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NCIS: New Orleans - Desperate Navy Wives - Review: "Creepy Clowns & Sweater Sets"

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NCIS: New Orleans - Desperate Navy Wives - Review: "Creepy Clowns & Sweater Sets"
5.12 - "Desperate Navy Wives"
Directed by Michael Zinberg
Written by Chad Gomez Creasey
Reviewed by Kelly Anne Blount

Recap – This episode starts out with a bank robbery that brings back some serious Dark Knight flashbacks. Several robbers are wearing clown masks and are holding up a bank at gunpoint. As frightened customers drop to the ground and the tellers hand over bags of money, the lead robber threatens to kill the bank employees. One of the clowns stops another clown from killing a bank employee who activated the silent alarm. Turns out that clown is none other than Gregorio!

Turns out the first scene was a flash forward. In the next scene, we head back in time 30 hours, to a delightful scene between Gregorio and Sebastian. Turns out Gregorio is getting evicted because her landlord is turning her unit into condos. Please, please, please, writers, can we please have a Sebastian and Gregorio roommate storyline? I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly happy that would make me!

Oh, what do you know? Pride is back and in casual dress. Turns out he’s filling in for Hannah while she’s spending time with her family. Does he really even work at Belle Chasse anymore?

Turns out they have a case. The FBI has called them in to a bank robbery of an Armed Forces and Navy Credit Union. One of the robbers shot and killed the assistant bank manager, Nelson Deets, who was also a Navy Reservist.

Loretta isn’t surprised Pride is back in the field. LaSalle is glad to see his old boss. I have a feeling he won’t be an “old boss” for much longer. If my predictions are correct, I wonder how the writers are going to handle him coming back full time? What do you think?

Anyways, back to the episode. Turns out Deets steered the robbers, who were wearing clown masks to conceal their identity, to a specific lock box in the vault. This box had a dye pack that went off as they tried to steal the contents. Sebastian thinks there’s a chance he may be able to pull DNA from the remnants of the dye pack that were left in the vault. Unfortunately, they are going to have to rely on those odds, because another one of the robbers shot out the security cameras with a single bullet. That takes skill and isn’t lost on the team.

The crew didn’t leave any evidence behind in the getaway car, which Pride found burned to a crisp. Luckily, Sebastian was able to match the DNA to John Manning, the newest member of the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Manning recently escaped from a maximum-security prison and killed an officer in the process. He doesn’t have robbery on his record, but the team surmises that he and his crew may be trying to gather enough money to leave the country.

They are confused as to why Manning would come all the way from Nashville, where he escaped from prison, to New Orleans. A quick search gives them the answer. His ex-fiancé Ashley Curtis lives in New Orleans. She had a previous narcotics charge, but it was dropped. Her record has been clean ever since and by all outward appearances, she is happily married and has a daughter. Would she give this all up to help her ex rob a bank?

Pride and LaSalle head to Ashley’s house. They cut right to the chase and tell her about Manning. Ashley says that she hasn’t heard from her ex-fiancé in five years and she has an alibi, she was at the Family Readiness Group breakfast the morning of the robbery. She shares that none of the other wives or even her current husband knows the details about her past. She promises to let them know if she hears from Manning. Pride and LaSalle aren’t sure if she’s being honest with them.

Uh oh… Ashley made at least ten calls to an unknown number over the past twenty-four hours. They even have a voicemail she left Manning, telling him not to do it. Pride thinks she’s either scared or in on the robbery. They need to figure out which before moving forward. Luckily, Pride has an idea.

Pride sends Gregorio in undercover in a sweater set! She looks very demure and she’s wearing her hair different. Before she can introduce herself to Ashley, she’s pulled aside to fold napkins into boats, to which Sebastian retorts, “This, is the greatest day of my life.” I love Sebastian.

