NCIS LA season 8 episode 15 Payback finally dropped the curtain on the long-running mole storyline. But more sadly, it also set up the final farewell to Miguel Ferrer’s Owen Granger. Granger died last Jan. 19 at the age of 61, after a lengthy battle with throat cancer.
The Feb. 19 episode of NCIS LA features his last appearance on the show, five years after joining the team. His scenes in the episode were among the last pieces of acting work he managed to film before passing away.
Owen Granger’s Curtain Call
Before NCIS LA took a three-week hiatus, we saw Kensi had been kidnapped by Officer Ferris. He had tied her up and set up an electric saw to cut her leg off, prompting a cliffhanger with regard to her fate. In this episode, we finally get back to Kensi trying to buy time for herself. Callen and company make their way over to save her, but Ferris moves Kensi elsewhere, staying a step ahead.
Instead, the team winds up with Joelle, another apparent kidnapee of Ferris. In time, Hetty’s questioning forces Joelle to break down. It turns out that she’s CIA officer Joelle Taylor, and was planted to gather intelligence. Callen, Sam, and Deeks eventually manage to arrive at Kensi’s location – thanks, in part, to Owen Granger outsmarting an assassin sent to kill him in his own hospital bed. They take out Ferris, Deeks and Kensi are reunited a happy couple, and everyone’s more or less happy with the results.
The last we get of Owen is with a visit from Hetty, who urges him to rest a little more.
“I dreamt there was a buzzard, and he kept circling me,” Granger said, to which Hetty replied, “Don’t be a smartass, Owen.”
He will be missed.
Some of my favorite moments working on the show are when I would steal Miguel away and beg him to tell me stories of his life. Tucked into a corner, huddled around cheap tea and lukewarm soup he would tell stories. Fantastic, terrifying, magical, intense, life affirming, fearless and beautiful stories. Stories of a 17 year old kid who left home and toured the world as a drummer in a rock band. Stories about Hollywood in the 80's. About Robocop. Twin peaks. Clooney. About his mom. His brother and sisters. Growing up in Los Angeles. But his favorite stories to tell were about his kids. He loved Lukas and Rafi so much. He was so proud of who they have become. And rightfully so, they are effortlessly charming, funny, smart, confident and comfortable in who they are…and cool…man these kids are cool, in the most positive connotation of the word they are cool…and they are cool because he was fucking cool. They love honestly and fearlessly because he loved them honestly and fearlessly. They have heart because Miguel led with heart. Those kids are gonna be a tribute to everything that he represented. They are going to do amazing things because he loved and celebrated them for who they are and that may be the best legacy any of us can have. — With hearts broken and tears pooled we celebrate u brother.
One More Tribute
Though this was the last appearance of Miguel Ferrer as Owen Granger on the show, NCIS LA will still pay tribute to him in the next episode. Season 8 episode 16 Old Tricks will feature a version of Knocking on Heaven’s Door, as performed by Ferrer and his band The Jenerators. As shared by Deadline, the episode will also close with a remembrance card, in dedication to the late actor.
Before NCIS LA, Miguel had previously appeared on Crossing Jordan, Twin Peaks, and the original Robocop.
Shortly after his passing, the NCIS team praised him for his “dramatic presence” and “huge heart”, in memoriam.