NCIS: LA Boss: Season-Ending Hetty Twist Will Shock Viewers As Much As It Does Callen

Coming up on CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles (Tuesdays at 9/8c), Hetty’s unexpected resignation paired with the unwelcome arrival of a new character not only necessitates an in-person visit from Director Leon Vance, it tees up a season-ending reveal that promises to leave viewers — as well as Callen — reeling. Series boss Shane Brennan gave TVLine a look at what his game plan for Season 2 was, what lies at the root of Hetty’s actions, and a heated face-off that will leave Callen speaking in (many) tongues.

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TVLINE | Take us back to last fall. NCIS: LA was coming off a tremendously successful first season. What were you set out do with Season 2?
It was fairly important to really establish the team. Eric Christian Olsen, from the moment I saw him, I knew he was perfect for the show. We had introduced him at the end of last season, and then it was about him joining the team and solidifying his place in it. And of course we did the same, much more low key, with Nell Jones (played by Renée Felice Smith). Both Nell and Deeks were characters that I had always planned to introduce, because to me [NCIS: LA] is about partnerships. I was keen to get Deeks and Kensi (Daniela Ruah) together as partners, with the kind of rapport that happens with Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) — and likewise, though I didn’t anticipate it, with Nell and Eric (Barrett Foa) as well. It’s about making sure that when we move from Callen and Sam you have that same sense of fun, that people who have a favorite characters get to spend some time with them.

TVLINE | And for those whose favorites are Sam and Callen: What do you feel you accomplished with them this season?
It’s not so much what we’ve accomplished but what we’re in the middle of doing, or at the beginning of: setting up a relationship that we can now play with. We saw Callen react to Sam getting to involved with the Mo character and the arc we went on there, with his trip to Africa to kill the guy responsible for Mo’s death. In the episodes leading up to the finale, we’ve reversed that role, with Sam concerned about Callen.

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TVLINE | Lets talk about the upcoming Hetty resignation twist: Is this part of something we’ve gotten a taste of already? Or is it a standalone arc that begins this week?
There is nothing in this series that is not connected to Callen. While it’s kind of a buddy show, everything ultimately goes back to Callen. We are on Callen’s journey. And the shift, the twist, the reveal at the end of this season – that Hetty is involved in something – ultimately plays back to Callen. This has been laid out for sometime, and it plays out next season. In fact, what we reveal in the last episode is another big step in Callen’s journey. It’s something that the audience will go “Wow!” about. They’ll be as surprised as Callen is.

TVLINE | When I first got wind of Hetty’s resignation and the Claire Forlani (CSI: NY) character coming in as an operations manager, my first thought was: “Oh, I guess Linda Hunt has had her fill of serialized television.”
I would say that Linda Hunt is having the time of her life! She is really enjoying herself. As for the Claire Forlani character, whose name is Lauren Hunter… I’ll give you a line from the finale (airing May 17). Hunter says to Callen that she knows Hetty better than Callen does. So to say there’s a relationship between Hunter and Hetty is an understatement.

TVLINE | Safe to say that Hetty isn’t taking off because she’s the Port-to-Port Killer [from NCIS]?
Yes, we can rule her out as the Port-to-Port Killer. There’s your headline.

TVLINE | I can’t imagine Lauren Hunter gets a warm welcome from Callen.
She pops up at the end of this week’s episode, shocking everyone, and in her first scene with Callen, in the final episode, I put both of them through the wringer. Basically it’s a confrontation, but it’s a confrontation in five different languages. It becomes a confrontation and a contest at the same time, and they were word-perfect. It’s a real fun introduction, but it’s a conflict that they have. There are questions, Callen wants answers – and Hunter has some of those answers. And the other interesting reveal is that Vance (Rocky Carroll) makes his presence known in L.A.

TVLINE | People don’t grab Cristine Rose (Heroes) for just any old role. What have you got her doing in the season finale?
I’m going to have to be very coy about that. But I will tell you that it’s probably one of the most powerful reveals. When we introduce her in that episode, the hair on the back of your neck is going to stand up. In fact, just before this interview I was showing someone the scene where she appears and it is startling. She is just a fabulous, fabulous actress.

