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Detective Wes Nolan is assigned to the LAPD's Major Crimes Division during Major Crimes from Season 5, “White Lies, Part 3”​ onward.

During his introduction, Nolan was assigned to the Special Investigation Section (SIS) of the Special Operations Bureau.

Character Information[]

Before “White Lies, Part 2”​, he had spent nearly six years undercover in the Zyklon Brotherhood, befriending members and trying to identify the person/persons in-charge. When the City of L.A. and the LAPD condemned the Zyklon's apartment complex, Wes made a phony assault on Lt. Flynn and got himself arrested in order to identify himself to the Major Crimes Division with the help of his supervising officer, Lt. Chuck Cooper. After this reveal, he was still returned to jail with his cover intact to intimidate a L.A. County Jail inmate who was working for the Brotherhood as a messenger to make him cooperate with the LAPD.

In “White Lies, Part 3”​, Acting Assistant Chief Howard and Captain Raydor ordered Wes to break his cover to a Zyklon Brotherhood member and his "friend", who was being interrogated by MCD for the murder of Hai Sun. With Wes' help, MCD identified the locations where the Brotherhood was dealing drugs and they gained a written statement of the Brotherhood's operations and Jordan Graff's involvement. After Martin Borja was identified as the head of the Zyklon Brotherhood, Wes was allowed to take part in the operation to arrest Martin, but he was shot by Wildred Darnell before he could be arrested.

After the case was closed, Howard asked Raydor if it would be okay for her if Wes was to stay with the Major Crimes Division, as he needed to be assigned somewhere until he can testify against the Zyklon Brotherhood, which could take years.

In “Heart Failure”​, it is shown that Lt. Provenza is not very fond of him, as their conversations are mostly one-sided and Provenza is unimpressed with him. Some of this passive aggression might be attributed to Wes' history in SIS and his undercover work being a reason he has learned to withhold information, which is now a negative considering he is part of a team and has to provide his superiors the info they desire, without having to read it in a report. This was confirmed in “Cleared History”​ when Lt. Provenza was talking to him outside the crime scene, wanting him to tell someone if he is doing something important because he is not working alone anymore but with a team.

In “Bad Blood”​, after finding .22 caliber ammunition in a suspects home, the suspect returns and Wes, along with Det. Sykes and Lt. Tao, chase him. After the suspect crashes his vehicle and escapes on foot, the detectives move in to apprehend him. Wes angrily shouted "get down, get down asshole or I'll shoot you dead!" after which Lt. Tao had to order him to stand down, twice, because Wes argued that because they found ammunition at his house, he could be armed and should be dealt with before he could cause any trouble as he was physically very large and could have caused problems even for three officers. He was ordered to stand down and only shoot if a weapon were to be pointed at them. After Tao confirmed the suspect had no weapons and was handcuffed, Sykes called for an ambulance while glancing over to the agitated Wes, still holding his weapon and looking upset. He eventually holstered his weapon, and with Tao, helped the suspect up and to the ambulance.

In “Shockwave, Part 1”​, Wes angered Deputy Chief Winnie Davis by saying she wants to take the credit for the bombing investigation when it is eventually solved to further her chances of being promoted to Assistant Chief of Operations. While the rest of the Major Crimes Division thought the situation was amusing, Lt. Provenza noted afterwards that it probably wasn't a "great career move". This even caused friction between Wes and Capt. Raydor, as she wanted to know from Wes if that is how he is supposed to speak to commanding officers. In “Shockwave, Part 2”​, when Acting Assistant Chief Howard returned to Los Angeles from a leadership conference, he shared with the Major Crimes Division that Davis was sent there to replace him, effectively removing her from the race to Assistant Chief. After this, Det. Sanchez joked with Wes about how he won't be directing traffic in San Pedro after all.

In “Sanctuary City, Part 1”​, when investigating the home of Ryan Rojas, one of the missing children, he became suspicious of the story how Ryan's abusive step-father, Hector, fell or jumped from their apartment balcony in an apparent suicide or accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Ryan was noted to have been home at the time but he didn't know about what happened until police came knocking on their door. Hector's death report noted him being 5'7", making it highly unlikely that he fell by accident. It's apparent that Wes suspected Ryan of pushing Hector off the balcony, but he doesn't have any evidence. He is also reported to be recovering from a nasty case of the flu, alongside Sharon Raydor and Michael Tao.

In “Sanctuary City, Part 2”​, Wes educated Det. Camila Paige on why everybody keeps putting money in Lt. Provenza's jar, telling her it's payment for using his printer. Wes also told her to never sit on Provenza's desk and to let Raydor speak first considering she's in charge.

