NCIS: Los Angeles 14×07 “Survival of the Fittest” is about balance, and about how, sometimes, even when you’ve got everything you want, there are bad days. It’s also about how those bad days are made so much easier by having a tribe of people around you.
The emotional center of the episode is Deeks — and Rosa. Being a parent is hard, and being a parent to a teenager comes with its own unique set of challenges. And if we add the fact that it was Kensi who first bonded with Rosa, and Kensi isn’t around when she’s feeling sick for the first time, it’s kinda normal that Deeks is feeling overwhelmed. It’s also great to see the team provide whatever support they can, even if the only one who can truly help him with his kid is …well, his mom.
Being an adult comes with a bit of chaffing against parental interference, and we have seen both how much Deeks loves his mom, how similar he is to her, and how much he sometimes just wants some space. But this is Roberta’s episode, in the sense that she is there both for her grandkid and for her kid …even when he seems to believe he doesn’t need help.
In this regard, the Killbride outburst is meant to put Deeks in a difficult situation, one he can’t joke his way out of, all while he’s feeling torn by the desire to be with his kid …but it doesn’t quite land the way the show wanted to. Not because Killbride is typically such a warm person in general, he would be the one to yell first, ask questions second, but because the way this team works, it seems kind of strange that he zeroed in on Deeks — who the show hasn’t consistently shown as being late to the point this would be an issue — and no, important case isn’t really an excuse, considering this team basically deals with big cases every week.
Horace Killbride remains the weakest link in a show that has established its main characters really well, and that has found a good place for even the two who came in later. Sometimes Killbride works, but even at his best, he isn’t Hetty. He will never be. The show has no real hope of replacing Hetty, though, so their best best is to try to make Killbride his own thing. In that regard, this episode does make him stand out from Hetty, but not in a great way. You win some, you lose some, I guess.
NCIS: Los Angeles 14×07 “Survival of the Fittest” does win in the way they portray Deeks’ issues, if nothing else because …they’re real (and also because the show chose Deeks, not Kensi, to be at the center of this hour — becuase yes, these issues are important for men too, who knew?). He’s in a loving relationship, has a kid he adores, has reconnected with his mom, and yet in life, no one just lives happily ever after. There are complicated days. TV doesn’t always show that, at least not in ways that don’t feel like drama for the sake of drama. This, however, isn’t that. It’s just another way the show treats these characters like normal people.
Even if Callen is pet sitting a snake. Though in many ways, that’s normal too. Callen has people. So does Deeks. It makes this show the thing we look forward to watching at the end of the week, instead of the thing we watch because we love the characters, but truly dread week after week.
Things I think I think:
- Domestic Deeks is super cute, okay?
- My mom lives as close to me as Roberta, and it’s more often than not a blessing. I promise.
- I miss scenes of Densi TOGETHER. It feels like they’ve barely worked cases together this season.
- Pet sitting a …snake?
- Like, I appreciate the continuity and all, but a a snake? Snakes shouldn’t be pets. That’s my hill.
- The moment with Deeks and Rosa talking about her mom was good, but caldo de res? Sorry Rosa, caldo de pollo is superior.
- Why does everyone have to joke about Deeks’ hair? It’s not even that bad right now.
- Deeks telling Rosa he loves her? I DIED.
- Killbride needs some meditation.
- Roundtree is a fun character in that he pairs well with basically everyone.
- Good of the show to use the case to do commentary on the price of insulin. Topical, too.
- Deeks and Sam always need more time together.
- But Deeks in ops? Disaster.
- Fatima sticking up for Deeks is cool.
- Was this Killbride trying to be relatable? Because, man, he failed.
- “I have every confidence that you will was good,” but then he kinda undecut that.
- The snake’s name is Houdini? Naaaah, no way I agree to take care of it.
- Like Sam, I would have been like ..byeeeee.
- Of course you caught it, Deeks. That’s what happens when you got kids.
- The thing with Deeks’s mom making the same gesture Deeks made to Rosa earlier? I’M NOT OKAY.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Los Angeles 14×07 “Survival of the Fittest”? Share with us in the comments below!
NCIS: Los Angeles airs Sundays at 10/9c on CBS.
The main highlight of this episode I loved is that Callen is looking for Hetty and that he’s not alone in his search.
Hetty would’ve given Deeks a much better pep talk then Killjoy. (I find yelling at someone AND giving him some kind of pep talk later because you’re also a parent really off base.)