NCIS: New Orleans Recap: The Recruits
“NCIS: New Orleans” Season 1 Episode 4 “The Recruits” aired last Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, while investigating a petty officer's death which had occurred at a fraternity party, they ended up unearthing a a ring of collegiate call girls. Read on to learn more about this episode.
At the beginning of the episode, a bunch of university students partied hard at a fraternity party. One of the girls, who was drunk, decided to go over to her friend’s room. However, as she noticed something sticky on the floor, she pounded on the door and called her friend’s name — Natalie. Inside the room, Natalie was shaken and scared, as her dead boyfriend was on her bed.
At the New Orleans headquarters, Special Agent Christopher La Salle (Lucas Black) and Laurel Pride (Shanley Caswell), Special Agent Dwayne "King" Pride’s (Scott Bakula) daughter, talked about the teams they supported when it came to intercollegiate sports competitions. Pride was pleasantly surprised to see his daughter around New Orleans. She then informed him that she was just there for the weekend. However, their little reunion was cut short, as they had a new case on their hands.
The victim’s name was Petty Officer TJ Blake, and he was found by University Police Officer Mike Banton (Hunter Burke) in a student’s dorm room. Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder), their medical examiner, informed Pride that Blake was shot dead by a handgun, and since she noticed some stipling around the wound, she concluded that the shot had been taken at a close range.
While La Salle went around with the New Orleans Police Department to canvass the area, Pride and Special Agent Meredith ‘Merri’ Brody (Zoe McLellan) interviewed the student whose room Blake had been found in, Natalie (Vanessa Marano), and her friend, Tilda (Madison Burge). Natalie informed them that she and Blake had met at the party, and after they went to her room, he had passed out and died all of a sudden. Brody conducted a gun residue test on Natalie’s hands, which showed that she was not the one who had shot him. Tilda, on the other hand, gave her own testimony but did not remember much as she was pretty drunk that night.
As Pride and Brody walked around the university, Brody told Pride that she was suspicious of Natalie, their only suspect so far, especially as she had a Zini, an expensive designer rug, in her dorm room. The three then put their heads together in order to figure out how the killer could have gotten in and out of the building, as the windows had security locks, and all the doors had alarms. Brody then remembered that back when she was in college, she used to sneak into parties using a side door in the buildings. After a more thorough search, they discovered a hidden door in the wall that opened up to a secret underground passageway, which led them straight to the heart of the city. La Salle then had the door dusted for fingerprints, hoping to catch the killer's fingerprints on it.
At the morgue, La Salle and Brody learned that Loretta had cut her finger while retrieving the bullet from the victim, as it had been a black talon bullet. Those kinds of bullets had spikes which opens upon impact, which allows the bullet to embed itself deeply into the wound it had caused, which was why she had to remove it with her fingers. She also found some small plastic fragments which could have come from an improvised silencer, which would explain why Natalie did not hear any gunshots. However, he also had some bruises on his arm, which meant that he had been in a fight right before the party started, around five to six hours beforehand. As La Salle and Brody continued their investigation, Brody learned that La Salle had graduated magna cum laude from his university and had a GPA of 3.7.
While they ate some beignets, Brody informed that Blake had been a Navy SEAL, and all of his missions were classified. However, she was waiting for SOCOM to get back to her with a more detailed biography of Blake. La Salle then told them that Natalie had originally been from Seattle, and most of her friends had said that she was a very nice girl and was a part-time tutor. However, since Brody had learned that Blake’s platoon had some issues during a mission at Somalia, it could also be possible that he was killed by a fellow SEAL.
Pride then paid a visit to Blake’s master chief in order to get to know more about what had happened in Somalia and if he knew anyone from Blake’s platoon that had wanted to hurt him. The master chief maintained that none of them would have done such a thing and told him to talk to Max Wolf about what had happened in Somalia. It turned out that Max Wolf was a mercenary who had provided support for Blake’s platoon. However, Blake had caught him trying to sell a ring to a terrorist, which led to Wolf getting fired.
While La Salle and Brody went to collect Max Wolf, Laurel and Pride bonded over gumbo. She also told him that she had to move her piano out of her dorm room and was hoping that she could leave it in the NCIS headquarters, which Pride did not like.
