Henrietta "Hetty" Lange is the operations manager for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service's Office of Special Projects which is located in downtown Los Angeles.
Hetty made her debut appearance in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1 episode, Episode: Identity, replacing Lara Macy who had originally held the position but following an assassination attempt on G. Callen, Macy was reassigned elsewhere before being murdered prior to the NCIS Season 7 episode, Patriot Down (episode), resulting in Hetty being given the position of Operations Manager which she holds to this day.
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In Blame it on Rio, NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo from the Washington D.C. Major Case Response Team arrived, hoping to bring a money launderer to justice, only to find that he arranged a decoy and started strolling around Los Angeles like a tourist.
After the launderer's arrest, Hetty was informed by DiNozzo's boss Leroy Jethro Gibbs that he had been trying to contact him.
As punishment for not reporting in, he tells Hetty to give Tony a headslap, which she does so in front of her team before telling him to get out of 'her' town.
In spite of her small size, Hetty is by no means a pushover whatsoever and is something of a intimidating figure, the mere mention of her own name enough to shake fear into those who have heard of her but have never seen her.#
She is also fiercely protective of the Office of Special Projects field team as well as those under her command with Hetty willing to use every resource at her disposal to ensure the safety of her agents.
Although she harbors a gruff, no-nonsense temperament, Hetty demonstrates a degree of affection towards G. Callen and the rest of the OSP team with Hetty even displaying a maternal instinct towards her agents.
When her agents were in serious danger in the episodes "Ambush" and "Found", she used her considerable political capital and her aforementioned contacts to pull out all the stops in rescuing them (such as convincing SECNAV to authorize a F-22 Raptor fly-over of the militia camp).
Like Eric Beale, she is fond of Abigail Sciuto and when the latter visited the OSP operations center, Hetty points out to the other agents Abby's ability to "be functional and stylish at the same time". When Marty Deeks was shot and there was no one to call, Hetty told him to put her down as his next of kin in the future.
Hetty is deeply affected by the line-of-duty death of an agent, and has twice resigned (albeit unsuccessfully) from NCIS. The first was in 1999, when a promising young NCIS Agent (Sullivan) she had personally recruited was later killed when attempting to infiltrate a militia group.
The second time was following the death of Agent Dominic Vail in the Season One episode "Found". Although she delivers her resignation letter to Director Vance personally, it is later returned to her by Callen who had picked the Director's pocket to recover the letter.
Hetty does eventually resign in the penultimate episode of season two, and is replaced by Senior Agent Lauren Hunter as the new Operations Manager.
She also subscribes to an older unwritten code of conduct, evidenced by her disgust at the new generation of Russian agents who have "broken all the rules" by killing innocents which is shown in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 2 episode, "Deliverance".
Hetty's favorite beverage is tea which she loves to such an extent that in "Bounty" she approved a mission in Afghanistan after Callen and Sam Hanna promised to bring her back a bag of tea leaves.
She is a fan of Lady Gaga, stating that she "will forever love the Gaga."
As the Operations Manager of the Office of Special Projects, Hetty possess a unique range of abilities that make her a huge asset to the OSP team and NCIS overall.
Hetty is skilled in using firearms ranging from a gun to even a shotgun which she uses in a gunfight against enemies or to protect a member of her team.
Hetty is fluent and can understand Romani and Chechen, as well; she spoke Romani with Marcel Janvier after he was brought to the Boathouse for interrogation, and she helped Callen practice his Chechan skills, and corrected his grammar before he left to go undercover in a Chechan terrorist ring.
She has also been seen speaking Welsh and Japanese with the other members of the team
One of the last surviving Cold Warriors, Hetty has unparalleled access to contacts throughout the intelligence and defense communities, which she does not hesitate to exploit when required for the success of a mission or to protect the lives of her agents.
Hetty is a fearsome woman with a strong, almost legendary reputation. Her name has been know to strike into those who have heard of Hetty but have never met her in person.
Even Hawaii Five-0 Detective Sergeant Danny Williams who had never met Hetty before coming to Los Angeles subsequently developed a fear of Hetty.
She has an extensive list of aliases, as evidenced by multiple driver's licenses seen in a locked drawer of her desk, as well as several others hidden in a private safe deposit box.
According to her personnel file, Hetty has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Sorbonne. She also has a degree in computer science from UCLA in 1969. (NCIS: Los Angeles - Season 5, Episode 16: "Fish Out of Water")