NCIS: LA “Chernoff, K.” Review (Season 6, Episode 24)

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We saw Papa Callen! Arkday was reunited with Ana! Arkady didn’t die (but is being held captive)! Hetty was married in Russia as a part of an undercover op?! We saw Papa Callen! But Callen didn’t see Papa Callen!

First of all, thank you NCIS: LA for finally attending to this storyline with the result of seeing the actual person. I was going to throw in the towel otherwise. Six seasons is a long time to have that unanswered question. And by introducing Callen’s father in this particular way, the audience can be settled in knowing he’s alive but also having the knowledge this circumstance will most likely be revisited.

One thing I find interesting is that this played for a much more low-key season finale. Personally, I have no issues with that. Last year had Callen and Sam trapped on a submarine as it hurtled toward San Diego like a torpedo. That kind of high-octane energy is not needed every time. The best example I can give is the Season 4 Buffy the Vampire Slayer finale that played more as a coda to the episode before. Guess what? It worked very well. That being said, I do wonder if the creators closed the year out this way on the off-chance the show was not renewed. “Chernoff, K.” could have been a passable series finale. Would some questions have been left unanswered? Yes. But the finale also gave us a partial resolution to a plot that has been dangling since the pilot: Papa Callen is alive, and in Russia.

Since the show was renewed for Season 7 though, the writers can now focus on a new chapter in Papa Callen’s story. If Hetty says he died in 2008** does that mean he faked his death a second time? Is he going under a different alias now? Why has he not contacted his son? Or has he tried to but been thwarted? Yes, all of these are a new set of questions, but at least I’m willingly to live with them being asked versus “is Callen’s father alive?” Granted, I still want to know what the damn G stands for (is it George like his grandfather)?

**And Hetty is probably lying. If Papa Callen is alive my guess is she knows it (which could cause problems with Callen, G. down the road)

More Thoughts As I Win A Russian Apartment in a Poker Match

– To be honest, I’m surprised the show didn’t stunt cast a big name actor to portray Papa Callen. Maybe that would have been too much of a giveaway?

– Next season threads: (1) We still don’t have more intel on who the mole in NCIS was. Unassuming tech dude (can’t remember his name) was working for someone. (2) The LAPD investigation into Deeks (3) A White Ghost reappearance (okay, this isn’t necessary, but I felt that arc was never fully resolved and bringing him back into the fold could add to the Deeks/Kensi subplot)

– Arkady made it out alive, son of a gun. I really thought my theory of him dying after being reuniting with Ana was going to happen. Callen mentioned that the team needed to rescue him. Season 7 premiere?

– If Callen’s father was actually dead I would have rolled my eyes because that would have been basically an exact retread of Harm’s JAG storyline.

– Green screen Issues: Certain exterior shots may have been filmed in Russia. I highly doubt anything else was though. This was painfully apparent during the car ride between Sam and Callen. Yikes.

– Kensi’s yo-yo looking weapon thing was awesome. And Daniela Ruah handled that very well.

– Anytime we get to see Hetty use her skills and abilities, I’m reminded more and more of how Linda Hunt is indeed a real-life Edna Mode.