This may be the cruelest bait-and-switch NCIS: Los Angeles has ever pulled, but we couldn’t not watch. After years of searching for any family he had left, Callen finally had one. With a father, a sister, and a nephew, Callen is the happiest he’s ever been in his life. But his father’s past was bound to catch up to him, and tear the family they’ve built to shreds. If people expect Callen to let his father go without a fight, they were sorely mistaken.
For those not up to date on Callen’s (finally) complete family tree, let’s recap the last few years. Callen finally found his long-lost father Nikita Reznikov hiding out in Russia. Upon their meeting, Callen finally learned his given name, Grisha. Still, nobody but his father calls him that. Some time later, Nikita turned up in Los Angeles upon hearing that his old friend/lover Irina had been poisoned. Unbeknownst to Nikita, she had been poisoned to lure him out of hiding, and unbeknownst to anyone, they had a child together. That meant that Callen not only had his father back, but gained a sister and a nephew as well. When the family finally came together, it was as if they had always known each other. For the first time in his life, Nikita was finally enjoying life as a father and grandfather. Callen also had a family for the first time in his life, complete with a sister who nags about the next time her brother’s girlfriend would be coming for dinner. If you didn’t know what they’d been through, you’d mistake them for a normal family. That is, until the State Department picks up Callen’s father with no warning.
Needless to say, Callen goes ballistic, especially when he finds out who orchestrated this mess. Pavel Volkov, the man who murdered Irina, was never able to get his hands on Nikita. Through a backwards deal with Iran, he arranges an exchange-Nikita for two American journalists being held hostage. The Americans get their citizens, Volkov gets Nikita, and Iran gets a new shipment of missiles. It’s a terrible deal, but the Americans agree to it in order to get their people back. It’s not as if Mosley is going to go out of her way to break the deal, so Hetty has to go around her. For as little as Hetty is, she is more than willing to put herself out there as a shield for her team to get things done.
Because let’s get real, there was no force strong enough to make the team step down from helping Nikita. Even more important, there is no force in this world that would make Callen break a promise to his sister. Callen tells Alex he’s going to get their father back, that’s exactly what he’s going to do. But it will require an unpleasant course of action. The only way to get Nikita back safely without endangering other lives, or risking a full nuclear war, is to give the Russians someone else they want just as much as Nikita. Russian mob defector Anatoli Kirkin fits the bill. Callen approaches a group of Kirkin’s enemies just in time to save one of Kirkin’s boyfriends. Luckily, Hidoko is on the side of true justice, and helps Sam and Callen out of a jam.
Meanwhile, since Kirkin is obsessed with Deeks, it’s not a stretch for Kirkin to trust going with NCIS. Unfortunately, Kirkin gets snapped up before Callen can put the deal in motion. He’s all set to take a big fall, but Hetty convinced Mosley to intervene. That is, she convinced Mosley to do something in exchange for putting in a good word with Mosley’s boss. Seeing as Mosley doesn’t want to keep taking heat for helping Hetty get out of Vietnam, it was good motivation. But Mosley is upset that the team, particularly Hidoko, didn’t come to her first. To that I will answer, that level of trust and transparency is earned, and must go both ways.
In the end, the deal has to go through, because Nikita won’t run. He won’t let another family be torn apart to save himself. This means that Callen and Alex have to say goodbye to their father, maybe for good this time. There’s just no way to know for sure.
Does it seem like Nikita could make his way back to his family, or was this goodbye for good?
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9 Episode 16 Review: "Warrior of Peace"
Callen does everything in his power to keep his father from being sent back to Russia on this week’s NCIS: Los Angeles.