There aren’t a lot of procedural shows that have quirky couples and if they do they’re never regulars on a show. The pair I’m taking a closer look at today is exactly that on NCIS Los Angeles. Even though Eric and Nell are quirky and nerdy they’re in no way incompetent or only a comic relieve. Both often play a vital role in solving the case or rescue the world. Their brilliant minds are the primary reason why they joined the team. No wonder that their called Wonder Twins.
Ladies first. So here’s a few bits of information on Nell. She’s the youngest sister in her family. She’s whip-smart and if you follow the show you’ll definitely notice that she’s taking after Hetty more and more. As if she’ll be the one to replace the operations manager once she retires.
Nell joined the team in season 2 and since then was she’s been favourite of mine. I covered her in a different post.
Although the young service analyst had some troubles fitting in. Now she’s as much a part of the team as the others.
Eric was on the show since the beginning but one could say he’s the most mysterious character if you don’t count Hetty. We don’t know a lot about him or his life before he joined NCIS. We do know that he’s banned from Vegas and that he might have been a hacker. We also know that he’s very smart and great with technology and that he enjoys cosplay. That’s the things he let slip through the years but we don’t know much more about him or his story.
The evolution of the relationship between Nell and Eric is one that I enjoy because it covers all stages of a workplace romance. They started wary of each other even a little bit hostile. Nell had to prove her worth to the team and most to Eric who would become her partner. When she did that, she took over his whistle duties which showed the fans that he accepted her.
After that, they worked alongside each other. For quite some time they were friends and then best friends. Their relationship was platonic without even a hint of romance. Then slowly the romance was being introduced. Often serving as a little lightness and comic relief.
After the quirky and adorable will they or won’t they the relationship became a more traditional one. Even though the characters are in a relationship they don’t often show it. To someone who doesn’t follow the series, it may seem that they’re still only best friends.
Although Nell and Eric have a great relationship and there aren’t any big flaws there. The characters as individuals have their flaws and struggles.
Nell struggled with being the youngest of her siblings and being overlooked by them. She also struggled to become a filed agent and with the consequences of killing somebody.
Thankfully the writers and producers made her deal with her problems in a sensitive way. By seeing Nate – NCIS psychologist.
It was also shown that Nell didn’t get to be a super-skilled agent with no effort. The changes to her character were made and with setbacks. What’s important is that even though she faced some setbacks she didn’t lose her confidence. Especially in the skills she already possessed.
Eric doesn’t seem to face as many struggles as Nell. He’s confident in his role on the team. He also doesn’t want to branch out into other areas as opposed to Nell.
Eric’s easily scared but if needed he overcomes his fears and meets the challenges head-on. He also doesn’t seem to work great under pressure or if someone’s controlling him. It’s a weird characteristic since he always delivers and his work is top-notch.
Why I ship them
There’s something about these two that makes me smile whenever they’re together on screen. The chemistry between the actors is great. They play well off each other. Furthermore, they make it believable that this kind of relationship could happen. Another reason for me liking this couple is that their relationship reminds me of high school sweethearts. All sweet, romantic and innocent, full of faith and happiness.
The juxtaposition between this relationship and the serious and heavy topics of the show makes it even more interesting. Also important is the fact that there’s a natural progression to this relationship. It isn’t influenced by anything. Things happen as they happen and nothing is planned. Once again reminding me of a high school romance where nobody cares about what’s going to happen in a year.