Special Agent G. Callen, is the NCIS Special Agent in charge of the Office of Special Projects stationed in Los Angeles, reporting directly to the OSP Operations Manager Henrietta Lange.
He was introduced in the original NCIS series's backdoor pilot, "Legend Part 1" and "Legend Part 2" which aired during NCIS Season 6 but Callen was left injured in drive-by shooting at the very end of "Legend Part 2".
However, by the time "Identity", the first ever episode of NCIS: Los Angeles aired, Callen returned to work a month early and resumed his duties as an NCIS Special Agent as well as the head of the team.
Callen is shown to be the primary character of the show, as most of the storyline is centered on him.
In "Legend, Part One", it is shown that Callen is good friends with NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, who is stationed at the Washington Navy Yard in DC. Callen specializes in deep undercover work, and his friends and co-workers know him as "G."
In addition to English, Callen is fluent in several other languages: Russian, Spanish, Polish, German (with what he claims is an Austrian accent), Italian (with a Northern accent), French, Romanian and Mexican Spanish. Callen also claims to speak Czech. He was seen reading Arabic in the Season 1 episode entitled "Predator" (3rd episode of the first season) and heard speaking it in the Season 4 episode entitled "Recruit". (2nd episode of the fourth season) In the season 4 Episode entitled "The Chosen One", he was seen speaking Chechan while working undercover in a terrorist cell from Chechya, although he seemed to have more difficulty speaking it than the other languages he knows.
Of all his teamates Callen is the most likely to go "lone wolf" or "off the reservation", as Hetty and Sam tend to put it, a quirk that probably stems from his inability to trust due to being raised in the foster care system and not knowing who and where he comes from.
Most often his partner and friend, Sam Hanna is the one to not only be the most bothered by this, but is also usually the one responsible for reeling him back in and helping him out of the sticky situations that this behavior gets him into. Another one of Callen's fairly well known traits is his habit of keeping thing's "close to the vest", and seeming unaffected by the tragedies or emotional situations that the team often encounters. The flip side of that is that it usually gives Callen an upper-hand, considering how disciplined and controlled his actions tend to stay while in stressful situations, such as Agent Vail's kidnapping and subsequent death, or the shooting of Det. Marty Deeks. Though often seemingly unaffected, his handle on his emotions do slip on some occasions.
He often eats bananas to calm himself (?) He also has a habit of eating Tootsie Roll pops during stake-outs.
The fake death certificate shown by Hetty to Alexa Comescu in the season two finale states that his date of birth is March 11, 1970.
In Season 2, Episode 13 "Archangel", Callen states that the first time he had fired a gun was at the age of 20. In the same episode, it was revealed that Hetty has beaten him on a race up the NCIS rock wall three times in a row, and Callen refuses to challenge her to a re-match despite goading from Sam Hanna.
In the episode "Pushback", it is revealed that Callen had lived in 37 foster homes starting from the age of 5. He sometimes moved every few days, and the longest he ever stayed in one place was for three months at age 14, when he lived with the family of a Russian girl named Alina Rostoff (who he called "little sister"). It is revealed through flashbacks in the season two finale that Callen spent at least part of his childhood on the Romanian coast of the Black Sea.
It is revealed in "Identity" that he is called "G" not because he dislikes his first name, but because he does not actually know what it stands for, as the system never told him. It is later revealed that as an adult, his foster-sister Alina Rostoff was secretly sent to watch Callen and to prevent him from being killed by Russian mobsters. Callen is fluent in Russian due to his former relationship with the Rostoff family.
Throughout the first season, it is shown that Callen is technically homeless, either staying temporarily with his various NCIS colleagues or his office at NCIS, or staying in motels around the Los Angeles area. In the Season 2 premiere, Hetty makes arrangements for Callen to purchase a house of his own - the very same house where he lived with Alina Rostoff as a foster child.
