Murder at sea! A missing woman! A ticking clock! Will the team get to her in time?
At first glance, you'd think that these by themselves would be more than enough excitement to fill an episode, and then some! And yet, for some reason NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 Episode 12 found more tension and drama in the B-story, which barely took up a few scenes.
I found Dr. Jones's motive particularly unsatisfying. She works in academia for ages before realizing that it doesn't pay well? Really? I'd have found it far more interesting if, say, Dr. Jones was really lusting after Mark Post (who was seeing Cindy and helping out Anna financially). A complicated love triangle (quadrangle?) would have at least been different from the repetitive "he/she/they did it for the money" motive on this show.
Again, the revealed villain schemes and motivations seem to be a weak point in the NCIS: New Orleans writing.
That said, there was a lot to recommend this episode. I was surprised that there was no happy ending for the case of the week: the final victim, the admiral's daughter Anna, actually turned up dead at the end of the episode. There was no way the team could have saved her, because she died long before Agent Borin and the Coast Guard even found the yacht that entombed her friends.
It was an unusually tragic conclusion for such a normally bright, light-hearted show. Calling it a pleasant surprise sounds cold and heartless, but from the perspective of a reviewer (rather than an actual human being with a soul) it made dramatic sense, especially given that they had already recently made an even more unlikely rescue of that missing EOD specialist in NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 Episode 10.
Corbin Bernsen put in a welcome appearance as Admiral Huntley; I really enjoyed him as the long-suffering dad on the recently-concluded Psych. Despite appearing in only a few scenes in this episode, he still managed to make an impression as a Navy admiral trying his best to handle his young grandson while coping with his own worry for his daughter.
I was concerned about Diane Neal's appearance as CGIS Agent Abigail Borin, as it marked yet another NCIS crossover in a freshman season that was already inundated with NCIS crossovers. This time, however, her integration into the story felt much more organic than, say, Tony DiNozzo's in NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 Episode 2. Plus, she had some awesome lines, like this gem delivered during the interrogation of the treasure hunter:
Come on, Merris. We know you've been selling your booty on the Internet. ...Did I really just say that?CGIS Agent Abigail Borin
And she even messed with Sebastian with her X-Files quips, which was probably far more entertaining than it had any right to be. Though the Abby Scuito name-drop felt a bit awkwardly done, in my opinion. Overall, Borin's appearance went over well, and I wouldn't mind having her back again. Check out the NCIS New Orleans quotes for more fun!
However, the best parts of the episode, hands down, involved LaSalle and his brother Cade. Our favorite 'Bama boy finally tracked down his errant brother, but Cade pretty much tossed LaSalle's offer of help right back in his face. It showed some of the heartbreaking frustration involved in being a loved one of someone suffering from mental illness:
I ain't blamin' you for bein' sick. I'm just pissed you're not fightin' like hell to get better.LaSalle
LaSalle, of course, turned to Pride for advice. Pride pointed out that all LaSalle can do is to be there for Cade when Cade's ready. And Cade may never be ready.
At least there was some good news at the end of the episode, with LaSalle going home to find Cade on his doorstep. No doubt, we will see more of Cade in future episodes, especially with his vague and cryptic warnings about the trouble that was following him. It was actually somewhat sad - but believable - when LaSalle asked Cade whether any of that was real or just a product of his mind.
So, what do you think, NCIS: New Orleans fans? Were you satisfied by the LaSalle brothers' reunion? What is the trouble that's following Cade? Did you enjoy Abigail Borin's appearance? Did you buy into Dr. Jones's motive for murder? Let us know in the comments below!
Remember, you can catch up on previous episodes right here at TV Fanatic when you watch NCIS: New Orleans online!