“NCIS: Los Angeles” literally left us hanging — or rather Sam’s (LL Cool J) wife Michelle (Aunjanue Ellis) was left dangling out the window of a high-rise building, holding on to a curtain for dear life, in the Season 4 finale. At the same time, her hubby and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) were being tortured to reveal if Michelle, who operates undercover as Quinn, was a federal agent.
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When “NCIS: Los Angeles” premieres its fifth season on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c on CBS, the story will pick up immediately where we left off because, as executive producer/showrunner Shane Brennan told xfinityTV, “You can’t leave someone hanging out a window and someone having their teeth drilled out.” That said, he adds, “The interesting thing is we pick it up straight away but we end — this is a little bit exclusive in its own way — we end the episode some time later. It is not a few days later. It is weeks and weeks and weeks later.”
But the bottom line for the season is that Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks are going to be taken down a very hard road.
“Kensi and Deeks will be split up as partners midseason. And when I say split up, they will really be split up,” Brennan told us exclusively. “And when you think we can’t or won’t do anything else, we have got in the back end of the season, a big fat juicy complication in their lives.”
Brennan also filled us in on what lies ahead for Callen (Chris O’Donnell), Hetty (Linda Hunt), Nell (Renée Felice Smith) and Eric (Barrett Foa), as well as the plans for the 100th episode. Following are the answers to all your burning questions — check it out:
You were quoted as saying this episode “will have the greatest consequence of any story we’ve told.” True?
That’s definitely true. It’s what happened at the end of last season and what happens in the first episode. That very unexpected, spontaneous kiss between Deeks and Kensi set something in play and they didn’t get to talk about it before he is in jeopardy. His trauma is such that he has to deal with that. That trauma causes Deeks a lot of physical and mental pain.
For Kensi, that is a terrible thing to watch your partner go through. On top of that is the kiss. He has to resolve the issues from the torture before they resolve the elephant in the room, which is the kiss. Ultimately, they do, and things look like they will be getting back to normal, but they don’t.
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There is a scene in the fourth episode in, which is also the 100th episode, between Hetty and Granger (Miguel Ferrer), who are talking about Kensi and Deeks, where she says, “Partnerships can be tricky.” They are. And when the audience thinks things are back on an even keel, they’re not.
We already know that psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor) is returning this season. Is that part of the team recovering from their trauma?
That is automatic. If an agent goes through anything like what we are putting these agents through, they have to have counseling. Yes, Nate makes a return in Episode 2. It won’t be the last time we see him this season.
I’m thinking Callen might also need help. He discovered that he was betrayed by Marcel Janvier (Christopher Lambert), and there was nothing he could do to save Sam. He is so used to being a take-charge kind of guy, how is he going to deal with that?
He deals with it within the episode in a really interesting way. Both Deeks and Sam have been tortured and put through a very traumatic moment. Now, Sam is a professional soldier. He’s a SEAL. He has been trained. He has had much more training than Deeks has. He has been trained to resist torture and to understand the consequences of it. He is much more prepared for what happened, but even he has to face Nate.
Callen is there for him, in the way Kensi is for Deeks, but from Callen’s point of view, he looks at Sam and says, “Sam is a pro. Sam is going to be okay.”
Sam doesn’t have a close bond with Deeks. In fact, he is very concerned that Deeks, who now has Sam’s wife’s life in his hands, will crack. Will the outcome of this change their relationship?
There has always been a certain amount of tension between Deeks and Sam. Sam has often questioned Deeks’ suitability for NCIS. Certainly, as a result of what they go through together, Sam will definitely reassess his opinion of Deeks.
It will depend on whether or not Quinn survives, I am assuming. But as we left it, we think Kensi is the only one who can save her.
You are not incorrect.
Will we find out quickly whether or not Quinn falls out the window to her death?
It is kind of in real time, so don’t miss the first three minutes.
Last season, Hetty had her secrets and it looked as if she might be leaving NCIS. What’s happening with her this season?
She has her hands full with the team. This is a season that is going to shake a lot of things up. Hetty is troubled by what has happened; she is concerned about the Deeks/Kensi relationship. I don’t mean just in Episode 1 and 2. There are serious issues between those two characters and Hetty, apart from all the other issues she deals with, she cares deeply about these people. She has a fairly emotional journey this season.
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With all the romance going on, could Nell and Eric be a part of it, or would that be too much?
Nell and Eric are a wonderful counterpoint, especially to Deeks and Kensi. If people like the nerdy, geeky romance between these two, then they are going to have a good season. There are some fun things happening in their life. We start that as early as Episode 2. There’s a certain amount of fun and a little jealousy between those two. That won’t be the end of it for the season.
Can we talk about any guest stars or new characters? Since “Red” wasn’t picked up, might any of those characters be guest stars?
I won’t say no that we won’t be bringing back some of the “Red” folks. That is a distinct possibility. They are of the NCIS world. There were relationships between Callen and Kim Raver’s character Paris. There are always possibilities.
There will be a number of very interesting guests mid-season. No one I can name at the moment. The ripple effect from the finale and the premiere episode this season will be felt all the way through the season.
Is there something special planned for the 100th episode?
Anyone who has followed the Callen story, in his search for his identity to find out who he really is — to fill in the puzzle, he has that tea tin that sits on his mantelpiece and has little jigsaw puzzle pieces of his life in there — he gets to put another very, very significant piece of the jigsaw puzzle into that tea tin.
Like what the “G” stands for?
You will have to watch and see. But I will give you the name of the episode and it might give you an indicator. We have had “Callen, G” as a title. We have had “Lange, H” And “Blye, K.” Episode 100 is actually called “Reznikov, N.” These are significant people.
Is there a theme or something you want to accomplish this season?
I guess you could say the theme of this series is: Who are we? We have characters who have been revealed as having very mysterious pasts. I mean, Callen, Hetty, and the fact that no one knew that Sam was married and had children for a couple of seasons except for Callen. We do play with the mystery of who these people are. That is a very strong element in this fifth season. Having said that, I think when you look back at this season, it might be more about our relationship with someone very close to us. So, it is more about relationships than it is about a single identity.
I also saw that in Episode 5, you will be doing something new — an episode with a train.
We are doing a pretty spectacular — let’s call it a runaway train, which we start shooting next week. It’s a very challenging episode because we’re using real trains. We are shooting in a number of places around town. It’s going to be a real fun episode, but it’s a complicated and very heart-stopping series of stunts.
“NCIS: Los Angeles” returns with all new episodes for its fifth season on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c on CBS.