It's a time of change for the beleaguered squad.
LaSalle, Sebastian and Gregorio are all looking at changes in their lives, some good, some not so good, on NCIS: New Orleans Season 3 Episode 9.
Even the case of the week dealt with change.
A Marine corporal gets murdered because his girlfriend wants to settle down with him and leave a life of crime behind. Which naturally isn't OK with her partners.
Figuring out who killed Jared Connors wasn't the most complex of cases.
A big bag of money leads to a robbery ring leads to his murder to keep his girlfriend in line. A good solid 15 minutes of actual crime-solving.
But the case isn't particularly what we watch NCIS: New Orleans for. It's about the characters.
So let's look at the changes, from least to most consequential.
Sebastian is training to be a field agent. Pride has annoyed Loretta by poaching her tech without talking to her. Pride stupidly thought eccentric (to be kind) Sebastian would follow chain-of-command.
She forgives Pride in the end and says what we're all thinking.
Loretta: I think you need to worry more about Sebastian driving you crazy in the field if I were you.
Pride: There's a big possibility of that.
Let's be serious. Sebastian is a small-dose character and is never going to be a full-time field agent. Instead he'll get a few episodes in the field each season (assuming there are more seasons), much as Nell and even Eric do on NCIS: Los Angeles.
That's because the glacial, paint-by-numbers transition of Gregorio to NCIS continues unabated.
Gregorio is now partnered with a district attorney hell-bent on getting an indictment on Cuidad Natal frontman Javier Garcia (a lot of work went into that name).
So no working with NCIS. At least for the first 10 minutes or so. And she only pitches in three or four times this episode.
Pride at least tries to respect Gregorio's new role.
I know how we all feel about Gregorio, but we gotta learn how to work without her again.Pride
But seriously, she's had it with the straight-laced FBI bureaucracy and power suits. Beignets and umbrella drinks are much more enjoyable.
Hannah: You really have changed since you've been down here.
Gregorio: How so?
Hannah: You seem happier, which is a good thing. Not for us, maybe, but for you. Maybe you finally have stopped running.
Gregorio: I think so.
So the question is how soon before she crosses over. Does anyone really care if the cartel storyline gets wrapped up, before Garcia threatens to invest his opponents to death?
The writers have done a decent job of making Gregorio more palatable.
We understand her ambivalence about New Orleans after getting more of her backstory. And her past relationship with Hannah was an unexpected change of pace.
She's no Brody, but maybe it's time to make a clean break. It's not like the producers are actually taking a viewer poll as to their preference.
And let's applaud the end of the LaSalle baby daddy storyline.
We can all agree that he's a big-hearted doofus for not getting a paternity test already.
But at least Melody wasn't a conniving ho. She was just looking to get out of a bad situation.
Darrell has a temper and I was afraid, not just for me but for Tucker. I tried to get a restraining order against him, but they said I had to wait until something bad happened. I was afraid and I didn't know what to do. I never meant to hurt you.Melody [to LaSalle]
We get a couple of heart-felt sessions with his shrink, Pride, whose patience had definitely gotten strained by LaSalle's cowboy maneuvers.
And LaSalle even grew through the experience.
I got to imagine myself being a daddy, and I like how it feels.LaSalle [to Melody]
So now Pride and Percy don't have to worry so much about a districted LaSalle, although it likely won't be long until he gets into another mess, following his heart or some other body part.
Since this was the fall finale, what's next?
How about getting Gregorio moved over within a month so we don't have listen to Pride bemoaning the fact they're short-handed? Let's get Sebastian washed out of training (a convenient injury?) so that storyline disappears as well. And either make the cartel into something substantial or make it go away quietly.
Glad to see Melody gone? Ready for Gregorio full time? How about more local flavor? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.