That's not how we do things 'round he-ah.
That's the none-too-subtle message of NCIS: New Orleans Season 3 Episode 3, as Dwayne Pride tries to hammer the square peg that is FBI Special Agent Tammy Gregorio into the round hole that is his NCIS unit. It promises to be a work in progress for some episodes to come.
Early in the episode, Gregorio seems to be handling her attachment to NCIS fairly well. Better than LaSalle and Percy. She doesn't get how things are done in N'Awlins.
Gregorio: When you guys finish a case, doesn't it get reviewed?
Percy: Pride reviews it.
Gregorio: Right. But who reviews him?
Percy: Girl, I give you a week.
Pride admits he has an ulterior motive for taking in Gregorio: to get the FBI gone as soon as possible.
The fastest way to get Gregorio and the FBI back to DC is to root out the cartel, and the fastest way to do that is to work together.Pride
It does set up an interesting tension: the protocol and bureaucracy of the Feds vs. the laid-back methods of the locals ("They're just good ol' boys (and gals), never meaning no harm.") Granted, the Feds sticking their noses in where they don't belong is an overdone trope in TV and movies, but this hasn't become boring ... yet.
Yes, Gregorio is yet another fish-out-of-water transition. Brody was that way at first as well, but at least she was pleasantly ignorant of local ways but willing to learn. Too bad producers so quickly wrote her out with NCIS: New Orleans Season 2's mole storyline.
So now we have Vanessa Ferlito as Gregorio. Another tough-talking, wisecracking New Yorker role for Ferlito. Either she (or her shows) haven't been around long enough for her to evolve beyond that pissed-off-at-the-world outer shell.
Maybe this time. After all, we're only three episodes in and she's already emoting.
Gregorio: It's bad policy. Emotions cloud judgment, get in the way. Look at me. I'm a wreck.
Pride: it just means you care is all. How is that bad? if you can't connect with the victim, you can't connect with yourself and that's worse.
Her boss, the priggish Isler, warned her about Pride's wicked, wicked ways.
Don't get caught up in his ways, Tammy. I'm warning you. If he crosses the line, it's your shield too.Isler [to Gregorio]
Oh, yeah. There was a case going on in the background. A petty officer got killed trying to help his childhood friend retrieve her petty officer son from Mexican kidnappers.
To summarize the action: A bunch of forensic work happens and Gregorio works her contacts, and soon the team and some faceless (literally in some cases) Federales are shooting up Matzalan and rescuing the petty officer against orders.
They also arrested the equally faceless killer, who entered the picture somewhere in the third act to give them an excuse to invade Mexico.
And the spotlighted Gregorio played a large role in helping to solve it, whether it be showing off her ballistic skills, setting up a tap on a call from the kidnappers or making travel arrangements.
She's slowly winning over her reluctant co-workers, especially with a CYA maneuver near the end to get everyone the squad out from under bureaucratic scrutiny.
Now comes the hard part, winning over the viewers. Her co-workers have to work with her, but we don't have to stay. So far, so good. Maybe she'll even get some back story soon.
In the meantime, it's about time for another cartel episode, before viewers forget that storyline, with only vague references being provided.
To view the progression of Gregorio, watch NCIS: New Orleans online.
So, anyone coming around on Gregorio, or is it too soon after Brody? Would you like to see more from the forensic crew? Or how about the affably corrupt mayor Hamilton? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.