Being a working parent is difficult.
That was the none-too-subtle message on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 7.
Oh, yeah. There also was a case of the week involving genetic weapons, which was, at best, tangentially related to Deeks’ dilemma.
The case started as threatening to an unspecified many, then was reduced to a personal problem, then blew up again, targeting a larger group.
It began with a lesser Marine suddenly improving, only to collapse into a seizure. That’s how all those involved could tell something was off.
At the hint of the Marine being the victim of a genetic weapon, the situation became a problem for Kilbride, then his team, as the military higher-ups jumped to the worst possible scenarios. That occurred even though it made little sense that a foreign power or terrorist group would target a lowly PFC.
The victim’s sudden interest in cryptocurrency led to the next leap in logic that the victim and his roommate were smuggling bioweapons onto their base. That theory gained traction when the roommate disappeared with the victim’s phone and car.
But no, that wasn’t the case. Instead, the pair were attempting to become better Marines through chemistry, as they were paying a renegade researcher for muscle enhancers.
Only Deeks found the chemist dead and stuffed in a freezer, and the roommate didn’t kill him. So who did that leave as the killer?
As usual, the team unveiled the mystery assistant in the final 15 minutes of the episode. He turned out to be a self-loathing diabetic, out to kill others like him. He ended up being thwarted by a woman with a magnetic hand.
Yup, to get to a solution, we had to sit through a subplot of a group of social warrior scientists seeking to improve life for the less fortunate by working outside of corporate channels.
These scientists included a giant cyborg whose antenna enabled him to identify the undercover Fatima as a Fed. Surprisingly, his colleagues believed her explanation over his accusation. It must have been that his protrusion made it hard to take him seriously.
But Herman the Cyborg ultimately helped Fatima to determine the killer’s end game in time for Sam and Callen to stop him after a brief car chase and standoff.
First, the body stitchers on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14 Episode 3 and now a cyborg. It’s been an excellent season for genre sampling. What’s next, a Western? Let’s hope. Callen would make a great gunslinger with no name.
Now that we’ve disposed of this strange case, let’s talk about how Deeks dealt with his new circumstance.
A sick child is one of the worst things a parent has to handle. At least Deeks had the advantage of having a teen who could explain her symptoms.
Although it took him a while to appreciate this, he also had Roberta living mere seconds away. Since Kensi was away for training, Deeks had a veteran parent to provide childcare for Rosa.
That early scene answered the question of whether Roberta would become an on-screen or off-screen presence now that she has been reestablished in L.A. The initial return is that she will grab onto being a grandmother with both hands.
Yes, Roberta is a handful. But she had been through so much as a parent, dealing with an abusive spouse and protecting Martin, that watching over a teen with the flu would be simple for her. Deeks had nothing to worry about.
With his bosses all over him, Kilbride can be forgiven for jumping down Deeks’ throat. Unlike the other team members, he didn’t know that Rosa was sick, and Deeks wasn’t one to make excuses. Being working parents was a hard thing that he and Kensi would have to figure out on the fly.
It didn’t help that Deeks isn’t Kilbride’s type of agent (Sam is, to provide the standard). He sees Deeks and thinks, “hippie.” So Deeks will always have to do a little better to prove himself to the admiral.
Deeks took his lumps from Kilbride and did his job. When Hanson’s mother talked about how she felt when her child was sick, you could feel the empathy flowing off of Deeks as he secretly worried about Rosa at home.
It was jarring to watch Deeks discover Yost’s dead body, then turn around to call Roberta to check on Rosa. And was it surprising that Roberta hadn’t caught on to the concept of streaming movies instead of bringing her DVDs?
It was hilarious how quickly Kilbride bailed on running Ops, bringing back the nearly-as-uncomfortable Deeks to man it. That’s a perk of being the boss.
Apparently, they could use a refresher course on how to run Ops, which isn’t nearly as foolproof as Eric had hoped.
Still, Deeks adequately identified the killer and got Sam and Callen to the intercept point in time.
Give Kilbride credit. Once Fatima informed him of Deeks’ status, he owned up to his inadequacies as a parent and encouraged Deeks to do better than him.
To follow Deeks and Kensi’s harrowing journey to parenthood, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
What did you think about the case of the week?
Should Deeks have explained his situation to Kilbride?
Was Kilbride initially too hard on Deeks?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.