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Grisha Aleksandrovich Nikolaev Callen (G. or Callen to his NCIS colleagues or Mr. Callen via Hetty. Grisha to Arkady and Pembrook) is an NCIS Supervisory Special Agent and also a member of an Office of Special Projects Team that is currently assigned to the agency’s Office of Special Projects out of Los Angeles.

Callen is the lead agent of the OSP field team, and long-time partner of fellow NCIS Special Agent, Sam Hanna as well as the new husband of Anastasia “Anna” Maria Kolcheck as of May 2023.

Biography

Pre-Series

Born on March 11, 1970 in Romania as Grigori "Grisha” Aleksandrovich Nikolaev, he was the second child of Russian KGB Major Nikita Aleksandr Reznikov and Clara Callen, a half-Roma agent with the C.I.A with Callen also having an older sister named Amy. Both parents were undercover - using aliases - so neither child took on the surname Reznikov.

In World War II, Callen's grandfather, George Callen was an OSS agent stationed in Romania. He later killed members of the Comescu family who had committed war crimes, resulting in the remaining Comescu members beginning a blood feud where they vowed to kill every single member of George's family in return.

Some time later, George himself was murdered with his daughter, Clara attempting to flee to the United States with her two young children with the assistance of Henrietta Lange who was Clara's handler.

Hetty was ordered to abort the rescue mission at the last minute.

Unfortunately, two assassins working for the Comescu family arrived on the beach in Romania and while one distracted young Callen by giving him a toy soldier, his partner murdered Clara by shooting her dead with a silencer.

Even though Callen was spared, years later, Alexa Comescu, the last head of the Comescu family would come to regard this as a mistake.

The trauma associated with these events resulted in Callen suppressing the memories for many years.

No one knows how Callen and Amy came to the States, but the two children, upon arriving in the country were permanently separated and placed in different orphanages.

Two years later, Callen was removed from the orphanage and subsequently transferred to the foster care system in the State of California while Amy remained in the orphanage she had been first placed into when she had arrived in the States. He would later learn that Hetty was the one who had him placed in each of the foster homes, determined to find him a good family.

For the next eleven years, Callen lived in thirty-six different foster placements, experiencing various problems which in turn - not helped by his harsh experiences in the Drona Project - left him emotionally damaged and incapable of trusting other people.

In one of his better foster homes, when Callen was fourteen, he had a four-year-old foster sister named Alina Rostoff.

In another family, he met his foster brother, Raymond Lewis who once defended him from a bully but when he ended up assaulting the bully, winding up in Juvie, doing a brief stint and Callen would not see Raymond for many years and was placed with a new family weeks later.

While in another foster family, Callen had a foster mother who was an alcoholic while the father was kind and a carpenter with the unnamed foster father tutoring Callen in carpentry.

At the age of eight, he starting being groomed to be an intelligence operative and underwent training conducted by Howard Pembrook via the C.I.A’s Drona Project. He would recall being called Subject 17 and the lessons would forever be locked in his mind, as he recalled Pembrook instructing him not to cry or give in to pain.

Callen also served as a lifeguard while in high school.

Upon becoming a teenager, Callen regularly got into trouble. He ran away from his last foster home at fifteen years old and robbed a storage locker, only to get caught which led to him receiving a three-week sentence at a juvenile detention centre.

Due to his smart-mouth attitude, the guards also beat Callen who later escaped and stole a car, but he ended up crashing into a pole and was arrested once again.

Hetty arrived at the scene, "rescuing" him and took him under her wing with Hetty also guiding him into becoming an operative. Presumably, this is when Hetty pulled him from the Drona Project.

Upon turning eighteen, he volunteered as a wildlife firefighter for the summer. Not much later, he formally joined the C.IA, becoming an officer.

At the age of twenty, Callen fired a gun at a suspect for the first time in the line of duty.

Following high school, Callen became a federal law enforcement officer serving in various agencies with the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) before joining NCIS.

He worked with NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on a few missions.

During an undercover mission while they were both C.I.A, he was briefly 'married' to Tracy Keller Rosetti. It was also implied that they might've been an actual couple.

At some point during his tenure at NCIS, Callen presumably conducted assignments or worked at other locations before being reassigned to the Office of Special Projects in Los Angeles where he also went through a series of partners before he was ultimately partnered with Sam Hanna to save Tuhon.

