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NCIS Round Table: "Chasing Ghosts"

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Our NCIS review broke down "Chasing Ghosts," 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: The one-finger discount.

Christine: Vena Amoris because sometimes I just love Ducky's stories.

Steve: I want in.

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2. What was your favorite scene from "Chasing Ghosts?"

Doug: It's a toss-up between two scenes. The first was Palmer's adamant refusal to be pigeon-holed by Ducky, when he said: "No, you know what? I take it back. It is not okay. I appreciate you throwing me a bone once in a while, or in this case a finger but it's not enough. I want to step up in all aspects of my career. And I will not let you send me on my way because you think something is... what... beyond my reach? It's not beyond my reach. I can help. I want to help. I want you to teach me that." And the second was contained in Gibbs' directive to Ziva: "What are you waiting for? Take DiNozzo. Go." Both scenes were uniquely charged, albeit for different reasons.

Christine: Gibbs telling Tony to go check on Ziva... NOW! Perhaps Gibbs really is a Tiva shipper.

Steve: Vance's nod. See clip below ... what an awesome conclusion. Also, I second what Doug said about Palmer, I enjoyed his scenes, as well as Gibbs telling him he's moving up in the world.

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

Doug: I'm frankly a little worried at how far Vance is sticking his neck out: after being asked by Homeland Security to rein Ziva in, he did the opposite and okayed her trek to Rome. It's not a technical problem with the show, but it's a problem for the team as a whole. And it ramps up the tension just a bit.  

Christine: I really thought the neighbor who saw the door open was going to end up being the killer. Kudos to the show for throwing in that red herring because I kept expecting it to circle back to him for the entire episode and it never did.

Steve: Honestly, not a lot. It was a great way to set up what's to come and to establish the impact of Eli David and Jackie Vance's death on the entire team. No matter where you stand on the Tony-Ziva situation, they are clearly very close and work together well ... this should be no exception.

4. Bigger surprise: McGee being in on Ziva's plan, or Gibbs and Vance effectively signing off on it?

Doug: Both are pretty equal but frankly I was more surprised by McGee's presence in the apartment. I expected to find Ziva talking with Shmeil in that apartment, not Tim McGee. 

Christine: I was shocked to find McGee secretly working with Ziva. I suppose it was for his technological expertise but I was still shocked. Tony was barely able to cover his hurt with his trademark humor.

Steve: Definitely Tim. Gibbs I can see backing her if he thinks she can finish the job, and Vance, while not normally the type to back such an operation, likely wants payback, too. But seriously, who wasn't taken aback that McGee had been working with Ziva the whole time? It's great, but I was as surprised as Tony.

5. Does Ziva intend to bring Bodnar in or kill him?

Doug: Definitely she plans to kill him. I suspect Tony might want to talk her out of it, but I can see him getting conflicted too, and wanting to help her bury him.

Christine: This is Ziva. It could go either way but I think she just might try to bring him in.

Steve: If given the choice, and assuming Bodnar had no say in the matter, she might want to bring him in, but this is not the kind of person you just bring in. I don't think she's going in with any expectation of that happening, nor would I expect it the storyline to end that cleanly.

6. How will the Tony and Ziva in Europe dynamic work out - regarding her plan and their relationship?

Doug: I hope the relationship is put to bed one way or another (pun half-intended). I think it's time they showed their cards. The viewers need to win this one: whether they agree to just be friends and no more, or to become a crime-fighting couple. I'd like to see them acknowledge their attraction and can easily see how that can happen: as Tony enables her vengeance, understanding completely her need to punish her father's killer, she'll realize the depth of his commitment to her. If on the other hand he plays it straight and pulls out the procedural law card, she'll see the uncomfortable rift between them. Either way, Ziva needs closure regarding her father's killer, just as the viewers need closure on their relationship. (Okay we don't exactly *need* closure - but it sure would be nice to have it)

Christine: I can't wait to see them working together. They make a good team but I hope he goes all in on whatever her plan is and it's not all about him trying to rein her in. As for their relationship, I'll be really upset if they don't confront their feelings for one another. They need to make a decision. Move forward together or decide it's never going to happen.

Steve: Three words ... shall we dance?

7. Share one bold prediction for the final four episodes of NCIS Season 10.

Doug: Vance will have an internal battle with his need for vengeance and his need to uphold the law. In the end, the law will win and he'll do his best - after making the mistake of sending a vengeance-filled Ziva after Bodnar - to pull her back and demand that she merely apprehend him. Ziva will go completely rogue and cut off communication with him and Gibbs, and will only allow Tony into her confidence. Tony too will battle with his attraction for her and his need to stay within the law. This struggle will see him hit the bottle for a while, until he finally decides he must do what's right. After a few nights of romance and danger with Ziva he will ruefully inform her of his decision to uphold the law. She will kill Bodnar. The season will end with her in Gibbs' basement, and the final scene will be her look of astonishment as he tells her she's no longer welcome at NCIS.

