Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Sunday's season premiere of NCIS: LA.
If there was one word to describe the reunion between JAG's Harm and Mac, awkward would be it. But are they giving their failed romance another try? The answer to that question is very, very complicated.
On Sunday's season 11 premiere of NCIS: LA, titled "Let Fate Decide," former colleagues and ex-lovers, Navy Capt. Harmon "Harm" Rabb Jr. (David James Elliott) and Marine Lt. Col. Sarah "Mac" Mackenzie (Catherine Bell), reunite face-to-face for the first time after nine years. The tension is so palpable when they first see each other in the deserted parking garage that the rest of the NCIS: LA team members take that as their cue to exit stage right in order to give them a moment alone. Yes, it was that tense.
"Harm...," Mac says, attempting an air of normalcy as the former couple exchanged pleasantries.
"Hey, Mac... Nice to --," Harm replies, before Mac brings him into a deep embrace. Awww.
But their catch-up gets cut short when they go their separate ways to accomplish the mission at hand (spoiler alert: it's successful), and when it comes time to come together with the whole group for a celebratory dinner, Harm and Mac have a meaningful heart-to-heart about what the heck went wrong with their relationship.
Once engaged to be married, the estranged couple air out their history at the restaurant bar, complete with neon-colored mojitos as their drinks of choice. Mac breaks the ice by asking the question we all want answers to, "It's been nine years, Harm. Why?"
"I thought you were happy in D.C. I was deployed," Harm says, not really answering the question, which Mac calls him out on. That prompts Harm to direct the same question to Mac.
"We’re scared. It’s the only reason that makes sense. We never gave it a shot, a real try. Never put our all into it because we were scared to," she says, disappointment evident in her voice as Harm has a worried expression on his face. "Don’t worry, I’m not standing here in front of you asking you to be with me. I just want us to acknowledge why we’re here tonight as colleagues and not husband and wife.”
An awkward beat goes by before they try to make small talk about Hetty (Linda Hunt), but of course, the conversation goes back to their unclear future together.
"[Hetty] suggested I put in for a leadership role at an NCIS division in San Diego or the contingency response team," Harm introduces, his voice trailing off as Mac questions how he'd be able to "fit" those "prime assignments" while also fulfilling his "naval commission." "It wouldn't."
Another awkward moment passes before Mac ultimately lends her support to her friend, though maybe there's a rosy outlook for the two with this potential change in jobs for Harm. "It'd be good for you. Plant some roots," Mac says. "It's hard to get that on the carrier."
Eventually, Harm concedes and asks Mac why they keep going back and forth with whatever this is: "Mac, what are we doing?"
"I don't know, but we're way past letting fate decide," she says. Is this the spark needed for the pair to give their romance another go? We're crossing our fingers that the answer is yes.
While Bell's only appearance on NCIS: LA is in Sunday's premiere (for now), the actress told ET that she "loved reprising this role and I would certainly be open to doing more."
Considering how things between Harm and Mac were left open-ended, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to see those characters back at some point down the line. "That would be a blast for me," the Good Witch actress reaffirmed.
NCIS: LA airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.