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NCIS: New Orleans - A New Dawn - Review: "Misconceptions"

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NCIS: New Orleans - A New Dawn - Review: "Misconceptions"
4.14 - "A New Dawn"
Directed by Michael Zinberg
Written by Greta Heinemann
Reviewed by Kelly Anne Blount

"A New Dawn" opens with thousands of people in the streets enjoying Mardi Gras.

We head down to the railroad tracks, where a woman is on her phone and speaking two languages. She's worried someone is after her. Before she can say anything else, a masked assailant attacks her and throws her in front of a train.

On the other side of town, Loretta is watching a mayoral debate. She is working to get interim Mayor Zahra Taylor elected. Pride shows up and tells Loretta they have a case. Before they can leave, we find out Pride's dad is out of prison.

At the scene, Gregorio identified the victim as CTI Erica Croft out of DC. She specializes in translating counter-terrorism intel. She was in town and brushing up on her Arabic at a church that also serves as a refugee center.

Sebastian found her phone as well as evidence that Croft was fighting off her attacker.

Percy is missing from the crew today. LaSalle is worried. Gregorio tells everyone that she's fine (she's not, she's leaving the show soon) and that Percy just needed some "personal time."

Christopher and Gregorio head over to the refugee center while Sebastian tracks Croft's contacts. Loretta will complete the autopsy, even though she's worried about the special election which is taking place soon.

Over at the refugee center, Gregorio and LaSalle find out that Erica Croft was well liked at the refugee center. Sebastian calls with info. The last person Croft spoke with had a burner phone that the church gives out to all refugees.

The identify the phone's owner as Noora. When they knock on her door, a young man inside runs away. Turns out the young man is her son, Sharif Saadi. LaSalle doesn't catch him, but is surprised to find Gregorio arresting Noora when he comes back. Gregorio has found evidence of extremist terrorist behavior, including literature on how to make bombs.

It's the team's worst nightmare, a terrorist on the loose in the city during Mardi Gras.

Back at HQ, LaSalle and Gregorio interrogate Noora. She swears that she didn't know anything about what her son was hiding in her closet. Noora swears that her son is not a terrorist. She claims that she was friends with Erica. She adds that her son hates radicals. They killed his father. That's why they came to America. Noora is worried that people were pressuring him into doing something that he didn't want to do.

Gregorio wants to know why Sharif ran. Noora says he was afraid. She refuses to help them find her son.

If Sharif has been recruited by nefarious people, they NCIS team might be able locate his recruiter, but it will be a difficult task during Mardi Gras.

Gregorio tells Pride that she thinks Noora wants to talk, but she's too scared. Pride says that he's going to bring in someone "without a badge" to talk to her. I bet he means Loretta.

Pride heads in form the courtyard and calls Loretta. She has to put him on hold for a minute to take a campaign-related phone call. When she gets back to Pride, Gregorio, and La Salle, she says that she has information. She inhaled a substance within the last sixty minutes she was alive. Sebastian rushed the results, the substance was dokha, a special type of tobacco. Gregorio thinks Erica might have inhaled it in a hookah lounge before her death.

Loretta pays Noora a visit. Noora is comfortable around Loretta, who tells her that if she doesn't tell the NCIS officers where her son is, he could end up dying for a cause he doesn't believe in. Also, if he's involved with a terrorist attack, hundreds if not thousands of people could lose their lives.

Gregorio and LaSalle head into the hookah bar. They watch footage from the inside of the bar, while LaSalle asks about Percy. Gregorio asks him if it's really the right time. It's always the right time, Gregorio.

Erica was indeed in the hookah bar right before her death. In the footage, the see Sharif and another man behind her. Sharif tries to stop the man from going after Erica once she gets up and leaves. Turns out Gregorio saw the same man on their way back to the bar's office. By the time they realize it's him, he's gone.

Pride, Noora, and Loretta head out to find Sharif. Oh no! They find him, but as they are hugging a white van pulls alongside of them. Masked men with guns get out and kidnap him.

Noora is distraught. She says that her son told her that the men want him to kill Zahra Taylor, the woman who Loretta is helping run for Mayor. Yikes!

The crew all meets up at the scene of the crime. They think Sharif was tricked into getting involved with the bad guys. Once he figured out what they were up to, he was in too deep to get out.

Pride leaves to warn the Taylor. She isn't too worried until Pride tells her that Isis wants her dead. She is the high-profile center of New Orleans, which makes her a desirable target. Taylor isn't having it. She has meetings to go to and doors to knock on.

