The NCIS: Los Angeles series finale had several glaring omissions during the series finale.
While the show brought back some familiar faces like Nell Jones (Renee Felice Smith), some absences were also felt.
Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) didn’t appear in the final episodes, but a storyline about rescuing her played out.
With Nell appearing in the final moments, it also seemed like Eric Beale (Barrett Foa) should have been there.
As Nell explained, Eric was off giving a TED Talk in Singapore at the time of the mission.
Now that the series finale has aired on CBS, answers about what took place have been given.
Why was Eric Beale absent from the NCIS: Los Angeles finale?
“That was about availability, and what we could do and what we couldn’t do,” NCIS: LA showrunner R. Scott Gemmill said when asked why Barret Foa was missing in the final episode.
“If I’d had the time and the money, I would have probably had everybody who had ever been on the show. We couldn’t do everything we wanted to, unfortunately,” he added while speaking to TVLine.
“Getting to play Eric Beale one last time would have been a dream, so I was bummed when it didn’t work out,” Barrett Foa told TVLine.
“I’m grateful he got a shout-out and that he’s out there making the world a better place. How cool that CBS gave the show a chance to give our fans a proper series finale,” Barrett elaborated.
Despite not being around for the series finale, it is notable that Eric Beale is still alive and well inside the NCIS Universe.
This makes it possible for the character to return at some point down the road. With how open-ended the finale was for the NCIS spin-off, a special or TV movie could easily be made from the source material.
Maybe Eric Beale could appear on another NCIS show?
Huge news revealed that LL Cool J joined the NCIS: Hawai’i cast. He will continue playing Agent Sam Hanna and give the newer NCIS show some star power.
Having a character entrenched in a new show makes it easier to bring back additional people. Maybe a future episode of NCIS: Hawai’i could use Eric Beale and Nell Jones in a tech case that Ernie Malik (Jason Antoon) has to solve.
For now, fans of Nell and Eric will have to enjoy seeing them in older episodes of NCIS: LA. They were integral parts of the first 12 seasons. All of the episodes from those seasons are available for streaming on Paramount+.
Looking ahead, NCIS: Hawai’i Season 3 has been ordered for the 2023-2024 television season. So has NCIS Season 21.
Both shows could be postponed due to the Writers Strike, so it might be a while until new content arrives at CBS.
And for fans who might have missed it, some of the NCIS: LA cast members took home souvenirs from the set when filming wrapped.
NCIS: Los Angeles is available for streaming on Paramount+.