‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Major Questions We Need Answered When Show Returns

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS: Los Angeles left us all with a mostly happy feeling about the show. There were no cliffhangers, no anxiety lingering into the summer.

Production began for season 13 last month. And we know the premiere date — it’s Oct. 10.

So here are some questions we’d like answered in the coming weeks.

First, who now calls the shots in the NCIS: Los Angeles office? Will it be Hetty. Or Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney)? Kilbride will enjoy a more prominent role, since show producers elevated McRaney to the permanent cast.

There was some news that broke this weekend. Linda Hunt, who plays Hetty, will return for season 13 and have a significant role. Show creator R. Scott Gemmill confirmed to TV Insider that news about Hunt, while promising fans that they’ll know more about Hetty’s secret mission from season 12.

Hetty mostly disappeared from season 12 because of real-life events. She’s 76 and was at greater risk from Covid-19. So she stayed home. She’d show up in an NCIS: Los Angeles episode via remote Zoom call, reporting in from an unidentified war zone. In reality, Hunt was acting from her driveway.

Gemmill said that Hetty’s mission from season 12 will bubble up in season 13.

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

Kilbride is a long-time associate of Hetty’s. But he’s also been serving as an advisor to the NCIS: Los Angeles undercover team. Will there be a power play? Both also are incredible with their words.

With Nell’s Departure, Will NCIS: Los Angeles Fans See More of Fatima?

Here’s another question. Now that Renee Felice Smith (Nell) has left the show, will NCIS: Los Angeles do more with special agent Fatima Namazi and her backstory? She confessed some major details at the end of season 12, namely that she was an actress before joining the team. Her friend, another actress, died in a car accident and Fatima changed her career path to something far more serious. All the NCIS shows rely on strong female characters. Somebody needs to step forward.

We’d also like to know what happens with Kessler and Kenzi. Kessler is an arms dealer and human trafficker who Kenzi (Daniela Ruah) put away before she was hired by NCIS: Los Angeles. Kessler made an appearance in episode five in season 12. That’s when Kenzi came face-to-face with Kessler in prison as she questioned him about an escapee. She discovers he knows everything about her, including how she’s tried to get pregnant. It’s as if he’s eavesdropped on her conversations with husband, Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen).

He told her he was going to “to be ready to hunt you down, have sex with you, and then kill you, maybe not even in that order.” By the end of the episode, we learn that Kessler, somehow, got a presidential release because of undisclosed national security reasons. Throughout the season, Kessler taunts the NCIS: Los Angeles office, but because of the presidential intervention, they can’t do anything. Will this be resolved?

There also are more questions about Hetty and her long-time relationship with Callen. Hetty was the CIA handler for Callen’s mother. And she saved Callen when he was an orphaned teenager. But how much CIA grooming did she do on Callen?

Stay tuned.