Nell Jones left NCIS: Los Angeles during the Season 12 finale, but some fans are still in shock about what we saw take place.
There are still a lot of questions about whether or not Nell left NCIS: Los Angeles for good and if we will ever see Renee Felice Smith on the show again.
As a reminder, Nell was given an ultimatum by Admiral Kilbride about taking over Hetty’s job. Nell had until the end of the episode and she passed on the chance to take the job.
Eric Beale also returned during the episode, sharing some big news with Nell. Eric had received funding for the international HQ of his Kaleidoscope.
Eric let Nell know that it would be based in Tokyo and that he had received permission to bring her along. It meant she could rekindle her romance/friendship with Eric and leave the world of NCIS behind her.
At the end of the episode, Eric and Nell drove off into the sunset, presumably bringing their character arcs to an end on the show.
Renee Felice Smith thanks NCIS: L.A. fans for supporting Nell
“Ultimately, I could say something profound but I just want to say thank you. Thank you for respecting Nell. Thank you for embracing Nell, for embracing her intelligence. I’ve always been cast as kind of the ‘funny friend,’ the quirky turkey. I was the nurse in Romeo & Juliet when I auditioned for Juliet in high school. But with Nell, I really got to play so much more, and I am just so grateful to have been able to play the ‘smart girl,’ quite frankly,” Renee Felice Smith said when asked if she had a message for the fans.
When asked about her reaction to the episode being her last one, Smith told TVLine, “Well, I think it’s complicated. I mean, I think that I’ve been ready for my next chapter for a while now, in whatever form it will take. But it’s surely to be centered around storytelling.”
Has Nell left NCIS: Los Angeles for good?
When asked if she would like to be part of NCIS: LA Episode 300, Smith said, “Of. Course.”
This seems to leave the door open for the character of Nell Jones to eventually return to NCIS: Los Angeles, but it’s also important to point out how many projects that Renee Felice Smith is now working on.
“I’m a writer. I’m a director. We are developing television currently. We have another indie in the works. I want to tell compelling stories, poignant stories that offer an escape and chance of reflection for the viewer, so that’s where my focus is,” Smith stated
Later, she also mentioned that she just released her first children’s book, which is called Hugo and the Impossible Thing. She said that it was inspired by the dog that she and partner Chris Gabriel have that recovered from a life-threatening illness.
While we did get to see the return of Hetty Lange during the finale, it’s sad that we may have seen the last of Eric Beale and Nell Jones on the show. Maybe the writers will figure out a way for them to return during a special episode or for the series finale, but Renee Felice Smith and Barrett Foa are not slated to return as NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 cast members.
NCIS: Los Angeles returns for Season 13 in the fall on CBS.