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No review?! Hmmm! I wanna write one. Was the hype worth it for the 100th episode? I must say yes. I see an 8.9 rating on TV.com…but we should wait for few more days to get a better average. So what was it all about!
Callen gets to see his KGB Major father Nikita Alexander Rezhnikov in the tapes and pictures he finds at Mike Reinhart’s house. Vassily Comescu returns, kidnaps Mike Reinhart thinking he is Callen’s father and tries to take Callen down. But MR has been protecting NAR’s cover from a long time and dies as Callen’s father before Vassily shoots him down.
The Comescus have ended – atleast it seems so now with both Anton and Vassily dead, with NCIS team taking them down with just one injury on their side, that of Granger being shot.
And Shane Brennan finished the story that he started in Episode 23, 24 and 25, of someone following him and snapping pictures of him while he is paying homage to Amy Callen (Hanna Lawson’s) grave. SB said he waited for 75 episodes to tell this story. And I wonder, what kind of an equation was that. Let me trace out Callen’s story.
Episode 6 – Seaon 1 -Pushback, we have Alina Rustoff and Arkady Kolchek introduced and we get to know of the 37 Foster homes that Callen was put to, with Rustoff’s being his longest stay for a foster home. So we have Callen’s foster sister Alina as dead.
Episode 23, 24 and 25 – Burned, Callen G and Human Traffic, we have Hannah Lawson and that proof in a small diary that someone indeed is keeping track of Callen’s movements. It is revealed that Callen’s sister Amy died as Hannah Lawson and Hannah actually lives assuming Amy’s name and is now presently Amy Taylor. So we have Amy Callen as Callen’s real sister dead.
Episode 39 – Tin Soldiers in Season 2, we have a trail set for Hetty to lead us and Callen to Comescu’s in season ending episodes.
Episode 47, 48 and 49, we have Hetty taking us to Romania into Comescu household and Callen remembering his childhood memories besides the Black Sea. Memories are awakened as he remembers himself as child presented with Tin Soldier and his mother shot on the beach. We get to know the Comescu family vendetta against Callen and Hetty is shot. Lauren Hunter is introduced in Episode 48 and by episode 50, we have Hetty telling Callen that she was the handler for Callen’s mother and was supposed to get her and her children out of Romania, but the mission was aborted and before she could reach Sylvia, she was shot by the Comescus with children gone.
Mystery unsolved is that Hetty doesn’t know why the children were spared then and now being pursued by Comescus. Mystery is also who brought Callen and Amy to America ? What is solved is who was putting Callen into different foster homes. It was Hetty as that promise to another agent Sylvia. Hetty did not know anything about Amy or Comescu vendetta then and had picked up knowledge over years.
And now it is Episode 100 and we get to know about Callen’s father. What is unresoved is whether Nikita Alexander Rezhnikov is dead or alive because last of him was heard as him being sent to labor camp in Siberia in 1974, the year when he came to Romania with his mother.
Question is why the father episode done in same sequential order or 24-25, 49-50 and 74-75 ? Why wait for another 25 episodes and do it over 100th episode. Aah! we have 60, 69-69-70 introducing SansVoir as the Chameleon, as Callen’s nemesis who is still alive to take Callen down, if not the Comescu Family.
So what are the unresolved items around Callen at this time? Three items
1) Is his father Alive? 2) What does G stand for? 3) Will the chameleon get to kill Callen ?
Personally I did not like Episode 100. It was constructed with the aim of just a single episode play with only Callen running the show. No nope, I do not have any problem with that as the story was interesting. But what was damaging about the screenplay was that it did not need any involvement from the rest of the team. They looked mere show pieces with nothing impressive about them. Hetty, Nell and Eric creating mystery about nothing by not showing the footage videos ..wasting minutes in trying to build up something big which was not the case, Granger getting shot for nothing, Sam upside down and opening eyes in miraculous timing looked unconvincing and finally what happened to Kensi’s driving skills, why would that truck obstruct them just there, when in every other case, they get clear roads and reach the scene in record time ?!!! Beyond my understanding !!! It would have been better with showing respectful insignificance for rest of team without creating the unconvincing dullness for the rest of the team. The team did rescue Callen, but it was too miraculous than becoming an operation worthy of NCIS caliber.
Must say, Chris O Donnell’s act in the last minutes of the episode, impressive. Beyond words.
