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NCIS Round Table: "Kill Chain"

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The ever-stoic Leroy Gibbs was pried open a bit by Hollis Mann on NCIS Season 11 Episode 12, an installment that opened with the killing of a petty officer via drone attack.

How did our Round Table panel of Doug Wolfe, Christine Orlando and Steve Marsi feel about Mann's return? About Tony in general? About what's to come with Parsa?

Gather around below and find out now!

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How would you sum up the episode, in one sentence or word?
Doug: Terrorists and tuxes.

Christine: An awkward romance.

Steve: Drones, Delilah and Destruction.

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What did you think of the return of Hollis Mann?
Doug: I was pleased to see her again, and disappointed that she's married. I think she'd make an excellent life partner for Gibbs. It took a lot of doing but she cut through Gibb's rough exterior - even though the only evidence was that he offered to share a drink with her at the end.

Christine: I always liked her and I like the way she gets through to Gibbs. I was a little unclear...is she still married? If so, further midnight drinks in Gibbs' basement will be awkward but I certainly hope to see more of her.

Steve: I did not expect it but was definitely intrigued. Yet another surprising twist in NCIS Season 11 and one I hope is extrapolated upon.

What are your thoughts on Tony's character?
Doug: While I would have preferred to see him exhibiting more of the silent commanding authority that we've seen from him in the past, I get that he likes to joke and make movie references. That part is starting to grow on me. As long as he doesn't become the butt of jokes again, he'll be okay. I hate when that happens because it has the appearance of undermining him as the senior agent that he is.

I like that he checked Bishop when she questioned his investigative process. There was no anger there: just blunt, understanding authority.

Christine: I love it that Tony is able to lead yet never lose his sense of humor. My favorite was when he had McGee pull up the ex-wives board on the video screen. Someone had to fill Bishop in and Tony was ready to step up.

Steve: Tony is hilarious, but not just a one-note (or one-joke) character, which is great to see. He was particularly funny in this episode without losing his edge as an investigator, and without being as maligned as in the past.

McGee finally came around and attended Delilah's gala. What's up with his initial hesitation, though?
Doug: Dude needs to grow up a bit. He gets zero sympathy points for acting like such a cad in the first place, raining on Delilah's parade by showing off his insecurity. Abby's the perfect sister for him, understanding him but giving him a needed figurative head slap. His whole behavior towards Delilah this episode - including the "why are you here?" bit - was embarrassing.

Christine: I guess it's how Abby described it...he's getting cold feet because things are becoming serious and there's potential for real commitment. That means there's also potential for real loss. I felt horrible for Delilah when McGee obviously didn't want to attend the gala with her. It basically told her that she wasn't important enough to him to make her a priority.

Steve: We all have some commitment issues, insecurities and fears when relationships turn serious, but this felt a little out of character to me. I would've pictured Tim being nervous about going to the event, but 100 percent intent on going.

Will Delilah make it?
Doug: Sure hope so. I've seen the promo and though it looks like her operation is touch-and-go; I can't see the writers putting us through the pain of her loss. McGee, in particular, would be devastated if she didn't make it. If/when she pulls through, it's going to cement their relationship for good, I think... I hope.

Christine: I really don't know. I haven't been her biggest fan and this romance hasn't wowed me so to be honest, I could go either way. But if she does die it will be just one more example of how unlucky in love the NCIS team is.

Steve: I hope and think she will. The team has seen enough loss in recent seasons (and all seasons) and McGee has more potential to grow as a character if Delilah survives than if she doesn't.

What's next with Parsa?
Doug: Who knows. The man's on a mission, so it's a safe bet that he's going to keep trying to find bigger ways to grandstand his terrorism. By the time they take him down, his presence will have served to make the team even more tightly connected than before.

Christine: I'm sure he's not done yet. There are plenty of targets in D.C. but I am intrigued by the idea of Bishop trying to analyze his next move. I liked how Gibbs put her on his scent...like a prize Bloodhound. We'll see if her unique style will turn out to be the asset Gibbs hopes it will.

Steve: Clearly he has the potential to be a memorable "big bad," maybe even more than past seasons' villains. His penchant for theatrics as well as casualties will keep NCIS on its toes. I also agree with Christine regarding the final scene with Bishop, whose storyline is dovetailing with Parsa's in compelling fashion.

