This was a well-constructed transition episode with a hint or two of what's to come.
Sydney Halliday came to town for a visit, and a hostage situation broke out on NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 20.
Poor Pride got roped into that whole mess just because his reputation proceeded him.
In the beginning, three armed men in a car raced from police. That seemed like standard procedure until they stopped outside the Two-Tone, running inside and taking Pride and all his patrons hostage.
I didn't see that coming.
I did see the villain of this episode coming, as, I'm sure, did many of you. But more on that later.
It was good to see Sydney again, after she got discharged from the Army for her actions on NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 18.
Boy, did she pick the wrong bar to walk into!
When Curtis got Pride alone, I figured he was going to say that he was a cop undercover with a gang. But no, a CI getting framed for the murder of the cop with whom he was working was a much better angle.
So concerned was Curtis that he gave up his cell phone so Pride could communicate with his team.
And wasn't it a hoot that Boomer couldn't even recognize the ringing of a landline? Has it come to that?
It was a well-planned narrative with the parallel action, with the NOPD, led by Captain Davis, trying to capture their three suspects while NCIS investigated the murder of Franklin.
It turned out just as well that Pride and LaSalle remained cagey about the investigation, keeping it from the NOPD.
Davis just seemed hinky from the get-go. I could give him pulling rank and being territorial with LaSalle early on. But he didn't want to listen to any conjecture that disagreed with his narrative that Curtis killed Franklin.
The way he kept blowing up at LaSalle, who was just trying to pass along what information he had acquired, made him look guilty.
He had no interest in arresting the three gangbangers for Franklin's murder. He just wanted them dead. That was what the whole stunt on the bus was about, and he didn't care if innocents such as Pride and Sydney got caught in the crossfire.
While Davis was trying to arrange for a kill zone, NCIS, led by LaSalle, were investigating Franklin's murder.
The more they learned, the more guilty someone inside NOPD looked. The State Attorney General looking into corruption almost died in a car crash. Curtis's girlfriend died of an overdose of heroin that Davis seized. Curtis's fingerprints were too perfectly placed on the murder weapon.
Unfortunately, by the time they put everything together, Davis was driving the gangbangers, Pride, and Sydney into a trap. They only survived because Estes got the snipers to stop shooting, which allowed Sydney, then Pride, to save themselves.
Pride did everything to keep the bullets from flying, trying to reason with the hotheaded Boomer and stalling to give his team time to solve the murder.
I was glad to see that the Two-Tone suffered little damage, just a camera hole drilled in the ceiling. It dodged a bullet, or possibly several bullets. That bar has been through enough after getting blown up last season. Pride is a civil servant and can't afford to keep repairing it.
Now, about the potential storylines that that received hints. One was that someone or some group of people is profiting from corruption in New Orleans and would do anything to shut down the investigation of it.
Estes and Pride pointed to the attempted murder of Hamilton on NCIS: New Orleans Season 4 Episode 10 and the attempt to kill the state attorney general as evidence of an ongoing conspiracy.
First, corruption has always been what fuels New Orleans politics. That is a statement of fact, not a stunning revelation.
Second, that fact, which has existed for decades, isn't something that will get resolved in the remaining four episodes of this season. It's more like a game of Whack-a-Mole. Take out one corruption official, and another one will pop up.
The other storyline is about Sydney. I still figure she will be the replacement for Percy. I was shocked Pride didn't just lay a badge on her at the end of the episode like he did with Gregorio before her.
But I'm guessing that if you're not sure about Season 5, you shouldn't be adding new cast members just yet. Or the producers could be just ratcheting up the suspense and will add her in the finale.
To tide you over during next week's hiatus, watch NCIS: New Orleans online.
How soon did you finger Davis as the killer? Would you like to see Sydney added to the team? Should Pride become a hostage negotiator? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.