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NCIS: New Orleans - Sheepdogs - Review: A New Side of Hannah

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NCIS: New Orleans - Sheepdogs - Review: "A New Side of Hannah"
5.7 - "Sheepdogs"
Directed by Michael Zinberg
Written by Brooke Roberts
Reviewed by Kelly Anne Blount

Recap – “Sheepdogs” opens with great music and dancing in New Orleans. A sailor is helping his drunk friend home. As they cross the street, a driver loses control of his car and crashes. The sailor runs over to ask if he’s okay. Before the driver can respond, the car blows up, killing both men.

The NCIS crew are on the scene of the crash and deadly explosion. Gregorio overhears Hannah on the phone. The new boss sounds stressed. When Gregorio asks if everything is okay, Hannah replies, “Apparently not.” Uh oh! What's wrong with Hannah?

They head over to Loretta, who is examining the bodies of the driver and the sailor. They were both instantly killed from the explosive. Per Hannah, their insides most likely liquified the moment the explosion went off. Talk about terrifying!

Sebastian is looking for a chemical signature. He might be able to identify the explosive based on how it was constructed. The device was homemade and filled with nails, scrap metal, etc. It also included a timer. The crash destroyed the timer and prematurely set off the bomb. If it had detonated near a crowd, there could have been more fatalities and injuries.

It seems as though the sailor was not the target. The crew focus in on the driver, Paul Franken. They need to figure out if he was the target or the suspect.

Back at HQ, LaSalle fills in Hannah and Gregorio on Paul Franken's background. He was a well-liked graduate student at Baronne University, who even hosted game nights at his house. He was studying sociology. The only blip on the radar is that he and his girlfriend recently broke up. Otherwise, Paul Franken does not fit the typical description of a bomber.

Before they can get any further, Pride walks through the door. He looks good in his sunglasses, dress shirt, and tie. He explains that he’s there because the higher ups in D.C. are concerned about the explosion. Hannah asks him if they think it’s a case of terrorism. It seems as though they haven’t made that determination yet, but they are following the case closely.

Pride tells them that, “The FBI and ATF are coordinating an intel sweep.” Amongst other things, they are trying to pinpoint where the explosive was supposed to be detonated.

Per LaSalle, Paul had been out of town for several days. While he was visiting his family, someone could have easily planted the bomb in his car.

Patton joins everyone with a big update. Paul was a member of Students Against Oppression (S.A.O.) which is run out of the university he was attending for grad school. The group is known for disruptive demonstrations at government events. Patton tells the crew that they are known for causing chaos.

Pride seems to know a lot about S.A.O. He shares that the organization tries to, “shine the light on government overreach and corporate hypocrisy.” Why does Pride know so much about this group? Former case? Did he have a C.I. in the group? What do you think?

Ah, Pride knows the group’s founder, Bernadine Caldwell. She’s an “old friend” and a professor at Baronne University. She’s all about social justice. Gregorio says, “Seems more like mayhem.” Pride tells the crew that he doesn’t agree with the group’s methods, but he adds that they are not dangerous.

Hannah wants to talk to the group about it. Pride asks if he can do it instead.

He heads down to Professor Caldwell’s office. The group is there. They are shocked to hear that Paul is dead. Caldwell reminds him that they are, “rational, not radical.” Pride tells the group that two people are dead. It’s no longer about the first amendment. Caldwell gives Pride a name: Yasmin Hendricks. She’s a former group member and conveniently, Paul’s ex-girlfriend. Caldwell shares that Yasmin was voted out of the group due to her changing beliefs that no longer aligned with S.A.O. Pride tells the students and his friend that he needs to know everything about Yasmine, including where she lives.

Gregorio and Sebastian get to work searching Yasmin’s car. They come up empty on the inside and move to the trunk. Gregorio asks Sebastian what he knows about Hannah’s personal life. Turns out, he doesn’t know much. He tells Gregorio that she should save her profiling skills for Yasmin, not Hannah. Gregorio replies, “What fun would that be?”

Yikes! Sebastian and Gregorio find evidence in the trunk that links Yasmin directly to the explosive that killed the sailor and Paul. Even worse, there are five empty cell phone boxes, indicating that there are most likely more bombs out in the streets of New Orleans.

“Four to be exact,” quips Yasmin, who is standing less than five feet away from them. They order her to get on the ground. She refuses, telling them to arrest her or to let her go. She’s not going to ruin her expensive outfit by getting down in the grass. Sounds like she’s going to be a real treat to interrogate.

