Fall TV Preview

NCIS: LA Boss Previews Callen and Sam's Suicide Mission, Hetty's Tragic Loss, a 'Dramatic' Return and More

NCIS LA Season 6 Spoilers

The Season 5 finale of CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles — as it was titled — left Sam and Callen in “Deep Trouble,” locked inside a small sub rigged with explosives and headed for a target unknown, and with no way to contact their colleagues. Hetty meanwhile pulled another of her disappearing acts, and Deeks realized that three is most definitely a crowd.

TVLine invited showrunner Shane Brennan to teases the Season 6 premiere — airing Sept. 29, in its new Mondays-at-10/9c time slot – and beyond.

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TVLINE | Where do things pick up with the premiere? Are you going to, like, show us that everything’s fine and dandy then do “24 Hours Earlier…,” or are you jumping right in where we left off?
We jump right in. We left Sam and Callen stuck in a drug cartel sub that was…

TVLINE | Filled to the gills with ammonium nitrate.
… and we come back right on top of it. It’s just continuous action. It’s a very, very intense opening episode, and at one point both Callen and Sam realize that in order to stop what they’ve discovered is a terrorist attack, they will have to, in fact, die. So it’s pretty full on.

TVLINE | “Assuming” here that Sam and Callen survive, what is the big question surrounding the premiere?
The big question is: How the hell are they going to get out of this? But there are a number of questions, you know. We left a bit of a mystery at the end of last season as to what was actually going on with these terrorists, including: What’s their target? And it’s a very credible target. When Sam and Callen discover that, they realize that they’ve got to stop this thing from happening, but they’re totally isolated. They’re fighting a losing battle. Meanwhile, back at Ops, the question for Granger and for Hetty is: How do we stop it the Navy from taking unilateral action to stop the terrorists?

TVLINE | Because we all know how that can shake out – “We’ll blow it up even if it means sacrificing two of our guys for the greater good.”
Exactly, and it puts them all under really intense pressure. Kensi and Deeks, meanwhile, are sort of tracking down as much information as they can, while both having their moments with Talia (returning guest star Mercedes Masohn).

TVLINE | Yeah. I’ve heard that as provocative as the finale was, it perhaps doesn’t compare to the events of the premiere. Is that true?
If you like Kensi and Deeks, and you’re intrigued by Talia, you are in for a kind of pretty full-on moment. And what’s great about it is there’s a particular moment between Kensi and TaliaNCIS LA Season 6 Spoilers that is resolved beautifully, in terms of the way the characters resolve their personal relationship and the way the two of them then have fun with Deeks. There’s a lot fun for Kensi/Deeks fans in this one. There really is.

VIDEO NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6 Sneak Peek: Has Someone Hurt Hetty?!

TVLINE | Outside of titillating us a bit, what larger purpose does thrusting Talia into this situation serve for the show?
It makes Kensi, particularly, focus on her relationship with Deeks. Because Talia poses some questions of her own to Kensi that makes Kensi stop and think. She also gives Kensi some, let’s call it, “unasked-for advice.”

TVLINE | Oh, so is Mercedes around for more than the premiere?
She is around for a little bit more. And there’s always a possibility she may well return deeper into the season as well.

TVLINE | The finale left Hetty’s fate in question, and it’s not the first time you’ve ended a season that way. How is it different this time around?
Well, this time we actually take it much further. Spread over the first three episodes of this season, the story takes Hetty to Washington, where she faces some very hostile questioning from a Senate committee trying to get to the truth of what happened in Afghanistan and whether Hetty was acting outside her job description, so to speak. And then we discover there’s more to this, that in fact Hetty is being targeted by someone. And that actually puts her life in danger. And someone very close to her — someone we actually don’t know anything about, really, but someone very close to her — dies as a result of all of this. We actually see Hetty reaching a point where she cannot resolve the situation herself. She can take certain things a long way up the chain of command, but eventually, they hit a wall and she can’t do any more than what she’s done.

