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I Still Can’t Quite Believe L.L. Cool J’s Returning For More NCIS, But This Cool First Look At Sam Hanna In Hawai’i Makes It More Real

 NCIS: Los Angeles' LL Cool J as Sam Hanna in NCIS crossover.
NCIS: Los Angeles' LL Cool J as Sam Hanna in NCIS crossover.

Following the end of the strikes, Season 3 of NCIS: Hawai’i is swiftly approaching. The Season 2 finale of the procedural aired in May 2023, so fans have been waiting a while for new episodes. With just less than a month to go, viewers will soon be reunited with all of their favorite Special Agents and more. The finale included a surprise cameo from LL Cool J’s Sam Hanna just a day after NCIS: Los Angeles aired its series finale. It was then revealed that the rapper will be appearing on the spinoff in a recurring guest capacity, and a new look at the team-up is making the prospect even more real for me.

While it’s unclear just how many episodes LL Cool J will be in, it's definitely known that he'll be in Season 3's first episode. Per the synopsis of the NCIS: Hawai’i season premiere, Sam Hanna surprises Vanessa Lachey’s Jane Tennant when he conducts her final interview after her medical and psych evaluations before she’s cleared for duty. He'll also be helping her in Vegas to take down some hackers. Fans now have another look the team-up, as Lachey shared a shot of the poster on her Instagram, and it’s as if Sam has always been part of the team.

Even though news of LL Cool J's inclusion broke back in May, seeing him on the poster for the series makes the reality of his return sink in even more. It’s also really great to see him sticking in the franchise after LA’s conclusion. Fans probably weren't sure if there would be any more mashups after the three-series NCIS crossover but, thankfully, there's more to come. On that note, there are even more cool shots of the rapper from the episode. Another still shared by CBS shows him looking quite serious while looking ahead:

LL Cool J on NCIS: Hawai'i
LL Cool J on NCIS: Hawai'i

Another sweet shot shows him and Vanessa Lachey together. Take a look for yourself:

Vanessa Lachey and LL Cool J on NCIS: Hawai'i
Vanessa Lachey and LL Cool J on NCIS: Hawai'i

Since Sam Hanna is more or less joining Tennant’s team that hopefully means that he'll provide updates on his OSP colleagues from time to time. Even if it’s brief, an update on "Callanna" following their wedding or one on Densi’s baby would be much appreciated. It would even be cool to hear about the mission that Sam and Callan were on during the final moments of LA. And, in a best case scenario, maybe one of Sam's teammates could even swing by Honolulu. There’s also the possibility that Sam won’t be the only NCIS veteran to appear.

Meanwhile, LL Cool J’s LA co-star, Daniela Ruah, will also be returning to the franchise, but in a different way. The Kensi Blye actress will be directing upcoming episodes of both NCIS and Hawai’i, airing in March and April, respectively. As of now, it hasn't been confirmed if the episode of the latter show will be one in which the Grammy winner appears. Regardless of that, though, it's just great to know that LL is returning, and the poster and snapshots are keeping my hyped until the new episodes begin.

On that note, don’t miss LL Cool J’s formal introduction on NCIS: Hawai’i when the third season premieres on Monday, February 12 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS as part of the 2024 TV schedule. Those who'd like to catch up on episodes can do so by streaming them using a Paramount+ subscription.