NCIS LA fans were left baffled following the latest episode of the CBS crime drama when fan-favourite Nell Jones failed to appear for the second instalment running.
The 12th season of NCIS: Los Angeles delivered on its heart-wrenching storylines once more on Sunday as CBS viewers tuned into episode nine, named A Fait Accompli. The instalment sent emotions run high as Marty Deeks (played by Eric Christian Olsen) finally discovered whether he had a future in the team or not. However, despite the emotional scenes playing out on-screen, some fans were more concerned with the whereabouts of someone who didn’t feature – Nell Jones (Renee Felice Smith).
Nell returned to the NCIS: LA fray at the beginning of season 12 following a series of sporadic appearances in the 11th season.
Her comeback at the start of season 12 was an emphatic one, with Nell temporarily stepping in for boss Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) who remains AWOL from the squad.
She also reunited with long-time flame Eric Beale (Barrett Foa) after he too spent an extended period of time away from the action during the last series.
But recently, much of the duties have fallen on Fatima Namazi’s (Medalion Rahimi) desk with Nell pre-occupied off-screen.
And Nell’s absence hasn’t gone unnoticed by a number of fans who’ve expressed their desire to know where she is.
“Wonder where Nell and Eric are? ,” tweeted one fan after episode eight, with a second echoing: “Where’s Nell? #ncisla.”
Another bemused viewer took to Twitter also after episode nine to query: “I missed the reason why Nell it’s not there? .”
“I’d like to know where Nell is. ,” stated a fourth, while a fifth weighed in: “A little odd that Nell was completely absent.
“Fatima was kinda holding down the fort all by herself while everyone else was either in the field or in the boat shed.”
A sixth added: “#NCISLA is so much better when these characters are on Callen, Sam, Kensi, Deeks, Eric, Hetty and Nell. They’re the reason why I tune in.”
However, a fellow NCIS: LA viewer explained: “Nell was feeling burned out and she wanted to be by her mother’s side. She felt couldn’t be at her best doing her job and helping her mother. I miss Nell.”
There is some good news, however, as it seems Nell’s current absence from the show seems only temporary.
There’s been no word from NCIS: LA bosses or actor Smith that Nell will be saying her goodbyes for good.
NCIS: LA series regulars are no strangers now to taking extended periods of times away from the fray.
And with so much of season 12 so far focussing on Deeks and his place alongside wife Kensi (Daniela Ruah) in the team, there hasn’t been too much need for Nell to appear.
For instance, Hetty has hardly appeared at all this season and has only popped up via video link as the show’s production adheres to coronavirus guidelines.
While fans may be desperate for answers regarding Nell’s whereabouts, the CBS schedule suggests they’re going to be waiting a while.
That’s because the next instalments of NCIS: LA isn’t scheduled to air until mid-February.
With the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl taking precedent, season 12 has had to be pushed back to accommodate the sporting action.
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