NCIS: Los Angeles 13×06 “Sundown” is about parents, and about what it means to have a child, to love a child. To create a life and more importantly than that, to bring it into this world. nurture it, feed it, clothe it, protect it and then have to accept the fact that you cannot control everything — or anything — that happens to them. You can just try your best to be there, to help.
Sometimes it feels like shows take on topics that are too big. We’ve seen countless shows do heavy episodes that felt out of place, or episodes that presented solutions to problems that cannot be fixed. We’ve struggled to relate with shows that think some episodes are about scoring points with the audience, even when the topics they’re trying to deal with are not topics they’re equipped to tackle, and typically, not topics they have the right writers to even attempt to do justice to.
That isn’t the case with this episode, or with NCIS: Los Angeles in general. Sam’s kids, what they mean to him and the lengths he’d be willing to go or them aren’t a new subject, and though they aren’t always at the forefront of who Sam is, every time the show brings up his feelings, it feels earned, because we’ve spent enough time with Sam and with his family to feel the things he’s feeling.
He doesn’t have to go around saying that the way he reacts are about the person he is, the experiences he’s lived through and yes, the family he has, because we already know that. We know Sam, and we know his family. Just as we know most of this team.
Ironically, this episode does a lot to advance the storyline of one of the team members we know the least about, peeling another tiny layer off the Devin Roundtree onion, and it does so in a way it’s supremely satisfying, because if there’s one thing this show does well, it’s develop characters. We feel we know Sam, just as we know Callen, Kensi and Deeks. But it took a while. We learned things little by little, and now, thirteen seasons in, it feels exciting to have three new characters we’re getting to know — even as our old, familiar favorites remain, and face their own issues.
In this episode, this extends to Kensi and Deeks too, who are trying, very, very hard, to start their own family. We’ve been privy to their struggles, just as we’ve been privy to everything in their relationship, and that means that we are intimately aware of how good they’d be at parenting, just as we are very, very aware of how complicated it would be for them to actually have a child. But that’s part of what makes this storyline so interesting.
There are times when it feels like too much, I understand that. As a fan, I have also enjoyed the episodes that shelve the kids conversation for a bit, episodes that give us fun Densi back. But NCIS: Los Angeles is nothing if not honest. The truth is that when a couple is going through what Kensi and Deeks are going through, most of the conversations revolve around that. They don’t want it to, either, I promise you. But it ends up happening anyway, and I have never seen it depicted as faithfully on TV as this show is doing.
And, in a way, that we’re getting this, that we’ve gone from literally zero, or perhaps negative numbers — from active dislike to the level of trust that Kensi and Deeks share right, now, is the greatest love story ever told, because it doesn’t end with happily ever after. In real life, no love story ever does. There is no fade to black and then …everything’s good. There continuous issues, big and small. Love is the foundation, but love isn’t an answer. It’s just a building block.
You still have to talk to each other. You still have to share your frustrations, your anger and your sadness, just as you share the jokes and the joy. You also have to share the food, which is another level of complication I swear no one tells you about. Except NCIS: Los Angeles is here to tell that tale (and all the others, good, bad, funny and sad), and as hard as that is sometimes, I can’t help but find it incredibly satisfying.
Bring on foster kids. Bring on the next chapter. Continue to give us this team, this family. That’s more than enough for us to continue to tune in, I promise.
Things I think I think:
- We were all getting Speed vibes from this episode, right? Right?
- I have a lot of feelings about Deek’s outfit. And about his pep talk.
- “As a former foster kid, I’d have killed to have parents like you and Kens.”
- CALLEN WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?
- This is a really, really good episode for Roundtree. It’s strange how, before him and Fatima, everyone who tried to come in didn’t really fit. Probably because the show was trying to replace other characters, or create antagonistic relationships, with all the needed to do was bring people who …introduced different dynamics, and who got along with the rest of the team.
- I didn’t want Killbride to grow on me, but here we are. I would still love to see Hetty back to something resembling full time.
- We really don’t get enough of Callen and Deeks together.
- I could see Eric in Deek’s talk at the end. Also, I adore this freaking couple, HAVE I SAID THAT BEFORE?
- “You’re right, as always.”
- We’ve come so far, haven’t we Deeks?
- Also, Eric’s arms. ERIC’S ARMS.
- Kensi and Deeks would make great foster parents, and I’m going to enjoy that storyline so, SO much.
- I also really, really loved the conversation between Sam and Callen at the end. Their partnership is a true joy.
- Though you and I both know the boatshed didn’t have a deck all these years.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Los Angeles 13×06 “Sundown”? Share with us in the comments below!
NCIS: Los Angeles airs Sundays on CBS.