Author => ChrisDaisy

Callen’s Corner: Callen And Arkady

This post is dedicated to a regular and popular guest character on NCIS LA and his special relation to our favorite agent, G Callen: Arkady Kolcheck.

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?
CALLEN: Kosovo.
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.

Pushback final

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.
Kensi: Why?


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.

Reznikov N final

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)


Wanted (4×17)


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.

Wanted frame Kopie

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!

Thanks to Vicki, FanGCallen, Richtsje, Bee, Mary, Keviana and Saori for contributing to this post on one of my favorite guest characters on NCIS LA!

Callen’s Corner: Callen and Identity

Who is G Callen? – A little musing on G Callen and Identity.

Most of us have one identity. G Callen has many, but none of them is real.

He is an undercover legend, a chameleon who can adjust to every life, every alias, every situation quickly – partly because he is still looking for HIS identity. That might also be a reason why he chose that way of life (unconsciously so?) – not only because he’s good at it but also because it gives him the opportunity to “try” different identities to see which one might suit him.

Past Lives2

Callen’s favorite alias was Jason Tedrow in Past Lives (S1x12) – the one he enjoyed being most, probably the one that came closest to the identity he would have chosen for himself (aside from the criminal part, that is…) It was the one where he found friends and even love – simple things he was looking for his entire childhood and youth – things that would have contributed to developing his identity. He looked genuinely happy in the picture that shows him with Kristen in that episode.

Hetty: How is our old friend Jason Tedrow?
G: It’s just another alias, Hetty.
Hetty: An alias that reminds me of something Theodore Roethke once wrote: My soul, like some heat-maddened summerfly, keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
G: Well, I’ve been a lot of people.
Hetty: Yes. But you enjoyed being Jason Tedrow best.

Still – as much as he longed to fill this gap in his life he had to walk away in the end – keep going on searching for his “real” identity…

gcallen room

by BH72

The pounding of the waves soothed him. That was a fact. Of all the places throughout the world that he had travelled to, it was the beach that made him feel safe. It would engulf his worries. His fears. And wrap a comforting hug around his body as he dived into the waves. He had spent his childhood in California, near the beach. Between all the Foster Families he stayed with, he would come here. He felt a connection, that even he couldn’t understand. He had no memory of his early years. Hell, he didn’t even have a name. Just a letter and his family name. G Callen wedged his toes down deep into the coolness of the underlying sand, trapped below the top layer which had become hot from the sun. He squinted his eyes as the sun belted down on his face. The California summer was well known for its swelting heat. People would flock to the beaches to dip into the coolness of the Pacific Ocean. It became crowded with people. Strangers. But it was this anonymity that Callen sought. He had learnt early on in his life the importance of becoming a ghost. To be anyone he chose. It’s what made him a great undercover agent.

Then he discovered he had a sister. Hannah Lawson told him a little about her, but still couldn’t provide him with his identity. His name. Only that she called him ‘Baby Brother.’ Flashback, memories returned to him. He remembered. A piece of his heart broke away, finding she had died at age eleven. He would never get the chance to see his sister Amy again. It was on one of his many visits to her grave, when he found a tin soldier. Another flashback to his childhood. He was on a beach, when a man walked up to him and gave him one, just like it. The man had a tattoo on his lower arm. A gypsy wheel. On his search, he found the man slaughtered in his home. Who was he? And why did he leave the tin soldier on his sister’s grave? More questions had amounted in G Callen’s mind.

Graveyard Rahmen

However, Callen wasn’t just known for becoming a ghost. He was a great investigator. A gut instinct that would lead in him the right direction. He was a quick thinker, planning things on the fly, if it was required. So when Hetty vanished without a trace, he knew that something was up. He pushed and searched and eventually Leon Vance, Director of NCIS, confessed that the Comescu file was all about him. For the first time in his life, he learnt about his family’s blood feud with a Romanian crime family, the Comsecus. It all made sense to him. Why he lived alone. Had no name. No family. No identity. He realised Hetty had ventured into the lion’s den to save him. To stop them from searching for him. But he couldn’t let her die. He quit and left for Prague with Sam, Kensi and Deeks behind him. They finally found her at a beach house, on the Black Sea. More flashbacks had hit him. A woman sat on a chair laughing as he built a sandcastle. A man moved closer, handing him a tin solider. He heard a noise. He looked up and the woman became silent. His Mother, he realised. Murdered on the beach. He had fallen to his knees as he realised he was home. The beach that he had remembered was not a Californian one. But Romanian, on the Black Sea.

Beach Romania

Callen took in deep breaths as his flashbacks returned. Back on Venice Beach, he embraced the memories. They were all he had. Of his Mother. His early years. His link to who he was. Yet Hetty had known his Mother all along. Finally, he had a name. Clara Callen. A CIA operative. Just like her Father before her. George Callen. ‘Was that what the G stood for?’ He wondered. Bit by bit, slowly, but surely, pieces had come together. And now another Comescu threat had come to him. ‘Callen. We have your Father.’ Those words written in blood ripped through him as he had seen them the first time. “My name is Nikita Alexander Reznikov. I am your Father.” Two gunshots had rung through the air. It had been too much for the seasoned agent to take in. His Father, right in front of him, after all of these years. Only to see him be shot by the Comescus. But it was the man’s last dying words, “Tell him, the debt is paid.” ‘Tell who?’ 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. Finally he had a name. And a film, that Deeks had found in Hans Schreiber’s collection of photos. It had him on the edge. “Моя семья.” [My family]. There he was, a baby, held lovingly in his Father’s arms. Adored by his sister Amy. Finally he felt he had been loved. Even if he still had no name, he belonged to a loving family.

Reznikov N

This video sums up Callen’s quest for his identity and how much it affects him very well:

Thanks to all Callen’s Corner Dream Team members for contributing to this post especially BH72 and FanGCallen as well as Keviana and sindee, of course.