‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star Renee Felice Smith Celebrates Fall in the Air

by Suzanne Halliburton

Renee Felice Smith, the beloved former star of NCIS: Los Angeles, grew up with in New York. So she’s yearning for a bit of autumn in Southern California.

After all, she was used to seeing vibrant fall foliage and patches of ripe orange pumpkins. On Thursday, Smith posted a photo of the closest thing she could find to a fall vibe in SoCal. Lots of golden flowers would have to do in Los Angeles, the city of constant sunshine.

She captioned it: “I mean …”

As season 13 of NCIS: Los Angeles heads to its fourth episode, we wonder what Nell Jones, Smith’s character, would think of the most recent news. Surely she’d have an opinion on retired admiral Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) getting his new job.

In Sunday’s episode called Indentured, Kilbride announced that he’d been elevated to permanent manager in charge of special projects. Basically, he got Hetty’s job. Hetty (Linda Hunt), who also advised the agents, is off in Syria, trying to right some problems from her mysterious trip there last season.

Smith, as Nell, left NCIS: Los Angeles at the end of season 12. And on the season 12 finale, Kilbride was pushing Nell to make a decision about replacing Hetty. Nell didn’t want the job. She figured her life experience was nowhere close to Hetty’s and that she’d struggle in the new role.

Nell, the ace intelligence analyst, decided to leave NCIS: Los Angeles and head to Tokyo with Eric (Barrett Foa) to open a security office. But she couldn’t leave until she had Hetty’s blessings.

So flash forward to season 13, Kilbride now has the permanent job. But he may only make a few tweaks.

“There may be a few cosmetic things that the Admiral might want to change,” McRaney told TV Insider. “But why would he go in and want to radically change something that’s such a successful operation to begin with?”

NCIS: Los Angeles first introduced Kilbride as a character in season six. But after Smith and Foa left the show at the end of last season, series producers elevated McRaney to the full-time cast.

 “I’m having so much fun on this,” said the 74-year-old McRaney. “I told some of the guys the other day, this is the most fun I’ve had on a series since (1980s-era) Simon & Simon. And it is just fun every day I go to work.”

This Sunday’s episode, called Sorry for Your Loss, continues with a gun-running theme. Here’s the CBS plot summary: “As Callen continues hunting Katya, Kilbride enlists NCIS to help find a truckload of stolen guns. The assignment becomes more challenging when their suspect, the son of a mob boss they believe was planning to sell them, is found dead.”