Did ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Just Foreshadow the Return of Sociopath David Kessler?

Kensi Kessler Season 12 NCIS Los Angeles Cell
Ron Jaffe/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 12, Episode 13 of NCIS: Los Angeles, “Red Rover, Red Rover.”]

NCIS: LA may be dealing with a major threat to ex-government agent and Callen’s (Chris O’Donnell) girlfriend Anna Kolcheck (Bar Paly) right now — she’s been kidnapped and is being held in an unknown location — but “Red Rover, Red Rover” also reminds us of another danger still out there: sociopath David Kessler (Frank Military).

If you’ll recall, we met Kessler this season in Episode 5, “Raising the Dead,” and before he received a presidential pardon and was released from prison, he threatened to hunt down Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah), have sex with her, and kill her, “maybe not in that order.” (She helped put him away for crimes that included human trafficking of minors before she joined the team.) And since then, we haven’t heard much about him — until the March 28 episode.

It’s all tied to Anna being willing to partner up with Russian operatives to kill a psychopath who wants her dead (Eve Harlow’s Katya). It’s “either that or spending her whole life looking over her shoulder wondering when everything’s going to come crashing down,” Kensi said to her husband, NCIS Investigator Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen). “I hate to admit it but Kessler’s right. He’s in my head. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wonder if I should just drop everything and put an end to him.”

Deeks is all in: “This guy’s been hanging over our lives for months now. He said he wants to find you and to torture you but the truth is, he doesn’t have to find you to torture you because he’s doing it right now. I love you. And we’re trying to conceive. And you need your rest. And your body is constantly in fight or flight, so screw that and screw him. Let’s hunt him down and let’s drag him back to prison.”

Kensi Deeks Densi NCIS Los Angeles Season 12

Ron Jaffe/CBS

But as Kensi points out, they can’t just put him back in prison since he’s been pardoned. And that makes him even more dangerous. Even if they find him — no one knows what he’s been doing since his release — they can’t do anything until he makes a move. By then, it could be too late.

The reminder of Kessler’s existence, however, makes us wonder if he’ll return soon. With the season finale set for May 23, there are only so many more episodes left to tackle that storyline this year. Perhaps Kessler will be involved in a finale-ending cliffhanger? (NCIS: LA has yet to be renewed for Season 13, but with New Orleans ending this year and NCIS future in the air, we think it’s a safe bet that it will be.)

And with Deeks more than willing to be involved and stick by his wife’s side, we can’t help but think he, not Kensi, could be the one who ends up in serious trouble. After all, what better way to continue to psychologically torture Kensi than to go after someone she loves?

Deeks Kensi NCIS Los Angeles Ops Season 12


Back in December, Ruah teased for TV Insider that Kessler’s first episode could very well be setting up something that has happened on the show in the past: “Later on when you least expect it, it just blows up in your face. It surprises the audience.”

Whatever does happen, one thing’s for sure: We can’t wait to see Kensi take down this nightmare from her past.

NCIS: Los Angeles, Sundays, 9/8c, CBS