TVLINE | Of course I need to ask about Kensi and Deeks, with whom you’ve been not quite as subtle as Tony and Ziva. Will there be any movement with their “thing” in these last two episodes?
What do you mean, Matt? Deeks said it last episode: “There is no thing”! [Chuckles] We’ll just have to wait and see. We revealed some interesting backstory on Deeks this season, and there’s more to find out there, but next season we’ll focus on Kensi – the why and where of Kensi. Again, it goes back to partners: When you reveal something about one character that the other doesn’t know, it puts pressure on the partnership. It makes them ask questions.

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  1. heywsup says:

    It’s nice that every character on LA is likable.

    However everything seems to move so slow over the course of a 20 plus episode season.

    Hetty’s resignation should be a shocker, but she will probably return next season, right? Most likely in episode 1 or 2.

    Kensi and Deeks need to get their sex-on already. I would rather see these characters together than always on the brink, know what I’m saying? Sure it’s the usual complaint about being in season 5 or 6 and the characters still haven’t banged… LA please don’t go there.

    • Jill says:

      Yeah, I agree. I’d rather Kensi and Deeks be the Hodgins/Angela of this show, instead of the Booth/Brennan.

      I’m excited about next season where they’ll focus more on Kensi. I like Callen, Sam and Hetty, but Kensi’s one of my favorite characters. I can’t wait to find out more of her backstory.

    • timotey says:

      Won’t happen any time soon. The producers, writers and even the actors said it clearly, Kensi and Deeks are friends and that’s it. And I prefer it that way. Not every male/female partnership has to end with them as a couple. It’s actually quite unprofessional.

      • heywsup says:

        I totally agree with you, but they’ve dropped too many hints. It’s rather stupid really, especially on last week’s episode Kensi’s jealous expression during Deeks interrogation with that dude’s ex wife. They’re professionals as you’ve said and she’s acting like Deeks is her HS crush. Also from this interview, “What do you mean, Matt? Deeks said it last episode: “There is no thing”! [Chuckles] We’ll just have to wait and see.” — That is not clearly, is it?

        • jazlyn says:

          she wasn’t jealous she was worried they all saw he want acting like himself cover or not their prtners he would have done the same thing

        • jazlyn says:

          she wasn’t jealous she was worried they all saw he want acting like himself cover or not their prtners he would have done the same thing
          btwit was said the case hety is working is about callen she probally left to protect him and the team so that if they found out aboiut NCIS nobody would be hurt she didn’t want them to cme for their safety hetty PROBALY will be back next season i love her i wont stop watching the show if she dosent because it dosent revolove around he(STILL I LOVE HE FAVE CHARCTER) give the others a chance and no way shes not coming back EVERYBODY loves her

    • xav says:

      I’d rather they didn’t. I hate romance on my cop shows like this. I prefer them being snarky and saboteurs than romantic.

    • Austingal says:

      If Linda Hunt leaves the show, with Hetty being replaced by a 20-something know-it-all, I will stop watching the show.

      • Brenda in Florida says:

        If Hetty leaves, so do I. Hetty gives the show a certain quality that just any actress can’t give. Linda Hunt is unique!! Keep Hetty!

        • Mary says:

          I agree whole heartedly… If Hetty is replaced by yet another young, so-called Barbie wannabe, I’m done!!!

          For once I’d like to see the so called demographics respect hard working middle class viewers. Instead of always making it about sex and everyone on TV having to look hot.

          • Barb says:

            Yep I totally agree. I love crime shows..and I find the detective style ones like NCIS and NCIS LA are my favorite types to watch..but I have absolutely no interest in watching some “authority type” make life miserable for the crew. I almost quit watching Criminal Minds because of the stuff with the director Erin whatever. I do not have the time or patience to watch it again on NCIS.

            What I like about NCIS and NCIS LA is the quirky characters and their novel reaction to things. Heddy and her extensive experience and unique style simply add a lot to the show.

        • Sherri in Indiana says:

          When I first watched the show I wasn’t really impressed, then I saw Linda Hunt as Hetty. I was hooked from that point forward. She is a pivotal character. Hetty’s ties to Callan and Claire must be familial, or should be (in my opinion). Hetty has it all, class, gentility, brains, stealth and the ability to “Gibbs slap” her team with just a look. Love her!!!!!!!!

          • Lorraine says:

            Familial is the key!! Hetty from the C family loved and had a child with the son of the “other” feuding family. Said child is Callen whom Hetty has protected and now seeks to free him from the attempts to kill him by supplying her family with his death certificate… I agree series needs Hetty!! But don’t make Deeks and Kensi jump into bed!!!! The story doesn’t need that – besides guessing is more fun!!

