It was time again for that quarterly episode detailing what all the team members are up to and/or feeling.
There was even a little case of the week tucked inside NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 7.
That's all right, though. It wasn't meant to focus too deeply on the implications of cybernetic soldiers.
This was mainly to advance the storyline that Deeks is about to become a probie.
This is too bad because Roundtree has been doing such an admirable job of being everyone's inexperienced punching bag. Even Fatima's since the concept is that she's so much older than Roundtree.
Nah, she's just been around longer and has gotten settled in at OSP. Plus, she's supremely confident, even more so than the oft-cocky Roundtree. Surviving capture by terrorists will do that for you.
Unfortunately, Martinez's interviews for Deeks' applications for FLETC weren't all they could have been. We saw her interviews with Eric, Sam, and then Deeks himself, with other interviews only hinted at?
Sure, there was a lot else going on. But the fate of Deeks was the only ongoing storyline. There was no "Where's Hetty?" or "Where's Kensi's stalker?" If you're touching on everybody, touch on everybody.
It doesn't really seem fair that Deeks, who has been doing the job at NCIS for a decade, has to go to FLETC for training while lateral transfers such as Roundtree (FBI) and Deschamp (Secret Service) don't. Would police-academy training be that inferior?
First, to turn down Deeks' anxiety, he should have lost the suit. He looked so uncomfortable (yes, that is the point of suits.). I'm not saying board shorts and sandals, but something a bit more casual might have put him in a better headspace.
Once again, Kensi was called upon to talk Deeks off the figurative ledge. She had to impress upon him that his usual stream-of-consciousness patter wasn't going to be a plus in this setting.
It would have been great to observe the interviews with Kensi and Callen. Sam was brutally hilarious in the ones we got to see while Eric was, well, Eric.
And fortunately, serious Deeks showed up at the right time, attacking the blemishes in his history head-on while explaining his philosophy to Martinez.
Although Martinez tried to remain objective, her gush pretty much gave away that Deeks would be accepted. And, judging by next episode's trailer, he will be.
Now, how many weeks of age jokes will we get while Deeks is in training? Also, Kensi should savor the quiet until her motormouth partner/hubby returns.
The approach taken was a good way to catch up with viewers after the holiday hiatus.
The FLETC interviews followed up on Hetty's gift to Deeks (and Kensi) on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 6.
In a total non-surprise, Kam was accepted into the Naval Academy, all on her own, Sam proudly proclaimed. I'm sure her having a legendary father had zero impact on her application.
Other than some spirited banter with her old man, Kam was largely wasted. Sam didn't even try to get her to meet his new significant other, after Catherine's sage advice not to force the issue.
Still, maybe that meeting could happen sometime this season.
Roundtree actually got quite a bit of screentime. First came the inevitable "We're undervalued" discussion with Fatima. She had the good form not to say, "No, I'm valued. You're just unproven."
Then he got the father-son moments with Sam at Bellamy's RV. Roundtree is turning out to be the agent that Sam wanted to build from the ground up.
The probie also got to be the butt of the team's jokes for not being aware that he can't tell Eric anything that shouldn't be passed around.
Speaking of Eric, it appeared that he's not nearly as gone as the past narrative would have indicated.
Being independently wealthy, he can jump, hop on a plane, and come to visit whenever he wants. Also, he listed several legitimate reasons for him to be there. But Fatima proved there's little need for Eric in Ops anymore.
Hopefully, Hetty will return soon. And her first act needs to be vanquishing Eric's hipster look.
Sadly, we got more of Nell's "heavy is the head that wears the crown" ruminations. She hasn't made any horrible missteps yet. No one else (especially Callen) wants that job. So she'll need to suck it up until Hetty finally returns (for however long that is).
The other big storyline was Callen's attempt to make Arkady aware of his intentions to make an honest woman of Anna.
First, doesn't everyone want to stream Arkady's workout, which seems to include cigars and vodka? Pele-ton, indeed.
Callen tried to do the "right thing," but the idea of asking Arkady for Anna's hand was laughable. At least Arkady sure thought so. Callen's strategic retreat was definitely in order.
But Callen and Anna getting married would be the most likely possibility for a milestone episode this season so let's not write off that idea quite yet.
Now everyone's caught up, so hopefully, the narrative will move ahead more briskly now unless the production shutdown lingers because of Covid.
To rewind this season, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Any doubt about Deeks' fate?
Will Callen pop the question?
Which character would you most like to see downsized?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.