Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week 9: Pushback

This weeks Episode is "Pushback" (Originally Aired November 10, 2009)

This episode solves the mystery on why Callen was shot almost six months ago.

     We start off with a couple on a boat being watched by someone in an apartment.  The person doing the surveillance is listening to music and doesn't know that someone comes in gun drawn.  As they try to light the cigarette they are shot in the back of the head.  The man with the gun calls the man on the boat and lets him know that it is done.  The man on the boat leaves (still not seeing his face)  and the shooter finds video equipment and deletes the pictures on the laptop.  Pictures that are deleted are of the man on the boat and of Callen.
     Sam is making tea for Hetty.  Callen mentions that it smells moldy.  Hetty asks Callen if he wants some.  He says he's fine with what he has and Hetty replies “and you can’t taste the paper?” the look on his face is hysterical.  Sam tries the tea and tells her that it is delicious (but his face says otherwise).  Hetty then tells Callen that Director Vance is on the phone for him, walks away and the phone rings. Callen asks Sam “how does she do that?” (HELLO it’s Hetty!) and Sam tells him that was the worst tea he ever had in his life.  Hetty tries it and says “oh! Moldy” and pouts.
      Director Vance tells Callen that a woman was killed and had a flash drive hidden in her ball cap.  Had pictures and files and LAPD called him because when identifying the people in the pictures Callen’s name came up. LAPD lets them take care of it and the team looks at the pictures.  They are taken at his old apartment about four days before he was shot.  They then look at the crime scene pictures and he looks at the woman’s face. Guess who it is?

Remember the Russian girl?

     The oldest photos on the flash drive are eight days old the most recent are from the day before.  Nate walks in to find out what is going on.  He goes to Hetty to see if there is something more about Callen's in the personal file about his shooting he’s hoping that it can help heal old wounds. Sam, Callen, and Kensi go to the apartment where the “Russian girl” was shot.  Sam and Callen go “old married couple” to the point where when Callen leaves Kensi says to Sam “How long have you two been married?” THANK YOU KENSI!!! They go in and see that what she had was "fold and carry" meaning easy to pack up and get out.  She was not a professional because her back was facing the door.  The apartment manager claims he had no idea she was there but how did she get in? Kensi poses as a person who just needs a place to crash....
     So the manager then SUDDENLY remembers after he finds out that they are NCIS that he did let the Russian girl stay there and didn’t delete the security footage.  They find the person who shot her walking in and leaving covering his face knowing that the security camera was there.  Dom tells them that she backed up everything on the server.  Callen notices a name on the screen they open the “Cossack” file a mission that he was on about ten years ago in  Europe against the Russian mafia.  A three man team Ethan Stanhope with the CIA, Ricky Taylor and Callen both worked with the DEA.  Eric looks them up and sees that Stanhope and Taylor are both dead.  Murdered on May 5th the same day that Callen was shot and should have died.

     Eric has the traffic cam footage of both Stanhope and Taylor’s shootings.  Stanhope’s was in Las Vegas and Taylor’s was in Chicago and were also drive by shootings like Callen's.  No one had been charged for the murders.   The three of them were on a  joint operation with Russia where there was a syndicate trying to manipulate the flow of oil from the Black Sea into Europe and someone let them know that they were coming. Taylor and Callen were out from the DEA because they both spoke Russian.  CIA set it up and Stanhope was their point person but they only saw him at a bar eating caviar and drinking expensive vodka. They never did find out who betrayed them.  The Russian contact was an Arkady officer in the KGB, which Eric looks him up to see that Arkady is now living in LA.
     Kensi works with Nate to see what Arkady has been doing   Hetty has met Arkady and Nate read about him in Callen’s file.  90% of the information about Arkady is redacted.  Hetty is able to let them see an uncensored copy of his file.  Arkady is a security consultant now. Callen and Sam go to talk to Arkady.  Eric calls and tells them that Arkady has a very high level security system that even he cannot break but he’s on the road to go to a local market place.  Callen sees him gets out of the car with bodyguards. Callen goes with Plan B.  Leaving Sam to do his "Plan B" which I think is one of the funniest scenes in this episode.

