Stockwell guest-stars on Tuesday's episode (9/8c, CBS) as Tom Hamilton, the father of Councilman Douglas Hamilton (Steven Weber). In addition, the episode is directed by James Whitmore, Jr., who helmed more than a dozen episodes of Quantum Leap.
"We talk on the phone. I've seen him over the years, but we've only worked one other time, shooting an episode of [Star Trek: Enterprise]," Bakula says of Stockwell. "The three of us have a lot of history. And then you throw in the mix Steven Weber [from] Wings — we all hit the same time, around the early '90s. So, it was a good day for the old guys. We laughed and reminisced. ... It's so much fun."
In addition, "Chasing Ghosts" marks the first holiday episode for the freshman series, and Pride (Bakula) finds himself in charge of making dinner for his crew. "It's the first holiday where [Pride and his wife] are not celebrating it together, so we make Thanksgiving for the outcasts at the office," Bakula says. "There's an underlying poignancy about that."
Viewers also get to see Pride's fatherly side when his daughter brings her new boyfriend home for the holiday. "There's some good father/daughter stuff going on," Bakula teases. "She's trying to coach [Pride] on how to not be such a nice guy because all of her boyfriends end up liking [him] as much or more than her. [The boyfriend] is also a chef, so there's some competition. He wants to take over in the kitchen."
Of course, before anyone can sit down to the dinner table, there's a case that needs to be solved. Pride and the rest of the team find themselves immersed in a cold case that Dr. Wade (CCH Pounder) investigated back when she was an assistant fresh out of school. The crime dates back 40 years and is rooted in reality, Bakula says.
"It's based on a true story of what was going on down here, when people were still being taken out in the woods and hung in the early '70s," he explains. "In this particular case, it was a young Jewish petty officer who was recruiting African-Americans into the Navy. And a certain group took a disliking to that and them. That was really going on, back in those days. So, we've taken that piece of history and brought that into our world."
After discovering a connection between Tom Hamilton and the crime, Pride ends up going through the councilman to get to his father. And that does nothing to ease the tension between the two, Bakula teases. "Weber and I are still butting heads together," he notes. "And that's going to continue."
NCIS: New Orleans airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS.
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