NCIS Round Table: "Oil and Water"

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Our NCIS review broke down "Oil and Water," 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 the return of Borin, the Prankster, the SecNav and much more ...


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

Doug: Tony and Gibbs switch places.

Christine: Beware of the beep.

Steve: O.G.P. (Original Gibbs Prankster.)

NCIS RT - depreciated -

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

Doug: I enjoy the sibling rivalry between Tony and McGee. So my favorite quote goes to McGee when he tells Abby he think she's going overboard with the burning of sage in the lab: "I don't like it when he touches my stuff either, but I just use bleach."

Christine: There was a lot to like but my favorite may have been the arrogant college student turned eco-terrorist. When she rattled off the "horrors" of all things NCIS, DiNozzo didn't miss a beat when he shot back, "I didn't know they put that in the brochure."

Steve: Anything regarding the prankster, and how he/she rankled the team so. I loved the fact that he/she was left at large, at least unofficially. I think we have a pretty good idea who was responsible.

3. What, if anything, didn't work for you?

Doug: One of the diversions for the case of the week involved the theory that one of the oil rig workers was getting revenge on someone because he was about to be fired. When we learn that he was in fact allowing himself to be fired by taking the heat for something his best friend did - I just didn't buy it. It didn't ring true. I love my best friends - but when they mess up, they're pretty much on their own. I'll loan them the shovel to bury the bodies but won't strain my back helping to dig. Ya feel me?

Christine: Everyone still dancing around whether or not they need a replacement for Ziva. Obviously they're going to fill that seat at some point. I kind of hope it happens sooner rather than later if only because all of the angst about it is getting old.

Steve: That I pegged the guilty party in the case from the first sighting. This doesn't make it a poor episode by any means, but often times I'm more intrigued by the mystery and find it harder to solve from a viewer's standpoint, which makes it more enjoyable.

4. Who was the prankster in this episode? Show your work. :)

Doug: Gibbs - for all the reasons listed in the review. Furthermore: I think that Gibbs has seen Tony take a turn for the serious (this episode excluded of course) and so when the jokester's away, *someone* has to inject some levity into the scene. I think he probably took an inordinate amount of joy in playing the prankster too - only allotting out so much prank energy as he knew the team could appreciate. McGee could handle having his workstation plasticized, Tony could take a physical fall, and Abby - well he knew that all he had to do was move her furniture a little bit. Just enough for her to notice. It was nuanced - which is completely unlike Tony.

Christine: I've got to go with Gibbs. He knows his team well enough to know exactly what would make each of them crazy, down to moving Abby's desk three inches... and that they'd all suspect the true prankster was Tony.

Steve: You've gotta think it's Gibbs. Just because it's possible, maybe even probable ... and that said, it would be such a letdown if it weren't.

5. Borin as Ziva's replacement - would it have worked for you?

Doug: No, not really. Her presence - and in particular, the team's joyful acceptance of her - made me wonder if the show writers were testing the waters to see what the viewership would find acceptable. She wasn't exactly offered the job - it was only hinted. As was her gentle not-quite-rejection of it.

Christine: I like Borin. She's earned everyone's respect and can roll with the punches with this team. Even with DiNozzo makes fun of her... Tony: "You're a special lady, Borin. Can't wait to meet the peg-leg gentleman who woos you." Borin: "Yo ho ho, DiNozzo." I wouldn't mind at all if she stuck around.

Steve: I love Diane Neal's appearances as Borin and have said for years that I'd love to see more of them. I think she'd be a great fit. Of course, with Emily Wickersham coming on board as Bishop this month as a series regular, that's not happening, but I hope we can still count on the annual appearance by Borin and CGIS.

6. What's SecNav Porter up to? Do you believe her?

Doug: She has shown herself to be a political animal above all else. That quote where she says they need to "minimize the damage" pretty much showed us that - especially when juxtaposed against Gibbs' response: "A man's dead. It's hard to minimize that." Plus, we saw her talking with those other folk, and the writers made sure we too noticed by having the team all notice her. So no, I don't believe her when she says she was only there to oversee the case. Something's going on there, and maybe it has to do with the missing Vance. Makes me wonder if Gibbs is going to be promoted.

Christine: For the moment, perhaps. But she's definitely a politician so her loyalties will change depending on what's in her best interest. In other words, she may not be out to get Gibbs and his team but that doesn't mean she can be trusted.

Steve: The writers are definitely setting up a great deal more than we've seen so far, both in terms of showing the SecNav's management style and possibly regarding her involvement in specific plot lines. At some point, running the Navy like a corporation is not going to mesh well with Gibbs and/or Vance, and I'm curious to see Bishop's involvement in her storyline(s) as well.

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 6 Quotes

Borin: I didn't just lose three fellow Marines in that blast. Gibbs I lost my Marine. Liam. He always had to be the one leading the charge. That was his style. He was strong, stubborn. God. Cocky as all hell.
Gibbs: Marine's a Marine.

Gibbs: Whaddya got?
Tony: Crabs.
Borin: We have a problem.
Gibbs: Worse than DiNozzo's crabs?