Our official NCIS review broke down Tuesday's powerful episode in great detail.
Now, TV Fanatic staff members Steve Marsi, Matt Richenthal and Eric Hochberger have assembled for a weekly Round Table Q&A discussion of events from part one of "Engaged."
Join in below, as we analyze various aspects of the team's adventures ...
What was your general take on this episode?
Steve: As I touched on briefly in my review, the show has great respect for those who protect and serve. Mark Harmon in particular gives off an air of honor and respect for the military. The always top-flight cast all did a terrific job in an installment that was among the heavier ones in recent memory, keeping us on the edge of our seats throughout. Especially with Veteran's Day last week, the episode was pretty much perfect in every way.
Matt: Moving, beautiful episode. Can't wait for tomorrow.
Eric: Excellent. My man Gibbs carried it from beginning to end, for the second straight week, and the storytelling was great. I love the lighter fare but this was as intense as ever. NCIS at its best.
What was your favorite quote or scene?
Steve: Gibbs at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. If you've ever seen it in person, you know the feeling that comes with it and this scene conveyed it beautifully. Also, Gibbs comforting Flores' father, when we know about Gibbs' own experience with such a tragedy, was particularly moving.
Matt: The concluding scene, with the footage showing Flores' capture via satellite, was a chilling moment in an episode full of them. The whole night took on a very serious tone which was appropriate given the stakes involved. For (brief) comic relief, I loved Tony's bucket list ... we can only hope to see him try to check off more items in the future.
Eric: The Gibbs and Shannon flashback, followed by the couple of scenes of Jethro as a Marine. These little moments really helped show how much the case meant to our hero personally. Also, Sean Harmon did a really nice job as young Gibbs this time, more so than his previous stint.
Ziva's head slap of Tony: Funny or fail?
Steve: I wasn't a big fan, but also wasn't as fired up about it as some fans were. Gibbs seemed to let it slide and even told DiNozzo to stand down moments later, so that's good enough for me.
Matt: Funny as a one-off. Tony had it coming at that particular moment.
Eric: Fail. Head-slapping will always be a Gibbs-only thing for me.
Thoughts on the USMC Chaplain?
Steve: I wonder about her role in the grander narrative. From the opening flashback with Shannon telling Gibbs to move on, it became clear the show was setting up something. I'm not saying she's going to become a romantic interest for Gibbs, but the number of redheads in this episode was likely not coincidental.
Matt: I liked Chaplain Burke and how she was both confident in her role and not intimidated by Gibbs (easy on the eyes, too). Maybe he'll open up to her more? The episode would have been fine without her, but remember it's only half over. In next week's Round Table we'll be better equipped to answer this question!
Eric: I liked her a lot. I'm curious to see what she brings to the table tomorrow.
Will Lt. Flores be brought back alive?
Steve: I hope so. After all we learned about her, it feels like she could be a part of the team, or anyone's family. She was, in a sense, the star of the episode, even with no dialogue. Bring her home, Gibbs.
Matt: Yes. I foresee another dramatic rescue like we saw to open Season 7.
Eric: I have a sad feeling that she may not be. Much as we're all hoping for it, the team faces major obstacles and missions like this do fail all the time. If nothing else, I'd wager that Gibbs will fulfill the tenet of the Marine Corps that no man or woman be left behind. But whether she'll be brought back alive I'm less sure about.