Back at HQ, the crew have pulled together what they know on Yasmin, but it’s not much. As LaSalle works on a more comprehensive background for their suspect, Hannah tells everyone that they don’t have enough time. The FBI and ATF are searching the city for the remaining four bombs, but each explosive device is incredibly deadly and could easily kill over a dozen people. They need to find them as quickly as possible and before anyone else gets hurt!

Hannah heads into interrogation as Pride and Gregorio watch from the other side of the mirror. They have ear pieces in and will feed Hannah any information they get on Yasmine, as soon as they get it.

Hannah starts out by asking Yasmin about her “dream house.” Pride explains to Gregorio that Hannah is using this question as a baseline. It’s like her own lie detector test. Hannah heads right to the next question. She wants to know how Yasmin feels about Paul’s death. Yasmin doesn’t seem too bothered by her ex-boyfriend’s death. She claims that he broke up with her in his car at a gas station, with gas in his car that she paid for. Yikes!

Yasmin claims that the government is responsible for much worse.

Hannah tells Yasmin that the men and women serving the United States government, “… are like sheepdogs.” She describes them as loyal and friendly, until someone upsets the “flock.” She adds, “Then, we go to whatever means necessary to neutralize that threat.”

Yasmin shows no remorse. She claims that her father was a freedom fighter and a martyr. She that it’s in her blood. She tells Hannah, “He gave up everything to continue the fight, including me.”

Hannah cuts Yasmin off and tells her that she’s going to make her some tea. It seems like Hannah isn’t getting much out of their suspect, but I have a feeling that she’s totally handling the interrogation like a pro.

Hannah, Gregorio, and Pride meet in the courtyard. Hannah is desperate for more information on Yasmin. She’s afraid that if she bluffs, Yasmine will shut down and they’ll never get any additional information out of her. The stakes are incredibly high. If Hannah fails, the bombs will go off and people will die and be seriously injured.

Sebastian and has info. Pride heads back to Professor Caldwell’s office. He thinks she may be able to help them more than she’s leading on. Gregorio wants to know what kind of father would radicalize his daughter. Hannah isn’t sure that that’s accurate. She heads back in to the interrogation room.

Yasmin claims that her father has taught her that, “humiliation leads to escalation.” She continues to insist that her father was a martyr. She claims that until the world is living peacefully as one, under Allah, that people will fight.

Hannah calls her bluff. She pulls out a picture and states that Yasmin’s father is a chemist and not a radical fighter. Her mother, as evidenced by another picture Hannah displays, is eating pork and wearing a bedazzled shirt. She does not appear to be radicalized either. Anything Yasmine learned about Islam either came from someone else or the internet.

Yasmin is still acting cocky. But Hannah has more tricks up her interrogation sleeve. She states that all Yasmin wants is acceptance. She adds that Yasmin was alone until she went to college, where she found the S.A.O. and Professor Caldwell. She pulls out a third picture of Yasmin and Caldwell sitting next to each other on a bench. They look incredibly friendly in the picture or perhaps there’s more to it than that?

Pride walks across campus with Professor Caldwell. She seems to be getting nervous as evidenced by her using her inhaler. Pride presses her for more information. She says that she could see the “darkness” in Yasmin.

Back in the interrogation room, Yasmin is talking about Professor Caldwell. She states that Caldwell cooked her dinner and gave her books to read. Uh oh, Yasmin says that Caldwell, “Wanted to be my mentor.”

Turns out that Yasmin’s agenda different from Professor Caldwell’s path as well as S.A.O. Yasmin didn’t want to just expose the injustice, she wanted to, “burn the entire system to the ground.”

Professor Caldwell says she has the emails Yasmin sent her. Pride tells her that she needs to see them.

Hannah points out that Yasmin lost everything when Hannah and the other students kicked her out of the group. No more friends, no more boyfriend, and no more mentor. Yasmin states that she was always destined for bigger things. Hannah is working her over like a pro. Yasmine stops talking and asks for the tea.

