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.

Sue ann

I don't think this is a good group to have dogs; dogs have to be walked, and the NCIS team does not always make it home, for days at a time. None has anyone at home to walk a dog. Abby made McGee take that German Shepherd a few years ago, but he has only been mentioned once since that I recall, and never lately. I'd like to see Abby and her biological brother reunite, have her tell him who she is, and see this explored. That would be my first wish for the rest of this season.


My Christmas wish list: TIVA! Good grief, where has it BEEN this season?!


I remember reading recently in several reviews that Ziva was becoming too soft and getting the girly things to do, like talking to the little girl students in Afghanistan. I was happy to see her guns blazing and unafraid. Yes for Abby all the way, bring back the biological brother and give them a relationship, make Gibbs and/or Tony adopt a dog from his shelter. Gibbs seems like a dog-man type. LOL Neither Frank's daughter-in-law or the old GF Wendy will do for Tony, he fears kids doesn't he??? He needs some other type that is neither all emo like Jean or all ratchet mouth like the other agent. Why is no one speculating on the secret "Group of 7" or whatever they were called from the beginning of the season? I felt sure SECNAV was in it up to his neck and there's an enemy there in any case??? Like to see McGee get an ALPHA episode sometime in the new year and another Ducky episode would make me happy too.


I liked the Christmas episode. Janet give it time Ziva and Tony will go back to normal


I loved the brief comment Gibbs made about being deployed when his own daughter was born, and then he is here, able to deliver the baby of this Marine. Erin is a great actress. And the contrast between the violence and loss of life that was going on around them, and the calm giving of life that was happening in the car were beautifully done. Gibbs' request...uh, demand...that Tony go with him to see Franks' daughter in law and grand daughter might open up the door for a romance between Tony and the DIL (sorry, can't think of her name right now). Then Muse Watson (Mike) could show up in "ghost" form to warn Tony to treat her right. Proud of Jimmy for standing up to his bully future FIL. I like Jimmy. He is the perfect partner for Ducky. Heck, I love all the characters!


1. Predictable. It was predictable and cheesy at times, but its NCIS so they could spend an entire episode staring at the camera and I'd love it just because. 2.I'm torn between Gibbs and Tony in the basement and Ziva's shootout. I love that we've always had the familial vibe with this team but it's been coming tenfold the past season and a half. Tony and Gibbs' father/son bond is remarkable to watch on camera. I'm not saying that Gibbs plays favorites (if he did Abby would probably win based on...well, its Abby!) but I we've clearly learned that Gibbs sees himself in tony and he takes the mentoring of him more seriously than ever before. There is a comfort and respect and beauty in how they relate in those rare moments. I loved it. But I also loved the Ziva shootout scene set to Silent perfect was that?! 3.I actually thought Ziva was becoming less of one. Initially she came into the series very stuck in her ways, cocksure, and badass and all. I think over the years we've seen her more vulnerable, soften up a great deal, and even come across as more feminine than she did when she first came in (she screamed tomboy back then). Maybe it's the highlights in the hair and the way she dresses these days. I just think she's gotten less badass than she started out. She hesitates more, she lets her feelings show more, she's an NCIS agent first now and a Mossad agent second. I mean it too her longer to take those guys out then it would have six years ago. 4. It was cheesy and predictable but I loved the focus on Palmer. He's a part of their team even though he doesn't get that much focus. Jimmy's got stones and he made nerds around the world proud. *shoves glasses up on nose* 5.I think a gf for Tony would be nice. None of that Jeanne type of stuff because that entire thing sucked. But a true gf. Our favorite senior agent has been having identity crises, and midlife crisis, and he's been reflective of his life and maturing and growing...he's been on a mostly subtle but great to see journey for awhile now and I'd like to see him happy with a relationship of his own that's drama free. He wants and needs that. I'd also love more Abby becaus you can never have too much Abby! Keeping up the good work with the writing...I've been loving it!


it was a xmas episode nice but felt something missing,maybe im missing the closeness tony and ziva use to have they hardly talk to each other anymore.wishing the rest of the season will bring the kind of episodes that made NCIS what it is or was.

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