NCIS: Los Angeles Season 7 Episode 15 Review: “Matryoshka”

NCIS: Los Angeles

The title of this week’s episode of NCIS: Los Angeles literally refers to “little matron dolls” in Russian. The events of the episode would suggest a parallel to members of NCIS, and what they’re willing to do for their friends. It wouldn’t be a Russian-centric episode without a storyline involving Callen, Arkady, or both of them. In the first half of a two-part series of episodes, we’re getting the trifecta.


NCIS’s old contact/enemy Anatoli Kirkin is kidnapped. Callen doesn’t even wait for Hetty’s approval before insisting they find Kirkin, since at the very least, he is the devil they know. Kensi and Deeks discover that Kirkin’s kidnapper was a woman and the team tracks her escape van to a Long Beach shipyard. There they find Kirkin bound and gagged in a shipping container. They are interrupted in their search by Kirkin’s kidnapper, who happens to be none other than Arkady’s daughter Anna.


Anna explains that she was offered information on her father’s whereabouts in exchange for putting Kirkin on a ship bound for St. Petersburg. Now she has no choice but to trust that NCIS can help her find her father. The team receives a hopeful video message from Arkady. The good news is that he is alive, the bad news is that he is a prisoner along with an old friend of Callen’s, and so in a lot of trouble. Callen doesn’t hesitate agreeing to help Anna rescue her father. This mission is as personally compromising as it gets, since Callen’s leading emotion is his pull towards his past.


The team convinces Kirkin to help them. He gives them the scoop on how to access a secure network to find Arkady, the only catch is that it is only accessible through the Russian Consul General’s computer. Undercover in a charity gala goes the team! Anna joins the team and proves to be perfect for undercover work. Not to mention the spark between Anna and Callen is enough to start a forest fire! Their steamy kiss distracts the guards to buy Sam enough time to download the prisoner log for where Arkady is being held. The team is informed that Arkady is being held with an undercover CIA agent named Randall Sharov. Hetty gives Callen and Sam the green light to go ahead to Russia and rescue the agent, but their mission does not include rescuing Arkady. Anna is allowed to go with them to rescue her father, but she must be left behind if she compromises the rescue of a CIA agent. Should any of them get caught, they will be considered enemies of the country and promptly imprisoned.


The most difficult mission lies ahead, but it’s not something Hetty has a lack of faith in. It turns out Hetty has been trying to get in contact with Anna for some time, trying to recruit her to NCIS. Anna is very much like Callen in that she does not care much for rules and prefers the safety of solitude. Throughout the case the tension between Hetty and Callen mounts. She makes a point of letting Callen know when she is giving him a direct order, growing increasingly impatient with him. Given the similarities and chemistry between Anna and Callen, we can only hope their mission goes well.


Will NCIS be able to save Arkady? Will Callen’s mission to Russia finally yield results about his past? Tune in 2 weeks from tonight to find out.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 7 Episode 15 Review: “Matryoshka”


The NCIS: Los Angeles team helps Arkady’s daughter Anna find her father.

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