An episode written by Frank Military is characterised by dark, in-depth character stories that are worth numerous rewatches. In S2 Little Angels, a girl was buried alive, causing Sam to relive the time he was buried alive during a SEAL mission. In S3 The Job, he blew up Kensi and introduced Callen’s nemesis Janvier in Crimeleon. He tortured both Sam and Deeks in the Sidorov / nuclear arms deal arc and in S5, had Deeks visit his dark side when he waterboarded an Afghan cleric to find Kensi. In S6 he sent Callen undercover with white supremacists and touched on Callen’s self destructive youth, and in S7 almost had Kensi sexually assaulted and blew up a child suicide bomber. Frank Military penned episodes take the audience to places where they feel uncomfortable; the lighthearted core of the show is called in to question and so his reality hits hard; life as an agent is not all sunshine and laughter. It is not only the bad guys who die.
‘Matryoshka’ is the name given to the Russian nesting dolls. Each time a doll is opened, a smaller one is found inside until an entire family is revealed. The dolls are an analogy to the mysterious past of Callen. Every time a secret is revealed, he is a step closer to discovering the truth about himself, his family and the past he cannot remember. When he does encounter someone with information, they usually die (Eugene Keelson, Alexa Comescu, Hans Schreiber), and during the season six finale, Arkady Kolchek is also removed from his reach. Arkady is a tantalising link to Callen’s past; he’s met his father. Continue reading →