NCIS: Los Angeles 13×21 “Down the Rabbit Hole” examines Grisha Callen, and the team around him, but it does so from a different perspective than other Callen-centric episodes have. Because this Callen episode is actually about feelings, about what it means to have them, what it means to understand that they aren’t really a weakness, in fact, they can be a strength.
In many ways, it feels like all roads have been leading to this moment for Callen. Thirteen seasons of …living, growing, forming bonds, and this hour isn’t just about the man, but about those bonds. The people that love him. The one he’s allowed himself to love — and the fact that, despite what Katya thinks, or what she might want to believe, you are not just the bad things other people did to you. Not unless you decide to be.
For most of this season Callen has been stuck in his past, in the bad parts, and that’s understandable. There are still answers to be found there, answers that have to do with Hetty, answers we — and Callen — deserve. But who Callen is doesn’t seem like it rests on those answers, not anymore. He’s got Anna. And Sam. He’s got Kensi and Deeks (even if he missed this one) and Roundtree and Fatima and even Killbride. And yes, he’s got Hetty, wherever she is.
He’s got a life, and in many ways, that’s what Katya hated. That was at the root of her obsession. She was broken, and she saw in Callen someone as broken as her, except he, somehow, found a family. Made a family. Not with his sister, or his nephew, though of course, there’s love there, but with the people he works with, the partner that became a brother and the woman he could never let go of, not even when that seemed like the most sensible course of action.
As someone who has been watching this show for over a decade, this is one of my favorite Callen episodes — and not because he did anything, but because I see what the show is going for (it’s not like they’ve ever been subtle, messaging wise), and I’m proud. Characters grow, and as a fan, you get to grow with them. Of all the people in this show, Callen has had the hardest time in that regard, for good reason. These people are all broken in their own way, but Callen had the hardest time breaking away from that.
He didn’t know who he was. He didn’t know where he came from. And, at times, it felt like he didn’t know if he wanted or deserved affection, a real family. But the team was still there. Sam was still there. And later, so was Anna. And the thing Callen didn’t know if he needed became the thing that made life easier, better. The thing that brought him to this moment.
There are other stories. There will be more growth. And well be here, watching, proud of how far Grisha Callen has come, and happy that he’s got a family to support him.
Things I think I think:
- The deepfake has Sam’s charm, lol.
- Katya chiding Callen for being obsessed is riiiich.
- NOTHING IS REAL, NOTHING IS REAL.
- A plausible explanation for Deeks not being around!
- His face is still plenty pretty.
- “Don’t feel. Feelings cause pain.”
- I cannot explain how much I dislike Joelle.
- The moment of Killbride and Sam was actually really, really good.
- Me, this entire episode: Everyone is lying and nothing I see in a camera is real.
- Even the deepfake misses Deeks.
- Anna having trouble accepting her bisexuality just doesn’t sound like Anna.
- I was already like nah before, but Katya killing Anna? Pfff.
- KENSI AND ANNA.
- This is a cruel, cruel episode.
- But I appreciate Sam being Sam. Best partner in the world.
- Katya IS right, the team is his family.
- Don’t really feel bad about Katya, what can I say?
- Sam Hanna, BEST. PARTNER. IN. THE. WORLD.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Los Angeles 13×21 “Down the Rabbit Hole”? Share with us in the comments below!