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NCIS - Episodes 11.18/11.19 - Crescent City (New Orleans spin-off) - Review + Polls



After the ill-fated NCIS: Red pilot from last year, CBS makes another attempt at creating a second NCIS spin-off. And this one is set in... New Orleans!

Thing is, there is a little NCIS office there that is run by Special agent Dwayne Cassius Pride (Scott Bakula). He shares a history with our own Leroy Jethro Gibbs, as both of them were probies in the Fed 5. The Fed 5 was a legendary group of agents that included the aforementioned agents, Mike Franks, Felix Betts and Dan McLane. Gibbs and Pride's reunion is due to the death of the latter one, McLane, who is now a congressman. When his body washes up in the Big Easy, Pride invites Gibbs to help him with the case. Because as it appears, the murder of McLane matches the M.O. of the Privileged Killer, whom the Fed 5 arrested years ago and whom later died in prison.

In Crescent City, we meet Pride's right-hand, Special Agent Christopher Lasalle (Lucas Black), and their 'office' seems like a small, messy place. As we later learn, Pride has rescued Lasalle from hurricane Katrina. Pride and Lasalle are joined by Special Agent Meredith "Merri" Brody (Zoe McLellan), who has been mysteriously transferred from the Great Lakes office and has a history with Gibbs. Besides cleaning up the place, Brody is there to assist the somewhat short-handed team in the investigation. The help becomes necessary after an FBI agent also dies at the hand of the killer, with again the same M.O. as Privileged.

As Gibbs and Bishop are in N'awlins, TMF (Tony, McGee, Fornell) stay in D.C. to look into political ties to the murder (and argue about jurisdiction). McLane's body appears to have been taken by the FBI, much to the dismay of Jefferson Parish Coroner Doctor Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder). Pounder was severly underused in part one, but had more screentime in the second part.

Actually, the entire D.C. part didn't have anything significant to add. Ducky and Abby were underused, but since they had to introduce these new characters I am willing to accept that for once. In part two, however, the D.C. players (Ducky, Fornell and Vance) discover that the Privileged Killer might not have been the man whom the Fed 5 arrested all these years ago.

And that set the stage for the second part of the two-parter.

Pride and Gibbs, but mostly Pride, cannot believe that Privileged is still active. They deduce that McLane must have framed the suspect, and discover they are right once they look into his financial history. McLane accept a bribe to frame the suspect due to family health issues. Eventually, the teams find out that there is not one, but two Privileged Killers: father and son. Actually, it's more like a family business because the son has taken over for the father. While McGee figues out dad had something to do with it, he is knocked down. However, McGee is not killed or taken, but the father instead wanted time to kill himself. In NOLA, Pride and Gibbs shoot the son at a cementary after he took another potential victim.

Elsewhere in these two episodes:
-Bishop missed her plane home to D.C. (just kidding! Although she was late for it)
-Paige Turco portrayed Councillor Abby Griffin, who has returned to Earth Linda, the (ex-?)wife of Pride. It is revealed that the two live seperately yet are trying to make their relationship work. They also have a daughter.
-The NOLA team has their own forensic scientist in the form of Wendell Hobbs, who has a thing with guitars.
-Tony got a voodoo doll from Bishop, which made for some hillarious moments.

I must say that I did enjoy these characters and see the potential here. There were a lot of New Orleans cliches here, but these were necessary to introduce the rich background of the city. Some NCIS regulars had to make room for the NOLA characters (even Bishop was less prominently featured in part two), but I was fine with that. The characters had interesting backstories which I would like to see develop if it goes to series. The story itself was good, although I would have liked to see the teams more as targets as the ending of part one suggested. Overall, it's not perfect but I would watch this if ordered to series.

What surprised me (as the casting news came out), is the amount of characters. NCIS and NCIS: LA currently both have eight series regulars. While both series have promoted various recurring characters to regulars, they started with five and seven regulars respectively in their first season. So four for the New Orleans spin-off looks a bit small, but there is always the possibility that over summer or over seasons another cast member is added (or more). It defenititely would not hurt to see Diane Neal join NOLA, which she herself has said she would love to do.

Speaking of which, recasting is nothing new to the franchise either. Both NCIS (Robyn Lively as Special Agent Vivian Blackadder) and NCIS: Los Angeles (Louise Lombard as Special Agent Lara Macy) have had potential series regulars appear in the planted spin-off episodes, only to be eventually dropped from the cast. Even when NCIS: Red was rumoured to be picked up, there were words of possible recasting. So historically speaking, it's not impossible that one of the characters we saw in these two episodes will not join the main cast after all. The question is: do you want any character to be recast? Express your opinion in the poll below.

Also vote in the other polls as to if you want NOLA to be ordered to series and which NCIS planted spin-off you liked the most. And of course feel free to tell your opinion of these two episodes in the comments!










About the Author - Daniel
Daniel (Veer95) is a Dutch university student studying Psychology. On SpoilerTV he is a reviewer of NCIS, Crisis and The 100. He also likes to watch Arrow, The Tomorrow People, NCIS: LA, Nikita, The Blacklist, Under the Dome, Intelligence and Hostages.

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