NCIS Los Angeles: What Happened to Hetty Lange in Syria..? Three Hypotheses

Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) may still be missing on NCIS: Los Angeles, but those back home are finally getting a better idea of what their former operations manager is up to in Syria. There’s only one problem: she’s nowhere to be found.

In “All the Little Things,” Special Agent G. Callen (Chris O’Donnell) seeks information from Zasha (Oleysa Rulin) following a US drone strike in Syria. While he does not have proof that Hetty was present, he does have a “hunch,” he tells Anna (Bar Paly). The good news is that Zasha does not come across her among the injured or d3ad. The bad news is that Hetty was meeting with the intended v1ct1m, Al-Qa3da leader Mohammad al-Kalmira. “She had to leave before the strike,” Zasha speculates. Her target and his operatives most likely did as well. Callen (and later, Gerald McRaney’s Admiral Kilbride and Peter Cambor’s Nate Getz) wouldn’t be surprised if she called the strike.

In conversations with Nate and Hetty’s old friend Harris Keane (Jeff Kober, last seen in Season 10), respectively, Kilbride and Callen learn a little more about what Hetty is up to. According to Nate, Hetty was meeting with Al-Qaeda leaders to negotiate the release of some hostages, the identities of whom she did not reveal to him. He profiled the leaders for her (including al-Kalmira), but he hasn’t heard from her in a few days and has no way to contact her.

Keane knows more, having served as her bodyguard. “She’s gone,” he says to Callen. “She either ran away before the strike or went to the ground.” There is “no evidence” that she was murd3red. The hostages pretended to be Western journalists, but they’re actually Hetty’s “people,” possibly from NCIS. She didn’t tell Keane anything else in case his safety was jeopardized. He’s spending the war chest she brought with her to get answers.

So, what became of Hetty after the drone strike? We have a few ideas.

Hetty is no longer alive.

Let’s start with the scariest and, to be honest, least likely scenario. Is it true that Hetty Lange was k1ll3d off-screen in NCIS: Los Angeles? It’s difficult to see that happening, especially given how the current arc is unfolding.

She escaped and is now on the ground.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Hetty, like Callen, Kilbride, and Nate, is behind the drone strike. She may have done so to avoid the al-Qaeda leaders and is now on her own, or she may have done so as part of her negotiating strategy and is still attempting to free the hostages. But, in either case, Hetty is still very much in command.

Hetty has been kidnapped by al-Kalmira.

It is assumed that Hetty was not present when the drone struck. But we can’t help but worry that something went wrong with her plan in the midst of the chaos. Perhaps al-Kalmira, one of his men, or another Al-Qaeda leader exploited the situation and kidnapped her. Perhaps she allowed herself to be kidnapped in order to reach her people.

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