Wednesday, April 02, 2014

NCIS: "Crescent City"

Special Agent Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride (Scott Bakula) is called in when the body of his NIS mentor is discovered. As the man was now a member of Congress, the FBI takes the body before the Jefferson Parish M.E. can examine it. Pride goes to Washington to team up with Gibbs on the case.

I've anticipated this episode since early February, when Scott Bakula and Zoe McLellan were cast. The thought of several Bellisario show veterans playing together thrilled me, and the reality did not disappoint.

Agent Pride's openness, established from the start, nicely contrasted Gibbs' gruff silence. That said, their chemistry as a team was also established early. Pride's work in New Orleans, with just one other agent, called to mind Season 1's underdog portrayal of NCIS.

Unlike the others, Agent Brody (McLellan) was closed off, much of her past left for Part Two. As someone who likes to get a sense of characters as quickly as possible, I didn't like that, though I understand it as a technique.

Part Two didn't pick up where Part One left off, instead drawing the characters together when another body appeared to have ties to the same killer. There was little indication how much time passed between the two.

Agent Brody was more open from the start of Part Two, but the time jump made her change of mood seem abrupt. Agent Pride did find out her secret, but they discussed it quickly as they geared up to follow a lead. That discussion was also wrapped in a needless Jeopardy! analogy.

As a whole, "Crescent City" gets credit for keeping the original NCIS characters involved while truly needing to spread them out to solve the case in two locales. As an episode of NCIS, "Crescent City" had star power a spinoff series probably wouldn't have. Time will tell if the New Orleans characters made enough of an impression on CBS execs. The NCIS: Red characters did not.

UPDATE (May 9): Multiple sources report CBS has picked up NCIS: New Orleans for Fall 2014.

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