OK, maybe expansion can be a good thing.
Another interesting, likely recurring character got introduced on NCIS: New Orleans Season 5 Episode 8.
Mateo checked all the boxes: A stellar student and a hard worker who was willing to do the right thing.
In this case, doing the right thing was serving as a confidential informer against the Aztec Kings, the local branch of the same gang that he sought to escape by fleeing north from his homeland.
Granted, he made the mistake of working for a self-interested cop who was doing more harm than good in the battle against the gang. But Carter got paid back for all his double-dealing, so it was all good.
Watch out when Pride takes an interest in somebody because he'll run roughshod over everything to protect them. In the case of Mateo, this meant ignoring meetings, protocol, and procedure, just to name a few.
This strategy always seemed to work for Pride, fo an extent. He's led a charmed existence, which seems to continue, despite taking three bullets to the chest and nearly dying.
And what did he take away from that experience? Not a lot, that I can tell.
He took an office job, to which he rarely actually goes so that he wouldn't face so much danger in the field. Yet he seems more concerned with developing blood clots from sitting through mind-numbing meetings.
Instead, as his assistant Steven noted, he's generally off micromanaging cases for his former team. He has dozens of agents he could assign to help out Hannah and his old crew, but where's the fun in that?
Nope, Instead, he used his badge to crash into places that he honestly didn't belong, such as that ICE detection, singlehandedly rescuing Mateo from a yardful of gang members and flaunting regulations to liberate him from there.
Then he failed to inform his team of his plans, which eliminated the possibility of backup, instead choosing half-brother Jimmy as his sidekick and selecting Cassius's remote fishing cabin as an impregnable enclave. That might have worked if the veteran cop had noticed the tail on him going down those back country roads.
That left Hannah and company scrambling to crack the Aztec Kings' social media page for hidden messages to locate Pride, arriving after the fact -- if only this had been a Patton episode.
Fortunately, the gang that couldn't shoot straight, which seemed to dwindle exponentially during the climactic scene, kept feeding Pride weapons and he survived some bad choices again.
Now let's assess the three newer characters featured in this episode.
Since Dwayne has Loretta finding a nice foster family for Mateo, it's clear he's going to stay around while working to gain asylum. At least they avoided the obvious choice of having him stay in Danny's old room at Loretta's house.
I liked Mateo, but I'm just not sure what he brings to the party. His main character trait seemed to be pluck, which doesn't add much to the NCIS mission. I could see him nodding to Pride at the bakery and being referenced parenthetically every few episodes, but that's it.
Jimmy, on the other hand, has been a find. He's got friends in low places, which can always be helpful to a relative in law enforcement. Like Pride himself, he's not averse to stepping over the line.
Plus, this episode brought up some sibling rivalry. It appeared that Jimmy was Cassius's preferred son, which didn't hit Dwayne too well.
But already the two half-brothers are willing to do whatever is necessary to help out the other, with Dwayne helping Jimmy to find gainful employment and Jimmy joining Pride on the fool's errand of protecting Mateo in a remote cabin.
Finally, I was wrong about Steven, Pride's erstwhile new assistant. I thought this career bureaucrat was gunning to become SAC.
But he's been covering for Dwayne most of the season, a fulltime job in itself. If he wanted Pride to fail, he just needs to step back, and Dwayne will take care of the rest, skipping meetings to continue playing field agent.
He could be an asset to Pride, should Dwayne ever decide he wants to be an administrator. But odds are Steven is just rehearsing for when he does finally take over the position.
Hannah keeps surprising. I never saw her as the introverted fat girl in school. How people change.
To check out all the new characters, watch NCIS: New Orleans online.
What did you think of Mateo? Is Steven a friend or foe to Pride? How about having Percy come back for a visit in her new role?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.