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G. Callen's Biggest Mistake Ever On NCIS: Los Angeles

In the mainline "NCIS" series, the characters that comprise the central Naval Criminal Investigative Service team are hybrid cops and investigators of sorts. By contrast, the Office of Special Projects team at the heart of spinoff series "NCIS: Los Angeles," while technically part of the same branch of the military, oftentimes undertakes missions more befitting of trained spies or soldiers. As a result, "NCIS: LA" is typically more action-packed than its progenitor.

G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell) is one of the central OSP agents in "NCIS: LA." Because of the show's affinity for action, Callen has undertaken his fair share of dangerous missions over the course of its 12 seasons and counting. For example, in Season 4, Callen puts his life on the line to stop a powerful criminal adversary. Or, in Season 8, in a scene that arguably pushes things a little too far, Callen risks being devoured by a pack of hungry sharks.

Though he may be strong, Callen isn't infallible. What very well might be Callen's biggest mistake from throughout the entirety of his "NCIS: LA" tenure occurs relatively early on, in the first episode of Season 3.

Callen almost gives up his own life

The "NCIS: Los Angeles" Season 3 premiere largely focuses on G. Callen, pitting he and the rest of the Office of Special Projects team against the Comescu family. Around the time of World War 2, Callen's grandfather George executed a number of war criminals, including the ancestors of the Comescu family in the show's present day. As a result, the surviving Comescus hold a grudge against Callen over his bloodline. At climax of Season 3, Episode 1, Callen faces off against family leader Alexa Comescu (Cristine Rose), who has already shot and wounded the OSP's Operations Manager Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt).

As Alexa confronts Callen, she attacks him psychologically, wielding her knowledge of their shared family history against him. Her tactic works, and Callen lowers his gun, leaving him unguarded and vulnerable. Before Alexa can shoot him and successfully enact revenge for her murdered family members, however, Hetty's temporary replacement Lauren Hunter (Claire Forlani) shoots Alexa and saves Callen.

Though Callen survives, the moment in which he lowers his gun is a rare lapse in judgment for a character that otherwise proceeds through dangerous missions like an untouchable action hero. Since this plotline concerning Callen's family history is now largely resolved as of the current season of "NCIS: LA," t's unlikely Callen will ever fall into a similar trap, having worked through his difficult past and mended his biggest vulnerability.