NCIS LOS ANGELES will be back for a 12th season. But will this be the series Hetty Lange retires?
CBS confirmed last month NCIS LA had been renewed for another series, alongside NCIS and NCIS New Orleans. A release date has not been announced yet but is likely to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Another question which has been playing on fans’ minds if season 12 will be Operations Manager Hetty Lange’s (played by Linda Hunt) last.
By the end of season 11, the future of two key members of NCIS seemed to be up in the air.
Nell Jones (Renée Felice Smith) had been feeling less motivated at work recently and opened up to Kensi Byle (Daniela Ruah) about no longer looking forward to coming to the office.
Later in the same episode, Nell spoke to Hetty and said she wanted to hand in her resignation.
This came as a surprise to Hetty, who told Nell to take some time off and think about her decision.
Another beloved character who could soon be leaving the series is Hetty herself.
She has been in the drama since it first started in 2009, both intimidating and comforting the team in her own way throughout the years.
But in season 11 episode 11, Kensi asked her colleagues if she thought Hetty was going to retire, having noticed her coming into work late, leaving early and working from home more.
While the rest of the team were considering the possibility, Agent Callen (Chris O’Donnell) didn’t want to think about it and just said: “She is strong. She wants to be here. She’s not going anywhere. OK?”
Will Hetty Lange retire in NCIS LA season 12?
Actress Linda Hunt who plays Hetty Lange has been confirmed to return to NCIS LA for the 12th season.
So fans will get to see more of Hetty in the upcoming series – but the conversation between the agents in season 11 does hint that a retirement storyline could be approaching.
This, combined with the fact she has previously spoken to Callen about taking over from her, could signify her time is almost up on the show.
Before Nell said she no longer wanted to work at NCIS, Hetty had been working closely with the analyst, potentially preparing her for the role.
But as Nell may want to leave and Callen doesn’t want to work behind a desk, it is unclear who could take over from Hetty if she does retire in season 12.
So could someone new be brought in to take over the position?
Speaking to TV Insider about Hetty, Executive Producer R Scott Gemmill explained: “[She] knows she can’t do the job forever.
“She’s been trying to groom someone to replace her [but is] at a loss and trying to find a solution. She loves her team.”
Actress Hunt, who turned 75 this year, also stated in 2013 how she wouldn’t always be on the series.
Talking to CBS Sunday Morning about retiring, Hunt said: “I look forward to a time when I don’t have to work anymore. Which is close at hand, I think.”
Hunt did take a leave of absence from the show in 2018 after being involved in a car accident.
This is the reason why there weren’t as many scenes with Hetty in them in season 11 as she took time off to recover.
However, whether she will be retiring from NCIS LA or not, there will be more of Hetty to come in the upcoming series.
Executive producer Frank Military told TV Guide: “I think we’ll probably see more of her than we have this season. She is very much the heart and soul.
“Hetty is a very mysterious character. Sometimes we find out what she’s been doing — sometimes we don’t.
“Fans have gotten used to the idea that she’s not always there, people have gotten used to the idea that Hetty could be doing lots of interesting and complex stuff all over the world.”
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