Could Eric Christian Olsen Leave NCIS: Los Angeles?
Rumors are flying in the NCIS:LA fandom about what might be happening with our favorite character, Marty Deeks, and the actor who plays him, Eric Christian Olsen. As much as I don’t even want to contemplate some of the possibilities, hopefully it will make us feel better to share our collective theories and concerns.
Full disclosure: We at wikiDeeks have nothing to disclose. We have no information about what might or might not be happening. We know nothing more than any other fans. Our decision to close down the site at the end of the season stems much more from a myriad of personal reasons and time constraints than anything else.
Season 9’s Failed Reset
Over the course of Season 9, we’ve seen a lot less of Marty Deeks than in any season since he joined the team. This has in turn impacted the amount of Densi for us to enjoy. In contrast, the two newest team members, Harley Hidoko and Shay Mosley, have been front and center in many episodes, much to the consternation of many Deeks and Densi fans, and likely other fans of the great dynamic set by the show’s core duos.
It’s no secret that Eric Christian Olsen seems to have negotiated a bit of a reduced schedule this season. His Instagram account shows him traveling to far-flung destinations while the show was shooting. Over the years many cast members have made similar arrangements, such as Chris O’Donnell attending the Pebble Beach Pro Am golf tournament every year, or LL Cool J hosting the Grammy’s. But ECO’s absences have been noticeably more prolonged than his costars’, with the obvious exceptions of Daniela Ruah’s two maternity leaves and Linda Hunt’s long absence at the start of this season.
For many of us Deeks and Densi fans, ECO’s absences have had a detrimental effect on our enjoyment of the show. Deeks may have appeared in every episode, but his reduced screen time has sometimes forced him into more of a supporting or background role. There’s been only a single Deeks-centric episode (“Can I Get a Witness”). Even “The Silo,” a big Densi episode, was primarily driven by Kensi’s storyline of preventing nuclear holocaust.
Conversely, many of us have failed to embrace the newest cast members, particularly Nia Long’s Mosley. But it’s been the presence of Andrea Bordeaux’s Hidoko who’s most thrown the team balance out of whack. She’s triggered an endless series of partner swaps that has left even those of us who’ve always enjoyed an occasional swap with our heads spinning, yearning for the good old days of the bromance and romance brought by the core pairs.
So who’s to blame here? Are the showrunners failing to utilize our favorite detective to his fullest potential? Or are they doing the best they can given ECO’s frequent unavailability? For me, the answers depend a bit on ECO’s longer range plans. Below are a few theories. Note that I do not assume that the showrunners want ECO to leave or are intentionally writing less of him. Frankly that would be too crazy a decision to contemplate.
Scenario #1. ECO Wanted What He Got – A Slightly Lessened Workload
In this scenario, ECO negotiated more time off over the course of the season, but he’s not going anywhere next year and his schedule will continue as is. I don’t know if we can hope for anything more. The bulk of ECO’s time off seemed to be spent with family, and I say more power to him to negotiate the best possible schedule for however he wishes to balance work and family time. I don’t think he owes the show or the fans anything, and he needs to make the best decisions for his career and his family. Plus, slightly less ECO sure beats losing him entirely.
In this scenario, I would guess that Hidoko might be elevated from recurring character to main cast next season. That would make any time the showrunners have spent this year developing her character as worthwhile, even if they failed to smoothly integrate her into the core partnerships. I’d hope that in the future, they might find a better way to deal with their odd number of agents so that we could have a bit more focus on Deeks, not to mention some actual Densi screen time.
Scenario #2. ECO Wants to Scale Back Even Further
This is where things start getting less pleasant to consider: it’s possible that ECO is planning to scale his time back even more next season. Heck, he could even pull a Nate/Peter Cambor and downgrade to a recurring character, or simply move further in that direction. That bar could become Deeks’ future. In this scenario, ECO isn’t just looking for more family time over the course of the season, but he’s wanting to scale up his time working on other projects.
To me the most convincing evidence for such a move is the podcast ECO did with Matthew Del Negro, AKA Kensi’s ex-fiancé Jack. Del Negro has a podcast series called “10,000 ‘No’s” where he interviews successful people about how they overcame all the rejections and failures they experienced along the way to achieving great things. In it, ECO talked a lot about his producing work. He seemed very passionate about it, and had clearly been working hard to learn the ropes of producing and to build a team with whom he had a number of projects in the works. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to maintain such a business in his spare time between takes.
In this scenario, perhaps Deeks would stay working with NCIS as he sets up his new bar. It’s been abandoned for some time, so it will likely take a lot of work to prepare it for opening. He’d continue with his briefer appearances, with longer absences justified by his need to oversee renovations. (Or, maybe the bar won’t work out and there will be a different set of excuses for his absences.) It’s hard to imagine Deeks wanting to leave Kensi with other people watching her back, but that’s exactly what’s been happening for much of this season, so I guess it wouldn’t feel too out of character for it to continue. At least he could tell himself he’d be available for duty any time something went really wrong for the team. And of course he’d be available for a beautiful Densi wedding, perhaps on the 10-year anniversary of their partnership.
Hidoko could become a main cast member. Or, the showrunners might look to bring in more of “new Deeks,” someone who might fill the gaping void left by ECO’s absence (as if it could ever really be filled). Deeks brings humor, he lessens the tension with his silliness, he’s experienced, he’s open, he’s scruffy, he’s so many things that Hidoko is not. The most important are that he’s incredibly confident, charismatic, and charming. Hidoko is far too serious to fill in any Deeks-sized gap. She doesn’t banter. She barely even smiles! I do like her, but don’t see her as a long-term replacement for Deeks. The show would revert back to its Season 1 vibe, with a group of people who veer too easily to the stiff and serious. Perhaps Hidoko’s very seriousness is proof that ECO’s sticking around, since the showrunners clearly haven’t tried to create a new character with any similarities to Deeks.
Scenario #3. ECO Wants to Leave Entirely
OK, I haven’t even wanted to contemplate this, let alone put it in writing, but there could be a chance that ECO leaves the show at the end of the season, or maybe sometime in Season 10. In this scenario, it’s even harder to imagine how Deeks leaves NCIS altogether without Kensi. Coming up with a storyline that doesn’t make that decision feel out of character would be challenging. I mean, if they want to have kids, Kensi’s the one who’d need to be out of the field before Deeks would. Perhaps they’ll come upon a small child who’s been orphaned that they’ll decide to adopt? I think I read such a fan fic recently but regrettably can’t remember the author. I like this idea, since I think Deeks would be a wonderful stay-at-home dad. But of course I loath the idea that we’d lose more than an occasional appearance from him.
Scenario #4. Wishful Thinking
I acknowledge that this scenario is pure fantasy, but I wanted to end on less depressing note. Just maybe, LL Cool J is the one who’s leaving. That season-finale gunshot wound finally does him in and serious Hidoko comes forward to take his place. Of course, those would be literally and figuratively huge shoes to fill and I don’t see Hidoko as quite up to the task, even if personality-wise she’s more of a match for Sam than she is for Deeks. The show would no doubt suffer from the loss of such a great character as Sam Hanna, and the huge presence that LL Cool J brings to his work. On the other hand, perhaps ECO’s absences this season were because he graciously wanted to let the new characters establish themselves, and he comes back next year full-time. All that Densi we’ve been promised? It’s all in Season 10 with ECO and Daniela front and center in the storytelling. Hey a girl can dream, right?
Time Will Tell
We will know soon enough what’s going on with that bar, and whether Deeks ends up making a life-changing decision about his future. And even if he does, it could always just be part of a season-ending cliff-hanger, and Deeks could be back full-time next season. There’s no need to get too worried just yet. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
What are your theories? What’s keeping you up at night? How do you think the showrunners should be handling things? Tell us in the Comments below.
Thank you for this post. It’s fabulous.
