A bomb is certainly a good way to spoil an evening, as the team discovered first-hand in NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 Episode 11.
They did pretty decent job of conveying the confusion and horror that immediately followed the explosion; I definitely give props to Shanley Caswell for her performance as a traumatized Laurel, who was trying to help save her critically injured boyfriend Orion.
Speaking of Orion, it's definitely nice to see him again, even though he wasn't given much to do other than lie in a hospital bed for much of the episode. The last time we saw him (which was during the Thanksgiving episode), Laurel was all upset about her dad "bromancing" him - it seems that she managed to get past that particular fear. In any case, the continuity of bringing the character back appealed to me. Plus, it opened the door for a little Pride angst over doing exactly what his wife was always afraid of: bringing his work home with him (and in the worst way possible).
Even better, though, Laurel didn't get angry or petulant or blame her father for the situation. There are far too many bratty, problematic kids on TV, so this was an nice change of pace.
The investigation gave a little insight into Pride's past - while serving as a Sheriff's deputy some two decades ago, he took down a powerful crime family. In his quest to do so, however, he had to compromise his integrity by giving his confidential informant a pass on numerous petty crimes. For a man as upstanding as Pride, that came as a bit of a surprise. No shock, therefore, that he was so guilt-bitten by the whole thing.
Which leads us to Baitfish himself, the title character of the episode, who apparently faked his own death after failing to blow up Pride.
Someone was paying him to do it, it seemed, though why he got such a big payday when he did not actually succeed in killing Pride is a mystery. Furthermore, he failed at faking his death, too, because Loretta discovered the truth in fairly short order.
Baitfish's plan to blow up Pride is perplexing at best. Let's look at the sequence of events:
- Baitfish learned (somehow) that Pride would be attending the charity gala. (Presumably, Pride does not publish his itinerary in NCIS Weekly.)
- He stole the wallet and identity of Bertrand Willis some weeks in advance.
- He built several bombs with, of all things, motion sensors as the trigger. (This would seem to me to be a bad idea all the way around, as it would be all too easy to set it off by accident.)
- Using Willis's identity, Baitfish infiltrated the gala and planted the bomb, all without Pride noticing and recognizing him.
- When Pride came to squeeze him for information, Baitfish set up Dante - and left evidence implicating Frank, too.
- He used a random homeless man as a body double to get blown up in his house, thus faking his death.
All this led me to the conclusion that his plan was just way too complicated. If he was good enough to sneak the bomb into the charity gala, surely he'd be good enough to kill Pride in numerous easier ways with a higher likelihood of success. In short, it was plain bizarre, to the point where I was wondering whether the plan was actually to blow up Pride at all.
It seems to me that the bad guy plans' are a definite weakness in the NCIS: New Orleans writing department. By the end of the episode, I was so confused that I really wasn't all that surprised that Baitfish wasn't dead, after all.
The case does inspire a few great lines from our team, such as this NCIS: New Orleans quote from our favorite 'Bama boy LaSalle:
LaSalle: Let me put this in terms you'll understand: move, and the gun goes boom!
(On a side note, I wonder if LaSalle spent any time mourning the loss of the Crimson Tide during the Sugar Bowl?)
Patton Plame put in another appearance, for which I was grateful. Plus, we learned that he's even got a kid out there! See? Character development. Now, if only they could apply this consistently to all our characters *cough*Sebastian*cough*.
To be fair, though, Sebastian was remarkably un-annoying in this episode, for which I was very thankful. The gift of violas for Orion (for their medicinal purposes) was in-character - and actually a bit thoughtful, even if gifting flowers to a guy does seem a bit odd. But that's Sebastian. And he actually showed a bit of a temper earlier in the episode, which prompted this response from Loretta:
Sebastian, yelling at evidence is rarely effective.Loretta
So, now I turn it over to you.
What do you think, NOLA fans? Did you enjoy this episode? Do you think Sebastian is improving as a character? Were you happy to see Orion again? Did you like the window into Pride's past? Let us know in the comments below!
You can catch up on all the previously episodes when you watch NCIS: New Orleans online right here at TV Fanatic.