‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Didn’t Plan for ‘Feel-Good’ Season 12 Finale, But Changed For One Reason

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Fans adored the light-hearted finale to NCIS: Los Angeles, Sunday night. It was written to give folks a warm and fuzzy feeling people about the end of season 12.

And it all was done with deliberate intent. This country had been through too much to go with a darker theme.

“Well, it wasn’t what we were going to do, that’s for sure,” said NCIS: Los Angeles show runner R. Scott Gemmill in an interview with TVLine.com.

“We were going to use the finale that we had written for last season, which got bumped because of COVID,” Gemmill said. “And then we realized everyone had such a tough, s–tty year, that we couldn’t in good conscience put the fans through any more trauma. So we decided to go in the exact opposite way and do a fun, feel-good episode that leaves everyone happy and hopeful for what is coming down the line.”

The season 12 NCIS: Los Angeles finale featured everything. A Russian gang kidnapped Deeks on the beach. But they didn’t want to hurt him. Their dead boss wanted Deeks to take over the crime business.

The finale featured a crime about a murdered Russian dolphin. So that was sad. But Deeks threw the killer in a shark tank. OK, that was a dark moment, but the punishment felt appropriate.

Hetty returned in the final moments to close out the NCIS: Los Angeles episode. Proud father Sam got to see his son fly overhead as he took an aviation fighter pilot exam. Callen complimented Sam on being such a good dad.

Nell and Eric decided to move to Tokyo, together. They drove off into the sunset in Eric’s expensive new sports car.

And Fatima told her sad, but inspirational backstory to Roundtree.

Cranky, caustic Admiral Kilbride (or Killjoy) came back for some comedic relief.

The original finale was far darker. Callen didn’t have much to do in Sunday’s episode. But the original one involved his girlfriend, Anna, and her stalker, Katya. Gemmill said NCIS: Los Angeles writers still want to play out that plot point.

“But it was a little darker than [what the show went with]. If ever there was a season where you wanted to go out on a fun, happy note, this was the one where everyone needed that more than we needed to show off some cool episode. We needed to make everyone feel good.”

The only downside of the NCIS: Los Angeles episode was the show saying good bye to the quirky, full-time characters of Nell and Eric. But Hetty came back to wish Nell well and to tell her she would be great at anything she does. It all wrapped up so nicely.

Outsider.com