‘NCIS: LA’ Boss Teases What Could’ve Happened in Unresolved Storylines

Chris O'Donnell, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, and LL Cool J in 'NCIS: LA'
Michael Yarish/CBS

NCIS: Los Angeles ended its 14-season run on CBS with a finale all about “New Beginnings” (hence the title), and while it was a mostly happy ending, everything wasn’t tied up neatly with a bow.

For example, yes, Callen (Chris O’Donnell) has learned quite a bit about himself over the years and did marry Anna (Bar Paly). Yes, Callen and Sam (LL Cool J) went to Morocco to join Nell’s (Renée Felice Smith) team in a mission to rescue Hetty (Linda Hunt), and we can assume that will be successful (especially with LL Cool J recurring on Hawai’i in Season 3). We know that Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks’ (Eric Christian Olsen) family will soon be one of four, with her pregnant.

But what about the storylines that weren’t wrapped up or the callbacks we didn’t get (like we did with Switch and Mr. Carl? “We’ve had fun over the years, no doubt about it, and so when you do come to have to wrap it all up, it’s a big task because it’s like coming into a hoarder’s house, you don’t know where to start cleaning,” executive producer R. Scott Gemmill told TV Insider with a laugh.

Below, he shares where some storylines could have gone next and more.

Is there anything you can say about where you imagined the Kessler (Frank Military) story going?

R. Scott Gemmill: I’m not sure. I imagine we would’ve finally brought him to justice. That would’ve probably been something we would’ve resolved in another season. Same with — we were really looking forward to doing an arc with Kilbride [Gerald McRaney] and his son [Christopher Gorham], and we had set that in motion, but we didn’t have enough real estate to finish that because that would’ve been a longer story. We would’ve probably got a good season with him story-wise out of that.

The scenes with Gerald and Christopher were so good.

Yeah, I love Gerald. I tried to get him on the show for years, and when I finally did, it was great. And that’s the worst part of having the show be done is not getting to work with these people and tell the stories that they were so great at bringing to life.

What about the resolution for the Body Stitchers case? That was the most disturbing case of the series.

Yeah, that’s 100 percent Frank Military. We always tease Frank that we have to let him write stuff like that so that it doesn’t happen. I don’t know; I’m not sure how we would’ve resolved that. I would have left that in Frank’s capable but sort of deranged hands.

Christopher Gorham and Gerald McRaney in 'NCIS: Los Angeles'


I have to ask: Could Deeks’ mom (Pamela Reed) and Arkady (Vyto Ruginis) actually go somewhere if only for Deeks’ reactions to it?

I think we would probably do that. I think that was a given because Deeks would just be totally appalled, and that alone would be worth doing that. So I think if we were to have had another season, we definitely would’ve gone that route.

Was there anyone you wanted to bring back but couldn’t this season, especially once you knew that the show would be ending?

I would’ve liked to have brought back Barrett [Foa]. I would’ve liked to have brought back Linda. I would’ve liked to have brought back John M. Jackson and that crew that used to be Hetty’s sort of gang that she ran with when she was younger. If it was up to me, I’d have had everyone who would’ve ever been on the show back on, but it’s just not practical. But especially when you’re going out, and you’re starting to think about everyone who was on the show and who brought great stuff to the series, you wish you could have one big giant family reunion.

Are there any storylines you would’ve liked to explore in the final season that you didn’t get to explore?

Certainly why Hetty was overseas. In the end, our boys go to Morocco, but that story was set in Syria. I would’ve liked to have finished that storyline out, but we didn’t get a chance. And like I said earlier, I would’ve liked to follow through with Kilbride and his son, and I’m sure there’s a dozen more.

Kilbride had given Sam that envelope. How much longer do you imagine the team operating it as it has been before something changes?

Sometimes we use those as a bit of a throw-a-monkey wrench into the characters’ lives, and a lot of it depends on the actors, too. We’ve been on the show for 14 seasons, and if you look at any other shows that have gone that long, very, very few, if any, have all the original members. We have our four basically from Season 1. So eventually, some actors feel they want to go do something different. So we always have that option. If somebody wants to leave, we’re never going to stand in their way. So if somebody decided to leave then we would make a change, but as long as people wanted to stay on the show, we would accommodate that, obviously because it was such a great recipe for success.

Where do you imagine life taking these characters going forward? Especially now that we’re not going to see it, so you don’t have to be beholden to availability.

[Laughs] I don’t know. I could see Sam going into the private sector or Callen. I think all our characters love what they do. I could see Kensi staying with NCIS and Deeks becoming a stay-at-home dad. I think he would be quite content to do that for a while. Fatima [Medalion Rahimi] and Rountree [Caleb Castille] would probably stay with the team and be upgraded to the higher echelon of the team. And then I could see Kilbride retiring, especially if Sam and Callen moved on. Hetty, I think, will do this until her dying breath.

I have to say that the addition of the younger agents was so good.

Yeah, we wanted to see some sort of younger people in the capacity of what our guys do. And it gives you an idea of what maybe our guys were back in the day even, in terms of what they were like when they were young agents because our guys are so adept and have been doing it for so long that it’s nice to see sort of fresh set of eyes in that position.