Follow TV Tropes

Following

Series / NCIS: Los Angeles

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ncis_los_angeles.jpg
Advertisement:

Known during development as ''NCIS: Legend'', NCIS: Los Angeles is a spin-off from NCIS. It takes place in L.A. and concerns the Office of Special Projects, a division that conducts undercover operations for cases within the purview of NCIS. As a result, this spin-off series has a heavier Spy-Thriller atmosphere as opposed to the Procedural feel of the parent series.

This spin-off began on September 22, 2009 in the timeslot following NCIS. It stars Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J, Daniela Ruah, Adam Jamal Craig, and Linda Hunt. Rocky Carroll has a recurring role as his character from the original series. Most of the main cast were first introduced on a two-parter called Legend on the original NCIS.

The LA team is headed up by Henrietta "Hetty" Lange, a diminutive woman with a penchant for fashion and more connections than most people could dream up. G. Callen (O'Donnell) and Sam Hanna are both field agents and best friends. Hanna is an ex-Navy Seal while Callen carries some emotional baggage over his childhood spent in foster care and not actually knowing what the "G" in his name stands for. Rounding out the team are agent Kensi Blye and LAPD Liason Detective Marty Deeks, who after getting close over several seasons are now engaged to be married. Deeks replaced NCIS Special Agent Dominic Vail, who lasted one season and left, and was eventually brought back to be killed off. The LA branch also boasts its own tech wizard in Eric Beale, who was joined in Season 2 by fellow techie/hacker goddess Nell Jones. Dr. Nate Getz, whose job was to evaluate the team's mental stability as team shrink, lasted the first season and has sporadically reappeared every so often since. In Season 9 Hetty was replaced as the chief of the LA division by director Shay Moseley, but after ending season 9 with an unsanctioned OP to rescue her kidnapped son that got season 9's other new team member Harley Hidoko killed in Mexico, Mosley left NCIS shortly into season 10 and, assuming anyone can find her to tell her so, the position has been returned to Hetty. Rounding out the main longterm cast was Deputy Director Owen Granger, who was a recurring character starting in season 3 then full time from Seasons 5 to 8, co-leading the team with Hetty. Granger was written out and later killed off due to Miguel Ferrer's death in January of 2017. As Ferrer knew he had little time left due to mouth cancer, Granger too was diagnosed with cancer so he could be written out in exactly that situation. After the actor's death, Hetty went to see the character in hospital to find a note saying he had to go take care of unfinished business with what time he had left. The following season finally revealed his ultimate fate.

Advertisement:

The show is now airing the tenth season.

Has a character sheet that is severely in need of Wiki Magic Love.


Related shows:

