'NCIS: New Orleans' Season 6 Episode 4 addresses human trafficking in the midst of dealing with new immigration laws
'NCIS: New Orleans' season 6 episode 4 sees Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula), Hannah Khoury (Necar Zadegan) and Tammy Gregorio (Vanessa Ferlito) crack open a case of human trafficking where the suspects use the cover of private detention centers for asylum seekers. The episode titled 'Overlooked' began with a community celebrating a man's birthday and just as his daughter lights the candles, federal agents break up the celebration with a warrant to arrest one of the asylum seekers who doesn't have the papers to stay in the country.
We then see Hannah and Tammy reach the same address where the birthday party was held while responding to a missing person complaint from the commanding officer of Petty Officer First Class , Elena Martinez. Elena is taken to the detention center mistakenly, and that is when she finds out that there is something suspicious about the detention centers that she among others were taken to. Upon further investigation, it comes to light that young women get picked by private detention centers and in the name of giving them shelter, they are abused and manipulated.
The entire operation is backed by the detention center called Duvall, which was one investigated by the FBI, but the investigation did not go anywhere and it became a cold case. Luckily, Pride sees that the investigating officer is someone that the NCIS: New Orleans team has worked with before - Raymond Isler (Derek Webster) - and considered a friend. Isler reopens the FBI investigation and also agrees to loop Pride's team into the investigation.
In the course of the investigation, it comes to light that one of the officers in Duvall, a transport driver Samuel Barnes, and one contact in Miami are all involved in human trafficking. Patton Plame (Daryl "Chill" Mitchell) connects Samuel to the others by tapping his phone and finally, the team finds a connection to a local massage parlor. Turns out, the woman who owns the parlor gets paid in return for holding the women who get kidnapped before they can be moved out of New Orleans, into Miami. Pride and Hannah manage to scare the Madame of the parlor into flipping on Duvall by scaring her. They tell her that she could take the fall for the entire operation as there were several witnesses - federal agents - who can attest to the Madame receiving money in return for holding the women.
Pride and his team manage to rescue the women who would have otherwise been sold, but the episode is not really about happy endings. These rescued women are now going to be split up and sent to detention centers again, which would be crowded as well and there is nothing that the team can do. Even Elena's father is being held in one such detention center because he has not been given asylum by the US Government. While the team is not able to change the fate of the women, they do help Elena's father by hooking him up with ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), which would give him a standing chance at getting asylum. Hannah, who is a daughter of a refugee herself draws parallels between how welcoming the country was when her father had applied for asylum in the US, and how everything has changed today. Helping Elena in the end also pacifies Hannah's frustration with the change in the system which has led to the entire process of immigration being treated like a business.
The next episode of 'NCIS: New Orleans' will air on Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on CBS.