This conclusion to a two-part NCIS episode involving a criminal dubbed the "Privileged Killer" brought some uncomfortable news to light.
It seems the guy who was jailed for the murders was as innocent as he claimed. More importantly, Pride has to deal with an uncomfortable truth about his former NCIS team mate.
What did panelists Christine Orlando, David Taylor and Doug Wolfe think about the case, and about the New Orleans location for NCIS Season 11 Episode 19 in general?
Gather around and find out in our TV Fanatic discussion below!
How would you describe the episode in three words or a sentence?
David: "Sins of the fathers...and the sons."
Christine: "Come back and stay awhile." Mostly because it had me looking forward to the NCIS spinoff and spending more time in New Orleans.
Doug: "I think we're having a bonding moment here."
What was your favorite scene or quote?
David: "The streets have no name....but I got your number."
Christine: As much as I enjoyed everything in New Orleans, my favorite moments were the ones between Tony and McGee back home. McGee had some of the best lines. "A serial killer's on the loose and all I got was this lousy t-shirt." and "It's a voodoo doll that looks just like you, right down to the insincere grin."
Doug: "Found your card. You're a long way from home, baby." The cheekiness of the kid got to me. He stole that scene out from under everyone.
What, if any, were the problems that you saw in this NCIS episode?
David: There was a major problem: recall NCIS Season 11 Episode 18? Where the Feds swooped in, took McLane's body and manipulated the wounds to prevent a proper autopsy? Now we learn that McLane was on the take... so I have to wonder if the Feds knew too and THAT'S why they were trying to cover things up themselves - except we never found out. The murdered FBI agent was never "replaced."
And also a minor problem: Pride's Southern accent kind of comes and goes, doesn't it? Maybe it's a reaction to an emotional situation, but it struck me as odd.
And, finally, a teensy problem: as much as I love CCH Pounder, I couldn't help but think her fond words for the city were written by someone from a Louisiana tourist board. Didn't detract from the plot, but I felt like someone was trying too hard to "sell us" on New Orleans.
Christine: I agree. In part 1, the FBI was all over this case. They even went so far as to take the body and cover up the autopsy. So why did they seem to disappear from the story when one of their own was murdered?
Doug: I disliked the voodoo doll thing, only because it went nowhere. Tony has a headache and discovers a pin in the doll's head? What is that? Is that Tony play-acting for Tim's benefit? If so, why didn't he continue with it? It was fun at first, but only because of the anticipation. They needed to complete the thought on that.
There were a lot of great characters in this episode. Who would you pick as the MVP and why?
David: You really going to make me say it? OK, fine...the kid. Didn't want to like him at first because the whole "wise-crackin' precocious youth" thing's been done before, but he could prove useful as an informant. Folks usually don't notice a kid blending into the background, so he could be a stealth member of the team... for the right price apparently.
Christine: Well, I still say McGee got the best lines but I liked Pride. He's a great combination of in charge and southern comfort all wrapped up in one. Scott Bakula, the rest of this team and this two parter really have me looking forward to the spin-off.
Doug: I was going to agree with David but then remembered the one scene that cemented my increasing regard for New Orleans in general. So I'm going to go with Wendell Hobbs, the man who achieves focus through the playing of music. The guy who warmly refers to his boss as "my beloved".
Really, though, most of the New Orleans cast could be considered for the MVP spot. That's what makes a spinoff so promising.
Quirk beat: Bishop's food binging versus Wendell Hobbs' music. Who wins and why?
David: I'm going to go with Hobbs' music, pretty much because it's new and different. Some folk might listen to music at work, but how many get to play it?
Christine: Hobbs. I love the music. Could listen to him play all day. Even liked what he had in the background although I could see how it might make having a conversation difficult. Bishop just has me searching for the nearest vending machine. And not that it's part of this question but I also thought the Lego's were kind of cool.
Doug: We're three for three on this one. Hobbs' music surprised me. I replayed it several times, it was so good. To answer David's somewhat rhetorical question: at least one. There's an electric piano that sits next to me in my home office too - I'm now looking at it with a newfound intent.
Pride and Gibbs caught and killed the killer Spencer Hanlon fairly soon after realizing he was the killer. Given his forensic knowledge and tracking abilities, was the resolution of the case believable?
David: Tough call. We see McGee get flashes of each crime scene, so you'd think he'd have been the one to help crack the case, but he got knocked out by Hanlon Sr. Conveniently, Gibbs et al. arrived at the same conclusion.
Christine: I kind of assumed that there was some communication between DiNozzo and McGee in D.C. and Gibbs down in New Orleans that made them so sure that Spencer was the killer, even though we didn't really see it onscreen.
Doug: The quick resolution of the case challenged my suspension of disbelief. This was a canny killer who'd been around for quite a while. Not only that, his knowledge and manipulation of forensics puts him up there as one of the greater criminals, worthy of an Elementary episode. I mean, I get why they wanted to limit the story to two episodes, but I really think this could have been extended for a few more. Maybe even as a story to be revisited through the rest of NCIS Season 11.
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.