Buckle up ladies and gents. You have been assigned to the Office of Special Projects to update your skills on driving out in the field. You are going to learn from one of the best agents NCIS have in their agency. He’s a ghost, a bit of a legend, but by no means is he a bad driver, although his boss sent him to driving school. Special Agent G Callen is driving today, although it’s normal to see Callen as the passenger in the Challenger, with his partner Sam Hanna behind the wheel. He told his old friend Arkady Kolcheck that this is the secret to their happy partnership: “I let him drive.”
So when we see Callen drive, we know that something interesting is going to happen, such as a car chase after a suspect. You will be assigned to the rear middle seat, where we have seen Intelligence Analyst Nell Jones on a number of occasions reside usually with her tablet on, providing Callen and Sam with intel, and recently a slow food chef by the name of Lily, who they were on route to a safe place, assigned to protect her. The car is a dark grey Mercedes Benz CL 63 AMG, so you will be driving in comfort. That is, until you are being chased by a some bad guys and you are being fired upon, or chasing a suspect and you find yourself mid air being tossed upside down. Will you survive? Let’s take a look at the events that G Callen has endured for the sake of an operation or saving an innocent, and then you can make up your mind what your outcome will be.
Callen doesn’t do well when Kensi drives, so we know that when he’s a passenger, he doesn’t like to be thrown about:
Even though he wasn’t driving, the motion sickness thing was so funny. Hunter had, in her words, made an “operational change” – she switched the partners, pairing Sam with Deeks, and Callen with Kensi. When Kensi pulled up to the scene, Callen got out of the SUV, not looking too good.
Kensi: “Are you okay?”
Callen: “I’ve been better.”
Kensi: “Is it Hunter?”
Callen: “Motion sickness.”
However, G Callen has taken himself on some epic adventures behind the wheel, which have left us with our mouths agape, gasping in fear that this may be it for him. Do you remember THE episode I am referring to? Let’s go back in time to the end of Season 1, ‘Callen, G’. Where Callen thinks he has found out that he has a sister, only to discover that some Iranians are after her and have taken her ex-husband (Steve Taylor) captive. Callen was not even supposed to be on the case, so he’s gone lone wolf, but is still in communications with Eric and he sees Callen in the silver Mercedes go airborne and flip over, rolling four times.
Callen has his left hand on the wheel and his right on the gear stick as he manoeuvres, chasing a blue van, which the Iranians have taken Steve Taylor hostage in. He’s talking to Eric through the comms, giving direct instructions on what has happened and where he is going, requesting LAPD backup. There is no time to wait as he drives close behind the van, following it through red lights, narrowly avoiding vehicles entering the intersection. He tried to get in front of the van to stop them, but the driver of the van swerves, to push him out of the way, sending Callen in collision with a parked car. He becomes airborne, flips over and rolls four times, landing on the roof. The blue van also stops due to hitting another parked car. The driver exits and walks towards Callen, ready to finish him off with a bullet to the head. But G Callen is alway prepared. Remember how I mentioned that he was driving with his left hand on the steering wheel? It kept him ready to grab his weapon to fire at the enemy. And that is exactly what Callen did. Three bullets to the Iranian’s chest, instantly killing him. Callen climbs out of the upturned Mercedes and goes to rescue the ex-husband and to help the woman (who he still believes might be his sister). He continues in Agent mode and asks a guy across the road for his keys, so he can find the woman and rescue her. Because that is what G Callen is, a rescuer, a hero. Another person’s life, is more important than his own. Without a work issued vehicle, Callen only then uses his cell to call Eric for intel on the woman’s location. (S1E24 ‘Callen, G’)
Sam had left Callen sitting in the Challenger while he went to check out a suspect in the Hookah café. Soon after he entered, Salim makes a run for it out the back.
SAM: “G, we got a runner. Meet me around back.”
[G moves behind the wheel and starts the engine. In the back alley, Sam hears tires screeching: Salim is running away in a new car…G stops to let him getting in]
SAM: “Two guys, silver sedan. Hang a right.”
We cannot forget the time Callen did that awesome manoeuvre in Sam’s Challenger either:
CALLEN: “Buckle up. Take notes.”
[Tires screeching, the Challenger launches the chase. Sam spots the sedan turning left]
SAM: “There they go.”
