In a surprising change of pace for the NCIS spin-off, season 12 of NCIS: Los Angeles tied things up with little to know loose ends. However, following the sad departure of Nell Jones (played by Renée Felice Smith) and Eric Beale (Barrett Foa), the upcoming instalment on CBS could feature a dramatic change in the status quo.
The 13th season of NCIS: Los Angeles may look very different when the action-packed drama returns from its hiatus later this year.
In last month’s thrilling season finale, ‘A Tale of Two Igors’, Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) is kidnapped while the team investigates the shooting of a militarized dolphin.
Meanwhile, fans were saddened to see the departure of Nell Jones and Eric Beale from the team following 11 and 12 long seasons in the show’s main cast, respectively.
Thankfully, the return of Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) as Operations Manager somewhat helped to soften the blow of their exit.
There’s still a chance the couple will return to the series in guest spots here and there, but the team now has several openings for some new recruits to enter the fold.
Plus, the promotion of Gerald McRaney to series regular may not be the only shake-up to the main cast in season 13.
Despite the lack of any major cliffhangers for the NCIS spin-off, there’s a lot still in the air heading into the next season.
As the series starts filming over the summer, viewers have been speculating what’s to come when NCIS: Los Angeles reaches its projected return in September 2021.
They noted that the lack of any serious cliffhangers in the series finale provides a perfect opportunity to jump the story forward.
Aside from Nell and Eric’s departure, there were no major twists in the latest episode that need immediate handling in the upcoming season 13 opener.
Although there are some minor plot points that still need clearing up, such as the release of David Kessler (Frank Military), they can easily be dealt with several weeks or months down the line.
The blog continued: “We wouldn’t be shocked if at least one new person is brought in beyond Gerald McRaney’s promotion, and a time jump could be a chance to further introduce them.
“If the writers don’t do this, it could just give the characters an opportunity to settle into their roles.”
McRaney’s character Hollace Kilbride will be hanging around headquarters much more in the next season, plus newcomer Devin Roundtree (Caleb Castille) is continuing his stint as a series regular.
However, as the latest instalment of the mothership NCIS series demonstrated, there’s always room to introduce new blood to the team, especially now Nell and Eric won’t be taking on new missions.
Just as NCIS season 18 introduced new agent Jessica Knight (Katrina Law) into the fold, the LA-based division could jump ahead several weeks to a new recruit’s first day on the job.
NCIS season 13 will premiere in 2021 on CBS.