Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the Season 12 finale of NCIS: Los Angeles.
As Season 12 of NCIS: Los Angeles came to a close, some of us had more questions than answers. One of the big reveals was that Nell (Renée Felice Smith) and Eric (Barrett Foa) quite literally rode off into the sunset toward their happy ending. But the crazy part is that they rode off in a Lamborghini that Eric bought with his billions. Yep, Eric really is a billionaire, but how?!
Eric began his NCIS: Los Angeles journey as the token techie nerd, and now he’s all of a sudden the cool guy in the fancy car and hip wardrobe. As he and Nell exited NCIS: Los Angeles, longtime fans of their romance and of Eric were wondering how exactly Eric got rich.
Eric Beale got rich on ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ when he took a quick break from the show.
Barrett Foa, who played Eric Beale on NCIS: Los Angeles, felt like his time on the show was coming to an end in Season 12. He appeared in fewer episodes this season, although his character made a remarkable 280 appearances throughout his 12-year tenure on the show. So Barrett knew his storyline was coming to a close — although before Barrett could say sayonara, his character got a fun twist.
Eric took a break from the NCIS team to work on some sort of secret, elusive technology. When he came back in Episode 6, he was a whole new Eric, sporting sunglasses, cool clothes, and a goofy mustache. It turned out that in the time he was away from the team and the show, Eric Beale somehow became a billionaire.
Eric got rich through the technology he was working on off-screen in ‘NCIS: Los Angeles.’
Although Eric was not on-screen for a big chunk of Season 12, when he came back to NCIS: Los Angeles in Season 12 Episode 6, fans remarked that he “looked like a porn star.” Eric was on hiatus from the team to work on a computer science project upon Hetty’s initiation. It ended up being a completely legitimate technology endeavor that resulted in Eric earning billions of dollars insanely quickly.
The technology was very hush-hush, but we eventually learn that he was building a device called Kaleidoscope 2.0 that could help people catch bad guys. It can be used by any department, from law enforcement to any place of authority. It’s actually the same device the team used to catch Callen’s foster brother, Raymon Lewis, in a drug peddling crime.
Because the device was so useful to so many people and there was nothing like it, Eric Beale instantly became a billionaire. And although he now dresses like a rogue, he’s still the dorky and generous Eric Beale at heart. When he returned to the show, he proclaimed that he wanted to donate his earnings to the homeless population.
Eric Beale and Nell are using Eric’s newfound wealth to leave ‘NCIS: Los Angeles.’
Nell was already in a tough spot with the take-it-or-leave-it offer to take over Hetty’s role on the team. But when Hetty returned and Eric came around with an opportunity to move to Japan and fund a new office over there, it was the perfect way to go. Barrett Foa spoke with TV Line about his character's exit, sharing that he felt it was the perfect timing.
“I know the pandemic was a tough and strange time for everyone,” Barrett remarked, “but it sort of gave me time to do some real good work on myself, so as Barrett I was out exploring and adventuring … kind of like what Eric Beale was doing!” Barrett often works on live theater projects between NCIS: Los Angeles seasons, so we can’t wait to see what he takes on next now that show business is making its comeback.