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 RT - depreciated -

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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