NCIS Round Table: "Devil's Trifecta"

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Our NCIS review broke down "Devil's Trifecta," last week's episode of TV's #1 show, in detail.

Now, TV Fanatic staff members Steve Marsi, Mary Powers and Eric Hochberger have assembled for our weekly Round Table Q&A discussion of various events and topics from this solid installment.

Join in as we analyze the return of Diane and many other aspects from the episode ...


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

Steve: A walk on the lighter side.

Mary: Gibbs + Fornell = Fantastic !

Eric: A really fun time.

NCIS RT - depreciated -

2. Favorite quotes or scenes from "Devil's Trifecta"?

Steve: Gotta be the look on Tim's face when Diane hugged him. Absolutely priceless. I also loved how Gibbs just stood there and watched them sleeping without saying a word, more puzzled than anything, while Fornell walked in and became noticeably jealous and uncomfortable - then made Tim even more so.

Mary: Agent Fornell: "Holy 4th of July Weiner Roast! What am I looking at!"

Eric: "That's funny, you look a lot like our ex-wife." The fact that he says "our ex-wife" never gets old to me, even though it's long been established. I also enjoy that for as much as they speak ill of her (even to her face in Tobias' case) both Gibbs and Fornell do want her to be happy deep down. It's why we love them right?

3. Biggest problem with the episode, if any?

Steve: Not the most compelling case ever. Of course, that was hardly the point of bringing Diane back. The fact that she's also a federal investigator now was kind of a stretch, but the characters made it work.

Mary: The only problem I saw was that the case was extremely lame. I mean, come on - smuggling stuff like DVDs inside tuna. Wow, that's a new one. Wouldn't the tuna possibly cost more than the goods that were being smuggled inside?

Eric: Only that we have to wait so long in between Fornell appearances. That guy rules.

4. Would you like to see more of Diane?

Steve: Only if they can continue to make it happen organically, which is always a fine line. I like that we've seen so many family-oriented episodes in recent seasons, but forcing too many just for the sake of them could mean altering the fabric of the show so much that it's no longer the show we love. I'm not saying that's happened so far, just that it could happen.

Mary: Maybe one more episode with Diane, but anything more than that I think would be too much. She's an interesting character, and of course, there's that connection with Gibbs and Fornell, but you don't want to beat the horse to death.

Eric: I've loved her appearances so far but I think Mary's right. Sometimes less is more.

5. NCIS team MVP of the week?

Steve: My man Tim without a doubt. That guy took one for the team by letting Diane stay over, didn't do anything improper, then took a ton of abuse for it. I laughed, sure, but they should give the maligned McGee a holiday bonus or something for throwing him smack in the middle of that Devil's Triangle/Trifecta.

Mary: The MVP was definitely Fornell. I absolutely love his character. Almost everything that comes out of that man's mouth makes me laugh. I hope to see much more of this character in future episodes.

Eric: Way to steal my answer Mary. Agree word for word. Plus, Gibbs, by virtue of the end scenes.

6. Any other closing observations?

Steve: Let me contradict my answer to #4 by saying I can't wait until Robert Wagner returns tomorrow night. What do you think brings him back this time? He's shady and mysterious enough that it could be anything, and something tells me it's not just missing Tony Jr. (although I think he does more than he lets on).

Mary: I absolutely loved the ending. We all know that Shannon was Gibbs' soulmate, and there is probably no one else out there for him. But, he still does care about each and every one of his ex-wives. That shows the type of man Gibbs truly is.

Eric: It's a show with a lot of heart. There are ups, downs, tragedies and of course cases, but at the end of the day the characters are like family members with genuinely complex emotions and I love that.

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.


Loved it right up until the final scene. Geez...does every woman have to kiss Gibbs' manly arse, lol? They write these fiesty, strong women and then have them all go doe and dewy eyed over Jethro. Of course, it's understandable since they are "only" women (insert amused/resigned eye-roll here, g). Fornell is so much fun and they really need to let McGee shine more often. He's becoming the best *agent* of the three!


In the category, "Line That Made Me Laugh So Hard I Had To Pause My DVR For Fifteen Minutes So I Wouldn't Miss Anything": Fornell, "...and the Lord wept..." I mean it - the timing (courtesy the writers, of course), and Joe Spano's voice inflection and facial expression, started my laughing hysterically! When I finally got myself back down to gasping and chuckling, I made the mistake of backing up the DVR to see it AGAIN, and again I became absolutely helpless with laughter. I finally un-paused to get the rest of the episode, but I know, if I bring it up and watch that scene again....


This was my favorite episode of the season. I love the Gibbs/Fornell dynamic. I also enjoyed seeing McGee a little more front and center. It was a really fun episode.


Loved the silliness so much and given the horrible terrible and unfathomable things that came after, thank goodness for some lightness. I complain that Gibbs takes too much advantage of his inner revenge-ninja-marine, but he is also a character full of love and hope. More power to NCIS during the holiday season.

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