‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Season Premiere Prompts More Questions About Hetty

by Suzanne Halliburton

After the premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles, the Hetty mystery continues. All the hour did was open new questions, while giving the team some foreign terrorists to chase on home soil.

Let’s recap “Game of Drones,” the long-awaited premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles. The other shows in the franchise had their premieres three weeks ago. Fans of Sam, Callen, Kilbride, Deeks, and Kensi, et al had to wait.

Here’s what happened:

First, the case of the week. As the episode opened, there’s an explosion at a company that manufactures drones. It now has military contracts. That’s brought a ton of negative attention from anti-war protestors and anarchists. Plus, other companies would like to sabotage. Officers found one dead body (the janitor) and a wounded security guard, who lawyered up.

Then, there was the bigger case for NCIS: Los Angeles. Where’s Hetty. Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) called in Callen (Chris O’Donnell) for a briefing from a commander in Syria. She tells the two that they located a Syrian safe house. It had been burned to the ground. All the bodies found inside were burned beyond recognition. But one of the bodies had identification belonging to Trudy Chambers. That’s one of the identities used by Hetty (Linda Hunt). The commander says that the body is of a smaller person. Signs point to Hetty being dead. She’d been working with Harris Keane. But there’s no sign of him in the burned up house.

Callen asks to go to Syria to accompany the remains home. Kilbride says they need to make sure this is really Hetty. And then came the Kilbride quote of the episode.

“Again, this is Hetty we’re talking about,” Kilbride informs Callen. “She’s got more lives than a barn cat. And Lord knows, she’s just as mean.”

Oops. Sam’s Dad Raymond Disappears from Senior Center with a Woman

Hetty isn’t the only NCIS: Los Angeles cast member who is missing. Sam’s father, Raymond, is living with him. And Raymond has some dementia issues. So Sam (LL Cool J) needs someone to watch him while he’s at work. But Raymond also wants to have fun and he doesn’t want a babysitter. Sam finally convinces to hang out at the senior center because he can play poker.

But Raymond doesn’t make it home on time. He left the center with a woman. He’s missing for awhile. And when Raymond came home, Sam quizzed him like he was the parent. But how can you fuss when your old man found a nice lady friend?

Iranians Are Key to NCIS: Los Angeles Case of Week

Now, back to the case. The janitor already was dead before the explosion. Analysis shows that cyber attacks on the drone company came from Lebanon. Are the attacks coordinated by Hezbollah? Nope, it’s something far more sinister. These are specially-trained agents from Iran. It’s state-sponsored terrorism.

Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) interview the janitor’s daughter. She described what a great guy her dad was. Whoever grabbed him wiped his truck clean and disarmed the GPS.

Deeks cracked some jokes. He loves gallows humor. Kensi asks her husband why he does so. “If I don’t joke, this job is too sad for me to keep doing it,” Deeks says.

After busting one of the terrorists, the team finds clues that lead them to Naval Station Ventura County. The Iranians bring a white van armed with explosives. They shoot their way through the entryway. Then the van blows up parts of another building. But before the terrorists can do more damage, the team, all of whom are armed with big weapons, arrest the stunned Iranians. Case solved.

Agents arrest the Iranians at the end of the NCIS: Los Angeles premiere. (Michael Yarish/CBS)

So let’s try to solve another lingering NCIS: Los Angeles mystery. Back at the office, Kilbride pours two glasses of Scotch and calls in Callen. He has some news. But it’s not necessarily bad. Kilbride tells Callen that the burned remains are those of a small child, not Hetty. That only prompts more questions. Why was a child at a safe house? Why did she have Hetty’s ID?

Callen asks to go to Syria. “I’d like to have the knees I had when I was 30,” Kilbride quips. “But it ain’t happening.”

He gruffly tells Callen to “give your head a shake. We just had a foreign attack in your own backyard and you want to go searching halfway around the world for your surrogate mommy. Not a snowball’s chance in hell.”