‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Finale Sneak Peek Teases Major Character’s Highly-Anticipated Promotion

by Emily Morgan

The anticipation continues to build as fans get closer to the season 12 finale of “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Per a recently released promo video, viewers can expect to see someone kidnapped, another has a decision to make about their future, an injured dolphin, and Hetty Lange’s return.

Recently the show has been teasing her return, as fans saw Hetty appearing throughout the season intermittently via video chat. Now, a new promo for Sunday’s finale shows a stern-looking operation manager returning in person. 

According to the teaser for this Sunday’s finale, Admiral Kilbride decides it’s time for “Miss Jones” to embrace her Hetty-ness. Yet, it’s unclear if Nell will become the new Operations Manager. In the sneak peek from the finale, Kilbride reveals to Nell that her promotion is official. 

However, Nell argues that if Hetty wanted her to take on the job full-time, she somehow would have told her.  “Would she…?” asks Kilbride. “Or would she just continue to let you believe that, until you had been doing the job long enough to believe in yourself?”

Kilbride later clarifies that he needs an Operations Manager “who is 100-percent committed” to the job, leaving viewers to wonder if Nell is that person. 

Fans Eager For Hetty’s Return on ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’

For weeks, fans of “NCIS: Los Angeles” has been buzzing about if and when Hetty will finally return. According to TVLine, as the COVID-19 pandemic winded down, it made her in-person appearance possible. 

“Linda had both her vaccines and came back, and she was so happy to be back,” showrunner Scott Gemmill said.

“She had been gone for so long” amid the pandemic, shooting her occasional video-chat appearances from her real-life driveway.” He continued, “She was thrilled to be back on set.”

He added, “We actually were going to use the finale that we had written for last season, which got bumped because of COVID.

But then we realized that since everyone had such a tough year, we couldn’t in good conscience put the fans through any trauma.”

“[Hunt] is one of my favorite people on the planet, so I feel so fortunate to get to work with Linda Hunt,” Renée Felice Smith shared at the time. “Her talent is immense. Her spirit is just so bright. She’s like a magical fairy nymph. She’s just an amazing, amazing being. Just to share any time with her is such a gift, so I’m very grateful to work with Linda.” 

The season 12 finale of “NCIS: Los Angeles” airs Sunday, May 23, 9 p.m. ET on CBS.