Spoilers ahead for the Season 5 premiere of NCIS: New Orleans and minor spoilers for the Season 15 premiere of NCIS.
The NCIS: New Orleans Season 5 premiere was bound to be an intense affair as it revealed what happened after the crazy Season 4 cliffhanger that saw Pride shot and left with his life hanging in the balance. The rest of his team had to track down the person who did the shooting while Pride fought for his life. Well, the premiere has finally aired, and it delivered an unexpected crossover with the original NCIS. Yes, Gibbs popped up on NCIS: New Orleans.
Gibbs didn't appear in the flesh in the Big Easy on NCIS: New Orleans, as he was busy dealing with issues in his own office thanks to the kidnapping and ultimate recovery of Director Vance. The Vance situation didn't stop him from pitching in to help the New Orleans agents while Pride was out of commission, however. He made contact via video call with LaSalle, who was clearly emotionally compromised as he searched for answers about tracking down Pride's shooter. Gibbs was able to give him some information that could lead to the capture of attempted murderer Amelia, and that's not all he gave LaSalle. He also dropped a piece of advice that had to shock any NCIS fan.
When Gibbs noted that LaSalle is very close to Pride and was clearly being affected by his emotions in this case, LaSalle assumed that Gibbs was going to tell him to turn off his emotions and work the case without taking his feelings toward Pride into account. Surprisingly, Gibbs gave LaSalle some advice that broke one of his many rules. In fact, it was the valuable Rule #10 that dictates that an agent should never get personally involved in a case. Gibbs wanted LaSalle to use his feelings and get personal. If that wasn't a sign of the seriousness of the situation, I don't know what could be!
LaSalle took Pride's advice, but the agents weren't able to catch Amelia before she made a second attempt on Pride's life, going so far as to enter the hospital and try to take him down. He was already fairly likely to bite the dust without a second attack, so Amelia's second attack had pretty good odds of success. Luckily, this is Pride we're talking about. Of course he didn't die in the Season 5 premiere! LaSalle also came dangerously close to shooting an unarmed and injured Amelia in an act of vengeance, so maybe Gibbs should give some guidelines when advising the breaking of rules in the future.
Gibbs popped up one last time in the episode, when LaSalle called to thank him for the assist in catching Amelia and in getting Pride's daughter Laurel to New Orleans in time to say goodbye to her father, if in fact Pride had died. Laurel's plea to her father to hang on pulled him back from going into the light, so it's a good thing Gibbs came through! Gibbs also had some foreboding words about Pride finding a way to recover from the trauma of his near-death experience, which the final scene proved would involve Pride seeing the person who appeared to him in his limbo state. That's... not good.
Interestingly, this surprise crossover came not too long after a certain NCIS star suggested that more crossovers between the three NCIS shows should happen. Gibbs was the only one of the NCIS crew to appear in the New Orleans premiere, but could this be a sign that more crossovers could happen in the 2018-2019 season? There will be plenty of new NOLA characters -- including a new leader and former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens -- to keep the action going even without crossovers, so we'll have to wait and see.