[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 10 finale of NCIS: Los Angeles, "False Flag."]
Will the NCIS: LA team be without its meerkats in Season 11?
Fans have been worried about Eric (Barrett Foa) and Nell's (Renee Felice Smith) futures with the team and on the show for some time now, and the Season 10 finale did nothing to alleviate those concerns.
In Episode 19, the couple began seriously considering moving to San Francisco. He received an impressive job offer, and her mother would receive the best treatment for her coronary heart disease there. While the team knows about Nell's mother's health issues, the couple hasn't talked about the potential move with anyone, though Hetty (Linda Hunt) likely knows, given she's flown up to see Nell's mother, knows about the job offer, and is Hetty.
But with the team working high-priority cases, all we've gotten as the season wrapped up were a few conversations and nothing was set in stone regarding where Eric and Nell will be in the future. Nell left in the middle of the case in Episode 23 after her sister called because she found their mother "unresponsive" and there were "complications."
And her mother was getting worse, as Nell was crying when she called Eric. The doctors had to intubate her and think there's an infection in the lining of her heart. He wanted to fly up to be with her immediately, but she protested he couldn't leave the team. Hetty ordered Eric to go, giving them no choice. "Thank you for everything," he said, kissing Hetty's cheek as he left.
But what does this mean for Eric and Nell's futures on NCIS: LA? Here are four possibilities.
They Move to San Francisco Permanently
As touching as it is that Hetty ordered Eric to leave in the middle of the crisis, he and Nell can't keep leaving in the middle of episodes like that. Nell was even the one to point out how important their jobs are. "This is bigger than the two of us," she said when Eric was ready to leave immediately. "Lives are at stake."
They could make the decision to move to San Francisco and Eric could take the new job. After all, as we've seen this season, there are other people, like Fatima, Fang, and Jasmine, who can operate out of the Ops Center, maybe not as well as Eric and Nell, but they do get the job done.
Furthermore, there was something about Eric thanking Hetty for everything that felt a bit like a goodbye.
They Move to San Francisco Temporarily
The couple could take a leave of absence from work, for Nell to be with her mother and Eric to be there for Nell. Eric could even work remotely at times if he chooses to turn down the job offer. In the meantime, we could see someone else in Ops and Eric could video in on occasion until he and Nell return to Los Angeles.
Nell Moves, While Eric Stays
This may be the least likely possibility because it's hard to imagine the series separating the couple. But it is possible that only Nell moves to San Francisco, while Eric stays in LA. The resolution of the Season 10 finale cliffhanger could play a role in the decision or something else could come up.
Nell Continues to Split Her Time Between L.A. and San Francisco
Nell could begin working part-time at NCIS, and the agency could have someone else — people we've seen before and new faces — helping Eric in Ops when she's not around. Eric could occasionally join her in San Francisco.
Sound off with your thoughts on Eric and Nell's future with the team and show in the comments below.
NCIS: Los Angeles, Season 11, Fall 2019, CBS