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'NCIS: New Orleans' recap: Hallo-week horror

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “Master of Horror” | Aired Oct 28, 2014

On NCIS: New Orleans, Halloween is not just a single day but a whole week. During a Halloween party, an out-of-town couple finds a woman on a graveside, barely alive. She whispers, “Devil did this,” and then dies. The woman is Naval Staff Judge Advocate Melanie Herman (say that five times fast), whom Pride knew through work. She has suffered significant blood loss, yet there is no blood at the scene. She’s been cleaned up and left in the graveyard with two vampire-like puncture wounds. (Wait, which show are we watching again? Is Damon Salvatore here?)

Judge Herman is dressed in a white Victorian costume, and her hair has recently been dyed red. Although she resembles a victim of Dracula, the bite marks on her neck are just for show. (So no Damon, I guess?) Sebastian is big into horror flicks—real stuff, not that “Twi-hard crap” (don’t knock it till you try it, Sebastian), so he is fascinated with the direction of this murder. Judge Herman has a large incision on her side, which was done with no surgical precision. Her kidney was removed, and she was sewn back up with a thread from the dress she is wearing.

Before her murder, Judge Herman attended a party hosted by the one and only Councilman Hamilton. Remember him from the first episode? I said he was up to no good, and he’s back—if only for a brief moment to argue with Pride and find himself on the losing end of that argument. While Brody and LaSalle are tracking down a lead, they find a voodoo doll tied to a gate. The doll, who looks exactly like Judge Herman in her creepy costume, leads them to a dark room with blood, a freezer, and another dead body (This just got extra creepy.) The dead body is Lt. Commander Joel Abram, a juror on one of Judge Herman’s cases. It was a sexual assault case, and the assailant, Chief Petty Officer John Neville, was just released three months ago. The victim from that case, Denise Murdock, is missing; her car is found on the side of the road with a broken window, blood spots, and some drywall dust. The judge’s dying words now make a whole lot more sense: “Neville did it,” not “devil.” Pride throws out any suspicions of Halloween myths being involved in this case.

A psychologist from the prison where Neville was held is flown all the way in from Seattle. Although he lacks any real knowledge of horror books or the case, he is able to provide the team with the names of the books Neville read while in prison. The team begins to notice a correlation between the horror books and the murders. Judge Herman was made to look like a victim in Dracula, Abram had the judge’s kidney inside him and postmortem stun-gun marks reminiscent of Frankenstein, and Denise has been kidnapped and is believed to be held captive within a structure similar to Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado” (the horror genre is not my thing, so I’m just nodding along right now).

The blood found in Denise Murdock’s car is a match for Neville, but he continues to proclaim his innocence. The team raids his house and begins ripping into walls looking for Denise. They find the knife used to kill the judge, the stun gun used on the lieutenant, and all of Denise’s wallet contents. But Neville has no marks on his arms, which is inconsistent with the blood spatter in the car. Sebastian has also ascertained that the blood spatter is not random but was placed. The focus turns to my choice for the killer, Neville’s son, Jesse.

But after Jesse passes a lie-detector test with flying colors, and it’s then that we realize the usefulness of the Seattle psychologist. Jesse is a real-life version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and has multiple personality disorder. He’s unaware that he’s done anything wrong, so Pride must taunt and threaten him to expose the alternate personality, who admits he originally framed his father after years of abuse. When Neville was released after only seven years, the “other” Jesse took matters into his own hands again and committed these murders and kidnapped Denise Murdock to frame Neville again. He admits his crimes to protect the main Jesse, and the team finds Denise alive.

Throughout this episode, we get a better glimpse into Agent Pride’s life. His wife visits the office with his Halloween decorations and tells him she’s not coming over for the holiday because she doesn’t want to fall into old habits. When she returns with another box, she finds Denise Murdock’s mom worried and distraught and stays with her until her daughter is found. Later, she tells Pride that the problem is not his workload but the type of work he does. She is constantly afraid that his work might happen to him or their daughter. Pride is scared that his work is the reason he doesn’t get to come home. They leave things open-ended, so I’m sure we’ll see in future episodes if they can reconcile their relationship (I hope so).

Brody and LaSalle both decide to embrace the Halloween spirit as much as Pride does. Brody dresses up as a Freudian slip, which impresses the psychologist as he heads out of town. He’s less than impressed with LaSalle’s “Bacon-nator” costume, half bacon and half terminator. Instead of heading off to Halloween parties, Brody and LaSalle decide to support Pride and spend the evening with him. They continue to bond as a close-knit team, both in the field and off.

NCIS: New Orleans airs Tuesdays at 9/8C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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