NCIS: Los Angeles series finale spoilers ahead.
Showrunner R. Scott Gemmill has broken down the surprising twists and turns from the last-ever NCIS: Los Angeles episode.
For this farewell, it wasn't a case of following the team against a network of arms dealers, instead, the aim was to settle the likes of G. Callen (played by Chris O'Donnell), Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) and Anna Kolcheck (Bar Paly) in a place of calm, which included the former duo's reunion with old co-workers Nell, Nate and Sabatino as they searched for Hetty in Morocco.
"It was just about going character by character and figuring out what they've been through, what they deserve and what we'd like to see for the future," Gemmill told The Hollywood Reporter, "and what is the hopeful version of that, and I think we did our best doing that for every one of the characters."
Asked how much prior notice the NCIS: LA team had before word of its cancellation went public, the boss also shared: "We didn't have a whole lot of time. And also, we didn't know if we were going to have one or two episodes. We originally planned it as one finale episode, and then CBS was nice enough to give us two episodes.
"So then we had to rethink, again, in terms of what it means to have a two-parter. It was a little bit pressed for time, but this is what we do. We did the best job we could."
Considering the police procedural boasts a weekly-story blueprint, Gemmill and his writers must've had to tinker with their own usual thinking while bringing it to a close.
"Writing a pilot is very difficult, and I think the next hardest thing is writing the finale of a series," he pointed out.
"For us, it was really about trying to leave the fans in a really good place and not trying to be splashy or fancy or clever, but really leaving the characters knowing that they're going to be OK — that they're happy going forward.
"As a fan myself, when a series ends that I really enjoyed, I really prefer that it ends in a 'happily ever after' sort of way. Cheesy as it might be, I just feel like if you've invested that much time in watching a show, you want leave in a satisfied state.
"That's what we tried to do, was just bring every character's story to some sort of conclusion that still offers hope for the future."
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