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On the last episode of NCIS: LOS ANGELES, we saw Owen Granger, and his portrayer, Miguel Ferrer, lying in a hospital bed, but still fighting.
Ferrer, who died of throat cancer on January 19, managed to utter some heart-wrenching words when Hetty (Linda Hunt) suggested that he rest. After being reassured that he was still alive, Granger asked about his team and any danger from the mole.
Despite his façade of gruffness, it was obvious that Granger, while concerned about the mole, cared deeply for his team.
Both Granger and Ferrer were consummate teammates. A personal observation, Miguel, who was the voice of The Martian Manhunter in the animated JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER, fought the Los Angeles traffic to record his voiceovers during his lunch breaks at CROSSING JORDAN.
As I stuffed a Styrofoam container of food into his hand on his way out the door, I again expressed gratitude that he was willing to rush around to accommodate our tight schedule. He replied with his slight smile, “I could never let you guys down” as he headed toward the traffic-laden parking garage.
I suspect that his final NCIS: LOS ANGELES scene was taken as much from Miguel’s life as from Owen’s. Determined to do his job, no matter how difficult, and showing concern for others were two traits that I admired in the character and the actor.
(Ferrer, reportedly also worked while ill to reprise his role as FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield in the star-studded TWIN PEAKS revival on Showtime premiering on May 21.)
In his last scene with Hetty, Ferrer’s magnificent voice was quiet and pained. When Hetty urged him to sleep, he said, “I dreamt that there was a buzzard, and he kept circling me.”
How Hunt kept her composure is beyond me, as tears flooded down my face as I watched.
Then, the dynamic duo showed off their penchant for humor as Hetty leaned in and whispered, “Don’t be a smartass, Owen.” Granger (and Ferrer) gave us that small, wry smile that let us know that he would never let us down.
Whether tonight’s episode of NCIS: LOS ANGELES, “Old Tricks,” addresses the fate of Owen Granger remains to be seen, but the series will pay a tribute to Ferrer. He will be heard in “Old Tricks” performing “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” with his longtime band, The Jenerators.
The episode features comedy vets, Martin Mull and Debra Jo Rupp as con artists, Edward and Ginger O’Boyle. The pair go target retirement homes, bilking elderly people out of their money.
(Useless info note for your local bar’s six-degrees trivia night: Ferrer made an uncredited guest appearance on ER which starred his first-cousin, George Clooney. Rupp also was a guest star on ER. Mull and Clooney are both alums of ROSEANNE.)
After Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Sam (LL Cool J) investigate a suspicious kidnapping attempt involving Navy Lieutenant Warren Miller (guest star Connor Weilz), Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) go undercover at the retirement home of MSgt. Louis Miller (guest star John Colton), the younger Miller’s grandfather.
Meanwhile, Callen confronts his father (Daniel J. Travanti) on his illegal activity and the danger it places on their family.
Guest stars on “Old Tricks” are Peter Cambor (recurring as psychologist, Nate Getz), India De Beaufort, LAS VEGAS’s Marsha Thomason, Terryn Westbrook, Mike Erwin, Anzu Lawson, Connor Weil, John Colton, Jeronimo Spinx and Makai Dudeck.
“Old Tricks” was written by Andrew Bartels and directed by Trrence Nightingall (another ER vet).