Is Linda Hunt, Renee Felice Smith leaving NCIS: Los Angeles after finale?

NCIS: Los AngelesIs Linda Hunt leaving NCIS: Los Angeles after the season 12 finale? What about Renee Felice Smith? We understand having questions about either one! The episode tonight has a lot of mystery around it, largely because of the way the writers have written the story.

Let’s set things up here by making the stakes clear. During tonight’s episode, Kilbride is going to make something rather clear to Nell — either she takes on Hetty’s role or resigns altogether. There’s no telling when Hunt’s character is going to return, and since Nell hasn’t heard from her, she’s hesitant about taking on the responsibility and all that implies. What if Hetty wants to come back?

We were optimistic that, in the end, Nell would end up signing on the dotted line here — and much of that has to do with Hetty herself. The photo above served as a reminder that Hunt will be back for her first on-set appearance this season! (She’s previously filmed remotely outside her house.) We liked to imagine that she will give Nell permission to take on her job, and with that, this could be a proper farewell for the Hetty character. We hoped that’s not the case, but it’s been clear for a couple of seasons now that we’re probably close to the end of Hetty as a permanent fixture on the show. If we’re wrong, we’re happy to celebrate that!

Alas, we’ve got good news and bad to report here — while it seems like Hunt is staying, Smith is leaving the show alongside Barrett Foa. The whole idea of Nell taking Hetty’s job was a fake-out, and a way to keep us guessing. We’re tremendously sad about it, but at the same time excited for whatever the future could hold — also, who will be the boss now?

Related Be sure to get some more news on NCIS: Los Angeles, including a look towards season 13

Do you want to see Linda Hunt and Renee Felice Smith stick around on NCIS: Los Angeles?

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