NCIS: New Orleans: Best Episode Of Each Season, According To IMDb

When NCIS first debuted, it was a spinoff of JAG, and the franchise has grown to have three spinoffs of its own. NCIS: New Orleans proved itself the shortest series of the bunch as it ended after its seventh season in 2021. Though all of the NCIS series have stuck to the crime procedural format, one of the reasons the shows are so beloved is how they develop their main characters and the relationships between them. That's evident in the best episodes of NCIS: New Orleans as well.

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Amongst the seven seasons that aired, the best episodes from each season range from an 8.1 to an 8.6 out of 10 on IMDb. That's pretty impressive considering the average rating for the show overall is quite a bit lower at a 6.8. One of the things that most of these top-rated episodes had in common was their ability to bring something fresh to the franchise, like a new perspective on a crime, or in their providing new detailed backstory on a member of the ensemble.

7 Season 1: Episode 13, "The Walking Dead" (8.2)

Unlike most new shows, the first season of NCIS: New Orleans didn't have to do a ton of setup for its premise since it was the third NCIS series to debut. This particular episode took a step away from the usual murder mystery format in that the victim wasn't dead yet.

TV veteran B.D. Wong played the character dosed with a lethal amount of polonium who needed to figure out who would want him dead. It's rare for someone to get to investigate their own murder in a police procedural. A year into a franchise, the show still managed to make its storylines fresh and unexpected.

6 Season 2: Episode 24, "Sleeping With The Enemy" (8.4)

Not all crime procedurals focus on the relationships amongst their main characters, but the NCIS franchise tends to make their teams as close as family - and with that comes some romantic pairings as well. In the case of the relationships in NCIS: New Orleans, one big one came to an end in this episode as one agent discovered that their boyfriend was actually a mole for a criminal group.

Betrayal might not be a fresh concept in crime shows, but this episode did keep the audience from getting too angry since it wasn't a member of the main team doing the betraying. The high-rated episode also marks the last appearance of Agent Brody, who never quite found her footing with the rest of the team - or the audience, really.

5 Season 3: Episode 11, "Let It Ride" (8.1)

One of the great things about an ensemble series is that, at some point, all of the main characters get to have episodes that allow them to shine. This season three favorite brings Sebastian and Patton to the forefront of the story. Both characters, up until this episode, were often used as comic relief more than anything else.

Patton's previous issues with gambling were explored as his expertise was needed to run a con on a suspect. The audience got to have a better window into him as a result. Likewise, Sebastian, most often employed to gather forensics, got to go undercover for the con, allowing the audience to see him in a new environment as he struggled to maintain his cover, but still proved himself one of the most intelligent characters in the show. It was a breath of fresh air in the third season.

4 Season 4: Episode 21, "Mind Games" (8.2)

Though former CSI: NY star Vanessa Ferlito joined the series in season 3, the show didn't start to delve into her character's personal life until the fourth season. She played FBI turned NCIS agent Gregorio who filled a void on the team after Agent Percy left. Here, the audience got to see a bit more of what made her tick, and just what kind of cases stuck with her.

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Gregorio reached out to an old mentor from her training days at the FBI for help on a case that seemed familiar, only to discover her mentor might have been closer to the case than she thought. Not only does the episode delve into a formative trauma from Gregorio's past, but it also solidifies the friendship between her and Sebastian. Balancing the bonding with the adrenaline of Gregorio being kidnapped by her old mentor is no easy task, but the episode pulls it off.

3 Season 5: Episode 15, "Crab Mentality" (8.4)

This season 5 outing has consistently been ranked amongst the best episodes of NCIS: New Orleans. Like many of the most entertaining installments, it fleshed out one of the newer (at the time) characters to the show for the audience.

Agent Khoury got the spotlight here. Initially brought in to replace Agent Pride as the supervising agent, it took the audience (and the team) time to warm up to her. When this episode focused on her being blackmailed, it solidified her as part of the team's family. It's not easy to successfully bring in new characters to an established franchise like this one, which might be part of the reason so many come and go after only a few seasons on the flagship series. New Orleans proved it could be done.

2 Season 6: Episode 3, "Bad Apple" (8.2)

Unless an episode crossed over with another series, it was rare for one of the NCIS shows to take a trip out of their usual area of the country. In the case of "Bad Apple," the story of the episode was split between the team in New Orleans and Agent Pride in New York.

RELATED: The 10 Best NCIS Los Angeles Episodes According To IMDb

Pride played double duty, paying a visit to his daughter in New York while he investigated a cold case. It allowed the show to explore Pride without him being the one fully knowledgeable about a situation or mentoring his team, bringing a fresh perspective to the show after years on the air.

1 Season 7: Episode 16, "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler" (8.6)

It's not unusual for series or season finales to have high rankings on IMDb if they provide some closure for the audience. That's true of the series finale of NCIS: New Orleans. Not only is it the highest rated episode of the seventh season, but it's also one of the highest rated for the series overall.

The episode primarily focused on Pride, not just as the leader of the team, but on him moving on with his personal life as well. He and Rita finally planned to marry after the latter's career kept the two of them apart when she recurred. Of course, the celebration was slightly delayed as Pride and his team had to investigate the kidnapping of his newly introduced son. The episode featured a betrayal from someone Pride knew, but one that involved someone's heart being in the right place. It provided twists for the audience right up until the end, but still gave the audience a happy ending.

NEXT: 10 Best Guest Stars On NCIS New Orleans

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