5 Moments That Led to ‘NCIS: LA’s Deeks Becoming an Agent

Eric Christian Olsen NCIS LA Hit List Deeks
Monty Brinton/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 12, Episode 6 of NCIS: Los Angeles, “If the Fates Allow.”]

Season 12 hasn’t been an easy one for LAPD Detective Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), and the hits just keep coming in the NCIS: LA fall finale.

First, his liaison position is terminated permanently and he’s furloughed from the LAPD so he and Special Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) are out that money…just as they’re readying to buy their dream house. Then he comes up with a solution to make the numbers work, by selling the bar.

But operations manager Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt), who so far this season has been in an undisclosed location, pulls through with a Christmas miracle: Deeks is going to the academy! He’s going to become an NCIS agent (finally).

This has been a long time coming for the former LAPD detective, and we’ve put together the timeline below.

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Callen Deeks Kensi NCIS Los Angeles Season 1 Fame
Cliff Lipson/CBS

Deeks Joins the Team as Its Liaison ("Fame," Season 1, Episode 20)

After Deeks runs into the team while undercover, Hetty approaches him about becoming its LAPD liaison in Season 1. It’s a position he takes on for one episode before he’s called to another undercover assignment, which the team intervenes to help him with after he’s presumed dead in the Season 2 premiere.

Kensi Callen Deeks NCIS LA Season 3 Lange H
Matt Kennedy/CBS

Hetty Gets the Ball Rolling on a Job Move ("Imposters," Season 2, Episode 23)

Before resigning to head off on her own mission, Hetty leaves Deeks with a gift: his resignation from the LAPD and an application to join NCIS on a permanent basis as an agent. She even started filling it out — and signed and dated it — for him. While he’s flattered, he isn’t ready to make the move just yet. “I’m a cop. I think it’s more than what I do,” he explains. “I think it’s who I am.” Still, as seen above, when the team goes on to follow her, he goes, too. Though he’s not an agent, he’s one of them.

Deeks Sam NCIS LA Season 5 Ascension

Deeks Becomes Part of the Team's Family ("Descent," Season 4, Episode 24, and "Ascension," Season 5, Episode 1)

While Deeks may have been working with the team for several years at this point, there are still growing pains and trust issues. But when he and Sam (LL Cool J) are kidnapped and the latter’s wife’s undercover identity and life are on the line, Deeks more than proves his worth, not giving up anything even under torture. It’s then that Sam truly accepts him as one of their own.

Eric Christian Olsen as Deeks in NCIS LA Season 12 - 'Angry Karen'

Deeks' Liaison Position Is Terminated ("Raising the Dead," Season 12, Episode 5)

Due to police reform, LAPD is undergoing a public safety review and has canceled all partnerships and liaisons. And though Nell (Renée Felice Smith), filling in for Hetty, tries her hardest, there’s nothing she can do to keep his position from being terminated permanently. She has even more bad news: He’s a bit too old to join NCIS as an agent.

Kensi Deeks NCIS LA Season 12 If the Fates Allow

Hetty Gets Deeks Into FLETC ("If the Fates Allow," Season 12, Episode 6)

Hetty pulls some strings to get Deeks into the academy. “Never let age stand in your way,” she tells him. But it’s now up to him to prove he can make it as an agent. Considering his experience (both on and off the team), we’re not worried.