Well, Hannah has one less problem now.
She put her boogeyman Zelko out of her misery on NCIS: New Orleans Season 5 Episode 16.
And next the hard work begins: rebuilding the family that Hannah has been keeping at arms’ length.
Finally, most of Hannah’s back story that had been hinted at throughout the season was shown. And yes, she made the right choices all along to keep her family safe.
The only mistake was letting VIctor Zelko escape in Yemen, to come back to haunt her and everyone else involved in that mission.
I didn’t even recognize Liam, Hannah’s old partner, who was being tortured by Zelko in the opening scene.
Granted, he was in pretty rough shape, not looking at all like he did when he came to warn Hannah on NCIS: New Orleans Season 5 Episode 14 about how Zelko and his family were killed in Yemen.
Too bad Liam was so disposable, as I’m sure he’d have stories to tell about Hannah in the old days. But NCIS: New Orleans got such a roster of recurring characters that you have to draw the line somewhere.
Hannah had to make a tough decision. No one knows Zelko better so she certainly would have been useful in the search for him.
But she’d sent away her family once before and they are still trying to recover from that painful but necessary decision, so she had to go with them this time.
Not that the team was terribly far behind Zelko. He was in Ukraine killing Liam. No, wait, now he’s in Mexico, not far away from New Orleans.
And rather than hitch a ride on any of those drug-smuggling planes, he came in on the only ship arriving from Veracruz. But Pride and LaSalle were a step behind and he was gone again.
No, wait! The Mossad agent decided it was a good idea to slip the address of the hideout hotel to Zelko, so they could trap and overwhelm him with their superior numbers.
That worked out well, didn’t it? As it was, didn’t Pride take out one of Zelko’s accomplices with that great mirror-aided shot and Gregorio the other, with her sniper rifle while six Mossad agents got killed? Ziva would be soooo pissed.
Avner should get a little credit for jumping Zelko and getting shot, which allowed Ryan and Naomi to escape. But then, he was the one who approved the Yemen mission knowing that Zelko’s family was present, intel to which Hannah wasn’t privy.
So the pissed-off, musclebound terrorist seeking vengeance against everyone involved in that mission was really Avner’s fault, wasn’t it? No wonder Hannah told him that she despised him for unnecessarily putting her family in danger yet again.
Hannah came up big when she had to, taking down a man twice her size with a handy live electrical cable. Way to improvise! Zelko won’t be walking away from that.
Pride and company were largely background characters this episode, other than eliminating Zelko’s accomplices. This was Hannah’s spotlight episode, as she conquered the man who had messed up her family life for much of the past couple of years.
The threat of Zelko has been erased. Yeah, the tape of the mission got released, but that’s quite a few news cycles old at this point. A terrorist’s family got killed, but considering all the collateral damage that Zelko caused through the years,
I doubt there will be much blowback for Hannah’s participation, especially now that it was revealed that a Mossad agent approved that mission.
Now for the hard work for Hannah: resurrecting her family.
Thanks to Hannah’s job, Naomi has gotten caught twice in firefights, having to be relocated once and put into protective custody another time. Can you say counseling?
It makes you wonder how agents based overseas can successfully have family lives if their loved ones can be in the line of fire.
I was afraid that Hannah was just going to walk away in order to keep Ryan and Naomi safe from her dangerous job. Fortunately, the narrative isn’t taking that direction.
Moving away from volatile overseas situations to New Orleans was a smart move by Hannah. Not contacting her family for three months after arriving because she was afraid of what their reaction might be was not.
It’s hard to fault Ryan for being angry with Hannah, first and foremost for not getting in touch.
Also he’s had to be a single parent. Now he’s the day-to-day parent, having to instill discipline in Naomi, while Hannah gets to be the fun “weekend” parent, who visits, plays and then leaves.
While the love remains strong between Hannah and Naomi, it’s far too early to tell whether Ryan and Hannah can repair their relationship, or if they’re going to become divorced parents sharing custody. It would be nice to see them work it out.
The next question is whether Hannah is going to need some more time off to reconnect with her family.
That would be the perfect excuse to send Pride back to lead the New Orleans squad full time. It’s what he’s been doing anyway, while criminally neglected his Special Agent in Charge position. Hannah could be his lieutenant instead, which is what she’s been doing anyhow.
Now to see if he can still operate without all the special clearances he’s been enjoying as SAC.
To follow Pride’s misadventures in bureaucracy, watch NCIS: New Orleans online.
Is Hannah safe now, or will her past pop up again?
Should she take more time off?
Will she and Ryan reunite?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.