‘NCIS: LA’: 5 Questions We Have About Hetty’s Secret Mission

Linda Hunt as Hetty in NCIS Los Angeles

There’s been a major change at the Office of Special Projects in NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13: Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) is officially running the place. That’s because Hetty (Linda Hunt) is off on some secret, classified mission that we know very little about. But we do know that at some point, the team is going to have to get involved.

First, a quick recap of what we know: Before she left in the premiere, she was looking at a map of the Syrian Desert. She also packed a case of weapons for her “short business trip,” as she called it. “I think I have to” go back, Hetty told Kilbride after her travel orders came across his desk. (It’s where she was last season, to explain Hunt’s absence.) Someone did, he agreed, since she “made a bloody mess of things over there the last time.”

However, he also warned her, “I will sign the order, but if you make it worse, you will be sacrificed for the sake of diplomacy, and if you do something really stupid and find yourself in a cage again, you will be disavowed.” Later, he told Callen (Chris O’Donnell) that he didn’t think she’d make it back the first time. “Let’s just say her great white whale hunt went south and now some others are paying for it,” he said ominously.

With not much else to go on, we can’t help but wonder what’s going on overseas with Hetty. And while we wait for NCIS: LA to provide us with a significant update, we’ve put together some questions below.

Will Zasha Be the One to Alert the Team?

At the end of the premiere, Callen enlisted Zasha (Olesya Rulin) to spy on Hetty in Syria. That all but confirmed that something is going to go wrong that will require some assistance. Will Zasha report back after seeing something? Or might she end up in trouble herself over there and that brings at least Callen to Syria?

When Will the Team Become Involved?

It is a question of when, not if. Callen had given Zasha a passport that expired in eight months, so he’d said it shouldn’t take more than a few weeks at the time. (That time has passed.) How long will it take before this storyline comes to the forefront? Might it be at least part of a cliffhanger that leads into a break at the end of January due to the Winter Olympics over on NBC?

Linda Hunt as Hetty, Gerald McRaney as Kilbride in NCIS Los Angeles

Robert Voets/CBS

Will Kilbride Authorize Their Operation, or Will They Go Rogue?

He may have told Hetty that she’d be disavowed, but would Kilbride really leave her to fend for herself? Would the team have to go rogue if she ends up needing their help? As we’ve seen in the past, they’re more than willing to ignore orders if a case is personal. Will they be leaving their badges on Kilbride’s desk this time?

Will Anyone From Hetty’s Past Pop Up?

Last time Hetty ended up needing help overseas, her team from the Vietnam War — Sterling Bridges (James Remar), A.J. Chegwidden (John M. Jackson), and Charles Langston (Carl Lumbly) — joined Callen, Sam (LL Cool J), Kensi (Daniela Ruah), and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen). Given Kilbride’s “white whale” comment, something tells us we’ll see at least one person from her past. It might just be a question of whether they’ve appeared on the CBS drama already or not.

Might Hetty Not End up Needing Their Help at All?

Sure, all signs point to the team getting involved at some point, just going by the show’s history and how these storylines work on TV shows in general. But Hetty has experience. She can take care of herself. Maybe the team will stumble upon something in L.A. that connects to Hetty’s mission and head overseas because of that.

NCIS: Los Angeles, Sundays, 9/8c, CBS