A spinoff from NCIS and NCIS: LA, this show focuses on an NCIS team that solve cases in New Orleans. Warning there may be spoilers ahead.
I’ll start off by admitting that I’ve only seen the first few seasons of NCIS and I’ve never watched NCIS:LA so my excitement for this show was never going to be as high as other fans. However I was pleasantly surprised, and really enjoyed the latest instalment in the franchise. It’s also important to note that I haven’t seen the NCIS crossover introductory episodes so these characters are completely new to me.
To start with it has an awesome theme tune, very reminiscent of New Orleans. In fact the whole episode, and I suspect series, pays homage to the city almost making it a character itself within the show. I loved the use of jazz throughout and really appreciated the attention to detail paid towards the music of the show. New Orleans natives may feel differently, I’m not sure how accurate the lingo or accents are but to a Brit like me it seemed pretty impressive.
Moving onto the cast, I would say one of the best things about the show was the chemistry between them all. It felt very natural from the start, something that can be difficult to achieve when just beginning a show. I particularly loved the banter between LaSalle(Lucas Black) and Brody (Zoe McLellan), and wouldn’t be surprised if the writers decided on a potential romantic storyline between the two.
The other great thing was how likeable all the characters were. Scott Bakula leads the team in top form as Agent Pride, he comes across as the heroic type but still retains a high level of humour. He treats his team well and is clearly the patriarch figure. I wasn’t expecting such an emotional display from Bakula in the first episode but he delivered those scenes strongly, revealing another layer to his character. Brody, the new girl, actually comes across as quite quirky which I love, too often women in police roles are portrayed as serious and devoid of humour so it’s refreshing to see someone who can actually have fun.
I’m sure Loretta (C. C. H. Pounder) will be a favourite character of many, her bubbly personality and sharp intelligence in the pilot made for great viewing, and her relationship with Pride was brilliant to watch. Rather underused in the episode was Sebastian (Rob Kerkovich), although we got a hint of his rather awkward and eccentric personality I feel as if he didn’t get enough screen time to truly show us what he’s capable of. I did love him attempting and failing to call Pride by his first name though.
Lastly we have the standout performer of the episode, Lucas Black who plays Christopher LaSalle. For me he’s very reminiscent of DiNozzo from the original NCIS, that cheeky manner and great sense of humour instantly made me link the two. And he just seemed to get funnier as the episode progressed, making me laugh out loud several times. In any show that deals with such serious issues as murder you need a character to bring some comedy in, otherwise it can be difficult to watch. LaSalle will for sure be that character. It’ll be interesting to see how he plays the more emotional scenes but something tells me that he’ll deliver those just as wekk. And that’s one of the strongest things about this show, the cast seem very talented and more than capable of giving great performances, which I can’t wait to see.
The only negative thing I would have to say was the case used for the episode. While I understand that making it personal for Pride allowed us to see more depth to his character it was not the most exciting story. It would’ve been more interesting to see a case that was more action packed or where the stakes were higher like in the case of episode 2 where the team face a plague outbreak. A pilot is meant to grab the audience and the case just didn’t do that. However it mean that more time was spent on getting to know the characters which isn’t a bad thing. The most interesting point of the episode for me was the introduction of Councilman Hamilton who I suspect will be a long term antagonist for Pride. The fact that he’s in such a high position of power and has the law on his side makes him a dangerous enemy. I like that he’s included from the very beginning and look forward to that storyline developing.
NCIS: New Orleans did well for its first episode. The use of location and cast were the particular highlights for me, as well as introducing future interesting storylines. What’s great is that they catered to people who are already fans of NCIS, with an appearance of Ducky, but also didn’t alienate new viewers by focusing too much on the other series. As such, I’m sure NCIS: New Orleans will attract a new audience while still retaining their old one.