Thank you SD for your comments. Hardly anything to add. I really loved this episode. The lone wolf, the Comescu’s back, the ‘MacGyver’ tricks of Callen, and that last minute thing. You could really feel how emotional it was, to finally SEE his father, knowing and sensing how he loved his kids…
I am an Arkady groupie, lol. Every time he is on, I just enjoy it so much. Seeing him and Hetty have a stare down was by itself worth the price of admission. Moments like that give NCIS:LA its special panache/veneer/whatever you want to call it.
The show might not have been in the top 5 of all 100 shows, but it was a very good and entertaining episode. Chris O’Donnell is wonderful. The subtle interplay that spanned the entire hour almost from the time Deeks is first holding the film to the light from the window and looking at the frames to the end when Callen is told that Deeks thought he’d like to have that film, was classic NCIS–the writing, the acting, the canon itself, because for sure the character of Deeks would have been ironically the exactly most painfully aware person to see that tender father and child moment caught in time, right? Chances are Deeks never experienced such a moment with his own father, and yet he gladly, graciously, and generously makes sure that Callen receives the precious gift.
That last scene was Emmy worthy. In fact this season, short as it has been, has had several superbly acted scenes already. It’s a pity they won’t be recognized by their peers.
My words exactly, Laura! 😉 I thought the same thing when I watched that last scene! And I read one of the crew later on twitter talking to someone else, saying that his timeline was strangely quiet for the last seven minutes as everyone was just watching! The shows just how good it was, I reckon, cause usually people on twitter, watching shows, are commenting all the time 😉
And hang on, does this make Callen part Russian and part Romanian then? Interesting combination – heh heh!
And I would add a fourth question, SD …
1) Is his father Alive? 2) What does G stand for? 3) Will the chameleon get to kill Callen ? 4) How did Amy and G get to the States from Romania after their mother was killed?
Still so many answers needed! That’s what makes this such a great show 😀
The comments, so far, have been worded so well! I loved this episode. It did not necessarily showcase all the other wonderful actors, but we all know that G Callen is Shane Brennan’s “baby.” I personally enjoy the occasional interjection of these episodes that, not only provide us with answers, but create new questions.
I feel like we know the characters so well at this point, that even without many lines, we know just what an important role they each play in Callen’s life. Though she’s a tough young lady, Kensi shows such love and respect for her Team Leader. (She’s the one who actually embraced him near the end of last season’s opener.) And as someone stated earlier, Deeks being the one who found and passed on the old film of Callen an his father was “classic.” We were not only reminded of the connection he has with Callen, both being subjected to troubled childhoods, but it was validation that Marty Deeks is truly embedded in this “family.” And Sam? He doesn’t have to say a word for us to know he will be there in the background, ready to catch his partner (save his skinny butt) if he falls. The face off between Hetty and Arkady may have warranted an episode all its own. It was amazing! Although we don’t yet know everything about Arkady, we DO know that he and Hetty care deeply for Callen, and have been protecting him for quite some time.
I agree that Chris O’Donnell’s performance was award-worthy. In fact, this season has already been just packed with phenomenal acting. I was so mesmerized during the first scene of this 100th episode that I’m not certain I even blinked. And the last scene was so tender that I was swept away by its raw emotion. No wonder Twitter chose that moment to hold its breath.
I enjoyed it although I expected a bit more from the 100th episode of the series. I think it should have been an episode where the whole team could be involved instead of focusing solely on Callen. Anyway, we got to find a bit more about his past and we were granted with Arcady’s presence.
COD rocked the last scene. We don’t usually see his character get so emotional so it was a revelation.
I thought this episode was brilliant, and Chris O’Donnell portrayed Callen so well (Callen is my favourite character anyway). I love his mysterious past and I’m glad that not all has been revealed. His father could still be alive…he now has much more to go on to investigate further, including finding out his full or real name.
In one episode Hetty says he was given his grandfather’s name “Callen”, which was his mothers maiden name (did she marry Reznikov)? Maybe he’s not really G.Callen, but really a Reznikov – that would be a bomb shell. I would prefer that actually, to finding out what the “G” stands for.
For me this episode was over far too quickly but I loved it. Like the season opener, it would benefit from being two hours long. And yes I agree that the rest of the cast were incidental to Callen, but they do all get their own special episodes.
