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PART II

Picking up where I left off one month ago, a.k.a. I AM GONNA WRAP THIS DAMN SEASON IF IT KILLS ME.


8x22, Golden Days: The Densi highlight looks very similar to the one in 8x17, with Kensi draping herself over Deeks from behind and bestowing all manner of tactile affection, and I love it. I would just embed the entire Tumblr post about it, but apparently LJ doesn't recognize that HTML, so I have to do it by hand the hard way.



K: Please make sure you come back this time, because I would hate to have to break you out of jail and live the rest of our lives on the lam.
D: Is it crazy if that sounds pretty awesome right now? Just you and I, open road. Eating street tacos. Lots of ice cream, robbing banks...
K: I love you so much.
D: I love you, too.

(Per my tags: "I love how sunshiney and smiley she is now. it is a very good contrast to the first half of the season")

Alas, then I got so bored with the plot I stopped watching partway through, and I just remembered I never actually completed the YouTube tour to pick up the highlight reel, and oh whoops, I missed some important stuff here. Like, everything with Whiting. So here is a quick bonus list of every other highlight I forgot or haven't seen:

* This isn't even the opening Densi scene, there's a special bonus pre-opening scene in the gym with more weirdly hot partner stretching, while Deeks tries to convince Kensi they would make a total killing flipping real estate and Kensi points out that his belief that he can make a profit on or even sell a residence overlooking a freeway suggests that is actually not true.

* The beginning of the above scene, in which they have an actual Super Serious Talk in which Deeks and his amazing face admit that he told Whiting absolutely "everything" (hurray for sticking to the promise of No More Secrets w/ Kensi!), and Kensi is a practically beatific pillar of support and non-judgment who does not bat an eye at this potentially life-ruining information and even throws in a mention that her dad would have loved him! Before offering to come with him on the Whiting-meeting antics. To which Deeks declines because he "doesn't want to wrap her up in this again." I AM SO SPOILT FOR SHIPPING GOLD.

* Whiting's resurfacing was...not nearly as bad as I thought. OK, so she remembers everything and is mildly blackmailing Deeks into helping her with a bigger IA investigation into corruption, but she's willing to close the case against him? or maybe holding it over his head for the rest of his life any time she needs additional favors but still I can roll w/ that.

* "I was really happy to hear that you found Kensi safe." And asking how she is? And giving Deeks an opportunity to reflect on how she's good / actually, great, while Whiting continues to say more nice things in acknolwedgment of their relationship?? Is it my birthday.

* "I nearly caused you to lose Kensi." Damn, somebody got self aware while they were debating walking into the light. And Deeks with his barely even grudging suspect for her resilience? Nice.

Finally: I thought I might have gotten less cranky with time, but nope; damned if I am ever gonna try sitting through the plot that doesn't have Deeks in it. We're done here. Cut, print, moving on.

8x23, Uncaged
I hope the freakout post I had at the end of it is enough, because I am not taking myself on that emotional journey again. To quote myself on Tumblr, "I thought I could handle such an outcome as long as my Core Four was safe" (back when there were ominous spoilers warning someone not-insignificant was gonna die) "but turns out I cant." Cool James and the actress are just way too good at making emotionally devastating faces.

Especially in that last scene -- the last scene where, for one of the few times in history, television tricked me and made me SO SURE I was being lulled into a fakeout that I refused to believe the looks on Deeks and Kensi's faces until I no longer had a choice -- oh, god. It was good, better than I gave it credit for at the time behind my Smokescreen of Rage, but awful.

P.S. dominicvail still has my favorite mid-episode quote of all time: Srsly harm her and I will move to the LA area, and periodically break into the writers’ houses and do nothing but constantly spoil their milk and steal their left shoes.

8x24, "Unleashed"
OK, I know I should talk more about this, but I stalled out on 8x22 so hard that I am secretly wrapping up the second half of this post from August of 2018 and I am IMPATIENT to end this and get to my season 9 post(s) before ANOTHER new season starts so this is just gonna be whatever I remember off the top of my head or is on my Tumblr and nothing more.

Plot
An excellent action plot; I would still prefer to have Michelle be NOT DEAD but at least they let Sam do his Fast & Furious Rampage O' Revenge rather effectively. I am electing to ignore the emotionally devastating morgue/goodbye scene in the interest of not crying for 45 minutes.

I did greatly enjoy Deeks picking up the phone call from Tahir meant for Sam, and proceeding to sass him six ways from Sunday with a nice undercurrent of very real, very controlled fury.

Also it gave rise to perhaps my favorite Nell quote in the history of ever:

("Okay, that's NOT TRUE!") (x)
# I will literally n e v e r grow tired of Nell being a terrifying driver while Deeks rides shotgun in actual fear for his life

Nell + Kensi
I believe my exact demands were "The only compensation I will accept to even partially make this stupidity up to me is if one or both of my ships gets to comfort each other. Like, that is bare minimum the toll I expect you to pay, and if you don't give me that then what even the hell."