TVLINE | Is there any kind of serialized arc going on this season? Any recurring Big Bad?
As we get deeper into the season, there is a recurring character that we’ve met a number of times over the course of this show who’s not so much a bad guy, but he’s not necessarily a good guy, either. He’s in this sort of gray area. And he makes a fairly dramatic return, and that then sparks a longer story arc that involves Callen in a pretty serious way.

TVLINE | But you want to keep that identity under wraps for now?
Yeah. I want to keep that one under wraps until a bit later in the season.

TVLINE | Any dollops of character backstories during the early season?
We have someone who would be familiar with fans of NCIS – Leon Vance (played by Rocky Carroll) — popping into the show in the first three, and that should be a lot of fun. And we’ve got some really interesting stuff coming through with Callen, and relationship with Katie. Also, a mystery woman comes into the show. There are a lot of intrigues this season.

TVLINE | Does that “mystery woman” tie into one of my next questions, about perhaps a romantic interest for Callen?
Romance is definitely on the cards for Callen this season, and from an unexpected quarter.

RELATED NCIS: Los Angeles Boss Hints at Plan to Be ‘As Noisy As We Can Be’ in New Monday Time Slot

TVLINE | What about Nell and/or Eric? What’s on tap for either of them?
Well, Nell finds herself in a pretty dangerous situation pretty early on in the season, and it has to do with Hetty. As everyone who’s watched the show knows, Nell and Hetty have a special relationship.

TVLINE | Yeah, they had a couple great moments in the finale.
Well, they’re in for some surprises in the first and second episode. In the third, too, but particularly the second episode. Nell comes to Hetty’s rescue in a very interesting way. As for the relationship between Nell and Eric, we’re still exploring that in small ways, I guess, from episode to episode, but I am looking to do a little more with their relationship later this season. There’s another step or another stage, perhaps, in their relationship that we are really looking forward to exploring, and it should be a lot of fun when we take that step.

TVLINE | With the new time slot, are you looking to make the show maybe a bit noisier, to give people who aren’t familiar with it that extra reason to check it out on Monday nights?
You know, one of the great things about our show — and this goes right across the board, to the writers, the cast, the crew – is that we have always done it at 100 percent. We’ve never backed off on anything, and we’re not backing off now in any way. We are going to try to make it as noisy as we possibly can, but for fans of the show who are concerned that the show may change by going to 10 pm, they’re going to be relieved to know that it will still be the same show that they’ve loved. And anyone new who comes to the show who has the habit of watching CBS at 10 o’clock on a Monday, they’re going to be rewarded with a really intriguing show.

Want more scoop on NCIS: LA, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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30 Comments
  1. Tran says:

    Don’t know how NCIS: LA would fare moving to Mondays at 10 p.m. going up against Castle (ABC) and The Blacklist (NBC) and what are the chances? Don’t count on State of Affairs yet ’cause it won’t premiere until November 17th.

    • Ladymoonkac says:

      EXACTLY what I was thinking as well! I love both Castle and the Blacklist, so I was very unhappy to find that they had moved NCIS L.A. to Monday at 10!

  2. Who in the heck is Katie? Is she someone new that we’ll meet this season?

  3. cosmoman11 says:

    I worry about the competition on Monday. They should have kept it on Tuesday. I will probably DVR NCIS:LA and watch Castle live.

  4. Dan says:

    My big problem with this show now is the same that made me give up on the NCIS mothership… They keep teasing with no intent on ever deliver and I get bored with being jerked around.
    Kensi/Deeks is getting just as bad as Tony/Ziva was.
    The old Moonlightning curse has been replaced with the “tease our viewers forever until they get pissed of and give up” curse.

  5. katy917 says:

    I really hope that the move won’t affect the show too much, it’s one of my favourite shows, in fact I have actually dropped normal NCIS from my regualr viewing and have the last season saved for a rainy day, but still religiously watch LA every week, pitting it against Castle is horrible, as the two shows are mine and my partner’s 2 absolute favourite shows to watch together :/

    • Kubrick says:

      Mondays are tough. I too enjoy castle and LA. Both against blacklist will get creamed.

