NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 23 Review: The Third Man

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Agent Russo is either a traitor or a scary good interrogator. Personally, I'm really, really hoping for the latter.

NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 23 was a pretty quick-paced episode with a lot to like about it despite the fairly absurd setup of the Navy master diver... who got run over by a submarine. (Seriously, who kills a person by ramming them with a submarine?!)

The Browns also apparently failed Spycraft 101, which involves not drawing attention to yourself. I ask you, would any of this episode have happened if they had just kept going along in their little sub instead of squashing into CPO Green? At worst, maybe someone investigates a possible drug-smuggling sub.

Instead, they killed a Navy non-com and failed to kill his former-Marine buddy in the boat on the surface, and Judy got seriously wounded, to boot! All of this resulted in, of course, multiple federal agencies breathing down their necks to stop whatever nefarious plot in which they were involved!

Also perplexing was Mr. Brown's assault on the NCIS office. People do crazy things for love, but that was downright stupid. And unsurprisingly ended with him getting a bullet between the eyes, courtesy of Pride.

This incident brings up something curious about Agent Russo. He clearly risked his life to take cover with Brody. Since Mr. Brown had no way of knowing Russo was his supposed contact, there's nothing to suggest that Russo was in anything but mortal danger at that moment.

Ivan Sergei did a good job of bringing that ambiguousness to the character; one minute, he was charming Brody, and the next, coldly threatening Judy Brown's family in the interrogation room.

Brody: Since when do we threaten family members?
Agent Russo: Since they started decapitating people.

The character was throwing up all sorts of red flags, from his reticence to share information to his insistence on taking custody of Judy Brown. Of course, both of these can be explained fairly easily. It's not like our heroes at NCIS are immune to thinking their agency is the best one for any particular investigation.

Secondly, it would make little sense for supposedly-evil Russo to give Judy a real poison pill in the middle of the interrogation room after turning off the camera. It's not like it wouldn't be completely obvious what had happened, after all. Especially if Brody happened to be watching through the mirror.

So I'm hoping that he's actually playing her in the hopes of getting information out of her. That would make his character rather more interesting than "secretly evil and trying to get into Brody's pants."

Speaking of Brody, I actually did like the light in her eyes as she got all kissy with Russo near the end of the episode. There was just a sparkle to them that really made me hope all the more that Russo isn't actually evil.

Moving on to the B-story, Pride was burning the candle at both ends, running both the NCIS office and the bar. I was unsurprised when he ended up hiring Buckley as the bar manager. Sure was convenient that he had restaurant experience, plus one other key skill:

Did I mention? He plays a mean banjo!

Pride [on the former Marine he hired]

I found this particularly funny, since a close relative of mine plays accordian (another much-maligned instrument). It was likewise gratifying to have attention brought to wounded warriors in general; a number of veterans have difficulty finding employment after leaving the service.

There are many programs out there, such as the Veterans Employment Center, that provide veterans with job matching services. If you're an employer, consider hiring a veteran!

A few final thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you:

  • The "lay of the land"? Is that was you're going with, Russo? Very subtle. And you claimed that you weren't texting her to ask her out.
  • Drug smugglers do indeed sometimes use submarines to carry contraband.
  • HMX is, apparently, almost exclusively used in military applications, such as the detenator in a nuclear weapon. It's quite complicated to manufacture. Therefore I have to wonder where they got the stuff in the first place.
  • LaSalle got in another "Roll Tide" shout-out in this episode. Plus, he's apparently SCUBA-certified!

So, what did you think of "The Third Man"? Is Agent Russo actually evil, or is he just playing the operative? What's the target for the HMX? Let us know in the comments section below!

You can always watch NCIS: New Orleans online to catch up on this and previous episodes, or simply to relive the automatic weapons fire in the NCIS office space.

NCIS: New Orleans will conclude its sophomore season with NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 23, "Sleeping with the Enemy," on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 9/8c on CBS. Be sure to check back afterwards for our review!

The Third Man Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (26 Votes)
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NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 23 Quotes

If I had a choice, the swimming pool's as deep as I'll go!

Percy [on diving]

Percy: Who knew Alabama here SCUBA dived?
LaSalle: Roll Tide!