This episode of NCIS introduces us to the cast of the newest NCIS spinoff, starring Scott Bakula and Lucas Black. In the episode, Scott Bakula plays Dwayne “King” Pride, whom we soon find out is a former colleague, and a friend, of Gibbs. We’re introduced to Pride when he picks up a woman named Linda at a bar. We soon learn she is actually his wife, although they seem to be having marital issues. Pride and Linda are enjoying an intimate moment when Pride receives a call from his co-worker, Agent Chris LaSalle, about a crime scene.
When Pride arrives at the crime scene, the body is covered and LaSalle gives him some information on the victim. He was a retired navy commander who was a guest on the U.S.S. Ulysses. When Pride asks for an ID, LaSalle’s reluctance makes it clear this is personal. The victim is Congressman Dan McLane, who had previously been an NIS agent who taught Pride “everything he knows.” He finds a picture of his old team in McLane’s wallet, with our own Agent Gibbs appearing in the photo as well.
Back in Washington, Ellie is attempted to fix her car, even thought she doesn’t seem to be quite sure how to do so. McGee and Tony are not much help themselves and Gibbs comes along to give her some suggestions when his phone rings. Director Vance tells him he has a visitor and Gibbs goes up to greet Pride. Gibbs, Vance, and Pride all talk in the director’s office about working the case.
When Pride receives a call in MTAC, it is discovered that an Agent Doyle from the FBI took McLane’s body before medical examiner Loretta Wade got a chance to do an autopsy on the victim.
Gibbs and Pride soon talk to Fornell, remembering how Mike Franks and Dan McLane were part of the Fed Five and were the best agents. In the squad room, Tim has just finished talking to LaSalle, who made connections to get security camera in places such as bars and strip clubs. Soon it is discovered that cameras caught McLane talking to a woman named Sally Hammond at the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar.
Back in New Orleans, LaSalle goes to meet Agent Doyle to find out where McLane’s body is. She refuses to give up the body, telling LaSalle when the FBI is finished with their autopsy she will give LaSalle the information he needs.
At Gibbs’ house, Pride has made dinner of red beans and rice and soon, Fornell joins them to tell the two that their bosses have decided on a joint investigation, as long as Gibbs and Pride report to Fornell. He also informs Gibbs and Pride that the New Orleans FBI office has been pulling old murder cases. Gibbs gets a call from Tony revealing the BOLO on Sally Hammond came through and she’s been found.
In an interview with Sally Hammond, she reveals to Pride that she was paid to talk to McLane for a few minutes and then was given the chance to go on a vacation, which is later discovered to be true. Gibbs’ team has found that calls were made with a disposable burn phone to set up the meeting between Hammond and McLane. From the sounds of it, Hammond was set up to be the focus of the investigation. Gibbs sends Tony to talk to a woman he knows named Andrea, a secretary at the Capitol, in order to find out who didn’t want McLane to be reelected.
With Tony going to talk to a woman named Andrea at the Capitol, McGee and Ellie stay in the squad room. On his end, LaSalle is going to talk to the crew on the U.S.S. Ulysses. Gibbs goes to talk to Ducky while Pride goes to visit Abby.
Down in autopsy, Ducky finally has McLane’s body. However, whoever had done the autopsy had botched it, leaving McLane’s neck would so badly stitched up, it was impossible to figure out what type of knife was used. He tells Gibbs that along with Loretta Wade, the ME from earlier, they are going to do their own autopsy. It appears whoever had done the autopsy for the FBI was covering something up in regards to McLane’s murder.
Abby is thrilled to see Pride and she soon informs him that because of weather conditions and the currents in the area where McLane was found, it appears that his body wasn’t dumped at the spot where he was found. Rather, it appears his body had previously been further up in the wetlands.
Agent LaSalle goes back to the office, which is more like a warehouse, to find Agent Brody, who is from the Great Lakes office and is there to help with the investigation. LaSalle recognizes Brody from being in an explosion when she was working as an agent afloat on the U.S.S Moultrie, but she doesn’t want to discuss it.
