‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Gerald McRaney Discusses What Will Change for the Team Now That Admiral Kilbride Is in Charge

by Lauren Boisvert

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Gerald McRaney about NCIS: Los Angeles Office of Special Projects. His character, Admiral Hollace Kilbride, is in charge of the NCIS, now that Hetty is off on a special mission and no one has heard from her.

McRaney figures, why change something that has worked for so many years? He told TV Insider that Kilbride most likely won’t make any huge changes to the way things run at the NCIS: Los Angeles office.

“There may be a few cosmetic things that the Admiral might want to change,” McRaney said, “but why would he go in and want to radically change something that’s such a successful operation to begin with?”

According to McRaney, it seems like Kilbride will continue to run the Office of Special Projects the way Hetty did. The two were friends with a healthy dose of rivalry between them. Hetty and Kilbride had great respect for each other, so it seems right that he would continue to run things similar to Hetty’s way.

“The only thing that I would imagine,” McRaney continued, “is that people will take the Admiral’s directives a bit more seriously because now they are official orders.” In the most recent NCIS: Los Angeles episode, Sam and Callen went up against Kilbride on a case, but in the end Kilbride surprised them and established more trust between them. That trust will be crucial now that Kilbride is in charge.

“It’s not that he’s coming in and sort of lending [a] hand,” said McRaney. “He is now the boss.” Sam, Callen, and the rest of the team are now going to have to defer to Kilbride; that in itself is a big change. But, at least that seems to be the only big change so far.

‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: With Kilbride in Charge, is Hetty Gone for Good?

There has been much speculation into whether or not Linda Hunt’s Hetty is officially leaving NCIS: Los Angeles. Hunt spent less time on set in season 12 because of the pandemic, which has carried over into season 13. The character is currently on special assignment and hasn’t been seen or heard from lately.

With Admiral Kilbride at the helm, it seems like Hetty might be out of the game for good. But, Linda Hunt herself has expressed her desire to stay with the character, so nothing is set in stone. Once it’s safer for the 76-year-old actress to be on set, it’s possible she might come back. Only time will tell.

Hetty gone will only make the Kilbride/Hetty scenes more interesting when she returns. Showrunner R. Scott Gemmill has previously spoken about that character dynamic, and how it benefits the show.

“They’re both very smart and very stubborn,” Gemmill said, “so it makes for a fun and volatile dynamic.”