And, well, they didn't, which I am particularly peeved about given Nell's hoarse "when do we get to cry?" scene. Every time I saw that sneak peek, my response was "I DON'T KNOW BUT PREFERABLY ON SCREEN AND WITH ERIC."  When it became clear that would not happen I was like 'all right, girl time will suffice' and then...I got...neither??**

Seriously Nell came to her A SECOND TIME on the verge of tears, clearly Not Okay and clearly having reached an acceptable point in time at which The Work is Done, which means now is when she gets to cry, right?? And look at her face; she might as well be wearing a sign that says HUG ME.

But instead, despite pouring out an emotional "I can't imagine losing someone that close to you" speech (GOSH I WONDER WHOM SHE MIGHT MEAN), I got Kensi basically going "yeah...really makes u think...gotta go!" Like, the hell. In any other circumstances I'd be thrilled that Nell indirectly facilitated their engagement, but COME ON. This is just mean. To me.

HOWEVER, the fact that she got to witness this moment and get a thank-you smile from Kensi afterward like they planned it together all along, plus her beaming thumbs up in return, was awesome.

(**Side note: I made a Tumblr post half-seriously demanding fic, and I feel like fic eventually appeared but now I can't remember for sure. I do know that this fic appeared at the end of summer, though, and maybe this is what I was thinking of: From Our Patron Saint of Neric comes I Died For The Sun Rays.

Two days ago, when everything was over, when she was talking to Kensi, she said she couldn't imagine losing someone that close to you. Kensi was thinking of Deeks. But Nell. Nell was thinking of Eric. Or, what happens after the finale.)

Densi
Part 1: Post-gunfire-spray hug!
Part 2: I am almost done swallowing my annoyance about the cliche "woman who turns down/postpones answering a proposal ultimately accepts by turning the tables and doing the asking herself" trope and ready to accept it for what it is, so let's pretend I have, because I definitely love this scene a lot more now than I did when it aired.

I love Deeks morphing from confused to a mildly panicked 'what, no no no stop that, you can't do this, the guy is supposed to...', and his mild prostestation of her "you've had your chance" smirk with his "uh actually I've proposed 3 times now, including the very romantic version while you were in a coma..." And I love how once they're past the jokes he doesn't say yes right away ("Baby, what are you doing?"), like he's worried this is just an overcorrection to the nightmare 48 hours they've just had and her head isn't in the right space to make this a reality yet.

But then she puts any such fears to rest with her levelheaded reasoning, and his ultimate yes and super-tight hug are amazing, and -- you know what, no; in the last sixty seconds so many incredible things happen I need to dissect every single part:

* Deeks' crack that this is "a lot for a girl to process"
* Kensi wrinkling her nose and laughing and calling him an idiot -- I am STILL DYING for someone to make a comparative gifset with How I Met Your Mother's "Robin 101," where Ted explains that this is exactly how Robin says "I love you"
* The exchange of one last 'I love you' for the season (has any guy ever been as good at delivering that line as ECO? My goldfish memory says no).
* The aforementioned final yes and super-tight hug with his face buried in her hair a;sdfjakl;sfasdfas
* Extended hold on the hug, featuring two different angles (this is where the camera pans over to include Nell and I perish of delight anew)
* The huge smile on his face when he pulls back before joking about the ring (MAN I did not know how bad I needed to return to this scene after the S9 finale)
* His last words are "That's right. Sunshine & gunpowder," while the camera slowly draws up and away, but not without lingering on an aerial shot of a final kiss. You could honestly end the series like that. And if anything goes wrong in the near future, that might yet be the ending in my head.

But for now, let's just say that as spoiled as I was by television in 2017, it in no way lessened my appreciation at having that kind of happy safe harbor to nestle in all summer long.

FINAL ROUNDUP: SEASON RANKINGS
This is so hard to do, because this year was generally amazing, and I almost want to make a whole separate ranking of episodes based on the quality of their Densi content because that list would look quite different, but...I tried very hard to be good and weigh each episode's merits as a whole, because this year was SO GOOD for so many other reasons as well.

I am still not sure I'm satisfied with the order outside of the first 2 and last 2, so I'm breaking them down in to tiers.

HOT DAMN AMAZING
Getaway (8x18)
Queen Pin (8x17)
The Queen's Gambit (8x03) (I REALLY LOVE NELL OKAY)
Home Is Where the Heart Is (8x06)
Payback (8x15)
Under Siege (8x14)
Hot Water (8x13)
Black Market (8x04)
Belly of the Beast (8x02)
High-Value Target (8x01)
From Havana With Love (8x20)

PRETTY DAMN GREAT
Ghost Gun (8x05)
Old Tricks (8x16)
Crazy Train (8x07)
Parallel Resistors (8x08)
Glasnost (8x09) (lots of small goodies despite the fact that the Callen plot is straight Meh)
Uncaged (8x23)
Unleashed (8x24)

AVERAGE
Tidings We Bring (8x11)
Sirens (8x10)

MEH
Kulinda (8x12)
Golden Days (8x22)
767 (8x19) (the Densi scene is amazing but otherwise it is pure crap)
Battle Scars (8x21) (as boring as the above but with less amazing Densi)

IN CONCLUSION: here is a gifset of "Densi in Season 8," or A Pictorial Of Why This Year Was Great.

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