    • ndixit says:

      Its really tough right now with Castle, The Blacklist, and NCIS: LA competing for the same timeslot. I am at pains to figure out which one to watch live. I may go with The Blacklist for the time being since I am not very optimistic about Castle’s upcoming season. Once The Blacklst changes timeslot, then it will be a real dead heat between Castle and NCIS: LA. But then again, I might change my mind a few hours later and prefer NCIS: LA or Castle for the time slot

  6. makparis says:

    The last time Hetty lost someone she quit and the time before that. I just hope we don’t see that stupid resignation letter again. The team needs Hetty, she should understand that by now.

  7. arial2 says:

    Why would the Senate committee be questioning Hetty about what happened in Afghanistan? Wasn’t that all Vance’s and Granger’s (her superiors) doing? Or are they now throwing her under the bus? I’d expect that of Granger, as the character seems rather self-serving, but Vance seems to be honorable. I hate the way shows force drama on characters, even when it’s totally illogical.

  8. Gary says:

    And don’t forget they are also going up against Monday Night Football for at least half of the season and on USA Network they go up against WWE Monday Night Raw. I have a feeling this will be the last season because ratings are going to tank!!!!

  9. Kensi is an adult. She doesn’t need Talia to push her into anything. Let me take that back she shouldn’t need Talia to push her into anything.

    I agree with Dan. The teasing us with no plans on ever delivering is about to make people stop watching.

    I find nothing intriguing about Talia, the way she acts or the way they are doing this triangle.

    • Elisabeth says:

      I agree. I’ve never in real life seen a relationship take 6 years to develop. They can’t even call it a relationship; it’s still a “thing.” It’s irritating. Talia is irritating. I wish the producers would have left that edited scene in season 5 where they showed the conversation that took place when Densi left that restaurant. This is seriously getting ridiculous. It’s Tiva rewritten for Densi.

  10. Carol Oblisk says:

    Is there any way you could turn down the background music so we can hear what the actors are saying? It gets so frustrating not to know what they said because the music is so loud.

  11. andrewjeeves says:

    Any chance of NCIS LA and NCIS New Orleans ever crossing over? Or even an three way crossover starting with an incident in LA then over to DC and finishing in New Orleans?

  12. Melody Brown says:

    I have watched this show from it’s first episode and I have never been disappointed!!!!!! Stellar acting by an A+ cast and superior writing!!!!!!!!

  13. jj says:

    Although I love NCIS:LA, I don’t like the new time slot. I will always watch Castle live. Now I need to catch both Blacklist and NCIS:LA online the next day, that is until Blacklist moves to its new day. Looking forward to see Hetty’s arc.

  14. J says:

    Hensaidnthat Callen will have a relationship from an “unexpected quarter”. Is that a nod to the New Orleans show?

  15. Wayne says:

    I laughed at the CGI of the mini sub & torpedo shots. It is obvious the artists have no knowledge of propulsion by a propeller under water. One or more scenes showed generation of thousands of air bubbles by the prop. If created, cavitation would occur causing noise easily picked up by sonar. Second, propulsion would be greatly reduced. One scene attempted to indicate water flow through the propeller. Picture was anemic at best.

  16. Mike says:

    Moving NCIS LA was the idea of a mental MORON. Leave things as they were, don’t fix what was not broken. Writers, your not making us want to come back with teasting, let that Crapple show do that. Give Kensi & Deeks the romance they deserve, it’ been brewing for years. They are two adults & know how to keep work work & home home. My GOD you have a show flovored for ADULTS, write for adults.

    Neilson ding dongs, do you not understand the concept of DVR’s, 90% of people in America do it, don’t count just live shows or the shows you only want to too, Neilson, you need to get into the 21st century.

  17. Carol Oblisk says:

    What’s with all the loud music? Tone down the music so we can hear what is being said it is very frustrating if I wanted a rock concert I would go to one.

  18. Dottie says:

    Does Kensi have a twin sister who does commercials on TV. They sure look alike. I love the show and how Kensi and Deeks keep things interesting.