At the end of "Legend", Callen was almost killed in a drive-by shooting. It's later revealed in the Pilot episode of NCIS: Los Angeles that he survived and returns to his duties four months after the shooting (One month earlier than expected). Callen and the team later realized (in the first season episode "Pushback") that his shooting was related to a joint mission called Operation Cossack that Callen took part in against the Russian Mob, as a DEA agent ten years earlier. Also in the episode we learn that during the shooting he sustained injuries from 5 gun shot wounds but managed to survive with much help from Agent and partner Sam Hanna, who witnessed the assassanation attempt and went to his aid.
At some point prior to joining NCIS, Callen was also an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). During this time he was partnered with Tracy Rosetti whom he later married while undercover using the surname Keller. Following a mission in which it is implied that she placed the success of the operation above both their professional and personal partnerships, the two divorced. In the settlement Tracy received custody of Buddy, their dog.
In the first season's final episode "Callen, G.", Callen tracks down a woman named Amy Taylor (née Callen) who initially claims to be his older sister, but then admits her real name is actually Hannah Lawson, and that she was friends with the real Amy Callen when they lived in an orphanage together. The real Amy had died at the age of 11, when the two friends snuck out at night to play in the nearby river and Amy had been swept away in an accident.
When Hannah returned, she slept in Amy's bed, and the authorities there never realized what had happened. When Amy's body was found a month later, she was buried under Hannah's name as the authorities didn't know any better. Callen later goes to visit his sister's grave, and finds flowers and a recent note left "For my Sweet daughter always in my Heart".
Also during the episode, Nate Getz discovers that a list of all of Callen's foster homes and orphanages was written by one person, albeit over a number of years and with different pens and pencils, indicating that someone had been keeping an eye on Callen during that time. The same list showed the various orphanages and foster homes where the real Amy lived until her death, indicating that this person also knew about the switch between Hannah and Amy.
The second season mostly revolves around Callen, who has been stalked by someone he does not know. He sees someone near the grave of his sister, and over the course of the season, runs into people who seem to know more about his past than he does. When Hetty resigns and takes off to Prague, Callen finds out from Director Vance that Hetty has started her own investigation, Operation Comescu, which is all about Callen. Callen and the team then resign too when Vance refuses to fly them to Prague to get Hetty. Arriving in Prague, the team discovers that Hetty has been taken by the Comescus, and that the Comescus have been in a decades-long battle with the Callens, of which G is the last one. They track their safe-house down to a house on the beach, and Callen starts to remember things from his past, as he realizes he has been on this beach before. Inside the house, Hetty tries to convince Alexa Comescu, the matriach of the Comescu family, that Callen died three weeks ago, showing her a clip of the attempted assassination and a death certificate she had made.
In the third season premiere, "Lange, H., it is revealed that Callen's grandfather was an OSS (which is now the CIA) agent stationed in Romania who killed several members of the Comescu family. The syndicate retaliated, killing Callen's grandfather. The remainder of Callen's family fled to America, but his mother - described as "a local Roma girl" - returned after the death of her husband. The Comescu family had not forgotten their grudge, and came looking for the Callens. One of Callen's most vivid memories of his childhood is of being given a toy soldier by a stranger while he played on the beach. He realises that the beach is not in California as he had always assumed, but on the Black Sea coast, and that the toy was given to him to distract him while a Comescu assassin killed his mother. It is never explained why the Comescu family let Callen and his sister live, though Alexa Comescu describes it as "a mistake". Despite Alexa's claim that she knows everything about him - including what his intial stands for- Callen does nothing to protect her and allows Hunter to kill her.
