The escape of three prisoners from a Navy brig prison bus kicked things off on NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 Episode 3.
All was not as it seemed, however: one of them had deliberately gotten himself arrested in a bar fight, with the intent of hunting down the man who was going to betray him in exchange for leniency.
To make it even more interesting, Director Vance wanted Pride and his team to hunt the prisoners, and bring the mole back alive. When that didn't happen, Vance read Pride the riot act.
Below, TV Fanatic panelists David Taylor, Kathleen Wiedel, Christine Orlando and Douglas Wolfe discuss all this and more. Ready to jump in to the debate?
How would you describe this episode in a few words or a sentence?
David: Three Big Ol' Cons from Jail Are We.
Kathleen: The Mole with the Sonu Strike in the Prison Bus.
Christine: Time Slips By So Enjoy the Shrimp.
Doug: Don't Push Pride.
What was your favorite scene or quote? Why?
David: No real stand-out in my opinion, but if forced to pick one, it was the bantering (and camaraderie) over the shrimp boil recipe at the end.
Kathleen: I agree with David that there wasn't a ton that stood out for me, though I was amused when Pride teased Gibbs over not leading with the declassified interrogation file. Also, I chuckled when I realized that escapee Dmitri Babakov was played by Cliff Simon - he's an old favorite for many fans of Stargate: SG-1, where he played the System Lord Ba'al. Too bad Babakov wasn't nearly so clever as Ba'al!
Christine: The look on Brody's face when Pride saved her life. I couldn't tell if she was that impressed with his shot or upset that she'd almost died in the process but she looked as though she was in complete shock.
Doug: The look on Brody's face really was hard to read, wasn't it? There was shock that Pride took the shot, warring with gratefulness for being alive. For that matter, I was shocked that Pride has such confidence in his aim that he took the shot.
What, if anything didn't work?
David: Oh...there were several eye-rolling moments. I'll try and be quick:
- Three convicts escape an armored transport vehicle and the three young women just stand there and watch? GET BACK IN YOUR CAR AND GET OUT OF THERE!!! That we're told they offered help before being carjacked just made me laugh. Who HELPS escaped convicts...voluntarily?
- More Horatio Caine-isms / cowboy language, this time from LaSalle ("...an' he's a low-down dirty snake.") and Pride "("Go....LEARN.....")
- *Bam* Pride's on a ship and oh look...so's Gibbs. Then *bam*, Pride's back in New Orleans. Huh? Did I have a mini-stroke and miss something?
- I won't mention this again, but Bakula's southern accent kind of comes and goes doesn't it?
Kathleen: I guess I'm more forgiving of the turns of phrase than David, since it didn't really bug me this time. I do agree, however, that Pride sure seemed to get to and from his secret rendezvous with Gibbs on a ship "in the middle of the ocean" (!) really fast.
Christine: David, I was yelling the same thing at those girls! They certainly weren't geniuses but the moment that bothered me was Sebastian putting the girls in bikinis in his animated reconstruction. Maybe it was suppose to be funny but it came across as creepy and made me like Sebastian even less.
Doug: I heartedly agree with David and Christine. When the prisoners started pulling themselves out of the bus any normal person would be "okay - I'm leaving now, bye." I rolled my eyes because I knew the girls would stay there, looking naive and confused.
Did Pride push Vance too far with his offer to give him his badge? Is it possible that was overkill?
David: When Pride put a bullet in Nash's brain, I nearly screamed "What part of "alive" didn't you understand?", but I certainly understand why he did it. Pride offering to resign seemed a very "Gibbs" thing to do; I don't think it was overkill, but it was a bit cliché for those of us who are NCIS devotees. Small aside: Vance mentioning an investigation or three seems to hint at a story arc for later in the season.
Kathleen: I don't think that Pride was actually offering up his badge so much as daring Vance to come and take it from him. And, frankly, I think that Pride was totally justified in shooting Nash under the given circumstances. They might not be able to take down the entire network of bad guys, but they plugged that particular leak. And Body's life was at stake, as well. That being said, why in the world didn't they drive down to the grave dock with local or state support and flood the area with cops? That way Nash would never have been able to escape. (I know, I know...!)
Christine: A little but Pride really didn't have a choice when he killed Nash. The man was not going to come in alive without killing Brody first. But I'm betting this won't be the last clash we see between Vance and Pride before the season is out.
Doug: There's no question Pride had no choice but to shoot. However, I cringed a little when he pushed the envelope with Vance. Vance has seen that kind of push-back before, and you know - you can only bark at the bear so long before the bear decides he's had enough.
Agreeing to go for couples' therapy seems to be a sacrifice for Pride. Why is that? Why was he so resistant?
David: Interesting question. Perhaps learning how "alone" the convicts were made him realize he didn't want to end up that way? I don't think we know enough about his past (in particular, why he's separated from his wife in the first place) to answer this.
Kathleen: In a word, I think part of the problem is pride. Yes, I said it. Agent Pride is a very certain, sure, and confident man who doesn't want to admit that seeing a therapist might actually help the state of his marriage. And I have no doubt that the selfsame pride may have been a contributing factor to his marital problems. Maybe Gibbs could lend Pride his box of rules, because Rule #51 is "Sometimes - you're wrong."
Christine: I agree with Kathleen. It's his pride. I'm sure he's one of those people that finds it very difficult to admit that he needs help and especially with something as personal as his marriage. The fact that he's agreed to it shows how desperate he is to get his life back.
Doug: I agree with David. We don't know enough about the man yet. It may well be a matter of pride that's kept him away from therapy. I have a theory, though: maybe it's the fact that he has a problem with anger, and is worried that he'll explode during one of the sessions. I mean who really knows why the two are separated? Did they grow apart? Did she have an affair? Did his job get to be too important to him? What? There's a world of possibilities here - I think the writers are going to have some fun with it.
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.