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NCIS Round Table: "Crescent City"

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When the corpse of a congressman is discovered, Louisiana NCIS Special Agent Dwayne Pride heads to D.C. to pay a visit to his old friend and colleague Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

This first of a two-part episode concentrated more on the NCIS team in New Orleans, and on the sights and sounds of the town itself, while the crime investigation took more of a back seat.

What did panelists Christine Orlando, David Taylor and Doug Wolfe think about the unique story approach in NCIS Season 11 Episode 18?

Gather around and find out in our TV Fanatic discussion below!

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How would you describe this episode, in three words or a sentence?

David: To catch a killer....again?

Christine: My Many Brothers.

Doug: A little too laid back in the Bayou.

What was your favorite scene or quote?

David: The cross-cutting, or near-cross-cutting, between the obnoxious lobbyist and his equally obnoxious nephew, both of them nursing their wounds with ice packs.

Christine: I really enjoyed the banter between Gibbs and Pride, particularly the elevator scene. Pride: "You stole that my move. I used to be the one that stopped elevators."  Gibbs:  "Stole my ass."  Gibbs is just a little bit laid back with Pride and it's fun to see.

Doug: There were a lot of great scenes in this one.  The one that stood out for me was the scene where the lobbyist kept poking the bear: issuing insult after insult, even after Pride growled his calm warning.  Seeing Pride slowly lose his cool was cathartic, especially when he launched him over the car.

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.

What, if any, were the problems that you saw in this episode?

David: Well, there's the obvious, which is that the killer wasn't caught---there was no resolution.  I'm also a bit mystified that the team didn't seem to catch on to the killer's plan to draw them out until they WERE drawn out.  And one minor note:  doesn't Fornell know by now that Tony's last name is "Di-nose-oh", and not "Di-notes-oh"? 

Christine: My biggest complaint was that a trained FBI agent wouldn't know to look in her back seat before getting into her car. I mean, I was taught to do that when I was 16. 

Doug: Christine is right - that scene was a little too convenient.  It's getting predictable too: whenever a show focuses on a character getting into a car late at night, it's almost a given that there's someone in the back seat, and that the character will never look first.

The other scene that didn't ring true was the one with Gibbs and Bishop working on her car.  I actually liked that scene but can't imagine a world where Gibbs doesn't know the actual names of engine parts.  Maybe that was by design though.  It feeds a theory I have about their relationship - more on that later.

So we saw Bishop get a bit more of a spotlight. What did you think?

David: I liked that we got to see her away from the rest of her team and a bit out her element; she looked like a little kid at a carnival when Gibbs had to hurry her along as she was admiring the scenery.

Christine:  I generally like Bishop and it will be fun to see how she works with the new team in New Orleans but I was disappointed that Tony and McGee weren't allowed to join in. I was really looking forward to seeing DiNozzo in the Big Easy. Think of all the great movie references we're going to miss.  

Doug: Gary Glasberg - the showrunner for NCIS - has to be aware of the positive and negative buzz around Bishop.  I think he has used the few Bishop scenes in this episode to tweak fans' noses a bit.  Hey, when you don't have the Tiva scenario to kick around, you've got to come up with something else, right?  This fits the bill: Bishop fixing her engine and using cute names for the parts (I mean, come on! If she can memorize a book on autopsies, cover to cover, surely she can remember the names of engine parts), plus the scene where she asks for food and situates herself on the floor of the New Orleans NCIS office seems to be slight overkill.  Glasberg is having some fun here.

The other thing that comes to mind is: why does Gibbs treat her so differently than the way he treated Ziva?  I think it's because he didn't see Ziva as a kind of daughter, whereas with Bishop he does.  In fact, that engine scene, where he used non-technical terms for parts speaks to me of accommodation.  It's something I would (and have) done with my own daughter.  It's the only reason, that I can see, why he didn't use the actual engine part names.

What are your thoughts on Dwayne Pride? Good guy or someone with unresolved anger management problems?

David: I think he's a bit damaged like Gibbs, but not for identical reasons.  He also seems a bit more forthright than Gibbs--I don't recall the latter flat out asking a member of his team if he/she was running from something.  I'm not sure anger management is a problem, at least not right now--I think Gibbs would've have polished the car with the lobbyist if Pride hadn't done it.

Christine:  I've always liked Scott Bakula and I think he fits in well here. I'm not sure if it's anger issues or just going old school but it was certainly fun seeing that lobbyist hit the pavement. Of course he's screwed up in his own way, we'll just have to keep tuning in to find out why and how.

Doug: I think he's a genuine good guy who has some anger issues.  Vance pointed that out to him near the beginning, as a reason for allowing a new interrogator to join the NCIS New Orleans team.   I'm glad we got to see that temper in action though.  At least he's somewhat controlled about it.  And it's a facet to his personality that will serve well in the proposed spinoff.

New Orleans as a backdrop for an NCIS unit - does it make sense?

David: In a strange way, I think it does.  We're used to seeing spin-offs that are set in more "glamorous" cities like NY, Miami, and Los Angeles - skyscrapers, sun, and sand.  This one goes where no spin-off has gone before.

