Finale Preview: The NCIS: LA Team Battles 'Evil Personified' In a Two-Hour 'Rocket Ride'

This Tuesday at 9/8c on CBS, the return of the former agent/spy known as The Chameleon sets the stage for NCIS: Los Angeles‘ Season 3 finale, and the masterful mayhem he has planned calls for not one but two hours’ worth of season-ending intensity. Here, series boss Shane Brennan reveals why it will be impossible for viewers to change that dial, touts at least two Emmy-caliber performances and teases just how many cliffhanger-quality jaw-droppers fans can expect.

TVLINE | Why a two-hour finale this year?
Oh I’ve been rubbing my hands together about this since around October of last year. It’s not often you get to do a double. And they gave me plenty of notice, which I appreciate so much because it enabled us to plan what is really like a movie. There’s no way that people will turn [the channel] at 10 o clock; they just won’t be able to. We do something at the end of the first hour that just launches the back half into a rocket ride. What we do at the end of the first hour is so unexpected and so brazen, you have to come back to see, “Why? How? What the hell is going to happen now?” And the performances across both hours are the best that this cast has delivered. In fact, I’m putting Linda Hunt in for an Emmy based on this episode.

TVLINE | What challenge did this “double” present you?
I’ve been writing for 30 years, and this was the hardest thing I’ve had to write in terms of figuring out the story. And I had to figure out the story for the opening episode of next season in order to write this finale. So from a writing point, it was incredibly challenging. From a production point, probably the biggest television show I’ve ever produced.

PHOTO | NCIS: Los Angeles Finale First Look: Um, Why Is Hetty at the Morgue?

TVLINE | So let’s talk about the plot. The Chameleon (from Episode 15) resurfaces?
Yes, and if anyone had any doubts about Christopher Lambert (Highlander) as an actor, I’m actually putting him up for an Emmy too, as a guest [star]. He is astonishing in this, just astonishing. He turns himself into evil personified, and it’s just an extraordinary performance. We pit him against our team and he has them absolutely on the run at every moment.

TVLINE | He had warned he’d be back for revenge — the time is now?
The time is now. The title of the two hours is “Sans Voir,” which is a chess term that means “playing blindfolded.” It means you’re playing a game in one room, and someone else is playing the same game in another room, and you can’t see the board. It’s played out in your head. And that’s exactly what this is. And there are usually three parts to a chess game: the opening gambit, the middle game and the end game.

TVLINE | And since he had been on before, this is the middle and the end?
Uh, the beginning and the middle. We always have our cliffhangers!

RELATED | NCIS Boss: Season Finale Packs a Surprising Return and a ‘Cliffhanger for Everyone’

TVLINE | The past two finales have had some tie to Callen’s past. Is this an exception?
There’s a great little moment, actually, where the Chameleon suggests that he might know something about Callen — and it certainly catches Callen’s attention [Laughs] — but no, it doesn’t focus on Callen’s past. This is Callen and the team trying to stop this guy from doing what he’s proven he’s serious about doing. What he does at the end of that first hour, the audience will go, “How could they possibly? Where’s the second half of this movie going to go?”

TVLINE | It sounds like for any other show it would suffice as a season-ending cliffhanger.
That’s a really good way to put it. The first hour could be the season finale, could be the cliffhanger. The second hour could be the [premiere] of next season. But they’re not. There are one, two… three.… There are about five different moments in this that could be a season finale.

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  1. “I’m putting Linda Hunt in for an Emmy based on this episode.” Yes! She so rocks. Truly dynamite in a small package. Has my attention right there. I will be watching.

  2. Gb says:

    They r gonna kill hetty off aren’t they? No!

    • Thank God no, because in the promos, she is looking at two bodies…my guess…Erick and Nell

      • katy917 says:

        Ah, Lorena, but as has been pointed out in another page, when they killed Kate in NCIS, they also had her standing over her own body in the morgue, and watching all of her friends as they tried ot deal with what had happened. So she can’t be ruled out just because she is there, unfortunately. :(

  3. katy917 says:

    I’m so freaking excited!!! Very, very nervous but excited!!!!

  4. Linda Hunt sure deserves an emmy! I hope she’ll be nominated! It’s about time NCISLA gets an emmy. I think all the stunts and special effects should get an emmy too… Best action show out there… My favourite show out there right now. Hope everybody watches the finale tonight ;)

  5. Nicotine says:

    I keep trying to think who I’d be ‘okay’ with killing off and I cant think of anyone. Not even recurring characters like Nate. The one person who is a big no-no is Deeks. His character is what makes the show, in my opinion.

    • katy917 says:

      ^^ My thoughts exactly!!! There is not a single character who I could accept being killed off, and Deeks is by far my fave on the show! Glad I’m not his only fan!!

  6. Michael says:

    You know They could kill sam off and have Tony from NCIS replace him

  7. Sarah says:

    I watched this show for the first time with the “Hawaii Five-0” crossover, and I immediately was like, “Why am I not watching this all the time?” Amazing cast (Eric Christian Olsen is a personal fave) and great storytelling. Count me in for next season!

  8. Tina says:

    Cannot wait! Excited and nervous all at once. Can’t wait to see all of the performances! Hopefully they don’t kill one of the main 4 or Hetty. They all have such great chemistry. Ahh, less than 8 hours!

  9. arial2 says:

    Hetty is the glue that makes this show work. I just hope, given CBS’s history of killing off female characters in power positions, they’re smart enough to realize how central Linda Hunt’s acting ability is to the success of this show and will do anything they can to keep her onboard. Hetty and Sam make this show for me, plus it’s finally allowed me to move beyond automatically thinking of Chris O’Donnell as “Robin, Boy Wonder.” ; )

  10. bj says:

    I agree. Linda Hunt rocks! I hope she gets an emmy for this. And I’m really looking forward to tonight’s episodes.

  11. Larc says:

    I can’t see them killing off Hetty unless Linda Hunt want to leave the series for some reason. Besides being the toughest one of the group, Hetty is much too central to the ongoing storyline. If they want to kill off Ass’t. Director Granger played by Miguel Ferrer, I’d be OK with that.

  12. Michael says:

    Dang it. L L Stool Jay survived … love the dialogue written, and delivered by uber lefty libs! I’m done with this show…. waste of time and electricity.

  13. justin says:

    when does this come back on

  14. patty germaine says:

    get rid of Granger and have the Marines come in and save the day for Callen

  15. joseph says:

    Does anyone know the song/songwriter for the ending of part II? It was a really cool piece played on baritone guitar….thanks

  16. C. Allen says:

    I tried to Shazam AND SoundHound the song over & over & neither one had a match ~ I, too, would like to know what it was!! It was great :-) I must keep trying to find it ~ If anyone knows can you identify it please?! Thanks :-)

  17. Grace says:

    I would love to see agent hunter and agent callen fall for each other ; ) so cute together

  18. Cnprodly says:

    I found very interesting about ncis. Ncis la ncis red. I hate granger !!! Hes so sleazy. Unhonest sleeper! Im glad that. Ncis la cross over with hawaii 5-0 ya. Me craze james caan ‘s son. He remind me watch. His father james in Old shows . Brians song and rollerball. His movment exactly the same as james caan. It is scott! Amazing resemble!!!! Mcgarrett. Aaaw ! Cool.

    Stay on those shows and want. Add. Ncis red!!!!!!!