sidecar...
Kensi and Deeks definitely have a thing...
and I was completly foold by Rays 2nd death... Kensi and Deeks are a perfect match...I think they should end up together...but now it would be to early...
Their relationship is more like a spark...and it takes time to get a flame... I would like to see them having a drunken night and ending up sleeping together...^^


If Hetty leaves I will stop watching and that is sad as it is my favorite show. That is tantamount to taking Gibbs off NCIS. What the heck are you thinking? Hetty come back please!!!!!


Loved the episode overall and love Deeks as well but was I the only one that wondered if the writers where having a slight issue in how to treat his character's reveal? In the previews showed a guy gone lone wolf almost (as in the preview it advertised if he was on a mission or out of control?) and then in the episode it was more like... ooops, not, he's just a bad boy (a deliciously deadly bad boy but mostly an alias afterall) showing a streak of effective deadliness. The preview totally mislead you on the actual episode even going so far as to edit it differently. ECO did a great job acting and don't get me wrong, Deeks is great either way but it seemed wishy-washy to me.




Deeks is one of my favorite characters on this show so I loved getting affirmation once again on just how complex he is. I adored him in this. I think it's so easy to underestimate him because of his overall goofy act he has going on but this week we got to see a darker side to him that nobody expected. He surprised his partner and his team so much that they didn't even approach him the same as they usually do. I also loved how easily he slipped back into his usual self by the end. One of my fave episodes to date.


I think Kensi and Deeks definitely have chemistry. It was definitely apparent last night. And as cute as they may be, romance between our characters doesn't fit with this show nor NCIS. There are plenty of other shows designated for the dramatic romance department...I want to leave our characters as they should be--a family! I don't think K&D would last, so it's just better to not even go there and ruin the family dynamic that they can build towards like NCIS.


Is there a joke I'm missing regarding Mr. Carl?


Nice review! I would argue as to whether Kensi was 'repulsed' by 'Max' or more sort of realizing that for all the bond they share as partners, she still doesn't know as much about Deeks as she may have thought. I'm somewhat intrigued by the additional revelation re Deeks shooting Brandel i.e. that it was his friend who gave him the gun.
And also that his mother was still alive at that point. Although I'm still theorizing that she wasn't there when Deeks pulled the trigger, because I feel that if he had been defending her as well as himself, Hetty would have been sure to emphasize that point when trying to convince Deeks of the validity of his actions.


Love This show ! I did not like seeing previews for next week and Hedy giving her resignation. I don't think I can watch it if they start messing with this great core team !!!!!


Loved seeing a deeper layer to Deeks! Liked his friend Ray, wouldn't mind seeing him pop up again; and yeah, I was totally fooled (and devastated) by his 2nd "death", too! Can't wait to see what else is in store for us.

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