Christine:  Sure. I love New Orleans. I haven't been in years but I'd love to go back for a visit. It should be a fun backdrop for a new series because it is just so unique. There's no place else like it. 

Doug: I have to admit: the music of the place pulled me in.  It's a great location for the new NCIS unit, as the seriousness of the crimes they investigate will run counterpoint to the laid back culture of the place.  It's a smart move.

Did the Fed 5 catch the real serial killer all those years ago?

David: I was under the impression that they had, but there were some telltale signs during the episode that made me think otherwise: the conversation in the elevator; the Feds quickly absconding with the body; the Federal ME "mutilating" the wound sites to obstruct a legitimate autopsy.

Christine:  Well that's the big question, isn't it? Is the copy cat really a copy cat or actually the original killer? I honestly don't know but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Doug: David is right, especially about the deliberate destruction of the wound site.  I can't buy that the Feds just didn't want to alarm anyone about a serial killer.  Someone may have made a mistake all those years ago - and its come back to haunt them.  The fact that the guy they caught kept protesting his innocence for so many years after being imprisoned puts a real question mark on the whole case.

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

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Completely off topic, and many of you hated this character too... But what about Dr Sam Ryan? He ex- husband was let out of jail by Harper Dearing at the end of Season 9 and she went into hiding with her son Parker because he is apparently a serious criminal. Since when did Gibbs become the type of man who wouldn't follow up on this, regardless of the status (or lack thereof) of his personal relationship with her? I'm curious if I'm the only one curious about this!!!

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@ Alihan

Rule #69: Never trust a woman who doesn't trust her man.

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@ TeamTIBBS

I would have thought there'd be a rule about dealing with dirty judges and criminals that threaten women and children that would supersede that...

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@ Alihan

Damn predictive text, should a said HID not his!!!
:-)

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@ Alihan

Rule #44: Hide the women and children.
Ryan his herself and Parker. Gibbs killed Harper Dearing. There was no proof who bribed the judge and Ryan's husband was nowhere to be found - should Gibbs have just gone rogue and tracked them down and murdered them???????

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team TIBBS---------you all must be teeny bobbers the way you are all so bishop being so cool & hated ziva--perhaps you disliked cote because she was too beautiful a woman & brought way more to the team & i guess the team ended up loving her as part of it.cote is gone stop comparing her there is no way that you can she did a great job playing the role of ziva david-------as long as some of you people want to dis her i will stand up for her. mic

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@ mic

You obviously didn't read my earlier post about Côte - see below.
And thanks for the ego boost - I'm no teeny bopper, I'm 48!

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I am really fed up of hearing about the season six finale and how poor old Tony got one hell of a reaction from Ziva when he told her to:- "Take a swing, take a punch." What a professional agent to have made those comments to someone to someone he had known six years.Given his words to Eli David he should have been aware that she was being manipulated . Besides the season seven Truth and Consequences put all of that right and in season seven episode two Ziva referred to Gibbs as "father".

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@ Jean

Just guessing, but you're not a Tony fan then, huh?
(He'd only known her 3yrs in season 6 - and he knew she had to take her anger/frustrations out on someone so he put himself in a position for that to happen, someone who wouldn't strike back at her)

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Before ziva came to the show it was good and sad when kate died..when u add ziva to the cast its more fun and enjoyable to watch it was a"PERFECT NCIS CAST"..i hope when u let ziva go u bring the best or better than kate and ziva..but it seems a disappointment...im sure shes a good actress but not suitable for NCIS role...sorry but thats how i feel...

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My dislike of Ziva has nothing to do with Côte, I met her when she was filming series 10 and she comes across as a really down to earth person, warm and with a good sense of humor. I said to her then that no matter what Ziva had become I could never trust her because as a big time Tony fan I could never get over her pulling a gun on him after the whole Rifkin thing - she laughed and said she'd have a hard time trusting her too!!
(Mark and Michael were beyond lovely too!!! :-D )
It does bug me that neither Kate, Ziva or Bishop seemed to have gone thru FLETC training - necessary to become a Federal Agent - being a Secret Service agent, Mossad assassin or NSA analyst isn't qualification
enough to bypass that.
Remember when Cpl. Youst asked Tony how long he'd been a Marine and Tony said "Since I started working for Gibbs"? The Corps was/is an integral part of who Gibbs is, and never leaving a man behind is one of the unwritten rules that he instilled in Tony, his loyal St. Bernard.
I love NCIS, it is my all time favorite show. I am a big, big fan of Tony and Gibbs so even having spent 8 seasons with a character I disliked, I still watch the show (I also didn't like Jenny; Hollis; Jeanne; Wendy; Hart; Ryan or Barrett!). Bishop is there now, and I will still watch 'my show'. Even tho' I don't love the character, I don't hate her either, so life will go on and I'll continue watching until it ends and then it will live on in reruns and my complete box sets.............:-D

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all you ziva bashers--are missing the whole storie of her comming into ncis--watch from sea 3 -11 & pay attention not all the stories were about ziva--um right now its all about bishop they chilled out because people were complaining-- she was not a fit for the team & people complained they are starting to show her less--i was wondering if she has a gun built into her laptop in case she has to savre a team member from a bad situation--please.i would have ziva back me up way before bishop thats a FACT. mic

