‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Reveals First Look at Hetty’s Return in Season 12 Finale

by Emily Morgan

It’s official: Henrietta Lange is coming back to “NCIS: Los Angeles,” according to the recently released photos from the show’s season 12 finale. For the entirety of the season, the team’s Operations Manager (played by Linda Hunt) has been on a covert mission that took her “nowhere I want to be,” she said from a video call.

Part of the reason why Hunt’s character mainly appears via virtual call is due to the pandemic. “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,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” showrunner Scott Gemmill told TVLine.

Recently, the show had fans confused when Retired Navy Admiral Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) suggested to interim Operations Manager Nell (Renée Felice Smith) that Hetty wouldn’t be returning. He added, “She has had her foot out that same door for longer than you have. And I think it’s time we accept this mission she’s on may very well be her last.”

But considering the show is one of the top crime dramas in the country, of course, they had to come in with a twist. Hetty will, in fact, return to HQ in the Season 12 finale, which airs on Sunday, May 23 on CBS.

Details Behind the ‘NCIS: Los Angles’ Finale

In the season finale, titled “A Tale of Two Igors,” Deeks is kidnapped by an associate of Kirkin’s. Meanwhile, the team investigates the shooting of a militarized dolphin equipped with a Russian microchip while Eric makes Nell a mysterious offer.

All season long, there has been some speculation about what Hetty has been up to, while the show has left its fans mainly in the dark. Finally, after 14 episodes, in the episode titled “The Noble Maidens,” fans got a hint.

Kilbride stops by to assist the team and goes on about the “fishbowl” of the office up top and brings up Hetty’s “controversial” methods. He then and drops the bombshell on Nell that her boss might not be returning. He relays that Hetty hasn’t said anything to him but that “she has had her foot out that same door far longer than you have. And I think it’s time we accept this mission she’s on may very well be her last.”

“It was just so great having Linda back on set, especially for her scenes with Renée [Felice Smith],” Gemmill told the outlet. “Hetty is such an important and almost mythical character to “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and fans are going to love seeing them together again.”

While who knows what in store Hetty and the team, we’re fairly sure the show will have major bombs to drop during the season finale on May 23.