7 Key Episodes to Rewatch Before ‘NCIS: LA’ Season 12

NCIS Los Angeles Episodes to Watch Before Season 12
Bill Inoshita/CBS; Monty Brinton/CBS; CBS

Heading into its 12th season, NCIS: Los Angeles has a few dangling threads that need to be, if not resolved, at the very least addressed.

Operations manager Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) is eventually going to retire, and it’s unknown who will replace her. Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) took it personally when SEALs revealed their chief, Argento (Juan Riedinger) killed a sedated prisoner and civilians, and his trial is still coming. Anna Kolcheck’s (Bar Paly) record was completely erased and the (former?) fugitive isn’t behind bars because of who her former cellmate is.

Meanwhile, partners and spouses Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) have been trying to have kids (following earlier, key conversations in their relationship about the subject). And intelligence analyst Nell Jones (Renée Felice Smith) isn’t quite sure what the future holds for her professionally or personally.

With filming set to begin in early September on Season 12 and new episodes possibly coming as early as November, now’s the perfect time for a refresher. Scroll down for seven episodes you should try to watch before then.

NCIS: Los Angeles, Season 12, Fall 2020, CBS

NCIS Los Angeles Season 10 Episode 21 The One That Got Away Anna Kate
Monty Brinton/CBS

"The One That Got Away" (Season 10, Episode 21)

In order to know why Anna’s free, you need to go back to the episode that introduced the subject of AUSA Allan Williams (Alimi Ballard) and his men’s investigation: her cellmate and Russian spy Kate Miller (Eve Harlow).

NCIS Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 4 Yellow Jack Densi Baby Talk
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"Yellow Jack" (Season 11, Episode 4)

Kensi suspects she’s pregnant, and while she isn’t, it prompts her and Deeks to finally talk about what’s been a source of conflict in the past: having kids.

NCIS Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 10 Mother Hetty Past
Bill Inoshita/CBS

"Mother" (Season 11, Episode 10)

The milestone 250th episode (co-written by Olsen, with Babar Peerzada) sees one of Hetty’s former recruits come back and prompt her to wonder about her methods. With her likely examining her future with NCIS sooner rather than later because she’s closer to retirement than ever before, no matter how many more seasons that may be, it’s a good idea to check out this Hetty-centric episode once more.

NCIS Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 11 Answers Team Future
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"Answers" (Season 11, Episode 11)

Following “Yellow Jack,” Kensi and Deeks are actively trying to have kids, but they’re not seeing results as quickly as they’d hoped. But this episode makes it clear they are ready when the time comes. Meanwhile, Sam and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) begin planning for the team’s future without Hetty and with new recruits, and tech operator Eric Beale (Barrett Foa) and Nell reexamine their relationship following their time apart due to her mother’s health and his undercover gig.

NCIS Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 18 Missing Time Why Anna Free Kate

"Missing Time" (Season 11, Episode 18)

It’s the episode that kickstarts an ongoing arc heading into Season 12: Anna’s freedom comes at a cost that even she doesn’t know yet. After the fugitive turns herself in, she learns she’s not returning to prison because the warrant for her arrest doesn’t even exist. But what she and the others don’t know is that she’s under surveillance, in case Kate tries to reach out to her.

NCIS Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 19 Fortune Favors the Brave Nell Future

"Fortune Favors the Brave" (Season 11, Episode 19)

It’s unclear exactly when we’ll see Nell again, but it’s here that she decides to take a step back from her work at NCIS because she doesn’t know if she wants to be an agent — in Ops or in the field — anymore. Rather than accept her resignation, Hetty insists she use her vacation time to figure things out.

NCIS Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 22 Code of Conduct Sam Argento Trial

"Code of Conduct" (Season 11, Episode 22)

We will see Argento’s trial (though it is a matter of when), so remind yourself of what led to his arrest, his and Sam’s face-off to end Season 11, and the job offer extended to the young Rountree (Caleb Castille) to stick around.