Oh, it just gets better! As Gregorio is folding napkins, one of the other wives asks her about her family. She says that she’s married and they have one child named Sebastian! She adds, “He’s beyond annoying, but we love him.” I literally laughed out loud as Sebastian says, “You know I can hear you!” Ha ha! They are so perfect together!

Gregorio makes her way over to Ashley and her crew of moms. She gets them talking and may just have her “in” to the group thanks to her four-year-old son, Sebastian. Ha ha! A short time later, Gregorio and the ladies are celebrating a good event with drinks. Someone named Michelle Gardner comes over and introduces herself. She automatically comes off as being in charge. Is she involved with the bank robberies too? Luckily, Ashley really likes her and invites her along to the ladies night of drinking. Before they leave, Gregorio finds a key card to a hotel a.k.a. potential evidence in Ashley’s purse. She reports this back to the team and they investigate while she heads out with her new friends.

LaSalle calls out Pride on juggling three jobs. LaSalle thinks Pride is distracting himself from Cassius’ death. Pride tries to ensure Christopher that he’s okay. Christopher isn’t buying it. Pride tells him that he appreciates LaSalle looking out for him. Aw, that was a sweet scene!

Back to the case, Pride and LaSalle have a list of the chemicals needed to scrub off the dye pack’s red dye that is most likely all over Manning’s face. That paired with the location of the hotel they narrowed down thanks to Gregorio’s undercover work, gives them a serious lead.

Meanwhile, Gregorio is in the woods with the ladies. They are shooting targets and drinking beer. Doesn’t seem like an overly safe idea. Sebastian is nearby, watching and listening in. Gregorio pretends that she doesn’t know how to shoot. She gets some advice from Michelle and suddenly nails a bottle. Gregorio chalks it up to beginners luck. Ashley goes next and clears the remaining targets. She definitely has the skills needed to be the “sharp shooting clown,” that was involved in the first robbery.

Gregorio heads to Michelle’s car to get some new targets. She finds a clown mask near the floorboards. Michelle confronts Gregorio. She tells her that she and the other women are beyond tight, they are like sisters. She seems to take Gregorio for her word and they head back to target practice.

Pride and LaSalle head over to Manning’s hotel room. Unfortunately, he comes in after they’ve already been in there and he manages to slip away. That’s not before he throws LaSalle to the ground after an epic fight, ouch!

Back at HQ, Sebastian, LaSalle, and Pride are going over the backgrounds on Ashley, Michelle, and Katie Fisher, the third Navy wife in the tightknit group. Katie has a clean background, minus a few parking tickets. It turns out Ashley was more involved in Manning’s dirty work than they first knew about. In Nashville, she was, as LaSalle puts it, “The Bonnie to his Clyde.” She helped him with narcotics deals and when they got busted, Manning refused to testify against her and did the time behind bars for both of them. That leaves her with a big I.O.U. to her ex-fiancé. Michelle has a very interesting background as well. Up until a year ago, she worked at the Armed Forces and Navy Credit Union. She could easily be the inside woman on this deal, i.e., she could tell Ashley and Manning the best time to rob the bank, etc.

Gregorio “accidentally” bumps into Ashley in a coffee shop. They talk about bad exes. Ashley says that because of her experience with her ex, she learned a lot about herself and managed to use that motivation to become the person she’d always dreamed of being. Pride interrupts their coffee date, asking Ashley to come with him. In a perfect play, Gregorio steps up and all but tells Pride where to shove it. She tells him to put on his, “fancy sunglasses and get the hell out of here!” He leaves, pretending to be disappointed and outplayed. Bravo, Pride and Gregorio! Well done! This leaves Ashley in awe of Gregorio. They leave the coffee shop together and head to Ashley’s house.

Ashley confesses to Gregorio that her ex is a convicted felon. She says that Manning asked for her help and when she said no, her ex threatened to hurt her and her child. Michelle shows up and seems a little irked that Ashley didn’t call her.

