NCIS

Tuesdays 8:00 PM on CBS
Ncis
TV Fanatic Works Better with Prime Instant Video
40,000 other titles are available to watch now.

NCIS Round Table: "Anonymous Was a Woman"

by at . Comments

Our NCIS review broke down "Anonymous Was a Woman," this week's episode of TV's #1 show, 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 the installment.

Join in as we analyze Gibbs' brave stand in Kabul, Mike's secret operation and more ...

----------------------------------

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

Christine: Bend the Line.

Doug: I like Christine's choice for this. Mine's "Gibbs' Deepest Regret."

Steve: How do you choose?

NCIS Round Table Logo NEW!

2. What was your favorite quote or scene from the episode?

Christine: I loved the scenes between Mike and Gibbs. Gibbs was so torn as he tried to figure out what the right thing to do was. We don't usually see him second guess himself that way.

Doug: Couldn't decide between two of them. It felt like I'd found gold when I looked up Gibb's rules and realized that this episode revealed one that had been missing until now.  Rule 14: Bend the line. Don't break it. The competing scene was the one that showed Tony's worry over McGee and Gibbs - when Tony said "be careful Tim." The fact that Tony generally uses a variation of McGee's last name whenever he addresses him - but this time it was his first name, and there was no joking.

Steve: My favorite scene was the flashback in which Mike weighed in on Gibbs' woodwork for his coffin. During NCIS Season 8, viewers never knew what Gibbs was making, or that Mike was even sick, until after he died. It was a neat touch to fill in another piece of that puzzle years later.

3. Gibbs' last stand: Awesome or gimmicky?

Christine: Mostly awesome because in that moment it wasn't just Gibbs. It was McGee with the gun in the window and Tony thousands of miles away watching the satellite feed and all of them holding their breath hoping that Gibbs didn't get a bullet to the head. That tension felt real and pulled off a scene that could have felt like a gimmick in lesser hands.

Doug: I agree with Christine on this - awesome. When Gibbs and McGee discussed their informal rules of engagement - where they couldn't go out there with guns blazing but at the same time they couldn't allow them in, we had a pretty good idea that they were between a rock and a hard place. That viewer instinct that allows for suspension of disbelief kicked in when the men decided to take on Gibbs mano-a-mano: I dealt with that by figuring that they didn't want to shoot Gibbs because then they couldn't claim that the Americans broke the peace by firing on them first. So yeah - the tension was terrific.

Steve: It was an interesting setup, with both sides unwilling to simply open fire. Gibbs has a spine of steel for going out there under the assumption he wouldn't be shot dead on the spot, but he read the situation right. There's always going to be some creative license with things like this - so many things could have gone wrong and his plan could have easily backfired - but it wasn't that big of a stretch.

4. Did you enjoy the focus on Mike Franks?

Christine: Yes. It was good to see Mike again. He makes an impression and still has a strong pull on Gibbs, even from beyond the grave.

Doug: Very much. It added a layer to his legend that was hands-down showed him to be the rough angel that he was. Plus, the writers showed their courage by having him deal with a reality of life in some parts of the world, with respect to the plight of women and girls. The whole subject was handled with nuance and truth - and Franks was the unsung hero of the whole thing.

Steve: I always love Mike, and was glad to see him back in an episode that gave him even more depth. He was one of the good guys, yet also a true renegade, so I thought the storyline was a good fit.

5. Special Agent Susan Grady: Love her or leave her?

Christine: I actually really liked her this time around. I liked how she used her experience as a tech and took it into the interrogation room. The boys need to give her more credit. That said, I'm not sad she's moving on to San Diego.

Doug: I was as relieved as the rest of the NCIS team when she said she had no intention of trying to work with them. There's an X factor required for working with this group, and she didn't have it. Wish I could be more specific. She just didn't do it for me. Makes me wonder what the writers are doing with us. Are they trying out different personalities - Vera last week and Susan this week to see what sticks with the fans?

Steve: I loved her as a one-off or even someone who might return for another guest spot someday. Not a huge fan as a permanent addition, but that's clearly not the idea. In response to Doug's point, my guess is that out of respect for Ziva's character, they're not casting a "replacement" right away, but are filling the screen void with interesting characters as a foil for Tim and Tony in the interim. It also makes sense that Vance, Gibbs & Co. would not have a permanent member of the team ready to go the very next week. Finding the right person will take time.

6. Do you like how Tony is being portrayed in the absence of Ziva, at least thus far?

Christine: Yes, I do. He's more serious and introspective but still Tony. He hasn't lost his humor but there's something more there. I'm really intrigued to find out where they're taking his character this season. 

Doug: I really like this quieter, intense and sometimes violent version of Tony. Up until now we've generally only seen this side of him when he's in the interrogation room. This is a guy worthy of respect. The thing is: when we see him as the jokester all the time, it's hard to credit him as being any sort of leader. I'm glad the writers have taken him in this direction and I hope they keep it up. 

Steve: As much as I wish Ziva hadn't left, I think the show is dealing with it as well as you could expect. The first two episodes have been solid, and Tony's reflection on her departure has been a big part of that. He doesn't dwell on it constantly in some forced way, but he still carries the pain with him in a way that's unavoidable to his colleagues and viewers. Nicely done by the writers and Michael Weatherly.

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: ,
Terrie

WOW...........you guys got a share on this from Muse Watson himself on Facebook.............

Avatar

I was not thrilled by this episode. For me, the suspension of disbelief did not work. I have a hard time believing this wasn't a ninja movie copy of a standoff when one after another slowly go up to be 'kungfued' by Gibbs. As the other person who watches NCIS with me said, well Gibbs rescued the six girls, but the center was shut down, not a great piece of doing right for the team. I could never see Mike Franks again and be happy or the lie-detector woman and be happier still. I do like the more sober minded Tony and loved his concern for Tim and Gibbs. And yes - calling McGee Tim was meaningful. I would lay bets that the French redhead from the shelter becomes a Gibbs romance, even for a short term thing.

Avatar

I liked this ep and like last week has had an old time feel about them. Especially with Tony and Gibbs in the car and Gibbs dropping the phone in the take away bag and Tony asking about the fries LOL. Horrific case, grumpy Gibbs and Tony saying everything Gibbs won't say. Loving Tony and McGee as well but i always do when it's just them two. Really looking forward to next week

Avatar

Enjoyed the review, as always. I have to say, I'm liking these post-Ziva eps so much! This is nothing against Ziva, but the writers seem to have their mojo back. The team is close again, and the characters are more like the canon characters I fell in love with. I'm loving the new Tony, who is still funny and wonderfully unique, but also more mature and contemplative. My favorite scenes were when the Afghani woman ran out of the elevator to hug and thank Tony (wonderfully played my Michael Weatherly), and the end scene, when Susan Grady told Tony that the team really cared about each other, as Tony, Tim and Gibbs exchanged looks that confirmed exactly that. Nice work from Mark Harmon and Muse Watson, and this is coming from someone who is not a Mike Franks fan. Looking forward to this weeks ep. It feels good to be excited about this show again!

Avatar

Robert, to what are you referring?

Avatar

this show was so outstanding that I still get goosebumps thinking of Gibbs in front of the shelter! This was the best show in a very long time. Loved seeing Mike Franks back (still trying to figure out why they killed him off). I thought everyone did a superb job and can't wait to watch this week.

Avatar

Tony's mom, brother and love interest?
Gibb's ex girlfriend?
Ducky's mom and dad?