Callen’s Corner: Season 3 Banter

There were many significant events that happened in season three of NCIS Los Angeles, which led into it’s following seasons: four and five. The season began with Callen and the team in Romania on a rescue mission to save Hetty, and continued with the run ins Callen had with Lauren Hunter. But what else do you remember about the third season? Let’s take a recap:

Hetty revealed to Callen that she knew his Mother and gave him some details on who she and his grandfather were; Callen and Sam celebrated five years of partnership; Sam’s charger Charlene was stolen; Callen almost lost his partner in Sudan; we met the not so popular Assistant Director Owen Granger; Kensi was on the hit list by Granger for killing men on her Father’s SEAL team, only to be faced with their real killer; Callen’s arch enemy, Dracul Comescu appeared in Hawaii, sending him and Sam to the beautiful paradise island of Honolulu; and Callen found himself up against a new enemy who became his biggest nemesis to date; Marcel Janvier. This storyline led into the season finale of Callen shooting him on national television (or so we were led to believe).

Here on Callen’s Corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite banters for you to enjoy.


Sam: “You hear anything?”
Callen: “She’s recuperating…like she was last month…and the month before that.”
Sam: “You think something is going on?… Of course. It’s Hetty. Something else is going on.”

Sam: “You think may she’s grooming Nell for something more? Even her ulterior motives have ulterior motives.”
Callen: “Hetty’s a riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside an enigma clutching a hand grenade.”

Kensi: “Have we heard any news on Hetty’s condition?”
Sam: “According to Nell, Hetty’s still keeping an eye on things.”
Callen: “Big Brother is watching.”
Deeks: “Or in Hetty’s case…Little Mother.”
[Everyone stares at Deeks]
Deeks: “What? You guys have been doing this too long. You’re getting paranoid.”
Hetty [from Deeks’s computer]: “A healthy dose of paranoia can keep you alive in this business, detective.”
[Deeks yells out startled and slams the computer shut]
Callen: “Did you see that?”
Sam: “I saw you slam Hetty’s face shut.”

(S3E02 ‘CyberThreat’)


Callen: “It’s comparing apples and oranges.”
Sam: “Lethal injection or firing squad.”
Kensi: “Not really fair to either of them.”
Deeks: “I’m just saying comparison begs to be made.”
Callen: “Hetty or Hunter?”
Deeks: “Pick your poison.”

(S3E03 ‘Backstopped’)


[Sam pulls up outside a house]
Callen: “I think you secretly like Monty.”
Sam: “Not a dog person.”
Callen: “Cats?”
Sam: “Nope.”
Callen: “What if you want to get a pet?”
Sam: “Not gonna…..Fish.”
Callen: “Fish!”
Sam: “Low maintenance. Don’t make any noise. They even poop in their own environment.”
Callen: “Yeah, well you can’t pet a fish.”
Sam: “Exactly, and if it doesn’t work out…”
Sam & Callen: “Sushi.”

(S3E04 ‘Deadline’)


When Sam lost his charger Charlene:

Callen: “I’m just trying to ease your grief.”
Sam: “I’m not grieving. I’m pissed.”
Callen: “Denial’s the first stage. That’s natural.”
Sam: …”This is me *naturally* ignoring you.”

Sam: “Whoever stole Charlene better hope LAPD catches them before I do.”
Callen: “You don’t mean that.”
Sam: “Yeah, okay.”
Callen: “Stage 2.”
Sam: “What?”
Callen: “Anger. It’s the second stage of grief.”
Sam: “I’m not grieving. I just want my car back!”

Sam: “I promise if I get her back, I use a bigger lock – no – better security system… Maybe a guard dog.”
Callen: “Your bargaining. That’s Stage 3.”
Sam: “Last I checked Nate was out in the field.”
Callen: “Just saying, I know how much Charlene meant to you.”

Callen: “You good?”
Sam: “Why do you ask?”
Callen: “So far, you’ve done a car, a gun and I believe that’s a dead body. Amazing detail.”
Sam: “I’m good.”
Callen: “It’s okay to be depressed.”
Sam: “I’m not depressed.”
Callen: “You will be. Stage 4.”
Sam: “Look, I’m not depressed, bargaining, angry, or in denial. But I *am* getting a little irritated.”
Callen: “Are you hungry?”
Sam: “Hunger’s not a stage.”
Callen: “It’s true. But loss of appetite is a sign of depression.”
Sam: “Keep it up.”