In general, I applaud actors who have a long view of their careers in the business. They are “pretty” for just a short period of time overall. Or if they are too associated with a role, their options are limited **by others**. And very few TV actors make the huge leap to steady or starring film work. But those actors who take advantage of the show they’re on — and the show lets them take advantage — I encourage the ones who try their hand at directing or producing while on it. Example – Jonathan Frakes. He will always be Commander Riker of Star Trek and he wasn’t bad to look at. But aging and gravity have its toll. 🙂 He’s directed and done voice work, etc. Jensen Ackles of Supernatural has directed on his show. COD has done some directing. (I haven’t seen anything lately or have I missed the eps? Did he lose a taste for it or have they limited his involvement?) Todd and Daniela are working on branding themselves successfully. I think Barrett and Renee have their theatre work where I think their hearts are. ECO I hadn’t heard about the producing but I love it. Example: Pretty boy Shaun Cassidy (Hardy Boys in the 70s) became a producer of many shows and a writer and created a great but short-lived series called American Gothic. Loved it.
My only advice is — and of course I’m in a position to give advice that will be heeded (!) — that actors should stick with the shows they’re on as long as possible before leaving. (I give permission to leave a sinking ship — I’m looking at you Once Upon a Time several seasons ago). You don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you and it shows good work ethic/attitude/loyalty, etc. Still acting, but Michael Weatherly was rewarded for his loyalty to the mothership with his own series. Leaving before then to pursue one’s ambitions even though they are extremely popular on a series can backfire. Looking at you Daniel Lissing of When Calls the Heart. It has the appearance of being selfish and self-serving and the fans will be pissed and not follow you like you thought/counted on.
To sum up. I hope like hell that ECO’s reduced screen time is the choice of the writers and TPTB and he is only taking advantage of it. Then I hope that they are finally aware of our dissatisfaction with this season (frangry!) and change their ways in Season 10.
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Outstanding job Karen.
great work condensing it down to the basics.
sorry, I got to ask..is this just an effort to get me to stop posting so many poorly worded and misspelled questions recently?…laughing.
Is this all in a blatant effort to get Ed to stop typing. Kidding.
you brought up some serious concerns, pointed out some relevant facts, mentioned some possible scenarios, and asked some good questions.
I am very interested in the comments and thoughts you get back.
…being reasonably sure you have a pretty good idea how I feel and think…
I will remain silent for now
…at least I think I can…, okay, I will TRY to keep quiet.
there are some great thoughts out there, I look forward to reading more
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I’m really sad if I think about Eric leaving the show, or being less present on the show.I think that both scenario 1 and 2 are probably, and scenario 3 and 4 less probably.
Maybe they are building the story line when He wants to quit to start a family so he may be a recurrent character. But I think that would be really unrealistic to have Kensi without Deeks on the show… no sense. I think I would stop watching.
Maybe the writers have to adjust the story line to fit the need of actors so they are doing such a bad bad job, making us really unhappy.. Someone has to tell them..
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Not sure I should thank you for writing this, because just the thought of ECO leaving or Deeks opening a stupid bar scares the crap out of me. It will be a sad day to see Deeks replaced or sent packing by Mosley. I really don’t even want to think about the possibility. I’m sure I speak for the vast majority of this site’s fans that no Deeks will mean no NCISLA. He brought the light to an average crime show. He brought complexity and humor, annoyed Sam, frustrated Callen, is definitely the sexiest character, changed Kensi’s character for the better, not to mention brought romance to the mix. Things are never boring when Deeks is around. So I am hoping that his absences this season are because the showrunner needed time to introduce the new characters. However, my great fear is that like one of my other favorite shows, Suits, both characters, Deeks and Kensi will leave NCIS at the same time. I’m afraid we’ll get the wedding we want and then they will simply disappear from the show. Now, that would be a sad, sad day.
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my thoughts exactly.
and I agree, the Suits comparison is a very valid one.
They could just get married, or Kensi may announce that she is pregnant, and the time is now…
certainly not my wish, but a possibility.
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Karen, Great idea for a post. We all know something is up but what?
I saw ECO was shook up about the latest school shooting and made comments about it and his being a Father has responsibilities. He was against the ownership of AR 15s but still supported the 2nd amendment as a gun owner. Some people said it was ironic to state such a opinion since he makes a living holding a AR 15.
I know I couldn’t continue to watch the show without Deeks and Kensi no matter who’s decision is was to leave. I hope this forces someone from the network to make a comment
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This was a very well written piece, Karen, but part of me wishes I had never seen it, lol. The possibility of Deeks leaving the show is so heartbreaking for me I don’t even wanna think about it. I would like to say this doesn’t keep me up at night, but I’ve been stressing about this for most of the season. I would also like to say I would still watch without Deeks, but I know that won’t happen. Deeks is the reason I fell in love with NCISLA, and why it so quickly became my favorite show and ultimate escape.
I want to believe I’m just paranoid and reading too much into everything. At least, based on social media, ECO seems to still enjoy and appreciate the show, and I think it would be really stupid by the showrunners to write his character off or further cut his, and subsequently Densi’s, role. But I do wonder about his reduced screen-time. Is it a consequence of his extended time-off, showrunner’s decision or bad writing? Was it just for this season, or is it the new normal? I can accept reducing his screen time if that’s his personal choice, I just think the showrunners are handling it the worst possible way in terms of what we see on-screen.
And if it ends up that he’s leaving the show, I know I will be extremely disappointed if that happens randomly and with short notice at the end of a season with so little Deeks and Densi, and in such an OOC way as owning a bar. Not the best farewell for a character loved by so many loyal fans. Both the fans, and Marty Deeks, deserve better than that.
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Hey, Does anyone remember the exact wording and context?…
there was an interview or Q&A with Dani and Eric a while back.
Someone asked Dani about staying on the show and she said yes, or had a positive response.
Then, ECO stated “There you have it folks, Daniela Ruah just said she is not leaving and will stay on the show until it ends” or something like that.
Then quickly she gave him a look and said ” I did not say that !”
…could she be the one leaving?
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although she is listed as recurring,
Harley doesn’t fit unless one of the field agents leaves.
If Mosley just replaces Granger, Harley isn’t qualified to replace Hetty or anyone in Opps.
so, where would she fit?
I fear that one of the field agents could be leaving and all the partner swapping is an attempt to see how the new partnerships could be set up.
for example, just because Kensi leaves doesn’t automatically mean Deeks gets the new guy.
maybe it will be Sam with Harley then Callen and Deeks..or something similar.
I don’t see Kensi leaving and Deeks staying unless Kensi dies and he doesnt know what else to do or is seeking revenge.
Another issue is what does Linda Hunt want to do.
will she stay, stay part time more like Vance on the mother ship, or will she retire.
And if Hetty does leave, will they fill her spot with someone else as the manager or have Mosley fill both positions of manager and asst. director?
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looking at what the show has done, what they have set up and likely possibilities there is a scenario that is realistically possible.
Linda wants to retire.
LL has a tone of stuff going on, sure doesn’t need the money, and is promoting his new show. so, he could leave.
heres how it could work.
As the show goes. Sam gets shot…again.
He either Dies, or decides to retire and not risk leaving his kids without any parents at all.
Either way, Hetty quits/Retires again. and leaves the show.
That would leave Mosley in charge and Harley as Callen’s new partner.
is this the most palatable scenario out there based on what we think?
if changes have to happen, honestly, I think I could live with it.
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yes, I realize I created and want something that kept ECO here full time and didn’t break up Densi.
I am selfish that way.
Thank you for this great post Karen. From the moment Deeks was introduced he was like the glue that brought the team (and the whole show) together and if he leaves that can’t be replaced. I don’t think ECO as an actor or Deeks as a character have really gotten all the credit they deserve. It isn’t just luck that many of the characters often have their best scenes with ECO/Deeks, it is talent and that xfactor people often talk about.
