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NCIS Round Table: "Alleged"

by at .  Updated at . Comments

This week's NCIS story focused on the troubling issue of sexual assault in the military, much of which goes unreported.

The case only came to light when the loyal friend of one such rape victim was himself killed.

What did TV Fanatic panelists Christine Orlando, David Taylor and Douglas Wolfe think about this direction in NCIS Season 11 Episode 21, "Alleged?"

Gather around and find out in our TV Fanatic Round Table below!

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How would describe the episode in three words or a sentence?

Christine: Hard Fought Change.

David:  Do the Right Thing/Let the Right Ones In.

Doug: Tackling the toughest issue.

What was your favorite scene or quote?

Christine: "You can't buy me with your pepperoni. I want a steak." That's why I love DiNozzo.

David:  "Never underestimate the advantage of a well-placed dumpster."

Doug: The scene were Cabot strikes a blow to the XO's neck, followed by Gibbs' surprised reaction: "you've been saving that one, Mo!"

What, if any, where the problems that you saw in this episode?

Christine: I was a little surprised at how quickly the XO turned in the interrogation room. He's kept his crimes a secret for years. I would have expected him to be able to hold his tongue and his temper just a little bit better.

David: I'll second that. Agent Cabot sure came up with the photos of his other victims quickly; it seemed a little too "convenient." Also, I think that the impact of the rape case might have been greater if the motive for the murder was to shut him up BECAUSE he knew about the rape. However, keeping it "in the background" still put the rape front and center.

Doug: I re-watched the scene where Gibbs and Tony bursts into Burke's room and he shouts "I didn't do it!'.  Both Tony and Gibbs tried to get him to open up about what he meant, and when he told them he'd better not say any more without a lawyer, Gibbs barked "if you want a lawyer, call one!" We never found out exactly what it was he "didn't do." It could be a writing continuity problem that they never got around to fixing. At any rate, that question was never adequately answered.

Conflicting Cases
The NCIS team must determine if a Naval officer was murdered because of his involvement with another case or if it was nothing more than a bar brawl gone wrong.

The bartender was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Fair?

Christine: Unfortunately, yes. Just because he didn't intend anything to happen doesn't mean he isn't responsible. Hopefully a jury will find him not guilty or he will get probation and community service. That would be fair.

David: I think so too. However, he's obviously repentant and since he owns a business in the community (such as it is), a reduced sentence shouldn't draw too many complaints.

Doug: I had a tough time with this one. Some things are just accidents, as this clearly was. If I were the D.A. I'd not want to waste the court's time with a charge. 

Driving while texting: is Ducky's observation on the money or is he too harsh?

Christine: Absolutely on the money. It's damn dangerous and you can easily get someone killed. We all know better.

David: AMEN sistah!!!!!!

Doug: Couldn't agree with you more, Christine. It's no different from drunk driving: the driver may think he's fine - drinking or texting - but study after study has shown that he's not.  Ducky hit the nail on the head.

Is there enough evidence to convict Commander Wexler?

Christine: Without DNA or any physical evidence to link him to the crimes it can become a case of he said / she said and she doesn't even remember who it was. I don't doubt for a minute that he's guilty but it will definitely be a difficult case to prove.

David: Tough call. Christine's point is well taken. Still, Wexler seemed to turn, which could be perceived as a confession, but that's not enough. If more evidence was needed, we all know Gibbs' team will dig to China to find something on him.

Doug: All of the evidence is circumstantial at best. There is no doubt he did it, but the witnesses were not clear about their assaults (it wasn't possible, as they were drugged when it happened), and he denies it.  Their only real evidence is the coincidence of his ship being present at all nine assaults, in which his presence is the common denominator. There isn't even any DNA.  A good lawyer would be able to get him off due to "reasonable doubt".

Will Holly Farrell have any kind of normal Navy life, now that the whole issue is out in the open?

Christine: It won't be easy. There will definitely be talk and not everyone will be kind. I have to believe she can still have a successful Navy career if she just continues to put one foot in front of the other and stays strong.

David: I agree. Once she separates from her current fellow JOs, she won't have the same support system she once had. However, I would like to see this as an opportunity for her to head up some initiative or task force on this issue.

Doug: I think she can have a somewhat normal life, but only if she goes for counseling. Her character struck me as being somewhat introverted. It will take some major inner strength to go back to her brothers and hold her head high against the whispers.

Though I'm glad the Navy was keen to see this episode made and aired, I still worry about the Neanderthals in the "old boys' club" among some of the officer ranks; people who might prevent an ensign such as Farrell from receiving promotions down the road.

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

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Authorsue

I have to agree with some of the others. Bishop does nothing for the other characters. She doesn't have a solid foundation. Kate and Ziva both bantered with the guys, especially Tony. The girls stood up to them, but not in a confrontational way. The girls just cleverly outsmarted them. But, all nonsense aside, they had each other's back. It was fun to watch. Now, it's like the spark has gone out of Tony He's always been so much fun when tangling with the gals. The spark has also gone out of Tim. He never seems enthusiastic anymore, or babbling in a language most of us don't understand. I do love the interaction between him and Delilah, but that seems to be coming to an end. Even Gibbs doesn't seem to enjoy himself so much anymore. You need a solid female, with a mysterious background, a quick wit, and undeniable loyalty. A character who stands up for herself, even with Gibbs sometimes. But in a good way. One who is fun and smart and a little bit temptress. One who fits this, unique team.

