“NCIS: Los Angeles” turns 100 (as in, 100 episodes) Tuesday night with a special episode that once again forces Callen (Chris O’Donnell) into a confrontation with the Comescus, the rival Romanian family that wants to see him, as the supposedly last surviving member of his own Romanian clan, dead and buried.
To do this, they leave a surprising note written in blood on a wall: “Callen: We have your father.” Unsure whether it is possible for his father to still be alive, Callen wants nothing more than to meet the man who is claiming that identity. And that is just what the Comescus are counting on. They know that Callen more than anything wants answers to the mysteries of his life. And, if they happen to get a chance to kill him in the process, then that’s even better.
“They know enough about him to know that this is his quest,” executive producer/show runner Shane Brennan tells XfinityTV. “So they leave the message: ‘We have the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Do you want to come and get it?’ In fact, they are luring him out. There is no secret that this is about getting Callen to come out and meet. If you want to know who you are, you need to come and save your father.”
What else did the showrunner have to say about the 100th episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles”? Our Q&A starts now:
XfinityTV: When we last spoke, you told me that Callen has this tea tin that sits on his mantelpiece and it is the place where he keeps the jigsaw puzzle pieces of his life, and that after this episode, he gets to put another very, very significant piece of the jigsaw puzzle into that tea tin. Might that be the identity of his father?
Brennan: He will discover in this episode his father’s name. He will meet a man who says, “I’m your father.” You are going to have to watch to see if the two line up.
When casting the role of of the mystery man, N. Reznikov (which inspired the episode’s title, “Reznikov, N”) — the man I am assuming is saying he is Callen’s father — did you look for an actor with a physical resemblance to O’Donnell?
You do that. You cast good actors and you cast actors where [people think], “Yeah, that could be his dad.” If we choose to make him Callen’s father, the audience will say, “They look alike.” We do go down that track. Of course, Callen’s father is elderly, so, sadly as we get older, we all change. But definitely, when Callen looks into this man’s eyes, there is a distinct resemblance.
I thought Callen’s father was dead.
You thought wrong. We never said he was dead. His mother’s dead. His father was never known. One of the fun things of doing this episode is to string together all the pieces of this story going way back to the beginning of the show. We looked at all the material: The scenes we’ve done, the pieces of information that Callen has about his backstory, his family, and his life. There is a significant amount of material there. It was fun getting all these pieces to line up with the story. Going right back to the beginning of the second season, this is a story I’ve wanted to tell. I’ve always earmarked it for the 100th episode in the hope that we’d get there, so I’ve been sitting on this story for 75 episodes.
When Dracul Comescu (Craig Robert Young) was killed, didn’t the “NCIS: LA” team think the feud was over? So who is Vasile Comescu (Craig Parker) and what does he want from Callen?
If the audience thinks back to the infamous double episode shootout in Rumania, Vasile was one of the brothers. He was actually introduced way back then. Dracul was killed by Callen in the “Hawaii Five-0″ crossover episode once the Comescus established themselves as the revengeful family trying to settle a blood feud with Callen, as the sole survivor, it would seem. I am not giving anything away by saying that.
Once that was established back then, the Comescus have never been far away from Callen’s mind. There is a scene in the 100th episode, where the team are trying to figure out who might be after him, and the first place they go is, “Uh-oh, didn’t we kill all those Comescus? How big is this damn family?” It’s one thing to go to Rumania and stir things up; it is another thing to have this hornets’ nest dropped in your lap in Los Angeles, so it is a totally different dynamic for the team and for Hettie (Linda Hunt) and everyone involved. It is not good.
Hettie is the most familiar with Callen’s history. What role will she play in this?
She is very much beyond troubled. She doesn’t want him to know about this. She doesn’t want him to be involved in this. She wants to put the team on this without involving Callen. It doesn’t work, and Hettie is very concerned about the action that Callen takes. In fact, there is a line in the episode where she says, “Bring him back in handcuffs if you have to.” She is seriously worrying about what he is doing, as is the rest of the team.
After this episode, will there be more mystery, or will Callen be satisfied he knows enough about his past?
There is always something more to find out. As much as I mark this as the 100th episode, it is not the end of the story. We may find out more at the 200th episode, but there is more of the story to come. It isn’t over yet.
Everyone who has seen the episode, without exception, says it is Chris O’Donnell’s best work in the series. The final sequence runs almost three minutes, and there are only two spoken words in the last three minutes of the show. The rest of it is Chris onscreen reacting to something. It is incredible. He is masterful. All the way through it he is wonderful, and then you get this last three minutes where he says two words. People need to watch it.
The “Reznikov, N.” episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles” airs Tuesday (Oct. 15) at 9/8c on CBS.