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!


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.

NCIS RT - depreciated -

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.


Doug your thoughts on next week read like fan fiction


The "Lamb" will be Gibbs - but only temporarily (as he IS the Star of the show after all) This JAG man will help Team Gibbs prevail triumphantly in the end. I've a STRONG feeling they will retaliate the 'witchhunt' by uncovering some SERIOUS Red Tape drama re: Eli, Bodnar, & the CIA!!! Ziva will NOT be tarred & feathered, as she will have sympathy from EVERYONE in Law Enforcement who knows what it's like to lose a Parent in such a terrible way. Her father was an important man. They are simply not going to beat up on Ziva too much for wanting her father's killer avenged. The gavel will fall upon Gibbs as the Leader of the team, but Team Gibbs WILL prevail, just when you think all is lost!! Good Drama :-)


I kind of suspect that Tony will take the decision out of Ziva's hands by him killing Bodnar. I can see that they'll become pretty close on the trip and Tony taking the revenge out of her hands will make her mad at him all over again. The only way I can see the whole team being in trouble is if the Hanks character has evidence/reason to believe Bodnar was innocent. It may be he'll have to be proved guilty after he's dead. It would also be a reason everyone at NCIS would be in trouble.


Just saw elsewhere the Admiral from JAG will com to the aid of Gibbs & team in the finale... interesting.


Yet having said that, the show is still called NCIS, so there has to be a team left, just who will be left? They can't fire them all, or reassign them-been there done that. I think there will be one sacrificial lamb-Gibbs or Ziva.


It may very well be that ALL of them (minus, perhaps, Abby and Jimmy)are going to be brought up on charges. I think what gatorgal said is true, I think that Gibbs will ATTEMPT to sacrifice himself to save his team, and perhaps Vance too. And yes, he will go to jail. But the others will be punished too. Vance may be removed as director. Tim may lose his job. At the very least Tony and Ziva will lose their jobs, but they may also end up in jail. Ziva may even have her citizenship called into question. They ALL will pay a price.


Mike Franks comes back again as Gibbs' ghost confidant.


It's clear the TEAM is going to be raked over the coals for this operation. I don't think it will be fair to single out Ziva since Gibbs and Vance both told her to go. Since the finale title is "Damned if you Do" and Mike Franks appears, presumably as Gibbs conscience, I think the finale will be about the federal investigation and Gibbs struggle to do what is right. In the end, he will sacrifice himself as the fall guy. Just my opinion, I don't want any of them to go to jail or leave NCIS. Gary Glasberg teased it would be a finale like no other-no one has gone to jail, but others have been killed.


I think that Ziva will be either arrested or killed. That is my opinion. I am CERTAIN that Ziva will kill Bodnar. There is not doubt in my mind about that. As much as she'll want to do what's right (as what being at NCIS has taught her), her emotions will eventually overcome her and she'll kill Bodnar. From then, I'm not sure what will happen. She may turn herself in. She may go rogue and get killed. I don't know.
It'll be sad from a Tony point of view. Back in season 2, when Kate stuck around and was in tears when she thought Tony was going to die implied that there may have been some sort of spark between the two. Had Kate not been killed, there may have been something there (As the 200th episode flashback suggested). If this does happen, I'm not sure how well Tony will be able to cope, since he seems to care much more for Ziva.
I also think that Tony might tell Ziva his feelings for her, and that may be an overarching factor as to why she may not kill Bodnar (if that makes sense). But she will kill him, and Tony will struggle with his emotion and feelings for Ziva. Oh, and if Gibbs ever finds out that Tony had feelings for Ziva. he'd get one MASSIVE headslap...

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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.