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S07.E16: Matryoshka Part 2

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The Grammys air February 15th, and LL Cool J is hosting (Sam Hanna in disguise, saving the music industry from some terrible, auto-tuned event).

 

While in Russia, Sam and Anna try to break Anna's father and a CIA agent out of prison.
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I was really wrong about the name.

 

But nice that Callen now knows. 

 

Next question: will he be willing to take the immense razzing coming his way when Sam/Deeks/Kensi find out?

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I did not catch what his name is.

 

That was supposed to be Callen's father?  He was a good man, doing good things.

 

I thought this was a very good episode.

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I thought this was a tight episode, and I liked the chemistry between Sam, Anna and Callen.  But I have to say, it took a big leap to believe that Callen recognized "Garrison" as his father based on?  Well, what exactly?  Did he recognize him from the picture he saw last season, or because he saw family resemblance? That's a bit of a stretch, because I don't think Daniel J. Travanti looks anything like Chris O'Donnell, and never has.  Did he recognize the Matryoshka dolls, like maybe that's something he suddenly remembered his Dad doing?  If so, I wish they'd said something.

 

Anyway, the recognition scene was well played, and I don't mind that they left most of the questions to be answered at a later date.  I do hope he'll tell Sam and Hetty what he's discovered though.

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Anyway, the recognition scene was well played, and I don't mind that they left most of the questions to be answered at a later date.  I do hope he'll tell Sam and Hetty what he's discovered though.

 

Hetty will somehow already know because...well Hetty is Hetty she knows everything

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I think Callen recognized his father due to the Lenin coin on his desk. I have some hazy memories that such a coin or medal was once an important clue.

 

I was impressed by how it all played out - first I thought CIA guy might be Callen sen. but he wasn't. Then of course mysterious wood-guy was the next candidate. Since we once wondered if Arkady was Callen's father that whole thing started to remind me of a matryoshka too (or whatever the male equivalent might be). And I really liked how low-key they kept the scene - that was very much in character. I also liked how Sam just stood silently by having put 2 and 2 together but not saying anything (well, that's how I read the scene).

 

And since I always feel a tad bad for the actor: I loved Eric being allowed in the field, doing something smart without turning unrealistically bad-ass.

Edited by MissLucas
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I love that Eric was the one who put a quick end to the gun fight. I thought the flashbang was a good move. Did anybody actually get killed in this episode? That might be a first for them.

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It's kinda funny that they call Callen "G" and it turns out his real name is Grisha\Gregory.

I think he always knew his name started with G.

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Yes, there was always a ridiculous story about someone at his first orphanage in the U.S. writing down G. Callen when they logged him in, and then everyone, including him (ok, I buy that he was three and traumatized and maybe didn't speak English, but even so...) forgot what the G. stood for.

I mean, it's almost impossible. But everything in Callen's background is almost impossible.

It'll probably turn out that Hetty has known his real name this whole time. Let's face it - she probably even went to his baptism. The writers seem to be set on making her even more twisted as time goes on.

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The Lenin coin was what G's father used as identification in the Russian underground to recognize a safe contact, acording to Arkady.

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It's kinda funny that they call Callen "G" and it turns out his real name is Grisha\Gregory.

Callen is his last name - and he knows it's his last name, but if a random person asks his name, he couldn't very well say "G" without inviting a whole lot of questions, or at least a raised eyebrow.

The others calling him "G" is like being on a first-name basis with him, since for all intents and purposes it was his first name. It wasn't a coincidence.

 

I just think it's kind of funny that his real name is Grisha Aleksandrovich Nikolaev Callen. Callen sounds very not-Russian. Of course, with that long mouthful, one can almost understand an orphanage simply writing "G. Callen" and not remembering a Russian name.

As soon as we were introduced to "Garrison", I was sure that that would be Callen's first name too. Or "Gary" or something similar.

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So Callen's father is Frank Furillo.

(Capt. Frank Furillo of Hill Street Blues)

If I hadn't seen his name in the credits I would have never known it was him. He was GREAT.

 

I think Callen recognized his father due to the Lenin coin on his desk. I have some hazy memories that such a coin or medal was once an important clue.

 

I was impressed by how it all played out - first I thought CIA guy might be Callen sen. but he wasn't. Then of course mysterious wood-guy was the next candidate. Since we once wondered if Arkady was Callen's father that whole thing started to remind me of a matryoshka too (or whatever the male equivalent might be). And I really liked how low-key they kept the scene - that was very much in character. I also liked how Sam just stood silently by having put 2 and 2 together but not saying anything (well, that's how I read the scene).

