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‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Why the Kensi/Deeks Slow Burn Is a Good Thing

NCIS: Los Angeles

You love ‘em or you hate ‘em. You’re either eagerly awaiting that first kiss or that confession of love or dreading the time dedicated to the close calls and what it could mean for your favorite show. You read into every line, every gesture, and every look. I am, of course, talking about those “will they/won’t they” couples. Lately, those couples are getting together on many shows, and it looks like NCIS: Los Angeles’ Kensi and Deeks are joining that list.

A torturous romance

When Kensi and Deeks met on the show, as soon as it was revealed he was undercover at the time, there might as well have been a sign above their heads flashing in big bold letters, “Prepare to ship/not-ship these two!” Over the next couple of seasons, they flirted, they bantered, and they got to know each other, and the more time that went by, the more obvious it became that it was building up to something. However, as TV fans know, sometimes that build-up can take forever. Just look at Mulder and Scully or Tony and Ziva. “Tiva” fan had to wait until her last episode at the beginning of this season of NCIS to get anything substantial. Was that going to be the case for “Densi”?

Not necessarily. In one of the last episodes of season 3, “Neighborhood Watch,” Kensi and Deeks went undercover as a married couple, a treat for Densi fans because they got to see them being domestic, discussing children, and yes, even sharing a kiss. (It was also a treat for non-Densi fans because who doesn’t love it when the community’s bakers have machine guns?) However, that kiss was as Melissa and Justin, not as Kensi and Deeks, and it was brushed off as a “cover kiss.” That was that, and Densi fans were left waiting once again for something more.

That something more came in the season 4 finale, one of the most memorable episodes of the show, “Descent.” If you ask me, the tension between the two had reached the boiling point and was threatening to spill over, as neither seemed willing to make that first step to really discuss what was between them. Instead, there were accusations of jealousy and “terrible communication skills” on both parts, and then came the moment all you wanted was for Deeks to go over and kiss Kensi, and surprise! He did just that.

It’s a love story

However, as tends to happen when your favorite potential couple finally takes a step forward, one of them is kidnapped and tortured while the other is forced to leave their partner in that hellhole to catch an international arms dealer and find missing missiles. Oh, you mean that’s not normal? Well, it is for NCIS: Los Angeles, and while Deeks pulling away in the hospital could have been a step back, the season 5 premiere ended with another show of his improved communication skills. “I just want you to know that the place I went to in my head to stop the pain was you. And I just kept thinking about your smile and your laugh, everything. It’s the only thing that got me through, for whatever it’s worth,” he told her as he wrestled with what to do next after his traumatic experience. They may not have talked about the kiss, but that was so much better.

In the episodes that followed, viewers have been treated to a slow burn for the Kensi/Deeks relationship, but I would argue that the slow burns make for the best romances. Densi fans have been treated to moments like Deeks finally able to sleep with Kensi at his side and “it’s a love story” in “Impact,” as well as their conversation about scruffy guys in “Big Brother.” I’m enjoying how they’re playing this out because it means that shippers and non-shippers alike can enjoy the show.

Are they taking that next step?

But a slow burn romance has to go somewhere, and fortunately, it looks like that’s finally happening. In an upcoming episode, Kensi and Deeks will be sitting down for dinner, as you can see in the photo below, and we have to imagine that if ever there’s going to be a time for them to discuss the kiss, that is it.

'NCIS: Los Angeles' season 5 episode 9

But is getting a “will they/won’t they” couple like Densi together a good thing? We’ve seen it be successful on shows like Bones and Castle, but there is always the worry that it could change the whole dynamic of a show. Should we be worried that will be the case with NCIS: Los Angeles? Head to the comments with your thoughts and let me know what you’ve thought of the slow burn post-kiss?

Photos: Richard Cartwright/CBS; Sonja Flemming/CBS

Find Meredith on Google+.

Meredith, a freelance writer, watches more TV shows than should be legal (and knows everything about them). Her favorites include "Supernatural" and "Orphan Black.”

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