NCIS LA boss explains real reason for Hetty’s return in historic crossover

NCIS: Los Angeles’ showrunner has revealed why it was so important to bring back a beloved member of the team for a brief yet impactful cameo in this week’s three-part crossover.
All three NCIS teams banded together this week for the first time in the franchise’s history for CBS’s epic crossover event. As well as NCIS: Los Angeles favourites like G Callen (played by Chris O’Donnell) and Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) and NCIS: Hawaii newcomer Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey), millions of viewers were also treated to a special appearance from a certain Operations Manager who hasn’t been seen for some time.
Showrunner R Scott Gemmill has finally shed light on Hetty Lange’s (Linda Hunt) unexpected cameo at the end of the NCISverse crossover.

Long-running spin-off NCIS: LA closed the triple bill which saw the agents draw out their enemies and recover their kidnapped colleagues.

Thankfully, despite her recent absence from the series, Hetty was on-hand to deliver some much-needed advice in the team’s darkest hour.

Both Callen and Hanna received some coded text messages which, when descrambled, unlocked an audio message from Hetty with a clue to the whereabouts of Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney)

“Sounds like you’ve got yourself in a bit of a pickle,” she tells the team.

“I warned Hollis that his Simon Williams days would come to bite him in the a**.

“You are all quite capable, and far be it for me to tell you what to do. But you might want to contact an old friend, Gwen Johns….”

Although Hetty herself didn’t appear in person, her hint led the agents to a Hollywood casting agent who provided them with a dead ringer for Kilbride to lure out some of the bad guys.

“The triple crossover was such an important event for all of our NCIS families,” Gemmill explained.

“It was important to have Hetty be a part of it, even if she was physically unavailable.”

Long-running NCIS LA star Hunt has sadly had to take a backseat to the action in recent years, partly due to the Covid restrictions put on the show in 2020.

Although the franchise has more or less returned to normal behind the scenes, Hunt has continued to have a reduced role in the latest season of NCIS: LA.
Despite Hetty remaining AWOL on a top-secret mission overseas, she has still managed to pop in here and there with some clues about her whereabouts.

“In true Hetty fashion, she proved not only to be on top of what was going on,” Gemmill told TV Line.

“But she even offered some cryptic advice to help get them out of a jam.”

However, there may still be some hope Hetty will eventually return to LA headquarters before the end of the current season.
In recent episodes, Callen has made several references to his former boss as he prepares to get married to Anna Kolcheck (Bar Paly).

During a chat with Hanna, the special agent jokes about taking one of the NCIS’ expensive suits to be dry-cleaned before he wears it at the wedding.

“Hetty’ll kill you if you do that,” Hanna warns, to which Callen retorts: “Well, she’d have to come out of hiding first.”

Could this be foreshadowing Hetty’s long-awaited return just in time to attend Callen’s wedding at the end of the season?

NCIS: Los Angeles continues Sundays on CBS in the USA. A UK release date is yet to be announced.

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