Christine: My hope is that Tony and Ziva become a couple... finally. The tease has gone on far too long.

Steve: These end-of-season arcs always build to dramatic conclusions and leave us hanging at the same time. You can also guarantee there will be ancillary characters playing key roles - perhaps the return of Tim's dad? - and some side plots tying in unexpectedly. It seems obvious that Ziva's hunt for Bodnar will be the focal point, but how her relationship with Tony fits into that, and what the casualties will be? I'm curious to hear what our readers think.

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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Does anyone remember when Vance took over as Director, and the first thing he did was go into the files, pulled out his file, removed several papers and threw them away??? What was on those papers and will they come into play? No contract, no part, no Vance?

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@Michael, The insurance policy did come out, but I don't think Vance has been let in on what it is. I'm thinking it might end up coming into play during the trial.

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I loved it. Now Ziva and Tony are going after the guy that killed her father and Jackie Vance

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I think Vance is going to be the fall guy for the operation. He had specific instructions from Homeland Security to back off. He runs the agency and will be called on the carpet for any problems. As someone else said I see Tony again protecting Ziva and either saying he shot Bodner or actually killing Bodner. I think the first episode of next year will be "Damned if You Don't" Obviously Gibbs will be under tremendous pressure because that is when the "Ghost of Mike" shows up in episodes.

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@Just saying Decker's insurance policy already came into play at the season 9 finale I believe what going to happen is Mike Franks is going to tell gibbs to confess about him killing pedrog.

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I've been thinking it was about time to have JAG play a role in NCIS again. I've been watching old JAG episodes lately, and here I find out that Chegwidden is going to make an appearance. And to have former Director Morrow show up again too, this is going to be interesting. I agree though that Decker's insurance policy is going to come out in the open, with Franks making an, albeit mental/spiritual, appearance. I think that Ziva and Tony's feelings for each other will come out either as one or the other is going to prison or dying.

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John M. Jackson will reprise his role of Judge Advocate General A.J. Chegwidden in the JAG spin-off’s 10th season finale, which finds a federal witch hunt threatening the future of Gibbs’ gang. SO it look like we were right about the team going to court could this bring up gibbs mexico storyline. This might be the best season finale since kate death

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If its true the last episode will play out in court, then really there can be only 4 people from NCIS who will be definitely in the dock Vance, Gibbs, Tony and Ziva.

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It's been spoiled that the last episode(s) will be played out in court, so I have a feeling whatever happens with the Bodnar situation will be what the trial addresses. I don't know which character(s) will be in the hot seat, although almost certainly, Gibbs, since it's also been spoiled that he would face major issues in the finale. I think that Gibbs, Vance, Ziva, and even McGee's blatant disregard of protocol should be addressed. Dramatic license is one thing, but they are turning into a team of reckless vigilantes. I also hope that they don't ruin Tony - the one character who does seem to be concerned about the gravity of their actions. But given the writers and the team's propensity to throw Tony under the bus, I wouldn't be surprised if they somehow make him the scapegoat.

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I get the feeling that Vance will end up shooting bodner, and that morrow calls in a favour of A.J. to help him out, and its found that he will be acquitted of the charges but will either be placed on suspension and then hello Deputy Director Craig. This could also factor in what is in the insurance policy a.k.a. why muse watson will be back. So because of the renewal of season 11 things with ziva have me most worried since i think its just cote de pablo and rocky carroll who haven't renewed which would add extra tension to the show if this was to happen. I also see perhaps ziva and vance confronting bodner and one of his men, and as the screen goes black you here '5' shots ring out, meaning we pretty much could be sure one of the team was to get hit and that either end the season or the episode before the finale

NCIS Season 10 Episode 20 Quotes

Ziva: It's not about a choice it's about survival. She will not stop until she gets her closure.
Tony: We still talking about the lieutenant?
Ziva: Please do not go there. I'm fine.

Ziva : I would like your permission to travel to Europe to find Bodnar. I have been trying to locate him with the help of McGee and various contacts.
Gibbs: I know.
Ziva: You have known all this time? Then why did...
Gibbs: You needed to be ready to tell me. He's in Rome.
Ziva: That's what I thought too.
Gibbs: What are you waiting for? Take DiNozzo. Go.

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