Tonight, NCIS: New Orleans season 4 episode 17 was an episode about tough decisions, and then also about family. For LaSalle in general, he faced a difficult choice in regards to how to care for his brother Cade — does he need to bring him home in order to care for him? Is that the best thing for Cade, and then also the best thing for himself?
We don’t think that this is going to be an easy issue for Chris to deal with, but for the show itself tackling this story is fairly difficult. Clayne Crawford is currently on Lethal Weapon so it’s not altogether easy to use him. With that, much of this storyline is going to be taking place off-camera.
The reverberations of Cade came mostly to the forefront this week because of another troubled man in Jack — someone who clearly battled some of the same demons that LaSalle’s brother was. There was an extra layer of care around his fate at the end of the episode, which made his eventual fate all the sadder.
Yet, the fate of Jack was far from the biggest surprise of this episode, as that honor went instead to Pride and the reveal that his mother was apparently still alive — albeit not in America. In the closing minutes of the episode, he played her a song on the piano and it was a soft, touching, and subtle moment. Why reveal this now? That is a very good question, and you have to assume that there is going to be something more that comes with this in due time. There’s more backstory to tell if the writers are interested in telling it. For now, it’s just another parallel — Pride wasn’t capable of caring for her on her own, which in turn informs some of the other storylines of this episode, even if it is indirect.
As a whole, though, the episode title for this episode sums it up: “Empathy.” As violent as part of this episode was with Jack we do still feel like in the end, this is an episode that is very much about people caring for one another and the need to recognize that we’re all human, regardless of what we’ve gone through or some of the other things that can divide us. Finding ways to come together and care is essential.
It would’ve been nice to see NCIS: New Orleans lean more into the story of LaSalle’s brother, but just as we’ve noted we do understand why they aren’t. This was a fascinating episode that was perhaps most fascinating when there wasn’t violence on the screen. This is a show, at the end of the day, about characters.
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