NCIS: Los Angeles season 13 has been officially renewed at CBS, so viewers will the characters doing more intense, action-packed scenes. But, the appearances of some remain in question, particularly Linda Hunt's Hetty Lange. She has been missing in action through most of the recently-concluded season 12.
Over the past few seasons, Hunt had a few appearances as Operations Manager Hetty Lange in the police procedural drama. Because of these, many speculated that she'll step back from her role again in the upcoming NCIS: Los Angeles season 13.
One of the major reasons why Hunt was missing in action in season 12 is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation made it challenging not only for the actress but for the production crew, as well. She had less appearance in order to ensure her safety.
However, it looks like viewers will see more of her in NCIS: Los Angeles season 13, something that showrunner R. Scott Gemmill teased to TVLine. Although he didn't confirm what would be Hetty's role, he teased that the character will appear more moving forward.
During the interview, Gemmill explained that Hunt was away through most of season 12 as they try to keep her safe from the virus. He added that the episodes she was in, where she was in the Middle East, were filmed in her driveway.
The showrunner said that this was challenging for all of them since they need to consider a lot of things first. The good news is that Hunt had both her vaccines and came back feeling great, with Gemmill noting the actress "was so happy to be back."
He also said that when he saw Hunt, she told him that they should talk about the next season. The showrunner believes that all of them are starting to see "a little light at the end of the tunnel" and that they're excited to go back to work.
But, while Hunt could make more appearances in NCIS: Los Angeles season 13, two cast members departed in the police procedural drama. The season 12 finale saw the exit of Renee Felice Smith as Nell Jones and Barrett Foa as Eric Beale.
Despite their exits, some were still hoping to see Nell and Eric returning in the series at some point. Nothing is guaranteed at the moment since they were given a proper send-off. The two decided to leave the country to co-run the latter's international company in Tokyo.
NCIS: Los Angeles season 13 official release date hasn't been set as of this writing.