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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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I really don't want to see Ziva shot and turned into even more of a victim. I'm tired of the way they always have to have her playing the damsel in distress while all the men save her. It's just way too cliché and unimaginative. I hope that we get a real surprise. And as a side note - Tony wasn't always portrayed as shaking in his boots at Gibbs presence. That was something Shane Brennan decided would help make him look more ridiculous, and by comparison, Ziva and Gibbs look more awesome I for one yearn for the originally conceived Tony who was independent and stood up to Gibbs when he needed to.

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Way back in Season 1, in "Bete Noir", Ari told Ducky that he(Ari) knew that Ducky would kill him and not think twice about it. I doubt that Bodnar thinks/knows the same about Tony, but the results would be the same; Tony would kill Bodnar and not think twice about it. And I think Gibbs would do it too. But if JAG is going to be involved in the season finale, maybe we might all be surprised at what happens. I think whoever finally does in Bodnar (and how he is done in) will shock everybody.

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I sincerely doubt that Tony would call gibbs to ask if he could shot bodnar if ziva just had been shot or if her life was in danger.

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I think Tony can turn out to be the one who kills Bodnar without it being cold blooded murder. A scene I can't entirely imagine/picture in detail that comes to mind is one where Tony sets up all the snipers in the night around an airfield (I think), quite ready to give the necessary order to kill -- which is only part of his job. I also picture McGee ducking around the car while being shot at when Kate was killed; and picture Ziva when she and Tony were protecting a witness who turned out to be the criminal and she stood there waiting to fire at 2 different doors while talking to Gibbs on the cell.

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Tony and Ziva Find Bodnar, Bodnar shoots Ziva and kills her, Tony can't shoot back at Bodnar because he is trying to contact Gibbs on his cell phone asking permission to shoot Bodnar, Tony can't think or doing anything for him self unless he asks Gibbs, by the time Gibbs gives Tony permission to shoot, Bodnar has disappeared. I do think season 10 is the last for Cote De Pablo

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Well I for one will be very sad if they turn Tony into a cold blooded murderer just to promote the tiva agenda. Haven't they sacrificed him enough at the altar of all things Ziva? He's been turned into an idiot so Ziva could be always superior, he can't be in a romantic relationship or flirt as that interferes with the idea that he's madly in love with Ziva, and he can't be written a serious conversation or scene with anyone but Ziva. The multi dimensional Tony of the early years would never feel comfortable with killing in cold blood. I just hope that the more recent, Tony who is written solely to promote Ziva, isn't degraded to this point.

Tiva

KeithH I read that too on Yahoo that JAG star John M. Jackson will reprise his role of A.J. Chegwidden on ncis to help Gibbs I think that's so cool

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iam pretty sure the cliff hanger will revolve around ziva and bodner's fate. perfect cliffhanger. does she kill him or bring him in? i don't think we will know until next season and it depends on cote coming back for another year. as far as i know she hasn't signed a contract yet. does anyone know for sure??

Wolfshades

@kay: you're right. Had to to give it a shot though. I think whatever they come up with will exceed my imagination. ;)

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I'm going to be in the minority. I think Ziva will bring Bodner in, mainly because she will want to see him suffer; and if he dies that lets him off easy.
Tony, on the other hand, would kill Bodner without remorse or regret; Bodner almost killed Ziva, and anybody who physically harms Ziva better watch out for the wrath of Tony. Tiva...the course of true love doesn't always run smooth for some couples. Yet I think them being alone together in a way that's different than any other time will allow them to melt into each other. And if the preview photos are any indication, maybe that will really happen.

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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