Hetty’s Back on ‘NCIS: LA’! Scoop on Her Secret Mission & Dynamic With Kilbride

'NCIS: Los Angeles' Stars Linda Hunt and Gerald McRaney
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CBS; Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

Prickly, eccentric operations manager Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) is back in the fold for NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13, but retired Navy admiral and grumbler extraordinaire Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney, bumped up to series regular) is sticking around the Office of Special Projects, so…World War III?

“They’re both very smart and very stubborn, so it makes for a fun and volatile dynamic,” executive producer R. Scott Gemmill says. “Kilbride outranks Hetty, but he does respect her, even if he disagrees with her methodology and [sometimes] questions the cost of her successes.”

One skirmish occurs when the mission that took Hetty away last season (her video calls were actually shot in Hunt’s driveway) goes south. “She’ll try to resolve that on her own, but in the end, it will suck in the entire team—much to Kilbride’s [disapproval],” Gemmill reveals.

Yep, that brief respite from crime fighting in last season’s unusually happy finale is over. The next conflict, Gemmill says, involves “a couple of old friends…who may not be as friendly as we remember them.”

NCIS: Los Angeles, Season 13 Premiere, Sunday, October 10, 9/8c, CBS