“NCIS: Los Angeles” is heading into the final episodes of season 13. Yet still, fans haven’t received the long-awaited appearance from actress Linda Hunt they’ve been hoping for. Now, the season 13 finale of the CBS show is just weeks away. And with that, we’re here to tell you why you shouldn’t expect NCIS Special Operations Manager Hetty Lange back until next season.
As Express reminds us, actress Linda Hunt last appeared in the “NCIS: Los Angeles” season 13 premiere. However, her character quickly returned to Syria where she’s reportedly working on a dangerous covert mission. Since then, Admiral Hollace Killbride, played by Gerald McRaney, has taken up Hetty Lange’s usual responsibilities at headquarters.
The outlet reports one of the main reasons Hunt has been absent from season 13 is the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020, the hit procedural drama’s showrunner, R Scott Gemmill, said Hetty’s appearances would remain infrequent in the future due to precautions to keep her safe and healthy.
At the time, he said, “We’re doing everything we can to keep everyone safe, and Linda is a little extra special in terms of how we have to look out for her.”
The outlet reports Linda Hunt is currently 77 years old.
‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Showrunner on Why Show Had Hetty ‘Disappear’
As for the latest season and Linda Hunt’s future “NCIS: Los Angeles” appearances, Gimmell said, “[Hetty Lange] was in at the beginning of this season and then we had her disappear.”
The series showrunner didn’t provide any significant explanation as to Hetty Lange’s ongoing absence, though he did share, “The plan is to follow that up next [season] with some reveal.”
Throughout the current season, “NCIS: Los Angeles” fans have watched the tension and suspicion between Hetty and Special Agent G. Callen mount. As per the series’ showrunner, “We’ve pitted her a little bit against Callen in terms of what he went through as a child, so that’s something we’re very eager to explore and have fun with.”
For G. Callen, much of the current season has followed the special agent’s personal story. Throughout, he’s worked to uncover the secrets of his mysterious past.
Gimmell continued, “We saw a little bit of that confrontation earlier this year, but before they could really have it out, she disappeared again. That’ll be a focus for us in season 14 when we come back.”
Sadly, we won’t get to see Linda Hunt until the fall. But, “NCIS: Los Angeles” fans can at least take solace in the fact that her beloved character will eventually return. Before “NCIS: Los Angeles” saw renewal for another season, many fans worried we had seen the last of Linda Hunt. But as we know, we should never doubt Ms. Hetty Lange.