‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Hetty’s Next Season Return Confirmed, Details on Her Secret Mission

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS: Los Angeles fans. You can exhale. Hetty definitely will be a part of the show for season 13.

Show creator R. Scott Gemmill confirmed to TV Insider that Hetty (Linda Hunt) will have a significant role. And she’s likely to bump wits with retired Admiral Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney). This is guaranteed to be a lively season.

“They’re both very smart and very stubborn, so it makes for a fun and volatile dynamic,” Gemmill said. “Kilbride outranks Hetty, but he does respect her, even if he disagrees with her methodology and [sometimes] questions the cost of her successes.”

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Linda Hunt couldn’t come to the studio for filming NCIS: Los Angeles. She’s 76 and was at higher risk because of her age. So Hunt shot her limited scenes from her home. The writers had Hetty off on a mystery assignment in a war zone. She’d check in with her team remotely. Actually, Hunt did these scenes from her driveway.

But Hunt was able to be in studio for the finale. So that’s why we saw her at the end of the episode show up in her office. She gave Nell (Renee Felice Smith) her blessings to leave for another job. Smith and Barrett Foa, who played Eric, both left NCIS: Los Angeles. However, there wasn’t much hiring going on in the offseason to replace the actors. McRaney, though, was elevated to full-time cast. And Hunt will be back.

NCIS: Los Angeles Show Runner Says We’ll Learn about Hetty’s Mission

Gemmill told TV Insider that fans will find out about Hetty’s mystery assignment this season. When it starts falling apart, the entire NCIS: Los Angeles team will be called in to help.

“She’ll try to resolve that on her own, but in the end, it will suck in the entire team—much to Kilbride’s (chagrin),” Gemmill reveals.

The show creator offered up one other tease for season 13. Gemmill said: The next conflict involves “a couple of old friends…who may not be as friendly as we remember them.”

The season 12 finale was heavy on happiness and contentment, but light on real action. The main investigation was to determine who killed a dolphin weaponized by the Russian military. And even that investigation turned out to be on the funny side. It centered on Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen).

McRaney’s Kilbride also was in the episode and lived up to his nickname of Admiral Killjoy. His job is to advise undercover operations. But he’s often funny in his perpetual grouchiness. His well-timed zingers are dry and caustic and a joy to the ears.

“He’s so great because he can do comedy, and he can do drama,” Gemmill said back when McRaney was elevated to full-time NCIS: Los Angeles cast.

“And he likes to be out running around with guns, because he’s a big hunter in real life.”

NCIS: Los Angeles started production for season 13 last month. The show premieres, Oct. 10. It’ll stick with its Sunday night time slot. So stay tuned.