[This story contains spoilers for “A New Beginning, Part 2”, NCIS: Los Angeles
Office of Special Programs at NCIS on Sunday: The series finale for Los Angeles – but that’s really not the heart of the episode.
In fact, showrunner R. Scott Gemmill said that the last case — the team helping a deep-cover ATF agent break up an arms-dealing ring — “was Secondary to what we want to do,” which is the role viewers spend 14 seasons and 1235305775 episodes A good place to watch at the end of the series. So Karen (Chris O’Donnell) and Anna (Bar Paley) ditch their intense plans for a big wedding in favor of a smaller courthouse ceremony. Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) find out they have a baby, Rountree (Caleb Castille) gets a life-changing settlement in his case against the LAPD, and Sam (LL Cool J) gets an encouraging News for his father (Richard Gantt) to conduct medical experiments.
“It’s just going character by character to figure out what they’ve been through, what they deserve and what we want to see in the future,” Gemmill shares with Kyle Harimoto wrote the series finale, he told The Hollywood Reporter . “What a promising version, I think we did our best for each character.”
The series does not end at a wedding, however, with Follow Callen and Hanna to Morocco to find Hetty (Linda Hunt) and reunite with old colleagues Nell (Renee Felice Smith), Nate (Peter Cambor) and Sabatino (Erik Palladino). “What do you say, gentlemen? Ready for your next adventure?” Nell asked.
“Yes,” Callen replied. “It’s going to be fun.”
Gemmill talks to THR why he likes happy endings, will The reunion scene was put together — and how one character was “on hold” when COVID shut down three years ago.
How much was announced in advance The show is over Do you know?
We don’t have much time. Also, we don’t know if we’re going to have an episode or two. We originally planned it as a finale episode, and then CBS kindly gave us two episodes. So we had to rethink again what it meant to have two partners. It’s a little tight on time, but that’s what we do. We did our best.
Since this is a show designed around weekly stories, and constant character arcs, do you need to change your mind because you brought the series to an end?
Writing a pilot is very difficult and I think the next hardest thing is writing a series finale. Especially with a 14 season already on, you’ve done too many stories, characters with life changing events, and now you have to end it all . For us, it’s really about trying to put the fans in a really good place, not trying to be dramatic or fancy or smart, but really letting the characters know that they’re going to be okay – they’re happy to move forward As a fan myself, when a series I really like ends, I really prefer it to end on a “happily ever after” kind of way. As cheesy as this may be, I just feel that if you spend that much time watching a show, you’ll want to leave satisfied. That’s what we’re trying to do, just bring each character’s story to some sort of conclusion that still holds hope for the future. I think “hope” is the key word.
What broke the last few episodes of the writers room?
It’s just going character by character to figure out what they’ve been through, what they deserve and what we want to see in the future to what. What was that promising version, I think we did our best for each character.
Did you build the case around character beats or vice versa?
This story is secondary to what we want to do. We basically knew we wanted Callen to get married. We want Kensi and Deeks to know they are having a baby. We want Sam’s father to undergo a promising medical trial. Let’s hope it ends Rountree’s case through law enforcement. We wanted to convey some hope that we could go and save Heidi – we wanted to fix that. Linda [Hunter] wasn’t available — if she had been available, it might have been different, but we sort of provided that. We also wanted to revisit some of the characters we’ve seen in the past, whether it’s through the wedding or through what we thought of in the last scene, which is our guy in Morocco, on their way to try to rescue Heidi.
Do you have any other character combinations for your last scene on the board?
It comes down to time, money and availability. I wish everyone was there with his brother [laughs] . We wanted Arkady (Vyto Ruginis), we had him on the show. We want to see Deeks’ mother (Pamela Reed) again, who is at the wedding. Sabatino came on, Nate came on, and Nell. I would have everyone if I could, but it’s just not feasible. We tried to pay homage to the past and the future.
If you think about this episode, now that G is married, do you think it will change the way he works?
possible. There was a script three years ago that was supposed to end and Anna was shot. It was the year of COVID and we didn’t shoot the finale. So she got a reprieve and they ended up getting married [laughs] . So you never know what to expect. With Callen, if we have another season coming, I’m not sure they’ll get married in the finale, but I’m sure we’ll get them married at some point. Knowing that the series is over, of course we’ll be throwing things into the game that we might not have had if we knew we were going to have to pick them up and carry them over to next season.
It was also fun to see Kensi and Deeks, in the scene where they watch, start talking and attacking each other.
This case is very secondary to actually spending time with our characters, which is what the audience is focused on. I’m sure they don’t remember the case, but they do remember the interactions between the characters.
What was the last thing you filmed?
The last scene we shot was on our stage. The last scene [for this episode] was filmed in the desert before then, even though it was very, very green.
How was the atmosphere on set like the last day?
Bittersweet. It’s tough. There were a lot of tears shed, but it also showed how much fun and luck we had. If a show flops after a year, you won’t be as attached to those people as you are after . We’re seeing people get married and have kids, so it’s very exciting because ultimately it’s about the people you work with. It’s one thing not to do this show — if we could do a new show we would, you know? Everyone will be less frustrated because they will be working together [again]. We have a wonderful family who work and play together. It’s kind of hard to deal with knowing that we’re all going to the four corners of the globe right now, or at least the four corners of Hollywood [laughs] .
While there have been some cast changes, to have the show last this long and have your four leads basically the entire time, and you’ve been It’s all there. I think you also have long-term staff — that’s a lot of history.
This is a testament to everyone’s level of harmony and we really enjoy working together. That’s why [ending it] was so difficult. This has nothing to do with the show itself. It’s really about the people.
On a more serious note, as the writers strike continues, what would you say is the most pressing issue you want the guild to work with the studio ?
I think AI is the thing that scares me the most. This is really becoming a real problem. It’s not just for writers, it’s for studio executives, graphic artists, animators, pretty much everyone. If we’re at the forefront, figure out a way to create some laws for this. I mean, there’s other issues with, you know, mini-rooms and trying to set up day rates for writers and other silliness. When we go on strike, it’s in no way for the people currently working in the industry, it’s more for the future of the business and the writers of the future, and I don’t think anything exemplifies that more than AI.
Did you take anything home after filming?
The guys gave me a sign from Surfside Sully’s. I can’t even remember what season it was [Ed. Note: Season 2] , but we built a beach bar in Santa Monica where We did a full burn and had a neon sign. So they gave me that, which was fine. But I didn’t take anything with me personally, just a lot of memories. I would have liked the golden shark in squid and daggers, but it’s gone.
Any final thoughts on being in the series for so long?
It was a great run. I’m sad it’s over. I think we all are. You know you’re doing something right when you see grown men, strong, strong men crying to you. We’re lucky that CBS has kept us going this long. It will be a while before any of us do this again, if we ever do.
Interview edited and condensed. 1235305775