NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 16 Review: Empathy

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Pride knows a little something about mental health.

He proved that on NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 16.

A running theme throughout was how to handle people with special conditions.

Life Altering Decision - NCIS: New Orleans

LaSalle had his first difficult decision (which we've heard about, anyway) as executor of his brother's estate. That decision was how to handle his bipolar brother Cade.

While his heart was in the right place, that was certainly shortsighted of LaSalle. Just bring Cade home and let the family handle his needs, while Christopher is busy working a state away.

Pride managed to be both a realist and an optimist in the episode.

He's a much more experienced hand when it comes from having to deal with someone suffering from mental illness.

Man of Faith - NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 16

In Pride's case, it was his beloved mother, the former singer, who gave him his good qualities, including his love of music.

Throughout Pride struggled not to impart his knowledge on LaSalle, wanting to let him make his own decision concerning Cade.

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But in the end, Pride explained how he tried to take care of his mother at home, but eventually, he realized that she needed specialized help he couldn't provide. So he had to send her away.

It was obvious this was something Pride kept private, as neither Percy nor Gregorio had heard much about his mother. Loretta, of course, knew the whole story, but just gave them an overview, as it's Pride's story to tell.

History Lesson - NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 16

Judging from the final scene, Pride's mother seems to be suffering from some kind of dementia, probably Alzheimer's. It was a heartwarming scene. While she didn't recognize him, she recognized the song he was playing. So music continued to be their method of communicating.

This also helps to explain Pride's deep love of music, and why he always takes time to play. It was that special thing that bonded Pride and his mother.

It wasn't readily apparent if Pride got through to LaSalle. (If it was, I missed it.) Christopher's pigheaded, so it may take a while before he reaches the right decision.

It was essential that everyone be aware of Pride's backstory so that they could understand how he was so positive about an assassin.

I mean, the smart thing to do was to take out Jack, if they somehow could. You really couldn't depend on a brain tumor to permanently change his personality. Granted, permanently was a relatively short period, but still....

Missing Person Search - NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 16

It was a timely storyline, to have a contractor making faulty military equipment hire hitmen to kill potential whistleblowers. I'm surprised that doesn't happen in real life. I guess it's cheaper just to buy politicians instead.

Not being a neurologist, the whole storyline seemed like a bit of a stretch. One day, Jack snapped the neck of one whistleblower. The next day, he protected the other whistleblower and took out two of his fellow hitmen instead.

So the tumor served as a kind of switch. And each scene we wondered if we were going to get good Jack, bad Jack, or dead Jack. Most of the time, we got good Jack, but I could certainly see why most of the NCIS team had doubts.

Related: NCIS: New Orleans' Shalita Grant Exits

What I didn't understand is why Pride didn't have more doubts. I know he's a glass-half-full kind of guy, but Jack had done little, besides killing the two assassins, to inspire confidence. The way the doctor was waffling, there's no way he was basing his perceptions on sound medical judgment.

Still, it was heartening to see that Pride was right in the end. Jack received some redemption for his actions late in life, even if he wasn't in his right mind.

If Jack knew about his condition, what was he still doing working? I would think it impossible to do Jack's job with the loss of short-term memory. Did he kill his target or not? If not, where'd he leave him?

Maybe his thought process was "I'm going to take some people with me."

All told, the whole gunman-who-couldn't-think-straight storyline was intriguing. Jack was just lucky that Pride kept his forces from doing the obvious thing, shooting Jack so that he would get one last chance to prove himself worthy of Pride's faith.

So what was the lesson of this episode? No matter how asinine some of his ideas seem, remember to place your trust in Pride.

To catch up on the two-thirds of the season that's passed, watch NCIS: New Orleans online.

Did anyone have "assassin with a brain tumor" as the storyline? Did you think Pride was crazy? Will LaSalle make the right decision concerning Cade? Comment below.

Empathy Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 16 Quotes

Pride [to LaSalle[: I know. There's a lot of questions. But they'll all be answered if we find Molly.

Taking care of a person with mental challenges can be challenging for the caregiver too.

Pride [to LaSalle]