Tropes


  • Action Girl: Kensi, Michelle Hanna, and Nell.
  • Action Mom: "Quinn" the assassin AKA Sam's wife, mother of his child, and an undercover CIA agent. So hot that an evil arms dealer killed his current "girlfriend" when he thought she (the girlfriend) was acting jealous.
  • Adorkable: Any of the office tech guys. Nell, for example, gets way too excited about their cool gadgets, and is at least a whole head shorter than anyone else in the show (except for Hetty, of course.)
  • African Terrorists: The Al-Tunis Brigade in "In the Line of Duty".
  • The Alleged Boss: Hetty is firmly in charge of the LA office and the agents know that she will punish them if they get out of line. However, the feeling among some NCIS higher-ups is that she over steps her authority and treats her superiors as Alleged Bosses (similar to Gibbs). On a smaller note Callen is the senior agent-in-charge and technically the boss of the other agents on his team but while he is the leader, he lets Hetty handle all the boss duties.
  • Amicable Exes: Apparently Callen and Joelle. She likes him very much (they even spend Christmas together after they break up) but it's too stressful loving someone who "might not come home".
      Advertisement:
    • And then Joelle is revealed to be a CIA spy and part of the rogue CIA mole ring that's out to get the team (though she claims she was only supposed to observe Callen and had no idea about their plans to eliminate his team) and they're not so amicable anymore.
    • And then Hetty sends Callen to question Joelle about the only other surviving mole, wherein Callen meets Joelle's husband and son (probably, she's a CIA agent so who knows). Hetty reveals she did this to make it easier for Callen to see the truth, heal, and move on.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The Marine Kensi met in rehab was actually a CIA agent whose leg she unknowingly shot off while he was in disguise during a mission in Afghanistan and he's just itching for some payback.
  • And I Must Scream: Sam threatens one of the terrorists with this in "Hunted". He says he will blind him and paralyze him so he wishes he could die.
  • And Starring: Linda Hunt gets "with", LL Cool J gets "and".
  • Anger Born of Worry: The whole team towards Nate when he takes on a huge risk by himself by tricking them, kidnapping Callen, stealing explosives, and making them believe he's gone to the dark side.
  • Anti-Climax / Anti-Climax Boss: The Villain of the Week in "SEAL Hunter", an ex-Marine who framed Hanna for murder, can barely fight him even with a weapon and is so terrified he starts sobbing. Even Granger laughs at him!
  • Armor-Piercing Question: To the well-intentioned extremist who wants to depopulate humanity to save the world in the second Hawaii Five-0 crossover: "What if you killed the people who could've solved our problems?"
  • Artistic License – Military: The setup for an early-season episode has US Marines on patrol in a desert when they're attacked. Then the camera passes a sign that shows they're in southern California, rather than Iraq or Afghanistan. It's then explained that rather than being on a training exercise, they've been posted to the border to supplement the Border Patrol. This is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which sharply restricts the US military from being used in domestic law enforcement such as border security operations. (The National Guard could be used that way, since each state's Guard technically answers to the governor rather than the President, but the National Guard would also not be under NCIS jurisdiction.)
  • Ascended Extra: Eric Christian Olsen who played Detective Marty Deeks for two episodes in season one became a full time cast member in season two.
  • A-Team Firing: Completely averted by the protagonists, which seem to have laser guided, thermal imaging, smart bullets as ammunition for their guns, considering that they end fire-fights ridiculously fast by putting at least two rounds in the chest of each bad-guy present.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Hetty
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Deeks and Kensi have had shades of this since their first meeting, though so far while he has shown attraction to her, she insists she couldn't be less attracted to him.
    • Additionally, when Deeks kisses another girl he's had an affair with, Kensi's facial reaction is hardly worth a mention.
    • In season 3, there seems to be a lot of sexual tension between Nell and Eric. When Nate returned, he even pointed out to Nell that she was only flirting with him in front of Eric to make him jealous, which Nell denies.
      • There's a moment of this in Season 4 in the episode "Recruit".
      • Finally confirmed after Nell and Eric go undercover at a couples retreat for techies and Eric reveals he fell in love with her when she joined him at a pub quiz.
  • Betty and Veronica : Deeks' Archie to Kensi's Betty and Talia's Veronica
    • Before Joelle's true colors were revealed in season 8. Callen's Archie to Joelle's Betty and Anna's Veronica.
    • In season 8,Kensi's Archie to Deeks' Betty and Sullivan's Veronica. Until Sullivan was revealed to be Ferris,one of the CIA moles
  • Battle Couple: Presumably Navy SEAL Sam and his CIA agent (assassin?) wife.
    • Kensi and Deeks
  • Beta Couple: Eric and Nell play this to Deeks and Kensi.
  • Bickering Couple, Peaceful Couple: Eric and Nell tend to be less volatile than Deeks and Kensi. Lampshaded by Eric in season 7's "Exchange Rate."
    Eric: Every relationship—or friendship—goes through a rough patch. Even Densi.
    Nell: Interesting. I always thought it was Keeks. Wait a second, are we in a rough patch I don't know about?
    Eric: Neric? No, we're fine.
  • The Big Board: See Viewer-Friendly Interface below.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Finally happens between Kensi and Deeks in the 4th season finale.
