But while Hetty deals with the more immediate fallout, the Afghanistan experience will also have repercussions for Kensi, though they may be less overtly apparent. On theOct. 13 episode, Kensi opens up to Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) about her time there, in a scene Olsen describes as one of his favorite Densi moments of the entire series.

"One of Kensi’s skills is her art of self-preservation that she’s mastered throughout kind of a terrible childhood, which is very similar to what Deeks went through," Olsen tells TVGuide.com. "The tragic events that happened in Afghanistan for her, she’s fighting so hard to kind of not deal with those things and to try forget those things. And she has a very honest and revealing conversation with Deeks about her kind of inability to do so, to navigate what it is that’s happening in her own head."

So, in the never-ending will-they-or-won’t-they drama between Kensi and Deeks, will the White Ghost mission and its aftermath bring them closer together, or just put up another barrier between them?

"It’s easy to be friends with people and to love people when everything’s good," Olsen says. "It’s when things fall to pieces and we have to put them back together, and the people that we choose to put them back together with, that matter the most. And that’s kind of what Deeks and Kensi have become for each other. I think that’s part of the definition of a great relationship. … There’s anger and there’s comedy and there’s humor and there’s a flash of honesty and then the gate’s wide open. … It’s the ones with the highest walls that, when they come down, come down in the most kind of glorious way."

Both Kensi and Deeks find themselves confronting issues from their pasts that they’d rather set aside and ignore. “It’s a really good season with really great back story to watch these characters come together, fall apart, come together, fall apart,” according to Olsen.

Here are four more teases about what lies ahead for NCIS: Los Angeles.

1. An unexpected friendship?: Deeks is taking some sort of perverse pleasure in watching the tension between Kensi and Talia (Mercedes Masohn), Olsen admits. Kensi’s response to Deeks’ flirtation with Talia (whom Olsen calls “Kensi 2.0”) is “a true only child reaction,” Olsen says. “‘He may not be mine, but he sure as hell ain’t yours.’ It’s a really interesting 8-year-old girl version of herself. And then she hates herself for going there. They’re all honest emotions that they’re exploring, which makes it so fun for Deeks to watch. And Deeks really enjoys this lunacy that he’s the catalyst for.” But that may change once Kensi and Talia start to form a bond. “The second that they kind of find a friendship and common ground, then he’s like, ‘Wait, wait, wait, wait. I wasn’t planning on this. I don’t like this at all,’” according to Olsen.

2. Ray’s back — and so is Max Gentry. Deeks’ childhood friend, Ray (Channon Roe), will be back later this season, Olsen confirms, and his return will force Deeks to reexamine his alias Max Gentry. “Max is an interesting and dark place for Deeks to go, and I think that — like all [aliases] — is a version of himself that he decided not to be,” Olsen says. “It’s a little too real and taps a little bit too deeply and honestly into his own childhood.”

3. Deeks’ daddy issues: Through the Ray arc, viewers will learn more about Deeks’ backstory and less-than-ideal upbringing. “Deeks has spent kind of his whole life running from his dad and what his dad represents in his life,” Olsen says. “Every time Ray comes back, he’s confronted with not only Ray but with the person that he could have been if he would have continued the cycle that his father kind of instilled in him.”

4. NCIS: LAPD? Though details are scarce, we do know that Deeks will return to the LAPD at some point this season. “We don’t know why he’s sent back to LAPD, we don’t know what the fallout is, but my guess is that as we continue with the fever pitch that is Kensi and Deeks that that probably plays a pretty large role in it,” Olsen teases.