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NCIS Round Table: "Revenge"

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Our NCIS review broke down "Revenge," 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: Absolute closure.

Christine: The Beginning of the Fall.

Steve: Going rogue.

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

Doug: I liked the entire episode. If I had to pick just one scene it would have to be the elevator scene with Tony and Tim: McGee: "If you don't like my rules you can find someone else to drive you in." Tony: "All I wanted was to stop for coffee. I was willing to treat." McGee: "No one eats or drinks in my car." Tony: "Well I guess sex is out of the question." We saw Tony shake his head a bit afterwards, as if he just heard what he said. I actually burst out laughing.

Christine: I liked when Tony returned the plunger to Gibbs. The poor guy is scrambling trying to figure out how to help Ziva and what to do next. Unfortunately I'm not sure Gibbs was much help this time.

Steve: There were so many, but I particularly enjoyed these three: 1) Gibbs knowing Tony would need coffee because he got a ride from McGee; 2) McGee using the NYC foliage phenomenon to pinpoint Bodnar's location, and Bodnar having used it to throw NCIS off his trail; 3) Gibbs quietly covering up whatever he's building in the basement. What do you think it is?!

3. What, if anything, did you not like about the episode?

Doug: There were a number of problems with it. First off: Bodnar had no qualms about shooting Eli - so why didn't he finish the job on Ziva and Tony after t-boning their car? It isn't logical - except for the fact that the writers couldn't exactly kill off two of their main characters. I didn't like that Ziva had qualms about shooting Bodnar just because he didn't have his gun out. I found it unbelievable that in a fight between two equally-trained Mossad agents, the man didn't win out. It's basic physiology: men are typically stronger than women, with more muscle mass. Also Ziva was still feeling the pain of her injuries. A more believable storyline would have had him knock her out and escape (since the writers couldn't obviously have him kill her).

Christine: I understand Ziva slipping back into her all business persona but I have grown tired of the one step forward, three steps back we get between her and Tony. She's holding his hand and making goo goo eyes at him one minute and then barely speaking to him the next. I understand why but I still don't like it.

Steve: That neither Ziva and Tony were more injured in the crash. Not that I wish either character harm, but the cliffhanger ending and climactic scene from the previous week lost a lot of its power when they were suddenly fine. Yes, she was shown in serious pain throughout the episode, but as Doug says, that didn't stop her from taking down Bodnar.

4. Did Ziva do the right thing?

Doug: Her motives, and those of Vance were understandable. However, no, she did the wrong thing. Her mandate as a federal agent was to bring him in, if possible. Her - and NCIS' - specific mandate was to stand down and let Homeland take over. Personally, she did the right thing for herself. Legally, not so much.

Christine: Was what she did understandable? Completely. Was it right? No. They needed him alive and if she hadn't run off and gone rogue perhaps that could have happened.

Steve: In her mind, she did the only thing.

5. Were you surprised Bodnar was taken out with two episodes left in Season 10? Or at all?

Doug: Great question. Yes, I was surprised, and expected his storyline to continue until the end of the season and maybe continue into the next. I was also surprised that Bodnar proved to be the guy behind Eli's death. He had told Ziva that all was not as it seems, and so there was an expectation that the plot was more muddied than it first appeared. To be sure, it is - but only around the death of Arash Kazmi.

Christine: Yes, I expected them to be chasing him until the end. Now I'm guessing the story arc will be about the consequences of Bodnar's death for the team.

Steve: Absolutely. With two episodes to go I don't know how they'll match the intensity, or where they'll take the overall narrative heading into Season 11. But I'm excited to find out.

6. Colin Hanks guest stars next week as DOD investigator Richard Parsons. What impact will he have on the team? What will the fallout be?

Doug: I think he's going to have a devastating impact on the team. He's going to call into question their whole command structure, and will therefore be looking for blood. I doubt anyone - well, maybe except Abby - to come away unscathed. Although even she might be impacted. Basically, anyone who had anything to do with assisting Ziva in her hunt for Bodnar will be brought up on the carpet. At a minimum, I expect Ziva to be charged with arson, or perhaps even murder (though she could claim self-defense).

Christine: Huge fallout. (See my answer to question #1.) Vance was given far too many warnings for there not to be serious consequences. We'll see who still has a job at the end of the season and if anyone is brought up on charges. Needless to say, it won't be pretty.

Steve: He's obviously going to have a huge impact, and there will be ramifications after the way this was all handled. My question is this, though: Is the case even over, beyond the internal investigation? Or are there more loose ends pertaining to Bodnar, Mossad and Eli?

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.

Tags: ,
Julia64

knowing full well how silly we'd all feel when the conclusion of the cliffhanger was revealed, but I've learnt my lesson - I'm staying away from the promo's - why set myself up for disappointment - and I don't care what cliffhangers they throw at us in future - I'm not getting sucked in like that again, it’s not worth it! Sorry everyone - I was on a roll! Feel better now!

