Did Carter's 'Fast & Furious' Attitude on 'NCIS: New Orleans' Win You Over? (POLL)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 14 of NCIS: New Orleans, "The Man in the Red Suit."]
Lasalle's (Lucas Black) desk in the NOLA office couldn't stay empty forever. And in his debut, Special Agent Quentin Carter (Charles Michael Davis) makes it clear he's not going to — nor is he looking to — fill his shoes.
While Pride (Scott Bakula) is off undergoing a specialized treatment to uncover the identity of the man in the red suit, the rest of the team is in for a surprise when Carter arrives a week early. And in his debut, he's exactly as Davis previewed: "a professional, good at his job, competitive, and likes to stand on his own."
He's arrogant, he's standoffish, and he's there to do his job and that's it. From the start, it sounds like he's prepared to do what he's done at his previous posts (five in five years). "You're fast and furious, make a splash, piss off the rank and file, close some high-profile case," Pride notes his previous bosses' comments. "The highest-profile case any of those offices ever handled," Carter corrects him. Once he does that, he requests a transfer and moves on.
"Allow me to say how enthusiastic I am to unburden you of your toughest cases," Carter tells the team when he meets them. "Best to keep it professional. Don't need to know any of you beyond these four walls." In fact, he doesn't even seem to care about acknowledging their names — he calls Hannah (Necar Zadegan) "the other one" in a conversation with Tammy (Vanessa Ferlito) and Sebastian (Rob Kerkovich) — though he knows all of them on his first day.
And throughout the case, that continues. He doesn't seem to care how he treats his new team members, grabbing an evidence bag from Tammy's hand and a tablet from Hannah's (and then placing it on the table instead of her outstretched hand).
While he realizes he's at Lasalle's old desk, he brushes that aside and then takes it upon himself to pack up the agent's belongings. He's being respectful, he promises Pride, but notes that they can't move forward if they're staring at the past.
However, it's clear that he knows what he's doing on the job and his time as a Marine means something to him — as do those who wear or have worn the uniform. His first case involves a missing Marine, and he's the one who talks her down as she holds a gun to her own head. "One Marine to another, she wants to be there for you, but you have to let her in," Carter says. "You're in the suck. I've been there, but you're strong enough to push through it."
So, there are moments where we see there's more to Carter and openings for him to let someone on the team in. But for now, he's very much against that. He won't even call Pride Dwayne. "I'm not looking for a family," he stresses to his new boss. "I got one of my own already."
That's where we get a hint about the reason for his attitude. "Anyone who knows the Navy knows about the legendary Carters," Pride agrees. "You want to stand out, you got to break away from the pack."
Did Pride request him to fill the spot on the team left by Lasalle's death because he's so different from Christopher? Could Pride simply think that the team needs someone like Carter — someone who can come in, do the job, and eventually leave — before they find the right person to fill Lasalle's spot? After all, they can't work down a team member forever, especially with Sebastian pursuing REACT.
Or does Pride think that Carter might be able to, despite his insistence, find a family with the NOLA team? It's not going to be easy either way.
What did you think of Quentin Carter? Vote in the poll below.
NCIS: New Orleans, Sundays, 10/9c, CBS