NCIS Los Angeles: Is Eric Beale back for good?

NCIS LOS ANGELES aired its penultimate episode of the year yesterday (November 24) and saw the return of one of its beloved characters. But has Eric Beale returned for good?

NCIS Los Angeles’ ninth episode at the weekend and fans were delighted to see the team’s technical operator Eric Beale (played by actor Barrett Foa) make a comeback. The actor has been missing from the majority of season 11 but the most recent episode Kill Beale: Volume 1 was dedicated to his return and what he’s been up to? So does this mean Eric will now rejoin his team in the CBS spin-off show for the rest of the season?

Has Eric Beale returned to NCIS: Los Angeles for good?

Warning: This article contains spoilers from NCIS: Los Angeles, Kill Beale: Volume 1.

At the end of season. 10, operations manager Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) sent Eric on a mysterious job in San Francisco which no one knew anything about,.

Not even Intelligence Analyst and long-term girlfriend Nell Jones (Renee Felice Smith) knew anything about his wereabouts.

So for the majority of the 11th season, Eric has been missing from the action, apart from one episode in which he briefly featured in.

However, it’s good news for fans of the nerdy NCIS team member as he will be returning to the show full time.

Eric hetty split

Has Eric Beale returned to NCIS LA for good? (Image: CBS)

Eric hiding

Technical operator and intelligence analyst Eric Beale. (Image: CBS)

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Kill Beale: Volume 1 focused entirely on Eric’s recent whereabouts and the team coming to his rescue after they find out he is in trouble.

Agents Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) travelled to San Francisco to search for their friend after he was kidnapped during a clandestine mission.

Beale had been investigating a company being operated by the Chinese who were going to build it up and then sell it to the US military with a backdoor sown in.

Thankfully, Eric managed to escape his kidnappers and was saved by NCIS so he could return to the LA headquarters.

Hanna callen

Agents Sam Hanna and Callen in Kill Beale: Volume 1. (Image: CBS)

Beale and jones

Eric Beale and Nell Jones. (Image: CBS)

But why was actor Foa away from the show for so long?

The network granted Foa a leave of absence so he can pursue his passion for theatre.

Foa has been starring in a production of Angels in America at the Repertory Theatre of St Louis.

So although he has been away from the show so far, he was taking a break to try something different.

But the actor is clearly happy to be back on set with the rest of the NCIS cast and crew.

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Speaking to Parade about his temporary departure from the show, Foa said: “I think they [NCIS producers] realised that absence makes the heart grow fonder, shall we say.

“Like, ‘Let’s let the audience miss Eric Beale for a little bit.’ I sure missed Eric Beale.

“Coming back, I think, that made me love him more and remember how much I loved him and how much I loved the show.

“Then when people see this episode, they are going to remember not only how much they love Eric Beale, but also just how much it’s about the chemistry of the whole cast together.”