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Review: NCISLA “Matryoshka” – Part 1 (S7E15)

NCISLA MATRYOSHKA_3We have some pretty heavy duty showrunners writing and directing this two-part episode and as much as I try not to put heavy expectations on these men, it’s only natural to expect an enjoyable story to add to this entertaining season so far. The story takes us back to where we left off at the beginning of the season as the team goes in search of Arkady and a missing CIA agent still in Russia. His daughter Anna returns to this episode and goes undercover with the gang to find any clues that might lead her to her father and perhaps open the door to Callen’s search for his elusive father. Kyle Harimoto and R. Scott Gemmill have collaborated on this first installment of “Matryoshka” together with director Dennis Smith behind the camera.

Since this is a two-part episode, I’ll wait and leave my collective thoughts after the conclusion to part two. Until that time, let’s look at the special moments from the first part of “Matryoshka”:

Memorable Moments

•Kirkin! My favorite Deeks-lovin’ Russian is back. Seriously, who can blame the man?

•If Callen didn’t have his flaws (social media dislike this time) whatever would Sam find to razz him about?

•We know Deeks looks great even in a waiter’s suit, so why can’t Eric look equally as stunning in a tactical work kilt? (Sam: Oh boy!) You have to admit, if there is a way to make Eric look ridiculous in these opening scenes, the writers will find it.

•Wow! Callen finds a novel way to get the attention of Kirkin’s henchmen in the bar. Even Sam’s impressed… sort of.

•I loved that they put Hetty in her ‘55 Spider to have a one-on-one chat with Anna. Looks like Hetty is still working behind the scenes. Perhaps to solve Callen’s family mystery?

•Who wouldn’t want to get sweaty with Sam? So suave.

•Ooooh, I think Callen is doing a little more than pretending to kiss Anna. Could he be smitten?

Deeks/Densi Moments

•Not to be outdone by Callen and Sam, Densi has their own bitch session outside the spa and Deeks is definitely off his game. Definitely time for a massage!

•Beach boy? Kensi has a new endearment for Deeks… I like.

•I kind of agree with Deeks… I mean who wouldn’t want to have a massage with her beach boy? (Deeks: What’s not to get? Me, you, together, lying naked?) Oh, believe me, I get it Deeks!

•It’s fun to see Deeks get jealous and a little testy over the therapist hitting on Kensi.

•Did you hear Anatoli calling out to Deeks? “Marty!” We’ve come a long way since that bathhouse! LOL!

•Densi’s debriefing with Kirkin was one of their more enjoyable interrogations in the boatshed… well maybe not for Deeks so much. (Kirkin: This playful arrogance of yours Marty, it really works for you. You got it!)

•The team can’t help but tease Deeks on his “relationship” with Kirkin. Talk about easy pickings, but Deeks knows how to fight back this time: (Deeks: Listen, no one is immune to the Deeksness, man or woman. It’s a curse really, I’ve had to deal with my whole entire life. I think it’s my kind and soulful blue eyes.)

•I think Kirkin is turning out to be one of my favorite bad guys: (Kirkin: Marty when I get set up, I will send for you. And pay no attention to the critics! Your hairstyle is glorious!)

So we’re off to Russia to rescue Arkady and the missing CIA agent! If you thought you were going to get some instant gratification in terms of finding out the conclusion of this story next Monday… well they are going to make us wait again! And it looks like after seven years, Callen may finally get those longed for answers. So we’ll see you back here in two weeks but in the meantime check out all our other features like Deeks’ Surf Log, Kensi’s Journal and our Edit of the Week. See you then!

Episode: “Matryoshka”
Writer: Kyle Karimoto & R. Scott Gemmill
Director: Dennis Smith
Original Air Date: February 8, 2016


Diane Volpe is a Contributing Editor at

Follow her on Twitter: @phillydi

About Diane (435 Articles)
Founder, Writer and Contributing Editor of wikiDeeks. Always wanted to put together a talented team of writers and graphic designers who loved NCISLA and Marty Deeks in particular! My dream came true! Hope you enjoy what we have created!

10 Comments on Review: NCISLA “Matryoshka” – Part 1 (S7E15)

  1. I thought the episode was good. I am nota big Callen fan, but it was interesting and it had a sense of humor. I am guessing Gemmill was responsible for the funny/ Just love Kirkin and Deeks and how light and happy Kensi was, in this episode. I am still on the fence about Anna. I see no spark between her and Callen, but then again, I don’t like Callen in a romantic scenario.


  2. Agree. The episode was good to very good, not great. Loved the banter between Deeks and Kensi, Nell and Eric, Deeks and Kirkin. The “still got it line” from Kensi was priceless. I also will hold my thoughts, ambiguous and conflicted as they are right now, until after part II and we see what Hetty is scheming (again). Another well written, well directed, well performed episode. There are several issues I am really curious to see how they are resolved: What does Hetty have in mind for Anna, Why are Densi left behind while Callen and Sam go to Russia? What did Eric wear under his kilt???


  3. I haven’t seen this episode yet. (In Australia and we have just started with Season 7,will watch online on the weekend) However, I am over Callen and his story (sorry!). Don’t know why Densi are always left behind when the dynamic duo have to leave the country. I always think the storyline is better when the whole team is together. Hopefully the storyline will end for Callen and he will have answers and then the show can concentrate on the other characters.


