Fornell's in the hospital but he's going to make it. Trent Kort is revealed as a treacherous killer, and we still don't know what's going to prompt Tony to leave the team...
What's more – Ziva David's name has come up again and her father's farm house was in flames on NCIS Season 13 Episode 23.
TV Fanatic panelists Kathleen Wiedel, David Taylor, Christine Orlando and Douglas Wolfe discuss all of the above and more on this week's Round Table. Chime in and let us know what you think of it all...
How would you describe this episode in a few words or a sentence?
Kathleen: Trent Kort, relative of reptiles
David: A mole and a snake.
Christine: All roads lead back to Ziva David.
Doug: I'm glad we understand each other.
Is Ziva dead?
Kathleen: Not a chance. She probably set the house on fire herself.
David: No. That part of the story was a ratings ploy during a sweeps month.
Christine: Now wouldn’t that just infuriate fans! Not only does Tony leave but Ziva’s dead? No, I don’t think NCIS is going to sucker punch us like that, or at least I hope not.
Doug: I think there's a strong possibility she is. With Tony out of the picture for good now the producers may see no reason to keep her character in the show's back pocket anymore.
I agree with David: just the mention of her name is enough to draw any stray viewers back to the flock.
What are your thoughts on new cast member Clayton Reeves?
Kathleen: There's a strange obsession with the name "Clayton" in this universe. This makes at least the third one I can think of just off the top of my head! (The other two being Clayton Webb and Clayton Jarvis.)
That aside, I really liked him; he brought a lightness and fun that has felt strangely lacking of late.
David: I like him too. I like that he reflects global cooperation between government agencies since that seems to be a rarity in the NCIS universe.
Such international collaborations frequently go south and fast. As an example, ex-KGB agent Pavlenko shared some important information with Gibbs....just before he died of poison on NCIS Season 13 Episode 12.
Or there was the French police inspector who sort of assisted Tony in locating an Admiral's daughter on NCIS Season 11 Episode 23. It turned out she (the Inspector) was a traitor.
Christine: I’m a sucker for a charming, handsome man with a British accent so I’ll be happy to see Clayton Reeves stick around for a while.
Doug: I think he's going to work out fine, just as long as the writers don't try and make him into another Tony. He needs to be his own character, not a copy.
Will Tess Monroe make a good fit for the team?
Kathleen: I don't see her meshing well in the long term; she's an alpha type who should probably be in charge of her own team rather than playing second fiddle to Gibbs (who she was directly compared to multiple times in this episode).
Note how she disregarded his directives multiple times, too. Not a good thing for team cohesiveness, as I see it.
David: You mean "in the interim...while Fornell recuperates", right? If not, that implies you don't think Fornell will be back and that's just wrong.
Meanwhile, you said it yourself in your review, she's got boundary issues, and I think she's trying TOO hard to fit in.
In short, she hocks me off and I don't see her lasting long.
Christine: I’m okay with her in the short term but I agree with what everyone said above…she just doesn’t fit in with this group.
Then there’s the fact that I kept expecting her to be evil because the actress played double agent Nina Myers on 24. I know it shouldn’t be relevant but it really did bug me.
Doug: Looks like I'm alone in my admiration of her. (David: I meant that she's being touted as a new cast member. There's no implication that Fornell won't survive, but there's a possibility that she'll move over from the FBI to NCIS).
I like the idea of Gibbs' world being rocked. It suits him, and it forces the character to adjust and change. Monroe can be the catalyst for that.
Did you suspect Trent Kort was the killer?
Kathleen: No, I did not. When it was revealed, however, I rejoiced that it finally gives our heroes the excuse to shoot that miserable reptile.
Though I do find it a little curious that he managed to successfully shoot anyone from a significant distance with only one eye. Lack of depth perception would make that incredibly difficult.
David: Well, he never sat right with me from the get-go, but I wouldn't have suspected him.
I'm with Kathleen: shoot him and keep the glass eye as a trophy.
Christine: No, but I’m grateful to have him gone. Not only was he a miserable person but that one eye thing freaked me out.
Doug: I had no idea either. I'm really hoping for a knock down drag 'em out fight between him and Tony, next week. None of this "bang bang you're dead" nonsense.
What was your favorite scene or quote?
Kathleen: McGee referring to Trent Kort at the zoo as visiting his relatives in the reptile house. Oh, dear.
David: Abby quoting Monty Python.
Christine: Tony’s reaction to Kort spouting off about Ziva and Gibbs not reining Tony in. I like it when these characters show some passion, and I’m very curious as to how they will wrap up Tony’s story next week.
Doug: I really enjoyed that scene too, Christine. And I was especially glad to see Gibbs give him free rein, too.
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.