[They take the turn]
SAM: “Where the hell are they?”
[But G has seen them and is speeding up- Sam looks at him]
SAM: “I’m warning you, G, don’t scratch my car.”
[A gunshot hits their car from the back]
CALLEN: “They got behind us.”
[Multiple gunshots – G zigzags]
SAM: “Need a shot, G.”
CALLEN: “Coming up. Three, two, one.”
[The challenger starts a donut – Sam is able to shoot the driver – the sedan crashes into a van. The Challenger stops near it. Salim is chocked; he gets out; the agents have pulled out their guns. Callen checks the driver, Sam takes care of Salim]
When they get back to the office, Deeks and Kensi are watching the video of Callen’s mad driving skills, thinking it was Sam until he tells them it was Callen. Deeks is stunned that Sam let Callen drive the Challenger.
Usually we see Kensi and Deeks driving the silver SUV, but in Black Widow, Callen is driving, following a suspect from LAX, when they get made and give chase. Much to Sam’s frustration, wishing he was the one one behind the wheel.
[“John White” appears, he waves to a yellow taxi]
CALLEN: “There he is. Here we go.”
[G. follows the yellow taxi]
CALLEN: “He’s going around the block again. Something’s not right.”
SAM: “Cabbie’s taking him in circles.”
CALLEN: “He’s not taking him to a meet, this is the meet. He knows the cab driver.”
[White looks behind, continues speaking to the driver]
CALLEN: “It’s going down right now in front of us.”
[the cab accelerates, begins fleeing (tires squeal). Behind, G. is speeding, pulling out (tires squeal). Suddenly the taxi takes the right]
CALLEN: “He’s stopping.”
SAM: “No, he’s not.”
[The cab has just slowed down; White dives and hits the ground] (man grunts)
SAM: “I knew I should’ve drove.”
[G. stops, Sam gets down and starts running, trying to catch White who is already speeding away]
SAM: “Federal agent! Stop!”
(engine revving) [Callen is following the cab. (tires squeal). Sam and White are running, jumping over a wall, a gate. G. drives as fast as the cab driver among the other cars (horn honking) (tires squeal). White is almost on a new wall when Sam catches him (dog barking. He has only the man’s jacket in the hands; White faces him, they start fighting. The SEAL is stronger. White is on the ground, Sam cuffs him].
SAM: “Don’t move! Don’t move!” (handcuffs clicking)
[At a crossroads, the taxi doesn’t stop (horn blares). It is hit by a car; it ends in a truck (crunching, hissing). Callen stops his car on the wrong side of the road (tires screeching). He runs around the truck, only to find the taxi driver has escaped].
(S2E02 ‘Black Widow’)
Taking an innocent to a safe location:
Recently we saw Callen and Sam with the job of taking the daughter of a senator to a safe house. The seasoned agents were cheerful with the young woman in their care, but as soon as they picked up they were followed and surrounded, they kicked into serious protection mode, which resulted in Sam placing some flares into the fuel tank and blew it up to kill the bad guys. Callen and Sam will go to the ends of the earth to ensure they protect you, even if it means losing a car. (S5E12 ‘Merry Invasion’)
Investigating a crime:
Now and then we see Callen in a Jaguar XKR S COUPE. In History (S4E15), Callen parked his jag down from the suspect’s house. As you can see from the images, it was a good thing, seeing the house blew up in front of them. Another note to ensure that you park away from your destination. Not only did it save Callen’s jag, it also saved Callen and Sam’s lives. (S4E15 ‘History’)
Carrying a suspect in your boot:
Early on in Tin Soldiers (S2E15), we saw Callen driving along the highway, minding his own business. Well as much as one can with a person tied up in one’s boot, that is. The look of disbelief when he hears the siren and sees the flashing lights from a highway cop, who wants to pull him over. How was Callen going to explain this to the cop? He was trying hard to not attack any attention. You could see the relief on his face when he realises it was his partner dressed up as a highway patrol cop on a motorbike. But at least this time, Sam was there, wanting to speak with him, and not some stranger trying to give him a ticket.
So how are you going travelling in the back seat of the Mercedes today? From this evidence, we all have to agree that G Callen would ensure your safety and that he will get the bad guys one way or another, at the expense of his own safety, not your own. He has proven to be a safe driver and one you could rely on when one’s life was at stake.