There are a lot of similar shows, but for me none of the other shows have this family feeling between main cast members and this kind of chemistry and that is what has made this show so special to me. That chemistry between Deeks and Kensi is so special and something you can’t just write, it hurts to think that one of them could leave. I don’t think I have never hoped this much that a fictional tv-couple will get their happy ever after.
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I just want to apologize for my grammar and spelling mistakes, for example that “never” should had been “ever”.
you have to sort through my messy ramblings constantly. so you get a free pass.
this time anyway.
admittedly, I do misuse a semi colon occasionally. but other than that, I’m pretty rock solid.
I actually do speak English… just it is often hard to tell by my grammar.
I even confuse Google Translate.
It can deal with over 100 languages,auto-correcting and offering suggestions.
but I get a bunch of ??? sorry dude, not a clue
Thanks Ed 🙂
Great to have you back, love reading your comments.
Karen thanks for a very thoughtful piece. I do appreciate you writing it , even though it made me sad to think about.
I tried to watch NCIS LA in season 1, and had no interest, it seemed to be all over the place and I really did not like any of the characters. At some point in season 2, I caught an episode with Deeks, and then became a fan of the show. For whatever reason, the show and the cast seemed to work together much better for me as a viewer. I was a Deeks fan for several seasons before I became a Densi fan, ECO and Daniela have incredible chemistry together, so even episodes where they have a minimal part are enjoyable because of their interactions. I think it was a true fan girl dream to have them get together, get engaged, and hopefully get married.
If ECO leaves the show, I really will stop watching, I think Lindy put into perfect words what Deeks brings to the show. I guess what I find amazing is just because someone has reduced time does not mean they cannot have a great story arc. Someone mentioned in one of your other posts , in season 8 when Daniela went out, they wrote a great story arc for her and in season 8 ECO had some of his most incredible scenes with Linda Hunt and Miquel Ferrer. So I can only think something different going on this season, but have no idea what it is.
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great comments, and I agree that something else must be up rather than just a little time off.
Either it is a long term plan, and the show is using the time to “test drive” a new team dynamic.
or the requested time off is sporadic or on short term notice.
This is planned to be permanent, or the absences aren’t requested very far ahead…who knows
they did a much better job of handling Dani’s absence, so what gives?
I assume that with Dani, you knew when she would start leave, how long she planned to be off, and an expected return date…all well in advance. and also, they had a firm commitment that she intended to return full time to the show when she returned. Potentially, this would give the showrunners time to come up with a story arc and for the writers to make adjustments well in advance of the episodes being filmed.
I can only assume that if things actually happened during the season or on short notice, that this would be far more difficult. to make adjustments or that at least one of the actors is not firmly committed to return next year.
that is only one possibility tho.
the inconsistency, OOC behaviors, lousy writing and ridiculous musical partner swapping cant be explained away that easily.
maybe they have all gone mad. or they are assigning the partner pairings of the week by a lottery system or spin the bottle…who knows.
Ooh Ed, you’ve been missed…where ya been?! And spin the bottle…my mind is now spinning with that idea. Is it still called fanfiction if you write about real people? I just love imagining TPTB with a couple of Zimas in their hands, sitting on the floor in “ops” spinnning one of Hetty’s antique vases in the middle of pictures of the characters. Or maybe moving them around like chess pieces (but not the board; that’s Hetty’s gig) and giggling maniacally (and tipsily) as they come up with all kinds of wild ideas for the new sets of “partners.”
Zimas and an antique vase…
you made me laugh out loud till my eyes watered.
I can see it now.
…on the production office floor… a couple of 4 packs of empty Zima bottles scattered around…
the conversation starts…Okay, this week we have partners on an undercover opp at a strip club.
fire up the Partner-O Matic random partner generator…
good idea boss.
…spins several bottles at once by mistake…
Okay, this time we have …
and Hetty.. say what?
and Monty… Huh?, is that thing broke again.
nope, wiped the bottle clean myself…
okay then, make it so,…science is never wrong.
2 weeks later..
Eric, Hetty and Monty are ready…
cue the scene.
a Boy Toy, a Cougar, and their service dog walk into a bar…
I love your idea.
I will be anxious expecting to see a Densi fanfiction with Spin the bottle.
you have the best ideas.
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OMG, that Eric/Hetty/Monty partnership is right up there with Nate/Hetty/that fox stole when they played Chester, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, and Felix! Thanks for picking right up where my warped mind left off and jumping us both off that cliff!
exactly what I was thinking.
…you know, if we keep this up, the grown ups in the room will separate us for being disruptive in class.
In my happy little world (because NCIS:LA/Densi/Deeks have become a significant part of my happy place), ECO will be back next year full time. Or if he continues to reduce his time, they will use him wisely like they have Dani with her leaves. I agree with Sassyzazzi, TPTB should be more than capable of pulling this off. I refuse to believe ECO will leave at this time. He seems very happy with his job there and with the people he works with. I believe he’s intelligent and insightful enough to recognize that you don’t throw that (not to mention a steady paycheck!) away in his line of work. Especially with two young children at home. I appreciate that he has other aspirations and things that excite him career-wise, and I can imagine that he wants to spend more time on those things. But realistically, NCIS:LA won’t run forever (even in my happy little world, sniff), so there will be plenty of time for him to persue those other projects as well. [You’re welcome, Eric, for mapping your life out for you for the next few years].
And speaking to Eric directly again: C’mon man, we know you must lurk here occasionally…toss your fans a bone and give us some reassurance that we’ll see you back full time in Season 10. We promise not to tell anyone!
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I vote for Psyched to be ECOs new life coach.
Psyched and I may have officially solved the problem…
We have determined that the chaotic partner pairings are the result of faulty equipment.
The Partner-O-Matic random partner generator that is being used by the show management to make these decisions is out of adjustment.
Apparently, the process involves playing spin the bottle to establish the partners for the week.
Things took a downward turn when the primary equipment, Hetty’s antique vase, was broken during a game of naked twister.
They were then forced to use a backup system consisting of old Zima bottles.
It is an intricate scientific process, but if the label isn’t completely peeled off and all the adhesive removed from the bottle, it sticks to the floor and also causes increased aerodynamic drag, leading to faulty results.
I vote for Ed to be NCIS: LA’s Partner-O-Matic engineer. Clearly you have the know-how to fix this situation!
I will never admit to spending an abundance of time picking at the labels on open bottles of alcohol.
even if it would make me a trained professional.
Excellent piece! You’ve voiced every concern I’ve had since Eric started taking time off last season. I haven’t heard much about Eric’s writing other then the “10,000 no’s” interview. Did he start his own production company? It’s a shame fans have been so rude on some of Eric’s posts over the past season because he’s become a lot more secretive about his work. I hope Eric doesn’t leave ncisla and remains the cop we all grew to love but I’ll support him no matter what!
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Please take this as an honest question, not a challenge.
I am truly interested in what you have noticed on social media.
Personally, although I ask some pointed questions here, I would NEVER even consider putting a statement like that on his Instagram or facebook page, I just wouldn’t.
I have seen some very rude people post things, but it is usually about social political statements he has made, not about his work.
If so, I hope it stops.
There are kind and polite ways to ask a question, and it would be nice to see more of it. People do like to hide behind the keyboard, so to speak.
I have seen both ECO and Dani get attacked over a post about assault weapons. Which is ironic because they both support the 2nd.
Ironically, Dani’s family are gun owners, they plan to teach their kids to gun safety and how to shot when they are old enough, and she is even married to a former Navy Seal…not a fake one like Sam.
People don’t pay attention and just lash out.
and using a gun on TV..that comes up a lot…seriously folks.
Anyway, I have seen ECO get attacked online over gun control, politics, and gay rights, but not much more. And, these are all hot button topics anyway. Throw in religion and you usually have a sure fire way to start an argument online.
They are smart, publicity savvy people, and there is no way they posted a statement without knowing it would incite a typing riot of comments.
they had to expect it.
