NCIS Round Table: "A Desperate Man"

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Our NCIS review broke down the latest installment of TV's top-rated 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 last Tuesday's episode, "A Desperate Man."

Join in below, as we analyze various aspects of Tony, Ziva, Ray and more ...


Describe this episode in one word (or two).

Steve: Emotionally complex.

Matt: Excellent.

Eric: Surprising.

NCIS RT - depreciated -

What was your favorite quote or scene?

Steve: Det. Burris telling Tony and Ziva to cherish each other. What a perfect way to end an episode that took so many twists and turns - both emotionally and in terms of the investigation.

Matt: In a Tiva-centric week, any scene with the more mature, supportive Tony. It was fun to watch the conflicted DiNozzo be there for his friend, even as she potentially agrees to marry someone else.

Eric: Ray getting walloped at the end. If there was EVER a dude that had it coming!

Are Tony and Ziva getting too much screen time?

Steve: Abby, McGee and Ducky all have had memorable stories this season, but not as much lately. Gibbs, as the show's focal point and the team's leader, will always command the most attention and I doubt many fans are upset about that. But hopefully after two Tiva-centric episodes we will pivot back to some of the other team members in the coming weeks. We know there's Palmer's wedding, if nothing else. Hopefully there's another episode featuring Abby and her brother in store, as well as another love interest for McGee. Talk about a dry spell!

Matt: Not to me, because the story arc has been so good. Both Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly have delivered strong, nuanced performances of late, and their characters' relationship - which I express my opinion on below - has been a treat to watch. After these last two weeks, what's to complain about? Be patient, fans of McGee and Abby. Your time will come!

Eric: Sometimes I wonder if I'm watching The Ziva Show ... and bear in mind I love me some bad ass Ziva, so no real complaints. Still, more Abby writers!

Did you peg Ray as the killer?

Steve: Maybe I'm just naive but I actually did not connect Ray to the case very quickly. I assumed his proposal and whereabouts were simply concurrent with the investigation, not involved. I also believed Ziva would say yes to the proposal, only to second-guess herself and break off the engagement weeks later.

Matt: Yes, Ray was shady even by CIA standards.

Eric: It was reasonably well disguised by the writers, but the way it's been going these days, I half-expected he would be involved even before his name turned up on that slip of paper.

Do the team members get involved with too many murderers?

Steve: As I said in my review, I'd like to see the NCIS team members involved in some more steady relationships - either with each other or outsiders - that don't involve murderers.

Matt: Yes. As Eric said earlier, I almost expect it nowadays. A little stability wouldn't hurt. In Ray's case, though, it worked better than most, given what he does (or did) for a living.

Eric: Are they involved with more people with such inclinations than you or I? Definitely. But it's a TV show (and a great one at that) and these are criminal investigators so I'll buy it.

Do you want Tony and Ziva to get together?

Steve: This may sound like a cop out, but I don't care too much either way as long as the writing quality remains strong and their relationship evolves in a believable manner. That's more important to me than whether their romantic connection develops. And, as I said earlier, my biggest concern is that the other characters not be ignored.

Matt: Personally no. I think of Tiva as friends, or closer than that, but not romantic partners. It's more of a sibling type chemistry to me - nothing more, nothing less - and it's terrific. As is.

Eric: Yes. They don't need to rush it, but yes. How many more guest characters need to comment on the obvious chemistry before they open their eyes! It's gonna happen.

What's your take on these issues of the week on NCIS? Discuss below!

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


One more thing these show is call Naval Criminal Investigative Service Yet there has been no Naval people on the show for over 4 months and when was the last time they were on a ship I mean does these show even know what it’s about. I still can't believe these show thinks being in a relationship with a woman who abuse you and put you down ever chance you get is Ok


will say these at least we have "Life before His Eyes to look forward to NCIS need to do something I mean they have been getting 19.13 18.50 and 19.81 and I just hope it’s not too late to Save NCIS First thing they need to do it keep the character around like EJ and other NCIS agent Its not believable that only one NCIS agent can do all these case something eels they need to do is stop thinking that were all a bunch of sex wanting Teenagers I mean that great for Two and A Half Men but leave the fart jokes and the character want to have sex with everything that move to that show.


Tony's immaturity is defense mechanism. If you make a joke about something you can rationize that the hurt isn'y as bad as well as keep people at a slight distance so you can't get hurt any further. Howevr the exact opposite is true. You want to be needed and appreciated and have close relationships. Tony acting more mature means he's ready to move on. just in time for his ex to visit and rip him open again.


Cote de Pablo deserves an Emmy award for her brilliant performance in this episode.


Every one, fyi, "micheal" & co. are those pathetic haters from the infamous Anti-haven in old cbs/ncis forum.


Thank you for the well balanced review, from people who obviously watch the show and like all the characters. I would like to see Tony and Ziva together, if it is done well and remains in the background.


I enjoyed the Tony/Ziva scenes that show two mature adults cherishing each other, as well as the caring Gibbs. The team is a family. The punch to Ray was an added bonus.
If they stop having so many guest stars be the focus of story lines, they can give more air time to Abby, Mcgee, and Ducky.
I would like to see Tony and Ziva together in a humorous/sexy/loving relationship.


I agree with the round table. I think they will give us more of Abby shes great I do want to see more of her and her brother. I glad that Tony episodes this year last season there were only a couple episode about him. I also want to see a little bit more McGee episodes as well. and Ducky too I hope he can find a lady who not crazy. now here's my opinion on Tony and Ziva I would like them together however I don't see it yet I think they wont be together until they last episode.


This Michael-person reviewer appears to be a very negative, grumpy, unhappy chap. Perhaps he/she (?) should consider watching "SpongeBob Squarepants." Poor Michael could use some definite cheering up.


Steve, Matt and Eric - great round table, as usual, for a truly great episode. I'm really loving the way this season is progressing and I agree with Steve re: the development of Tony and Ziva's relationship. It is developing and deepening in a believable and authentic manner and as long as the storylines and other characters' development aren't compromised,it is really on the right track. I personally would love to see Tony and Ziva together because the fact that it is a procedural show means that it should be able to work and maintain integrity. The acting in this episode was just wonderful - the cop who lost his wife was incredible, as were the performances of CDP and MW. It seems the writers have sent all the characters on their own separate journeys this season so far so looking forward to them coming back together again in this next part of the season.

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