Julia64

It certainly had the desired effect - I for one spent the week in a state of nervous expectation. Now in my opinion in terms of keeping your audience happy, surely the resolution to a cliffhanger is as important as the cliffhanger itself and if there are no plans to deliver a satisfying resolution I suggest it's better not to have a cliffhanger at all, since whilst it's never going to be easy to live up to audience expectation following a cliffhanger, knowingly building your audience up for disappointment has got to be a bad idea, hasn't it? I don’t know about everyone else, my stomach was churning during that opening scene, but when they cut to Gibb’s announcing “they got lucky� and there they are fine – talk about anticlimax! It was as much as I could do to carry on watching the episode. I have this vision of the writers/producers sitting in a room having a good giggle over the fans getting their knickers in a twist over the fates of Ziva and Tony, knowing full well how silly we'd all feel when the conclusion of the cliffhanger was revealed, but I've learnt my lesson - I'm staying away from the promo's - why set myself up for disappointment - and I don't care what cliffhangers they throw at us in future - I'm not getting sucked in like that again, it’s not worth it!

Julia64

Indeed I don't think a few angsty moments would have been too much to ask for. After all, other than McGee’s minor incident with a shard of glass in episode one, I really can't remember the last time one of our fab four received a serious injury and if they never get hurt then there’s no sense of jeopardy. Would have been nice to see Gibbs' and McGee's reactions to a hurt Tony too, and maybe given Michael Weatherly something to get his teeth into for a change. Finally the nature of the cliffhanger - on the CBS website blog the writers state that originally "Berlin" was going to finish a little later, ie, after Ziva fires at Bodnar, but they changed it to have a better cliffhanger. And what a cliffhanger it was -Tony's bloody hand reaching out for Ziva's combined with the most misleading preview ever - I always thought a preview was just that, a preview of what was to come, not a bigger work of fiction than the episode itself! It certainly had the desired effect - I for one spent the week in a state of nervous expectation. Now in my opinion in terms of keeping your audience happy, surely the resolution to a cliffhanger is as important as the cliffhanger itself and if there are no plans to deliver a satisfying resolution I suggest it's better not to have a cliffhanger at all, since whilst it's never going to be easy to live up to audience expectation following a cliffhanger, knowingly building your audience up for disappointment has got to be a bad idea, hasn't it? I don’t know about everyone else, my stomach was churning during that opening scene, but when they cut to Gibb’s announcing “they got lucky� and there they are fine – talk about anticlimax! It was as much as I could do to carry on watching the episode. I have this vision of the writers/producers sitting in a room having a good giggle over the fans getting their knickers in a twist over the fates of Ziva and Tony, knowing full well how silly we'd all feel when the conclusion of the cliffhanger was revealed, but I've learnt my lesson - I'm staying away from the promo's - why set myself up for disappointment - and I don't care what cliffhangers they throw at us in future - I'm not getting sucked in like that again, it’s not worth it!

Julia64

The SFX guys gave us great interior shots of flying glass so why (other than Tony’s nose) did Tony and Ziva escape without a scratch. And what was the blood on Tony’s hand? After the crash there was no sign of injury, and if the blood was from his nose, ie, he’d slapped himself in the face, surely there would at least have been some bruising both to his hand and his face. Secondly – I could weep for the missed plot opportunities that “Berlin� set up. A crash of that nature is not something you can believably just drop into another episode at a later date. That's it - NCIS has done "the car crash" and they can't realistically repeat it. At the very least Tony could have been seriously hurt which would (a) have been more realistic (b) less of an anticlimax after a week of chewing my fingernails and © further fuelled the fire of Ziva's desire to go after Bodnar alone.

Julia64

After the brilliant “Berlin� I too had a number of problems with this episode including all of those mentioned in your review: Tony and Ziva’s continuing schizophrenic relationship is not only becoming darned right frustrating but also unbelievable, and I was unconvinced by a lot of the Bodnar plot. I agree, he would most certainly have killed them after the car crash, and there’s no way Ziva should have beaten him in a fight. However, my main concerns were firstly the car crash – in terms of production it was a brilliantly executed stunt, incredibly realistic and absolutely shocking - hats off to the skills of the SFX and stunt coordinators. However, I don’t know much about car smashes, but I’ve read several reviews from other fans who do know, and you don’t just walk away from a crash like that. And whatever type of glass Tony had in his car I want it in mine, because obviously it’s not sharp. The SFX guys gave us great interior shots of flying glass so why (other than Tony’s nose) did Tony and Ziva escape without a scratch. And what was the blood on Tony’s hand? After the crash there was no sign of injury, and if the blood was from his nose, ie, he’d slapped himself in the face, surely there would at least have been some bruising both to his hand and his face.