‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Showrunners Explain Jane Tennant’s Complicated Relationship

by Alex Falls

The highly-anticipated second season of NCIS: Hawai’i is just weeks away from premiering. Fans have lots of questions about what might unfold in the upcoming episodes.

Season one ended on a huge cliffhanger when Special Agent Jane Tennant, played by Vanessa Lachey, and Captain Joe Milius, Enver Gjokaj, suffered a huge setback in their budding romance. Milius had to be transferred back to Washington DC. A long way away from Tennant and the shores of Hawai’i.

‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Showrunners Want to Keep Their Characters Authentic

NCIS: Hawai’i showrunners Christopher Silber and Jan Nash sat down with PopCulture. They teased where the relationship can go now that Tennant and Milius are a world apart.

“They have a great connection and we also love the character and we love the actor who plays Milius. So we certainly intend to see him again,” Silber said. “He has not disappeared from our world.”

Nash called it a “geographically undesirable” situation for the budding romance. But they also view it as a chance to grow Tennant as a character. Nash said it’s important to bring the audience into the home lives of these characters to fully get to know them.

“Any individual episode, you have to balance the urgency of the case with how much of a personal story it can or cannot support,” Nash said. “If you’re in a situation where you’ve got a missing child, then you can’t cut away to go talk about somebody’s birthday party. So we always want to try to make sure that our stories are character-rich and how much they can actually hold a character story is really a function of the crime show.”

“At the end of the day, we are telling Navy crime stories. And those stories have to be interesting and we have to leave enough room for those,” Nash continued. “But some episodes have less urgency and that leaves you more room for a B story or a C story to exist in there that really sort of flushes out the characters more.”

Getting the Details Right

Silber has worked on every NCIS show except for NCIS: Los Angeles. Nash gave her credit for making sure the personal stories were valued just as much as the mysteries.

“Jan and I have worked on many different procedural shows and it always used to be the thing that got cut. We didn’t want that,” Silber said. “We wanted our characters to have lived in lives as well as solve great Navy crime.”

“Those character stories and making sure that these characters had lives beyond the office were part of the DNA of this show from the beginning,” Nash added. “We had some ideas of what kinds of stories we were going to tell, but as the season unfolded, they changed based on the things that we like to write to and the way the actors did it. It has just made the show that much better because of it.”

The new season of NCIS: Hawai’i premieres on CBS on September 19th.