So the 100th episode kicks off a story arc that lasts the rest of the season, leading to a watershed for Callen & Deeks? Well the only story arc I can see is Callen’s search for Reznikov…
I do like the connection that was made between Callen and Deeks, with Deeks appreciating Callen as a 10 year old, being removed from a foster home as he took the broom handle he was being beaten with, out of his foster dad’s hand and broke it over his head. Deeks of course shot his dad aged 11, as he was beating on him/his mum. I loved Deeks’ expression as Callen revealed that (not sure Callen realises that connection as he said this whilst starring at the photo). And of course Deeks made sure the film of Callen’s family was given to him for that very poignant final scene. Maybe more of their troubled childhood will be made…
Oh, and Callen going serious lone wolf. Awesome! Another insight as to how dangerous he can be – bet he was like that in his CIA days! Love it 🙂
Thank you everyone. It was wonderful to read your viewpoints.
Jess, yes, how we not help wanting to know how Callen and his sister were brought to America. 😀 We do want to know that.
And Laura, I loved how you brought the Deeks-Callen subtleties of the story telling of the episode. Isn’t it wonderful, how Hetty is made the spokesperson for the writers to tell the audience and the characters where is story is supposed to go? Without a doubt, at a sublime level Deeks was made as the other protagonist of the 100th episode after Callen. It was the story written for these two.
The story starts with Sam and Kensi supporting their partners at the mountain-climbing competetion. Both Callen and Deeks are just humoring their partners and after winning two rounds each, they quit playing citing exhaustion, more at being goaded to compete for the pleasure of the other. Though Callen and Deeks are not partners to each other, Callen and Deeks actually mirror same sentiments about the sport, their partners and their personal opinions.
Soon we have Granger and Hetty discussing Deeks. Granger, we know how he is protective of Kensi, so is checking; if Deeks is deemed fit to be back. And yes; Hetty has her answer ready that Deeks has bounced back. Of course she did do it all professionally making Nate and Callen assess Deeks in the past two episodes, but it was all along Hetty’s wish to have Deeks bounce back as soon as possible. She like us is so invested in Densi relationship, but she also knows where the problem is and so her heavy words such as “Partnerships can be tricky”. Whatever that means from a writers perspective, could be Deeks past or Kensi’s Jack’s return, but to me; the hurdle for Densi to realize into full fledged relationship is created by Kensi herself. She would want Deeks to declare his feelings for her, but she would never do the same for him. And hence Hetty, who also loves and cares for Deeks, boosting him when he is low on morale, suggesting indirectly what he should be doing for himself and Kensi (the letter with Sunshine and GunPowder was a major boost for the kiss in the next episode, its like an injection of approval that gives Deeks his clarity and courage to express himself without any misgiving towards his spontaneous response to Kensi’s impulsive rant), one day; for the sake of Deeks, she might send away Kensi from Deeks just so that separation makes Kensi realize what Deeks means to her. That is what I took home when Hetty said “partnerships can be tricky”… as in like Kensi may have helped Deeks in bouncing back, but she may also be the reason for Deeks to wilt with her reticence on the relationship they should progress too. After all it was Hetty at the end of Season-2 advising Kensi that when times comes for her to let her adrenaline rush to be deprioritized, she has to, as other things closer to heart are more important. Haha ! I might be completely wrong, but this is the theory I have at this time.
While that was a bit of breaker for Densi, the rest of the episode, Deeks and Callen keep bonding at subconscious level. When Deeks hears the story of how Callen broke the broom handle on the foster father’s head after taking everyday that abuse, Deeks had a smile. We know, how Deeks the adult now can have an understanding smile for that story with lot of praise for Callen, the kids guts, but deep down, that story was exactly like his as the child, when he shot his abusive father when his father was about to shoot his mother and him. That was not amusing to him at all them and it seems he never liked anything about it and could never smile or let go like he did with Callen’s story.
We then have Deeks seeing the old tape and I was wondering, why Deeks did not ask Callen to see it then and there itself. But of course the writers had to make it a big moment of declaration through their spokesperson Hetty. Something that Deeks watched is given to a person he respects and trusts. That is Hetty the matron figure to both Deeks and Callen. And Hetty, giving the due credit to Deeks having found it, asks Callen to watch the tape. At this point we are not sure if Callen was even registering Deeks name, but throughout the day, Deeks actually learned about Callen more than Callen knows about Deeks. Its like now Deeks, who was always close to Hetty, traversed NCIS seasons to love Kensi as his most precious thing and had protected Sam and his wife in the beginning of this season, is now inching close to Callen and considering him to as an entrant to his personal ambit of family.
