Is Linda Hunt’s Hetty Lange Leaving NCIS: Los Angeles?

Image Credit: Ron Jaffe/CBS

Veteran character actress Linda Hunt (‘Dune’ 1984) has been essaying the role of Special Agent Henrietta “Hetty” Lange, the Operations Manager of the Office of Special Projects, on ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ since the series first premiered in 2009. Hetty’s experience, combined with her supervisory and interpersonal skills, are the reasons she is a pivotal part of the squad. Yet, apart from her past endeavors, the premiere episode of season 13 has only left fans wondering whether she would still have a stable future within this military-police procedural drama. So, let’s find out if there’s any truth to the speculations!

What Happened to Hetty Lange?

After being missing for most of season 12 for a special mission outside the country, Hetty Lange returns in season 13 of ‘NCIS: Los Angeles,’ stirs the plot and leaves again. After all, when G. Callen strives to dig deeper into his mysterious roots by breaking into the OSP archives, he begins to realize that Hetty might know more about him than most, especially if she trained him starting from when he was just a child. Hetty confirms this fact, but before Callen receives all the answers he requires, she packs up a few weapons and is off to a short “business trip,” which we learn is to the Middle East.

Hetty’s main priority is to “clean up a mess” in Syria, which went south the first time she was there, and that is why she’s been away. Hetty made a few mistakes during her original mission. So now that someone has to go back and turn things right, she has decided to do it herself. However, Kilbride’s warning to Hetty is the most chilling since it almost implies that he doesn’t think she’ll ever come home. He asserts, “If you make it worse, you will be sacrificed for the sake of diplomacy, and if you do something really stupid and find yourself in a cage again, you will be disavowed.”

Is Linda Hunt Leaving NCIS: Los Angeles?

From what we can tell, it doesn’t seem like Linda Hunt has any intention of parting ways with the CBS production anytime soon. She will continue to entertain her fans through her intriguing character of Agent Hetty Lange. In an interview in May 2021, showrunner R. Scott Gemmill explained that they gave limited scenes to Linda Hunt in ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ season 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the actress is 76-years-old and thus, at high risk, they didn’t want to take any chances until she, and almost everyone else, was fully vaccinated. That’s why they even shot her scenes in season 12 in her own driveway. Coming to season 13, according to Gemmill, the plan was to have the squad go to where Hetty was to play out a particular storyline back in season 12 itself while also exploring Callen’s past. Therefore, it seems like they’ve just pushed this to the thirteenth season.

In simple words, because a lot of doors are still left open to explore, we’ll get to see more of Hetty Lange on our screens for sure. Furthermore, as Linda has never released an official statement on this matter, the veteran actor has implied that she’s excited to continue traversing her character’s experiences for as long as possible. Thus, fans can rejoice as Linda Hunt doesn’t plan on leaving ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ for the foreseeable future.

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