NCIS: LA Exclusive: Hetty Fires [Spoiler]!

The NCIS: Los Angeles team will be dealt quite a blow toward the end of November sweeps, when a botched assignment forces Hetty to winnow their ranks by one, TVLine has learned exclusively.

“Hetty drags out the dreadful chopping block, sharpens the blade, and she takes off Deeks’ head — figuratively,” executive producer Shane Brennan tells us of the episode airing Nov. 22, on CBS. “Yes, Deeks is fired.”

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Wait, what? Why is Deeks (played by Eric Christian Olsen) dispatched? “As you’ll see in the teaser of this episode, he screws up royally,” Brennan explains. “Hetty has no choice but to fire him. She has absolutely no choice.”

Though Deeks absorbs the recoil by returning to his roots at the LAPD, “The ramifications will be felt, especially with the Deeks-Kensi relationship,” Brennan previews. “Kensi (Daniela Ruah) takes it badly on a couple of levels.”

To the point that perhaps that she challenges the boss lady’s decision and gives Hetty a little lip? Actually… “Kensi gives Deeks a little lip,” Brennan answers, adding: “It is one not to be missed for the Kensi-Deeks fans.”

“It’s a really powerful episode with this great ‘What the hell has happened?!’ aspect to it,” Brennan continues. “But at the same time, it’s got comedy and lots of twists and turns.”

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It also features a nifty piece of stunt work, when Deeks finds himself “quite literally and figuratively out on a ledge, at a high-rise,” Brennan shares, noting that Olsen – oft assisted by his Navy SEAL/stuntman brother with such sequences – is “up for anything” when it comes to making the derring-do feel real.

“Eric is just loving this episode – though I don’t think the fans will like it much! And yet they will,” Brennan promises. “Eric is a fabulous actor and everything we throw at him he throws right back at us, and it’s 150-percent better than we ever imagined it would be.”