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NCIS Los Angeles series 11 had to be cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic but luckily, the cast and crew returned to filming in September. The CBS drama will kick off season 12 on Sunday, November 8 where fans will get to catch up on what life is now like for the entire team post-covid. Intelligence Analyst Nell Jones (played by Renée Felice Smith) will also be making a comeback.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from NCIS Los Angeles.
Nell left near the end of series 11, listening to Operations Manager Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) by taking the rest of her annual leave days off.
This was after Nell tried to hand in her resignation to Hetty, having lost her passion for the role.
Fans have been wondering if this would be the last we saw of Nell but never fear, as actress Smith has been posting on social media about her return to the show.
But this time around, it looks like she could be taking on a very different job.
Will Nell Jones take over Hetty Lange’s job?
While speaking to TV Line, showrunner R Scott Gemmill said even though Hetty will be in series 12, there are going to be fewer scenes involving her.
This is so the show can keep actress Linda Hunt safe during filming, however, this will lead to another storyline involving Nell.
Teasing season 12’s first episode, Gemmill said how Hetty will invite Nell to the office but on her arrival, the Operations Manager will not be there.
Hetty will then call in to speak to Nell and say because of the nature of the latest mission which is focused on a missing Russian bomber, would the Intelligence Analyst step into her shoes temporarily while she is away.
As Nell wants to help out Hetty, she agrees to lead the way for this task but is this the first stepping stone for her to take over as Operations Manager for good?
Gimmell continued: “Over the course of the next few episodes, Hetty’s somewhat incommunicado and Nell figures she’s doing Hetty a solid by staying there, and then the team just finally says: ‘Nell, do you really think this is just Hetty on vacation?
“‘Or do you think that this is Hetty’s way of letting you realize you can do the job without any of the pressure?’
“That’s a really big part of the beginning of the season where Nell is sort of in denial, and the question is at what point does she realize that A) she can do the job, B) she’s good at it, and C) she really wants to do it?”
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In season 11, there were talks of Hetty retiring from NCIS Los Angeles.
Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) brought up the fact Hetty had been coming into the office a lot later and leaving earlier than expected.
While some started to believe this was a sign of her considering retirement, Agent Callen (Chris O’Donnell) didn’t want to acknowledge this fact.
The idea has also been playing on actress Hunt’s mind for quite some time as well.
In 2013, Hunt told CBS Sunday Morning: “I look forward to a time when I don’t have to work anymore. Which is close at hand, I think.”
This was seven years ago now, so it odes seem likely she will soon be leaving the series.
With retirement talk in the previous series, Nell stepping into her shoes and the pandemic stopping the actress from filming too many scenes, could Hetty really say her final goodbye in season 12?
NCIS Los Angeles is available to watch on CBS.
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