'NCIS: New Orleans' Season 6 Episode 14 reveals the man in the red suit was murdered by Pride's father
Through the course of the episode, it becomes more than apparent that Red was having an affair with Pride’s mother while his abusive, estranged father was away
Even before the opening credits roll in on ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Season 6 Episode 14, two things are made abundantly clear:
One, Special Agent Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula) finally admits that he needs help. He hasn’t been sleeping well for months. He’s constantly dreaming, even hallucinating, about a man in a red suit (on occasion, he even sees him soaked in blood). He also sees a number -- 1562 -- often in different orders. And he’s finally worried his continued mental condition is affecting his work.
Two, contrary to what viewers believed, this condition predates the murder of Special Agent Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black) and the events that followed. In fact, it predates the whole of season 6 of the show. Pride was kidnapped and drugged with LSD in season 5. Pride now believes that that dosing had unlocked something in his brain and until he found out what was happening, he would be unfit to work with them.
With that in mind, in ‘The Man in the Red Suit’, we see Pride’s hallucinations have advanced. He saw himself walking through a carnival of sorts and on top of the stairs sat the eponymous man behind a table, sporting a deck of cards in his hands. With Dr. Tanaka’s (Angel Desai), and Dr. Wade’s (CCH Pounder) help, Pride plans to understand what he’s been witnessing. While it may seem straight out of an episode of Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘The Goop Lab’, the method employed to treat Pride is more LSD. Microdosing, even if endorsed by a questionable wellness brand, is an effective way to help the brain.
Show executive producer Jan Nash, in fact, recently said, “We decided to do something very topical right now, which is to treat trauma with a microdose of LSD. We go back to the thing that caused [the visions] and use it to unlock the mystery.”
The microdosing session leaves Pride feeling more confused than ever. And until he could find what these numbers meant, further sessions would have to wait.
Luckily for Pride, that did not take long. The number, it turned out, was 6, 2, 5, 1 -- the circle of fifths. He remembered it from when he started learning how to play the piano. In music theory, the circle of fifths is the relationship among the 12 tones of the chromatic scale, their corresponding key signatures, and the associated major and minor keys. But even with this revelation, he was no closer to finding out how that was related to the red-suited man.
The next session confused matters further. Pride saw himself as a boy being taught the piano by the same man. He called the man Red and as he learned about chord progressions and the circle of fifths. So far, it only implied that this memory was much older than anyone could have anticipated.
Through the course of the episode, it becomes more than apparent that Red was having an affair with Pride’s mother while his abusive, estranged father was away. The full force of this repressed memory unlocks when his father forces the name Red out of a young him and then proceeds to beat Red to death. Pride’s visions were the repressed memories of his father committing murder.
Even though he still had no idea about the identity of the man -- his mother’s mental state did not allow him to question her -- Pride looked much more relaxed than he had in all of season 6 so far. The question, however, remains if this sanity is temporary. After all, Pride is a stubborn man. And when a man like that has an unanswered question stuck in his brain like chicken in teeth, he is bound to keep trying to figure it out.
Except, in this case, all he has are dead ends. And that is something that’s likely to affect Pride and his work. He may have cracked the mystery of the man in the red suit, but will that be enough? Doubtful. ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Season 6 airs Sundays 10 pm PT.