Actress Linda Hunt is back as Hetty Lang on NCIS: Los Angeles after taking a full season off to recover from a devastating car crash.
Hunt has missed nearly all of Season 10 of NCIS: Los Angeles so far. She finally made her triumphant return as Henriette "Hetty" Lang on Sunday night's episode, "Till Death Do Us Part." For her triumphant return, she even stared her mortality in the face, driving a car straight through a wall in defiance of the accident that made her miss work for so long.
"I can’t leave you damn kids alone for a minute!” the fan-favorite character cried.
Later on in the episode, Hetty officiated the long-awaited wedding between Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), a perfect surprise for the occasion.
In the world of the show, it looks like Hetty's prolonged absence will be a mystery for a while. The NCIS Operations Manager did not disclose the reason she was gone for so long, saying: "some things are better left unshared." This provides a perfect seed for another story later on, if the writers find themselves wanting to explore it.
In real life, Hunt was in a terrible car accident, which took some time to recover from. She announced her break from work in November, in a statement given to TV Line.
“I first want to say how much I appreciate the outpouring of support from the NCIS: Los Angeles fans following my car accident this summer,” she said at the time. “Though I had hoped to return to playing Hetty at the start of the season, I had to take some additional time to recover. I look forward to returning later this season.”
Fans missed Hetty dearly throughout the year, but the response to her comeback was enormous. Twitter filled with viewers rejoicing, and sending their congratulations to Hunt and the production.
“That was one heck of an entrance Henrietta Lang,” one fan wrote.
While it is late in the season, Hunt still has some time to enjoy being back at work before NCIS: Los Angeles wraps for the year. The show has a full season order for 24 episodes, and this week it aired Episode 17. That means that Hetty will have eight episodes to shine before the season is over.
Meanwhile, fans still spared some joy for Deeks and Blye, whose wedding delighted die-hard fans of the show. In real life, Olsen and Ruah are actually in-laws, as Ruah is married to Olsen's older brother, David Paul Olsen.
NCIS: Los Angeles airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.