Sam: “It’s just a car. It hurts. But it’s not the end of the world.”
Callen: “Fifth Stage. Acceptance.”
Sam: “Yeah, right.”

(S3E05 ‘Sacrifice’)


Deeks: “Don’t you think it’s strange that Callen’s a talk radio guy?”
Callen: “Why’s that?”
Deeks: “I don’t know. I’ve always kind of considered you more of a, you know, a TV-static white noise type of guy.”
Callen: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Deeks: “Well, I am a man of mystery.”
Kensi: “Mystery or misery?”

Kensi: “Speaking of partners, where’s Sam? Mr. ‘Always-five-minutes-early’ is late – again.”
Deeks: “And he’s taken 3 long weekends this month.”
Kensi: “You know what that means?”
Deeks: “He’s in rehearsals for an off Broadway revival of Cats.”
Callen: “I’ll tell him you said that.”

Sam: “Yeah, well Hetty just got me a new coffee maker -except this one takes an extra long time to brew.”
Callen: “Waiting can be the hardest part. Takes a lot out of you.”
Sam: “The waiting I can deal with. This uh, coffee maker came with a special mug – an incredibly stunning mug.”
Callen: “That can be tricky, because if you get distracted by the mug…”
Sam: “I know.”
Callen: “Or if you let things heat up.”
Sam: “I know.”
Callen: “That’s when you get burned.”

(S3E07 ‘Honor’)


Callen: “You got some people worried. Think about picking up the phone, maybe an email?”
Sam: “Hi , Mom, I’m okay?”
Callen: “Yeah, something like that.”
Sam: “Things got a little hot. I couldn’t take any chances. You know I still love you, right?”

(S3E09 ‘Betrayal’)


Sam: “Gotta say. Fisk does have swagger.”
Callen: “Swagger?”
Sam: “Panache. Chutzpah. Flair. That undefinable “it.” Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee. The kind of style that can’t be taught, G. Game recognizes game.”
Callen: “Float after me, butterfly.”
Sam: “And haters gonna hate.”

Callen [Holding up some designer clothes]: “I have special name for this outfit – “Swagger.””
Sam: “Game’s looking. Game sees nothing.”
Callen: “Haters gonna hate.”

Callen: “We don’t even know who we can trust in LAPD. We go with Kensi and Deeks, we risk losing the RDX getting away.”
Sam: “Kensi and Deeks have Bates under control. Handling Fisk and the RDX – comes down to us.”
Callen: “You mean us against Fisk, his body guards, a crew of Neo-Nazis and the LAPD SWAT team that may or may not be on our side.”
Sam: “Gotta love Tuesdays.”

(S3E10 ‘The Debt’)


Callen: “Never commit a crime in a Gremlin.”
Sam: “Driving a Gremlin IS a crime.”
Hetty: “Mr. Callen, Mr. Hanna, should you find yourselves on the roof, there will be no air support. A helicopter would drop like a stone in an EMP. I hope you have a Plan B if you can’t stop this thing from firing.”
Callen: “Sam’s working on Plan B.”
Sam: “I’m working on Plan A. You’re working on Plan B.”
Callen: “We’re still working on Plan B.”
Hetty’: “Is that so? Well, I hope it doesn’t involve me identifying both of you from your dental records.”

Callen: All right. There must be other toy ponies.
Sam: You don’t get it. She talks. She flaps her wings. And she responds to 30 commands.
Kensi: OH! Five more than Deeks.
Deeks: [enters the room] How’s that? Talking about me?
[Then Eric finds one on the internet, does the bidding but looses…]
Callen: Well, maybe Santa will bring it to her.
Sam: Maybe I’ll tell her Uncle Callen said he’d get it for her. “It’s okay baby girl, Uncle Callen didn’t mean to let you down.”
Deeks: “That’s messed up!”
Callen: “You wouldn’t.”
Kensi: “You shouldn’t!”
Sam: “Ho ho ho.”

(S3E11 ‘Higher Power’)


Callen: “You know someone in Belgium?”
Sam: “Before I got stuck with you, Sam Hanna was an international brand.”
Callen: “Oh. Before I got stuck with you, I didn’t realise people who refer to themselves in the third person really existed in life.”
Sam: “Yeah, right. Kind of like guys who have one letter of the alphabet for a first name.”
Callen: “Five years to the day.”
[Sam and Callen hug]
Sam: “Partners.”
Deeks: “Oh, look out. I think we’ve got a stage-four bromance on our hands here.”
Kensi: “Will they or won’t they?”
Callen: “You hear people talking right now?”
Sam: “Only people I hear talking are people who have been partners for more than five years.”