  (Special Thanks to my partner in crime for helping me out for this footage! writing about it would not give this scene justice.)

     The one bodyguard that took Arkady gets him to the car and there is Callen with his gun out. Arkady tells the guard that it’s okay and that he knows Callen.  Says that he knows that Callen probably thinks that he is responsible for the deaths and him being shot and tells him that he is not.  Tells Callen that he sent someone to warn him and the others that they were in danger. Callen asks who it was he sent and he tells him a Russian girl.  He didn’t tell Callen himself because he know that he didn’t trust him after what happened ten years ago. Callen asks why he would think he would believe some Russian girl and Arkady tells him that he knew her. She was at one of the foster homes Callen was in as a kid the girls name was Alina.
     Callen told Arkady about Alina when he asked him about how he knew how to speak Russian Callen told him from a little girl named Alina Rostoff.   He called in a favor and got the address where she was living and knew that if Alina talked to him that he would know her.  She was going to greet him by saying “My big brother” in Russian.

     He remembers that she tried once but he scared her away.  The second time was just before he was shot.  Next week the mafia will be signing a billion dollar contact with an American oilman named John Cole.  Cole maybe part of the syndicate or the syndicate and they didn’t want the members of the team to be around when the deal was signed. He had Alina find out everything that she could about Cole.  She found him on the yacht and he set up surveillance and helped her because she wanted to avenge Callen.  She found out where Cole was and one day later she was dead.  Arkady gives Callen a flash drive with everything about John Cole.

     Hetty sees that Nate is worried about Callen.  His file is only a page with no family history or next of kin.  He tells Hetty that he could put in a physiological assessment to the director telling him the reasons why he didn't want Callen on the case but he doesn’t want to lose the trust of everyone on the team.  She tells him that this could be okay and could be clues to his life. If she is wrong then Nate gets to tell her that he told her so, Director Vance gets to rip her a new one, and Callen does what he always does which is survive.
     The man on the yacht is John Cole. He is the owner of an oil refinery company which he bought seven years ago.  The friend/bodyguard (who killed Alina) is Max Tyrus.  Eric cannot find anything on Cole so he looks into Max Tyrus.  Pulls up the phone records and the last call was to a jet charter company.  Callen calls them up posing as Tyrus to confirm the details.  It’s a one way trip that leaves in four hours.

     Callen and Kensi go in as EPA inspectors for a surprise visit and Sam as back up. Nate has the opportunity to tell Callen that he shouldn’t be on the case but doesn’t.  Max Tyrus tells them that the EPA has already been there and tries to make them go away.  Cole comes over to see what is going on and sees Callen and says “They said you were dead.” Callen replies with "They said the same thing about you” John Cole is Ethan Stanhope.

     Callen mentions that he actually thought Arkady did it because he was the only one left alive.  Stanhope tells him that he was going to try again next week.  It was all about the oil the deal is set for next week and he was going public. If anyone who was on that operation was alive it would be embarrassing and costly.  Stanhope asks how many hits he took Callen tells him five. 
They go chasing after them.  Max is shot by Kensi and falls off the catwalk and is dead.  Callen continues chasing after Stanhope Sam blocks off his way, Callen gets him and Stanhope is arrested.

    Nate and Hetty talk about Callen's time in foster care.  From the time Callen was five to the age of eighteen he was in thirty-seven foster homes.  Some for a couple of weeks some for just a few days.  The longest time he spent in a home was three months and that was with Alina’s family.  The parents have died and Alina still had the house. Hetty finds Callen making tea, and he tells her that he was tasting the paper.  She hands him an envelope that has a picture of Alina and him when he stayed there and the address of where they lived.  He goes over there and has memories of the time he stayed there.

Nitpicks:  Okay I saw this picture when I started working on this on this back in May.  This was on the set of "Legend"


Now while watching this episode about a month ago I had to go back to this picture because of this:
Stanhope: How many bullets did you take?
Callen: Five. Thanks for asking.

Five?  Are you sure?

My Count is SEVEN!

Normal Man by Duff Dugan

Next Weeks Episode is Ambush