Back at the squad room in Washington, Ellie finds out the murder cases, which were pulled were about the killer Victor Lorta, who was known as the Privileged killer. Pride and Gibbs had been probies during the case, with Mike Franks and Dan McLane leading the investigation. Lorta died in prison.
Tony comes back, having found out from Andrea that McLane was butting heads with Tom Speakman, a lobbyist for a power company. McLane had been trying to prevent the building of a power plant near a wildlife refuge. Speakman’s nephew, Abraham Lycek, was a petty officer on the U.S.S Ulysses, and had anger management issues, as well as debt.
When Gibbs and Pride go to talk to Speakman, he seems way too happy that McLane is dead. After one too many remarks over McLane, Pride grabs him and throws him over a car. In the interrogation room later, Pride and Gibbs interview Speakman, who claims to have no knowledge of the murder.
During their interrogation, Lasalle and Brody are working on their own interrogation of Lycek. As the scenes go back and forth, Speakman asks Gibbs and Pride if they want him to say he set up McLane’s murder by hiring his nephew. However, both men have solid alibis, with Lycek’s being that he was getting a tattoo.
In the elevator, Gibbs and Pride discuss the case, with Pride teasing Gibbs over stopping the elevator, since it had supposedly been his move. As they are talking about the Privileged Killer, Pride mentions stab wounds, a fact which Gibbs didn’t know about.
Down in autopsy, Ducky and Loretta found two stab wounds on McLane’s abdomen and with the cut through his throat, it’s obvious that he was killed in a similar manner to the victims of Victor Lorta. The team wonders if this means a copycat is in the works. Gibbs calls Fornell with the news.
Back in New Orleans, Brody and LaSalle are talking about each other’s backgrounds, although LaSalle appears to be more forthcoming. He talks about meeting Pride, and how he had apparently saved his life, most likely in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Brody just talks about needing a change when LaSalle asks why she is in New Orleans.
At some point in the evening, Agent Doyle is walking to her car and when she gets in, someone grabs her around the mouth and we find out later she was killed in her car, the same was as McLane.
Vance, Gibbs, Fornell, and Pride are in the director’s office, arguing about the FBI’s handling of the case, especially now that Doyle is dead. Vance tells Fornell and Pride to settle down and work together. Gibbs asks for permission to go back to New Orleans, since it seems as though the murders are occurring in that area. Fornell needs Tony and Tim to stay in Washington to keep working on the Capitol Hill angle, so Gibbs asks that Ellie come.
Ellie and Gibbs go to New Orleans to investigate what happened. Seeing that LaSalle and Brody actually cleaned the workspace, Pride bemoans not being able to find anything now. Ellie calls it “organized chaos.” We also discover in this scene that Gibbs and Brody know each other, although they both claim the information about how is classified.
Agent Brody found cases that indicate that the copycat killer has been working for some time, before he or she killed McLane and Doyle. They send the contents of Doyle’s car to Abby, who tests the floor mats for any trace material. Whoever was wearing the shoes had trace amounts of popcorn, fuel, and pigeon poop on the sole of their shoes.
Brody, LaSalle, Pride, and Gibbs go out to the area where they believe the killer was while Ellie stays behind in the office to work. Brody is checking the scene and, due to the high windows surrounding the scene, she feels someone had to have seen the killer. Pride tells LaSalle he’s sorry about Doyle, since he knew they had been friends. Then he asks Brody what she is running from, as he relies on trust when it comes to people he works with. Gibbs gets a call from Abby with the findings from the floor mats and he asks Pride and LaSalle where they can find an area with “popcorn, junk food, and pigeon crap.”
The group continues looking around, finding the area and discovering it has plenty of vantage points. At this point, they realize the killer tricked them. The person wanted them to discover the trace evidence from the floor mats so they would go to the area and he could identify them. At the end of the scene, we see someone holding a camera and snapping photos of Brody, LaSalle, Pride, and Gibbs.
What will happen? We’ll find out next week when the episode continues…
Photo: Skip Bolen/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
At Large Senior Editor, Arizona State University alum, coffee addict and television crime drama fan