NCIS Round Table: "Need to Know"

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Our NCIS review broke down the latest installment of television's #1 show in great detail.

Now, TV Fanatic staff members Steve Marsi, Matt Richenthal and Eric Hochberger have assembled for their weekly Round Table Q&A discussion of events from this week's episode, "Need to Know."

Join in below, as we analyze DiNozzo, McGee, Dorneget and much more ...


Describe this episode in one word (or two, or three).

Steve: Well-written, multi-layered.

Matt: Team-oriented, entertaining.

Eric: Fun throughout.

NCIS RT - depreciated -

What was your favorite one-liner from the episode?

Steve: Any of McGee's many lines in which he tried to instill a take-charge air of confidence and seniority around Dorneget. That was a fun change of pace for our favorite Probie.

Matt: "This time." Guarantees we'll see Agah Bayar again, don't you think?

Eric: "The Buick's out of the garage, Dorneget." Classic.

Best scene?

Steve: Dorneget's "coming out" to McGee. It felt organic. Unlike some shows that would make this a huge focal point of a character or episode, Ned probably wouldn't have even mentioned it if it didn't pertain to the case (being accused of letting Baransky's gorgeousness distract him and all). Once he did, his sexual orientation wasn't a major issue, just a part of who he is, not something that defines who he is. I also enjoyed his subtle crush on Tony.

Matt: Gibbs and Tony's morgue-style interrogation. That kind of tag-team intensity - bad cop, borderline unstable cop - was vintage Gibbs/DiNozzo and added a bit of an edge to a lighter episode. They're tough agents, but rarely does the bone saw come out. I'd have gone out to get a cup of tea after seeing the interlude too, Ducky ... for a few days.

Eric: Besides anything with Abby (which we need more of, Gary Glasberg) ... I liked Gibbs telling Bayar to his face that he was going to take him down. Bad. Ass. With a little subterfuge thrown into the mix!

Do you like Dorneget?

Steve: Totally. I liked his rapport with Tim - who took the guy under his wing even after he thought he'd spent the night with Abby, it's worth noting - and he seems like a genuinely nice fella. He just needs a few post-it notes strewn about to remind him of minor details ... like packing a weapon or displaying his ID right side up.

Matt: Some of his bumbling incompetence was a little overdone - how could you even get to this point in your career if you're that clueless - but yes. He won me over a bit.

Eric: We've seen this guy here and there and he's always been a little incompetent (standing guard, if you can call it that, during Tony Sr.'s interrogation being one recent example), so I was skeptical about him having a significant role in this episode, but how can you not love the guy. I definitely laughed at him going about 0-for-5 in his attempts to impress Gibbs, or even act normal around him.

McGee and Dorneget

What, if anything, was out of place this week?

Steve: As some fans have pointed out, can a pacemaker even do that? Four hundred beats a minute? I guess if we accept that a satellite signal can disrupt them at all, why not? Still, a bit of a stretch, albeit as part of a mystery that featured the peeling back of one layer after another and made for what I thought was a top-notch episode overall.

Matt: This may sound nit-picky, because I realize these are not one-note characters (it's part of what makes the show so good). Tony is allowed by be his frat boy sophomoric self at times, and I love his one-liners, but sometimes it feels like we get a different DiNozzo from week to week depending on the writers. It's almost like he exhibits growth, then reverts back. Again, I know it's an ongoing process and totally realistic that he doesn't abandon his juvenile, humorous side altogether, but it feels like one extreme or the other. Just an opinion.

Eric: Ziva's scene at the school was out of place in that we didn't see it! I would've loved to watch her botch some idioms and throw out some Ziva-isms, while still making an inspiring speech, to a group of students!

NCIS team MVP of the week?

Steve: I'll give it to Vance by virtue of having to put up with the bureaucracy. We give him a lot of grief for clashing with Gibbs sometimes, but as Vance himself implied, Jethro has it easier in that he's unbound by politics. Vance tries to be a team player - within NCIS and the entire federal system - even when the conflicting powers that be make that impossible.