Douglas Wolfe is a staff writer for TV Fanatic Follow him on Twitter

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Nikitac

I don't think Hollis is the one for Gibbs. I like her & thought the episode was good just think she doesn't have enough red in her hair color for Gibbs. She's too disciplined. Would love to see Jen Benwa (spelling is terrible) come back into Tony's life or someone like her. He was great with her. Funny, romantic, very capable. I like Tony mentoring Bishop. He gets her. I really like Bishop! I think she is just right. I like that she is married & has a life. Plus she made Gibbs smile. McGee I didn't understand for the first time. Pretending Delilah was alright was strange as was his not wanting to go to the gala. Weird. Maybe he'll be nice to Delilah again now. Hopefully Delilah recovers. Please no more death for the cast members. I hated when Ari shot Kate. & please get Ducky a partner that isn't a serial killer. One that complements him. He's so lonely it's sad & has been too long. Enough! Get Ducky a SO please. Even if we never see her. He needs company, someone to go home to, & to talk to. Too bad Mary was a killer because it was great to see Ducky get attention from a woman. He needs a live one. Ha

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CBS needs to remove Bishop and get someone else. Her character doesn't fit in with the rest of the cast.

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@ Vicki

Okay so what next get rid of the black guy

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Bishop character seems out of place with the seasoned mature cast. They should of picked a stronger mature character or at least fleshed out BIshop' s background before making her a regular.

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I like Bishop and her open and awkward path to figuring out the team. She is not afraid of asking questions, Kate was embarrassed and Ziva worried about being seen as weak. Parsa is very much like Ari in the elaborate terrorist plots department and I think we will see Gibbs get more entrenched in his obsession. Love Mann and wish she was the Gibbs woman. But she was right to leave, Gibbs had not yet had his diner epiphany yet. Maybe she is not married and they will keep in touch. Like Gibbs she is not ready to stop working. For the first time I saw Gibbs as seriously aging in this episode. Ducky will be young forever. McGee needs to man up and communicate with the girlfriend. I thought his attitude was uncharacteristic despite the heartbreak the team has had. He may be uncertain, but he is empathetic and kind.

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Ya gotta love Tony's remark about the team's one-time hope for the "future former Mrs. Gibbs." I can't see a retired Army Lt. Col. putting up with Gibbs' penchant for evasiveness and non-committal behavior for any significant length of time, before she booted him down the basement stairs, packed a bag and split. Just like all of the preceding former Mrs. Gibbs's.

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I have a feeling that this year's finale will be used to introduce and promote Mark Harmon and Gary Glasburg's New Orleans NCIS project.

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So if Parsa is taken care of today I wonder what the season finale will be

Jeannie-clary

Thank you for your Round Table. and I agree with pretty much everything you have said.

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@ Jeannie Clary

Where were the round table reviewers when Tony was being humiliated on a weekly basis for the last 5 seasons? They never mentioned it. I guess I'm glad there is finally some acknowledgment that for something like 4 or 5 seasons, Tony was turned into the team idiot so Ziva could be superior and smug, Tim could smirk, and Gibbs could be the undisputed alpha male. I'm delighted that Tony isn't being humiliated on a weekly basis this season. Now if they could just let him be brilliant, dangerous, and have unique value to the team (you know, seasons 1- 4 Tony) I'd really have something to be happy about.

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@ Erin

Totally agree Ziva was always trying to humiliate him and Tim as you said would just smirk. Would love to see Tony take the lead on an important case and sale through with flying colors.

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@ Erin

I hope we get to see the smart-cop Tony we saw in eps like Missing, Chained, Bait, and other early seasons. I'm hopeful that S11 seems to be trying to repair the damage done during the "dark years"of S7-10. Gibbs' "I'll trust you anytime" was very welcome and a long time coming. Let's hope they keep going with this.

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I think Gibbs has officially become as obsessed with Parsa as he was with Ari Haswari. I think Tony noticed it as well when Gibbs put Bishop to work at the end of the episode.

Nikitac
@ Britt

I saw Tony's look too. I think you are right.

Nikitac
@ Britt

Sue normally I might agree with you but Criminal Minds got a mature female & she adds nothing to the show. She just isn't working out at all. Bishop is quirky & she adds a lot to the show. Tony gets her & she looks to him for help which puts Tony in a position to shine. It will work out I think. It's always odd at first because we are used to who was there. She is young but weren't we all once? Lol.

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@ Britt

I agree. In my opinion, he's as obsessed with Parsa as he was with Paloma, Cobb, and Dearing

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Personally, I don't really think McGee's behavior is out of character considering his romantic history. Initially, he was into serious relationships but his bad streak of relationships or potential relationships caused him to put up a wall. Hopefully, this storyline will help McGee's character growth.