Dani usually(almost always) steers clear of these topics, and ECO does too for the most part. His wife Sara gets flamed occasionally, like when she started wearing Hillary for president paraphernalia when posting pics of her little girl. interjecting politics into a cute family moment.
There is an occasional comment when he was posting in support of Triumph Motorcycles in a strong By American phase.
Then there is the group that gets on him for schlepping for free rooms at the Four Seasons constantly when he can easily afford to pay for it himself. You know the standard argument, if he doesn’t have to pay, then the other guests have to make up the difference, because the resort isn’t going to lose money on food and cleaning services.
Actually, the most upset I have seen Eric reply to something was when people ask if Sarah is pregnant when she is not…
It might be a language or cultural thing, where the etiquette and manors get lost in translation, but it comes across as rude whatever its intention.
probably the same group that constantly asks if it is weird kissing your in-law.
drop it already…
But, are the fans being critical about his work? I am curious, because I don’t dig through or read everything out there.
Anyhow, not my social or political thoughts, just casual observations.
I feel that I am missing something.
…As Kensi would say…a cerebral cortex…
There, beat you to it.
Very thoughtful piece. No matter what the reason Deeks has reduced screen time, we probably can’t do anything about it except voice our opinion on the matter. I do know that with less Deeks and less team banter, as a whole, the show has not been fun for me.
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it has lost it’s unique vibe that made it special.
Okay, as far as the ECO leaving discussion goes,
Here is a thought.
Is it possible that the recent hiding of the production calendar was to avoid showing ECO having a lot of time off at the end of the year?
He has had a dramatically reduce amount of screen time lately.
Also, many of his scenes are quick, simple and not tied to filming schedule. There are not a large number of scenes in field locations or with large groups of the cast.
He has scenes with a single person with an easy backdrop. Like Callen in the truck for example. That could be filmed any time and quickly.
Here is where I am going with this. When Dani planned to take maternity leave, they pre shot a lot of scenes for her.
Her and Eric shot enough scenes in a week just prior to the hiatus after most of the cast had left to last for half a season.
Guest actors and a couple of scenes with the main cast and it was done.
The issue is the type if scenes that are easy to do in this situation.
Kensi, Deeks, the hospital, and some guest actors.
A simple or limited set and small groups.
Kensi in Afghanistan was the same way.
Is Eric’s lack of interaction, limited scenes, the lack of bullpen scenes, and the odd pairings a result of him being gone a lot more than we are aware of?
His recent scenes remind me of the time Dani was away.
Could the removal of the production calendar be because so much of the season finale was shot out of sequence to accommodate his time off??? And we would have seen the out of order shooting and a bunch of “ECO off” post its on the calendar. Curious, right?
Just worth talking about.
Please, somebody talk me out of this line of thinking.
I am sure there are crew or cast social media feeds that can prove this wrong.
Im not sure we can have much faith in the writers to not jack over one of the characters.
Don’t forget. Dom was a series regular and only made it 13 episodes before going missing.
Brennan even said later, that from the beginning he always planned to kill off one of the main characters early but didn’t know who at the start.
Imagine if it had been Kensi,… no Densi, no romance, no one for Deeks to play off of constantly, no incredible chemistry…
Deeks might still exist, but with so much improv off of Dani, I would not be the same character we have now. so much of who he is is based on his feelings for Kensi.
..luck of the draw…or Dom just wasn’t a good fit.
Then, there was the comments that originally Kensi was going to lose a limb. Her helicopter crash would have resulted in losing her leg.
Bad script reviews and focus group reactions likely led to a change. They got talked out of it somehow.
Quite likely, they were afraid of the backlash.
Can you imaging a working mother having her character get maimed because she took maternity leave… not overly popular, right?
That would also have made a huge difference in Densi as we know it.
Remember, we were told that they belonged together and should get their happily ever after…then not too long ago, the show runners wanted to cut off her leg…
So, they could do something potentially horrible to Deeks.
I sure wouldn’t put it past them.
Terrifying, I know.
A lucky break.
Usually the show shoots a couple of episodes for the following year at the end of the production run. This year it didn’t happen, and that could really be a blessing in disguise.
Here is my thought. We currently have Mosley and Harley in the mix. We also don’t particularly love the direction things are going lately.
If they shot 2 episodes for season 10 now, we would likely get more of the same.
My hope is that the writers get 3 months off to figure out what isn’t working and try to fix it. Correct the partner pairings, modify the future story arcs and get thing back on track. They can gather the feedback, dump what isn’t working, make adjustments and then move on
Not shooting the episodes now gives us a chance at getting 2 more improved episodes after the corrections have been made, instead of 2 more of the same underwhelming things we have gotten this year.
So, if they just decided to wait, or ECO needed time off, or Dani needed to get to Portugal earlier than usual, or the delayed late renewal from CBS made them hold off on filming…or any combination of the above…
It was a good thing.
When you are going the wrong direction, the sooner you stop and ask directions and get back on track the better…Right?
Thanks for all the comments. It has been enlightening hearing what others think. I could handle ECO needed extra time off as long as his time on the screen is worth it. Maybe he is working on a project that cannot be publicized yet.
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Thanks for all the great comments. You guys are not making me feel any better, LOL. I was hoping a bunch of you would tell me that I’m imagining things! Lindy’s and other’s assessments of why Deeks is so integral to the show were spot on, and I agree that he’s irreplaceable. Also, Ed, I remember that Comic Con interview but I remember what struck me was that ECO didn’t jump in and agree with Daniela that he’d be sticking around to the end of the show. And just to feed our paranoia a little more, I saw a reference to this old scoop on Tumblr today: http://tvline.com/2018/01/19/gifted-season-2-spoilers-morlocks/. It would appear that back in January, the showrunners were, and maybe still are, looking to cast a recurring character who sounds like a bit of a mix between Kensi and Deeks, a smart, strong female who questions authority. That does NOT make me feel better about this situation.
Wow, thanks for the reminders.
you either have a photographic memory, or your search skills are legendary…probably both.
I couldn’t remember where i saw the interview but now it all came back. I think I assumed that Eric was more focused on keeping up the banter and messing with Dani than answering the questions. I am usually the conspiracy guy (as you are aware) but that one didn’t strike me that way…obviously it should have.
and thanks for the TV line flash. I actually stumbled across that comment a while back over the hiatus . Probably while looking for ratings, spoilers or another one of the renewal/ cancellation predictor things that I should stop looking at.
I had completely forgotten about it for some reason.
Maybe I should be more concerned than I already am???
My thought is there is not room for everybody, Harley is listed as recurring.hmm
Hey, I got it. she will replace the time that will no longer be needed for Anna once she is thrown in jail for murder. she can show up a couple of time a year and maybe become Callen’s new girlfriend…
Anna doesn’t work. I would have much rather seen Callen with Joelle (before the turn obviously),
Grace Stevens, Talia, the CGIS woman, or the tall blond with the short hair that made a pass at him ( cant remember the name)…oh, was she the one with the Treasury Dept I think…
any of these characters would be a huge step up from Anna.
….Arkady needs to stay tho.
wow is this of track, sorry I drifted a little.
Very good write up. I think ECO wants to move on. He cancelled his comicon appearence so he could “film” his vacay and avoid any uncomfortable questions/comments. His podcast with Matt Del Negro was very telling.
On a personal note, my thanks to WikiDeeks for the opprtunity to write the 3 Essential Episodes. It was a great experience. I wish the staff well and thank them for all their hard work.
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Great podcast with ECO. Def worth a listen. It explains some of his life philosophies and all the projects he has going on.
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I’m sorry to admit that I actually haven’t seen an episode of season 9 since the Christmas episode. The new characters just don’t do it for me, and I found myself going through the episodes in search for the densi scenes, until I stopped watching all together. I do follow what happens each episode on Instagram though (videos and pics do the trick).