Matt: McGee. Yes, he almost blew the case in epic fashion, but it was his first time being a very special senior agent, or at least trying to act like one. Probie handling a probie? Gotta cut him some slack.

Eric: Two words: Ab. By.

Any additional observations?

Steve: McGee's Rule #1. Never lie to Gibbs. What about through omission?

Matt: Fun, complex, with each character playing a role ... despite my minor complaints and desire for somewhat more consistency, it was a solid episode and I hope we see more like it.

Eric: I thought it was going to be Jamie Lee at the restaurant at the end. What a disappointment to see the arms dealer instead ... but a cool way to end the episode with that quasi-standoff regardless.

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.


I enjoyed it, and for the first time in a long time, I was deeply into the plot!!! well done NCIS.


Loved it! BUT why is Jimmy Palmer the only character that's not in the opening?


I LOVED the interrogation scene! They did a bad job of casting, however, as that guy was NOT supposed to look like a kid that young. The guy had already been in the Navy, gotten a dishonorable discharge, worked for a private military contractor, and then gotten fired from that job. He was now freelancing. They mistakenly cast an actor who looked about 14 for a character that had to be in his mid 20's.
Anyway, loved the episode overall.


I pretty much agree with the entire round table discussion....... It's too bad we have to wait until March 20 to see what happens next....
I guess I'm in the minority, but I'm not liking Jamie Lee Curtis on the show.......


we need to get season 1 and 2 of Tony back when he was was funny but not stupid funny


I agree that Tony was WAAAY over the top last night; but, I think that was conscious on Tony's part, as he was trying to "Get into Ziva's head". She flat out told him that she wouldn't let him in --- and he (as he's blowing her a semi kiss from licking his papercut)gives her this look like , "just you watch!!". From that point forward in the episode he goes waaaay overboard in trying to make her jealous/get under her skin -- and it works. That's just my take, but I think it is totally plausible since Tony has *almost* admitted to himself that he loves Ziva.


like that bayar arms dealer character too. been waitin' for him to make another appearance. 1 mysterious dude. plenty of potential w/ him for a good on going story arc. good actor. him & dorny were awesome as recurrin' characters last night. that's not always the case on this show. some recurrin's have been really painful for me to watch. not gonna name names that have been painful to watch. but, i'm officially addin' dornegat, & bayar to my 'a' list of recurrin' characters; fornell, borin, dinozzo sr., trent kort, eli david & my man franks until they killed franks off. that sucked big-time for me. franks didn't need to die. no reason behind it. made no sense in that script. what a huge waste it was killin' mike franks off.


yeah also have to agree w/ 1 of the reviewers on tony's inconsistency in this script. lack of continuity from week to week sometimes on him. tony's lecherous vibe last night was way over the top. not a little over the top, but way over the top. and a little schizo based on what they have been tellin' us about tony tryin' to grow up a little. cause of his age etc. his vibe could have been more subtle charmin' last night. tony looked desperado. yeah, i know ya can't change him completely cause i guess he's always goin' to be a horn dog. but i could do w/ less of the in your face desperate obnox frat boy from season 1 & 2. i'd like more smart, funny, sexy, charmin', self depreciatin' vulnerable tony from week to week. have to admit though tony clutchin' his backpack was hysterical. thought that was a funny charmin' sweet moment. felt bad for tony in that shot-lol.


dornegat = awesomeness. bring him back as a recurrin' any day. hell, make him a regular. about time ncis. they better not bend over to a tiny group of hatahs on internet & kill ned off. or make him a bad guy. seen them bend over before to a tiny loud group of hatahs railin' against 1 actual principle ncis cast member. plus the ship 'pairin'. best thing about this episode was dornegat. loved him in his 1st appearance on ncis. love him more after the character came out last night. only peeve is that the writers that wrote this episode wrote the 1st episode that dorny was in. in that 1 tony called him out on catching him w/ susan grady in copy room doin' the deed. guess they could explain that susan grady was the 1 all over ned. and that tony didn't see what really happened between them. that dorny actually blew off susan?


I liked the episode I liked when Tony and Gibbs in The Morgue. it was great episode

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