Like his good friend and fellow NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs who runs the NCIS: Major Case Response Team in Washington D.C, Callen is the also the lead Agent of the Office of Special Projects with his partner being former Navy SEAL Sam Hanna.
Clara's father had killed many members of the Comescu family, which led to a bloody feud between the two families. In retaliation, the Comescu family killed Callen's grandfather, George Callen, and Clara fled to the U.S with her two children, Callen, and his sister, Amy. Unfortunately, the Comescus still held a strong, undying grudge against the Callens, and an assassin working for the family later killed Clara while another man distracted young Callen by giving him a toy soldier. Henrietta Lange, a member of the CIA who had been Clara's handler, was sent to help Clara and her children, but she was too late.
Callen and his sister, Amy, were brought to the U.S. after the death of their mother and were placed in the foster care system in separate homes. Amy spent most of her time in an orphanage, while Callen constantly went from one foster family to another. During her childhood, Amy sneaked out with one of the other girls from the orphanage to a nearby river, where she accidentally fell in and was drowned. Hannah, the girl she was with at the time, could not save her, and when she went back to the orphanage, she slept in Amy's bed and took on her name. Hannah was able to keep the whole thing a secret, until Callen discovered he had a sister and went looking for her, only to find Hannah instead. She later explained everything to him about his sister.
Callen was not aware he had a sister until Hannah Lawson told him so. Over time, as he moved through the foster system, he eventually forgot about her, as they had not seen or heard anything about eachother in years.
While Callen was a teenager and began to continuously get in trouble, Hetty Lange "rescued" him and took him under her wing. She worked with and trained Callen. At some point after meeting Hetty, he worked for both the FBI and CIA before eventually joining NCIS. After joining NCIS, he had various assignments, one of which brought him to Serbia and Russia where he met Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Some time after this, Callen was assigned to the Office of Special Projects in L.A. where he currently works.
After a few years working with NCIS, Callen wanted to know more about his family, and wanted to know what the "G." from his first name stood for. No one in the many foster care homes he had grown up in knew what it meant, and so he had lived his whole life without a first name. Hetty had been protecting Callen from the Comescus his whole life because they were looking for him and wanted to kill him as part of the continuation of their families' blood feud. Hetty knew that if Callen found out about his family and the Comescus killing his mother, Callen would go back to Romania to find out more about his family and may be killed in the process. When the secret was close to being revealed, Hetty resigned from NCIS in order to go back to Romania and try to make the Comescus believe that Callen had been killed in a shooting, which had taken place during the NCIS/NCIS: Los Angeles crossover episode. She presented them with a false death certificate, but the head of the Comescu family did not believe her, and Hetty was wounded in the process of being rescued by Callen, Sam, Deeks, and Kensi.
In the 100th episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, titled "Reznikov, N," a man pretending to be his father (Michael Reinhardt) was kidnapped, where a message was left at the scene: "Callen we have your father." Throughout the episode, many pictures of Callen from when he was younger were shown. One of the pictures sparked an old memory and a conversation with Kensi and Deeks, where Callen revealed that he used to garden with one of his foster mothers, but his foster father used to beat him over the head with a broom handle. He revealed that he was moved from the foster home not because of the father's abuse, but because one day Callen took the broom handle from him and broke it over his foster father's head. It was revealed at the end of the episode that Michael was not truly Callen's father, but Callen learned his father's name: Nikita Alexander Reznikov.
NCIS Season 6Edit
However, at the end of Episode:Legend (Part 2), Callen was wounded in a drive-by shooting that Sam also happened to witness and in the next episode Semper Fidelis(episode), was described as being in critical condition.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1Edit
Four months later, Callen returned to his duties in the premiere episode, Episode:Identity, and became the new head Agent of the OSP team.
In Episode:Pushback, it was revealed that a former CIA operative Ethan Stanhope arranged the assassination attempt. Stanhope desired to eliminate all persons with knowledge of Operation Cossack a joint NCIS/CIA operation in Russia that failed when it was compromised by Stanhope. Stanhope's goal was to conceal his treasonous actions and prevent any adverse disclosures that would have harmed his business ventures.
Despite Stanhope's best efforts, Callen, backed by Sam and Kensi succeeded in arresting Stanhope, finally ending the case for good.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 2Edit
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 3Edit
In Episode:Pa Make Loa (Hawaii Five-0), a crossover with NCIS: Los Angeles and also a part of Hawaii Five-0 Season 2, Callen traveled to Hawaii with Sam after learning that Callen's sworn enemy, Dracul Comescu, who was now on the NCIS: Los Angeles's Most Wanted list, had been sighted in Hawaii.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 4Edit
Callen goes to Iran to capture Marcel Janvier aka the Chameleon. He forces the Chameleon to set up a meet with a Russian arms dealer, Isaak Siderov. The Chameleon then gives up Callen's partner, Sam Hanna. Callen is furious and sends Kensi and Granger to find Sam.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5Edit
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6Edit
Callen and Sam are trapped in and underwater submarine that is headed for a Marine Aircraft carrier. The sub has been made in to a torpedo and they are going to explode with the sub. They bust a hole in the sub to make their captors open the locked compartment they are trapped in. They then kill their captors and swim out of the sub. The Navy has blown up the sub just as Sam and Callen escaped. They blew it up because there were terrorists on the sub.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 7 Edit
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8 Edit
When Callen is not solving cases or covering with a mole inside the Office of Special Projects, he is dealing with a problem he never expected to have: a living family. His father - now living in the US - had another lover after Grisha and Amy's mother, and she had a daughter, Alexandra. Despite being a company based in a mole search. That ended up failing Alex's ex, who first knows his son's grandfather when the older man abducts him. This is a strain on Callen's relationship with Reznikov. This is partly because Callen has to give up a professional integrity for his father to jail and partly because his secrets - first approach to interpersonal communication between himself - separated from Alex and his son - do not work. To start building a relationship with Alexandra, Callen and Reznikov appear at the door of Alexandra. When Jake then says the oven has subsided, Alexandra invites them both to dinner.
