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Linda Hunt as Hetty Lange in NCIS Los Angeles on CBS

NCIS: Los Angeles fans are eager for the return of Linda Hunt as Henrietta "Hetty" Lange. As you probably know, the 73-year-old actress was in a car accident over the summer and took a break for recovery. However, Hunt did say she'd return later in Season 10. This 2018-2019 season is meant to have 24 episodes and the next one up is Episode 17, "Till Death Do Us Part," the long-awaited wedding episode for Special Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and LAPD Detective Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen).

Will Hetty Lange be able to return in time for the wedding?

That is a question on fans' minds, and one such fan asked TV Insider's Matt Roush if he had any word on whether Hetty would make the wedding. The site had just shared a lot of details on the Kensi and Deeks' wedding, along with some wedding photos, but no mention of Hetty. Roush said there have been no new updates from CBS or Linda Hunt since the initial statement in November, and if they are keeping her return a surprise for the wedding, it's a secret to him too.

So it's still unclear when Hetty will reappear in Season 10, but it does seem like it would be a sweet surprise for Kensi and Deeks' wedding.

Hetty was shown to be aware of the growing attraction between Kensi and Deeks by the end of Season 3. The Kensi/Deeks romantic partnership became a point of discussion and concern for Hetty -- as the NCIS Operations Manager -- but she ultimately showed her support of the relationship.

In November 2018, Linda Hunt had issued a statement explaining her absence from NCIS: LA Season 10, along with thanks to fans and her promise to return:

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. 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.

And fans look forward to seeing her. We know Deeks is getting a surprise visitor on his wedding day, but -- sadly -- it's not Hetty. Instead, it should bring a different kind of sparks to the wedding. Kensi is actually said to damage her wedding dress a bit, since she gets in on the ensuing action as well.

Linda Hunt is listed as a cast member for the episode, but that has been the case all season. She is still credited, it's just a matter of waiting to see when she will actually be shown back on screen. NCIS: Los Angeles may indeed keep it a big surprise as a thrill for fans to finally see Hetty again.

If Hetty doesn't make the March 17 wedding, there are still several more episodes ahead before the Season 10 finale. At this point, we know the March 24 Episode 18 is called "Born to Run." It's not clear yet what happens from there, beyond half a dozen more episodes. Do you think they will save Hetty as a big return for the finale? At this point, it's all speculation.

NCIS: Los Angeles aired Season 10, Episode 16, "Into the Breach," on March 3. The next new episode is the big wedding Episode 17 on Sunday, March 17 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS, as one of the many shows airing in midseason 2019. The Densi wedding should be worth watching with or without Hetty, but obviously it would be better with her in attendance.

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