This episode accomplished a tricky balancing act.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 5 effectively tackles a complex subject while being more humorous than usual.
The case of the week also brought Deeks back to the most challenging period of his life.
A couple of factors led Deeks to that point. First was a surprise visit by his mother, Roberta, fresh off her tour across America. Why? Who knows why Roberta does anything?
Certainly not Deeks, who wasn’t ready for Roberta to meet her foster granddaughter. At first blush, Roberta is a lot for anyone to process, let alone a teen who is still adjusting to life in a new family in an unfamiliar country.
Then again, Rosa has been dealing with Kensi and especially Deeks for quite some time now. So she’s already proven that she’s resilient and adaptive.
So meeting her new grandmother with all her wacky adventures was more of a hoot to Rosa. It may even help her to understand Deeks better.
Thinking about his history with Roberta certainly puts Deeks in the right frame of mind to deal with Alice, whose situation mirrored his more than a little.
Alice looked guilty when she shoved the body of her murdered husband out of the way so she could flee. But anyone who could take time out to talk with her father while she was attempting to run in a blind panic couldn’t have been a cold-blooded murderer.
Which brought up the question: Why exactly was Alice running?
Here’s another query: When an officer with intimate knowledge of America’s military inventory was found murdered, why didn’t Kilbride summon everyone instead of waiting for his team to mosey in? For that matter, why does Kensi get a day off, and Fatima disappear into the blue?
Kilbride seems like a make-things-happen guy, and that behavior was the exact opposite.
Then again, Sam acted the same once he found out, although he waited by the door to give everyone assignments once they arrived. That’s somewhat more proactive.
It quickly became apparent that something was amiss in the single-earner Morgan household, with the couple somehow living far above their means.
Since Morgan ended up murdered, he had to be into something shady, right?
Thanks to Shyla, fugitive Alice’s movements weren’t difficult to follow, So her path intersected with Deeks reasonably early on.
With Roberta in town, maybe that would put Deeks in the right frame of mind to pick up on the signals Alice put out, which Rountree missed.
Deeks also knew how to get through to Alice by baring his soul about his long-ago experience with domestic violence.
Talking so frankly enabled Deeks to get through to Alice, and she willingly answered his questions about how Morgan abused her. It did make sense that she ran because she thought she would be a logical suspect because of her earlier reports. “She had finally snapped” would have been the thought process among officials.
And, although she didn’t know much, Alice was able to help somewhat, offering the weird motor-oil smell around her husband lately and identifying one of the three men who likely cleaned out his storage unit.
Her identifying the buyer of the explosives resulted in a quick resolution, with just a tiny burst of action during the takedown. In other words, a fairly ho-hum finish to the case.
But that wasn’t what the narrative was about. Instead, it focused on Deeks’ dealing with the abuse of himself and Roberta by his father, who Deeks later shot before Gordon was sent to prison.
Deeks never reconnected with his father, who Hetty said died in a car accident. But he has primarily made peace with his past.
Still, some small part of Deeks had to blame Roberta for staying with the abusive Gordon as long as she did.
That’s why it was important for the two of them to talk about the abuse, a topic they usually avoided, late in the show. They could never forget, but they could have it out and set the abuse behind them.
The way Rountree was talking about investing his Eric money, I thought he would set up some kind of domestic-abuse organization. But again, it was more Rountree setup with no resolution.
Giving Kensi the day off did allow Daniela Ruah to do double duty, as she directed her fifth episode in the past two seasons.
Also, Kensi being home allowed Roberta to pass on some advice about her secrets to parenting, which perfectly suited her, realistic but hopeful.
Deeks wasn’t the only one with parental concerns. Raymond continued to burn through caretakers, much to Sam’s dismay.
There was a nurse that did home health care that Raymond hit it off with on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 4. But apparently, Sam hasn’t called her yet, as Raymond is up to three caretakers who have quit so far.
Callen seemed to hint that Sam isn’t addressing the real problem, which isn’t overly sensitive caretakers. It’s Sam failing to find an arrangement that will work for both Raymond and Sam.
Callen is one to talk, with the way he has been dodging Anna when it comes to setting a wedding date.
Of course, the problem was Hetty. Callen can’t get married until he knows who he really is.
To revisit Deeks and Roberta’s history, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
How did you like seeing Roberta again?
How are Deeks and Kensi doing as parents?
How long will we have to wait for Callen to act on his Hetty situation?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.