Monty Brinton/CBS
Sandra Gonzalez
March 26, 2014 AT 05:23 AM EDT

Washington D.C. crossed paths with The Big Easy on tonight’s episode of NCIS, which doubled as a backdoor pilot for a Louisiana-based spin-off.

In the episode, we met the small but mighty team of NCIS: New Orleans: Scott Bakula as leader Agent Pride, Lucas Black as hard southern gent Agent Lasalle and Zoe McClellan as NOLA transplant Agent Brody. CCH Pounder played the New Class’s medical examiner. Together with the regular batch of NCIS players, they worked the case of a dead congressman who was once a member of the Fed 5, the nickname given to a legendary group of agents that once included Pride, Gibbs and the late Mike Franks.

By the end of the first of two hours, a couple of things were made clear: The investigators realized that they might be up against a copycat killer, and as an audience, we realized the investigators themselves were no copycats. Accents aside, I appreciated that each new face had his or her own distinct voice and, it seemed, an interesting professional backstory that led him or her to the region. (I’m particularly intrigued by Gibbs’ connection to Brody.) Pride also appeared to have a complex personal life — at the start of the episode we saw him sleep with a women we later learned was his ex-wife. Reconciliation? Not exactly. She tossed him out in the light of day. See? Complicated.

Week two will likely illuminate the New Orleans characters a bit more and bring a conclusion to the case that kicked off this week. But until then, what’s your first impression? (My only small complaint? The episode needed more, as Abby would call them, “TMF,” aka Tony, McGee and Fornell, pictured above.) Sound off in our poll or in the comments.

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