NCIS Round Table: "Shiva"

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Earlier, our NCIS review broke down "Shiva," this week's episode of TV's #1 show, in detail.

Now, TV Fanatic staff members Steve Marsi, Douglas Wolfe and Eric Hochberger have assembled for our weekly Round Table Q&A discussion of various events and topics from this powerful hour.

Join in as we analyze the second half of the moving two-part installment and beyond ...


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

Steve: Heartbreaking and surprisingly complex.

Doug: Tony steps up.

Eric: Superbly done.

NCIS RT - depreciated -

2. Favorite quotes or scenes from "Shiva"?

Steve: The entire closing montage, below, set to Patti Griffin's "Not Alone." So moving. As for a quote, Ducky had a couple of real gems. Depends who your grandmother is? Amazing supporting character.

Doug: Has to be the time when Tony comes to meet Ziva at the airport, and her hard-assed facade cracks just before they hug and he whispers, in Hebrew, "you are not alone." So well done, that entire scene.

Eric: I loved how Vance said now he understood how Gibbs felt even though he thought he did before, but even more than that I liked that Gibbs did not respond. There was nothing he could say.

3. What was your biggest problem, if any, with the episode?

Steve: Ziva getting contradictory advice on what she should be doing and how she should be mourning. If the show has taught us anything it's that people all grieve in different ways; terrific episode overall.

Doug: I didn't get why Bodnar still blew up Arash Kazmi. Bodnar's plan was blown, and now Mossad is after him (along with everyone else it seems). Why kill him? What purpose does it serve? Was that just a childish reaction from him?

Eric: Only that Ziva was alone in Israel - no family, friends, or even security despite the events that transpired. I know she can take care of herself, and can be a lone wolf at times, but this felt off to me.

4. The resolution to the case: Did you see it coming?

Steve: Definitely not in its entirety. Mossad being responsible was something I'd considered, but not in the sense that a single rogue, ambitious agent would attempt it with the goal of pinning it on Iran.

Doug: I was pretty sure it wasn't Iran - that would have been the easy answer, but it would have been too hard to carry forward as a storyline. I guessed it was Mossad but as someone else pointed out: Mossad is much cleaner, and pick their targets carefully, with minimal collateral damage. The thought that it was someone from Ari's side was there - I just picked the wrong set of circumstances. Never dreamed it was a traitor who wanted control of Mossad.

Eric: Some parts yes, other parts no. I want to open this up for discussion because I wasn't sure if it was made clear or left ambiguous: Did Bodnar kill Eli David's Iranian friend?

5. Who was the NCIS MVP of this week?

Steve: Impossible to argue against DiNozzo this week. With one action after another, he proves the caliber of person he is when times are tough. The overgrown frat boy facade can be hilarious, but it's only a small part of who he really is at his core. Honorable mention: McGee, for his connection to that Israeli cutie.

Doug: Tony all the way. What a treat to see him drop the clown act for once, and be the standup guy that Gibbs pegged him for, a few seasons ago. He not only cares for Ziva, he has mad respect for her. Can't praise the writers - and Michael Weatherly with his excellent acting - enough for his scenes in this episode.

Eric: Let's just rename this the Anthony DiNozzo Jr. Award. At least for one week, he deserves an honorary renaming of the team MVP for his efforts. The man doesn't get enough credit!

6. What did you make of Deputy Director Craig?

Steve: I'm definitely intrigued. He seems like your quintessential operations manager, destined for a career as second-in-command but never considered for the top post for obvious reasons. I think he means well but was in over his head and could be again down the line if Vance's position of power is somehow compromised.

Doug: He's quite a change from Director Vance isn't he? Not nearly as self-assured or stubborn, I think. I like him and think his presence allows the writers more flexibility in creating interactions with him and the team. I think Gibbs will handle him differently than he did Vance, but to the same effect: Gibbs will still run the show.

Eric: Loved his interactions with Gibbs, particularly looking relieved when they agreed. It's as if he knows Vance can't even contain Gibbs sometimes and doesn't even try to act like the authority figure.

7. How will this two-parter shape the rest of the season?

Steve: It will definitely have an impact on Vance, while I imagine will have a ripple effect through the department. He now understands Gibbs, making me wonder if he will seek to exact that kind of justice.

Doug: Bodnar will serve as background noise for the rest of the season. It seems likely that he will part of the cliffhanger at the last episode. Tony and Ziva have a stronger bond now - expect to see that grow even more as the episodes progress. If and when Vance comes back, he will do so with the wind out of his sails. Not defeated entirely, but maybe a little less sure of himself than before. I hope that if he does come back we don't lose Deputy Director Craig.

Eric: Bodnar being the bad guy - or at least the lone bad guy - feels too easy, much like Kazmi being behind Eli's death would've been too easy this time. I think there are more layers to this than we realize. Deputy Director Craig got a lot of screen time, leading me to believe he'll play a bigger role. As Doug said, Tiva's relationship has reached a new level of closeness, regardless of whether it turns romantic.

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.


@Amanda - I agree Amanda; Bodnar definitely has an ulterior motive, here. I think he wants Ziva now, too - in more ways than one, if you know what I mean. She's tough I know....but that guy is DANGEROUS. I have a feeling this will all be part of the season finale. CIA, FBI, Mossad, NCIS will all be hunting for this guy.


When Bodner kept talking about how he loved Eli like a father and then Ziva said, quite emphatically, that Bodner was NOT family, I knew that he had to be the one responsible. He had professional, political and PERSONAL reasons to want Eli dead.


BTW: Don't trust the Deputy Director Craig, he's up too no good!
Get Vance back in the drivers seat!!


Tony was amazing, his tenderness towards Ziva during her ordeal was awesome.
The compassion he showed and expressed was the man hidden inside of him. When he heard Ziva's turmoil while sleeping, he was so tender. Most of all they got me at the airport, the hug and compassion they shared for that moment!
Great job.
Love the way Gibbs answered Vance remark with the show of his eyes only. The look he gave towards Vance children. So like Gibbs, his eyes say it all, no words needed.
Ducky with his caring way, as well and Abby and McGee.
A touching episode all around. Bravo once again.
However, where was Palmer??


@Michael Daigneault It was you are not alone which is funny consider what Ziva said in season 6 to Tony


What did Tony say to Ziva when he said goodbye to her as she is about to depart with her father's body?


The only reason that Gibbs did not vocally answer was because he answered with his eyes. Gibbs "told" Vance not to be like him because Vance still has children that need him.


Gail, the song is: A tweet from Pauley Perrette: Pauley Perrette �@PauleyP The song was Patti Griffin "Not Alone"


Please, What is the name of the song at the end and who is the singer? I absolutely LOVED it, I cried and would like to have the song.


Thought it was a great episode. Espcially loved Ducky's lines throughout. Mark Harmon once again does so much with his unspoken dialogue. Especially significant, I thought, was the scene where Vance explains that he now understands how Gibbs felt, his drive and motivations on so many levels. Gibbs says nothing; just simply tracks his eyes to the Vance children standing by the car,then looks back at vance.

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NCIS Season 10 Episode 12 Quotes

Bodnar: And whose grandfather would you be?
Ducky: Well that depends. Who's your grandmother?

You know this whole ordeal has made me realize something that I didn't expect. It's helped me better understand your choices. I always thought I had a sense of how you felt at the time, Gibbs. Now I realize I wasn't close. I never wanted that kind of justice before, but since the other night....hell, that's all I think about. Was it worth it, Gibbs? It had to be some relief.