Back in LA, Hunter is the acting Operations Manager until Hetty returns to work after sustaining a gunshot. Callen doesn't trust her and wants to know more about him and what was on the laptop that she retrieved at the Comescu house. Hunter later tells him that all the contents of the laptop were concerning the family's illegal activities and not about Callen. Hetty later returns when Hunter leaves for a different undercover operation in Europe and offers to tell Callen everything starting with the reason she was trying to protect him: she had failed to protect his mother. She then gives him his mother's name: Clara. She also tells him that her mother was a CIA agent and that she had been her handler when she had gone back on assignement to Romania. After a year of the mission, Clara vanished for six years and resurfaced with two children, desperate to get out of Romania. Hetty had been sent to meet her on the beach where the Comescus killed her. She also says that she doesn't know how he and his sister came to the US and that she had no idea who his father is, but that she was responsible for getting him out of the orphanage and into foster homes.
In the third season finale, "Sans Voir", Agent Mike Renko and former Operations Manager Lauren Hunter are both murdered at the hands of "The Chameleon". Callen responds by gunning down "The Chameleon" following a prisoner exchange and is arrested by the local police.
The episode ends with Callen being arrested by LAPD and Hetty resigning from her position at OSP although a series of flashbacks in the Season 4 opening episode, "Endgame" reveal that the Chameleon's death was actually faked.
After the Chamelon and Callen are traded back to their respective sides in a prisoner exchange, Callen, following his suspension presumably returns to lead the OSP team once again.
G. Callen was probably born in Europe. He is a US citizen, the child of a half-Roma mother and a Russian father. At some point in his early childhood, he lived in Romania with his mother and sister. It is there he witnessed his mother's death, the result of a vendetta of the Comescu family against Callen's grandfather (George Callen, CIA) and his descendants. Callen, his mother, and his sister were on the beach that day because Callen's mother intended to return to the US with Henrietta Lange, her contact in the CIA.
At around the same time, Callen's father, Nikita Alexander Reznikov, an officer in the Soviet Russian army, was arrested and sent to Siberia.
Callen's formative years were spent in the US foster care system until he reached the age of eighteen. When first introduced on NCIS, he possesses little knowledge about his birth and infancy, to the extent he doesn't even know his full name, apart from the fact that it begins with the letter "G." While Callen lived in more than thirty-seven foster homes starting from the age of five, the longest he stayed in one of them was only three months. We learn about the family he stayed with for those three months in the episode Pushback, - one of them is the Russian woman named Alina Rostoff, who was the last person Callen saw before he was shot. He was fourteen when he stayed with them, she was four, and we know that this was in 1983, which means that he was born in 1969. In the end of episode 7 Callen is making tea and receives a picture of Alina from Arkady Kolcheck and calls her "my little sister" in Russian. He then empties the box of tea at NCIS and puts the picture in it. Callen carries this box with him where ever he goes, adding pieces of his life to it as he finds them. Callen also goes to the Rostoff's house and looks around as he has flashbacks to his life there. He finds his room and opens the closet to see that on the inside of the door he carved his name. In the episode LD50, Callen says that if he was asked if a glass was half-empty or half-full, he would say it was half-empty.
In the episode Callen, G, Callen learns that he had an elder sister named Amy Callen, from whom he was separated when they were sent to orphanages. She drowns at age 11, and her friend Hannah Lawson ends up taking her place, allowing Amy Callen to be buried under the name Hannah Lawson. Hannah Lawson tells Callen that both of her parents died a long time ago, and when Callen goes to visit his sister's grave, a note is left with flowers saying 'For my sweet daughter, always in my Heart'.
Callen's current residence is the former Rostoff home, which he bought in the Season 2 opener, "Human Traffic". He brought with him a bedroll, a backpack filled with clothes, and a small box holding miscellaneous personal items. From conversations with other characters throughout the season, the audience is led to believe he has done little to furnish the house since that time.
Before joining NCIS Callen was part of several other agencies. At some point he also worked for the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) where at one point he went on loan to a group in England (Unknown) to help with a problem with the Russian Mafia. Callen also was an agent with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). During this time he was partnered with Tracy Rosetti whom he later married while undercover using the surname Keller. He subsequently divorced Tracy. The divorce was not an amicable one according to Callen. In the settlement Tracy received custody of Buddy, their dog. It is also mentioned he had been with the FBI at one point.