        • virginia arthur says:

          me, too!

        • Bobbie says:

          I agree. Jetty needs to stay. That new chick is abrasive and not even smart. PLEASE!!!!!

      • Mitzy Cooke says:

        For goodness sake why do the creators of these shows insist on taking beauty over character? Hetty and the actress who plays her are perfect and what draws me back to NCIS:LA as she is a unique and very watchable character. Take her out and replace her with some gorgeous actress and it throws the whole balance off. We’ve already got Deeks and the new girl who have taken the spotlight from G and Sam…now if this happens I agree, I will stop watching! Why oh why do they do this? They must think we like formula shows….they’re doing it in Hawaii Five-0 now too – sigh.

      • Tinker33 says:

        what in the world are you doing with Hetty? Trying to write her out? thew new “boss” is horrible and the teams don’t like her and neither do I! If Hetty goes, the show goes also. She is the glue that holds all these fantastic egos together. BRING HER BACK!!!!!

    • Bob Mcfetridge says:

      Losing Hetty is a real loss. Just watching Linda Hunt has been sheer joy. If someone had to go it should have been the worst person on the list – Nell. She stops the motion of the action every time she opens her mouth. Dum her, bring back Hetty

    • Ardis says:

      NO, NO, NO,,,,, anytime they get it on in a series it loses the tension & chemistry. The flirtation is much more fun between the characters!

  2. elizabeth says:

    Hopefully I won’t get Gibbs-slapped for saying so, but I’m enjoying “NCIS LA” far, far more than the “mothership” this season. I have to admit to passing on it at first, but we’re officially addicted to Callen & Co. in my house now.

    I have no doubt Hetty will be back to keep her tram in line, and I’m anxiously awaiting the rollercoaster ride Mr. Brennan is sure to take us on.

    • elizabeth says:

      Tram = team. Smart phone is not as smart as it thinks it is. :)

    • DL says:

      I kinda have to agree. NCIS: LA is just a fun ride all-around. You can tell the actors are enjoying themselves, and it’s just a rip-roaring good time.

    • Anna says:

      Gibbs slap

    • NickC says:

      I agree.I used to watch NCIS but i got sick of Gibbs and the way he bullies his team.Tony rules.Kill Gibbs and let Tony run the team…NCIS LA is more of a team…Love the Deeks and Kensi ..Is it me or does Kensi kill like 5 people an EP?(i dig that)

      • delanda says:

        hey now i happen 2 love both shows!! i think gibbs does a great job keeping his team in line! remember folks he is a marine!

      • xav says:

        No way! I always feel like Tony is the team’s weakest link.

        • Jena says:

          Me too !

        • Ally says:

          It’s funny that people say Tony is the weakest link on the main NCIS because when I saw the commercial for May 10th’s episode and it said a killer strikes at the heart of NCIS I said although it won’t happen it should be Tony. Before he used to be my favorite but lately no my favorite at all.

  3. mallory says:

    i’m still waiting for another crossover episode so we can see the answer to a burning question in my mind:

    Who would win in a girl fight with each other–Kensi or Ziva?

    lol :)

  4. Lisa says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here, but I have a feeling that Hetty may actually be related to Callen. Perhaps his grandmother, aunt or perhaps even his mother. THAT would be shocking, and would explain why she is so protective of him and close to him.

  5. Bella says:

    I like this show, but the original NCIS is still the best, in my opinion. I’m not that crazy about Nell, she’d annoy the heck out of me if I had to work with her. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Kensi’s backstory which has certainly been interesting so far. Well, actually, I’m looking forward to learning more about all of them. I hope this change in operations manager is just temporary, though, because these agents really need a Hetty. Don’t we all?

  6. Jen says:

    NCIS:LA has reached the pinnacle of perfection in television for me, the show that I start hoping wishing and praying that it doesn’t get messed up. The cast is great, the dynamics are great, the story lines are great.

    Don’t screw up a great thing. Please.

  7. DrewH says:

    If Hetty has to go away, please don’t let it be for very long. All of the other characters make me like the show. Linda Hunt makes me love this show.

    • Lou says:

      I totally agree Hetty is a bery big part of the show. If she is written out – I for one will not be very happy & quite disappointed. I guess I will have an extra hour to do something else because I will not be watching NCIS LA.

