Ships. In entertainment, and especially, in fandom, we live and die by them. Which is why every Friday, we’ll be focusing on a couple, analyzing why we ship them, and overall, just proclaiming our eternal love for those couples that make us say:
I will go down with this ship.
NCIS: Los Angeles is more than just a procedural: it’s a smart, well-written show that has consistently given us great OTP content in the form of Kensi and Deeks, or Densi, as fans know them. So, what better way than to humbly ask for more than to highlight what this show – this couple – does so well.
Starting with …
This love story started as many love stories do, reluctantly. And it started like most everything on NCIS:LA has started, because Hetty had a hunch. I’m not sure she knew the magic that she was bringing together, but she did know Deeks would fit in with this team, with this family.
And though it was rocky at first, and the comments that are now made with love were much more pointed then, from the first time they saw each other, way before they even knew who the other was, much less worked together, you could see the spark. You could feel the possibilities.
DO YOU TRUST ME?
Trust was first, and trust doesn’t come easy in the circumstances these two work in. Trust has to be earned, sometimes every day, for a bit. Because it isn’t just, I trust you with my heart – which is incredibly hard to begin with – it’s I trust you with my life. I trust you with my safety, and I also trust you with the safety of everyone else.
But the got there the only way you actually can, by working together, by building on that spark in the realistic, adult way. Not because they were looking for romance, but because they were both motivated to do their job in the best way possible, and to do that, trust was needed.
I’M GONNA PUNCH YOU IN YOUR BULLET HOLE
It’s hard, however, to separate that level of trust with a level of caring. So, of course they started to care for each other as more than partners. They started to become, dare I say it, friends. When you put your life on the line for someone, when their well-being feels like your responsibility, emotions will come into play.
And that’s how the best love stories start, with trust, with friendship, with two people who might feel a spark of romantic interest, but who put in the work, lay the foundations for a long-lasting relationship.
There was always a thing, though. It was impossible to deny it, though they tried, so hard, because the partnership they’d built, the friendship they had discovered, meant a lot to them. And yet, even people who came into contact with them for a few minutes, old friends and coworkers and yes, even the people involved in the cases could see it: there was a spark.
A romantic spark, to be sure. You don’t have to act on it for it to be true, to be there. Sometimes, there’s just this sense, this certainty. These two people would be good together. And there was always that with Kensi and Deeks. Always.
NOT FOR A SECOND
Instead of going there right away, however, the show held off, they held off, and instead, focused on making their connection even stronger. So many people start a romantic relationship and have to learn things about each other – Kensi and Deeks were already each other’s persons before they even got close to becoming romantic. They were already willing, not just to go the extra mile for each other, no, willing to sacrifice everything.
That’s a pretty big leap to take before the relationship is romantic, and yet it lay the foundation for so much of what they are today. When you know this before the first kiss, what else is there to doubt?
ARE YOU IN LOVE WITH YOUR PARTNER?
The answer was yes from very early on, and again, just like people could see the spark, people could see when that spark changed into something deeper, something bigger. And, of course, Kensi and Deeks could see it too, they could feel it. But admitting it wasn’t so straight-forward. Admitting it came with a lot of fears.
Because this is the most important person in your life that you’re risking. The one you cannot live without. So how do you take that next step? How do you even let yourself realize that you want to?
SUNSHINE AND GUNPOWDER
Little by little is how. First you admit that you don’t really want to be in a world without that person, that they’ve become such an important part not just of your life, but of your happiness, that it’d be hard to imagine an existence where they’re not in your life. Then, you start verbalizing it. Not in the big words, no. But little by little.
And as you say those words, maybe you realize it even more. Maybe you internalize it. This is it. This is the person you’re meant to be, forever.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
Ah, the box. It was a funny gag at first, because no one knew what was in the box and Deeks refused to open the box. The idea was enough. Kensi cared enough about him to get him this present, that she thought was the thing he wanted the most in the world. And ironically, we wouldn’t find out she was right, and what it meant for her to be right till much, much later.
