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NCISLA Preview: “Spiral” (S6E12)



Airing January 5th.

Shot:  November 3rd through 12th.

What is CBS telling us:  “Spiral” – While Callen is undercover in the mail room of an office building to investigate an arms dealer, it is taken over by terrorists and Callen becomes a hostage. When the team arrives to help, they discover the entire building is wired with explosives, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Monday, Jan. 5 (9:59-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.”

What we think is happening:

The episode looks to be a Callen-centric homage to “Die Hard” – a fun Christmas movie and something that would certainly work with the NCIS: Los Angeles skill set:  terrorists taking hostages, action, explosions and humor.  Those elements are all firmly in NCIS: Los Angeles‘s wheelhouse.

“Spiral” is written by Dave Kalstein, who does a great job with action episodes.  The question may be, which Dave Kalstein shows up when it comes to Deeks and Kensi.   Will this be the man who wrote some of the best early Densi episodes in “Plan B” or “The Debt” or “Blye, K.” Part Two or the man who wrote the punch in anger and raccoons as relationship guides in season five?  Since season six is moving a wonderful direction, root for the positive.

It also should be noted that this episode was shot before “Humbug” (though my guess is that had more to do with the ice rink probably not being available for production in early November in 90 degree Los Angeles weather).  How much of “all in” we’re going to see should be interesting.

Who is dropping by:

Ella Scott Lynch as Dr. Karen Ward

Brian Glanney as Crew Foreman

Patrick Gallagher as Don the Security Guard

Jordan Belfi as Tom Blanchard

(That is not the name of his “Cyber Threat” character (where he was internet billionaire and absentee father Dennis Calder).  Hmmmmmm.)

Mia Serafino as Lisa Wesley

Ciarán McCarthy as Masked Tech Specialist

Liz Jenkins as Hostage Woman

Zachary Garred as Masked


WRITTEN BY: Dave Kalstein

Wrote “Predator”, “Past Lives”, “Bank Job”, “Burned”, “Black Widow”, “Bounty”, “Disorder”, “Empty Quiver”, “Plan B”, “Backstopped”, “The Debt”, “Partners” and “Blye, K” part two, “The Fifth Man”, “Kill House”, “Resurrection”, “Frozen Lake”, “Tuhon” and “Three Hearts”.  This is his first episode in season six.

“Empty Quiver” may be the perfect episode to show someone you want to introduce to the show.  Everyone is on the top of their game in that episode.  Everyone has an area of expertise.  Everyone can add something to make the team work better.

Yes, the people with DoD training had to teach the poor local LEO Deeks, and by extension the audience, what “empty quiver” meant but Deeks was far better in the bikini bar interview of the bartender (and explaining what a bikini bar is to those of us who live in cites without them) than Kensi was.  Sam knew about radiation, both how to mask it with bananas and the damage it would do.  Callen ran a great undercover operation and an equally strong takedown of Justin Marchetti.  Hetty was watching out for the team and their careers.  Nell and Eric worked well with everyone, even breaking the internet to help save the day.


Directed “Kill House”, “Omni”, “Unwritten Rule” and “Deep Trouble” Part One.  Teng just joined Graceland for their third season as a producer/director (he directed an episode last year).  He directed the 100th episode of Hawaii Five-0 a few weeks ago and last season’s 200th episode of Criminal Minds.  He seems to be the big round number episode go-to-guy for CBS.

Official photographic evidence


Unofficial photographic evidence:

From director Larry Teng’s Instagram account:

Larry Teng:  Deeks being The Man... 16 stories high with all of #CAA looking on. @ericcolsen #ncisla

Larry Teng: Deeks being The Man… 16 stories high with all of #CAA looking on. @ericcolsen #ncisla














This does not look safe to me.
From Eric Christian Olsen’s Instagram account:













That was going on while Deeks was hanging out the window.  Still doesn’t look safe.
From Daniela Ruah’s Instagram account:













Kensi, Sam and Deeks looking all bad-ass.