  8. Dominique says:

    I love how well this show gives us bits and pieces of every character’s background story, and then gives us a really big episode. I love how Shane Brennan focusses so much on the partnerships in this show, he does agreat job. I just hope that Deeks/Kensi won’t be dragged out as much as Ziva/Tony or, like some said, Booth/Brennan.

    Hetty can’t leave for good, I hope. I love her, I love Linda Hunt. And I’m sorry, but I have never in my life liked a Claire Forlani character, so I hope her stay is rather short.

    • xav says:

      I hope they don’t drag out Kenzi/Deeks in that they never go there. Too boring. It’s every single tv show ever.

  9. Janey says:

    I’m excited for this as long as Hetty isn’t gone for good. Linda Hunt is just too brilliant to get rid of her.

    I’m totally loving the Kensi/Deeks rivalry and the adorableness of Nell/Eric. If they HAVE to do a romance on the show, I would prefer Nell and Eric. I just find them beyond adorable and I don’t want the Kenzi/Deeks dynamic messed up.

    • Yolanda says:

      I have always admired Linda Hunt as an actor – she is outstanding! I believe NCIS LA would not be worth watching without Hetty. She really makes the show for me. I enjoy all of the characters, but Hetty steals the show every week.

  10. jace says:

    What is she gonna do, accuse Callen of murder and run off to Somalia?

    **** you, SB!

  11. Andrea says:

    Hetty is the highlight of the show. If she’s gone for good, I’m almost certain that I am too. The other characters are nice, but Hetty is just awesome in how she holds this whole band together.

    • Linda Ryan says:

      Yeah I’m with you on that one. I love the excitement when characters come and go and conflict…and maybe Hetty has something covert she has to do…as long as she comes back! If not, I don’t think I will either.

  12. Jena says:

    Thanks for the interview. Can’t wait for the finale and next season.

  13. Danielle says:

    I really don’t like shows that write characters out. That said, I do prefer Ziva to Kate on NCIS, but as a general rule I like seeing the same faces each week. Losing Hetty would be a bit much for the show, especially since they are just in their second season: Dom was a rookie and still learning his place, Hetty has been there a while!

    Tonights episode looks interesting, but can we just skip it and go straight to the finale! I want to see Chris and Claire fight. :-)Confrontation in 5 languages sounds good!

    And I’m looking forward to more about Kensi–AND her dad. Loved the scene with Nate in The Bank Job. What is is with TV and female “cops” having an unsolved murder in the family? But bring on the Kensi history!

  14. Mary Ann Boerner says:

    The character Hetty is fantastic. The glue that keeps the team on track. Don’t let her leave…and do not replace her with that woman (who we disliked in CSI-NY). You will lose viewers because Hetty is fantatic in the role. I loved her in Silverado. DON’T LET HER LEAVE.

  15. Lori says:


  16. Susan C says:

    Keep Hetty. She is what makes this show different than the rest. She’s mysterious and you know that she knows all the answers. The rest of the cast are a good mix, but she makes you smile just watching those wheels turn.

  17. Poop face says:

    This show sucks lol

  18. Indira says:

    Linda Hunt is phenomenal! As much as I like the rest of the team, I may have to bail if Hetty is gone for good. Especially if that CSI:NY chick takes her place permanently. Ugh! I shudder at the thought. Also can’t wait to see more of Kensi’s story. And finally, Kensi/Deeks… Yessssss!

  19. Wabbit says:

    Please don’t let Linda Hunt go! She is the center of the NCIS/LA universe! She’s the glue that holds the team together! I have always admired Linda Hunt, and SHE is the reason I started watching the show in the first place. She’s part of that perfect chemistry that makes the show what it is. She cannot be replaced. There is entirely too much REPLACING on this show for my taste.

  20. Mary says:

    Awesome to know more about kensi backstory next season. And last night ep I didn’t like the way the Hetty replacement talked with kensi. Very against and annoying. I didn’t like her at all. I hope Hetty return. About relationships, well I love the interaction between Kensi/Deeks but I think if something happen will ruin the show. Also I would like to watch some flirt between Callen and Kensi. They are a great couple when are undercover. they have a chemistry there. I would like to know more about Sam too.

  21. Susan Anderson says:

    I think the show is good the way it is, Iwish there more episodes so I could watch it more often.