LaSalle gets word that they have a hit on Manning. He’s in a stolen car and the have his location. The FBI is helping to track his GPS. Unbeknownst to Pride, LaSalle, and the FBI, Manning ducked out and paid someone else to drive the car out of town.

Uh oh. Out of earshot from Ashley, Michelle confronts Gregorio and accuses her of being a cop. Gregorio lays it all out on the table. She tells Michelle that she’s an NCIS agent. Michelle admits that she helped Ashley and Manning pull off the bank robbery. Gregorio tells her there’s a way out, but both she and Ashley need to cooperate. Before they can talk to Ashley about it, Manning shows up. He’s holding Ashley at gunpoint and says that they all need to have, “a little chat.” Michelle tries to stop Manning, but she ends up getting shot in the process. Manning tells Gregorio and Ashley that they are going to help him rob a bank to get more money, since the cops got his old stash. He tells them that he’ll kill them and Ashley’s kid if they resist. Sebastian rushes into the house, but it’s too late. Michelle dies before she can say anything other than, “I tried to stop him.”

Turns out Michelle worked at another bank before her time at the Armed Forces and Navy Credit Union. Pride, LaSalle, and Sebastian are confident that this bank is Manning’s target. Manning gives Gregorio and Ashley guns, but his is the only one with bullets. We come back to the opening scene, where the bank robbery is going down. With their clown masks on, they get the money and Manning threatens to kill the teller who activated the silent alarm. Luckily, Gregorio stops him. My question is, does the NOPD know that Gregorio is there undercover? Eek!

Manning, Ashley, and Gregorio rush out of the bank to their getaway car, but it won’t start. Manning gets out of the car and starts shooting at the police. He forces Ashley out of the car and back into the bank. Gregorio shouts that she’s NCIS and Pride is there to back her up. Together, they rush into the bank and race after Manning and Ashley.

Ditching the masks, Manning pulls Ashley behind him as they race down a crowded street. Gregorio and Manning have their weapons raised at one another. Gregorio puts her gun down and offers to trade herself for Ashley. Just as Manning is considering the trade, Pride shows up from behind. Gregorio grabs Ashley and pulls her to safety. Pride takes Manning out with a single shot to the chest. I thought officers shot in bursts of two?

Ashley is waiting in an interrogation room at HQ. Gregorio joins her with some great news! Michelle isn’t dead! She had surgery and is going to pull through. Also, Ashley’s daughter is safe and her husband is on his way home from Dubai. Ashley is worried about how she’s going to tell him about everything. Gregorio is calm and kind. Hopefully he’ll understand that she was just trying to protect her family and keep everyone safe. Gregorio also tells Ashley that NCIS will recommend leniency for her case. Hopefully, she won’t have to go to jail. Gregorio and Ashley admit that in another world, they’d probably be friends. Gregorio tells Ashley to take care and gives her hand a kind squeeze.

The episode ends with LaSalle, Pride, Loretta, Sebastian, and Gregorio celebrating in the kitchen. Pride cooked up some of his famous jambalaya. The case is closed and Gregorio is safe! But wait! There’s more! YES! This is the moment I’ve been waiting for! Gregorio agrees to move in with Sebastian! The ending just knocked this episode out of the park for me! Yahoo! I am so here for the glorious roommate scenes we are about to be treated to by the NCIS: New Orleans writers!

Review/Thoughts – I really enjoyed this episode! I loved the dark Gothem-like start with the clowns robbing the bank. I also like the back story and how everything was woven together neatly. The women had a great bond and were obviously willing to do anything to keep one another safe. That’s awesome! I also loved everything about Sebastian and Gregorio scenes and their banter! My favorite line of the episode and quite possibly the season was, “We have one child named Sebastian… He’s beyond annoying, but we love him.” They are so great together and I am so pumped that they are going to be roommates! YES, yes, and more yes! I can’t wait to see what the writers have cooked up for us!

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

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