Things I noticed and wanted to add to your article:
– Rick Tunnell pretty much always posted the crew’s montly work schedule on Twitter. Which usually gets picked up on Instagram. Here we really started noticing ECOs absences and extra holidays. And then all of sudden, since January ’18, Rick’s posts stopped.. I always wondered if this was related to each other.
– In the past, Dani and ECO have both stated that ECO wrote an episode for the show. However we have never seen the light of this. Also, as you stated, ECO really tried to learn how to direct and produce, but unlike COD, ECO never directed an episode on the show. Maybe this has caused tension?
– Finally, and this is quite personal, I feel like ECO does no longer feel comfortable playing densi. Especially after Sarah and Dani’s second pregnancies I feel like he lost enthousiasm for the ship or that it makes him uncomfortable. I also saw Instagram accounts manipulating pics as if Densi was having a baby during that time or demanding that Sarah would have a guest role on the show. And that after Dani once stated in a podcast with dr. Berlin that the densi relationship is ‘not talked about’ in their family. What I’m trying to say here, is that I would actually understand his point of view. I know he is an professional actor, but he is also a human with a family.
I really hope your theory of ECO giving the new actors space to develop and a ‘real’ densi season will come in season 10 will be true. Lets hope for the best..
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Sorry just saw someone already mentioned the filming schedule.. I have to learn how to read haha
This season I admit I started to be afraid of ECO leaving the show very very early on, I don’t know why, it was a feeling, a vibe, something that was never explicit but often implied.
And it never got better, quite the other way round, it got worse, because I saw he had more and more time off, I saw that the new characters, especially Hidoko, had more screen time than Deeks, I saw how many random and disjointed scenes Deeks had (proof that ECO had filmed them quickly and only with a few cast members), I saw that in the rare scenes that DR and ECO had together they didn’t seem to try very hard, not very concentrated, often tired (bored?) as if they knew something was going to change between their characters anyway, and I started to realize that the TPTB could be trying to make the Densi fans “forget” what it had been to see them together, work together, be partners, banter, interact, be silly, be romantic, be badass and much more. A reset of the Densi fans’ minds? A kind of brainwash? Like in the saying “Far from the eyes, far from the heart”?
Unfortunately for me it didn’t work this way and the less I saw Deeks and Densi this season, the more I wanted to see them and I continued thinking all the Deeks and Densi fans deserved more, much more than what we were being given.
Now I’m really concerned ECO may be really leaving at the end of this season. For example I found very odd he didn’t even bother to post anything congratulating on NCIS:LA renewal for Season 10. I know other cast members didn’t either (I have checked), but knowing ECO had always been very invested in the show and his character, I simply expected he would, and he didn’t. Strange, isn’t it? Then I read he cancelled Philadelphia Comic con without saying anything either. Very strange, yet again, something you wouldn’t have expected from him (not just the cancelling, but at least some words for the loyal fans who had bought the tickets).
So I agree with all of you who said something we still don’t know may be going on, but it’s not easy to understand what. We only have to wait and see. And I still hope it’s nothing, it’s really nothing, we can sleep tight because the show will go back to what it was, with full-time Deeks and possibly some memorable Densi scenes.
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very well said.
at the risk of sounding callous,
I would much rather learn of a planned departure with a statement like Pauley Perrette did… Instead of figuring it out by observing the behavior, attendance, effort, and enthusiasm of the actor.
but that is me.
while you are still here, be here, and act like you want to be here.
leave on a high note.
the last thing you want as a professional, is for people to say…yeah, it was obvious he was leaving…he was just mailing it in, going through the motions. the dedication wasn’t there, it was obvious his heart wasn’t in it any more.
that would be a sad ending to such a great run.
your examples make me even more scared…
I was thinking…
A bad way to start a statement, Right?
Especially from me.
It’s all down her from here.
Anyway, as out of character as owning a bar is for Deeks, it does provide a useful tool if ECO is no longer going to be on the show full time.
Maybe the Bar was a calculated plan.
Assuming Dani is going to be there for at least the next season it provides for a plausible plot.
Deeks quits to get the bar running, Kensi plans to continue to work until the bar is open and making money for them to live on.
If ECO is leaving, and if he has agreed to be a recurring character, this may be the plan.
It provides a career for Deeks that would plausibly allow for the team (cast) and not just Kensi to interact with Deeks in a setting that could have some entertainment value.
Maybe Densi gets married and stays together.
Deeks could be a recurring character. ECO shooting occasionally and appearing in 8 or 10 episodes next year.
The bar provides a good place for the team to meet, get together, harass Deeks, and so on…it could make a good prop and tool for the show to use to keep a beloved character around even if a reduced role.
First, Karen @anonkp I basically did a standing slow slap after reading this. Incredible job covering so many aspects. This reminded me why you are such a great member of our team.
Second, like most all the rest of you much of this season and this growing speculation is leaving me resigned and depressed! I recall listening to the 10,000 Nos podcast on a flight and feeling my eyes bug-out, as this sounded like some big changes prompted by ECO.
I’m maybe a little more confident (& naively idealistic) that ECO isn’t leaving NCISLA. He knows and has commented about how rare it is to have a steady gig, especially one this considerable, in their line of work. He’s a financially smart guy and knows his family is relying on him. He started the show as a single man and now has a wife and two kids, who as he recently mentioned, will need college tuition!
Yet, he’s always struck me being filled with wanderlust. He’s obviously not afraid to put himself out there to try new things. (Remember he left a college scholarship to trek out to California in the first place.) He seems to need some more creative outlets in which he has a greater level of input & control. In Hollywood, producing makes perfect sense. He can pick and choose what he wants to work on and can even contribute his own ideas.
It sounds like where we all are uncomfortable is the apparent conflict between the show and his other endeavors. Where is the split? It seems to be more than 90% NCISLA and 10% producing. As the portion of NCISLA decreases, the more upset we are as fans. There’s really no way to know, at least right now, as ECO is as good as the Avengers cast at keeping things under wraps for two reasons – 1) you never know what might fall through and 2) to crank up the fans – something he’s quite skills at #MasterTroll
On a previous Surf Log someone comments about how the show overall is hardly recognizable as what it once was. While I’m all for evolution and growth, the comment really took root with me. When I catch a random scene from a season past, they are right; it feels completely different and not in a good way. They’ve endured a lot of changes in the past couple of years with Brennan stepping away, a number of writers leaving, and cast changes. While I love Gemmill (particularly his writing for Densi), it feels like maybe the show has started to lose a defined direction?
My biggest issues are the missing interplay and lacking character development both individually and in the partnerships (except for maybe Sam & Callen). It feels like this was the sacrifice made in having to handle the absences of Granger & Hetty along with the introduction of Mosley (who has GOT to go) and Hidoko. I appreciated all the comments about how there was still good quality writing/arc/storyline during DR’s absence and the same definitely can’t be said for ECO. I do however suspect his absences were not planned as far in advance and seemed more sporadic. In this case I don’t know how you can keep strong writing, plot, and character development on a front burner.
One thing I wanted to note is how many people are directly tying Kensi’s future with Deeks. Yes, they have unquestionably become Densi and how ECO challenges everyone with his improv, which has likely made DR even stronger. However, I want to remind everyone how strong and great Kensi/DR was before and with Deeks. While he brings out great qualities in her, she is not diminished without him. DR was and can be an amazing Kensi without Deeks/ECO. (Kensi’s Season 1 smashing an SUV with a battering ram is still among my favorite DR scenes.)
Thanks to whoever is still reading my rambling at this point. So as usual all we can do is wait and see. I’d like to think ECO will tell us something after the finale, but that’s also dependent upon whatever cliffhanger might keep us on the line through the summer. With that maybe he’ll have a better idea after some summer conversation. (This makes me curious how the show contract is written for such considerable absences…?)
