Kensi's feeling left behind, and it's a weight on the whole team.
New relationships are forming, or solidifying on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Episode 12. Except for Kensi, who's inadvertently ruining hers with Deeks.
Before I cover all the personal drama, let's take a quick look at the case of the week, such as it was.
Sam got to dress up and go undercover at the same private-security firm where this week's victim worked. There was a hint of dirt, but no, a couple of the guys at the firm were helping out a misguided young man and one of them got killed for his troubles.
(Shoutout to Eddie George, the former All-Pro running back, who played one of Sam's security-firm co-workers and who may be the next ex-NFL player to make the transition to acting.)
Sam's contribution was to make an inspirational speech to keep the firm's boss from ruining his and his company's reputation.
So the case was largely something inconsequential to break up the personal developments which dominated this episode.
Next let's analyze said personal relationships, starting with Nell and Deeks.
It's the best of the temporary pairings, the cute, brainy girl and the surfer boy with well-hidden depth that slips out once or twice an episode.
Deeks: I feel like I'm more confused after you've explained it.
Nell: It's really not that complicated.
Deeks: No more words. There are some things that Deeks doesn't need to understand.
Those two have developed a banter such as Deeks and Kensi once enjoyed, before they became Densi and things got heavy. Fortunately, the Nellverine action has been toned down this week, emphasizing that Nell is brain first, brawn second.
Next is Callen and Anna, the couple that runs hot and cold. This week, they're running hot again.
Anna: I know I was the one who said I needed some time. I just moved here and I wanted to take things slow, but ...
Callen: But ...
Anna: Am I just bugging you? God, I am that girl.
Who knew Anna was such a bundle of neuroses? She's so confident in the field, as shown in this episode's chop-shop firefight.
And Callen seems to be game to ramp up the relationship. A weekend away, including outlet shopping? Sounds like love, or at least lust.
Finally, there's Kensi. Her character has really benefited by the difficult path back to the squad. More often it seems an injury is treated and tough guys and gals are back on the streets in no time. Not here.
The physical obstacles that she's having to overcome have naturally led to insecurities. She's receiving absolute support from those around her, but she's giving back more negative feelings.
In her mind, she's built up a rivalry with Anna where none exists.
Anna: You have a wonderful team, Kensi.
Kensi: I do. I know.
Anna: Kens, you know I'm not trying ...
Kensi: I have to go to physical therapy, so it won't mess with my workout.
Worse yet, she's pushing Deeks away.
Deeks: It's no big deal, It's just the things we used to do together, the running, the hiking and the surfing, we're not doing them together anymore.
Sam: It just takes some time. She was laid up. She'll get those muscles firing.
Deeks: It's not that. She can still do it, not the surfing, but the running and the hiking, but she doesn't want to do it with me.
Sam: She'll come around.
She's got physical therapists to help her overcome her injuries. But Hetty has smartly brought in Nate to handle Kensi's mental fallout.
Expect a multi-episode arc from Nate. Kensi has been bouncing back and forth between self-doubt and denial, and hopefully Nate can help her open up and find some middle ground.
Kensi: Nate, you can't take this away from me. You can't!
Nate: I just want what's best for you and the team. And unfortunately, it may not be the same thing.
Kensi: Listen to me: I belong here.
Nate: Not yet.
What does that bode for Kensi? Maybe a full-time return by March?
There was no adult supervision again this episode, with Hetty and Granger MIA. It appears at the very least that there will be more development in the mole-hunt storyline next episode.
First, Nell said Hetty told her that she "had one last card to play." Also Granger seemed to have disappeared. I fear the worst as Miguel Ferrer appears ill in the handful of episodes in which he's appeared this season.
Although I'm more than ready for it to happen, I don't think NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Episode 13 will wrap up the mole hunt. Other than Kensi's recuperation, there just aren't any other ongoing storylines to develop, except maybe more with Callen's birth family. But that would only be good for an episode or two more.
Do you like Callanna? Is Kensi's rehabilitation being handled appropriately? So who is the real mole? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.