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NCIS Round Table: "Rekindled"

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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 our weekly Round Table Q&A discussion of events from Tuesday's episode, "Rekindled."

Join in below, as we analyze Tony's past, the introduction of Jason King, the reintroduction of the Phantom Eight, some possible returning guest characters for the season-ending run and more ...

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

Steve: First-rate.

Matt: The whole package.

Eric: Superbly crafted.

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What was your favorite quote or one-liner from the episode?

Steve: It's hard to pick one in particular, but McGee had some quietly great moments. He'll always be the resident nerd and take flak, but he can dish it out too, and has been portrayed in a more mature light lately.

Matt: The entire exchange with Tony's boots, but in particular Gibbs referring to him as Heffy. The straightforward, unimpressed manner in which Gibbs calls out Tony's ridiculousness always gets me.

Eric: Ziva's comment feigning surprise about Tony having made it through puberty. I know some fans didn't like it, but it got a laugh from me. Besides, DiNozzo would've gone there if the situation were reversed, and he lobbed that one right over the plate ... I think he of all people would've been disappointed if she didn't tag it.

Best scene?

Steve: The whole thing was so good, you could pick nearly anything. I really enjoyed how McGee and Ziva asked Tony what happened and were genuinely proud of him. Tony's expression as he told them "it's more complicated than that" before the flashback was worth a thousand words, revealing the guilt he still carries from that day.

Matt: The elevator scene with Tony and Jason. That conversation was years in the making, even if they never thought they'd cross paths again, and it was handled with the perfect sensitivity and realism.

Eric: Loved Abby and Jason in the lab. Even when she's not the focal point of the episode, my girl always makes me smile. Jason may have met his match in terms of enthusiasm for chemical reactions. Aside from the obvious candidates, this week also offered some ancillary characters that brought a lot to the table, such as the creepy arsonist and the shady electronics company owner.

Thoughts on how the relationship between Tony and Jason was presented?

Steve: It was excellent. As I said in my review, this is how an "origin" episode should be done. We learned about DiNozzo's past in a very relevant way in the present through Jason, whose story was compelling. Gaius Charles and Michael Weatherly both delivered perfectly nuanced performances.

Matt: Agree with Steve. We've been cheated on some past introductions of characters from the team members' past, who simply make stray observations about them and expect us to believe them. This was not one of those times, as the story unfolded in a very watchable and believable way.

Eric: Jason King was great, as was DiNozzo and how they "Rekindled" their past throughout the episode. Just well done all around. Hopefully we'll get another chance to see Jason work with the team again soon.

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Who is behind the Phantom Eight murders and the arson spree?

Steve: Clearly I have no idea, but you did get the feeling we hadn't seen the last of the Watcher Fleet. I can't help but wonder if one of the Eight has gone rogue ... as Tony said, there are some bad apples.

Matt: You have to hand it to NCIS for making the banal, confusing intricacies of arson into riveting TV. As for the foe? A highly-skilled one who casts a wide-ranging net. Foreign or domestic? Internal or external? It'll be interesting to see, but I wouldn't rule out the return of Ryan, Monique, E.J. and/or Stratton as NCIS tries to piece this together.

Eric: Has to be international terrorists, right? Who else would want to blow up Navy ships en masse? Speaking of which, the closing scene, while tragic, was a shockingly awesome way to send us into the next chapter of this multi-episode arc, moments after Gibbs realized the microchips and their classified information could be compromised.

NCIS team MVP of the week?

Steve: Tony all the way. The wisdom he imparted on Jason was almost Gibbs-like! It was great to learn why he became a cop, which happened to be the same reason Jason did. Very well done.

Matt: Gibbs was particularly intense this week. Not that Jethro could ever be called jovial or easy-going, but there was a certain enhanced urgency in his actions from the very start that set the tone.

Eric: Abby. And McGee. Now we just need to get them working together more!

Would you like to see more Jamie Lee Curtis?

Steve: I would, but more in a professional sense than as a Gibbs love interest. The PsyOps angle has made for some intriguing cases already, and I'd be surprised if the brain gamer doesn't return again in that capacity. As long as NCIS doesn't become the Ryan-Gibbs show exclusively, I'm fine with it.

Matt: No. I don't particularly like the character and the show finds its groove when it focuses on the team members, not big-name guest stars. JLC is a fine actress, but I think three appearances is enough.

Eric: Okay guys, I'll take heat for this one. Yes. There, I said it. Now, I don't necessarily view this as an "endgame" relationship or see her as a series regular, but there's a lot of potential in her character.

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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Jonathan Cole (aka Casey Stratton) already went rogue. Since Cole was offed at the end of "Housekeeping", what should be asked is whether another of the Eight went rogue.

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"Steve: Tony all the way. The wisdom he imparted on Jason was almost Gibbs-like! It was great to learn why he became a cop, which happened to be the same reason Jason did. Very well done." It was a direct line, I thought. Much like father to son... I thought this was a really good episode. Weatherly carried the episode and had very able assist from his cast mates. And Gaius Charles was a wonderful addition. Personally, I am sure JLC is coming back but I hope it won't be for many appearances. Think she's an excellent actress but the character of Dr. Ryan just irritates me to no end...hate it when you can't get a straight answer, NOT ONE, out of a person.

Tiva

this was one of the best DiNozzo episode it was first class episode.

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@Gigi: JLC has better hair than Mark Harmon.

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JLC has had the same hair since at least like 1984. Go watch her in Trading Places with Eddie Murphy. Was just red back then. Maybe that's why Gibbs is into her. We all know be likes redheads.

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Aurora B...JLC has better hair? Better than who...Kojak?

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I thought that this was a really wonderful episode as well. The Jason character added to, rather than detracted from the team. MW is always a compelling actor, but when given something besides comic relief or supporting cast business, the guy practically pops off the screen. I wish that more so called character centric episodes would remember that the stories are the best when everyone has something interesting and in character to do, even if they're not the main story. This to me, is the mistake that the writers have made with nearly all of the Gibbs and Ziva centric episodes over the last couple years. Too much personal tragedy. Gibbs and Ziva are rather grim characters, and so are their episodes. With the exception of Nature of the Beast (which I loved anyway) the so called Tony centric episodes tend to be more balanced in terms of team inclusion.

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As I said in the weekly review, great episode. I say a resounding no to JLC in any form coming back on the show. The story lines have moved on and so should she. I have grave suspicions about the new SECNAV, haven't liked him since day one, and the top secret head of the Phantom 8 would never have his picture taken. This Black Ops group tingles my X-Files nerve, the Smoking Man is the man behind the curtain!!!!

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@Peg: JLC has better hair.

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Amazing episode! I've always been one to enjoy new episodes of the show, but this one was particularly great. The story off with something different: a murderer by fire instead of stabbing/shooting. The focal point of the episode, Tony's relationship with Jason, was portrayed in such a perfect light. Both Weatherly and Charles did an amazing job. I especially liked how they didn't make the whole episode Tony-centric. Usually when they do an episode about a character, the story is about that character the whole. Abby was added to give a lighter speak to the episode, and McGee had some great moments. Best line was from McGee, in fact. "That Geek bastard!" Last thing, I need to point of the flashback. It was amazing, but I couldn't help but giggling when I first saw Tony. *Note, this is coming from a fan girl* I didn't think he could get much more adorable.