In “Sanctuary City, Part 5”​, Wes' suspicions about how Hector died were confirmed when Ryan confessed to pushing him off the balcony. Ryan was eventually charged with manslaughter committed as a juvenile.

In “Conspiracy Theory, Part 1”​, while investigating the murder of an attorney known for defending oppressed women, Wes tried to flirt with her clients who were all relatively young and attractive. He stated that during his time undercover, he was surrounded by women with swastikas tattooed on their bodies and he needs to start meeting new people. Later, he even tried to flirt with Camila Paige, albeit without success, as she believed he was only interested in her because everyone else had already turned him down.

Following the return of Phillip Stroh in “By Any Means, Part 1”​, Provenza sends Wes on an assignment that's "a little risky" related to Provenza's desire to take Stroh down "by any means." Wes is consequently absent from the investigation throughout the remainder of the episode, and in “By Any Means, Part 2”​ and “By Any Means, Part 3”​. However, Wes' card is taken by Stroh's accomplice, Dylan Baxter. Stroh uses Wes' identity to gain access to the home of Jim Bechtal, whom he brutally murders.

In “By Any Means, Part 4”​, it's revealed that Wes' assignment was to see if he could penetrate the security detail surrounding Rusty and Gus. After days of work, Wes is indeed able to penetrate the detail and enter into the condo, taking Rusty and Gus by surprise. Afterwards, the security detail is dismissed as being too ineffective, and Rusty and Gus remain at Provenza's side instead. Wes joins the rest of the LAPD in staking out the airport where Stroh is suspected to be going. Following Stroh's death, Wes attends Julio's promotion ceremony and is listed by Provenza as one of the members of the team that will continue to make Major Crimes effective in taking down the bad guys for years to come.

Career information[]

Wes' badge

  • When in uniform, Wes wears two service stripes on his uniform. Each stripe represents five years of service in the LAPD, meaning he has served for 10–14 years.(“By Any Means, Part 1”)
  • When Wes was seen in uniform in “By Any Means, Part 1”​, we see that his rank is Detective I; Detective I is the first detective rank available to officers if they pass their detectives exam and departmental interviews.

Medals and service awards worn by Det. Nolan[]

As seen in “By Any Means, Part 1”:

Ribbon Award name
LAPD-Police-Meritorious-Service-Medal.png Police Meritorious Service Medal

The Police Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to employees who distinguish themselves by performing exceptional service in a duty of great responsibility or of critical importance to law enforcement, but to a lesser degree than required for the Police Distinguished Service Medal.

LAPD-Police-Meritorious-Unit-Citation.png Police Meritorious Unit Citation

The Police Meritorious Unit Citation may be awarded to an organizational unit of the department for bravery or outstanding service by its members functioning as a team, but to a lesser degree than required for the Police Commission Unit Citation.

LAPD-Police-Commission-Distinguished-Service-Medal.png Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal

The Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to officers who distinguish themselves by performing exceptional service to the LAPD or by performing in a stressful emergency situation with good judgement and bravery.

LAPD-Detective-Service-Ribbon.png Detective Service Ribbon

5 years of service in investigative units as a detective and/or lieutenant.

LAPD-Urban-Police-Rifle-Ribbon.png Urban Police Rifle Cadre Ribbon

Given to any LAPD officer who is qualified to use a Urban Police Rifle (usually a AR-15 variant chambered in .223)

Trivia[]

  • Wes is the second person from the Special Investigation Section to be assigned to the Major Crimes Division, the first being Amy Sykes.
  • Wes admits to Amy Sykes in “Dead Drop”​ that due to his undercover role, he was occasionally forced to do drugs. As a result, he can tell when a batch of marijuana is "very good". Testing on the recovered drug bundle later confirmed Wes' assessment.
  • Due to his time in the Zyklon Brotherhood, Wes is indicated to have gathered a great deal of incriminating evidence on the organization. Upon learning that Wes was an undercover cop, Patrick Cox stated that the Brotherhood was worse off than they thought if the police had Wes on their side and immediately made a deal. Wes is also stated to be a key witness in trials against Brotherhood members.
  • While working undercover in the Zyklon Brotherhood, Wes was known by the nickname of "Cappie".
  • In a deleted scene for “By Any Means, Part 4”​, Wes and Cami flirt while examining the Ms. Bechtel leading an annoyed Sykes to order them to figure out what's going on between them. The two are shown exchanging smiles during Julio's promotion ceremony.
Characters — Major Crimes
Sharon RaydorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoJulio SanchezAmy SykesWes NolanCamila PaigeBuzz WatsonRusty BeckRussell TaylorLeo MasonFritz HowardDr. Fernando MoralesAndrea HobbsKendall
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