So far, Arkady made an appearance in six episodes:
- Pushback (S1 x 7)
- Tin Soldiers (S2 x 15)
- Neighborhood Watch (S3 x 22)
- Rude Awakenings: Part 2 (S4 x 6)
- Wanted (S4 x 17)
- Rezniknov, N (S5 x 4)
Arkady’s intentions were not clear in the beginning – he seemed to be one of the bad guys at first. But, at the end of Pushback, it turns out he isn’t – well, at least not entirely…
The banter between Arkady and Callen shows that they’ve obviously had a longer and more complex history together than we might’ve first thought. They have been in Kosovo together and in Chechnya (Tin Soldiers, 2×15):
CALLEN: Did you bring anybody else with you?
ARKADY: No. Did you? Who’s the <durak> now? [They shoot] (automatic gunfire)
ARKADY: You know what this reminds me of?
ARKADY: Yes. And we got out of there alive.
CALLEN: We surrendered.
ARKADY: Maybe I’m thinking Chechnya.
[Callen shoots some bullets] (automatic gunfire)
ARKADY: I’m out of bullets, and I know you got three left.
ARKADY: You wouldn’t consider giving me one?
CALLEN: Sure. How much is it worth to you?
Let’s take a look at Callen and Arkady’s relationship:
A Russian KGB officer and a DEA Agent. Arkady Kolcheck and G Callen worked together on a joint operation in Russia, codename “Cossack.” Sadly, the operation went bad and one of Callen’s fellow colleagues died. It was years later before Callen came across the former KGB agent and was surprised that Arkady was living in Los Angeles. When a Russian girl (the last person G saw before he was shot [NCIS episode “Legends, II”]) is discovered dead in an NCIS investigation, the case over who targeted Callen becomes prevalent. Callen thought over those who had worked with him on the Cossack case back in Russia. The rest of his colleagues were gunned down on the same day he was supposed to die. Except for one, a KGB officer. Arkady Kolcheck. G Callen has always had trust issues. It went with the territory of being an orphan at the age of five and being thrown from orphanage to foster home after foster home, never feeling like he belonged anywhere. Well, except for one foster home. The Rostoff’s. A Russian family who had taken him in and loved him. He had become close to their daughter, Alina, and learnt Russian. He called her his little sister. It was this girl that Arkady Kolcheck had sought out to warn Callen that his life was in danger. It was she who died seeking revenge for his death.
As we look closer to the former KGB officer and his relationship with Callen, we can see that he truly cares for the younger man, yet he hides behind a visage that he will only do something if he gets something out of it for himself. This was brought out in the most recent appearance of the Russian (‘Reznikov, N’ 5×04). He showed himself unwilling to help Callen find his father, although the man supposed to be his father had a photo of a much younger Kolcheck in his possession. Not until Callen told him he would owe him after this was done did Arkady relent. “Now we are in business.” Yet it was Hetty who sat down with Arkady, and together they discovered what they knew about Callen and the man known as Michael Rhinehart. Then Hetty and Arkady told him that this man, Michael Rhinehart was the American name given to a man from East Germany, Hans Schreiber. He owed his life to the real Nikita Alexander Reznikov, a Major in the Russian KGB. His Father. Yet something tells us that perhaps there is more to Arkady Kolcheck than meets the eyes. He is not Callen’s father, but perhaps he knew him. Maybe we will see more revealed about Callen’s father along the way through Arkady.
To sum it up:
The relationship between these two men is definitely complicated. There are obviously some trust issues between the two. We’ve seen Arkady use Callen to attempt to advance his “business.” And, it seems he has held on to information that would help Callen in filling in some of the pieces missing from his past. (Beginning with the information about G’s Russian “little sister.” He also knew about the photos of Callen that were taken in the graveyard at the end of S1.) However, after all this, Arkady would never do anything to harm Callen. Whatever their relationship was in the past, there is some sort of bond between these two.
Consider how Callen lets Arkady go after the ambush at the arena (Tin Soldiers, 2×15). He says something to the effect that Arkady is more useful to them on the outside… We know it was more. In the 100th episode, when Arkady realized he had information that would connect Callen to his father, well… the emotion Arkady showed left us with melting hearts…
Arkady: Is he your father?
G: (already leaving): I’m about to find out.
Arkady (looking after him): Or die trying.
(Reznikov, N, 5×04)
The fact that Arkady cares for Callen was also shown when he waited for the Team to take him in for questioning, even though he could have easily left the scene of the accident (“Reznikov, N”, 5×04):
Deeks: Why did you wait with the bodies? You could have been long gone by the time we got there.
Arkady: Because I wanted you to know what happened. What Callen was going to do.
Arkady is clearly a bad guy embroiled in the underworld, but he still has a sense of humour – and that’s the best part about him. He is always good for some of the lighter moments, and for making serious situations a little less tense.
These are some of our favorite scenes with Arkady Kolcheck:
Reznikov, N. (5×04)
Arkady (having taking a gun out of his fridge): I should tell you I’m having a bad day. Come out slowly.
G walks in.
Arkady: You’re trying to get yourself killed?
G (holding up Arkady’s ammunition): Not with that.
Arkady: Now you leave me defenseless against my enemies?
G: Who leaves a gun in the fridge?
Arkady: We all do.
Arkady: Do I owe you a favor?
G: No, but when this is done I’m gonna owe you one.
Arkady (smiling broadly): Then this is business. (Puts the gun in his pants) Ayayay – the gun is still cold.
Arkady: This is my brother-in-law’s car.
G: It may get a little rough.
Arkady: That’s ok. I don’t like him anyway.
Arkady: Make sure you use indicators. You don’t want to get pulled over, do you?
G: What, do you have a body in the trunk?
Arkady: No – not today.
Neighborhood Watch (3×22)
Tin Soldiers (2×15)
Arkady: (Callen enters with Niko in cuffs) I see you got my message.
Callen: You couldn’t have left a note?
Arkady: You couldn’t have rang the buzzer?
Callen: Don’t send anybody else to my house – not unless you want to get rid of them.
Arkady: We’ll be in touch, old friend.
We are definitely looking forward to Arkady’s next appearance – and not only because he might help revealing another piece of G’s mysterious past…
Did you miss your favorite Arkady scene?
What do you think? Does Arkady know more than he is saying about Callen’s past?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments!