NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 21 Review: Collateral Damage

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I really would not want to be one of Pride's friends. Like, really. If they aren't corrupt (Jim Messier), they have some really, really bad luck, like the unfortunate Colonel Sam Nilsen.

On NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 21, Nilsen called Pride in when Nilsen's boss, an Army general, had the bad luck to be caught in a room with a dead Navy officer. This episode proved once and for all that Pride is a major-time jinx.

There were a few head-scratchers to be found, beyond the most obviously telegraphed murderer yet depicted on this series.

First off, as I understand the rules of fraternization in the military, there was nothing wrong with General Matthews (hypothetically) dating Lt. Peterson. Unless I missed something, they weren't in the same chain of command. They weren't even in the same service, for cryin' out loud! (She was Navy, he was Army.)

The rules of fraternization are there to prevent conflicts of interest in the workplace (which, being the military, is especially important). Since the general wasn't her boss, this doesn't come into play.

The next headscratcher can be combined with a face-palm. Nilsen called in Pride to investigate the death of Lt. Peterson... and then proceeded to obstruct them every step of the way. Um... kinda sending mixed messages there, aren't you?

And despite apparently knowing Pride since kindergarten or whatever, Nilsen clearly didn't know him very well to storm in and accuse him of leaking the salacious story to the press. This, after Pride and his team made a ridiculous amount of effort to keep things quiet.

It does beg the question who did it, and who poisoned the poisoner. You know, whoever did it wasn't very bright; such things only tend to draw attention to you and make people dig deeper. I mean, how far would Pride and company have looked if the Man Behind the Man had simply bribed someone to shank Jeffries in prison? Or even just left him alone? And why ruin Matthews?

This episode was just so frustrating for me. It also didn't help that it was painfully obvious that Jeffries was the killer.

That's not to say the episode was devoid of good points. Like this gem:

You wanna explain why you karate-chopped my coffee back there?


Be sure to check out our NCIS: New Orleans quotes page for some of the noteable lines from this episode.

I also liked LaSalle's interaction with the victim's father, and how he kept his promise to come back and answer all his questions. LaSalle knows all too well what it's like to lose someone he loves to violence, so I think those scenes were especially meaningful.

Also, it was nice to meet an old friend of Pride that didn't end up in jail (or the morgue) by the end of the episode. Though I did want to yell and throw things for his persistence in acting like a complete idiot.

A few final notes before I turn the discussion over to you:

  • The fact that the press ran with the steamy but untrue story of the circumstances of the lieutenant's death is, well, sad, though not altogether surprising (let alone unprecedented). I would hope that reputable news organizations would check their facts before running such a tabloid story, but...
  • On a related note, now the victim's unfortunate father gets to enjoy mourning his daughter while the press gleefully parrots a story about how she was having a torrid affair with the general, instead of the real story about how she discovered massive fraud and was murdered to cover it up.
  • Why did Jeffries use arsenic, of all things? Surely there are more likely poisons to choose from. While it's not necessarily wrong, it is a bit odd. Also, wouldn't poisoning a coffee pod also contaminate the coffee maker, too? Was Jeffries planning on just buying a new one, or was he slowly killing himself, too?
  • First rule of assassination: kill the assassin. Thank you, Star Trek VI.
  • Does this opening in Homeland Security have anything to do with what happened at the end of NCIS Season 13 Episode 21?

So, what did you think of "Collateral Damage"? Who was it that blew the lid off the case and murdered the murderer? What will the fallout be for our team? Will Brody suffer an overdose of caffeine? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you missed this episode, you can always watch NCIS: New Orleans online. After a week off, the show returns with NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 22, "Help Wanted," on May 3 at 9/8c on CBS.

Collateral Damage Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (51 Votes)
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NCIS: New Orleans Season 2 Episode 21 Quotes

I don't care what track he's on. Fraternizing with a superior officer is no bueno.


Sam Nilsen: That's an assumption!
LaSalle: No, sir. Observation.