NCIS Season 6

Callen made his debut appearance in the NCIS Season 6/NCIS: Los Angeles backdoor pilot episode, Legend (Part 1) (episode).

He was first seen at a park in downtown Los Angeles, California, ignoring a call from his boss, NCIS Special Agent Lara Macy before he spoke to his old friend, fellow NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

The two spoke for a while about the past they had shared together although they were interrupted by a young Russian woman cycling by.

After they had finished, Callen left to go get ready for the second undercover operation he would play a main role in.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1

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Callen in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1 premiere episode, "Identity".

Callen appeared in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1 premiere episode, Identity (episode) where he was first seen in a small motel room, remembering the near-fatal shooting.

It was shown that he had been left with five permanent bullet scars on his back as a result of being shot four months earlier.

He then proceeded to get dressed and ultimately leave the motel, packing up and heading directly across the street to Venice Beach where he bought coffee from a local vendor just as Sam arrived in his Dodge Challenger. He never went back, essentially being homeless for the following year.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 2

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 3

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 4

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 7

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9

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NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13

After remarks from Arkady and Admiral Kilbride, Callen starts feeling things make more sense than they should and that he’s missing something. He soon finds the documents in Hetty's archive at OSP labelling him as Subject 17 in and angrily confronts Hetty to have it confirmed by her.

His memory (repressed due to traumatic amnesia) starts coming back in bits and pieces. First, the initial test and being told he had Dyslexia, then doing puzzles and games, and then increasingly unpleasant things done in the name of training by Pembrook.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 14

Callen met with Pembrook, who after a confrontation called him for another rendezvous.

He then gave Callen his file and informed him that Hetty considered Callen her son. He also informed Callen that Hetty had not known about Pembrook’s methods when enrolling him into the program and that she pulled him out when she’d found out took him in. He also explained he had been the one to suggest to Hetty that Callen be partner with Sam Hanna, hoping that Sam could be the friend Callen needed and teach Callen to trust and let himself feel again.

Personality

Having been left psychologically damaged as a result of his upbringing, Callen is a man who sometimes prefers to work alone, leading others to regard him as a lone wolf which in turn makes him often clash with his partner, Sam Hanna, who as a former Navy SEAL believes that they should be working together.

In spite of that, Callen is very dedicated to his work as an NCIS Special Agent and takes any kind of case, especially one concerning a fellow NCIS agent very seriously.

Despite eventually learning his name was Grisha (the Russian diminutive of Grigori), he continued to largely go by Callen and G. In fact, he added Callen onto his birth name, very few people calling him Grisha.

Physical Appearance

Callen has short brown hair and blue eyes.

While participating in a raid, Callen dons an NCIS bulletproof vest with the words "NCIS" in the centre of it with the vest covering his entire upper and lower chest area.

He also wears a holster containing his SIG around his right thigh just above the knee.

As of the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 7 episode, Angels and Daemons (episode), Callen wears a new version of the NCIS bulletproof vest but this one is much smaller than its previous counterpart and only covers the centre of his chest.

Abilities

As an NCIS Special Agent and the leader of the OSP field team as well as a former agent of other agencies, Callen is a highly skilled agent whose abilities make him a valuable asset to both NCIS and OSP. He is a capable fighter, holding his own against several criminals.

He is multilingual, being fluent in at least nine other languages: Spanish, Turkish, Polish, Russian, German (which is claimed to be Austrian, and is usually completely butchered), Italian (with a Northern accent), and French. He also claims to know Czech and Romanian. He has also been seen rapidly reading and translating Arabic.

Computers

Despite not having a particular knack for technology, Callen is often seen using computers to either write up reports regarding a case or searching for a missing friend. He can handle his own.

Interrogation

Callen is skilled at interrogation.

Firearms

Like all NCIS agents, Callen is trained to use a firearm and can fire a single round from his SIG-Sauer, one that could non-lethally injure or kill his chosen target.

Leadership

As the leader of the Office of Special Projects field team, Callen is responsible for issuing many of the commands and orders that his fellow colleagues will carry out such as heading to a crime scene or searching for any possible evidence.

Pickpocketing

Like NCIS Special Agent Nicholas Torres of the Washington D.C. NCIS Major Case Response Team, Callen is a skilled pickpocketer, able to steal any item without others detecting him.

Relationships

Anna Kolcheck

Sam Hanna

Kensi Blye

Marty Deeks

Nate Getz

Hetty Lange

Fatima Namazi

Devin Rountree

References

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