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NCIS: Los Angeles Finale Sneak Peek: Is Nell Ready to Be the Full-Time Hetty?

This Sunday on NCIS: Los Angeles, Admiral Kilbride declares it time for “Miss Jones” to officially embrace her Hetty-ness. But is Nell ready to sign on the dotted line and become the new Operations Manager?

As seen in this exclusive sneak peek from the CBS drama’s Season 12 finale, titled “A Tale of Two Igors” and airing this Sunday at 9/8c, Kilbride (played by Gerald McRaney) informs Nell (Renée Felice Smith) that her promotion is official  — pending one more polygraph test, of course. Nell, though, contends that if MIA Hetty (Linda Hunt) truly wanted her to take on the job full-time, she somehow would have gotten word to her along those lines.

Would she…?” asks Kilbride. “Or would she just continue to let you believe that, until you had been doing the job long enough to believe in yourself?”

Kilbride then makes it crystal clear that he needs an Ops Manager “who is 100-percent committed” to the job. But is Nell that person? Press play above to find out.

Of course, as previously scooped by TVLine, Hunt’s Hetty will return, in the flesh, in the Season 12 finale — so maybe Kilbride’s ultimatum will prove to be moot?

“Linda had both her vaccines and came back, and she was so happy to be back,” showrunner Scott Gemmill told TVLine. “She had been gone for so long” amid the pandemic, shooting her occasional video-chat appearances from her real-life driveway, “she was thrilled to be back on set.”

In fact, it sounds like the finale will leave viewers in good spirits as well, and not be terrible explodey. “We actually were going to use the finale that we had written for last season, which got bumped because of COVID,” Gemmill shared. “But then we realized that since everyone had such a tough year, we couldn’t in good conscience put the fans through any trauma.”

Elsewhere in said finale, Deeks is kidnapped by an associate of Kirkin’s who is in need of his help, while NCIS investigates the shooting of a militarized dolphin equipped with a Russian microchip.

Want scoop on NCIS: LA, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.