Our official NCIS review broke down Tuesday's episode in great detail.
Now, TV Fanatic staff members Steve Marsi, Matt Richenthal and Eric Hochberger have assembled for a weekly Round Table Q&A discussion of events from "Safe Harbor."
Join in below, as we analyze various aspects of the team's adventures ...
What was your general take on this episode?
Steve: I loved it, as I have most of Season 9 so far. NCIS just keeps rolling. "Safe Harbor," like previous weeks, was loaded with great character moments, both touching and funny. Despite a couple of holes in the mystery, it was a typically strong installment, well-written and acted by this perennially underrated cast.
Matt: Terrific guest appearances by Shohreh Aghdashloo and Diane Neal. Decent enough plot, but not the best; Made up for with plenty of laughs and heart, however
Eric: Not quite as good as "Enemy on the Hill," but that was hard to top, especially as a major Abby fan. This week was still good, just not one of my top 10 favorites.
What was your favorite quote or scene from the episode?
Steve: Is there any way one doesn't choose Borin scrubbing the stain out of DiNozzo's pants, only to have Vance walk in dumbfounded? Humor is always key to NCIS but that was particularly hilarious.
Matt: "Whatever you're doing, stop." Classic. Runner-up: "Nothing more boring than perfect." Gibbs may want to add that to his rule book.
Eric: Tony's pants for laughs. Gibbs and Ziva for making my living room dusty.
Should Gibbs date Abby Borin?
Steve: Don't get me wrong, I would be an unabashed member of Team Bibbs if they went there, but their relationship is fun to watch as it is. Why mess with a good thing, I guess.
Matt: I liked that they basically put this out there and shot it down right off the bat, but had Borin play a role in Tony and Tim's quest just the same. Well done. I think if Gibbs and Abby 2 were to date, it would've happened already, but I always enjoy her visits and hope the next one isn't too far off.
Eric: No. One of our readers described Gibbs and Borin in a way I really liked, and will now steal for this answer. She's like a younger sibling or cousin, mature enough to relate to Gibbs but young enough to pal around with the team as well. However you describe it, Diane Neal does a great job in this recurring role.
Discuss the theme of Gibbs as a father figure this season.
Steve: While hardly a new dynamic, it's hard to avoid talking about it after the last few weeks. Whether he's calling Ziva "kid" or bear-hugging Abby, Gibbs is always there for his team.
Matt: Every episode since the premiere has been solid, and that's a big reason why. First Tony, then Tim, Abby and Ziva. His connection with each has been touched upon in successive weeks. The "kids" are definitely doing alright these days, despite their respective issues, and Gibbs' guidance is a big reason for that.
Eric: Some have speculated that these recent episodes signal the beginning of the end of the show, with the agents taking the reins more and more often. I think it's just the natural progression of things. People grow up, relationships evolve. And while all good things must end, I can't imagine NCIS doesn't have at least one more season in it beyond this one.
Do you trust Vance?
Steve: Vance is a political ladder climber in a way that Gibbs has never been and never will be. They don't see eye to eye for this reason and it creates a lot of tension. I don't trust Vance to always help Gibbs do his job, because he has other priorities, but I also don't think his efforts to undermine him are necessarily personal.
Matt: If we could, would the show be as good? Some internal strife to keep things interesting isn't always bad, and the writers and Rocky Carroll go a good job of playing it close to the vest.
Eric: Ah, the eternal question. I'm not anti-Vance like some people. He'll never be one of the team but that's fine, I don't think he has it out for any of them, he just is who he is. The new SecNav, however, is clearly a conniving SOB and I'm confident a major clash with Gibbs is coming our way this season.