It’s all aboard for Tuesday night’s episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles” when the team has to track down the murderer of a train-yard security guard. In so doing, they expose a much bigger threat than our agents initially bargained for.
“We’re doing a pretty spectacular — let’s call it a runaway train episode, which is very challenging because we’re using real trains,” executive producer/showrunner Shane Brennan tells xfinityTV in an exclusive interview about the visually amazing episode, which uses virtually no CGI. “We’re shooting in a number of places around town [including Travel Town Railroad]. It’s going to be a real fun episode, but it’s a complicated and very heart-stopping series of stunts.”
We are now five episodes into Season 5 of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and both Sam (LL Cool J) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) are still recovering from the torture they endured in the Season 4 finale — and Deeks and Kensi (Daniela Ruah) still haven’t dealt with their kiss.
“I don’t think that anyone on our team that was involved in that traumatic experience — you can’t be unchanged by that,” Brennan says. “It’s always there. It affects Deeks more than Sam.”
So what changes can we expect as a result? Brennan spills the goods:
Last time we spoke, you told me just when the audience thinks things are back on an even keel for Kensi and Deeks, they’re not. So what can you tease about their future?
A very, very bumpy ride. This season is the season of Kensi and Deeks. We haven’t hesitated to pull this story forward, which started with the spontaneous kiss that opened up this Pandora’s Box of emotions.
Of course, before that could be resolved, Deeks was tortured and went through all of this trauma and he is still recovering from that. So, their relationship is very much unresolved and remains unresolved — talked about and discussed — but still unresolved through the first part of the season.
A little later in the season, around Episode 10 or so, things take a fairly difficult turn for both of them. About eight episodes later, there is a pretty shocking revelation that deeply affects both of them and has them both questioning everything about their relationship, particularly Kensi.
That suggests that we’re only going to touch on their relationship in Episode 10 and 18. In fact, it’s ongoing. For fans of Kensi and Deeks, there is a really, really strong arc that runs through this season and they are going to love it. They might hate me sometimes, but they will love it.
Does Daniela’s real-life pregnancy affect their story?
We can lay to rest that this is Deeks’ baby. It is not Callen’s (Chris O’Donnell) baby either. It is Dani’s baby and we are writing around that fact. It’s wonderful that she is pregnant, and we are all excited for her, but it won’t have any role in the show.
Sam seems OK. We saw his shrink session with Nate (Peter Cambor), in which we learned that he does have concerns that some day when he tunes out, he might not tune back in. Will he have lingering effects?
The interesting thing about Sam is he is a Navy SEAL and he has been through the torture training. We have seen him tortured in flashbacks way back in, I think, Season 1. He has been through some pretty tough times and traumatic times. He has been trained and he bounces back and he seems fine.
Now, the reality with all of these guys who go through these traumatic experiences is, eventually, you can’t put any more liquid in the glass and it spills out the top. At some point, that will happen to Sam. There is only so much you can mentally and physically take — usually mentally — before, “That’s it. I’m done.” That is something that is never far from Sam’s mind, because he has seen it happen. While we move on with Sam, that is his lingering concern. That said, I am not saying we won’t come back to how it affected Sam.
Will we see Sam’s wife Michelle (Aunjanue Ellis) back this season?
Let me say that she won’t be back anytime soon in this season, but it is possible that she will be back. I want to hold onto that. Will we see Michelle again? Yes, we will. She’s fabulous. She’s a great character in her own right.
From the first episode — in fact, prior to the first episode, it was always my intention to have Sam married and have children and just hold that information back and have it casually come out, which it did. Callen knew and Hetty (Linda Hunt) knew, but Deeks and Kensi didn’t know and were surprised. We had fun doing that.
There are other things about Sam that we don’t yet know that Callen and Hetty know and that will be revealed. As complex and unknown as Callen’s backstory is, Sam’s backstory, his home life, and his history is perhaps what you might call more traditional, but it is still to be revealed.
Any chance that Kim Raver will be able to make a guest appearance to follow up on the “Red” episode now that she is going to “24: Live Another Day.”
Never say never. I loved working with Kim. She is just a delight. You never know what will happen. “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” — now that we’ve reached 100 — are juggernauts. While I like to plan ahead, I don’t think I can plan two, three, four seasons ahead, so you never know what might happen. I loved the character. I loved Paris Summerskill. I would like to bring her back.
“The Livelong Day” episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles” airs Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 9/8c on CBS.