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Hetty's Biggest Mistake Ever On NCIS: Los Angeles

As its title suggests, "NCIS: Los Angeles" is a spinoff of the mainline "NCIS" series, resembling its predecessor in that its central cast of characters are likewise in charge of investigating military-related crimes. Whereas the purview of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service unit in the mainline series is relatively broad, however, the team in "NCIS: LA" specializes in undercover operations. Furthermore, its members possess what seems to be a higher level of military training, resulting in a more action-oriented approach to storytelling.

Another key difference between "NCIS" and its Los Angeles-based spinoff is, in the former series, the NCIS agency is led for most of its run by the typically masculine Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon). In "NCIS: LA," its agents are oftentimes aided by Office of Special Projects Operations Manager Hetty Lange, an elderly woman with a wide-ranging military skillset. Hetty is portrayed by Linda Hunt, who holds the distinction of winning both an Academy Award and two Teen Choice Awards.

Because of her unique role, oftentimes aiding the "NCIS: LA" team from afar rather than in the field — she filmed Season 12 remotely, for example — Hetty is typically a schemer rather than a fighter. While Hetty's smarts generally ensure her schemes go according to plan, one user online realized that a strange decision of hers would technically create a lot of unnecessary work for her and other agency higher-ups in its wake.

Hetty shouldn't have made Deeks an Investigator

In "NCIS: Los Angeles" Season 12, Episode 9, after initially appearing to deny the team's longtime compatriot Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen)'s application to join the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Hetty ultimately breaks the news that he'll be an official team member moving forward. However, rather than inducting him as a Special Agent as might be expected, she signs Deeks on as an Investigator.

In a Reddit thread about this decision, user MonkGlonk pointed out that, realistically, making Deeks an Investigator poses a considerable hassle to Hetty and some of her fellow administrators, not to mention Deeks too. In essence, Investigators for the real-life NCIS agency are restricted from many of the sorts of duties for which the Office of Special Projects is typically responsible throughout "NCIS: LA." Most notably, NCIS Investigators must be re-authorized to carry a firearm yearly, requiring approval from a chain of command starting with the Deputy Assistant Director and moving up through the Inspector General, Executive Assistant Director and Deputy Director. While in the real world this might not pose much of an issue, carrying a firearm is essentially a requirement for the sorts of missions featured on "NCIS: LA," meaning that this lengthy process would have to take place on an annual basis.

To save herself, her superiors, and Deeks herself what would seem to be regular administrative headaches, then, Hetty should have simply made Deeks a Special Agent like the rest of her team.