Happy Thanksgiving! As Turkey Day approaches, 'tis the season for Very Special Holiday Episodes! In this case, we were treated to the team solving the very first case Pride and LaSalle worked on together, while LaSalle was still with the Sheriff's Department.
NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 10 revealed something interesting: past-LaSalle was a real jerk! It had been hinted at in previous episodes that Pride saved LaSalle from himself back in the day, but, man, did he save LaSalle!
It was rather jarring to compare the present gentlemanly, charming NCIS agent with the rude, egotistical Sheriff's detective. I never imagined I would ever want to slap LaSalle across the face, but he surely managed it!
Props are definitely due to Lucas Black for showing us two very different versions of LaSalle. The one we know and love had ten years to evolve from the self-centered donkey's backside. Maybe it was Pride's cooking that helped!
Pride: NCIS Agent Pride. But folks around this neighborhood call me King.
LaSalle: So I hear. Problem is, only kings I answer to are God Almighty and Elvis.
Contrast Billie Ford's reaction to LaSalle in 2005 versus her description of him in 2015, that he's one of the good ones. When the team went to the house to find Tagget, LaSalle was the one who put himself directly in the line of fire, in the greatest danger.
The most obvious shift in this character took place when Billie went into labor during the flashback, and he didn't hesitate to leap into action to help her and Pride, even if all he could do was to hold her hand.
That action may have been part of the reason Pride brought him into NCIS, when only moments earlier LaSalle was determined to leave New Orleans for good.
I appreciate when we get to see such profound character development as we did here. One of the best moments in the episode was in the makeshift morgue, when LaSalle met Loretta for the first time and he was completely perplexed by her cheerful demeanor.
[reading LaSalle's expression] How can I be friendly in hell? What else am I gonna do, Detective?Loretta
The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was horrific. Even looking at pictures of the devastation was, and still is, difficult. Black, C.C.H. Pounder, and Scott Bakula all sold it in that scene.
I found the case itself a bit hard to follow at times, trying to keep all the players and course of events straight, though I think I got it in the end. And that showdown at the house, with LaSalle putting himself in harm's way to protect the little girl was fraught with tension, even though we all knew how it would end.
Overall, this was definitely LaSalle's day in the spotlight. We even got to learn that his father is (or was, by 2015) very influential and able to get his son a hand-delivered letter in the middle of a disaster zone. It put me a little bit in mind of another CBS father, Morland Holmes from Elementary, though I got a lot less ominous feeling from LaSalle, Sr.!
A few assorted odds and ends before I turn the discussion over to you:
- During their initial meeting in the flashback, Pride mentioned having first met LaSalle while LaSalle was dressed up as a red devil and completely blitzed at Mardi Gras a couple years earlier. LaSalle has already been seen to take his partying seriously.
- There was an oblique reference to Pride's father and their (haha) relationship issues.
- Scott Bakula got to show off his piano skills in the scene at the bar at the end of the episode. I wonder if someday he'll get to show of his singing voice, too.
- In the same scene, the fellow who helped out Pride with the Thanksgiving meal was Louisiana native Donald Link, chef and restauranteur; he owns several different restaurants, including Herbsaint, Cochon, and Pêche Seafood Grill.
- Semper Gumby: Always Flexible.
- Anyone else notice how past-LaSalle looked a complete wreck, unshaven and unkempt, compared to past-Pride who was operating under pretty much the exact same conditions?
So, what did you think of "Billy and the Kid"? Were you disappointed Pride didn't whip up a Thanksgiving feast with Ramen noodles? Were you surprised that past-LaSalle was such an unlikeable person? Let us know in the comments section below!
One last item: I'd like to wish you and your families a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. Cheers!
While you all enjoy your holiday feast and good company, you can watch NCIS: New Orleans online to catch up on or relive past episodes. The show returns with NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 11, "Blue Christmas," on December 15, 2015 at 9/8c on CBS.