Pride decides to serve as Taylor's personal security guard. He tells the team to solve the case before terrorists attack the city. Patton has an update, the man who Sharif was talking to in the hookah bar is named Yossuf Abbas. He's a U.S. citizen from Oman and he doesn't appear to have terrorist connections.

Sebastian has a lead on where the van was before the attack. He's so smart. Uh oh, there were traces of fertilizer in the tire tracks a.k.a. bomb making material. They think the bomb might already be in place, as the streets are too crowded to drive through with people celebrating Mardi Gras. LaSalle asks Sebastian to trace the fertilizer.

LaSalle and Gregorio find the van that was driven during Sharif's kidnapping. It's right outside of a fertilizer plant. As they get closer, they see Sharif take off in a boat with a fertilizer bomb in the front. Even worse, the channel Sharif took off down leads directly to Taylor, who is giving a speech to a large group of people on the bank of the water.

Pride picks up LaSalle's call. It's too late. He sees Sharif driving the boat directly toward him. Oh no! The warning shots do not scare Sharif away. They end up having to shoot directly at the boat, blowing it up and killing Sharif in the process.

Taylor's opponent is on the news and blames the entire incident on her. He says that due to her pro-refugee status, the men were able to plan and almost carry out the fertilizer bomb attack. Ugh! Dirty politics at its finest.

Gregorio doesn't understand why Sharif would pull off the attack. Pride doesn't either. Loretta and Sebastian have good news. The person driving the boat wasn't Sharif. He just had Sharif's red hoodie on. The man who drove the boat was a criminal, but he wasn't a member of Isis. Turns out that the man was drunk, tied to the boat, and it was driven via a remote control.

The terrorists knew that NCIS would stop the boat. They think that it was just a diversion and they are still planning an attack today.

Pride asks Patton to do his best to narrow down where the terrorists are located. He thinks he can find it based on the fact that Noora's phone was hacked, which is how the terrorists were able to find Sharif and kidnap him.

Pride wants Taylor to stand down. He asks Loretta to talk to her. It's election day, which means that the last thing she wants to do is stand down. Taylor isn't going to let anyone intimidate her. She says that she's going to go stand with the refugees. Go, Taylor!

Patton leads Gregorio, Pride, and LaSalle to the terrorists. They are in an old house and heavily armed. The team take down two of the bad guys and arrest the third. Sharif is tied up and says his mother's name.

Gregorio finds tattoo on the men's arms. Turns out they aren't part of Isis, they are mercenaries. Someone is trying to make it look like a terrorist attack, when it isn't.

Sharif says that the men have his mother.

Uh oh, Loretta and Taylor head to the refugee center. Taylor tells Noora that she is on her side and that her son is alive. Noora says that she doesn't have a choice. She opens up her sweater and reveals that she has a bomb strapped to her midsection.

Loretta tries to talk Noora out of killing herself and others. Noora thinks it's the only way to keep Sharif safe. Pride calls and connects Sharif with Noora. He tells her that he's safe. Loretta takes the ignition switch out of her hand. Noora cries as she realizes that they are going to be okay.

Zahra Taylor has won the election. As she celebrates, Pride pays the Ron Cook, the man behind her opponent's campaign a visit. Pride tells him that his team knows he paid the mercenaries to kill Taylor and to make it look like Isis had planned the attack. Ron Cook wanted control of the city and he was willing to go to any length to accomplish his goal.

They arrest Cook for conspiracy to commit murder, election fraud, and domestic terrorism charges. He isn't going down easy. Cook says that he's not going to be taken down like Mayor Hamilton. He adds, "This doesn't change anything." Pride retorts, "It changes who is control of this city."

After Cook is arrested, everyone meets up to celebrate at Pride's bar. He has a King cake! Yummy! LaSalle is beyond excited! His expression as he's looking at the cake is seriously priceless!

Aw, Sharif and Noora, who used to own a bakery in Damascus with her husband, made the team the King cake as a way to express their gratitude.

LaSalle asks where Percy is again. Gregorio brushes him off, while Patton guesses that she's with a new flame.

The episode ends with the team raising their glasses and celebrating both the end of the case and Mardi Gras.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this episode! Shedding a light on how refugees are often negatively treated by people in the communities in which they live is important. Stereotypes and misconceptions are dangerous and this episode helped shed light on that fact. There needs to be more kindness and compassion in this world and a lot less hate and anger.

I was bummed out that Percy wasn't in this episode. I hate that she's leaving.

Also, I'd just like to point out that LaSalle and his accent is completely swoon worthy!

Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!

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