Boys and girls, the moral of the story on NCIS: New Orleans Season 3 Episode 6 is about communications.
That starts with the case of the week in which a top Navy Seal candidate, who was about to flunk out of training because of a dark secret in his past, was found dead.
It had to be something serious to make Corey Marchand, who had already passed on a basketball scholarship at a major program, walk away when he was so close to accomplishing his goal of becoming a Seal.
Something was haunting that kid. I thought I was helping him, but maybe I pushed him too far.Jolly
It's certainly timely of the writers to delve into the controversial subject of those in authority sexually abusing their charges, and they made a smart move by not making the coach the obvious villain. They graphically showed the effects of such abuse on the victims, one unable to get past his memories of abuse, another still working for the abuser.
It was telling that Gregorio was the first to suggest the possibility of abuse, while ex-jock LaSalle just couldn't fathom the idea.
The episode also targeted the enablers, in this case Mayor Hamilton. Some of his donors were boosters of that basketball program, so he just made the rumors go away.
Hamilton: You think I knew he was sexually abusing players on the team. Is that what you're telling me?
Pride: I think you didn't want to, and made sure you didn't have to.
Hamilton: And how did I do that?
Pride: You made allegations disappear.
Another communication breakdown is between Loretta and her adopted son Danny. He's decided to forgo college and join the Navy (he could do both, on Uncle Sam's dime). She can't abide this idea, as she sees too many dead sailors and Marines on her slabs. And naturally poor Pride gets stuck in the mediator role.
Pride: He doesn't see the Navy as a hardship. He sees it as an opportunity to serve, and he asked me to tell you.
Loretta: Why can't he tell me?
Pride: I guess he takes after his mother in that way.
It's good to see that, in the end, Pride gets them to talk to each other rather than just to him. I expect Danny will enlist, as this will continue the NCIS tradition of promoting the value of military service.
Then there's LaSalle, who spent the first third of the episode ducking calls from an old flame.
LaSalle: It's just an old friend.
Gregorio: By old friend, you mean former hookup.
It's amazing how quickly Gregorio has assessed LaSalle's horn-dog ways, which, it seems, have caught up to him, as he's now a father. Maybe this will make him into a more well-rounded human being. Even better, having Melody and Tucker around should derail any kind of budding relationship with Percy.
Maybe even it will allow Pride to have a surrogate grandchild. He's got plenty of folksy wisdom to share, and few to share it with.
So kudos for tackling an important topic. Also points for getting the slimy mayor back into the picture, if only in a tangential way, and way after the election (I know, circumstances beyond CBS's control, to a degree). And Gregorio is even beginning to fit better into the team (although she'll never replace Brody).
Still, any ongoing storylines were largely ignored. The cartel that brought the FBI to N'awlins was mentioned only in passing. That needs to be at a center of an episode sooner rather than later, even if that means bringing the annoying Isler back into the picture.
Also, how about shining a spotlight on Gregorio's dark past, at which has been only hinted? She's never going to be accepted until she becomes more of a three-dimensional character.
If you've forgotten what happened earlier in the season, since it's been so long without an episode, watch NCIS: New Orleans online.
How will LaSalle be as a father? Are you warming to Gregorio at all? What do you want to see more of? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.