NCIS Round Table: "Newborn King"

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Our NCIS review broke down this week's episode of TV's #1 show 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 the Christmas-themed "Newborn King."

Join in below, as we analyze various aspects of Tony Jr., Tony Sr., and more ...


Describe this episode in one word.

Steve: Moving.

Matt: Predictable.

Eric: Cheesy. Wonderful. Yes, I cheated, but it was equal parts both!

NCIS RT - depreciated -

What was your favorite quote or scene?

Steve: Gibbs and DiNozzo in the basement at the end. "Newborn King" would have been completely fine without it, but at the same time, it really made the whole episode for me. Seeing that Gibbs remains so close to Mike's daughter and granddaughter, but also looks out for Tony as a father-like figure in a different way - even if it means admitting his own perceived failures - was the perfect way to end this holiday episode.

Matt: It wasn't a singular quote or scene, but I enjoyed Gibbs' bond with Emma. Part father-daughter and part Marine solidarity, Mark Harmon and guest star Erin Cottrell made this new relationship feel very authentic - not a small feat for a character who was just introduced. I'm also a sucker for Christmas cookies, so the interrogation scene was a close second.

Eric: The birth, juxtaposed with Ziva's shootout in the garage. Even if it was drawn out for effect - my girl Ziva rarely takes more that many shots to ice somebody - great symbolism there. I was on the edge of my seat. Also, how great was it that Abby put Breena's dad in a time out? I love that we didn't even see it happen but learned about it almost as an aside.

Is Ziva becoming too much of a badass?

Steve: It does seem like that, doesn't it? I get that she's a certified badass by training, but it doesn't need to be the focal point of all things Ziva. Then again, we've seen her reach out to people this season in a way that provides the character some depth. I just hope we see more of her "humanity" going forward, balancing out the botched idioms and martial arts.

Matt: There's no doubt that lean, mean, killing machine Ziva has its appeal, but sometimes she borders on being a superhero, not a special agent. As Steve said, balance is the key.

Eric: I think Ziva's great. She had at least one funny line this week (sauteed wires!), did her typical prodding with Tony and going at that guy with two guns blazing? Schmaltz or not, it worked for me.

Did you enjoy the focus on Palmer?

Steve: While it was a little cliched at times - I'm surprised Ed would be that big a jerk to people he doesn't even know - I'm sure many fans could relate to Palmer. The stress of entering into a new family, in addition to the act of getting married, is no joke. Breena's dad should consider himself lucky Palmer went off on him and not Gibbs. Brian Dietzen did a nice job as always and I like seeing personal storylines for the characters.

Matt: For the most part. If nothing else, it was a fun tease for the wedding.

Eric: I was not looking forward to it but I came around. Good for Jimmy, sticking up for himself and earning some respect from the old man (in law). Also, I don't care if I'm Jewish, I need to get that sweater.

In the spirit of the holidays, what gift would you like NCIS to deliver in 2012?

Steve: Maybe it's just the conclusion of this week's episode resonating with me, but how about a girlfriend for Tony? One who doesn't work at NCIS perhaps? Although a certain someone will be back ...

Matt: Many more years of NCIS? Despite a few subpar episodes, it's still one of the best shows around, and I can't wait for the 200th episode event. Hopefully they can make it to at least 250.

Eric: Three words: Abby, Abby, Abby! Pauley Perrette steals every scene, and I hope we see more episodes focused on her next year, including a reunion with her brother.

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


I told my gradonmhter how you helped. She said, "bake them a cake!"


I was unable to view Newborn King due to my DVR not recording the show. I was very disappointed. Please, air it again soon? I hope that NCIS stays on TV for a long time. Angie


Why wasnt ziva in last scenes is she dead?


What was the stores name that the shopping bag was from that she held up?


Me too !!!By 2012, I really want many scenes Tony / Ziva! Seriously, it's been so absent this season.


I have to admit that I found the birth/Ziva saves the day scene totally laughable. And cringe-worthy. Very melodramatic. They just don't know what to do with Ziva anymore. Last season they tried to "soften" her up, and turned her into a yawn. Now we're back to super ninja! Ziva, who fixes the car, "orders" Gibbs(!) to birth the baby, then goes off for some ridiculous John Woo-ish slo-mo gunfight! Poor Ziva has become a cartoon. For 2012, I hope they bring back the Ziva I fell in love with, because I really miss her. What saved the ep for me were the Tony/Tim scenes, especially the great Christmas cookie interrogation(lol!),and the stand-out final scene with Tony and Gibbs. Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly hit it out of the park every time they go one-on-one, and this was no exception. Loved the all work and no play makes Tony (and Gibbs) a dull (and sad) boy message. Loved each calling the other out on their mistakes, and each also taking responsibilty for their choices. And Gibbs having a Christmas his basement?! So Gibbs!


Did Ziva survive at end of Episode 11? She was not in the closing seen with everyone else.


Am I the only one who thought that Ziva would get killed while Gibbs was delivering the baby? Glad she didn't, but that put me on the edge of my chair!


I would like to see west come east. bring over Callen and Sam to work a case in Washington


For 2012, I really want some Tony/Ziva! Seriously, it's been so absent this season- blink and you'll miss it moments!- and I'm feeling majorly deprived. I think with all this maturing they have been doing, the time is ripe for Tiva fans who've been waiting *seven years* to FINALLY see them get together. Or at the very least, flirting a lot more? I mean, where has that gone, anyway!? "Swan Song" was utterly beautiful, when he stroked her face in the elevator, but there's been little follow-through. Ughhh. One step forward and two back.

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