NCIS, 14x10, The Tie That Binds: Best one of the season / first one that felt like a "real" NCIS episode, mostly because the new people kept their traps shut. I loved the trip down memory lane to reminisce about Ducky's mother (who was apparently a boozy floozy back in the day), with all the dashing Young Ducky one could want, and a happy-ish ending about how Victoria found love at the end of her life. I most loved having the younger version share actual scenes with Ducky proper. What an acting treat.
AND ALSO Emily Fornell! Banging down Gibbs' door and demanding the return of her lazybones/mooch father for the holidays (the illustration of Gibbs' refusal to help with his physical therapy exercises was an especial delight). Requesting permission to take matters into her own hands
And you know what we didn't have? An awful story from Bishop about what she's doing for the holidays. Or if we did, I blocked it out. Miracles!
NCIS: LA, 8x11, Tidings We Bring: 17 seconds of acute Densi, okay. I can be content with how Deeks' eyes light up at the sight of her + that very sweetly concerned "you okay?" disguised in the hug, even while I'm wondering why Kensi wouldn't be invited to the office Christmas party. Unless she was, decided not to go, and the surprise is because she changed her mind? That would fit her apparently somehow being not in the mood to decorate the house for Christmas. (that makes me so sad)
The dream-sequence fight was pretty ridiculous, but I guess I kind of like the idea of knowing Kensi is vaguely afraid of being replaced, and also ready to rip the head off anyone who gets in the way of her return.
Mostly what I loved about this was Eric, Nell, Kensi, and all combinations of those three. I was overjoyed enough at Kensi wanting Nell to help her train without all the guys knowing about it, and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when Nell gave Kensi the role mode / hero speech*. COMPLETE WITH A HUG. All of my dreams!!
*this makes me even happier about Kensi envisioning Nell coming to her immediate defense in a fight with no questions asked in that dream sequence
Eric's gift-giving was even more ridiculously adorable. He's so proud of himself at coming up with something that is both pretty and secretly a weapon in a way that appeals very specifically to our kick-ass Kensalina. I'm very tempted to bust out the season 5 "awww, did you hear that? he misses her" quote. And just look at that super tight squeeze in the hug. His adoration is so pure.
I also really love that it is these two and no one else (that we see) bringing her welcome-back gifts, as if to underscore how high they hold her in esteem.
Eric & Nell together, DARLINGS OF MY HEART. I absolutely 100% cannot be convinced that they aren't secretly dating. "My little sugarplum"? And the analogy of "people who've been married for 50 years" still finding things out about each other seems more fitting for people who've been dating than best friends. I don't even care if this is all in my head; it's more satisfying that way. (...she says like some sort of deluded slash fan.)
I love how fast his poor little face falls when Nell backs out of their holiday plans. And how just as quickly he supports her continuing awesomeness. And how Nell does her best to make up for bailing (which it kind of seems like she does...a lot?)
* Nell justifying Callen's Grinch-ness with fun facts about how Christmas trees start housefires, to Deeks' dismay and mock-wounded "who hurt you?" #this is why I'm now loading up on YA novels about best friends of opposite genders #who don't necessarily have a mutual romantic connection but could
* Kensi taking out her frustration on the cone she keeps tripping over. Nell asking Kensi if she wants to kick the other one. Kensi deciding that sounds like an excellent idea.
* Kensi getting ALL THE HUGS at the Christmas party
* Deeks scoffing at Kensi's claim that she baked cookies from scratch. Almost fool him once...
* A small background glimpse: Mama Deeks always made sure the house was decorated for the holidays. She's good people.*
* Eric and Nell being put in charge of providing transportation service. Eric going rogue with makeshift weapons again. Nell's WHAT THE DAMN HELL response.
* Eric's woeful rambling about how it feels like he and Nell are drifting apart. I love how if people don't specify "the case" when asking questions, he just blurts out whatever he's thinking about Nell, like all the time.
* I found this random outfit selfie on Tumblr weeks ago, and got very excited when I saw the first BTS photos on Renee's instagram because TELL ME THAT IS NOT NELL'S DRESS IN THIS EPISODE?