Video evidence


Sneak Peek #1

Sneak Peek #2:

Deeks looks fetching in his sleeveless workout shirt as Kensi meditates to find a less stressful way to solve her problems.  Just as Kensi has Deeks flat on his back, and not in a fun way, – tell me if you’ve heard this before – Nell interrupts.


You can read more by Tess DiCorsi by going to :

14 Comments on NCISLA Preview: “Spiral” (S6E12)

  1. I did see Dave Kalstein confirm on Twitter that he knew of the outcome of Humbug when they wrote/filmed Sprial, so that makes me a little more hopeful for the Densi we’ll see. Though I don’t think we’ll see much since it does seem to be a Callen-centric ep. He also mentioned that the ep contains his “best Callen and Sam scene ever” so I’m excited for that as well!


    • Dave Kalstein’s episodes have a lot of great Callen and Sam scenes in the past so this is a fairly high bar he’s set. I’m glad the program is back. Nice holiday break, now back to business.


    • The “best Callen and Sam scene ever” is quite a high bar Dave Kalstein’s set. He’s written some great scenes between the two. And for Kensi and Deeks – if he just keeps what we’ve seen so far this season, it is a win.


  2. Awesome preview! What a great idea to get some set-up other than the studio video clips before the actual episode airs. Love all the backstory and references to previous epis of Dave Kalstein and Larry Teng. Two of my favorites. I sure hope there’s continuity from “humbug”. I can’t wait 😄


    • Thank you!

      In the season five DVDs, there was a behind the scenes segment on the writers where the actors all said they often knew who wrote the script by just reading it. If the actors feel that way, it can’t hurt knowing who has written what.


  3. After the “heavenly” Humbug, I prefer a Callen-centric episode with no spotlight on Densi than a Densi-centric episode that damages whatever positive we had before. The Christmas holidays have passed with a sweet Densi taste in my mouth and I wouldn’t like to wake abruptly up…. That’s my worst Densi nightmare… 🙂


    • I think season six has been a nice run of very solid episodes. The ship is sailing in the right direction (but the show as ship and the ship on the show) so I’m thinking the positive thoughts until they prove me wrong (and prove me wrong with a big stinkfest of an episode).


    • I agree with you Cladani..I’d rather they work slowly and blend in Deeks & Kensi’s new update on thier “thing”.into the show….than focus on it too much or worse …too fast.

      Just for dramatic writing & story purposes alone..we know that things with Densi..even with their “all in” pledge… will not always be smooth to see the good thing that happened with Densi in Humbug….be in some type of turmoil or trouble…just 2 or 3 shows later…would not be fun to watch.

      Whatever the writers have in store for Densi…I just hope ithey don’t plan on putting Denis or their fans…through too much of a roller coaster ride..with Densi fans contanstly left wondering…are Deeks & Kensi.. still all in.. or are they ..all out… from episode to episode.


  4. NCISLA got its highest ratings since the S6 premiere for the Humbug episode. Trust me the showrunners are fully aware that the female demo pushed those numbers up, and they aren’t going to fool around and lose that push. I hope they don’t force Densi in our faces, but I do think they will play it cool like they’ve done thus far. Instead of the flirting and double talk which became maddening, hopefully that dialog will be more straight forward.


  5. Some bumps in the road may add intrigue to the plots, but le them (Densi) be happy for a while!! If this may mean leave them a little more in the background, I’m fine with it!


    • I think after spending four plus seasons getting them as a couple, we’ll probably get a little smooth sailing for a while. And I’m fine with bumps in the road as long as they’re in-character and not troubles for the sake of having troubles (Talia in the season five finale comes to mind).


  6. I totally agree that leaving Densi in the background is the safer option for us/them right now! I’m with Stinka that if we just see little bits of them like we have been but with more obvious references to their relationship instead of the uncertainty we had before, I’m totally okay with that. It only makes sense that next time a focus is put on them that it’s for a bump in the road and I don’t want to see that for at least a couple months!


    • They’ve been really smart this season with how much of all the characters we’re seeing. Hopefully, fun and flirty Kensi and Deeks will be the norm for the next few episodes. I’m all for an occasional bump in the road, just an organic one, not one for the sake of having a problem.


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