The big cliffhanger of NCIS: Los Angeles' Season 9 finale left the fates of the four lead characters is serious question. Callen, Sam, Kensi, and Deeks were all in positions where they could be killed or at least very seriously injured in the long-term after an explosion. While we'll probably have to wait until the Season 10 premiere to find out exactly what happened, a new look at the first episode back shows three of the four who went to Mexico in some pretty rough shape:
This image is actually the second look at Season 10 to be revealed so far, and the first revealed Kensi well enough to at least stand, so her status as arguably the least-damaged agent in this new photo isn't altogether shocking. She does look like she has a head and neck wound, which is never a good thing. Still, at least she's not trapped under a helicopter! That's an improvement over a previous season premiere on NCIS: Los Angeles for poor Kensi.
The other two in the picture don't look quite as well off. This is somewhat surprising, given that Kensi was beside Deeks in the front of the SUV when it exploded, and Deeks is nowhere to be seen here. However the explosion affected the SUV, it seems that Callen's and Sam's seats offered poor protection. We can only see blood from what must be a head wound for Callen, but he's clearly in enough pain as he clutches his side that he can't bring himself to put both hands up.
And then there's Sam, whose face is absolutely scrunched up in pain. Navy SEAL Sam can tolerate a whole lot of pain and even underwent serious torture without even coming close to breaking, so we can probably take his expression in the photo as a sign that he's in serious pain. Poor Sam. Hasn't he had enough of a rough ride over the past few seasons?
Deeks' absence doesn't necessarily mean that fans need to start panicking. In the first look at the aftermath of Season 10's cliffhanger, Deeks is unconscious and not ready to run off on any escape missions without some help, but he's on a stretcher and looks to be getting some help. The episode description reveals that Callen, Sam, and Kensi will have "an unconscious Deeks in tow" as they deal with their own grave injuries and struggle to find a way to contact the team in Los Angeles. Considering their mission in Mexico was off-the-books and the episode is called "To Live And Die In Mexico," we may want to start worrying, if not panicking.
The good news is that whichever of the agents are back in action by the time episodes are airing in late October that they may have an ally in the form of a new deputy director, to be played by Esai Morales. He probably won't be able to replace the dearly-departed Granger in fans' hearts, but it should be interesting to see his dynamic with Mosely.
NCIS: Los Angeles will return to CBS on Sunday, September 30 at 9:30 p.m. ET. For more premiere dates (include those of the original NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans), take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule.