Relationships are tough
That was the message buried beneath a case featuring a deadly virus on NCIS: New Orleans Season 5 Episode 13.
First and foremost, Loretta made a friend. A male friend.
Loretta and Rufus Nero didn't get off to a good start when he pretended to be a health inspector and proceded to criticize the state of her morgue. Why she didn't just see through that subterfuge, when an inspector had been by two weeks earlier, was really hard to explain.
But, early deception aside, Nero ended up being a good guy, who was just trying to locate his protege, Lt. Ford, who was missing along with the deadly Virus X (sounds like a '50s sci-fi film, doesn't it?).
Ford made the bold if final decision of injecting herself with the virus to protect it from the thieves who shot up the research lab. That decision protected the virus for a time, but it was obvious there was no miracle cure in her future.
Loretta came around on Nero while she was tending for the dying Ford and he was, well, helping, I guess. Saving each other from mercenaries also led to their bonding.
So it wasn't much of a surprise when Loretta agreed to dinner with Nero, Dutch of course.
I'm hoping this means Levar Burton will be back as Nero. He's not on TV nearly enough for my taste.
But NCIS: New Orleans has such a large cast of enjoyable recurring characters that who can say? He might just get referenced another time or two this season.
Remember way back on NCIS: New Orleans Season 5 Episode 12, before two weeks of political pre-emptions, when Sebastian invited an out-to-be-homeless Gregorio to move in with him? Didn't you know even then that that was going to come back to bite him in the ass?
Yup, it did. No surprise there.
That wasn't all on Gregorio. Although he means well, Sebastian can be a bit overwhelming. He learned from the best since his mother is a smotherer.
If he had lived with a female roommate before, he would have known better than to mess with her clothes. And Gregorio is the independent sort who has little desire to be taken care of.
These two are close friends who just need to adapt to living together. He's got to give her some space, while she's got to be more accepting of his eccentricities. There should be nothing new here to either of them.
Get Sebastian a girlfriend on whom to focus his energies. He's had some false starts, so maybe someone who actually lives in New Orleans.
As for Hannah and her family, her early return signaled no good news on that front. Everyone realized that.
Hannah sent away Ryan and Naomi to keep them safe when she had a volatile overseas posting. But she really dropped the ball when she didn't make contact for months after arriving in New Orleans.
So the marriage is over. Just come up with a manageable custody agreement for Naomi and move on.
Hannah can follow the Pride handbook and throw herself into her work to forget. Just don't live over the office. Also, she just needs to find a less financial-draining hobby than the Tru-Tone.
Now onto the case itself, which was fairly predictable.
If a research lab was attacked, there must have been some deadly weapon/pathogen as the target. Check.
There also will be evidence of someone present who wasn't supposed to be there, and he/she is now missing. Check.
Some mysterious figure is sniffing around under false pretenses until he/she is caught and his/her true purpose was revealed. Check.
An alphabet soup of officials harrumphs at each other until our local heroes take charge of the investigation. Check.
The missing person is the weapon, making the noble cause of ingesting the deadly weapon/pathogen to protect humanity. Check.
The villain of the piece is easy to pick out since Raphael Sbarge is there playing another weaselly government official. Check. He should thank God for his Once Upon a Time role so that he's not totally typecast.
Villain tries to flee on a colorful local mode of transportation, but it chased down by Pride alone, who recovers the weapon/pathogen after hanging off a roof. Check.
I guess Pride's back to full strength, at least physically. That must come from never going to his desk job.
All I can say is that it was a good thing that there was a healthy amount of character development in this episode because the case wasn't a driving force.
To review Pride's recovering, watch NCIS: New Orleans online.
Was squabbling between Gregorio and Sebastian to be expected? Were you surprised Hannah and her husband didn't reconcile? What do you think about giving Loretta a beau?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.