Pride and his ever-dwindling team may be done chasing their tails.
Pride's dogged pursuit of Mayor Hamilton may finally have yielded incriminating information on NCIS: New Orleans Season 3 Episode 22.
A dead man with the interests of the people of Clearwater at heart may have finally given Pride a much-needed trail to follow.
This is how an extended storyline should be done. Give the viewers some crumbs often instead of making them wade through a static situation episode after episode. (cough, cough, Criminal Minds).
This run has also shown how cases of the week can bridge into an ongoing storyline. They don't have to be two distinct things.
This time, it was a sad case of a holy man who cared for his congregates getting gunned down.
But it took on added impact when it was revealed that this Navy chaplain was also a pastor in Clearwater, the poor neighborhood that Hamilton and his backers are trying to take over.
It set off Pride's Hamilton sense. What did Chaplain Morgan know that got him killed?
Morgan was an activist clergyman, the worst kind for municipal conspirators. He attempted to negotiate with the gangs that slithered into Clearwater after Hamilton pulled out police protection. But he also used surveillance equipment to gather damning information, threatening Hamilton's plans.
It makes me sorry we had to learn about him through recollections after the fact.
Petty Officer Rudd was a winning guest character, delivering helpful information about Morgan and Clearwater while able to keep up the often wacky NCIS tactics.
You have to love the old trick of blinding gunmen wearing night-vision goggles with unexpected light. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.
Then there were Morgan's cryptic last words, "Trust in the Word," which made a lot more sense than, "Trust in the Lord," which I originally thought he said. Of course, the missing data card was hidden in a Bible.
Pride was properly handicapped for the mission. First, Percy got a politically motivated jail sentence for contempt. Then she smartly found her way into solitary by attacking a guard (it took enough of them to subdue her) after she got moved to gen pop.
It's a shame Percy got sidelined. We've seen little enough of Shalita Grant this season because of her Mercy Street role. LaSalle would have been a better choice if someone had to miss a few episodes. He's kind of like Pride, Jr., and therefore a bit redundant.
Now Patten has been banned from computers. Good luck with that. I'd take him and a smartphone over the whole cyber-crime division in New Orleans.
But let's pretend he's got to roll back a little. The good news is that Sebastian will have to step in as the tech guy, as well, which should keep him out of the field. There's no room for trainees in the field when there are mercenaries and hit squads about.
Let's talk about why Hamilton felt the need for a new security consultant and mercenaries. Pride's intermittent efforts haven't yielded enough to be threatening to his plans. So this firepower must have been forced on Hamilton by whoever is pulling his strings.
And who, if not Pride, is this hit team after? Who else besides Pride is giving Hamilton any grief?
What's next? I predict Pride will be trying to do too much on his own in order to protect what's left of his team.
In the finale, he'll figure out he needs outside help. As much as we'd all love to see Gibbs come to the rescue, instead it will be everyone's least-favorite fed, FBI Agent Isler, who is at least honest and can bring the firepower, as long as he can take credit afterward.
Won't Gregorio be glad to see him again? Won't we all?
I don't care how it gets done, but let's wrap up the Hamilton storyline this season. New political blood will create fresh storytelling opportunities next season.
To follow the genesis of Hamilton from political rogue to devious mastermind, watch NCIS: New Orleans online.
How did you like the case of the week? Who's next to fall? Will this get wrapped up by season's end? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.