But the box is proof that we were always going to end up where we did with these two, no matter what roads they took to get there. Sometimes you just know, even before you’re able to truly verbalize it.
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IT’S A LOVE STORY
Kensi and Deeks have always been there for each other. Through good times, and really, really bad times. Deeks had his share of those, right after he was tortured (yes, I did say tortured) and suffered from severe PTSD. He confessed later that the place he went to in his head, the thing that allowed him to survive, was thinking about her. And she honored that by being there for him, through ever step of his recovery.
And recovery isn’t linear, sometimes. There’s one step forward, one step back, and it can and does get frustrating. But the people who love you still stay, despite all of that. That’s what love is.
You what else love is? Realizing that the thing that has kept you from going for it is, well …fear. This person that you love is your frozen lake, aka the thing you want the most in the world, and the thing you’d do anything to get, even if it means walking too fast and having the ice collapse.
But Kensi and Deeks haven’t gone too fast. There are many things to fear when starting any relationship, there will always be. And there are changes, no matter how well you know the other person, of course there are. But sometimes the only thing you can do is hold the hand of the person you love and jump into the abyss, together.
Then you go all in. Because you have to. Because what else are you going to do? There comes a point where you want more out of life, where you want to experience all the good things with that special person by your side. And Kensi and Deeks made the choice to hold hands and jump, together.
As for the rest, it was just a matter of betting the house and trusting that the other person would always, always have your back.
WAS IT TOO CRAZY FOR TWO PEOPLE TO GET MARRIED?
In many ways, some could say these two got serious really fast. They’d been dating for a year when the topic of marriage first came up, hypothetically, but came up nonetheless. And yet, when you spend so much time with one person, when you know them as well as Kensi and Deeks know each other, then what else is there to do but get serious right away?
You were, after all, serious from the moment you said all in. There was never going to be anyone else. There was never a plan B. Just this, for the rest of your life, no matter what.
FOR BETTER OR WORSE
Life would test them again, of course, because life does that. This time, it would be Kensi the injured one, Kensi the one requiring support, help, patience, and even space sometimes. But Deeks was there, every step of the way, when she needed him close, when she needed him to step back, when she needed a distraction and when she needed a shoulder to cry on.
You know the thing in the marriage bows about for better or for worse? Kensi and Deeks had already proven they had that covered before there was any actual commitment to marriage on either of their parts. But it would not be long …
DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?
Because, sometimes, you just want that certainty. That security. Sometimes you just want everyone to know that this is the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with. Deeks tried to propose a couple of times, but it wasn’t the right moment. Kensi, however, found the right moment, and got down on one knee because she didn’t want to wait one more second.
I’m not crying, you’re crying. And fine, Deeks and Kensi are kinda crying too.
AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE
The journey that started with two vaguely antagonistic people had a very important pit stop in season 10 … a wedding. An affirmation. A celebration. Of this journey, of this love that has survived so much. No, of this love that has thrived, in good times and bad.
Seeing a couple on TV and thinking …yes, I can learn from these two. Learn how to love, how to compromise, how to work as a unit, now that’s something we don’t see every day. In fact, I’d even say that’s something I’ve never experienced on a show before, and I’m not sure I ever will again.
IT CONTINUES …
And the best part is that Kensi and Deeks’ story is not over. It didn’t end with their wedding, there’s no fade to black after the “and they lived happily ever after,” because life is not a fairy tale. And we’re lucky enough to get to still be here to witness the rest of this story, of this life, that they’re now living together.
To be fair, they were it for each other long before they ever said I do, but in TV land, their journey, their relationship as it exists today, is truly the standard against which other shows, other couples, should be measured against.
That is the story of Kensi and Deeks. That is why they’re the stuff OTP dreams are made. And those are just some of the many reasons that make us say: We will go down with this ship.