[This story contains spoilers for “New Beginnings, Part 2,” the series finale of NCIS: Los Angeles.]
The Special Projects Bureau solved its final case in Sunday’s series finale. NCIS: Los Angeles — but that wasn’t really the crux of the episode.
In fact, showrunner R. Scott Gemmill said that the final incident — in which the team’s undercover ATF agent helped take down an arms-dealing ring — “was secondary to what we wanted to do. ’” and left the characters to the viewer. I spent 14 seasons and 323 episodes watching in good places until the series ended. So Karen (Chris O’Donnell) and Anna (Bar Paley) abandon the stressful plans of a big wedding in favor of a small court ceremony. Kensy (Daniella Lehr) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) learn they have a child, Rauntree (Caleb Castille) wins a life-changing settlement in a lawsuit with the LAPD, and Sam (LL Cool J) get promising news. A clinical trial of his father (Richard Gant).
“The goal was to look at each character and understand what they have been through, what they deserve, and what we want to expect in the future,” says Kyle Harimoto. Jaemil, who wrote the script for the final episode of the series, said. hollywood reporter. “And what is the hopeful version of that? I think we did our best to do that for all the characters.”
But rather than ending the series with the wedding, Karen and Hannah travel to Morocco to search for Hetty (Linda Hunt), old colleagues Nell (Lenny Felice Smith), and Nate (Peter Cumber). ), ending with a reunion with Sabatino (Eric Palladino). . “What do you think, gentlemen. Are you ready for your next adventure?” Nell asks.
“Yes,” Karen replies. “This is going to be fun.”
Jamil has spoken THR Find out why he likes happy endings, recaps of the reunion scenes, and how one character got a “reprieve” when production was halted three years ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
How long before the public announcement did you find out that the show was ending?
I didn’t have much time. Also, I didn’t know if it would be one episode or two. Originally planned as one episode of his finale, CBS courtesy of him gave us two episodes. So we had to rethink what it meant to be two-part. We’re running out of time, but this is what we have to do. We did the best job we could.
Since this is a show designed around weekly stories and ongoing character arcs, did you have to change your mindset a bit as you exited the series?
Writing a pilot is very hard, but I think the next hardest thing is writing a series finale. In particular, the show, which has been running for 14 seasons, has many stories that have been played out and characters who have gone through life-changing events. And now we have to put an end to it all. For us, it’s really about trying to leave the fans in a really good place, and not trying to be flashy, flashy, smart, but to tell the characters that they’re okay, In other words, I wanted them to know that I would be happy in the future. . As a fan myself, when a series that I really enjoyed ends, I really like it to end in the form of “I wish you all the best”. It may sound cheesy, but if you’ve spent that much time watching a show, you’ll want to leave feeling satisfied. That’s what we tried to do, to bring every character’s story to some conclusion that still brings hope for the future. I think “hope” is the key word.
What was the final episode breaking news like for Writers Room?
It was just about looking character by character and understanding what they’ve been through, what they deserve, and what we want for the future. And what is the hopeful version of that, and I think we’ve done our best to do that for every character.
Did you build your case on character beats or vice versa?
Story was secondary to what we wanted to do. We basically wanted Karen to get married. I want Kensy and Deeks to know that they are going to have a baby. We hope that Sam’s father will have a promising clinical trial. We want to work with law enforcement to end Mr. Rowntree’s case. And we wanted to send out hope to go save Hetty – we wanted to work on that.Linda [Hunt] Had she been free, we would have served it, although it might have been a little different. We also wanted to revisit the characters we’d seen before through the wedding and what we had in mind for the final scene: the guys in Morocco to rescue Hetty.
Were there other combinations of characters from the last scene that were on the board?
It becomes a matter of time, money and availability.I want to get everyone and his brother there if I can. [laughs]. We wanted Arkady (Vito Luginis), so we put him on the show. We wanted to see Deeks’ mother (Pamela Reid) again. She was at her wedding. Sabatino appeared, Nate appeared, Nell appeared. I would have liked to have them all if possible, but that is not possible. We tried to honor the past and the future.
Now that G is married, what do you think would change the way he works if he thought about getting over this episode?
probably. Three years ago, there was a script that was supposed to be the final episode in which Anna was shot dead. The filming of the finale was not carried out that year due to the influence of the new coronavirus.So she got a suspended sentence and ended up getting married. [laughs]. So you never know what will happen. For Karen, if another season had come, I don’t know if they were married in the finale, but I think they would have got married at some point. Knowing that this series had an end, we certainly did things we might not have done had we known that we would have to pick it up and carry it over to the next season.
It was also fun to watch Kensy and Deeks play Overwatch and just talk and crack each other.
This incident is very secondary to actually spending time with the characters, and that’s where the viewers focus. They may not remember the incident, but they do remember the interaction between the characters.
What was the last thing you shot?
The last scene we shot was on stage.last scene [of the episode] Before that it was shot in the desert, and it was very, very green.
What was the atmosphere like on the final day?
It was very bittersweet. It was hard. I cried a lot, but it also shows how much fun we had and how lucky we were. If the show ends in a year, she won’t have the same level of attachment to people as she did after 14 years. I’ve seen people get married and have children, and it’s been very emotional because it’s ultimately about people you care about. Collaborate with. It was one thing not to do the show. We should have been fine with just doing a new show, right?Everyone wouldn’t be too upset because we would be able to work together [again]. We are a really great family who work together and play together.To know that now we’re all going to the four corners of the earth, or at least the four corners of Hollywood [laughs]is a bit difficult to face.
There have been some cast changes, but to keep the show going this long and have the four main stars practically the whole time, you were there the whole time. I’m sure you had some longtime staff, but it’s a long history.
It’s a testament to how well everyone gets along and how much they enjoy working together.that is very difficult [to end it]. It’s not so much about the show itself. It’s really a people problem.
On a more serious note, with the writers’ strike underway, what do you think is the most pressing issue you’d like the Guild to work with the studios to solve?
I think AI scares me the most. It has really become a real problem. And that goes for just about everyone, not just writers, but studio execs, graphic his artists, animators, and more. If only we were at the forefront of finding ways to devise laws for that. That said, there are other issues. Trying to set daily rates for mini-rooms and writers and other nonsense. When we strike, it’s never for the people who are in business at the time, but rather for the future of business and future writers, and I don’t think anything talks about it more than AI. .
Did you take anything home with you after shooting?
They gave me an autograph for Surfside Sully’s.I don’t even remember what season it was [Ed. note: season two]But I built a beach bar in Santa Monica where I burned it down and put out a neon sign. So they gave it to me, which was great. But I personally took nothing with me, just a lot of memories. I wanted the golden shark from “The Squid and the Dagger” but it was already gone.
Do you have any final thoughts about your long involvement with the series?
It was a great, great run. It’s a pity that it ended. I think we all do. When you see a grown man, a tough, tough man walking up to you crying, you know you did the right thing. We were lucky that CBS kept us going for so long. Even if they do, it will be a while before any of us do the same again.
An edited summary of the interview.
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