  • Big Fancy House: All of them in "Neighborhood Watch", including one with a big fancy sex dungeon.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Abby and Eric's sign language conversation at the end of "Random On Purpose."
    • The Germans' nickname for Hetty in "Absolution" is "Gartenzwerg", meaning lawn gnome.
    • One episode was a failed Backdoor Pilot for another NCIS Spin-Off, involving a unit that traveled the country in a mobile forensics lab. While pursuing a group of Mexican gangsters, one team member is told to tell one to throw down his weapon in Spanish. The team member, whose Spanish is apparently rather poor, tries, "Tira la pistola", upon which the somewhat woozy gangster fires his gun off to the side and the team fills him with lead. The part that isn't explained is that the team member actually told him to fire his gun; he should have said something like "Baje su pistola" ("put down your gun").
  • Bi the Way: Recurring guest, DEA agent Talia DeCampo..
    Talia: You know, I wouldn't have let regulations stop me, if we were partners.
    Deeks: I'm sorry, just to clarify: if you and I were partners, or if you and Kensi were partners?
    Talia: (whispers) Either or.
    Deeks: Wow, gonna go ahead and save that image in my head.
    • Note that this is after Talia called Kensi "smokin' hot".
  • Bittersweet Ending: In "Warrior of Peace", G and Alex are forced to accept Washington's decision to let Garrison be traded for a couple of American hikers detained by the Iranians. Both of them don't like the decision.
  • Black Comedy
  • Black Widow: The nickname of a notorious thief whose business and romantic partners have a habit of dying once her jobs are complete.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The kids in "The Seventh Child" who were essentially raised to be jihadist suicide bombers fortunately they weren't brainwashed enough and didn't really want to die.
  • Break Him By Talking: The previous mole thinks he's like this but he's just annoying.
  • Broken Bird: Anna notes that she keeps meeting "broken people" like herself and Callen in their unusual occupation, though she still hopes to meet a normal person one day.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Dom, as the new guy, is the butt of much of the show's humor. Until he's kidnapped. And then killed.
    • In Season 2, Deeks fills this role quite nicely.
  • Bury Your Gays: In "Chinatown" (1x16) through murder and suicide.
  • Call-Back: In "Overwatch" (2x12), Callen tries to get out of rewriting his performance reviews by challenging Hetty to a race to the top of the rock wall in the NCIS gymnasium, but Hetty manages to psych him out and he backs down; however, his curiosity gets the best of him and he challenges her again at the end of the episode, presumably losing off-camera. The next episode then starts with the two of them on the rock wall again, with Hetty clearly ahead again.
  • Captain Obvious: In "Greed" in a conversation between Eric and Nell regarding the flowers she got.
  • Character Overlap: Director Leon Vance appears in both NCIS and this show, which is a spin-off of the former, being that he is the director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in CBS's NCIS franchise.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • In 1x09, "Random On Purpose", Abby's ability to do sign language, first used in NCIS, proves crucial to her rescue.
    • Abby's appearance in Random On Purpose makes her an Chekhov's Boomerang full stop as she is called in specifically because she's the best forensics specialist in NCIS or maybe even the country.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A season one episode, "Brimstone", has an undercover Kensi mention being engaged once. Callen and Sam wonder if she is being honest or creating a detail for her false identity. As revealed four seasons later, her fiance does exist.
    • Literally in the Season 6 episode "Traitor". Kensi is seen on the target range practicing with a shotgun at the beginning of of ep and by the 3rd act the same shotgun is being used to get her and Deeks out of the weapons locker.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Didn't Sam have a wife in the pilot?
    • In a late season one episode, Sam is called at home in bed. There was a woman in bed with him, face away from the camera, but still presumably his wife. She still exists.
    • Sam also has at least one child, a daughter, that Callen knew about, but the others didn't. She/they have not been shown, and have only even been mentioned in two episodes, although Sam having a family is mentioned at other times. She eventually shows up; she's a CIA agent posing as an assassin, the only one who gained the trust of a very dangerous arms dealer (he skinned the another undercover agent alive) who has a nuclear bomb. Sam is obviously very reluctant to let her do the op, but she "feels alive" after being a "normal person" for so long.
  • Church of Happyology: The Church of the Open Mind (the real "Happyologists" get mentioned too). While real "Happyolgists" target celebrities Open Mind prefers tech and military insiders to steal from, hence the absence of the usual Happyology trope of "mandatory donations" and as far as we know real "Happyolgists" have never killed anyone... on purpose... that we know of).
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: The current mole is a team of (rogue?) CIA agents whose operations were interfered with by the NCISLA team.
  • Clear My Name:
    • Kensi, in "Blye, K."
    • Hanna in "SEAL Hunter".
    • Deeks in "Internal Affairs".
  • Compromising Call: In one episode the team rescues a group of kidnapped Marines from a group of mercenaries, then is led to their employer through one of their cell phones.
  • Cool Car: Callen and Hanna's main ride is a Dodge Challenger SRT8, but they've also used a Mercedes S550 and an Aston Martin Rapide.
  • Cool Plane: Hetty gets two F-22 Raptors to buzz a militia camp.
    Vance: F-22s. Nice touch.
  • Creepy Twins: The kid
Top