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team TEAMS--if kate was so brillant was did she not kill ari when she had the chance? she wasnt on long enough to became a special agent --you dont go from secret service to a special in a weeks time.. she had faults & gibbs showed her the ropes she was smart & thats why she picked up fast. i didnt find anything that out stood my attention except why she didnt kill ari????? mic

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team TIBBS-- --my point about gibbs was ziva was a killer & spy & that was all you heard about her, gibbs was a sniper he killed also. i have nothing against gibbs--its the ziva bashers that should just let it go about what she was & think about who she became--ziva would have stay with tony when he had the plague-she wasnt his partner then,yes tony & kate were like bro & sister but it was all about tony & kate hooking up together.with the kate fans--tony just about begged vance to go to somlia to see if she was dead--would have been pretty hard to find a body in the desert though--he needed to go for his own sanity--tony & mcgee were pretty happy to see she was alive & bring her home ---they let them selves get captured to to kill saleem ,ziva was abetter friend to tony then any one she was there for him with all his hurting with the woman he got involved with--one left him at the alter--one accused him of killing her father--one left him on thre ground for dead & ran off to save herself--not even seeing if tony was dead. tony & mcgee were not marines-- only gibbs nor was ziva a marine it was a team member that they all cared deeply for.--it drove tony to the point to where he couldnt focus --as he did in the first 2 epi of sea 11 he loved her & she him they respected gibbs to much so they hid there feelings--but gibbs knew & it all over now ziva is gone--she did a great job playing ziva david &i get sick of the ziva bashers there were stories about all of the team lets try to get a bishop storie about her & not how smart she is lol -- her husbands a lawyer wow gibbs big time rule never ever involve lawyers--i may see things different then you but i also look at the depth of the storie- not just who its always focused on,,ziva is gone kate has been gone a much longer time--her name pops up--because people loked her better then ziva now people like ziva better then bishop.. mcgee doe his thing & really well they didnt need a girl walking around with a pc or sit on the floor & be taken serious--thats not a bash thats the way the writers brought her in--the show is not the smae & the stories are becomming not a marine thing.... mic

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I didn't care for the show with Dwayne Pride. Don't think I will watch NCIS new orlenens. Bishop just dosen't click yet. Love the cast for NCIS. I would give it a 5 stars if this site would let me vote.

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@ Sharon

You can still give it those stars. Click on the review link (top right). : )

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I don't love or dislike Bishop at this point. I really think that if GG and company would put her in the background a little more and stop pushing her to the front, at the expense of beloved characters like Tony and Tim, that fans would have an easier time adjusting to her. I can't help but feel resentful when my favorite Tony does next to nothing in each episode while Gibbs and Bishop get all the action and interesting scenes. Now we've just learned that the season finale is to be yet another Gibbs angst/anger fest instead of the spoiled Tony centric finale. TPTB sure don't give a crap about Tony fans do they?

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@ Erin

Are you even a Tony fan Erin?

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@ Michael

Yes Michael. I'm a Tony fan and what's more I didn't care for Ziva at all. However this doesn't mean that I have to walk in lock step with certain "antis" who love Bishop. While I find the actress pleasant and talented enough, I'm just tired of the constant focus on her and Gibbs here lately. The other team members don't seem to have had much significance anymore.

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@ Erin

Whoops! The following post was intended to be a reply to Michael's. Not my own. LOL

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@ Erin

I'm not going to engage in a conversation about who is a "real Tony fan" as that argument is for 8 year olds. I do think that with the notable exception of the 250th episode which wasn't Bishop heavy, that most of the episodes since she came on board have been trying too hard to force the notion that she is: invaluable, brilliant, quirky, a foodie, liked by Gibbs, can beat up large men - choose your attribute - they are just trying too hard. I actually do think that she has promise as a character and a team member. I just don't want it to turn into another Ziva situation, where 90 percent of the episodes only show Gibbs and Ziva - and now Bishop, as the only ones who get action, danger, solve the most interesting puzzles, and get all of the most juicy scenes, attention, and drama. It is where I fear they are headed, since IMO tptb lack imagination and often turn to formulaic writing.

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@ Erin

LOL as a real Tony fan we know we have had a equal amount of screen time hell the 250 all we got was mcgee and Tony if anything we need more Bishop we get less and less of her every tuesday.

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@ Erin

They didn't know that Ralph Waite was going to die when they said that about Tony though .Real life intervenes sometimes. What action did Bishop get in the last episode .She had her butt stuck in the air under the hood of her pick up ,was sat at a desk and then on a coffee table.

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@ Humbugged1814

Bishop was chosen to go with Gibbs to New Orleans, and with the team in the killer's sights, I feel quite certain that Bishop and Gibbs will be getting far more action than Tony, Tim, and Fornell, back in DC talking to the on site members on the phone and clicking the clicker. As far as Ralph Waite's sad passing, while I certainly agree that it must be tastefully addressed, I just don't understand why it had to be the finale.