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NCIS Round Table: "Housekeeping"

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Our NCIS review broke down this week's episode 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 the NCIS winter 2012 premiere, "Housekeeping."

Join in below, as we analyze various aspects of Tony, Ziva, E.J., Stratton, and more ...

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Describe this episode in one word (or two).

Steve: Complete package.

Matt: Thoroughly entertaining.

Eric: The best.

NCIS Round Table Logo NEW!

What was your favorite quote or scene?

Steve: Gibbs getting his mojo back (not that it was ever really gone, but he kicked it up a notch this week) and making sure SecNav Jarvis did his job. You have to love that Gibbs will interrupt the Secretary of the U.S. Navy at dinner and not take any B.S. I also enjoyed the gunfight, strange as that sounds, since it was uncertain if Stratton would escape or if the team would emerge unscathed. In most episodes, the bad guy goes down hard and fast; there was real suspense here.

Matt: It feels like a copout to say all of it, but the flow to the entire episode, and way the dialogue melded with the mystery and action, was seamless and made for one of the best installments of the season.

Eric: Is this even a question? Regardless of whether or not you want them to become romantic in earnest, Tony and Ziva have great chemistry and that was on full display at the end of the episode. Darn you, Ray.

Do you like E.J.?

Steve: I think her character was often overly criticized, and this episode might temper that somewhat. Even though I'm glad she left, it made sense how everything played out and her departure was on a good note.

Matt: Not particularly. I don't hate E.J. per se, or Sarah Jane Morris' portrayal of her, but the character felt uneven and even a little unnecessary to me. I'm very interested to see Jamie Lee Curtis' arc this spring.

Eric: As Steve said in his review, she redeemed herself on multiple levels. She's no longer driving a wedge between Tony and Ziva, but driving them together. Nor was she being shady and running her own agenda usurping Gibbs' authority. She proved she's a team player, even if she's less of a heavyweight than we thought. Wouldn't mind seeing her again.

Is this the last we've seen of Stratton?

Steve: The Phantom Eight storyline had a lot of potential, and could still play out in other ways, but after Stratton went rogue and got caught, it's difficult to see how. Maybe the writers have something up their sleeves.

Matt: Flip a coin? He was a very good villain this week and in the season premiere, so perhaps there's more to explore (the interrogation scene hinted as much, but what can he really do when he's locked up, and aren't Gibbs' secrets already known to Abby, Vance, etc., at this point?). If I had to guess I'd say this is it, and probably for the best.

Eric: I'm kinda thinking no, right? Like Steve, I didn't see him going down so quickly, and the way he taunted Gibbs certainly made it feel like the door was being left ajar for this story to continue ... somehow.

One unanswered question from Tuesday would be:

Steve: Where the heck was Vance?

Matt: How did Stratton fall for the safe house bait?

Eric: How much do you love Gibbs and Abby (not really an unanswered question at all, there's a very clear answer, I just had to work it into this Round Table somehow)!

Will Ziva say yes to Ray!?

Steve: Given the nature of his work, and especially after he went off the griddle for seven weeks and she was a split second away from writing off the entire relationship, it seems hard to believe she'll accept.

Matt: Yes, because she'll be caught up in the moment. Marrying him is another story, however.

Eric: I think she will, but as Matt said, that's just the first step to "forever." She may reconsider down the line, or very quickly, especially if it forces the issue with Tony a little. Here's hoping!

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.

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whatever happened to Jamie Lee Curtis appearing two November 2011 episodes??

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I was a super jag fan, one of the better bellisarius efforts. Now NCIS is following the Harm/Mac same path. Will they or wont they. I agree to let Tony show more of a lead, even the acting michael is doing is showing he is bored. I miss the ruthless Ziva, and when will Papa show up again.

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I agree with Rachel. Unfortunatly, it seems as they're closing down our favorite show. It does make sense. 10 years is how long most shows run, it's sad that such an awesome show weren't really discovered until season 6-7. But I think we're all forgetting something here. Character developement. Who stays the same for 10 years? Who isn't affected by such a dangerous job as our favorite agents? If you think about what they've been through, alot of the changes are only natural. Nobody likes change, but sometimes it is necessary.
On the Tiva subject: Putting my shipper heart aside. 6 years is a long time. The writers have to make a decision about those two soon. They know it will cost viewers either way, but it has to end somehow.

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I love this Show, but I would love to see a Black Agent. Tony needs a Black Girlfriend or Ducky need an Black Assistant in his lab. Come on this is 2012. Where is the Black Director? Toney needs a New Black Agent, so Ziva have a Female Friend.

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I agree with Michael to some extent. After Shane Brennan turned Tony into the bu++ of every joke and the team's weak link, and the Z in ZCIS was ramped up several notches, the episodes really went downhill. I really do think that Gary Glasburg is trying to repair some of the damage done by SB's shallow and limited characterizations, but for crying out loud - can't Tony have one little itty bitty action and danger scene anymore? I'm so sick of super Ziva and Wonder Gibbs. They are always the heros in the danger moments. Tony and Tim only get out of the office for the occasional interview. or unless accompanied by Ziva and Gibbs. I don't understand why tptb can't give Tony (who in DPB days, was portrayed as highly skilled and dangerous in the field) some action. Why are tptb so intent on giving us a steady diet of the same two getting all the exciting scenes? It's really boring if these two aren't your favorite characters, and it wouldn't detract from their status.

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It's more turning into a TV show about the Holy Trinity; Gibbs/Tony/Ziva with sidekick Tim, baby Abby, uncle Ducky... I miss the 'I' from 'Investigative' in NCIS. Besides, we always get back to Mexico, Tony the Joker, Super Ziva and the Untouchable Gibbs.
What is most irksome is the continuous Tiva stuff. If the Tiva fans want this, then start up a spin-off and see where it gets from there, but please give us some more action and intelligent detective work! Our agents (apart from Ziva) only sit and stand in the squadroom. It's a miracle Tim even gets off his chair! The only way he'll get hurt on the job is from RSS! He rarely gets hurt and if he does, they don't really care much, whereas when Gibbs, Tony and Ziva...dot dot dot.

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I love this show. It is safe to assume it's our favorite drama, yes? Fair enough. There comes a point when we have to admit it is winding down. Now before you all kneejerk a black eye - hear me out. This entire season we have seen Gibbs take a back seat, allowing his team to venture out on their own with little to no interference (exception Engaged) - Ducky fading quite a bit - Tim trying desperately to get Abby to 'hear him' (she keeps talking so he can't finish his intentions) - and the constant questioning each episode of 'what do you want to do, or where do you see yourself after NCIS?'.. It's time. I know, believe me.. I know. But it is.. I want these actors to have a chance to go out with the popularity and height of a great show.. and our beloved NCIS to journey on.

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Part Two.. However, a word to the NCIS writing staff - drag this out anymore ..take us from the high of this episode to the 'oh hell no' of seeing Wendy and that fool CIRay -- you are making us sea sick. Now emotion aside and objectivity.

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This episode was the 'aha' moment for Tony -- and I also think for Ziva.. most are not listening to the words they are saying.. the interaction in the last scene between these two characters, our Tiva was ..perfection. For Ziva to see that CIRay is calling , she was bothered that he dare call 'now'.. she moved on -- Tony is wrapping up lose ends, taking out romantic trash (Which is why we will see Wendy ugh..) .. I remember an interview with Michael Weatherly stating that "this season Tony needs to make a path clear to see his way to Ziva.., " we are seeing that now..