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NCIS Round Table: "Berlin"

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Our NCIS review broke down "Berlin," this week's episode, in detail.

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

Join in as we analyze another entertaining hour of TV's #1 show!

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1. How would you describe this week's episode in one word (or two, or three, or four)?

Doug: Smashing romance.

Christine: More than friends.

Steve: Heartbreak and intrigue.

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2. What was your favorite quote or scene from "Berlin?"

Doug: I really enjoyed the interrogation room scene. The wily Director Elbaz tried to be coy with Vance, and then alternatively tried to bully her way out of the room by discussing the authorization that allowed NCIS to snoop into Mossad's database. She got up and said "I believe we're done" and Vance retorted "I don't think so." The rage and passion he displayed there was mirrored in Gibbs' furious calm. It's not often we get to see Gibbs and Vance so completely on the same page - but lately that's been happening more often than not. It was good to see, and it was great to see Vance not back down from her. He was fed up - and became especially intolerant when she tried to play on the sympathy of his wife's death: My wife is not a tactic. Perfect scene.

Christine: Tony and Ziva talking in bed or Tony and Ziva dancing...or how about Tony and Ziva holding hands in the car. I've been waiting all season for scenes like these and they packed three of them into one episode. Each one was better than the last. 

Steve: "My Ziva. One day you will dance with a man who deserves your love." What an emotionally loaded quote from the Eli flashback, followed by the much-anticipated present-day dance. So good.

3. What, if anything did you find wrong with this installment?

Doug: TV and movie computer scenes leaves me smiling sometimes. The scene in which Tim hacks into Mossad's "database" (as if there is just one file he needs to access) and then immediately pulls up the relevant information on screen was one such time. I tend not to write about it, because the story needs to advance and the writers don't have all day to painfully outline the steps needed to get that information - if it's even possible, in this case, given Israel's superior systems. Given the time factor, I can't think of a better way to make the data available to the story. Still, I think more and more viewers are fairly tech-savvy so maybe it's time for the writers to start thinking more about this.  

Christine: Really, nothing. I thought the story moved along well and I got the Tony and Ziva scenes I was craving. All good. 

Steve: Maybe that Mossad waltzed in and inserted themselves into the case a little too easily? This was ultimately rectified when Gibbs and Vance reasserted themselves, however.

4. If Ziva is "Sweet Cheeks," what should Tony be?

Doug: Thunder-buns? I'm good at coming up with friendly buddy punch names like Tiny, Too-Dense and Snaggletooth. Not so much with the male romantic pet names though. I can't imagine Ziva using a traditional western term of endearment ("pookie" or "snuggle bunny") - but I can see her using a Hebrew term. Something which would be privy only to her and Tony.

Christine: I kind of hated "Sweet Cheeks." Nicknames just don't work well for these two but there were enough 007 references that I wanted Ziva to start calling him Mr. Bond just for kicks.

Steve: Whatever she wants to nickname her overgrown frat boy teddy bear of a very special agent partner, in typical Ziva fashion, it has to be ever-so-slightly off, and endearing.

5. Mossad Director Elbaz: What is her endgame?

Doug: She's one confusing mess isn't she? We know from Ziva that she had a romantic relationship with Eli David - and Ziva seems to think she's out to kill Bodnar because of it. I'm not so sure. There's a sub-story going on here which hasn't been revealed yet. So I don't know if she is perhaps the real culprit responsible for the death of Arash Kazmi and perhaps even Eli. She developed so many misdirections in the show that I'm not sure we can believe her when she says "good morning." Her motives at this point are entirely opaque. She's anything but transparent - always a good quality in a spy, which probably makes her the ideal choice to head Mossad. Maybe that's been her intent from the start? Who knows.

Christine: It's Mossad so who the heck knows. Nothing is ever what it seems but I have to say I enjoyed Marina Sirtis in the role more than I expected. Counselor Deanna Troi was nothing but a faint memory.

Steve: Surely cementing her leadership within Mossad is part of it, but on a personal level, who knows what's driving her. What I do know is that her clashes with Gibbs could become truly legendary.

6. Who was behind the car accident?

Doug: The immediate thought is Bodnar. However that seems too easy, so my guess is that there's an Iranian faction involved and that they are responsible for the crash. Can't quite bring myself to believe that Director Elbaz would do such a thing - even though I know she's now aware that Ziva has connections all over the place which, combined with her tenacity makes her the most likely person to catch Bodnar.

Christine: I agree, if not Bodnar then who? He seems the obvious choice but again, that's what makes me question it. At the same time I can't figure out why Elbaz would want Ziva dead and who else is there?

Steve: Bodnar's cryptic statements that Ziva isn't seeing this in the correct light, and the simple fact that it's NCIS (where things are never quite as they seem and story arcs can be surprisingly complex for a procedural crime drama) make me almost certain he wasn't behind it. We've got rogue Mossad agents, deceptive Mossad directors, Iranians with their own agenda and who knows how many other agencies involved. They've left us with no easy answer, and that's either commendable or frustrating - depending, of course, on the eventual payoff.

