The following contains major spoilers for Sunday night. NCIS: Los Angeles final season.
the NCIS: Los Angeles the team will be very different this fall, considering the departure of two longtime characters in the Season 12 finale of CBS’s high-octane drama.
As the season draws to a close, Eric Beale (played by Barrett Foa), a former tech operator turned titan of the team’s burgeoning tech titan, revealed to his partner, intelligence analyst Nell Jones (Renée Felice Smith), that he had received funding for the international headquarters. of his Kaleidoscope-based technology company, which will be based on … Tokyo. Plus, he had managed to make Nell his No.1 – and by the end of the episode, Nell decided to do not sign up as a “new Hetty” / Operations Manager, but join Eric in this adventure. And as part of an atypically bright merry-go-round NCIS: LA final cut, the two literally left at sunset (in Eric’s ridiculously plush new sports car).
Foa has been with NCIS: LA since the pilot, promoted to the series regular in the middle of season 1. In season 11, the stage vet took a brief leave to pursue another professional opportunity, and in season 12 he / Eric appeared intermittently .
Smith joined the cast at the start of Season 2 and, like Foa, was absent from the Season 11 and 12 episode bundles.
Showrunner R. Scott Gemmill spoke to TVLine exclusively about the decision to write both characters in one fell swoop.
“Renée and Barrett have been on the show for a long time, and they’re both very ambitious individuals who have projects that they want to do on their own – and we’ve given them time to do it,” Gemmill said. . . “It seemed like a natural time to let them go and do other things, and give [their characters] which is a happy ending hopefully.
This is not necessarily the very end for Eric or Nell, however. “There’s a little flaw in that, when Nell says she’s going to be alone in Tokyo with Eric, and gives him ‘six weeks’ before she comes back,” Gemmill noted. “Then we’ll see what happens. “
Viewers can be most surprised that Nell turned down MIA Hetty’s job, leaving the job pretty vacant before Season 13.
“It seemed like a good time [to write her out], because you probably expected Nell to take the job from Hetty that she’s groomed for, ”Gemmill said. “But it’s a good thing, in some ways, to have that little bit of unpredictability on the show. It keeps him fresh and honest. But also, like I said, we keep loopholes so that we can bring people back.
Coming Monday on TVLine: Our exclusive exit interviews with Foa and Smith, who have been reflecting on their races for over a decade – and highlighting that close shave on screen! Also, who will be Operations Manager from now on?
Want more scoop on NCIS: LA, or for any other show? Send an e-mail to [email protected] and your question can be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.