'NCIS: LA' Boss Teases What's Ahead for the Couples in Season 12

Chris O'Donnell LL Cool J NCIS Los Angeles Season 11 Callen Sam
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Shake-up at the top!

In the 12th season of NCIS: Los Angeles, boss Hetty (Linda Hunt) takes off on what executive producer R. Scott Gemmill terms "a bit of a misadventure." As a result, intelligence analyst Nell (Renée Felice Smith), who recently tried to resign, "finds herself being sucked back in."

Hint: This may be a setup to boost Nell's confidence, which she'll need when a Russian strategic bomber flies close to the California coast and "the incident goes haywire," says Gemmill. The team also tackles money laundering and revisits that finale case of the SEAL accused of war crimes.

Plus, new couple Sam (LL Cool J) and Katherine (Moon Bloodgood) — "two very guarded people who get in their own way," Gemmill notes — move forward thanks to Kamran, his daughter in military school. The teen helps Dad open up…but they clash over her future. As for Callen (Chris O'Donnell) and love interest Anna (Bar Paly), he gets to a point "where he wants to make a commitment he never thought he would."

Baby-minded Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) have more pressing concerns when his role at NCIS is jeopardized. "He has to take a time-out," Gemmill says. And a past case puts Kensi in potentially season-long danger.

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As much as we love the will they/won't they tension, stability is appealing, too.

NCIS: Los Angeles, Season 12 Premiere, Sunday, November 8, 8:30/7:30c, CBS