NCIS: Los Angeles 13×03 “Indentured” is a little bit of a transition episode. It sets the stage for the show, hopefully, putting an end to the Kessler storyline, but it’s a mostly stand-alone episode that gives us a little insight on Admiral Killbride, and Kensi Blye.
Nothing of what we learn about either is truly surprising, but Killbride, for all he isn’t a new character, is still a character that has to earn a place on this team. He’s an obvious succesor to Hetty, but Hetty cannot really be replaced, in any way. And to only way for Killbride to work, in any way, as the leader of this team — a role we will always see as Hetty’s — he’s gotta be established as more as the grumpy occasional ally. He’s gotta be established as someone who sees the world the way this team does.
NCIS: Los Angeles 13×03 “Indentured” might not fully get us there, but it’s a step forward, which, at this point, it’s about all the show can do. A few years ago I might have asked for a resolution to the Hetty storyline, but at this point, I’ll take any Linda Hunt I can get, and if that’s only a couple of episodes a year, so be it.
A little Hetty is better than no Hetty.
Then there’s the Kensi storyline, which is more about …reminding us who Kensi Blye is, as the show sets up a confrontation with Kessler. In a way, this is both unnecesary, and one of the things this show does best. We know who Kensi is, but a show doesn’t get to season 13 without taking a time to reinforce the good things about the characters that have carried the show this far.
A show doesn’t get to season 13 without giving those characters a new chance to shine, and then another.
I think it’s particularly necessary, after an episode like this one, to give kudos to the woman behind Kensi, Daniela Ruah. Daniela has been with this show from the start, and if at first it seemed like she was playing a stereotype, she’s made Kensi into anything but that. Not just because Kensi is a badass, but also tender, funny, kind and loving, but because Kensi didn’t have to give up one thing to be the other. She just had to realize that there was no reason to hide some parts of herself
And Daniela has been at this for thirteen seasons. I talk a lot about how well this show has done with Densi, but so much of that is only possible because of the way they have been able to establish Kensi and Deeks as two separate individuals, who in many ways, are not at all what we expect them to be. It was a fun thing to sort of flip the male/female dynamics, at first, but these two characters are way more than the antithesis of something. If anything, they’re the blueprint.
For a well written OTP, certainly, but also for a female character that can have it all, do it all, feel it all. For a male character that can lead with the heart and still be thought of as strong. And that’s just me talking about Kensi and Deeks, but if I’m being honest, the show does that with absolutely every character. In many ways, that’s one of the best things about NCIS: Los Angeles. It’s not that these people aren’t what they seem, it’s that they’re more than they seem.
Just like we are.
And, even on an episode that’s more about a particular case than anything else, that’s something worth celebrating.
Things I think I think:
- Well, the beginning was …a lot.
- “He’s not getting a second chance, not with you.” Is this Kessler storyline ever gonna get resolved? Cause as it stands, we know he is, cause this is TV.
- I appreciate Sam getting all up on Killbridge’s face, because that’s Sam. I especially appreciate it considering the subject matter.
- It’s good to have some lighter Kensi and Deeks scenes.
- When we’re at the point when even Kessler is light, that says a lot.
- The more backstory we get on Fatima, the more I love her. Not that I didn’t love her before.
- Sam filling Deks gave me feelings, okay? How far these two have come.
- Kensi and Fatima “fighting” was kinda fun.
- Mia’s story broke my heart.
- “Velociraptor mind.”
- Kensi is actually super believable as this woman willing, and able to “help her friend,” which, as always, kudos to Daniela Ruah.
- And Deeks just standing there.
- I don’t feel bad for Lucas.
- “Trust, something that is not assumed by men like you and me.”
- No one wanted that chair, Killbride. Says a lot.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Los Angeles 13×03 “Indentured”? Share with us in the comments below!
NCIS: Los Angeles airs Sundays on CBS.