NCIS Round Table: "Once a Crook"

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Our NCIS review broke down "Once a Crook," last 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 a Round Table Q&A discussion of various events and topics from the installment.

Join in as we analyze Tony's insomnia, Delilah and much more ...


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

Christine: Things unsaid. Even though no one mentioned her name, Ziva's presence was still looming over everything at NCIS.

Doug: I liked Christine's response, and agree with her. Mine would simply be: "insomnia"

Steve: Sleepless in Baltimore-Washington.

NCIS RT - depreciated -

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

Christine: Tony: "It's so interesting. No one will say her name. Have you noticed? It's like she's dead. Every time I look at her desk, every time I close my eyes... I just feel like I made a mistake. Like I made the wrong decision. Only it wasn't me who decided." I really loved this. It showed just how deeply Ziva's leaving has affected Tony and that it's going to take some time for him to move on.

Doug: I really enjoyed the Gibbs-Tony scene where Tony opens up, and Gibbs offers support. One thing you can say about Gibbs: he doesn't flatter and he doesn't offer platitudes - which is one of the reason I like the guy. Whenever he speaks, you're going to hear truth, not fluff. So when he says to Tony "I'll trust you anytime," you can take that to the bank.

Steve: I liked Gibbs and Tony too. The former somehow finds a way to be supportive without blowing smoke. He's as tough as anyone and will let you know it if you need to pull it together, but is never insensitive to what is going on and why. Leadership personified.

3. What was your favorite sleep-deprived Tony moment?

Christine: Tony sitting at his desk with his eyes open yet mostly asleep. I couldn't believe Gibbs didn't call him out for that one.

Doug: The scene where he's on the table talking with Ducky and worrying about going crazy. I like how Ducky offers support by telling him that he talks to dead people. You could feel Tony's tiredness in that scene - kind of made you want to hit the sack yourself.

Steve: All of them really. Michael Weatherly did a great job of looking just a little off throughout the episode. Not off enough that he'd be in danger on the job, but enough that you'd notice if you knew him. Well done.

4. Do you like the use of flashbacks on NCIS?

Christine: I really enjoyed this glimpse into Tony's past. I especially liked it when he said, "You've already got one gun I'm not giving you another one. Let's move on." I hate it when cops turn over their guns on TV. It was great seeing how Tony handled that moment.

Doug: I don't usually care for them that much, but the flashbacks in this one were important and entertaining. I think it allowed us to have a sense of empathy for Anton, whereas we might otherwise have thought of him as just a thug, especially when he pulled a gun on Tony.

Steve: I definitely liked how these last two episodes have used them. Some say the show's character continuity is not a strong point but I typically enjoy vignettes like this and find exploration of the characters' pasts very entertaining.

5. Whose history would you like to learn more about next?

Christine: Tony and Gibbs are both my favorites but I think I'd prefer seeing them both moving forward from here on out instead of looking back. As much as I enjoyed this episode I'm really not interested in more flashbacks from the rest of the team. Of course NCIS could pull something off so well that they'll make me eat those words.

Doug: Abby's always fun to learn about, isn't she? We know she has a brother, and we got her back story last season about her interest in forensics. Why is she goth? How did she get to be such an independent soul, one who marches to the beat of her own drummer?

Steve: Perhaps a young Ducky or Jimmy? Just because that would be totally out there and I feel like none of us would know what to expect.

6. Psychoanalyze Tony: What really kept him awake, and has he moved past it now?

Christine: He spent years circling Ziva and months tracking her down. He's got to be thinking about all the chances he never took with her and how things could have gone differently. Ziva's left a huge void in his life both personally and professionally. It's going to take time for him to stop missing her and move on.

Doug: Tony's paradigm has changed. He once saw himself as a bit a lone wolf, who was able to make people laugh, and who always got the girl... a guy who did his work well, but functioned best as a team member rather than a leader in the team. Now all of that clowning has taken back seat, and I feel certain that he feels uncertain. He had no idea he was so invested in Ziva. I mean, he had an inkling, but didn't recognize the depth of his regard for her, until she was gone. He recognizes it now but likely doesn't know what to do about it. So those questions whirl around in his head, and so rather than think about it (or worse: dream about it) he has thrown himself into his work, for three days without sleep. I do think his relationship with Anton acted as a placebo of sorts: he wasn't able to resolve his thoughts about Ziva, but he at least got to resolve Anton's issues. That provided enough satisfaction to allow him to flip the switch and sleep.

Steve: I think Doug pretty much nailed it, but I would love to know what specifically he's thinking regarding she-whose-name-must-not-be-spoken. Does he wish he'd channeled his feelings years earlier? Not let her stay in Israel? What would he change if he could do it over again and does he regret anything?

7. Do you like Delilah?

Christine: No and I can't seem to put my finger on exactly why. I feel no chemistry between her and the rest of the team, not even McGee. I've honestly found her completely forgettable.

Doug: So far, I love her. I like the fact that she overcame Abby's hostility and won her over.  I like her sudden delight over "Choward's Scented Gum." We don't know enough about her yet for me to come to a final acceptance but so far, she's hitting every pitch.

Steve: I'm on the fence, but I would like to see more of and learn more about her, so I guess that means I view her more positively than negatively so far.

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.

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NCIS Season 11 Episode 5 Quotes

Tony: Maybe I was wrong about a lot of people.
Gibbs: Are we still talking about the case?
Tony: It's so interesting. No one will say her name. Have you noticed? It's like she's dead. Every time I look at her desk, every time I close my eyes....I just feel like I made a mistake. Like I made the wrong decision. Only it wasn't me who decided. So yeah - I'm probably wrong to think Anton's innocent in all this.
Gibbs: I'll trust you any time.

Tony: I want to help.
Anton: One thing I've learned, Tony. Just because you want it doesn't mean it's going to happen.
Tony: Tell me about it. It's funny - never stops me from trying.