Gregorio is brewing it in the kitchen. LaSalle joins her. Gregorio admits that she doesn’t understand Hannah’s interrogation tactics. Sebastian joins them. He has big news. There was a fingerprint on the bomb. It matches, “a fugitive that was wanted in a bombing in Seattle over twenty years ago.” This is strange, as Yasmin would have been an infant at that time. The fugitive was the member of a radical environmental group who was protesting the W.T.O. Sebastian has a photo of the fugitive, who hasn’t been heard from in twenty years. OH NO! The picture that pops up on his screen is clearly a young Professor Caldwell! She was the bomber in Seattle, which lead to the deaths of six people. Has she been lying to Pride this whole time? Is she working with Yasmin?

Back at Professor Caldwell’s office, Pride gets word that his friend was the bomber. Before he can confront her about it, she pulls a gun on him and tells him to get on his knees. Poor, Pride. Will there ever be an episode where his life isn’t threatened?

Pride manages to talk his friend down. She claims that she didn’t mean to kill the six people twenty years ago and that she didn’t have anything to do with the explosion that killed two people early this morning. Pride tells her that her fingerprint was found on the explosive device. She tells him that Yasmin must have lifted it and placed it there to set her up. Pride remains calm and his friend eventually hands him her gun and tearfully apologizes.

Back at HQ, Sebastian and the team are freaking out. It’s been ten hours since the first bomb went off. Hannah has an idea. She turns the sprinklers on Yasmine, who freaks out. Hannah pretends to rescue her. She brings her into the main part of the building where she tells her that she can get changed into some dry clothes. As she gets there, Pride brings in Professor Caldwell. They have a “meet cute” as Hannah calls it and things are tense!

Hannah thinks this will send Yasmin over the edge and that she may start talking. I’m not so sure. Sebastian and LaSalle head out to help the F.B.I. follow up on the hundreds of tips they’ve been receiving about suspicious packages around New Orleans. Gregorio decides to stay behind to watch the interrogation, but promises to notify the guys as soon she knows anything.

Hannah leads Yasmin back to the interrogation room. Yasmin is trying to still play hard, but Hannah is wearing her down.

Pride and Gregorio interrogate Professor Caldwell. She tells them that she tried to stop Yasmin once she realized that she wanted to hurt people. Caldwell admits that Paul came to her with information that Yasmine was researching how to build a bomb. She was talking about using it for the next protest, which is scheduled to take place today at a pharmaceuticals conference. The conference is being held at different locations all throughout New Orleans. Caldwell tells Pride and Gregorio that she confronted Yasmin in a public place (the zoo). When that happened, she admits that Yasmin became filled with rage. But she still didn’t tell the police, out of fear that it would lead the police to her own past. Not okay, Professor!

Pride leaves to update the FBI and the ATF. Gregorio heads back down to interrogation to inform Hannah of the latest developments.

Hannah presses Yasmin. She brings up her mother. Yasmine is disgusted and asks what kind of mother would abandon her own child? Hannah drops a bombshell! She admits that she has a daughter, one she doesn’t see too often. But, she adds that she loves her more than anything and that there’s a reason they don’t see each other much. Gregorio is listening on the other end like, “WHHHAAAAAAAAAT?” Same, Gregorio, same.

Hannah has more information. Not only does Yasmin’s mother not want anything to do with her daughter, it seems as though Yasmin was responsible for burning her own house down when she was twelve years old. It appears she did it to get back at her mother for hurting her and not giving her enough attention. She also managed to get back at Paul for hurting her as well. By blowing him up in the same car that he dumped her in. Talk about a twisted and morally wrong sense of poetic justice.

Hannah has a theory. She leaves the interrogation room and tells Gregorio that Yasmin chooses targets that are emotionally important to her.

Uh oh! LaSalle and Sebastian race to the alligator demonstration area at the zoo. That would definitely have an emotional tie to Yasmin, as that’s where Professor Caldwell told her she was no longer going to serve as her mentor and that she was no longer welcome in S.A.O.

Sebastian, LaSalle, local police, and the FBI clear the scene. Sebastian lifts up a bench seat and finds the bomb. LaSalle tells him that they should get out of there and let the bomb squad take over. Sebastian has bad news… He thinks that by lifting the lid, he may have activated the bomb. He tells LaSalle that if he moves, the bomb will most likely go off.

LaSalle, being the real friend that he is, stays behind with Sebastian. As the bomb starts to beep faster, Sebastian cuts what he believes is the lead. The lights on the explosive device go off and it stops beeping. Sebastian with the line of the night says, “It got real quiet, so either I diffused it, or we’re dead.” LaSalle pats him on the back and tells him that, “You diffused it.” Turns out the bomb was supposed to go off at three o’clock in the afternoon. That means, they most likely only have two hours left before they find the remaining three explosive devices.

