Is Linda Hunt retiring from NCIS Los Angeles ahead of season 13?

NCIS Los Angeles: Hetty returns in season finale teaser

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Linda Hunt has been acting since the 1970s, starring in Kindergarten Cop, Space Rangers, The Practice, Carnivàle and Scorpion, just to name a few. She has also dabbled as a voice-over actress in both Solo: A Star Wars Story and Pocahontas. In recent years though, Hunt has been portraying the eccentric and sometimes frightening Hetty Lange in NCIS Los Angeles.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from NCIS Los Angeles.

Is Linda Hunt retiring from NCIS Los Angeles ahead of season 13?

Hetty Lange has been the Operations Manager at the OSP (Office of Special Projects) since NCIS LA first began in 2009.

She has cracked the whip on many occasions when it came to keeping the agents in line but it is well known she’s a softy at heart.

Hetty took in Agent Callen (played by Chris O’Donnell) when he was a teenager, among other troubled youngsters, and married off Agents Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and Marty Deek (Eric Christian Olsen) in season 10.

Unfortunately, Hetty was hardly seen in the latest season of the CBS drama.

At the beginning of series 12, Hetty had a video call with Nell Jones (Renee Felice Smith) who told her that she needed to be her replacement for the time being.

Hetty gave no indication of where she was but later on, it was discovered that she was working on a secret mission in Afghanistan.

By the season finale, Hetty did make a comeback, much to the agents’ relief as she had returned to the office safe and sound.

However, given the fact she was hardly in the drama at all in season 12, it has sparked concern that this could be the beginning of the end.

Hunt is now 76-years-old so she is definitely able to retire at any moment.

Callen and the rest of the gang even talked about her leaving her days at NCIS behind since they noticed her absence from the office, prior to her heading off to Afghanistan.

The fact it is being openly discussed in the series does indicate this could be a potential future storyline.

As for season 13 though, it doesn’t seem likely Hunt will be going anywhere soon given her reaction to rejoining the cast.

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Hunt only featured in a few episodes of NCIS Los Angeles series 12, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But once she was given the all-clear to return, Hunt was delighted to do so.

Talking to TV Line, showrunner R. Scott Gemmill said: “Linda [Hunt] had both her vaccines, she was feeling great, and she came back. And she was so happy to be back.

“She had been gone for so long and hadn’t really interacted with anyone, so she was just so thrilled to be back on set.

“The minute I saw her, she’s like, ‘Let’s talk about next season…'”.

Gemmill also revealed the reason behind why Hetty was gone for so long will be further explored in season 13.

So fans should expect plenty more Hetty in the upcoming series.

In terms of her role as Operations Manager, for now, it looks like Hetty will be back in her rightful seat but with talks of retiring still in the air, could a new person be on the way to take over the job?

NCIS Los Angeles season 13 will premiere on Sunday, October 10, on CBS.

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