In this edition of our Midseason Report Card article series, we’re putting the focus on NCIS: New Orleans season 5 and for good reason. This was a fascinating edition of the show, one that took some risks and tried to find some unique ways to surprise much of its viewership.
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Did it succeed in much of that? We know that some of the twists may be polarizing, but personally we think that it had the strongest overall run of any of the NCIS series this fall. Why is that? Much of it starts with the show pushing the envelope.
It would have been easy for the writers this season to just tie together the Pride cliffhanger at the start of the season and never mention it again. Yet, they’ve really made his near-death experience matter in a way that is surprising authentic for a major network TV show. For starters, they have him working at a new job, one that does serve as a reminder of why he’s so good out in the field. It’s not his natural habitat, but we like that the writers haven’t just abandoned that storyline right away for the sake of getting him back at his old office. Necar Zadegan is doing a great job bringing something new there as Hannah Khoury and while we do think Pride could be back there down the road, there’s not necessarily a hurry.
Beyond just this, they’ve also made the cliffhanger a little more meaningful by bringing in the Angel of Death character — which, in our mind, has two separate purposes. First, it’s a way to show Pride’s subconscious and the new fear of death that now exists within him. Beyond that, it’s also a way in which to pay homage to some of the supernatural elements of New Orleans lore and mythos. We don’t think that this character is an actual angel; instead, it’s what Pride sees and it makes some sense that he would view the world a little differently after what he went through. We’ve seen the angel on a few occasions, most notably in the fall finale as Pride ended up witnessing the death of his father Cassius. This was a devastating conclusion to the first part of the season but a meaningful one. It continued to show the dangers of this job and that even with a different position, Pride is very much still haunted.
Is there anything the series could change?
We’d say that it would be nice to get more from the show’s supporting cast moving forward, especially people like Tammy and Patton who haven’t had a lot to do just yet. Meanwhile, a crossover somewhere would be nice.
Overall, it’s hard to complain all that much about NCIS: New Orleans season 5 just because it’s been such a solid season to date. It feels like it’s playing well into its setting, many of the story twists for Pride make sense, and we’ve had a chance to see some interesting mysteries from start to finish. It’s taking some more risks than the standard crime procedural and because of that, it’s a little more memorable and captivating. Grade: A-.
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What have you thought about NCIS: New Orleans season 5 so far? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)