Back at HQ, Hannah is worried that they don’t have enough time to press Yasmin to reveal any of the other locations for the explosives. Pride says they can break her by, “Making her face her rejection.”

Professor Caldwell heads into the interrogation room to talk to Yasmin. Nice play, Pride. Caldwell apologizes. She admits that she made mistakes, but it’s not too late for Yasmin. Yasmin turns the tables on her and starts blaming Caldwell for everything. She says that not only is her fingerprint on the bomb, but her credit card was used to purchase all of the components of the bomb. She always adds that Caldwell put all of these ideas into her head. Caldwell asks, “Why are you doing this to me?” Yasmin says that, “there’s a bomb so close, that they are going to feel the explosion in their teeth.” She is getting incredibly nervous, which means she will need her inhaler. But, something goes terribly wrong when she uses it. As soon as she inhales a puff, Professor Caldwell falls to the ground and begins having some kind of medical emergency.

Professor Caldwell dies. Yasmin tampered with Caldwell’s inhaler. Hannah, Pride, and Loretta try to figure out the next step. So far, Yasmin is in control and besides the bomb at the zoo, they don’t have anything else concrete.

Hannah goes back into the interrogation room. She comes at Yasmin, hard! As Hannah is talking, the room shakes and the power goes out. There is a loud blast and the squealing of tires.

Yasmin is delighted that the bomb has gone off. It turns out one of the meeting places for the pharmaceutical conferences is across the street. Sirens and screams can be heard as smoke fills the room.

Yasmin thinks all of her devices have gone off. So, when Hannah asks her, she freely admits that she set one of the two remaining devices up in the provost’s office at the university, since it was his fault for hiring Professor Caldwell. She says that the last one was placed without any kind of pattern. She randomly selected the art museum in case anyone, “figured out her pattern.”

Hannah says, “Thank you, Yasmin. You’ve been very helpful.”

Yasmin is confused. Hannah explains by bringing her outside. Turns out the explosion was actually a controlled once, since they already found the bomb across the street. Using a fake blast, a sound machine, Patton’s speakers, and a fog machine, they tricked Yasmin into thinking it was three o’clock and the remaining three bombs had all detonated. Luckily, it’s only 2:15PM and there’s plenty of time to safely locate and remove the other explosive devices.

Hannah tells Yasmin, “You truly are a troubled young lady and I feel sorry for you. I told you I’d show you what I was capable of.” Wow! Hannah is tough!

Later that night, Pride tells Hannah that the remaining two devices have been safely detonated. Pride tells Hannah that the higher ups want to give her to an accommodation. Hannah says that she’d rather not receive it or make a public statement about the case. Pride seems to understand, but I’m not sure if there’s more to it than being humble, what do you think?

Pride invites Hannah and the rest of the team to his bar for free drinks. Hannah tells him, “Maybe I’ll see you there.”

Hannah and Gregorio are the only ones left at HQ. Hannah says, “If you have a question, you can ask it.” Gregorio doesn’t hesitate, she says, “You told Yasmin that you have a daughter.” Hannah admits that she does have a little girl named Naomi and that she’s ten years old. Gregorio asks if she’s in New Orleans. Hannah says that her daughter lives with her ex in New Orleans. Gregorio wants to know why she lied on the phone this morning and told him that she’s in D.C. Hannah admits that she isn’t ready to, “face either of them just yet.” Hannah eludes to more, but says that for another day. Gregorio tells Hannah that she should come to the bar. Hannah says that she might.

Instead, Hannah drives to a house. There is loud music playing and there is a young girl dancing. Filled with emotion, Hannah watches from outside of the house.

Review/Thoughts – “Sheepdogs” was a great episode! Hannah handled the interrogation like a champion. With the exception of Professor Caldwell pointing a gun at Pride, his life wasn’t in constant danger. I’m really hoping this is leading up to him coming back to NCIS and running things, but with Hannah as his right-hand woman. What do you think?

Even though it was short, I loved the scene with Sebastian and LaSalle! Sebastian is pretty much my favorite character. He balances out the team so well and he’s hilarious. I’d love to see more Sebastian-heavy episodes. He and Gregorio will probably be my favorite duo, but he and Patton could have some more epic moments as well! Who’s your favorite character on the show?

What did you think of this episode of NCIS – New Orleans? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Be sure to leave a comment below!

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