Could it be there will be changes next season?
A new agent visited while a veteran one threatened to resign on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 19.
Now what to make of it all?
Changes are a part of life on long-running procedurals. The Law & Order and CSI franchises did cast shakeups well, but NCIS not so much.
Over the past few seasons, TPTB have released a whole school of red herrings. So who knows what to think anymore?
Hetty has been gone more than she's been around over the past three seasons, as Linda Hunt has cut back her schedule.
So Hetty would be the logical candidate to leave. Lord knows many in Washington have been looking to force her out since almost the beginning.
But Hetty has been more of a physical presence lately (granted, that's a low bar).
Also Hetty is the most unique character in the NCIS franchise. So any appearances by her beats having no more.
Besides, if she shows up, you know it's for something important, like she's handing down scripture from above.
Like on this episode, when she gave Callen a couple of veiled statements about Anna's exoneration. You know that's going to be important over the final few episodes.
Then there was Eric getting the opportunity to become a partner in a startup tech company on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 17.
The possibility of Beale leaving made sense. He's the most expendable of all the longtime characters. And he tried to leave at the end of NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10, so having it take this time wouldn't be a big stretch.
Of all the field agents, Deeks would be the most likely candidate to depart, as he's appeared to have one foot out the door in recent seasons.
Although Kensi has come around, Deeks is the one who has been pushing having a family.
She has no desire to set aside NCIS. He seems content to be the personality of the Squid & Dagger.
So she works days, he works nights, they split child care. It works on paper.
However, all the ECO fans would scream bloody murder if he and his golden locks departed. So, logical or not, his leaving is unlikely.
Nell resigning did come out of the blue this episode.
Yes, she's been having hard times the last couple of seasons: her mother's extended illness, Eric's being abducted, and her wildly fluctuating relationship with Eric (What are they this week: coworkers, friends, lovers?).
Long seen as the heir apparent, she sacrificed that when she snapped at Hetty during Eric's travails on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 9.
She is just too sensitive to make the hard calls that the operations director has to make. And she doesn't enjoy being there any more.
Hetty left the door wide open for her to take off the rest of the season, and this could be just the latest ruse to shake up viewers.
But the way she looked around the office when she left with Eric, I don't think so. Nell appeared to be saying goodbye.
So let's rearrange the OSP roster.
Fatima is a regular, and this episode marks Roundtree's second appearance, after his debut on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11 Episode 17.
I'm liking Fatima more each time out, and Roundtree would give them the inexperienced probie they've never had. He fit in pretty well for his first day of the job.
The office was so crowded that Callen got shoved out on a two-week vacation. Granted, much of the rest of the season will likely be focused on him and Anna.
Another possibility for the team is Anna, although her recent exploits might keep her from ever being employed by domestic law enforcement again. Also, I don't think Callanna will last the season because much of Callen's story is that he's meant to be a lonely lone wolf.
A heartbroken Eric will stay in Ops. Then again, maybe he won't be heartbroken. Maybe he and Nell will flourish now that they're not together 24/7.
Fatima will join him there, which is a shame, since she's fun as a field agent.
With Hetty appearing intermittently at best, Callen may be stuck in more of an administrative role, which would pair Sam with Roundtree, giving him the trainee he's been desiring.
Kensi and Deeks stay together, largely because she's the only one who can handle him for an extended period.
As usual, anytime a recurring character shows up, Deeks would head back to LAPD for sensitivity training or some such politically-correct hoo-hah.
The other option would be Kensi getting pregnant, and she could take an occasional sick day.
This episode kind of gave a preview of what that might look like.
Callen was unavailable so Sam took command in the field, while tutoring (and big-time saving) Roundtree.
Nell and Eric didn't end up working together much as she was busy avoiding him (and most everybody). So Eric did his thing while Nell did it even better from afar.
Kensi fell into the role of Fatima's mentor and they worked well together.
And I loved the Hetty's Angels concept, although if Nell departs, that leaves them one short.
After allowing Roundtree to trigger a bomb, Deeks became the odd man out. But hasn't he always been the odd man of the squad? Seriously.
Using a pulley setup to rescue Roundtree was one of Sam's better stunts of the season, as was his taking out the bombmaker while securing the dead-man's switch.
It wasn't much for a case of the week. But that wasn't really what the episode was about. It was about showing the possibilities.
To revisit Nell's career, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
Are Fatima or Roundtree keepers?
Is Nell gone, and will you miss her?
What did you think of Sam's rescue plan?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.