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There's no way the bartender is guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The 3 necessary elements of involuntary manslaughter are:
(1) Someone was killed as a result of act by the defendant,
(2) The act either was inherently dangerous to others or done with reckless disregard for human life, and
(3) The defendant knew or should have known his or her conduct was a threat to the lives of others. (1) is certianly true in this case. (2) is maybe argueable - the act of throwing an intoxicated and disruptive patron out of a bar isn't "inherently dangerous", so you'd have to prove that he did so with a "reckless disregard for human life", which would be a tough sell, given that the two patrons were fighting and he was doing his best to keep them seperated. That would limit his ability to do so in a safe manner, making "reckless disregard" very difficult to prove. Furthermore, given that, there's no evidence to support (3) at all. In fact, the bartender's conduct was done with the intent of PREVENTING harm to others by separating two violent patrons and removing them from the bar. I think he might be civilly liable, and maybe some lesser criminal penalty, but no way is he guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Wolfshades
@ Benjamin

Thanks for a very well considered comment. In fact, I could envision a D.A. looking at #2 and putting himself in the a defines attorney's shoes. In fact, the bartender did what many bartenders do, so it was a common practice, where the incidence of death is so rare as to be almost non-existent. Further, he was trying to help the guy by ensuring they both went opposite directions from each other. His intent was not to injure but actually to prevent injury. No jury in the world would convict him. A competent D.A. would consider the case not winnable and probably would as a result likely decline to prosecute.

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don't like the Bishop, Delilah talk show.. We had the best with
Kate and Ziva, find someone half a good if not equal. anything better tha Bishop talking on and on and on. Hope Delilah can't find her way back

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@ Ginny D

This isn't about Delilah or Bishop. This is about other females. Notice the majority of the anti-Bishop crowd are females. This isn't about her as an actress or the character. This is women being catty and territorial.

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@ Justin Sayn

Yes they are females who don't care to be portrayed as immature, quirky, dumb, inarticulate, dyed blonde females. Males on the other hand ....

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@ delphi

Your biggest issue with Bishop seems to be that she has dyed blonde hair - were you dumped for someone whose accessories didn't match the outfit???!!!??
As for immaturity and quirkiness, I'm guessing Abby gets a pass?????
If you don't like the show, don't watch the show and don't fucking comment on it either................

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@ delphi

They are upset because no woman who behaved like that would be taken seriosly in a military setting. There is enough descrimination in the workplace. Kate and Ziva are strong therefore admired. Bishop is terrible. But hey man, you gobfor her. She won't have your back because she is literally unqualified. But if the dyed blonde hair does for you, she's all yours

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@ delphi

So, they're upset that Bishop isn't like them...

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I read that NCIS has wanted to do an episode on this topic for a long time, but the Navy only recently agreed. Good for them. Well, it was obvious that they took pains to not paint the Navy in a bad light. NCIS is sometimes a propaganda tool for the US military, and while I'm really offended by that, it means there's a bias.
In any case, I thought the case was written from a very human and compassionate standpoint. Liked how Holly's fellow officers rallied around her. Kelli Williams was wonderful as a Navy officer and I really hope she comes back in the future. This season has been SORELY lacking in great women characters, and then they went and wrote off the best one, Delilah.
The Dinozzo-McGee cleanse routine was not awful. I was braced for bathroom jokes, and they didn't happen. Hate that once again, DiNozzo was the whipping boy.
To talk about the elephant in the room, Bishop contributed nothing to the case. Since she is an analyst and not a field agent, this is unsurprising. It appears the actress cannot do fight scenes, because once again, she was only able to subdue the suspect after the stuntman physically slammed himself into a wall. Obviously I don't like the character, so I'll stop.
Overall I thought this was a strong episode in a regrettable season.

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@ SandraM

I was bored to tears. Way too much Bishop again. How about hiring Kelli Williams, a competent lawyer andhave her completeFletc training between now and September. Then have Bishop shot dead and Williams hired. She hs proven her likeability and ability as an actress in The Practice. She would be an ideal team member.

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@ SandraM

can't edit! in the last sentence of the first paragraph, I meant to say, I am NOT really offended by that.

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I agree it was an old fashioned episode and was so good. The back and forth between McGee and Tony is priceless.
This was a tough issue to address in an hour but it was done very well and it was nice to see Abby more involved.
Thank you Ducky for your texting comment. There is nothing so important that it has to be typed while driving.

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@ Ann Woodward

I LOVED that we saw the WHOLE team in this ep. FINALLY. after months of the Bishop show. SO happy to see Vance, Ducky, Abby.

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two things. the military code of justice has a different standard that Wexler may fall under, and if they can find the source of the ketamine and trace it to him , that would be a real difficult thing to explain away.

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It was a old fashion NCIS type episode and I love it

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@ Michael

I loved it too! great guest stars!