[Callen & Sam talking about their first case]
Sam: “So I stepped in, cleared the room.”
Callen: “Actually, I went in first.”
Sam: “No, it was me.”
Callen: “I took point, I cleared the room.”
Sam: “I always take point, when it’s a heavy breach like that. Always.”
Callen: “On every op since then, yes. Not that one.”
Kensi: “Maybe you just went in at the exact same time, together.”
[Everybody exchanging glances]
Callen: “You’re right, Sam.”
Sam: “You’re humouring me?”
Callen: “Me, humour you?”
Sam: “I don’t have a problem with conflict, if it leads to a discovery of the truth.”
Callen: “Not a conflict. It’s a discussion over who entered the room first. That’s all.”
Sam: “Five years. Never humoured you.”
Callen: “Enjoy your champagne.”
Sam: “Okay.”

(S3E14 ‘Partners’)


[with Det. Lt. Chin Ho Kelly and Det. Sgt. Danny Williams…Discussing Dracul Comescu]
Danny: “Hold on, you’re telling me that his guy is ready to risk worldwide epidemic just to make some cash?”
Callen: “Without even blinking.”
Danny: “What about you? I hear you got a personal beef with him?”
Callen: “Comescu’s tried to kill my entire family.”
Danny: “Say again?”
Callen: “Blood feud.”
Danny: “Ah, well, that, uh, that happens.”

Danny: “I’ve also never been in a blood feud either, so…”
Chin: “Unless you count your mother-in-law.”
Danny: “How does that happen, anyway?”
Callen: “It’s a Romani thing.”
Danny: “You’re a gypsy?”

(Hawaii Five-0 Crossover ‘Pa Make Loa’)


[Callen and Sam driving in the challenger]
Callen: “Maybe you and I should retire to a nice warm island.”
Sam: “What about my family?”
Callen: “Oh, you could bring them.”
Sam: “Heh, heh, Gee, thanks.”
Callen: “No, I mean it. After this is all over, we ought to settle down somewhere nice and quiet. Do some fishing, some golfing, build things.
Sam: What kind of things?”
Callen: “I don’t know. Whatever guys build when they retire. You know, like, hobby stuff.”
Sam: “Hobby stuff.”
Callen: “Yeah.”
Sam: “You don’t fish and you don’t golf.”
Callen: “I’m not retired.”
Sam: “You don’t have any hobbies. The only way a guy like you would retire is with a bullet.”
Callen: “Nice. Thanks.”
Sam: “What I meant to say – what I meant to say was that I can’t see you giving this up. All right?”
Callen: “Then say that. Don’t jinx me by saying that I’m gonna get…you know what.”
Sam: “Okay.”
Callen: “I’ve been ‘you know what’ several times.”
Sam: “I know.”
Callen: “I’m already pressing my luck. You know what I’m doing after we get this guy?”
Sam: “What’s that?”
Callen: “I’m getting a hobby.”
Sam: “Maybe you should start scrapbooking our cases.”

(Hawaii Five-0 crossover S3E21 ‘Touch of Death’)

Have we covered your favorite banter from season three? If not, what was it? Even if we have covered your favorite banter from the third season, we would still love to hear about it.

Thanks to ChrisDaisy, Richtsje and Bee for their contributions on this post. A special thanks to Saori and for their images and screencaps.

3 thoughts on “Callen’s Corner: Season 3 Banter

  1. mckenna

    Great way to start the weekend! Loved so many of those scenes, but must say the banter in ‘The Debt’ is my favorite of season 3, it’s just too great. The scenes from ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Higher Power’ come close though!

  2. BH72

    With all that’s happened since season 3, it was a nice surprise to see so many memorable moments in these banters. It’s hard to choose my favourite, but love the stages that Callen gies through with Sam after Charlene was stolen in Sacrifice probably the most. Although I love the ones in touch of Death, Deadline and Higher Power as well.

  3. Chrissie

    So many great moments in S3 – I actually can’t decide on my favorite banter.
    I liked the “Five stages of grief” but also loved the banter in “Partners”… and the rest… so – tough choice… 🙂

    I also enjoyed your recap, reminding us of all that’s happened in Season 3!

    Highly enjoyable post – perfectly suitable to lighten up a grey and rainy Sunday!!! Thank you!

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