LL Cool J — fresh off wrapping his 14-year run as NCIS: Los Angeles‘ Sam Hanna, who surprisingly resurfaced on CBS 24 hours later to make a bacon-saving cameo during NCIS: Hawa’i’i‘s Season 2 finale — is joining the island-set spinoff for Season 3, as a recurring guest star.
Midway through the NCIS: Hawai’i finale, Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant (played by Vanessa Lachey) was in the course of escaping a pair of back-from-the-dead Adrian Creel’s henchmen when a sniper shot rang out from a nearby hill, felling the second of her and Whistler’s (Tori Anderson) adversaries.
The shooter, Special Agent Sam Hanna, then rang Jane’s cell to make reference to the fact that, yes, the NCIS: LA series finale had deposited Sam (and Callen) 6,800 km away in Morocco (on a mission to save Hetty), but also to offer Tennant his future services.
But when the NCIS: Hawai’i finale later drew to a close, it appeared that Supervisory Agent John Swift (Henry Ian Cusick) will be the one to avail the Pearl Harbor office of Sam’s vast experience. For as Jane worried what the fallout would be for unexpectedly letting superspy Maggie Shaw slip away, Swift was seen on the phone talking to someone about how “it couldn’t hurt to plus-up the team” in Pearl Harbor, adding: “I have an idea who….”
In a TVLine exclusive, NCIS: Hawai’i front woman Lachey says she is “so excited” to have LL Cool J (aka Todd Smith) come on board for Season 3. “This is an amazing opportunity to continue evolving the NCIS franchise,” she notes. “And what better way to do that than have Sam Hanna join the team.”
While Lachey is mum on how exactly Sam will fit into the mix (“That’s the fun part, figuring out how we all will solve cases together”), she is confident that “we will have fun on set!” With a nod to the 3-way NCIS franchise crossover that aired in January, she says, “From the moment we started filming the triple crossover, to hearing the news of Todd joining our team, it’s been laughs, love and excitement all around.”
In fact, Lachey surmises that the success of said crossover played “a big part” in whetting appetites for LL Cool J’s move to Hawai’i. “We all loved working on the triple crossover, so this transition seemed natural,” she says.