In conclusion like all of you, I’d hate to see Deeks leave or even have more considerable absences. Yet, as someone who has been in my current job for 13 years, I get it. There can be new staff, projects, and goals, but sometimes it’s not enough. Life is short and we know ECO doesn’t seem to be one to just sit back and coast through things. So no matter what happens, I try to just appreciate what we’ve been given. As I wrote in my wikiDeeks “Goodbye” post, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Let’s just hope this “keeps happening”!
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Soooooo …. bear with me here …. I’m going to throw out something WILDLY speculative here.
What if … ECO’s absences aren’t career-oriented? We’re pretty much focusing on that, right? What’s another reason? What if it’s health-oriented? He looks ok but sometimes health issues don’t “show”. The stuff he’s doing this season is a lot of low-impact things for the most part: talking to suspects in the boathouse, sitting in a food truck, sitting in a bar, etc. This is something they would definitely not talk about and would create as much time as needed for him, much like a pregnancy for an actress.
I’m totally not saying there is a problem like this but there could be other reasons for decreasing his time on the show.
I love ECO, DR and the Densi relationship but, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that ECO is either leaving permanently or we will have another season like Season 9. Either way, it’s not great news. I’m trying to be more optimistic and I still watch every Sunday night, but the main reason I became hooked on this show was because of the Densi relationship. Without that, for me anyway, it just won’t be the same.
I know change happens and characters evolve and that’s great, but in my heart, I want Kensi and Deeks to be together and have the happy ending they deserve. I don’t see that happening if ECO leaves or if ECO is only a part-timer. They’ve gone through a lot and Densi fans have become invested in their relationship. It sounds harsh, but I just don’t want a watered-down version of the show with characters that don’t really even want to be there. If by some chance ECO and Hetty were to both leave the show, I would have just preferred that Season 9 be the last season. It could have ended on a happy note with a wedding and Hetty officially retiring for good this time. Oh, and also ECO finally opening the dang box. For the life of me, I cannot imagine what’s in the box, but it would be a great reveal for the final finale.
I’m thinking maybe an official announcement of some sort from ECO or TPTB will come after pilots for the new season are announced on May 20th as this could be a factor in ECO’s decision for Season 10. I read somewhere that it would be filmed in Florida (not LA) if picked up. Either way, I’m thinking it’s just another reason along with ECO’s writing and producing projects that could sway his decision.
Staying tuned for now, hoping for the best.
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To clarify, I was referring to Sarah Olsen’s pilot, Skinny Dip. We should know if it gets picked-up somewhere around May 17-20th.
By the way, I saw that yesterday a fan commented one of ECO’s IG pictures asking him “how do you fit it all in? do you ever sleep?” and he replied: “i don’t. i’m exhausted”.
It really hit me, because I had already noticed he looked very tired in nearly all his recent pictures and this was his direct confirmation.
Maybe this year has been very tiring and demanding for him for a myriad of possible reasons (work, family, other projects), who knows…
If, crossing our fingers, ECO isn’t leaving the show and he’s coming back for Season 10 (full time, I mean, not running a bar and appearing only in two or three episodes), I hope he can take advantage of this summer to relax and recharge his batteries and give Deeks all the energy he needs for more scenes similar to those that made us fall in love with his character.
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Me too Cladani! I want the “all-in” version of Deeks/Densi!!
It does not surprise me that he is tired. He works long hours, raising two small children and trying to further his career. Raising two small children is exhausting. Even vacations bring lots if extra work when taking small children. I just hope he takes care of himself. He can work less hours as long as they are quality. I am surprised at how much this has taken up my thoughts. It is a testament to the character and actor.
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Wow, there are so many great thoughts and observations out there, you guys are amazing. Just so many different perspectives and points of view. It really makes one think.
After reading everything, I thought I would what I usually do…
Use incomplete observations, pour assumptions and wild guesses to figure this all out perfectly…or not.
It seems rather apparent that both ECO and DR have a lot going on right now and are spreading themselves awfully thin.
From a show standpoint DR seems to be doing a better job of staying engaged. Interviews, photoshoots, prepping for Eurovision friends and family you haven’t seen since the holiday break and so on.
Yet , despite the 8 hour time zone change, she is still promoting the show.
ECO, not so much. It is not much, it is pretty last minute, and he missed the episode by 2 weeks. It makes it seem a little disconnected or lacking in interest. The fact that the post seemed less like a show promotion than it did fishing for Dodge to give him a free truck didn’t help much, it just …appeared…well off somehow.
The fact that the error was mentioned by fans rather quickly and he failed to correct or even mention it seemed off as well. Not typical behavior from him.
A possible health issue was mentioned.
But being able to fly rules out a few things, as does being able to sit on an airplane for 11 hours from LA to Europe. He has been riding around on motorcycles, tossing his kid 10 feet into the air then catching him, and doing pushups with 3 kids on his back. He appears pretty heathy.
Maybe its internal? Well there doesn’t seem to be an issue traveling to Hawaii and Europe and being a long way away from his regular doctor…so who knows, it could be.
Likely it’s just pure exhaustion.
So why not admit it? If you cancelled comicon because you are exhausted, just say so. Tell the fans that you have been working on a lot of new and exciting things and you just over did it. Your beat and need to rest. Your sorry and will catch them next time.
…But I don’t think that is why he skipped it. I think he wanted to avoid the questions is far more likely.
If you are worn out then say so. The fans will understand.
A while Dani was asked why she stopped posting her workout exercises.
She acknowledged it had been a while, said it was because of a back issue limiting her ability to exercise, and even posted a pic of her with Acupuncture needles stuck in her lower back.
The outpouring of support was incredible.
Honesty goes a long way.
His indoor scenes I thing are keep thing quick, simplified, and allow for shooting in advance or out of sequence.
The physical scenes often require multiple takes to get the choreography right, so maybe it is a time thing?
So, what else could it be?
It really doesn’t make sense that the show wants to push him out.
I have a feeling this is his idea.
Which only leaves us with a couple likely possibilities.
…well a lot actually, but, lets focus on the most probable.
Ockham’s Razor, and all that.
1-He has already decided to leave for good and just isn’t telling anyone yet.
2- he wants to reduce his time and come back part time and the show has not committed to it yet, it is being negotiated, or they are waiting to see how the finale is received first before entertaining the possibility of a part time Deeks.
3- he hasn’t decided what he wants to do and is holding out until after they find out if Sarah’s show gets picked up before he makes a decision.
That might be the most likely.
If so, it would be nice to just hear it. The fans would be hugely supportive. Sure, they do not want him to leave, but spin it this way…
Guys, since I have been on the show we have had 2 wonderful children, my wife has supported me and my dreams provided a home, taken care of our kids, and gladly put her career on hold in the process.
If her Pilot gets picked up and she gets offered a part in the series, it will be my pleasure to support her in her dreams this time. I will clean the house, play mister mom, and pursue projects that allow me the flexibility to do so.
…or something along those lines.
What job is more important than taking an active part in raising your kids.
How could you not respect and admire that…worded better of course.
When you leave people guessing, they tend to assume the worst.
No, he doesn’t owe the fans anything.
They don’t owe him anything either.
A level of respect and fair treatment is nice though.
Have some fans been hard on him, sure.
But those are words.
How about those fans that bought tickets to see him only to have him cancel…they are out real money.
Who has been disrespected more?
I am not implying that he owes them their money back…but an honest explanation…or just say sorry even…Something.
It is really not like him at all and it just disappoints me.
Loyalty and respect should go both ways.
…there is something called change management.
The right way to go about introducing something new.
Obviously, the show runners, Eric himself and CBS could all use a class on it. Because as a group, they have handled this poorly.
I look at how Pauley Perrette and NCIS handled her last season.
It is even a big part of their promoting things.
How about Michael Weatherly.
…now look at this mess.
If he wants to wait until after the new shows are picked up, just say so.
Supporting your wife’s career is a fantastic reason to move on.
