NCIS Hawaii boss opens up on historic moment between Agents Tara and Whistler

NCIS Hawaii: Cast celebrate as they unveil HQ set

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The brand new NCIS spin-off NCIS: Hawaii got off to a strong start on Monday night. Following the long awaited return of the flagship CBS series, fans were introduced to a brand new team of agents led by Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant (played by Vanessa Lachey).

NCIS producer Jan Nash has opened up on NCIS: Hawaii’s milestone LGBTQ representation in the very first episode of the new spin-off.

Along with series lead Vanessa Lachey’s Jane Tennant, the premiere episode also debuted LGBTQ agent Lucy Tara (Yasmine Al-Bustami).

Her romantic past is briefly touched on during a tense moment with DIA agent Kate Whistler (Tori Anderson), whom she dated before the events of the series.

Unlike previous spin-off NCIS: New Orleans, which introduced the franchise’s first gay main character Tammy Gregorio (Vanessa Ferlito) in season three, Nash felt it was important to make the new team as diverse as possible from the get-go.

“We want these characters to feel like they have full lives,” she explained.

“They have families, they have interests, they struggle with things — and certainly relationships are a part of that.”

It wouldn’t be NCIS without a healthy dash of office romance and interpersonal drama.

While Jane Tennant struggles with her homelife as a single mother to two teens, Tara and Whistler’s interplay will allow the series to develop its characters without distracting from the main action.

Nash continued: “On a procedural show, when you have a case going on it’s difficult to be like, ‘But I have a date tonight!’

“So having Whistler in our world, in an NCIS-adjacent role, seemed like a way we could add relational qualities to our show that wouldn’t impede our procedural storytelling.”

Whistler isn’t a member of the core team, but as part of the show’s regular cast she’s expected to work with NCIS: Pearl for many more cases going forward.

Plus, there’s a chance viewers could see Whistler and Tara reignite their spark as more of their complicated history is explored in the coming weeks.

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Nash has also clarified more about Tara’s sexual identity, which has yet to be assigned any sort of label.

“It is not a situation where either of them is a straight woman who was suddenly, magically attracted to somebody else,” she confirmed. “It’s not that.”

NCIS: Hawaii has already impressed long-running fans of the show with a new office of agents and analysts from a wide spectrum of different backgrounds.

The spin-off has already been lauded for introducing the first female Special Agent in Charge to lead her own NCIS series.

Now the series has introduced Whistler and Tara’s romantic past from the off, the latest addition to the franchise has already taken great strides towards equal representation on US network television.

Finally, Nash said: “Our desire was to create a show that had a really diverse – and we meant that in every way – palette of characters.

“And having these two characters was part of that,” she concluded.

The Pearl team’s first case got the show off to an explosive start, so NCIS: Hawaii is already expected to become another major hit for the CBS procedural.

NCIS: Hawaii season 1 continues Mondays on CBS.


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