Where the ‘NCIS: LA’ Finale Left Everyone & What Could Be Next

NCIS Los Angeles Deeks Callen Sam Kensi
Michael Yarish/CBS

NCIS: Los Angeles may have bid adieu to two longtime cast members — Barrett Foa (who played Eric Beale since Season 1) and Renée Felice Smith (who played Nell Jones since Season 2) — but it does look like everyone else (including Linda Hunt’s Hetty!) will be back in Season 13.

Season 12 ended with everyone pretty much in a good place with almost all relaxing on the beach. Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) were watching the former’s son’s flight test. Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) enjoyed a picnic. Fatima (Medalion Rahimi) opened up to Rountree (Caleb Castille) about the anniversary of her best friend’s death before laughing for the first time all episode. And Hetty had Retired Navy Admiral Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) unpack her weapons he’d started removing from the Office of Special Projects’ armory. (Nell and Eric, meanwhile, headed off to work together in Tokyo in cybersecurity.)

What could be next for everyone? We speculate below.

NCIS: Los Angeles, Season 13, Fall 2021, CBS

Chris O'Donnell NCIS Los Angeles Season 12 Callen


Where we left off: Callen was in a good place, at least for now. And after that final conversation with Sam, might kids even be in his future? He was, after all, planning to propose to his girlfriend Anna (Bar Paly) this season.

What could be next: Speaking of Anna, that proposal isn’t the only thing up in the air. There is the matter of Russian spy Katya (Eve Harlow), who still has it out for her, and we have a feeling Callen’s going to be heavily involved in that. Plus, we can’t help but wonder what his role at NCIS may be, with Hetty’s temporary replacement (Nell) leaving and the operations manager’s future up in the air.

LL Cool J - NCIS Los Angeles, Season 12, Sam


Where we left off: Sam was one proud father in the Season 12 finale as he watched his son’s flight test. Plus, things seem to be going well with his girlfriend, Katherine (Moon Bloodgood).

What could be next: While Sam is in a new relationship and we do imagine Katherine will be a big part of his life, we don’t see him getting married again. As for work, we think we’ll see a lot more of him training younger agents in Season 13, just like he’s mentioned wanting to do in the past.

Daniela Ruah as NCIS Los Angeles - Season 12


Where we left off: Kensi received an eerie postcard from the psychopathic serial killer David Kessler (Frank Military), who is free due to a presidential pardon and has made it very clear that he has some dark plans for her.

What could be next: We have a feeling the Kessler storyline is going to take a very dark turn at some point in Season 13 at the worst possible time.

Eric Christian Olsen as Deeks in NCIS Los Angeles - Season 12 - 'Through the Looking Glass'


Where we left off: Anatoli Kirkin (Ravil Isyanov) bequeathed Deeks, now an NCIS investigator, his crime syndicate. (Yes, really.)

What could be next: There is quite a bit of fun that could be had with Kirkin’s businesses, though we suspect it won’t actually come up too often (if at all). But while Deeks may have left behind the LAPD, we can’t help but hope Season 13 is when we’ll get the “Deeks, M.” episode — during which more about his time there would likely have to come up.

Kensi Deeks NCIS Los Angeles Season 12 Densi

Kensi and Deeks

Where we left off: They decided to put trying to have kids on hold with everything else going on (Kessler), but adoption is now on the table.

What could be next: After the Kessler threat is dealt with, we have a feeling that kids are in their more immediate future, and it could be very interesting to see them at least start the adoption process. (We can’t help but wonder how their dangerous jobs, however, might affect that.)

Linda Hunt NCIS Los Angeles Season 12 Hetty


Where we left off: Due to Hunt’s availability (because of the pandemic), Hetty was mostly only seen over video, off in places unknown, mixed up in something. She returned in person in the finale, to say goodbye to Nell and stop Kilbride from boxing up her belongings.

What could be next: We have to find out what Hetty was doing all of Season 12, and as has happened in the past, we expect it to require help from the rest of the team (and maybe some more people from her past). Even if Hetty is around full-time (or close to it) in L.A., however, we have a feeling we won’t be seeing her resuming her duties as operations manager, at least not in the same way as she has in the past.

Medalion Rahimi - NCIS Los Angeles, Season 12 - Fatima


Where we left off: Fatima continued to kill it both in Ops and in the field in Season 12 and we learned more about her via her opening up about losing her best friend and how that led her to leave behind acting and ultimately join NCIS.

What could be next: With Nell and Eric officially gone, we have a feeling we might see Fatima more in Ops than in the field, at least at the beginning of Season 13 unless we come back and someone else is already in there.

Caleb Castille NCIS Los Angeles Season 12 Rountree


Where we left off: Rountree’s the newbie, and he’s been treated as such (i.e., being the one in the food truck staking out places), but he’s still learning and fitting in quite nicely.

What could be next: If Sam does begin to train other young agents, perhaps Rountree will no longer be the “rookie,” if you will. We also have a feeling there are quite a few more explosions in his future, like the one on his first day with the team.