Just food for thought.
I know I missed a lot, but it is a start.
Did I completely miss the mark?
Again, this is posed as sort of a debate question or mock trial statement not my personal feelings. Just picking a side for conversation.
I don’t think ECO is ill, but he is like you say, simply exhausted. He is likely spreading himself too thin. He’s tired, has a crazy schedule, and has said himself that he doesn’t get much sleep in order to get it all done. The posting of the Dodge Ram truck and it being the wrong episode is a real tell-tale sign in my opinion. Shouldn’t he know what episode is airing? To me this shows a real lack of interest, but I’m sure that could be due to everything else he has on his plate. Sure he loves NCIS LA and I’m sure he’s grateful for what the show has done for him, but when you have so much going on you have to prioritize and I’m thinking the show just isn’t making the cut. While the show has been good to him no doubt, he has also been great for the show. I can’t imagine no Deeks. It just wouldn’t be the same. He is charming, handsome, funny and brings so much to the table. He would be very hard to replace.
Many of us have 8-9 years invested in this show. Without us, the ratings would not be what they are… or should I say were? So I absolutely agree with you in that whatever changes are on the horizon they could have been handled better. If ECO wants a limited schedule like Ducky on the other NCIS he could be negotiating for that. I think this is what Linda Hunt did. The question is, would the show runners agree to having two major characters working a limited schedule? One sure, but two? I don’t know. For this reason, I’m thinking he has one foot out the door. Even if Linda Hunt were to retire completely from the show it seems to me that TPTB might not want to have any other major character changes simultaneously as it could have a disastrous effect on the ratings. Of course, as you and I have both said, he may be waiting on pilot pick-up announcements before making a decision. I read somewhere that Skinny Dip was a long shot at best. Something to do with the co-star. I hope that’s not the case.
I would love a little transparency regarding what’s going on. Honesty as you said goes a long way and it would keep the rumors and speculation to a minimum. Plus, we’re great fans. We’re invested and we deserve to know. Maybe his contract won’t allow him to talk at this time or maybe he just doesn’t know yet. Either way, the sooner we know the better because I cannot enjoy the show the way I used to not knowing. Maybe it’s me projecting my own anxiety, but I feel a real sense of impending doom when I watch the show.
Always a fan, but not feeling real good about Season 10.
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I do not think he is ill or injured either.
I was just addressing it as a topic of discussion.
I think he has over extended himself and is just worn out.
100% self inflicted.
The sound of the silence is deafening.
It is not what is being said, it is what is not.
Even Dani said thank you , but nor the words “we will be back next year”.
Although I believe she will be,
She seemed genuinely excited for the renewal.
I see Dani sticking around.
As a working mom, she seems very appreciative of the situation she has.
With a big trailer, full time access for her Nanny, and her kids allowed on site is a huge benefit.
Her being able to spent her downtime with her children is very important to her.
I would see her sticking around for at least 2 more years. Until her daughter goes off to preschool anyway.
With Dave needing to spend time running his own business as well, the flexibility is fantastic.
We did hear about ECO potentially directing an episode. Not sure what happened.
Maybe it was an empty promise…kind of like the Deeks, M episode we were promised for years…
Maybe it got scrubbed do to a required rewrite caused by Miguel’s passing or Dani’s pregnancy leave or Linda’s extended time off.
I believe that Eric is a good kind person that really cares about his fans.
I think he has made a decision that he knows is going to disappoint and hurt many of the fans and is holding off on announcing it for as long as he can.
I am sure he has mixed emotions about it.
As excited as he is for his new projects, he also knows that it is going to leave some of his fans heartbroken.
For some, it is not just about entertainment. People find joy, happiness, peace, and inspiration in many different places.
And, just because it is a fictional character doesn’t mean that it is not important to them in some way.
They relate to it.
While there is a realistic possibility that ECO may not be able to announce his departure from the show,
if he was actually coming back for season 10, it would be hard to imagine how he wouldn’t be allowed to state that in public..
I find it unlikely that a main cast character would not be allowed to announce his return, right?
So why the silence???
The whole situation has a ( insert catch phrase below)
“There is an underlying feeling of impending doom”
I know…ominous, right?
Nothing about this makes me feel good about it.
There is a right way,…and a wrong way to do things.
NCIS had dealt with the loss of Duckey to part time
And now Abby.
They have all been handled far better than whatever is up with Deeks and ECO.
Even as upset as some fans were to lose Ziva, at least she didn’t sorta disappear or act disinterested half way through her last season.
This is just a really bad job of managing the situation.
The situation is nor unique, but the way it is being dealt with is rather poor.
if you do not like to see critical comments about things you like, Please do not read.
Probably the most insensitive thing I have written.
This is not intended as an attack, but rather as an objective look at the situation and all the rationalizing that takes place when we like someone.
Some is in the first person, But not necessarily my feelings.
Just for discussion.
The fans on this site are some of the most kind and considerate people I am aware of.
There is just so much concern for ECO.
And at times the reasoning escapes me.
I must be an insensitive Jerk.
Does he look exhausted, yes
Is he trying to do too much and not getting enough sleep, maybe
Is his performance suffering, I think so, a little, yes.
But why do we feel bad for him?
It is all his choice, it is self-inflicted.
Try taking a look at the issue in an objective manor. It is often hard to do so when feelings are involved.
He is a nice guy, so we insert our feelings into the equation.
We like him
He is a great guy
He is a wonderful father and family man
He wants to follow his dreams…
None of this is relevant in addressing his actions.
If this was Mike Tyson you wouldn’t feel bad for him because he lost his endorsements after getting that awful tattoo on his face.
Hey, the guy went broke over some bad decisions…
But we didn’t like him, so it’s all his fault, right. Yep. Too bad.
We feel bad for Eric because we like and admire him.
But this is all his fault, don’t forget that.
He has a great stable good paying job close to home and he is unsatisfied with it and is spending all his spare time taking on other things.
We use justifications like he is providing for his family, he can only work for so long, his kids need to go to college…
It is a big load of poop. Again, we add our feelings into the mix.
He is a multi-millionaire.
With a nearly Million dollar a year job.
I believe the first contract year on the show was 850,000, so I have no idea what it is so many years later.
and yet we are inclined to feel bad for him???
Big bank acct, check…
Big house, $1M/ year job…and we are supposed to feel bad for him because he is working too hard trying to get even more money???
Could this job end soon, sure it could.
But in the 8 years he has been there playing a fictional character, resting in his sweet trailer during his down time, and eating free food from craft services…he has done pretty well for himself.
He has made more money in this last 8 years than the vast majority of us will in our entire lifetime.
So, if there is some empathy and understanding, I get it.
…but I just can’t muster up much actual sympathy.
College is expensive, no doubt,
I have put my kids through it.
So, if he is concerned about the price of education, he should do what the rest of us do. Look for scholarships, grants and student loans.
And save up…that always helps.
If, hypothetically, I was concerned about not being able to afford college for my kids…I would probably try to save a few bucks by NOT flying to Hawaii and hanging out at the Four Season several times a year.
How many of us can even afford to go there once?
But that is just me.
Hey, the holiday inn has a pool too. Suck it up dude.
It is like listening to someone complain about the poor gas mileage and cost of fuel for his Ferrari or Lamborghini.
100% self -inflicted in an attempt to make more money…
No sympathy from way back here in the cheap seats.
We like the guy and enjoy his posts…so we excuse a lot.
It is human nature.
Wow, this sounds mean.
P.S. I understand if you never talk to me again…
This was just for discussion…not my feelings…remember?