Seriously what just happened there! So is this what Shane Brennan was calling as watershed moment for Callen and Deeks?! Suddenly from being an outsider, Deeks now is inching closer to all the other men…like Nate, Sam and Callen. He is bit geeky at times and can get along with Eric and Nell, but I would love to see him getting closer to the other two as well. You know what ! If Deeks this season gets closer to Sam and Callen, the seniors trusting and loving him as much as they do for Kensi as their own, then I won’t mind Kensi being sent away in mid season. I will take it with pinch of salt thinking, let Kensi do some soul and heart-searching and let her find Deeks there. Amen! 😀
Thank you all. It was wonderful discussing this episode here.
This Brennan Written and Callen centric episode was a fitting celebration of 100 episodes, and if defiantly had the Brennan touch, it gave us the answer to part of Callens story, created more mystery, and gave us a very enjoyable episode.
Callen got more things for his” keepsake box” at the same time we learnt more about his sad childhood, and perhaps a little of what makes him tick, and most importantly we found out his last Name “’Reznikov, “ and who had been keeping the book with the names and addresses in it, but why did this not include his sister? However it does explain why he picked up Russian so quickly if it was the language he had heard from his birth. Just maybe he had to learn English when he got to the US. Once again Callen goes “Lone Wolf”
Brennan very cleverly keeps us wanting more and I think/hope we will have a long wait to find out what G means, also Arkady is EX KGB, so does he still have contacts that can give him information about Callens Father.
How did they get out of Russia to Romania, who helped the children get to the US after their Mothers death, . (My current favourite theory is that Granger knows something about this!!!) and are there any more Comescue’s to come out of the woodwork. For me I would like to know more about the relationship between his Mother and His Father, she was CIA he was KGB. Did he know?
Loved the repartee between Sam and Granger “I’ll drive” then the car is in the garage “sensitive brakes” Hetty as usual protecting Callen, and one of my favourite characters Arkady Kolcheck, admitting that he has a soft spot for Callen.
No word spoken between Sam and Callen, just looks, but Callen knew something was up and it was about him.
Finally what a great ending quite emotional….more episodes of this standard please……
I liked this episode, as Callen is Brennan’s creation this episode was always going to be about Callen, and it was extremely well done.
I actually forgot to watch this episode last night. That never used to happen to me in the pre-Punch, pre-Joelle, pre-raccoon days of season 5. Oh well.
I have to say that I have never been very interested in Callen’s backstory. The whole Russian/gypsy/CIA/KGB/kitchen sink aspect of his history seems very contrived and forced. As a result, I never much cared for Callen either. But when the show concentrates on Callen in the here and now rather than the back story, I find that his qualities as strategist and team leader have really grown on me. I like his interactions with the team, not just the bromance stuff with Sam, but the interactions he has had with Deeks this season, especially in Kensi’s absence. I’d like to see Callen push Granger and Hetty to get some answers about the whole Afghanistan mess (or maybe that’s better left forgotten.)
I think that at the time this episode was originally filmed, the showrunners probably intended to do more with Callen’s backstory this season. I even recall a news item (maybe from this site?) that said the actor who played Callen’s father in the videotapes had been signed to play more flashback scenes later in season 5. We all know how that turned out.
Even though I don’t really care about the backstory itself, I do enjoy how it affects Callen going forward. I also think that there are some marvelous parallels to be drawn between Callen’s and Deeks’ messed up childhoods, and how they each handled it. That would be a great arc for season 6.
For a 100th episode I was disappointed. The best parts were the Callen/Arkady scenes. I LOVE Arkday’s character–he and Callen are perfect as “old friends”. I am a BIG G. Callen fan, he is THE reason I watch the show, but he has shone much brighter in other episodes. As for the ending scene, I must be the only one who didn’t think it was award worthy. And there wasn’t mention of anything that happened in that episode for the rest of the season. Regardless of what was happening with other characters/actors/actresses, SOMETHING could have been written in before the season was over.