  4. Thanks for the review. You pointed out some things I didn’t see or look at like you did. Thanks for that!!

    This is one of the few episodes I didn’t want to watch live. I’m not into Callen at all and think his story is boring. I fast forwarded through all of Callen and Anna scenes. Bar Paly is a beautiful woman but I couldn’t stand to listen to her accent. I couldn’t understand what she was saying.

    What was supposedly Densi banter kinda annoyed me. Why does Kensi always have to pile it on when the guys are being mean and juvenile towards Deeks? I can’t remember her ever taking his side. Why can’t she appreciate all that Deeksness? If my BF looked like that, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops.

    Somebody put a sock in Kirkin’s mouth. He’s supposed to be a bad guy but everyone thinks it’s okay for him to hit on Deeks. If he was talking to Nell like that, would they be ok with it?

    Rant over! Thanks for letting me vent.


  5. I agree Diane, let’s save the reaction until after part 2. I enjoyed this episode especially all the humor. Densi was great, Loved the shiatsu, shitzu scene. When Hans hit on Kensi with Deeks watching…hilarious….yup, she’s still got it, Deeks!

    It certainly appears as if Hetty is working on a project requiring Anna’s skillset and quite possibly it will be tied into finding out what happened to Callen’s father. The Hetty chat with Anna in the spider was a highlight for me. I enjoed the dialogue. As for Anna as a love interest for Callen…He sure enjoyed the kiss a bit more than he anticipated. Anna is a better match for Callen than Joelle even though I really liked her.

    All in all, an enjoyable episode.


  6. Thanks for your review.

    As expected, I have enjoyed this episode.

    I liked how the team interacted and how everybody seemed competent and could perfectly do his/her job. You can’t always take for granted to have episodes where we really get to see everybody work so smoothly and well together for a common purpose.

    There were many moments I liked but for me the highlight was the gala.
    First of all everybody was so beautiful there and it was a pleasure for the eyes after being so used to the team’s casual everyday attire, in which they look great, sure, but during that undercover op they all looked fabulous and stunning!

    I have appreciated Anna more this time, I think the authors have had some months to kind of “polish” her character and make it more likable. I thought I wouldn’t like her with Callen, but I was wrong. They looked very believable together, their kiss scene was very hot and by the way Callen (outstanding in this episode) looked at her, he didn’t seem totally immune to her charm, even if I’m sure he was well aware it was a cover kiss. I wouldn’ be surprised to see Anna more often and that she might become “Callen’s love interest” we were teased about so long ago. Will she be made a regular?

    Speaking of Deeks and Kensi, I’m so glad we had so much quality Densi in an episode which was more Callen and team centric.
    With my great surprise I have realized I even enjoy more than before episodes focused on the rest of the characters and plots now that I am satisfied with how Densi are being treated.
    All in, committed, living together, bantering and bickering Densi are my favorite ever! They are really able to give me warm feelings. The reason is that they seem so happy so comfortable with each other (Kensi who’s funnier than Deeks is a first!) and so in love even when they are badass together that sometimes I can’t believe the writers are really doing this to us. This has been, in my opinion, the greatest treat they could give Densi fans, probably what we had been asking for a long time: a realistic adult relationship, with its ups and downs, its smiles and laughs and tears, accepted by the rest of the team, coping with a dangerous and tough line of work. Forever grateful for this gift.


    • I agree, Cladani. Kensi is “all in” and the relationship felt so comfortable and accepted by everyone. I thought it great that Anna, with tongue in cheek, acknowledged Deeks’s iself-assessed rresistability to women and men and then followed up with her comment that out of respect for Kensi she will keep her distance so that she won’t be tempted. I found that scene hilarious. And later when she ran her fingers through his hair after Kirkin left, Kensi was not jealous. I like that when Kensi said she was all in, she’s even trying to be funny. hence the fact that Deeks totally did not get that she was trying to be funny…after all, she’s always been the serious one and said she would try to lighten up when Deeks promised to be more serious in one of the early seasons. And Kensi was deadly serious when needed.
      And the gala scene with everyone dressed up was beautiful to watch, Everyone looked beautiful, including Deeks and Kensi in their wait uniform.


  7. I enjoyed this episode much more than I thought I would . I am in the getting tired of Callen camp, but I was very pleased that this turned into a team episode. I thought ECO and Ravil Isaynov ( Kirkin) were just wonderful, all of their scenes were just marvelous, they both just play their parts so well. I also am really enjoying how Densi is being written, adult relationship but lots of fun. I agree with the comment above that Anna has been “polished” and although when we first saw her, I did not like her, I did like her in this episode. She was independent , professional, pleasant to the team, and respectful of Kensi and Deeks relationship.

    However, as was said in the review, we need to wait until part 2 for a real review of the episode.


  8. I liked the episode (so far) – it was well done on all fronts, I thought. I loved Kensi pushing Deeks out of the boatshed LOL. They have really done well with letting them be a couple and having fun with it. BUT – they really haven’t challenged it yet. I mean we haven’t had a situation where they really had to prove they will put the job first and the resulting fallout/understanding if one or both of them are put in that position. Would love all the angst possible! Loved Deeks & Kirkin!! I don’t know about Anna – something about her accent/voice is kind of annoying to me. She was Chicago PD, right? Her mother was American? The accent is a little too much IMHO. I don’t dislike her as a character, and I did like the Hetty scene in the car. I think she could be a good foil for Callen. AND on another note – I kinda wonder if they could get Kensi any skinnier?? She looks like she’d blow away in a good wind storm!


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