NCIS: LA “Matryoshka Part 2” Review (Season 7, Episode 16)

NCIS: Los Angeles  Matryoshka - Part 2

Callen met his dad! He was played by the Captain from Hill Street Blues. He was the one painting Matryoshka dolls! First names of main characters were uttered! Arkady was rescued! Eric went on a mission!

And yet… I was underwhelmed.

The buildup to meeting Callen’s father has been going for 7 and a half seasons, and when the time finally came, we got maybe 10 minutes with him. Would it have been too much to ask to have a Matryoshka Part 3? Perhaps having the group meet an obstacle and be split up on the way to their extraction? Callen, Garrison, and Bolenski in one group and Sam, Arkady, and Anna in the other. This would have given the audience more time with Callen and dear old dad along with more comedic moments between Sam and Arkady. Part 3 could have ended the same as Part 2, with Garrison giving Callen the thing he’s wanted all his life, but the extra time would have created a nice tension between the two, allowing the pieces of the puzzle to fall together in front of Callen’s eyes over a longer period.

Since that scenario didn’t happen, it makes me wonder if something along those lines is going to be left for the Season 7 finale. You don’t introduce Callen’s father, and have him played by Daniel J. Travanti, to never bring him back. As such, my guess is Garrison will reappear in the finale. Should that be the case, I will watch with great interest. I just wish more time had been allocated to his presence this time around.

More Thoughts as I Pull the Old Cattle in the Road Trick

– Did you catch Callen’s real name? I didn’t at first and had to go back. But we finally have it now: Grisha Alexandrovich Nikolaev

– Along with the lack of time devoted to Garrison, there wasn’t enough Arkady either. The moments between Callen and Anna were a nice substitution, but my favorite smarmy Russian also deserved more screen time this episode.

– While seeing Eric go on the case with Deeks and Kensi was definitely hilarious, my thought is that whole thread could have been excised to give more time to the Russia story. Volkoff could have told Sam and Callen he’d get Arkady and Bolenski out of prison, but they’d owe him something in return one day. That time spent in LA could have then gone to more time with Garrison in Russia. And then a future episode could revolve around Volkoff calling in his favor.

– Only two guards to transfer two sick prisoners? Okayyy.

– Hetty and Sheldon Cooper could just have conversations talking to each other via iPads on drones.

– Arkady’s complaint about the horse went to a dark place. And yet his saying it made me still laugh.