‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Did This Critical Quote From Renée Felice Smith’s Nell Foreshadow Her Return?

by John Jamison
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Fans of “NCIS: Los Angeles” were saddened to learn two of their favorite characters were leaving the team after Season 12. Barett Foa (Eric Beale) and Renée Felice Smith (Nell Jones) have been central to the show since its first few seasons. Their characters developed a relationship over the years. And now, they are moving on to new opportunities in Japan, marking their departure from the NCIS team. Their journey might not be over, however.

One particular statement Nell made before her exit is giving fans hope that Felice Smith may be back to reprise her role someday.

The line was delivered in a joking manner, however. So it’s no concrete evidence that she or Foa will be back in Season 13 or any time after that. But it certainly hints at the possibility. Smith’s character joked about how she wouldn’t be able to stand being alone with Beale abroad for more than a month or two.

 “I’ll be all alone. In Tokyo. With Eric. So, I give it six weeks max,” she says in the “NCIS: Los Angeles” episode.

The show is definitely leaving the door open for a possible return. And it definitely seems like a decision made on the part of the actors more than the show itself. Smith has talked about how she feels that a return for her character would always be welcome.

“The door will always remain open for Nell at NCIS, but right now, it’s time for Nell to really explore her next adventure. Nell is a smart girl and she’s chosen stability for a good long time because it was the smart choice. But now she’s really questioning what she wants. And I commend her for being brave enough to even consider that line of questioning,” Smith told Entertainment Tonight in May.

The ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star’s Parting Message Sounded Final

Exciting a prospect as it is to entertain the thought of Renée Felice Smith’s potential return to “NCIS: Los Angeles,” the way she thanked her fans had the feel of a final goodbye.

“I will miss the people greatly. I’ve made lifelong friendships here. I essentially spent kindergarten through 11th grade with these people. When you think of it like that, it’s kind of wild to think about the breadth of time, but I just want to say I’m so thankful for our audience. I’m thankful for them praising Nell, for respecting her intelligence,” she continued in the interview.

Smith went on to describe the projects she was looking forward to spending time on outside of “NCIS: Los Angeles.” She has spent more than a decade on the show, so it makes sense that she’d welcome the departure in terms of her other creative pursuits. She did, however, reiterate multiple times that the door would always be open for another appearance as Nell Jones.