Special Agent Callen's career with NCIS has included assignments in Serbia and Russia. On two separate occassions Callen's life was saved by Leroy Jethro Gibbs once in Serbia and once in Russia. Callen served as a member of Special Agent Lara Macy's team attached to the Office of Special Projects. At the conclusion of episode 6.22, Legend, Part Two Special Agent Callen was wounded in a drive by shooting witnessed by his partner Sam Hanna, in connection to his mission from England against the Russian Mafia. In episode 6.24, entitled "Semper Fidelis", Tobias Fornell inquires after Callen and Gibbs told him that Callen's condition was still critical.
Callen survived the assassination attempt and unexpectedly returned to duty four months later. Callen was not expected to return to work for another month as noted by Henrietta Lange.
As a result of Macy being reassigned, Callen became the special agent in charge of the Office of Special Projects located in Los Angeles.
In the episode Past Lives, Callen resumed an old undercover identity "Jason Tedrow" a crooked MP; where he spent six months undercover and formed a relationship with the suspect's sister, Kristin, who he had not seen for four years. She now has a four year old son, who Callen suspected was his. Kristin later reveals she got pregnant just after Callen left and that he is not the father.
Recently Callen and his team investigated a case of murder and corruption in which the victim; an FBI Agent had connections to his ex-wife (He and one of his partners;Tracy Rosetti got married while undercover together working for the CIA, It was later said that it was not a "real" marriage since they were under aliases but it was also evident that they did have a real relationship that ended badly.) She established contact with OSP by taking a naval recruitment center hostage.
Relationship with Colleagues Edit
Sam Hanna Edit
Callen and Sam are partners within the Office of Special Projects branch of NCIS, they share a stereotypical always comical "Buddy Cop" relationship that can sometimes be interpreted as brotherly. Sam is one of the handful of people that Callen trusts, evidenced by both being able to pick up on each other's quirks and bad habits. They have excellent teamwork in the field and are very loyal to one another and despite this, Sam still has a desire to learn more about Callen's mysterious past.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs Edit
Callen and Gibbs served together at least twice--first in Serbia and then in Moscow. It hasn't been stated exactly when, how and where they met, though Callen does say that Gibbs saved his life "that first time" in Serbia. Callen has an intimate knowledge of Gibbs' past, as he is aware of Gibbs' boat-building hobby and his three failed marriages. It is interesting that Gibbs, in NCIS episode Legend Part 1, corrects and freely reveals to Callen that he had been married four times, indicating that Gibbs by now trusts Callen with this information. By his own admission in Legend Part 1, Callen considers both Macy and Gibbs family. Callen is one of the few people that Gibbs permits to call him "Jethro."
Henrietta Lange Edit
Callen's relationship with Hetty is one of mutual respect and trust. Conversely, although Hetty's position as operations manager requires her to run a tight ship, she at times lets down her guard and adopts a motherly attitude towards Callen. This motherly attitude is demonstrated at the conclusion of Identity when she covered the sleeping Callen with a blanket before she departed for the night. In the later seasons, it is revealed that Hetty is the one that Callen out of the Orphanage and into foster care. She was his mother's CIA handler. It is also revealed that Hetty knows more about Callen than she lets on.
Callen's relationship with Tracy is strained because, although he respects her commitment to the mission, he is still angry that she chose her career over their marriage. His anger stems from feelings of abandonment because while on a mission the conditions deteriorated and Callen was detained by local authorities. Rather than compromise the mission by attempting to extricate Callen from his difficult situation, she retreated to a safe house maintained by the Agency.
- Has been seen driving an Aston Martin in recent episodes of the show.
- Though he's never used it, his patronymic would be "Nikitich". (Nikita - a + ich = Nikitich)
External Links Edit