Is Renée Felice Smith a good leader for NCIS: Los Angeles as Nell Jones?

Nell And Eric On NCIS LA
Nell has some important duties now on NCIS: LA. Pic credit: CBS

Actress Renée Felice Smith has a new job with her character of Nell Jones on NCIS: Los Angeles.

There were hints at what might happen during Season 11 of the show, but now Nell is really in charge of the NCIS: LA team.

The bonus is that Nell has the blessing of Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) as well as G. Callen (Chris O’Donnell).

During the Season 12 premiere, Nell took over for Hetty, even though she didn’t really sign up for the job. Instead, it was thrust upon her by an MIA Hetty.

It all led to a lot of NCIS fans worrying about what happened to Hetty and what it meant for actress Linda Hunt. We wrote up something on that facet of the NCIS: LA cast for anyone who is interested.

But back to Nell, who now appears to be running the Los Angeles team for NCIS.

Is Renée Felice Smith a good choice for NCIS: LA lead?

Quite often, Smith has been used as a comedic conduit for the show, often involving actor Barrett Foa (he plays Eric Beale) and the relationship the two analysts have been involved in.

That seems like something that could easily be taken over by Special Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and LAPD Liaison Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), who are often involved in their own humorous sub-stores within NCIS: LA episodes.

As for Smith, she seems to have the same ability to get serious that has made Hunt so good in her role as Hetty. That might make Nell the perfect person to take over as the leader, assuming that Hetty doesn’t remain in that role indefinitely.

For the time being, Nell is in charge of the team, and the writers have done a great job showing that Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) and Special Agent G. Callen (O’Donnell) are just fine with her leading the show.

Hopefully, in the next few weeks, Nell gets one of those moments within the show to really prove that she can make the calls that lead to the NCIS: LA team saving the day.

She certainly looked capable in the season premiere as she steered the team around the city, but it was a pretty contained episode within the local area. Going national or outside of the country is an entirely different beast.

More news from the world of NCIS

The long wait for the NCIS season premiere is about to come to an end with the season premiere coming up soon. We have a breakdown of the episode and what fans should expect for the beginning of Season 18.

And over at NCIS: New Orleans, the next episode will reveal a character returning and fetting full-time treatment on the show.

NCIS: Los Angeles airs Sundays at 8/7c on CBS.

All episodes of NCIS are now streaming on Paramount+. Try it FREE!

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