  22. laia says:

    Keep this series from Spain. It is not how well we can leave with this final and had to wait to see how he continues. Hetty back soon I hope, because without Hetty would not be the same. Like the couple who are Kensi and deeks. I’m looking forward to seeing the next season.

  23. sw says:

    Oohh I love how the finale will (hopefully) tell us more about Callen’s history and who he really is! Interesting that Shane mentioned that everything on this show is connected to Callen, I’d really like to see how!

    My favourite characters on the show was, is and always will be Callen and Sam. They are the reason why I love NCIS Los Angeles so much! I hope the writers will give us the backstory about how they met and how their partnership evolved over the years. They are really so cute and sweet together!

    Can’t wait for S3 – to find out more about Callen, his story is intriguing and while I love a good mystery, I hope the writers will give us more on the who, why, when and where of Callen – soon!! Oh and more Callen and Sam partnership episodes please – don’t take the spotlight away from them – I’m sure they are the main reason why many people became fans of the show.

  24. erik says:

    Such a great show!! I like that there are a lot of new ways to catch this show other than watching at home!!! I work a crazy schedule at DISH network, but with my Sling and TV Everywhere I can now get live TV and DVR on my Android. I also go to to catch missed episodes and thousands of other titles and series!! This makes management of my TV super simple!!! Check it out at if you’re a DISH customer!

  25. Sasha says:

    Even if they bring back Hetty I will not watch if Lauren Hunter/Claire Forlani stays on. She irritated me with her smug attitude.

  26. vor27 says:

    Saw the finale last night…pretty good. Watch and see, Hetty will end up as Callen’s grandmother. LOL! Gotta love it.
    PS: Just love this show. Wouldn’t be at all the same without Linda Hunt’s character, Hetty.

  27. FMS says:

    The whole NCIS Los Angeles team and storyline have been and are great. Hetty is key player. Claire Forlani doesn’t cut it.
    No strength of character showing. Too much girlie
    Come back with more of what you had. Hetty of course
    must stay. Hope she has no personal illness/problems.
    Good Luck. FMS

  28. cheesesteakwid says:

    Fortani will be the missing sister and Hetty the missing mom. Plot line like StarWars, mother for some unknown reason has to hide her children. She meticulously manipulates their lives so they end up in the bureau and then NCIS, for nefarious reasons, yet to be written into the script.

  29. jw mcclanahan says:

    We need to keep Linda Hunt as Hetty, She really makes the show,eventhough she just shows up just at the right time when thins go bad. WE NEED LINDA HUNT BACK.

  30. Abbym says:

    I think Hunter is Hetty’s daughter! She was sent to finish her mothers work at NCIS and does not like Callen because her mother put herself in danger to protect Callen. Callen is her brother’s son, a brother she loss contact with and never knew had had a son, but when Callen came to NCIS Hetty investigated him and found the truth. Nell said at the end of the show that she had gotten into Hetty’s personal file and “she has a….”. I think she knows Hetty has a child. Hunter was crying for no real reason other than talk about Hetty. Hetty spent her life protecting her own child and know she must protect her brothers son too.

    PS I watch a lot of Soaps too.

  31. janet says:

    i hope kensi and callen will be a couple nect season!!
    they are great actors.. the rest also!!
    but i hope kensi and callen we be together..

  32. rowena says:

    ild really like to see kensi and deeks hook up, it will add extra flavour to the show.

  33. Thelma Holmes says:

    If Hetty is gone, so am I.

  34. sheila cunningham says:


  35. Irena says:

    Love the show but please do not let Hetty leave she is the show without her it will not be the same
    Why do they always have to ruin a good show by getting rid of the good ones that make the show a pleasure to watch.

  36. SuZQ says:

    Mark Harmon makes NCIS. All the characters on that show are good and have built relationships with each other. I love the show. NCIS LA from the first episode was great. They have built the relationships of the characters and made them likeable, just like with NCIS. I would like to see a crossover a couple times a year, not just Rocky Carroll but at least a couple from each team working together on a case. I like the play between Kensi and Deeks, but it should stay professional, when characters start hopping into bed it gets too soap opera-ish. Both Good shows. Wish Hawaii Five-O was on a different night so I could watch it on TV instead of HULU.

  37. amanda says:


  38. Dianne says:

    This info is from 2011. This is 2016 – would appreciate current updated formation.