At the bar where mercenaries hung out, La Salle got some help from a bartender who remembered him from school, as he had been their school mascot for several school games. The bartender, a former cheerleader at La Salle’s old school, informed them that Blake and Wolf had argued with each other recently and pointed Wolf out to them. Wolf tried to escape, but Brody stopped him as she tossed him down the stairs.
At interrogation, he told them that he did not kill Blake and that the argument they had was about his girlfriend, Natalie, who turned out to be a prostitute. This explained the reason why she had a very expensive throw rug in her dorm room, as she was earning a lot and could afford it. La Salle then discovered that Natalie had a juvenile record, as she had tried to kill her stepfather before. As she was not answering any of their calls, the team decided to split up in order to look for her.
La Salle approached his confidential informant, who told him that Natalie was known as a "working girl." Meanwhile, at the university, Brody and Pride talked to Tilda, who informed them that Natalie had stayed the night with her but had left right away in the morning. Pride noticed that Tilda also had expensive designer shoes and bags, and since she also said that she worked as a part time tutor, Pride and Brody concluded that she was also a working girl. The two left the campus just in time, as Officer Banton, who kept on taking swigs from a bottle of Orange Haze soda, kept on trying to flirt with Brody.
At headquarters, they were informed by Special Agent Patton Plame (Dary Mitchell) that he had unearthed a website which was a front for collegiate call girls. Laurel, who had dropped by to remind her father about moving the piano out of her dorm room, informed them that those kinds of things were currently big in the university scene. They also discovered that Tilda, an economics major, had several priors before for solicitation, which made her fit into the entire scheme. As they could not find Natalie at all, they decided to book an appointment with her in order to get her out of hiding. However, when she got out of the cab to go to the hotel where they had booked the appointment, she was almost run over by a car. Pride was able to save her just in time, but it left her shaken and told them that they were trying to kill her.
At the NCIS headquarters, she informed Pride that Blake was her boyfriend, and that as he had known about her work as a call girl, he was trying to help her get out of that kind of life. However, those who ran the ring warned her not to get serious about any of her clients and that she was not allowed to have a boyfriend. She was not allowed to quit at all. She did not know who exactly ran the ring, but she did know that they were the ones who had killed Blake. Patton then placed a trace on Natalie’s cell phone and the other girls’ cellp hones in order to pinpoint who had sent Natalie the warning text message, as whoever sent that most probably had killed Blake.
Meanwhile, at the laboratory, Sebastian Lund (Rob Kerkovich) informed La Salle and Brody that the bullet that had killed Blake was similar to a bullet that had killed a victim in an unsolved murder in 2006. This meant that the bullet had been fired from the same gun. After enlisting his confidential informant’s help, La Salle confronted a Russian mobster named Vlad, who told them at gunpoint that Natalie had had a client who was connected to the Russian mob and who had fallen in love with her. However, it had become a problem as Natalie had fallen in love with Blake instead, which led them to conclude that the Russians were the ones who had Blake killed.
Loretta and Sebastian then called to inform them that the improvised silencer had been made out of an Orange Haze soda bottle, which led them to conclude that Officer Banton had been the one who had killed Blake. After they arrested him, he then informed them that he did work for the Russians, but he was not the ringleader, and he had not been the one who had tried to run Natalie over because he would have never missed.
Natalie, worried about Tilda, went to her dorm room to convince her to run away with her so that they could finally get out of the ring. However, Tilda turned on her and asked her who she had been talking to, which made Natalie realize that she was one of the ringleaders and was the one who had given the order to have Blake killed in order to keep their rich Russian client happy. As Natalie was wearing a wire, they were able to use the recording as evidence against Tilda, who was promptly arrested. Afterwards, Pride gave Natalie a scholarship funded by the military, as her late father had served in the army. With this, she could pick any school and gain a second chance at life.
Back at headquarters, Laurel was surprised that her father ended up relenting to having the piano moved there. The father and daughter then bonded by playing a duet of the first piano piece Pride ever taught her, “God Bless the Child.”
And that was all for the recap on “NCIS: New Orleans” Season 1 Episode 4 “The Recruits.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “NCIS: New Orleans” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “NCIS: New Orleans” every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. on CBS.
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