The focus in NCIS Los Angeles is on the cases, not the relationships, but fans still want some of their favorite characters to have romance.
In NCIS, romance often takes a backseat to the case of the week. Since the series are crime procedurals set in a military world, romance can’t always be the focus. That doesn’t stop fans from hoping that their favorite characters get the chance to find love and happiness. In contrast, NCIS Los Angeles actually has been more of a focus on romance than either of the other NCIS series.
It’s the first time the trio of shows has featured two main characters tying the knot on screen, after all. As a result, there’s been more of a chance for fans to speculate about the love lives of the characters as relationships between main characters change and new characters make their way in and out of the episodes. While some relationships are loved by fans, others get the mark of disapproval.
Fans Rejected: Callen & Joelle
When fans first meet Joelle, she is a teacher that Sam Hanna’s wife wants to set Callen up with. Callen is hesitant at first, but eventually, the two begin to date. Fans might think dating a teacher is too tame for a super spy like Callen, but a twist came later to make them really think Joelle isn’t the one for him.
Eventually, the show reveals that Joelle isn’t just a teacher; she’s a CIA operative. Considering she makes such a big deal about Callen’s job at NCIS being too much for her to handle, the betrayal hit fans hard. Even if they initially liked Joelle, they lost interest in her as a potential match for Callen once she lied about such a big part of herself.
Fans Supported: Sam & Michelle
Sam often speaks with complete adoration for his wife in the early seasons of the series. Fans don’t know too much about Michelle, however, until she’s pulled back into working as a spy – the same way she met Sam.
Michelle’s work has her undercover against a very dangerous person, and it ultimately cost her life. Fans were heartbroken that they were just getting to know the fierce and capable woman when the writers took her away from them. For a lot of fans, there wouldn’t be anyone else for Sam Hannah after Michelle left the storyline.
Fans Rejected: Callen & Kristin
Just as fans don’t approve of Joelle’s lies to Callen, the same is true for Callen’s lies to a potential love interest. While Callen is undercover early in the series, he meets Kristin, whose brother happens to be serving time.
While growing close to her, Callen doesn’t give Kristin his real name, and has an entirely fictitious backstory to bolster his cover. It’s hard to get behind a relationship that is entirely built on a fabrication.
Fans Supported: Sam & Katherine
One of the newest potential couples in the series, Katherine and Sam have fans curious. It’s hard to say fans support this couple since so many fans love Michelle. Many fans, however, want to see Sam get his happy ending after spending over two seasons grieving the loss of his wife.
As the employee of an insurance company, Katherine crosses paths with Sam on some of his cases. She knows the truth about his job, and isn’t put off by it. Katherine has also been there to help with those cases when NCIS needs a hand. Sam even lets Katherine drive his car, something he won’t allow Callen to do!
Fans Rejected: Eric & Abby
Eric and Abby are both fan favorite characters. Abby just happens to be from the original NCIS series, not NCIS Los Angeles. Abby originally met Eric through a video call for a case, and the two become friendly. When Abby comes out to Los Angeles to help on a case, Eric asks her out to dinner.
While fans enjoy seeing the two interact, the fact that most of the NCIS shows only share cast members once or twice a year would have made this long distance relationship a little awkward. There’s also the fact that, at the time, a lot of fans were still holding out hope for Abby ending up with McGee.
Fans Supported: Callen & Anna
Since fans have such a hard time picturing Callen in any kind of relationship with someone not in the law enforcement or spy fields, it’s fitting that Anna Kolchek seems to be the one person fans can agree on. Anna doesn’t exactly have the same moral compass as the agents working for NCIS do, but she does try to do the right thing, which might be why we all still find her so interesting to watch.
She’s smart, tough, and organizes prison breaks. Callen doesn’t seem to put out by her fugitive status when she stays with him after the fact either. She’s probably one of the few people on the planet who can keep up with a guy who has worked as a member of four different government organizations – and has essentially been groomed since childhood to be a spy.
Fans Rejected: Nell & Nate
Nate hasn’t made an appearance on the series in a few years, but in the early days of the show, his psychology was a valuable tool for catching suspects. Nell and Nate also happen to be friends, and he acted as her therapist after difficult cases, though they were never officially a couple.
Instead, Nell treats Nate like he’s a romantic interest when they first interact at the office – but only to make someone else jealous. When Nate accuses her of flirting to cause jealousy, however, she denies it. Fans thought their interactions were funny, but never took them seriously.
Fans Supported: Nell & Eric
When Nell first joins the NCIS Los Angeles team, Eric is very obviously intrigued by her intelligence. He keeps tabs on her and frequently asks her questions about her life outside of work. It’s more awkward than it is invasive, and the two begin a friendship that leads to them frequenting fairs and spending their holidays together.
At some point in the series, they do get together, but just where their relationship stands once Nell leaves to take care of her mother is up in the air. It appears like they’re the kind of couple who aren’t going to let a little distance get between them, but they also aren’t placing any labels on whatever their relationship is now. Fans just hope they end up together for good.
Fans Rejected: Kensi & Jack
Jack remained a mysterious figure in Kensi’s backstory for the first few seasons of the show. He is the man she planned to marry once upon a time, but his time in the military left him emotionally scarred and the two grew apart.
Much to the surprise of the audience, the series reintroduces Jack when Kensi is on assignment for NCIS overseas. The writers try to hint at the possibility of their reconnecting between the two when the story begins, but by that point, the audience was already too invested in Kensi pursuing a relationship with someone else to consider her reuniting with her ex.
Fans Supported: Kensi & Deeks
Kensi Bly and Marty Deeks might be the couple fans are most interested in during the series. From their very first interactions together fans were sure there was something there. Whether they’re teasing one another in the field, or supporting one another at home, they always have one another’s backs.
It took a few seasons for Kensi to even admit that she might feel something for Deeks, but once she did, she was all in. Six seasons after Kensi’s reluctance to admit they had “a thing,” the two married. We might all have to suspend disbelief that an agency like NCIS would allow a married couple to remain partners in the field, but fans are perfectly willing to do it for the two of them.