NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 20 Review: Second Line

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A murder at a funeral? That's cold. Too bad I spent most of NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 20 trying to figure out what was going on.

This story felt like it had too many good ideas being crunched into a single episode when maybe one or two would have been sufficient for any individual story.

It reminded me of a priest at my parish a few years back; he was newly-ordained, and his sermons felt like they tried to get five or six different messages across. I wanted to tell him to calm down and take a breath, because he was going to be a priest for the rest of his life, and it was perfectly okay to save some for later!

Don't get me wrong, he was a perfectly nice guy and he definitely meant well! It's just really hard to remember one or two important points when they're throwing three times that at you.

I definitely enjoyed the glimpse into New Orleans culture and the second line parade, which set the scene for another man's death:

Killin' a man at another man's funeral. Doesn't get much worse than that.


While I would say that there are a ton of things worse than killing someone at a funeral (even your own funeral, as it turned out!), it was definitely cold. But the whole situation in turn set up for a much larger conversation when LaSalle was nearly killed by the grave robber.

Percy was appalled at the blase manner in which LaSalle treated his near-death experience, though Pride was the one who spelled it all out:

Face-to-face with mortality affects a person. You're no different. Denyin' it doesn't do you or anyone else any good.


LaSalle has been on the trauma conga line for the past season and a half, from dealing with his troubled brother to the murder of the woman he loved. This time, he came within a hair's breadth of death himself. Problem is, I don't think that this episode actually dealt with this, despite LaSalle's words to the contrary.

Indeed, his closing line about always being up for a good party comes across as almost tragic and weirdly depressing if you look at it from a certain point of view.

Instead of dealing with that, we got a harpsichord-wire murder, grave-robbing, an overworked (and subverted) medical examiner, and, oh, yeah, the faked death. It felt like this story was trying to do too many things at once.

Boyd's pleading with the team not to tell his wife the truth fell completely flat; he had to plan the whole faked death thing for quite a while, so he knew full well that he was essentially abandoning her. And then he had the gall to show up at his own funeral and murder his shrink. Nice.

I did like LaSalle spotting the groundskeeper as the guy who attacked him:

You wanna see if my gun dry-fires, too?!


Maybe Pride should make sure that LaSalle sees a head-shrinker himself! (Stop by our NCIS: New Orleans quotes page for a rundown of some of this episode's notable lines.)

A few final thoughts in closing:

  • Why didn't LaSalle and Percy clear the Murray's house? This is a guy who was just murdered, and you don't know why; I'd imagine it would be prudent to be a little cautious when going places he might have been.
  • Did they ever recover the stolen Baptiste loot?
  • How would the bones prove anything? It's not like someone's going to DNA test the bones to prove authenticity of the stolen gold items. And age-testing the bones would just prove that the bones were old. Just goes to show I'd be a terrible grave robber, I guess.
  • Casualty Assistance Calls Officers (CACOs) are quite real and provide assistance and information to the next of kin of fallen sailers.
  • When and why Boyd steal the harpsichord wire from the Baptiste house? Did he plan all along to kill Murray with it? Who steals 300-year-old wire to garrote someone?

So, what did you think of "Second Line"? Would you want your relatives to throw you a funeral parade? How would you react to a near-death experience? Would you like to attend your own funeral if you could? Let us know in the comments section below!

You can always watch NCIS: New Orleans online if you missed this episode! After a brief break, the show returns on April 19, 2016 at 9/8c on CBS with NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 21, "Collateral Damage!"

Second Line Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 20 Quotes

Killin' a man at another man's funeral. Doesn't get much worse than that.


LaSalle: Where I grew up, you live, you die, you get buried -- no fuss, no muss. Besides, I appreciate life just fine, thank you.
Percy: I'm sure you do. You live, you party, meet some girls, party some more. No fuss, no muss.
LaSalle: Something like that!