The best word to describe NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 Episode 6 would be "twisted."
The vampire attack fake-out has been pretty much done to death (pun intended) by various crime dramas, but fortunately this time they don't dwell on it as an actual theory for any length of time:
"If Judge Hermann had someone in her courtroom whose reflection doesn't show up in a mirror, they're suspect number one!"Pride
Honestly, this story wouldn't be out of place in an episode of fellow CBS drama Criminal Minds, what with all the psychological drama and horror. Of course, a Criminal Minds episode would be far more visually gory (some have accused it of being torture porn) - but once all is revealed during that final interrogation scene with Jesse's alter...!
Speaking of Jesse, guest star Adam Rose did quite a fine job playing both the abused Jesse and his aggressively protective unnamed alter personality. It was positively chilling the way he calmly described his reasons for going after the judge and the juror (and the original sexual assault victim). Was Dissociative Personality Disorder over the top? Maybe, but they made it work within the context of the episode and the series: everything's bigger in New Orleans, just a little more vibrant - even the horror.
The entire chain of events that led to this episode is a long twisted mess, starting with long-term child abuse which lead to a mental break and a plot to get Jesse's father imprisoned, though not for a crime he had actually committed. I do wonder how Jesse's alter so successfully framed his father for the sexual assault.
Steven Weber pops up briefly as the smarmy Councilman Hamilton; his appearance is incidental to the case and almost feels wasted, though I am positive that they're leading up to something and don't want us to forget about that politician Pride distrusts. Though it was fairly funny to watch Hamilton squirm when Pride threatened to arrest him, as in this quote:
[to Councilman Hamilton] It'd be a shame to cuff your ass in front of all these registered voters.Pride
Paige Turco made quite an impact as Agent Pride's estranged wife Linda. It was amusing to learn that Pride got his "Go. Learn something" mantra from her! She isn't worried so much about the long hours he worked as the intensity of the cases and him bringing them home with him emotionally. I definitely look forward to seeing more of her in the future, and I hope they successfully work out their marital issues, because they have some truly enjoyable chemistry.
Back to the case itself: I felt that NCIS: New Orleans Season 1 finally wasn't suffering from Enterprise Syndrome ("only ship in the quadrant!") in this episode - we actually got a local police officer helping out LaSalle investigate Denise Murdock's car! This was sadly gratifying.
I do have a question, though: is it really a good idea to smash holes in the wall when you think there might be a woman buried back there? Aren't you likely to accidentally smash her head in? I suppose they were aiming high, but wouldn't it make more sense to find recently-renovated wall space and use a stethoscope or something instead of smashing randomly?
Was I the only one who liked LaSalle's punny Baconator costume? He gets to tease Brody about getting into the Halloween spirit, which she finally does at the end in her "Freudian Slip" outfit. And Brody gets to share flirty looks with the shrink, Dr. Wilkins (guest star Eyal Podell) - might sparks actually fly there? To be honest, I'm more in favor of Brody romancing Wilkins than LaSalle: she and 'Bama Boy are far more fun in a teasing brother-sister sort of relationship.
Eyal Podell had a good presence, for his own part. So much so that I briefly wondered whether he was the murderer! (See, this is why we can't have nice things on crime dramas!) His character had actual business and contributed vitally to the resolution of the case. Plus, he and Brody got to exchange doe eyes, however briefly. I grinned when he immediately guessed her costume!
So, what do you think? Do you want to see more of Linda Pride? Are on board with a Brody-Wilkins romance? Were you even a little freaked out by the real horror story that started everything in this episode? Let's hear what you think in the comments below!
You can re-experience this episode in all its twisted glory when you watch NCIS: New Orleans online.