‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Why Is LL Cool J Missing From the Show?

by Suzanne Halliburton

The most recent NCIS: Los Angeles episode had fans of LL Cool J quite concerned. Where was Sam Hanna?

It was only the second episode of season 14 and Sam was tending to business off screen. So he wasn’t in the episode called “Of Value” chasing down whomever kidnapped a couple of architects with Naval contracts. And Sam was only in parts of the premiere as he dealt with getting his father to go to a senior center while Sam was at work. It all made for a funny ending. But Sam still wasn’t in on the front of the team’s investigation of a bomb at a drone factory.

LL Cool J Is in This Sunday’s NCIS: Los Angeles Episode

The promo tease for this week’s episode called “The Body Stitchers” does mention Sam. “The NCIS team join forces with the FBI when a group of grisly murderers known as “The Body Stitchers” returns after evading capture by NCIS years ago. Also, Sam’s dad makes a new friend in Arkady,”

We’re here for a Raymond/Arkady plot line. Both fancy themselves as ladies men, so who knows what kind of trouble is awaiting them. LL Cool J does appear in a couple of photos from the publicity shots CBS releases to the media. So all is well for Sam, for now at least. NCIS: Los Angeles hasn’t released any more plot teases or episode photos beyond this Sunday’s “Of Value.”

Here’s proof that LL Cool J (Sam Hanna) is in Sunday’s NCIS: Los Angeles episode. (CBS ©2022)

LL Cool J Did Several Late Summer Music Projects

So what gives with LL Cool J and Sam Hanna, his alter ego? Best guess is that LL Cool J took some time away to work on special music projects. NCIS: Los Angeles started production in late July. And about the same time, LL Cool J was making final preparations for his Rock the Bells hip-hop music festival back in NYC, his hometown. The festival was Aug. 6.

Then, on Aug. 28, LL Cool J served as one of the hosts for the Video Music Awards on MTV. Plus, he’s also still performing. LL Cool J was on the main stage, Sept. 24, for the iHeart Music Festival in Las Vegas. LL Cool J is a hip-hop pioneer. And in the summer of 2021, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So it stands to reason that he’d also juggle music projects while playing a senior special agent at the NCIS: Los Angeles office of special projects.

Plus, fans can expect to see Sam’s now grown son, Aiden (Tye White), some time this fall. The son is wrongly confused of pilot error. And the team helps Aiden so he doesn’t lose his military career. Aiden always gets an unspoken whiff of a mention each week during the show’s intro. Sam and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) cheer on Aiden as he flies overhead in a fighter jet.

We should mention that in this Sunday’s episode, the series revisits a plot from season nine’s “The Monster.” Here’s a promo clip for the new episode. Enjoy.