NCIS Review: Let The Good Times Roll

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If you didn't get your fill of New Orleans last week, NCIS loaded up the plate to just about overflowing this time around.

The installment had it all: food, relaxed style and stories all book-ended with some amazing and soulful music.

NCIS Season 11 Episode 19 completed the two-part arc about a criminal dubbed the "Privileged Killer."

The D.C. and New Orleans NCIS teams finally got to the truth: that Dan McLane had manipulated the evidence that put Lourda behind bars and that the real "Privileged Killer" was a man who had tried and failed to gain entry to the Marines. 

His father had bribed McLane, who needed the money to pay medical bills for his mother and daughter.

McLane was silenced down through the years through contributions to his election campaign. Then, when he decided to open up about his secret, he was murdered.

After identifying the real culprit, Gibbs and Pride finally confronted him in a cemetery where he was just about to kill yet another Navy officer. 

The charm of New Orleans was constant all the way through this engaging episode. I don't imagine that falling in love with the place is optional: if the laid back atmosphere and personal warmth can't draw you in, the music will. 

There was just no escaping it:  there was Dr. Wade's loving statements about it while driving with Gibbs and Bishop. Then there was Pride's half-smile at Brody as she delighted in the discovery of the rich food. 

The part that cinched it for me was the amazing music played by Wendell Hobbs in his laboratory.

You couldn't miss the irony of Bishop's impatience with him either:

Bishop: How long do we let him play for?
Gibbs: Pride says it relaxes him, helps him to think.

Music is to him like food is to Bishop. There's enough quirkiness to go around for everyone.

I liked the closeness that everyone had to each other too. The D.C. team has its own brand of camaraderie, of course, which shows up whenever one of them is in danger. With the New Orleans crew, it seems to be a constant dynamic: even when they're a little annoyed with each other, they use sincere endearing expressions like "my beloved."

The downside, though, comes when that closeness and trust is betrayed, it brings a harsh pain, as we saw with Pride when he accepted the truth about McLane. The man clearly leads with his heart, whereas Gibbs - while just as close to McLane - is more pragmatic. Together they make a perfect team.

If that wasn't enough, we had that cool scene-stealing boy, who offered information for money. The credits list him as "Lamar" - although he never gave his name in the show, because, as he said: the streets have no name.

Dr. Wade's statement about New Orleans sums up the sense you get about the town:

This town really gets into your DNA. I flew out here for a visit in 97. Still got the return ticket. I know folks die the same here as anywhere else, but in New Orleans, most people depart with a good heart and a whole lot of soul.

Wade

Frankly, I'm sold on the idea of an NCIS: New Orleans spinoff.  I hope it happens and that the decision on it comes soon.

Final notes:

  • We got to meet the fifth member of the "Fed 5," Felix Betts. Unfortunately, it seems that he's not the guy he used to be, though his old team mates love him dearly.
  • It also seems that Betts may have known about the bribe taken by McLane.
  • Pride named his gun Charmaine.
  • Pride offered an indefinite extension to Brody's visit.

UPDATE: Our NCIS Round Table is up!  Join us there and add your own answers to the questions asked of our panel.

Tell us what you thought of the two-episode story in the comments.  And be sure to check our our NCIS quotes too!

In the meantime: what was up with Tony's voodoo doll?

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Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (85 Votes)

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

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NCIS Season 11 Episode 19 Quotes

Pride: There's things you trust when you live in Louisiana. Trust the river will rise, people will rise to the occasion, no matter what the challenge. Trust the rain will never stop pouring, the drinks will never stop flowing and music will never stop playing. After all the hell you go through living here, you trust in God almighty, and you trust in friends and family. All those years, the man I call my brother was living a lie and I took it, hook line and sinker.
Gibbs: You know the truth now.

I hope you don't mind. I just asked the director to skip protocol and extend your visit to New Orleans indefinitely.

Pride