Callen is very conscientious when it comes to work. As the lead field agent in charge, Callen is somewhat strict at times, such as when Deeks was unsure about returning to the field following a traumatic experience, at which point Callen told Deeks he did not want him back until he was sure. By then, Deeks had firmly decided to return, which Callen then let him do. In addition, he stays on top of what is going on with his team members, often being quick to pick up on when something is wrong, or happening in their lives. He also has been known to (somewhat randomly) check up on them at times. Further, he is usually one of the first members to get up and respond, when Eric and/or Hetty tell the team that they have a new case. Callen is also very determined to solve the cases, in that he does not hesitate to send the team into dangerous undercover missions.
However, Callen also has a light side. He has strong sense of humor, like the rest of the members on the team. He frequently jokes, in times when the team members are sitting and waiting for something to happen, when going undercover. He also jokes around during quieter moments, in between cases. His sense of humor makes his colleagues like to work with him. He is also somewhat of a ladies man, in that he has had a few different girlfriends. Despite having gone through a few in a relatively short time period, he is usually faithful, and most of his relationships have ended as a result of the girlfriends betraying him. This causes him to sometimes hold back and recover before getting into a new relationship, showing that he really does take his relationships seriously, caring about making them work.
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 got 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 Partnership. 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.
At one point, Callen and Tracy married to maintain their undercover aliases. Callen revealed in a light-hearted manner that in the divorce settlement, Tracy got their dog, Buddy, and his name was Callen's safe word for an undercover operation after Tracy took a building full of naval sailors and civilians hostage.
Kensi Blye Edit
Callen's relationship with Kensi is one seen between siblings. Callen treats Kensi as a little sister. He goes out of his way to protect and care for her. Kensi knows that Callen will always have her back and will protect her. Callen frequenty acts like an over-protective older brother.
Although there were hints of the pairing "Callensi" (CALLen & kENSI) in the first season, the producers obviously chose to pair her with Deeks, so she and Callen were back to the brother/sister - like relationship. There have been a few times when Callen and Kensi have gone undercover as a couple, and they have great chemistry with eachother. However, neither of them see each other in a romantic way.
Callen and Kensi are the typical siblings, anybody would wish for. They are protective of each other, tease each other frequently, can be serious if the situation requires it but most of all: they will always be there for each other and have each others back.
Marty Deeks Edit
The relationship between these two is sort of a tease and torment. Mostly from Callen to Deeks. This is partly because of the difference between them (cop vs. federal agent) and the fact that Marty is just so tease-able. However, both of them know that it is only play and in reality they are part of a team and will always look out for one another and have each other's back. Callen was also the most accepting of Deeks (from the team) when he first became LAPD's liaison.
Nell Jones Edit
Nell and Callen have a close, friendly relationship with each other. There have been many moments when the chemistry between the two has been seen as flirtatious and even romantic, although nothing ever comes of it. Nell is also Callen's ear for many things. Even when Hetty refuses to give Callen information regarding certain situations and cases, Nell often tells Callen anyways.
- Kalil Abramson
- Jose Taro
- Malcolm Tallridge (shared with Sam)
- Tom Smith
- Eugene Keelson
- Dracul Comescu
- Vasille Comescu
- Rick Medina (shared with Sam and Kensi)
- Neil Corby
- Karim Akbari (shared with Sam and Kensi)
- Between the ages of 5 and 18, Callen lived with a total of 37 foster families.
- He didn't shoot a gun for the first time until he was 20 years old.
- He can't stand needles.
- He speaks a multitude of languages, including (but as far as we know, not limited to) French, German, Russian, Romanian,Herbrew, Turkish, Polish and Chechen.
- Has been seen driving an Aston Martin in recent episodes of the show.
- He is a New England Patriots Fan.
- Callen's cars over the years have varied, from a silver Aston Martin Rapide to various Mercedes Benz, and even a couple of Jaguars. His first one was a standard Jaguar XKR. He then upgraded to the more powerful XKR-S
- Had started dating Joelle Taylor in War Cries (5x14) after a blind date set up by Sam and Michelle Hanna But they broke up in Cancel Christmas (7x11).
- Sam's daughter Cam calls him Uncle Callen
- Despite Callen's real name finally revealed, he still primarily referred to as 'G' or 'Callen' because his full name was too long or too difficult to read.
- Callen's first name, "Grisha", is a diminutive of "Gregory"
- Callen's father is the only character to refer to him primarily as "Grisha".
- In many flashbacks of a young Callen and his sister they are portrayed by O’Donnell’s kids (Lily, Charlie, & Finley O’Donnell).
Callen: What are we, if anyone asks?
- Sam: Uhh, city inspectors?
- Callen: No, no one talks to city inspectors.
- Sam: Okay, you're a realtor, and I'm your client. You're showing me an apartment.
- Callen: Do I look like a realtor?
- Sam: Okay, I'm a realtor, and you're the guy looking for an apartment. Can we go?
- Callen: Would I live in a place like this? I don't even know if I can afford a place like this.
- Sam: That's why I'm showing you, to see if you'd wanna live in a place like this.
- Callen: Does it have a Jacuzzi?
- Sam: If it has, I'm going to drown you in it.
External Links Edit