The 11th season of NCIS: L.A. really holds some surprises for fans, as a popular character returned on Sunday night. "Callen" (Chris O'Donnell, 49) and "Sam Hanna" (LL Cool J, 52) sure are glad to have "Hetty", played by Linda Hunt (74), back in their midst.

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In the episode "The Circle", "Callen" faces his past. There has been bad blood between his family and the "Comescu" crime family for a long time. Now, a new "Comescu" emerges and poses a potential threat to "Callen" and his loved ones. But what does "Hetty" have to do with it?

NCIS: L.A.: "Hetty" is like a mother to "Callen"

"She's been a part of his life since he was 5 years old, when his mother was killed. She's become that mother to him," NCIS: L.A. writer and producer Andrew Bartels tells TV Insider. "['Hetty'] has to be involved because she's so intertwined with 'Callen's' family history," Bartels continues.

NCIS: L.A. Season 11: "Hetty's" retirement could be coming soon...

For Linda Hunt, it was her first appearance on the show since episode ten ("Mother") on December 1st, 2019. The official NCIS: L.A. Instagram account also shared a great clip from the most recent episode with "Hetty"!

Fans were not only delighted about the fact that "Hetty" was back, another character also made her return in the eleventh season. "Callen's" ex-girlfriend "Anna Kolcheck", played by Bar Paly (34) is back as well. Just in time to get close to Chris O'Donnell's character again? We shall see!

The next episode of NCIS: L.A. (Season 11, Episode 16: "Alsiyadun") will air Sunday, March 1st on CBS at 9pm (8 central).