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NCIS Review: To Err is Human

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As the first of two parts, this NCIS installment was fun to watch.  

NCIS Season 11 Episode 18 introduced us to the Louisiana two-man team of Special Agents Dwayne Pride and Christopher Lasalle.

Gibbs and Pride
Gibbs and Pride are former colleagues. We wonder how they'll work together now as they try to figure out who murdered a former fellow NCIS agent.

The catalyst for this meeting was the discovery of the dead body of a congressman named Dan McLane - a man who had once been a member of the "Fed 5." This former NCIS team was comprised of Gibbs, Pride, Mike Franks, Felix Betts and McLane.  

Once Pride saw who it was, he decided to pay Gibbs a visit, with the hope that together they would figure out who killed the congressman and why.

Except for the misdirection of the boorish D.C. lobbyist and his equally disgusting nephew - neither of whom turned out to be involved in the killing - it seemed that most of the episode was spent introducing us to the new characters. This includes New Orleans, a character with colors, sounds and wonderful sights all its own.

That's not a bad thing. 

The opening scene, with Pride role-playing with his estranged wife in the heart of New Orleans, was captivating. The music created an invitingly lazy atmosphere that would provoke anyone to drop their cares and head out for a night on the town.

Throughout the hour, we got to hear hints of the same type of music, while getting glimpses of a more laid-back atmosphere than we usually see in NCIS stories.

Even the home office reflected this dynamic: the front didn't stand out as being different from the rest of the town and the boss liked his desks all messy, with a big double door opened up to let the sun in sometimes.

We eventually got to meet the third member of the Louisiana team: Special Agent Meredith Brody. She's a woman who may or may not be running from something or someone in her former Great Lakes office. I liked the fact that she didn't get a chance to answer Pride's question about that.

It's clear that Lasalle almost worships his boss for something that happened a while ago; Pride saved his life during Katrina. This affords us another back story which can be brought  to the fore at some point. Maybe it'll happen in the second part of this arc, or maybe it's something to be answered in the NCIS spinoff.

We've seen so many instances of Gibbs meeting up with former colleagues - most of whom he can barely tolerate. This episode of NCIS Season 11 showed a rock solid friendship between Gibbs and Pride, with each man exhibiting a lot of brotherhood and respect.  

It was good to see. Equally enjoyable was the way in which Gibbs stood back and said "uh oh" right before Pride polished the car with the lobbyist. 

The way in which Pride did a slow but steadily increasing burn right before he assaulted him was viscerally cathartic. We've all met boors like this guy. The safer route, in fact the more legal route, is to try and ignore their trolling. Pride had no such inhibition.

Of course, it helped that the guy grabbed Pride's arm right before the launch. That assists, in much the same way his nephew invited his own head-plant by caressing Special Agent Brody's hand. You can say and boast all you want, but the minute you physically make contact, all bets are off. Kudos to the writers for including those little details.

Speaking of details... did you notice how polite Special Agent Lasalle was? It was "yessir" this and "ma'am" that. After walking down the street with Brody, you couldn't help noticing that he opened the car door for her.  

The dude's a gentleman, through and through.  (And he knew she needed no help from anyone. It was just good manners on his part.)

Final notes:

  • Tony has a "friend with benefits." Her name is Andrea.
  • Lycek's belly tattoo: double rainbow leading to a pot of gold. I don't know how anyone could not laugh at that. It was a thing of beauty.
  • Gibbs stole the whole "stopping elevators" thing from Pride. Maybe.
  • TMF = Too Many Federal officers or Tony, McGee and Fornell.
  • We got to meet Doctor Loretta Wade (played by CCH Pounder, who you may remember from The Shield). Hopefully she'll be more of a presence in the next episode.
  • We also got to meet Pride's estranged wife Linda, played by Paige Turco. She also played as Zoe Morgan opposite Reese in Person of Interest. She didn't seem nearly as dangerous this time.

Update: This episode's Round Table discussion is now up!  Come over, check it out and add your opinions.

Who was your favorite character in this episode?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (96 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe is a staff writer for TV Fanatic Follow him on Twitter

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i was hesitant at first i thought oh great another spinoff but i loved it. i also liked scott in quantumleap wish they wud bring it back on repeats. also agree nice to have a two parter. hope it gets on the cbs scedule

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@ barbara

Looking forward, too. Hard to tell from one episode if this team will have the same "je ne sais quoi" as the Gibbs' team. I hope episodes 18 & 19 come available on my paid iTunes season pass download. Hasn't shown up yet. Disappointing. Anybody know anything about that? Does anyone else get a strange feeling of having just gotten used to Bishop--sort of--then being hit with a whole new set of characters on a new series? It's like someone changed the recipe of my favourite mac 'n cheese. Others are good, really good, but not quite the same.

Terrie
@ Fan-dango

You can watch full episodes FREE on cbs.com the day after the original air date........I don't know how long they keep them there..........

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Wish i could have watched it last night but the storm we had made it so i couldnt!

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@ Sylvia Monroe

It should be on CBS now

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Loved this episode! Hopefully it will be a spin off. I really enjoyed the interaction of the characters and it would be a solid win for CBS.

Terrie
@ Robin

The spin off and cast have been announced but I think it's unclear if it's been picked up yet............

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Well, we are three seconds into the episode and who should appear? Bishop. Later Gibbs asks Vance's permission to go to NO. And who does Gibbs take with him? DeNozzo? No. McGee? No. Bishop. We learn that the NO NCIS office is a bit short on agents and when Pride gives Bishop a sweet smile, we can imagine that she will become part of the NO team. Let us hope so and it has become clear that she is NRFPT.

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@ Zack B

Poor Zack your bigot letting you not enjoy NCIS

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My Brother! It's always a hoot to see when a show is not based in NY or LA what the writers think life is like in Middle America or especially in the South. Also the show needs a funky place to question suspects like the boat shed in NCIS LA or the blue-lit room in H50. This seems to be a requirement for all CBS procedurals.

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Zoe McLellan... Still a hottie. :)

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@ KeithH

Yes. I'm not a Bishop-basher, but I'm kinda wishing they'd brought in Zoe McClellan as Ziva's replacement instead. Either way, it'll be nice seeing her more regularly. I just got done watching all the JAG series recently and kinda missed her.

Terrie

Lucas Black and Paige Turco was in American Gothic, too. Hopefully we'll get to see them together in the spin off............I, too, also like Bakula and remember his "Quantum Leap" days............. I liked this episode but was kinda disappointed Tony didn't end up in New Orleans.....that would have been a hoot I am sure. Maybe he will in the next one..........I'm also happy that we are finally getting a 2 parter..............

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@ Terrie

Why would Tony need to go to New Orleans it would put the team in too much danger what if both he and gibbs were killed

Terrie
@ Michael

Good grief....................

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Fornell REQUEST Tony that huge!, I can't believe my ears when I heard that for those who watched from season 1 you understand. Who just get in their car now days? Even though it tv you should always check your car before getting in.

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@ Michael

Especially when you're a senior field agent like she was. If she hadn't been killed, someone would've been in dire need of a crash course in tradecraft.

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Best scene was when Gibbs and Pride were playing cards in the middle of an interrogation.

Dreamrose
@ PatrickC

Even better - they were playing "Go Fish"!

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@ Dreamrose

best interrogation scene ever.

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We don't need another NCIS spinoff. I didn't like the episode.