NCIS: Los Angeles ended its ninth season on a cliffhanger that left the lives of the four main characters in serious jeopardy, and all signs point toward some big changes for the tenth season. While we still can't say for certain if Callen, Sam, Kensi, and/or Deeks make it out of Mexico alive, we do know now that a new character with be around when the action picks up again, and he'll be played by none other than Esai Morales.
Esai Morales, known for his recent primetime work in shows like How to Get Away with Murder on ABC and Chicago P.D. on NBC, is moving to CBS to play an NCIS deputy director by the name of Gaines. The agents have run into their fair share of trouble when new directors enter the scene, as fans have seen with characters like the dearly departed Granger and Season 9 newcomer Shay Mosley. Granger wasn't the greatest ally to the agents in his early days, and Mosley certainly wasn't welcomed into the unit with open arms, but both proved to have more to them than the agents first thought. In fact, Granger's death made for one of the most touching and heartbreaking arcs of the series to date. Will Deputy Director Gaines begin his stint in a similar way?
Well, it's too soon to say whether the agents will welcome his presence into their unit, but it sounds like he'll be friendlier right off the bat than either Granger or Mosley. Gaines turns up in Los Angeles with a special prosecutor from the Department of Defense. The DOD is investigating the unit and the people who work there. Unlike the special prosecutor, Gaines has the agents' (and possibly Deeks') best interests at heart when he arrives in Los Angeles. He wants to protect and advise them on how to get through the questioning. Described as "smart, authoritative, polished, and trustworthy," Gaines will be a recurring character. Deadline reports that he'll debut in an episode airing in late October.
In case you're wondering what wound the Los Angeles office under investigation yet again, it has everything to do with the Season 9 finale and the subsequent rescue mission from Mexico. Although the agents had the best intentions, the final moments of the season finale proved that the mission went very wrong, and one or more of them may pay a hefty price for their gamble. Kensi appears to be more or less okay; can we say the same for the three men? The investigation by the special prosecutor and arrival of Deputy Director Gaines are part of the repercussions the agents will face for their actions. Hopefully Gaines will be as much of a genuine ally as he sounds.
In addition to stints on How to Get Away with Murder and Chicago P.D., Esai Morales had a memorable run on Ozark, appeared in Superfly, and contributed to another law enforcement unit on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. To see him in action on his new show, tune in to NCIS: Los Angeles when it returns in the fall. You can find the premiere date and more important TV dates on our fall TV schedule.