 

And since I always feel a tad bad for the actor: I loved Eric being allowed in the field, doing something smart without turning unrealistically bad-ass.

I agree on sometimes suffering second hand embarrassment for Eric, but I can't believe they praised him about the flash bang and did not scold him for not following directions! Yes - first time in the field. Yes - unexpected shootout. But he froze. Just froze in the street, making himself a target and putting Deeks at risk. I'm not saying they had to yell at him or embarrass him - but tactically they should at least have explained to him the dangers of being oblivious to situational awareness.  (And yes, I did just spend a whole paragraph talking about a guy who will prob never leave ops again on a show that can time travel between continents.)

 

I enjoyed all of Russia and wish they had skipped the LA parts.

 

Also - I would like the show to flat out explain Nell's and Eric's roles. Nell has completed field training but is an analyst...? Eric is strictly an IT whiz, and *not an "analyst?" And if Nell is considered a field agent, shouldn't she be carrying a weapon at all times? (Maybe it is hidden in the voluminous jumpers/my grade school librarian dresses.)

Edited by betsyboo
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I'm still scratching my head over the football-field-marking-gypsum they spread over the landscape to simulate "snow", or did I miss something?

 

Thank you @betsyboo for describing Nell's wardrobe so well. Don't forget the sweaters too!

With her current hairstyle, Nell looks remarkably like the girl who sat behind me in high school Spanish.

Edited by torqy
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Eric has been in the field before, but not in a shooting scenario. I thought it was funny that his only prior experience in such situations was playing video games. I can see him mentally reaching for a controller, looking like a deer caught in the headlights. But in the end, even that VR experience served him well. Definitely, carrying a non-lethal flashbang is more his style than a gun (still holstered). Nell, on the other hand....

I'm tired of the gimmick of ID'ing yourself as a federal agent or cop from across the street to be sure the suspect has time to bolt or start shooting. I think of NCIS as better than that.

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Eric was only in the field before doing geeky undercover things - this was the first time he was in the field as agent. They showed him training for field work before. I'm not sure why he has to follow on Nell's path to action-girl (boy) but it gave us Barrett Foa in a tight shirt - so I'm not complaining. And yeah, they should have talked to him about freezing under fire.

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I'm tired of the gimmick of ID'ing yourself as a federal agent or cop from across the street to be sure the suspect has time to bolt or start shooting. I think of NCIS as better than that.

This is starting to irritate me too.  Wouldn't logic tell you to get as close as safely possible to your suspect first and then identify yourself?  Less change of buddy getting a head start on disappearing/running/escaping or having them shooting at people in a crowd situation.

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Eric has been in the field before, but not in a shooting scenario. I thought it was funny that his only prior experience in such situations was playing video games. I can see him mentally reaching for a controller, looking like a deer caught in the headlights. But in the end, even that VR experience served him well. Definitely, carrying a non-lethal flashbang is more his style than a gun (still holstered). Nell, on the other hand....

I'm tired of the gimmick of ID'ing yourself as a federal agent or cop from across the street to be sure the suspect has time to bolt or start shooting. I think of NCIS as better than that.

One of my biggest dislikes. ("Federal agents stop" from 20 yards away) I also hate that none of the good guys giving chase (almost) never shoot out tires when the bad guys are fleeing in a vehicle.

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Did they actually film outdoors in cold weather? I assume not because for some reason the visible breath didn't look real to me. That distracted me through much of the episode.

 

BTW someone made a mistake and allowed 30 seconds without any music underneath. I hope some poor editor doesn't get fired for that.

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...for some reason the visible breath didn't look real to me. That distracted me through much of the episode.

 

I thought there was something off as well.   I wonder why they spent Production $$ on making their breath visible.  Was it that important a plot point?

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And if Nell is considered a field agent, shouldn't she be carrying a weapon at all times? (Maybe it is hidden in the voluminous jumpers/my grade school librarian dresses.)

We did see Nell in one episode pull a big knife out of her boot, so she is not completely unarmed.

But she could have six pistols, an M-16 assault rifle, a grenade launcher and a machete hidden under her layers of "voluminous jumpers".  My god, her wardrobe is odd!  

I do like the little pixie analyst.  She is cute and spunky, and I wish they would just let her show a little of Kensi's sexiness. 

 

 

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I'm perfectly fine with Nell as she is. Not every woman needs to be sexy. I like that we see different portrayals of women here, all of whom are competent in their areas without becoming interchangeable clones.

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I'm perfectly fine with Nell as she is. Not every woman needs to be sexy. I like that we see different portrayals of women here, all of whom are competent in their areas without becoming interchangeable clones.

I *do agree that she owns it.

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