7. How hard will Gibbs and Vance go after Bodnar now?

Doug: Remember Gibbs' rage after the bombing of NCIS? He was worried about his "family" above everything else. He and Vance are on the same page - so I expect some righteous rage and retribution here. Near the end of this episode they seemed to be on the same page as Tom Holland - but we can expect this to go away. Especially given Tom's earlier warning: I'm your friend, Leon. I'd hate to see this blow up in your face.

Christine: This is going to get intense. Vance is still raw from losing his wife and Tony and Ziva are family to Gibbs. There's nothing he wouldn't do to protect them and end this but that may bring about its own set of consequences. I think we're in for an exciting ride.

Steve: They were already sympatico on this case, and given what has now happened to Ziva and Tony, this manhunt could go seriously rogue and out of hand if they're not careful. Then again, that's probably what the show is going for as Season 10 concludes. As we learned from our Gary Glasberg interview, boundaries are pushed, lines are crossed and people are watching. Will this be the time they go too far, and what will the consequences be? I'm curious to read your responses in the comments, and can't wait to find out.

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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My impression is that the season ending cliffhanger is going to be about an investigation of team Gibbs. If I got that right(???), then it seems the Mossad, Bodner, Orli, car accident will get resolved before this season ends -- but that how will lead to the investigation.

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Before we see Tony and Ziva get their groove on,you KNOW,YOU KNOW,there's GOT to be a Smackdown DIVA match with Ziva David and Orli Elbaz.This has GOT to happen in the season finale,and hopefully it will end in an explosion of some sort,where we'll have to wait till next season to find out if Ziva survived. Also,let's have Tony wake up in a sweat wondering of Ziva is dead,and he and Gibbs go to Israel to find her.

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All the Ziva arcs contain a kick butt Ziva scene, a wobbly lipped daddy Gibbs scene, and an explosion, so we're not done yet with this year's Ziva arc.

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I'm impressed by this season, love the episode, I think ziva will be fine but not tony. Cote said she had filmed one fighting scene that lasted until 6 am.
My only problem with this episode was the end, whenever ziva and tony are coming too close, BAM something happens, they play the "Will they, won't they" scenario too much, they need to make a decision, put them together or let them be just friends.
I love the show, love the team, best show on tv.

Tiva

@Julia64 I saw extended promo McGee does look like hes praying right before he looks up.

Julia64

Contd: ...... Tony wouldn't have been running anywhere, except maybe the bathroom! And I've been watching the extended promo - is McGee praying?

Julia64

One of my favourite moments was on the dance floor - when Tony says "you realise you're going to have to be the girl, right?" It was great to see him literally taking the lead for once. Sadly a disadvantage of his playing the perpetual clown (which has this season reached the point of annoying) is that at times he comes across as weak. And whilst the writers have concentrated on Tiva they've forgotten that he used to have a great relationship with Gibbs. Now for the most part Gibbs just snaps at him. Gone are the basement chats and fireside steaks and beer - a real shame. And on the subject of beer, what was Tony doing launching into a tankard of Belgium beer?! He was on duty, anything could have happened and indeed it did. Ziva was drinking bottled water. I was either expecting Tony to say it was non alcoholic (as he did in Flesh & Blood when having a drink with his father) or not to drink it. Just as well Bodnar contacted them when he did or Tony wouldn't have been running anywhere, except maybe the bathroom! And I've been watching next week's extended promo - just dawned on me, is McGee praying?

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The magic and chemistry of Tiva was beautifully evident in Berlin. Then the HORRIBLE ! SHOCKING ! car crash happened. PLEASE keep Tony (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva (Cote de Pablo) on the series because these characters are needed to continue making NCIS a success. IF MW/TONY LEAVES, THEN YOU HAVE LOST ANOTHER VIEWER! Thank you1

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This has turned into a fantasy drama - not as in earlier seasons a federal police show with some humor.

Sue-ann

@ Michelle Israel already had a female prime minister, decades ago. Ever hear of Golda Meir? She was the prime minister of Israel from 1969--1974. A LOT of countries have had female presidents and prime ministers. Some do now. Sadly, the USA is not one of them. In terms of gender equality, there is nothing "forward thinking" at all about the USA.

NCIS Season 10 Episode 21 Quotes

Ziva: When I have a man, the favors I offer have little to do with clothes.
Tony: That's good to know.

Tom Morrow: What are we proposing here?
Vance: Well with international tensions being so high on this, I'm proposing that we look the other way.
Tom Morrow: You can't be serious.
Vance: I am, Tom. We come down hard on Mossad now, then what happens? Talk to me about wasted manpower if Bodnar gets away after all of this? But understand: this one pass is the last one Mossad ever gets from me.
Tom Morrow: That makes two of us.
Gibbs: Three.

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