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Thanks Karen for your thoughts on this. I too suspect that ECO may be leaving the show, or at least drastically cutting back his involvement. And who can blame him? Even before season 9, it seemed like Deeks was getting the short end of the stick in terms of storylines and character development. The much promised Deeks M is nowhere in sight, major arcs for Deeks seem to get cancelled or reduced, and the good dramatic material that could have really helped his long term on-camera career never materialized. No wonder if he decided to concentrate on his behind the camera future. It makes sense for him to transition, as he has apparently been doing, to writing and producing. I would not be surprised if he maintains some minimal on screen presence on the show, if only to stay in the public eye and possibly for economic reasons as well (who among us hasn’t stuck with a job we don’t care about for the sake of a paycheck?) But if I as a fan am disappointed and frangry with the underuse of my favorite character, imagine the frustration of the guy who plays him.
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I needed something to cheer me up and I started to look for old Densi scenes and some DR and ECO interviews, but unluckily I stumbled upon one that depressed me even more: an interview to ECO during San Diego Comic Con 2016. I’m sure everybody here remembers perfectly the scene I’m talking about.
It seems almost unbelievable how things have changed in more or less one year and a half. He was so different back then. His enthusiasm for the Densi relationship, the light in his eyes, his smile, the way he told the interviewer how he had shot very emotional scenes with Daniela in a couple of weeks (“the greatest thing that ever happened to Kensi and Deeks”) getting even a little teary-eyed while talking… He was so genuinely emotionally invested in his character and the Densi relationship that his emotion was really contagious and the viewers couldn’t help looking forward to the very touching Densi storyline he was so passionately talking about (so emotional that a sound guy had cried three times filming those scenes).
That was, I think, the enthusiasm that’s been lacking this season and I miss that ECO, the one capable of creating a connection with his fans and Densi shippers showing his affection to the very same characters the viewers loved so much (I think his last passionate post about Densi was for The silo, last November when he thanked the show for “such a compelling love story to play”). If now he doesn’t care so much anymore, why should we?
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To stay blind-fully positive, I have two really strong reasons that makes me think he will NOT leave the show:
– the omaze lunch
– he hasn’t cut his hair (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKgCn6Gk_ZM)
I think the total silence from ECO/DR on Instagram regarding this issue is because they are all playing with the fans on the suspense of whether Deeks is gonna survive whatever horrible event is going to happen to him on the last few episodes. Maybe a way to keep people watching despite the terrible writing of S9?
Wait and see whatever happens on those last episodes!
Also I personally felt pretty sure all season that Deeks was often missing because he was doing a long super secret undercover op with LAPD, but now I think it was wishful thinking.
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yes the writing and story has been of this year
but is that all the story?
As I Watch so many of the Densi scenes fall flat this year I wonder why.
Is it just the writing? Maybe.
The writers put together the framework obviously.
But, we have been told for a long time that ECO and Dani get a lot of input as to reactions, level of emotion and improvisation.
The final result is a wonderful product of collaboration.
Multiple takes, lets try this, Eric surprising Dani and her reaction…
So much of what we see is tweaked a little from the original idea after multiple takes.
They shoot it as designed, then they play around with it.
My though is the writers may not be getting that feedback and input any more.
If ECO is busy, warn out, losing interest, or just not there as much, or any combination really…that could explain it.
If he just said look, you write it, set it up, and I will act it out.
Then I have things to do…
That would explain a lot.
It could be as simple as ECO putting all his creative efforts into his new adventures and not on improving the dialogue or scenes on this show.
Could this be like a writer losing their proofreader and Bets, then continuing to post things.
without that feedback and input, the final product may look dramatically different.
there are some fantastic fanfic writers here, what do you think. do you value that level of feedback prior to putting it out there? could it be an issue?
Just a thought.
obviously I meant Beta…not Bets..I am sure you figured it out anyway.
this is rare, I usually ignore my typos, because there are far too many.
After watching the latest episode I definitely get the impression ECO will leave NCIS Los Angeles. He is 40 now, and has spent most of his 30s making the show. Deeks is a great character, but maybe ECO is looking at his life and wants to spend more time doing other stuff. However that raises some major issues around the Kensi character, maybe they will partner her with Hidoko. Fundamentally though, the whole bar thing makes no sense unless they are planning to sideline the Deeks character.
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But interesting he did not yet buy the bar (¨the owner let me take it for a spin¨) which makes me think he may not keep it. It could all be a set-up for the existential crisis that´s about to hit Densi, where Deeks actually starts to act on it instead of just talking about it as he did all season. Whether ECO leaves or not it actually makes me excited for the next few episodes!
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I feel like the latest episode (9×21) is a foreshadowing of what is to come. Deeks obviously needs and wants a change of life style with a slower pace. One where he is not getting shot at all the time. I only wish Kensi wanted the same thing. It seems to me these two are moving further away from each other wanting different things. Sure the whole bar thing can work for ECO and DR allowing ECO to work a limited schedule if that’s what he wants or even to just make an appearance a few times a year, but I don’t see it working for Deeks and Kensi. It’s like they are being cheated out of their happy ending. I would like to think that ECO plans to stick around long enough to give them that, but I too feel like he might be getting ready to jump ship which would be so out of character for Deeks. He would never abandon Kensi. So hoping they find a happy ending and a plan for the future together in the next couple episodes.
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The show wouldn’t be the same without Deeks. I enjoyed the first season of NCIS:LA but I wasn’t a fan of the show until they introduced undercover LAPD officer Marty Deeks. I will understand if Eric Christian Olsen leaves the show but, I hope for many more Densi moments.
hi you forgot the most important reasons and sort of the obvious ones : 1. when this episode has shot the crew and the actors did not know if there would be a 10th season, therefore, it might be canceled so they put all the actors in that car (they all died therefore close ending for us). they only knew 3-4 weeks ago
2. the actors and the crew knew that there is a 10th season but their contract is up, therefore, a new negotiation starts so they pull a stunt like “I am leaving” to get more money. after their demand is mate everything will be alright.
there is a big chance that negotiations are a big part of it.
it think possibly the issue with ECO is only partly about the money.
a raise could be the issue, true.
…but, from all appearances it is more about additional time off.
with all the new projects he has going on, it is more likely he wants to work part time for the same pay or as little pay cut as possible.
he seems to be spread pretty thin and if he could work less for the show, he would have more time for his personal projects.
I have a bad feeling that if we get Deeks back, and I do think we will…
…he will not be around quite as much.
we could get a long recovery from his injury, so that might help.
but , beyond that, we will have to see how it works out.
if he was planning to become an agent, then sending him off to Glynco for training would have worked well.
but since that is unlikely, who knows.
maybe Densi put a timeline on their retirement. that would be the best option.
I don’t see them remaining partners if they break up.
otherwise, you wind up with Deeks either dying, leaving for good, or serving up
cosmos in his bar…
none of which is good.
I still hope for a full time Deeks and a good Densi relatonship.
…we shall see.
I love Deeks character. He’s full of humor and adds life to the show. The cast of Hetty, Callen, Sam, Kensi, Deeks, Nate, Eric, and Nell are better than ever as they have a good rapport as a team.
Family is important and new projects are great for all actors. Must be hard acting with brother’s wife! Nia Long is a great actress but she does not fit with this team. She is no Haddy!!! Just love Linda Hunt! Awesome Lady! I am looking forward to the new season. LL Cool J is beyond busy! His character is amazing! Reruns on ION reprieve from studying! Thank You great article!!! Covers all the essentials and more!
Harley is leaving the show, it’s posted where she thanks everyone for letting her be a part of the show. Since Mosely has her son back, I think it’s going to go back to the old team once again! YAY… If not, and if Deeks were to leave, I think that Nell would take his place or they would bring in another new character…. But after all the back and forth between Kensey and Deeks, if something were to happen to Deeks, Kensey would not be able to forgive herself and vice-versa.
I can’t stand the thought of Deeks leaving. He along with all the other original actors (Kensi, Sam, Callen, Hetti, Eric & Elli) make the show what it is and I dont want to see anybody else taking any of their characters spots. The show will NOT be the same losing any of them. I have a strong feeling you would lose your ratings on TV if this was to happen.