The Tuesday, March 25 episode of "NCIS," 11x18, the first part of "Crescent City," introduces fans to a new team, this one based in New Orleans, because when a show is as successful as this one has been and also has an already popular spin-off, why not try to hit gold again? But is "NCIS: New Orleans" a good idea?
First of all, let's get the case out of the way. This week, "NCIS" investigates after a Congressman and former NIS agent is found with his throat slit. Daniel McLane taught Pride everything he knows, and Pride travels up to see his old friend Gibbs (and hey, apparently Gibbs gets his elevator thing from Pride!) while he leaves Lasalle to follow up on leads back home. Unfortunately, Pride must settle for a joint investigation with the FBI, although the FBI doesn't seem to want to have any part in the "joint" aspect of it.
The FBI whisks away McLane's body before the team's ME can do anything more than really breathe near it, and the murderer successfully distracts them with the working girl he had chat up McLane the night he was killed. But she was just paid to talk to him and then skip town, and they're left with no real answers. Meanwhile, Lasalle tries to get an FBI agent he has a history with to give up the body, without success, and honestly, we're not too sad to see her become the killer's latest victim.
At first, they chase down a lead of a lobbyist who wanted to have McLane discredited, thanks to Tony's "as needed" relationship, and that guy says all the wrong things, like it's for the best McLane's dead and the photo of his dead body is the best he took. Pride does get to throw him over a car and we get to see Pride and Gibbs play a game of Go Fish while they wait for him to talk, but this guy seems to just be a complete jerk. Both he and his nephew – whose attitude with Lasalle and Brody is just like the lobbyist's – who happens to be in New Orleans for the time being, but is evasive about his alibi because he let a working girl pick out his tattoo – have alibis.
However, they do have a major problem on their hands: a copycat, as Ducky and New Orleans' Loretta discover despite the terrible state whoever performed the "autopsy" after the FBI took the body left McLane in. Back when the bosses were Probies, the Privileged Killer's victims were military and civil servants, and both McLane and the FBI agent – and how they were killed (throat slit, two stab wounds to the abdomen) – fit the MO. The FBI's being evasive because they don't want it getting out that there's a killer on the loose, but with one of their own dead, the joint investigation actually becomes a joint investigation, and Gibbs heads down to New Orleans, taking Bishop with him since Fornell needs Tony and McGee.
Thanks to Abby's findings on the FBI agent's car's floor mats, they have a pretty good idea of where the killer was, but upon arriving there, they realize it not only offers the killer plenty of vantage points, they may very well be sitting ducks out in the open like that. And someone is watching and taking photos – specifically of Gibbs and Pride.
Now, let's address the new team. (By the way, if this is picked up, please do something about the accents.) Originally, it's just made up of Pride and Lasalle, which reminds us of when it was just Gibbs and Tony before they met Kate back in "Yankee White." We don't see enough of the ME to get a good feel on her just yet, but hopefully that changes in next week's conclusion. She seems like the type of person we want to see around.
When we first meet Pride, he's out on the town and seemingly picking up a woman with a really bad line, but it turns out she's his wife – and she's sending him back to his apartment when work calls. Pride seems like fun and a bit of a loose cannon, which is pretty much what we expected to see from the team's boss. That said, less can be more sometimes, and that may be a good idea when it comes to Pride.
As for Lasalle, he credits Pride with saving his life, so he's loyal to Pride, and while we do see plenty of him in this episode, like the ME, hopefully the second part fleshes this character out a bit more because for now, he doesn't seem like someone we'd like to see as Pride's Tony.
"Crescent City" introduces the third team member in Brody, from the Great Lakes office, their interrogator since Pride has issues not punching people apparently, and already, we know she has her secrets (is she running from something?), can take care of herself and has a "classified" history with Gibbs. She also has a weird quirk in that she does crossword puzzles in her head, which reminds us too much of Bishop's thing for food and strange habits like working, and it seems like they're already gearing up for a will they/won't they between Lasalle and Brody.
"NCIS" season 11 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS. What are your first impressions of the New Orleans team?