Densi, Undercover Ops, Teamwork & More We’ll Miss About ‘NCIS: LA’

Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Linda Hunt, LL Cool J, and Chris O'Donnell in 'NCIS: LA'
CBS; Robert Voets/CBS; CBS

The CBS primetime lineup just won’t be the same after May 14, the day that NCIS: Los Angeles will be airing its series finale.

For 14 seasons, the spinoff of NCIS (which has now been on for 20 years) has followed the agents of the Office of Special Projects, with investigations, locations, and agents and their relationships that are unique among procedural dramas. The good news: There’s enough time that the producers will be able to write an ending. The bad news: We’re going to have to say goodbye to so much we love about the show.

To go along with the things we need to see by the series finale, we’ve rounded up what we’re going to miss about NCIS: LA below.

NCIS: Los Angeles, Sundays, 10/9c, CBS

Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen in 'NCIS: LA'

Kensi & Deeks' Relationship

From meeting undercover to partners to a “thing” to a date without saying it’s one to going all in to getting married to becoming foster parents, we’ve seen every step of Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks’ (Eric Christian Olsen) relationship over the years. Do we fondly look back on the times when they used to talk in metaphors (such as frozen lakes and knives) about their relationship? Sure. Are we also very glad they’ve moved past that and are now serious couple goals? Definitely. It’s that journey that has made the tougher moments hurt so much and the joyful ones even more delightful.

LL Cool J in 'NCIS: LA'

The Unique OSP & Boatshed

For the most part, procedural dramas place their teams in a typical office building or police station. But for OSP, their HQ looks like a condemned building and the first floor includes an entire section dedicated to clothes for undercover operations. Ops upstairs is a tech analyst’s dream. And the boatshed, where interrogations and interviews are conducted and outsiders relegated to, is just that: a boatshed. But there’s a trapdoor in the floor of one of the interrogation rooms, making for the perfect escape or entrance for those in the know. More recent upgrades include a patio and a mini armory.

Chris O'Donnell, Eric Christian Olsen, and Daniela Ruah in 'NCIS: LA'
Cliff Lipson/CBS

Undercover Operations

These agents have quite the list of undercover aliases they can use, and we have seen (or at least heard of) some multiple times, from Callen’s (Chris O’Donnell) Mr. Carl to Sam’s (LL Cool J) Switch to Kensi’s Fern to Deeks’ Max Gentry. (Let’s not even get into all of Hetty’s aliases.)

Daniela Ruah in 'NCIS: LA'

Full Exploration of the Agents' Lives

Not only have we seen the team at work, but we’ve also seen quite a bit of them off the clock as well, whether it’s at home (including when that was a boat for Sam) and Kensi and Deeks’ bar. And one thing that NCIS: LA has done well over the years is show them away from the job as a result of what’s happened on it, such as Deeks, after he and Sam were tortured at the end of Season 4 and beginning of Season 5, Kensi, in physical therapy after being injured in Syria in Season 8, and Sam, after his wife’s death in Season 9.

LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell in 'NCIS: LA'
Monty Brinton/CBS

Sam & Callen's Banter

No one does it better. Sure, we love the moments when we see the entire team together at their desks — especially as we could track Deeks slowly being accepted by Sam, Callen, and Kensi, then “Densi” getting together — but there’s nothing like Sam and Callen’s banter, whether it’s in the office or in the car.

Linda Hunt and Chris O'Donnell in 'NCIS: LA'
Robert Voets/CBS

Callen Continuously Learning Something New About Himself

Sure, there’s the obvious, like the fact that for the first seven seasons of the series, Callen only knew his first initial (G.). But over the years, we’ve gotten to know more and more about his family, his history with Hetty (Linda Hunt), and, in Season 13, even learned about a CIA project he was a part of and which kickstarted his current quest.

Linda Hunt in 'NCIS: LA'
Robert Voets/CBS

Hetty. Just Hetty.

Need we say more? We already miss the team’s former operations manager, who has been MIA and on a mission of her own in Syria since the beginning of Season 13, with a few check-ins. (The latest came during the NCISverse crossover, in the form of an audio message to help out with the case and a tease of a history with Gary Cole’s Alden Parker.)

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

The Dream Team at Work

There may have been a few learning curves over the years, but when these agents gel, they get the job done. For the perfect example, take a look at Season 4’s “Kill House,” in which, after stumbling earlier during an exercise, they come together when it matters most, with an assist from the captured analyst Nell (Renée Felice Smith), pulling a move no other hostage has or ever will.

Vyto Ruginis, Aunjanue Ellis, and Erik Palladino in 'NCIS: LA'
CBS; Sonja Flemming/CBS; Ron Jaffe/CBS

A Recurring Cast Like No Other

The CBS procedural has one of the best list of recurring characters ever on TV, from retired KGB officer Arkady Kolcheck (Vyto Ruginis), who is always so entertaining, to his daughter Anna (Bar Paly) to CIA Officer-turned-US-Marshal Vostanik Sabatino (Erik Palladino), whom we love to hate, to Mama Deeks (Pamela Reed), who could say pretty much anything, to the team’s former operational psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor), a familiar face we love to see whenever we can since he left OSP, to Michelle Hanna (Aunjanue Ellis), whom we still miss. You can also count JAG‘s Harmon Rabb Jr. (David James Elliott) and Sarah “Mac” MacKenzie (Catherine Bell) on that list.

Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J, Daniel Dae Kim, and Scott Caan in 'NCIS: LA'
Richard Cartwright/CBS

Rare Crossovers

It wasn’t until 2023 that LA got in on the multi-episode team-up action, but prior to that, there were quite a few single-character crossovers, including NCISPauley Perrette, Rocky Carroll, and Michael Weatherly. Ruah even appeared on an episode of Hawaii Five-0, which also featured a two-part crossover with LA.

Daniela Ruah and Frank Military in 'NCIS: LA'
Ron Jaffe/CBS

Multi-Season Storylines

Few procedurals stretch an investigation out over multiple seasons, especially how often LA has. For example, there’s the mole hunt that led back to the CIA (in Seasons 6 through 8), everything about Callen over the entire series, Kessler (Frank Military) as a threat to Kensi since Season 12, and the Body Stitchers, first introduced in Season 9 and resurrected in Season 14.

LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell in 'NCIS: LA'


When you think of NCIS: LA, it’s impossible not to think of explosions, especially when you compare how frequent they are compared to the rest of the franchise. If you want heart-pounding action, this is the show you watch.