NCIS Round Table: "Thirst"

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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 "Thirst."

Join in below, as we analyze various aspects of the team's adventures ...


What was your general take on this episode?

Steve: As I said in my review, it wasn't one of my favorites. The fact that another team member fell for a person that turned out to be the bad guy - a manipulative murderer at that - felt like a bit of a stretch, and the resolution to the case was a bit thrown together as well. Still, a mediocre NCIS is better than a good episode of most procedurals.

Matt: After almost 200 episodes, they're bound to produce some that aren't up to par. That's fine with me as long as they bounce back strong, as it looks like next week will. 

Eric: Not the best but still plenty of good parts.

NCIS RT - depreciated -

What was your favorite quote or scene?

Steve: Ducky's first dinner date with Mary. Sure, she turned out to be unstable and capable of truly awful things, but the old guy's still got it! What a smooth operator. It was great to see David McCallum have a chance to be on screen more than usual, even if I wasn't thrilled with the direction of the plot.

Matt: There were plenty of good comedic moments in this episode, but on a more serious note, Dr. Mallard's decision to not reply to that last Scholar Date message was a great way to end it.

Eric: Tony and Tim's chat with that security guard killed me.

Did you guess that Mary was the killer?

Steve: It actually took me awhile, given that we'd just seen character-heavy episodes with quality side plots that didn't involve the case (Abby's brother, Tony's old schoolmate). I didn't expect the writers to go there, though it did become apparent they were at a certain point. There was also some wishful thinking on my part, wanting it to work out for Duck.

Matt: I'm not as down on this twist as some - it's TV, and here's only a select amount of time to show the characters' personal lives unless they intertwine with the case - but it was telegraphed pretty early.

Eric: Right away. It was obvious something was amiss from the sheer amount of screen time she was given and how well it was going. Also there were some clues dropped regarding her profession.

Where does Ducky go from here?

Steve: I'd love to see him begin and maintain a stable relationship. Part of the reason I liked the idea of this episode (the first half, at least) was that it tackled something different - romance after 60, 70.

Matt: Apparently not back to online dating just yet. He should land on his feet eventually. Maybe he'll meet someone new at Palmer's wedding. One of Breena's older relatives, perhaps? Just an idea.

Eric: Back to talking Palmer's ear off. And dating Penny, fingers crossed.

Share your predictions for next week's episode.

Steve: Anytime Gibbs and Fornell are together is classic, but now we get to meet the woman they both married? Can't wait. Joe Spano (Fornell) is a great example of a recurring actor who never feels wasted like Cheryl Ladd did in this episode. Diane Neal, Ralph Waite, Robert Wagner and Muse Watson (RIP Mike) are other examples.

Matt: What NCIS does so well is reveal small pieces of personal information about the team, slowly and subtly within the context of a caper that's believable and compelling. Hopefully next week and future episodes recapture that magic formula and don't try to force it like this week, which one guest star dominating both the case and character elements. That said, the former Mrs. Gibbs is a must-meet.

Eric: Gibbs' ex-wife calls him Mr. Woodchuck. How can this not be good?

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

William e bruce

I told my wife when Mary met Ducky for lunch outside, something was up. But I figured it would be over several episodes maybe with a cliff hanger at the end. Like we probably will see with the new Secretary.


I am still waiting for better times TIVA! Why not show us more of this incomparable chemistry?


Neither Gibbs or Fornell are particularly good at "banter." In fact, as much as I like this show, I get a little tired of Gibbs never being thrown off balance; Fornell, too. They both always come out on top; they both always seem to have the upper hand, even from the outset of each case. I hope the ex-wife knocks them both down a peg or two; I hope she really makes them work for whatever satisfactory ending they achieve, but still feel like they got their collective @sses kicked. However, I am just as certain that I am hoping in vain. There will never be "Moriarty" for Gibbs.


1. It was okay. It wasn't bad, it wasnt good. I did like seeing Ducky get something.
2.I don't know if I had a favorite scene, I'll go with whenever Tony appeared. MW has the ability to make me laugh just by seeing him.
3.Didn't guess instantly but eventually the fact that they showed her so much and how she deflected certain questions and her job led me to believe something was up.
4. Hopefully Ducky does find someone to date or to be happy with. They've eluded to him being rather lonely and at times melancholic for the past season or so.
5. Next week. I expect loads of snark and witticisms. We have Fornell and Gibbs together and the woman they both married, she has to be able to banter with the best of them so that should be interesting. Add into it Abby's innocent curiousity, and Tony's overt curiousity and penchant for off the wall jokes and it should be a fun episode to watch.


Of course Mary had to be a bad person, seems like all of Ducky's women are. He has more problems than Gibbs

Terrie lynn mcdonald coleman

have to agree this was a sub-par episode. I read that Robert Wagner will be back in November as Tony's father.


I agree with Janet it wasn't the best episode but it had it's moments and the was something missing but that's ok not every episode has to be the best. and yes I like to see more episodes like Boxed in and Undercover with more of the team together I think that is what was missing to me Tuesday. but anyways am looking forward in to next Tuesdays show with Gibbs and Fornell's ex wife coming and Mr Woodchuck lol and how Tony listing at the door it has to be a good episode.


I concur with the others that this wasn't one of the best episodes, though I ALWAYS like any episode with a lot of David McCallum (Ducky). As I have said before, something just feels "off" about the writing this season, like Gibbs being squeamish about brains. He has NEVER turned down the invitation to take a closer look. Tony was a bit more Tony'ish the last two weeks, which is good. My basic advice would be for the new writers to focus on the main characters. Getting them right is crucial. That said, I AM looking forward to getting to meet the ex Mrs Gibbs/Fornell and to seeing Fornell once again. The dynamic between Gibbs and Fornell is priceless.


I pretty much agree with what the critics said. Not my fave ep, but it still had some good moments(Ducky and Mary were sweet until she morphed into the murderer, and the Tony/Tim scene with the security guard was very funny). Next week looks great. The ex-wife is a hoot. I mean how many people can render Leroy Jethro Gibbs silent?! And the gibblets all listening at the door, getting busted by Gibbs? Can't wait!


Yes, Mr Woodchuck sounds delicious. I can't wait for the "snark" content next week. I'm sure Tony, Abby and McGee will have lots to say, probably to each other out of range of Gibbs or Fornell. I so love Fornell! Melinda McGraw is also a pretty cool guest star. She was fine years ago on the Commish and as Scully's sister in early X File episodes. Before Krycek killed her, of course. I so so love Krycek still.

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