NCIS Round Table: "Safe Harbor"

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Our official NCIS review broke down Tuesday's 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 "Safe Harbor."

Join in below, as we analyze various aspects of the team's adventures ...


What was your general take on this episode?

Steve: I loved it, as I have most of Season 9 so far. NCIS just keeps rolling. "Safe Harbor," like previous weeks, was loaded with great character moments, both touching and funny. Despite a couple of holes in the mystery, it was a typically strong installment, well-written and acted by this perennially underrated cast.

Matt: Terrific guest appearances by Shohreh Aghdashloo and Diane Neal. Decent enough plot, but not the best; Made up for with plenty of laughs and heart, however

Eric: Not quite as good as "Enemy on the Hill," but that was hard to top, especially as a major Abby fan. This week was still good, just not one of my top 10 favorites. 

NCIS RT - depreciated -

What was your favorite quote or scene from the episode?

Steve: Is there any way one doesn't choose Borin scrubbing the stain out of DiNozzo's pants, only to have Vance walk in dumbfounded? Humor is always key to NCIS but that was particularly hilarious.

Matt: "Whatever you're doing, stop." Classic. Runner-up: "Nothing more boring than perfect." Gibbs may want to add that to his rule book.

Eric: Tony's pants for laughs. Gibbs and Ziva for making my living room dusty.

Should Gibbs date Abby Borin?

Steve: Don't get me wrong, I would be an unabashed member of Team Bibbs if they went there, but their relationship is fun to watch as it is. Why mess with a good thing, I guess.

Matt: I liked that they basically put this out there and shot it down right off the bat, but had Borin play a role in Tony and Tim's quest just the same. Well done. I think if Gibbs and Abby 2 were to date, it would've happened already, but I always enjoy her visits and hope the next one isn't too far off.

Eric: No. One of our readers described Gibbs and Borin in a way I really liked, and will now steal for this answer. She's like a younger sibling or cousin, mature enough to relate to Gibbs but young enough to pal around with the team as well. However you describe it, Diane Neal does a great job in this recurring role.

Discuss the theme of Gibbs as a father figure this season.

Steve: While hardly a new dynamic, it's hard to avoid talking about it after the last few weeks. Whether he's calling Ziva "kid" or bear-hugging Abby, Gibbs is always there for his team.

Matt: Every episode since the premiere has been solid, and that's a big reason why. First Tony, then Tim, Abby and Ziva. His connection with each has been touched upon in successive weeks. The "kids" are definitely doing alright these days, despite their respective issues, and Gibbs' guidance is a big reason for that.

Eric: Some have speculated that these recent episodes signal the beginning of the end of the show, with the agents taking the reins more and more often. I think it's just the natural progression of things. People grow up, relationships evolve. And while all good things must end, I can't imagine NCIS doesn't have at least one more season in it beyond this one.

Do you trust Vance?

Steve: Vance is a political ladder climber in a way that Gibbs has never been and never will be. They don't see eye to eye for this reason and it creates a lot of tension. I don't trust Vance to always help Gibbs do his job, because he has other priorities, but I also don't think his efforts to undermine him are necessarily personal.

Matt: If we could, would the show be as good? Some internal strife to keep things interesting isn't always bad, and the writers and Rocky Carroll go a good job of playing it close to the vest.

Eric: Ah, the eternal question. I'm not anti-Vance like some people. He'll never be one of the team but that's fine, I don't think he has it out for any of them, he just is who he is. The new SecNav, however, is clearly a conniving SOB and I'm confident a major clash with Gibbs is coming our way this season.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


1.I loved the episode. It was funny and heartwarming. I actually wasn't as intrigued by the case itself so much as the office antics. 2. Favorite scene...It's a tie between the Tony and his pants thing I don't know if Michael Weatherly gets his due props for being a bit of a comedic genius. I used to love watching Three's Company reruns, still do, because John Ritter was a comedic genius. But while he pales in comparasion to the late great John Ritter, Michael Weatherly has that same knack for comedy, physical and otherwise, and this episode made me think about that. Other scene was Ziva and Gibbs. I am a sucker for the family moments and if I were capable of tearing up I would have been. Those scenes always give me the warm fuzzies. 3.I don't know. I kinda like them as is. I love her character. It's amusing watching his female counterpart, and if she were to come every now and then like Fornell does, that would work for me. I wouldn't be opposed to it. I'm not necessairly for it either. Indifferent I suppose. 4.Gibbs has always been the father figure. the familial vibes are just...they make me smile. I think it's only been progressing more and more each year, and this season it just happens to be more overt then ever. I will say it's something about this particular group. Not to speak ill of Kate, but this dynamic...GIbbs says there is no such thing as coincidences so there is no coincidence that a man who has lost his child somehow ends up working closely with, loving and respecting a team consisting of a lovable girl who is an orphan now, a woman whose father was present but still absent, a young kid with a damaged relationship with his father, and a guy with a strained relationship with his own father and tries everything to not be like him despite being like him. No ideal happy families there, they make the perfect family. They've all lost people and it somehow connects them. I love it. Gibbs is the father they never realized they wanted or needed until they had him. They are all damaged at best but they work when together. You see it tenfold now. "You're never lonely when you have kids" God, I wish I could cry...because that line spoke volumes. 5. I trust Vance like I trust that the lid is securely fastened on the blender when I'm making a smoothie. I hear it snap into place, I'm reasonably confident that it won't fly off, but I still put my hand over it to be on the safe side. I don't hate Vance. I don't love him. But I respect what he offers as the leader. I like that he's so never know where you are with him. He's not bad, but he's motivated professionally and that can be just as dangerous. I trust that he will always make things interesting.


Can you tell me is we can watch the new series of NCIS in UK. I have the full Sky recepion.
Hope you can help me with this


I wonder if the writer knew they made a mistake Killing off Paul so their making it up by having Neal character appear one a season


I can envision all sorts of story lines. (Do you think Gibbs should take a vacation to Hawaii, to see former Colonel Mann?) I'm not too crazy about spin-offs; as much as I like a couple of individuals on the Los Angeles show, I don't really care for the show itself. I don't really trust the current SecNav. Maybe Vance is setting his sights on that job? Should such an event come to pass, who should be the next director? Not a current special agent, definitely not Gibbs -- someone like Hetty. Just sayin'.


I don't believe NCIS will be ending anytime soon, with the way the ratings are going down the drain these days on network TV, NCIS is one of the few shows still boosting near 20 million viewers and that's rare, I can't see CBS ever giving that up, it's the one show that is pulling up their average rating numbers and keeping them at the top. Chances are there are at least four more years in NCIS to go before we ever get to the end. Hawaii Five-0 ran for 12 years on CBS during the original series, and CSI even now is at its 12th year, so I think NCIS will be hitting that spot before we see the beginning of an end. I think now it's just the characters are growing up, Gibbs' kids are leaving the nest because they aren't the little newbies they were before, I think it's a natural progression. Most of the actors have signed I believe 4 year contracts so I think NCIS will be around for a long time to go, especially by the ways the ratings are going for this show.


You know people NCIS is not that old why do you want it to end


another great episode it had everything and more,superb acting from all the cast.i think gibbs and borin should certanly get together she seems to fit not like the scarey lawyer.

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