'NCIS: LA' Fall Finale: Is a Baby in Kensi and Deeks' Future? (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 11, Episode 11 of NCIS: Los Angeles, "Answers."]
The cases play second fiddle to the characters' personal lives in the NCIS: LA fall finale — and that works so, so well.
The team stops a woman from stealing financial and personal data from her firm's clients and a terrorist attack in Los Angeles, but it's the poignant (and sometimes heartbreaking) moments that shine. And the episode not only delivers on the promise of its title ("Answers"), but it is also as emotionally honest as we've ever seen these characters.
Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) discuss their future as parents, Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (Chris O'Donnell) discuss their future with the agency (and Callen's love life), and Eric (Barrett Foa) and Nell (Renée Felice Smith) address the elephant in the room that is his undercover assignment and how their lives have changed since they got together.
Oh, and if that isn't enough for you, we even get a Granger (Miguel Ferrer) mention, as the team ponders Hetty's (Linda Hunt) future at NCIS. "I thought Granger was going to be here forever, too," Sam says.
Kensi and Deeks Are Ready
It takes Deeks a moment to realize why Kensi's distracted, until he notes the date. She got her period that morning, so another month (the third) has gone by and they're not pregnant. Yes, Kensi and Deeks are actively trying to have a baby!
Getting pregnant is a journey, he offers as reassurance, and she admits that getting her period planted a seed she can't shake. "We're always used to technique and protocol and control, and I don't know how to do that with my body," she cries as he hugs her and promises they'll be OK no matter what.
And then it's her turn to comfort him after they both admit they're not ready to consider adoption. She asks him to tell him what he's feeling, and he admits he's "scared to death" of pretty much everything: something going wrong, the baby not being healthy, the fact that he has "no blueprint."
Then there's the question of whether they waited too long. But instead, Kensi decides to be positive. "This year, this day, the sun's going to be shining and we're just going to get pregnant," she says, adding the good news that "now more than ever, in spite of all this we're talking about, I know that I want to have a baby with you. We're ready to have a baby."
Sam and Callen Look to Their Professional and Personal Futures
As the team considers that Hetty's retirement may come sooner rather than later, the question becomes who will take her place. Callen doesn't want it because, as Sam gets him to admit, it would mean taking on something permanent, which he tends to push away.
That also applies to Anna. Though Callen gets defensive, he pulls back after saying he can't be like Sam and be the hero all the time, do the right thing at the right time, and Sam reminds him, "If that was the case, my wife would be alive right now." (RIP Michelle.) Sam easily accepts his partner's apology and points out he's "a better man" for telling his wife he loved her.
Callen notes that Sam doesn't want to take over Hetty's job either, and Sam shares that he envisions teaching younger agents on the job, in the field, to be his future. When Callen suggests they bring someone in, Sam reveals he's already looking but hasn't found anyone that meets his standards — and he's not even necessarily talking about at NCIS. Neither of his kids seem to have plans to return to LA, so he's even considering a job elsewhere. There is one option that would have him based in LA: working with Lance Hamilton at the Department of Justice.
Fortunately for Callen, he won't be losing his partner anytime soon; if he'd really wanted to leave, he would've by now, Sam tells him. He was in a dark place after losing Michelle, and he thought he "needed to hold onto that darkness … to honor her, to respect her." He's since moved past it. So, why is he staying? "Our team is good, better than good, but it's not the best it's ever been," Sam explains. And he has a plan to change that: after Hetty retires, Callen takes her job and they train young agents to be the next them. Callen's in … which means he's just agreed to take over for Hetty eventually?
As for his future with Anna, that's a bit more complicated, but he is going to look for her. "I don't know what kind of relationship I would be even capable of having," Callen admits. Sam knows it's because he's still figuring out who he is without the weight of not knowing who he is.
Eric and Nell Hit the Reset Button
While Eric is glad to be back in Ops with Nell and being undercover was terrifying, he admits that he fell in love with life as a civilian, without the weight of the world and safety of their team on his shoulders. "It didn't have anything to do with you," he tries to assure his girlfriend. But it is indicative of the problems in their relationship, at least the ones she points out.
Eric and Nell are no longer living together, but he assures her that if Sydney felt that she needed to move in with her, he's not going to stop it. "I don't care about an apartment," he promises. "I just want you to be happy."
But as Nell has realized, they never dated; they went from being best friends to girlfriend/boyfriend to living together. Furthermore, both are "oddly okay" with him moving out. "I feel like we got so serious so fast," she admits, which may not be a good thing.
Also not a good thing? That Nell was the one to ask Sydney to move in and lied to Eric. With everything going on with her family, she thought they should be together. Her mother's not getting any better, and her father has had to come to grips with being a full-time caregiver for the rest of his life. It's turned him into a different person. Eric understands she needs to focus on her family, not them.
But what does that mean for their relationship? "Let's just keep it simple, so when we're both in L.A., we hang out," she offers, rather than label what they have, which is "confusing and messy and a little weird right now, but us."
That episode certainly was a long time coming, wasn't it?
NCIS: Los Angeles, Sundays, 9/8c, CBS