Oh, Steven Weber. How we've missed you.
He made a triumphant return to the character of smarmy politician Douglas Hamilton, now the mayor of New Orleans, in NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 14, and I, for one, was definitely thankful for it.
Honestly, I could have just watched an entire episode of him and Pride sniping at each other while tied to chairs!
I'm fairly sure the layout of the room they were held in was quite intentional, to evoke the appearance of an interrogation room, with Pride (the cop) on one side of the table and Hamilton (the suspect) on the other, with a creepy single light hanging over the table between them.
I never held much suspicion that Hamilton actually had anything to do with the tragic death of Patricia Spar all those years ago, though he turned out to be in possession of a key piece of evidence (knowing what happened to her necklace).
This isn't the first time a killer on TV has been caught thanks to him giving his wife/girlfriend/significant other the jewelry or trophies he stole from his victim(s), so there wasn't anything particularly original there.
The case, however, felt particularly tragic by the end in that the entire family was dead: Patricia was murdered, her daughter Stacy died of a drug overdose (heavily implied to be as a result of the district attorney declining to reopen her mother's case), and then Mike was killed. At least the team has the recording as evidence to prosecute Patricia's murderer now.
Mike was pretty well doomed by the point LaSalle and the rest burst in; in addition to three assaults (Pride, Hamilton, Officer Tate), he faced charges for two kidnappings and false imprisonment, plus the murder of the unfortunate Marine Corporal Jason Alex, who had a bad reaction to the drug. Though, in all likelihood, Mike had planned to only use one bullet in that gun he had, and he never anticipated leaving that room alive.
Would Pride have been so sanguine about jumping in front of him had he known about the corporal? It's a question that definitely adds to the sense of tragedy about the whole affair.
Is it also worth mentioning that Mike Spar marks at least the billionth person from Pride's past who has turned up involved in criminal activity? Sorry, Pride, but this is not a very positive pattern I'm seeing.
As mentioned earlier, there were some excellent zingers to come from the kidnapping of Pride and Hamilton, and there was the constant look of frustration on Pride's face as he futilely tried to defuse the situation while Hamilton kept antagonizing their kidnapper. My favorite was this little gem:
Douglas Hamilton: People like to talk to me. They tell me a lot of things. How do you think I became mayor?
Pride: The other candidate was flooding your district with *drugs*!
Be sure to hop on over to our NCIS: New Orleans quotes page to check out some of the other good quotes from this episode!
I definitely enjoyed the weaving of the Mardi Gras festivities into the episode, which was done in an organic fashion that didn't feel totally shoehorned. Though I have to wonder about that street performer, who witnessed a kidnapping and didn't, I don't know, call the cops?
One more thing that elicited a giggle out of me was LaSalle's display of 'Bama pride early in the episode with his claim that the Mardi Gras festivities originated in Mobile; it reminded me of Pavel Chekov in Star Trek, who claimed that everything (such as the story of Cinderella) naturally were Russian in origin.
A few final notes before I turn the discussion over to you:
- Jon Cleary and Glen David Andrews both appeared as themselves in this episode. They are prominent New Orleans-based musicians, a lovely touch to bring in the local flavor for this episode.
- Chasty Ballasteros, who played Angela Goodwin (a.k.a., the woman in the red dress) has a remarkably long filmography, having appeared in roles in everything from Sons of Anarchy to Criminal Minds to Days of Our Lives.
- Lee Tergesen (Mike Spar) played General Rahm Tak on Defiance and Ed Gorski on Longmire.
- Scott Bakula is actually quite an excellent musician and singer. I heard him sing "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha in Quantum Leap and was shocked at how good he was.
So, what did you think of "Father's Day"? Did you enjoy the return of Douglas Hamilton? Do you love to hate him, or do you just hate him? What did you think of the tragic story of Mike Spar and his family? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you missed this episode, fear not! You can watch NCIS: New Orleans online to catch up. NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 15, "No Man's Land," is scheduled to air Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 9/8c on CBS.