Nell Jones (Renée Felice Smith) announced that she was taking a temporary leave in a previous episode of NCIS: Los Angeles titled "Fortune Favors the Brave," and fans have been feeling down ever since.
The talented intelligence analyst joined the OSP in Season 2, and has been a key member of the team. As "Fortune Favors the Brave" revealed, Nell needed to take some time off to think about her career and love life. So, is Nell leaving NCIS: Los Angeles permanently?
Is Nell leaving 'NCIS: Los Angeles' permanently?
Season 11 of NCIS: Los Angeles dealt a good few heavy blows to the intelligence analyst.
In "The Circle," she had to ask her significant other, Eric Beale (Barrett Foa), to move out of their shared apartment so that she could help her sister, Sydney (Ashley Rae Spillers).
At the end of the episode, Nell and Eric decided to stop referring to themselves as a couple and keep the relationship open-ended instead.
If the romantic troubles weren't enough, Nell also had to make a few tough choices in her professional life.
In "Commitment Issues," she had to sacrifice her integrity and provide extensive help for G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell), who launched a private investigation to track down his missing ex-girlfriend, Anna Kolcheck (Bar Paly) during office hours.
In "Fortune Favors the Brave," she told Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) that she had been struggling to get out of bed for the past days, stating that she might be reaching the point of burnout.
Soon after her casual chat with Kensi, she decided to broach the topic with Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt), who strongly advised her against taking permanent leave.
At the end of the episode, Nell realized that it was best to take a vacation and devote more time to thinking about where she sees herself in the future.
She developed an increasing sense of uncertainty about whether her job had a positive impact on her life, and she had to reconsider her relationship with her boyfriend and co-worker, Eric, as well.
Could Nell still return to 'NCIS: Los Angeles' in Season 12?
The actress made the arrangements before the coronavirus pandemic. As Newsweek reveals, she was expected to resume shooting toward the end of Season 11. She wasn't supposed to appear in either "Murder of Crows" or "Code of Conduct," the latter of which will now serve as the Season 11 finale.
To make matters even more complicated, Season 12 of NCIS: Los Angeles hasn't been confirmed due to the complications caused by the pandemic.
However, there's reason to believe that she will appear in the Season 12 premiere — which is likely to air in the autumn of 2020 — if the circumstances allow.
Catch new episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.