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NCIS Round Table: "Devil's Triangle"

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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 "Devil's Triangle."

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

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What was your general take on this episode?

Steve: One of my favorites in awhile. We've seen Gibbs play almost a secondary (albeit still crucial) role for much of the season, letting his "kids" take the lead more and more, but an episode revolving around Leroy was just what the doctor ordered reminded us that Mark Harmon is the man. Not that we really forgot, but you get my point.

Matt: What Steve said? A strong installment for sure. Fornell and Gibbs are like an old married couple, as we've seen for years, and meeting the woman that helped form their unusual relationship was a treat.

Eric: Loved it. NCIS always does a great job of bringing the past into the present with all the characters and the references, and the writing was exceptional this week.

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What was your favorite quote or scene?

Steve: "We pronounce it Gibbs." - Tony.

Matt: Tie between Gibbs' unflinching "do-over" with Abby and the scene at the end where Diane returned his grandfather's watch. That was not only a great way to leave things between the two characters and redeem Diane somewhat, but a vintage NCIS nod to longtime viewers who picked up on it.

Eric: "Downstairs? Got a basement here too, Mr. Woodchuck?"

Is Diane all bad?

Steve: Definitely not. Despite being introduced as "worse" than a dead Marine, and needling Gibbs for much of the episode, Diane was far more than a one-note, cliched bitter ex-wife character. She's still angry, or at least disappointed at Leroy, to be sure, but her final scenes with him were honest and poignant. She gave back the watch. He'll always be her Shannon. The complexities of their relationship became clearer as the extremely well-written episode progressed.

Matt: Melinda McGraw deserves praise for pulling off a difficult task - showing us why Gibbs and Fornell (Joe Spano was terrific as usual, by the way) hate Diane so much, while also revealing why they were attracted to her in the first place. From her wisecracks and mannerisms to surprising displays of deeper emotion, she succeeded. Vance was indeed right, she can't be all bad.

Eric: She certainly showed us why her first two marriages didn't work out, but from an entertainment perspective, she was great. I wouldn't be opposed to her returning sometime next season.

Any other things stand out during the episode?

Steve: Watching the look on Michael Weatherly's face as he tried to dissect and insert himself into Gibbs' relationship drama was amazing. Tony wasn't just nosy, he was having a blast with it.

Matt: Hmm. I want to say nearly every little thing stood out in a way that hasn't been the case with some recent episodes. The rapid-fire exchanges and the little nuances (such as the hilarious data security guy, or visuals like Tony and McGee looking around for the killer during the national anthem) made "Devil's Triangle" entertaining from beginning to end, blending the show's once-trademark humor with a serious plot seamlessly.

Eric: Abby's assistant in the lab, and how there was not even a mention of her being a little person. This didn't impact the overall course of the episode but it was a minor scene I enjoyed.

What's on your wish list for the coming weeks and months.

Steve: Next week's episode is the first of a two-part arc (see Tuesday's NCIS promo), so I'm hoping for one of the edge-of-your-seat cases that have been missing so far this fall. Eventually, if not this month, I'm looking forward to a captivating resumption of the Phantom Eight storyline from the season premiere.

Matt: More episodes like this week's? It's amazing the show still has "it" in Season Nine, but this proved that while there may be a few subpar installment, NCIS is still going strong.

Eric: Another visit by Fornell. Is there ever enough? Meeting his daughter would be awesome too. Palmer's wedding, of course, and Abby reuniting with her brother again if I'm getting greedy.

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

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i absolutely love that show. they are all great. please dont change that show.all the characters are perfect for their roles. i really love them all and i am always watching reruns. thanks a lot. LOVE YOU ALL

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Just a query, haven't we already met Emily (Fornells daughter) in the episode 'Escaped'???

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Easily my fav ep of the season so far. So funny! And you really have to watch it multiple times, because there's so much going on in every scene (like the kitchen scene at the diner, where Gibbs/Fornell and Tony/Ziva switch places from front and center to background,all the while entertaining us with zingers). What I loved best was how much fun everyone seemed to be having in this episode. And no one was enjoying themself more than Michael Weatherly, who amped up Tony's child-like fascination with his Boss to epic (and hilarious) proportions. Even Ziva was smiling like a giddy schoolgirl. Hard to pick a favorite line, but how about Tony's "I'm the bald you", as he impersonated Gibbs/Fornell with Ziva's help. And for sheer emotional impact, Diane's surprising admission to Gibbs that, "You were my Shannon." Wow. If they can give us more of these eps, they will make this fan very happy. Also on my wishlist: hoping the Robert Wagner ep will be more edgy than his last visit, and that Wagner and Weatherly get to stretch their acting muscles with some honest face time between their characters. In the meantime, just watching the promo for next week's episode takes my breath away. Can't wait.

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Oh, yes a great episode and the round table nailed it this week. There wasn't anything to pick at during this delightful hour of TV and that's saying something these days. When Victor, otherwise a total nothing, grabbed Diane in a hug because he knew she was bitching at him because she'd been worried, THAT showed how Gibbs and Fornell never understood her. So Diane wasn't a total bitch and Victor wasn't a total nothing and Gibbs/Fornell learned something about women. How much is there to love in that as a fan? The scene at the game as Tony and McGee posed in front of the flag and the fly-by was priceless, no shortage of blatant patriotism there. LOL Abby and her friend were perfect, Ducky's nano-second summed him up in the aftermath of last week. Such great ensemble acting! WHERE'S NCIS's EMMY?????

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1. I loved the episode from beginning to end. It doesn't get better than that. And that's how I love my NCIS. Seriously this show never fails to keep me thoroughly entertained. 2. ALl of them?! I think the end when Diane told Gibbs that he was her Shannon just really packed an emotional punch. 3.Not at all. I mean I love how she is and yet she isn't and they managed to pull that off, keeping the viewer tolerant of her rather than feeling one way or another. Truly hard to do. It's hard not to like a woman who can hold her own against Fornell and Gibbs, and yet it's hard to like a woman who had the audacity to clean out both's bank accounts. By the end when she pretty much confessed that she'd always love Gibbs and that line about being a human anti-depressant for him...I mean wow. You can't hate the woman. 4.Tony as per usual. His childlike curiousity in GIbbs' love life was fun to watch. You could see it all over his face and I love that about MW because he nails the physical comedy as well as his humorous lines. His fascination kept me in stitches. I also loved Abby's labtech. I like her as an actress anyways because she is so spunky, and I love that they brought her on, because the cast was so supportive when her real husband (Abby's former bf that was a little person)passed away. It was sweet knowing that they hadn't forgotten about her and kind of brought her in or something, and I'm sure it was bittersweet being on the last show her hubby did before he passed. Besides her character on here was just as spunky and hitting on Fornell was a riot. I too love that they never even mention that she's a little person. Cool. 5. Them keeping up with the kickass episodes.

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