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NCIS Round Table: "Engaged (Part Two)"

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Our official NCIS review broke down Tuesday's outstanding 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 two of "Engaged."

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

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What was your general take on this episode?

Steve: Despite the limitations of TV, the show and Mark Harmon in particular seem to give off an air of honor and respect for the military. I loved seeing present day Gibbs in action as well as the flashbacks revealing his reverence for the Marines (and one in particular). If I have any complaint it would be that the domestic terror plot felt a bit rushed, but Gibbs and Vance's interrogation scene was intense. Five out of five stars.

Matt: I thought it was excellent, but here's some food for thought. Would it have been a better episode had Flores not been brought back alive? I like her character and am glad she was, but in the opening minutes, with the shot of the casket on the plane, I was convinced Gibbs had succeeded only in bringing back her remains. Seeing the whole episode play out and highlighting the team's failure in a sense (obviously by finding her at all, he's done his job) could have been even more powerful, since these things often do not end well. The death of her CO did touch upon this to a certain extent.

Eric: Strong acting and superb writing on all fronts. There are some things I found a little unrealistic, but it's a TV show and the characters almost always feel believable to me.

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What was your favorite quote or scene?

Steve: Tying in with my previous answer, Gibbs at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, and in Arlington, or their return from Afghanistan at Dover AFB. It's hard to even put those scenes into words.

Matt: Ziva talking to the girls who'd been rescued, followed by Gibbs and Vance's double act. After the events of last week and the first half of this episode, he had me fooled for a second there.

Eric: Tony in the church, hands down. Great acting by Michael Weatherly.

Favorite guest character over this two-part episode?

Steve: Flores' father. With his words and mannerisms, he conveyed the range of emotions so many military families go through so convincingly, without overselling it.

Matt: Young Gibbs, if we can count him. Sean Harmon did a great job as a younger version of his dad (it's really neat that he plays him), but more importantly, the way the storyline tied in with the present was great. Loved the focus on female Marines, past and present, and Gibbs' connections to each, markedly different as they were. Random aside: Where does this fit in the time frame of when Gibbs met Shannon?

Eric: Burke. What is it with this show and redheads! Ask a stupid question, I know. In any event I hope we see more of the chaplain in the future.

Tony's greatest fear is kids? Do you buy that?

Steve: As I said in my review, I thought it his greatest fear was dying alone. At the same time I think what he wants most is some validation of his place in the world, some direction as to where he's going and what it's all about. Seems to be a theme of this season of NCIS for him, and it's a compelling one to watch.

Matt: The end felt a little corny, with Burke leading him to the nursery. That said, Burke was a solid character I hope returns before long, and the way the writers mesh Tony's overgrown frat boy persona with more serious emotional soul-searching is believably nuanced and quite nicely done.

Eric: The B story with Tony made the episode for me. Yes, it was silly at times, but have you forgotten who we're talking about? That's DiNozzo for you, total goofball on the surface and afraid of growing up ... actually makes sense that he's petrified of toddlers in some respects. The fact that he's searching for some deeper meaning at the same time reveals what a complex character he is - more than some people give him credit for.

Should Gibbs take a vacation?

Steve: Maybe some more time in the basement on weekends? I don't think Gibbs is headed for a breakdown as Vance seemed to imply. He's been more reflective lately, his perspective changing with the passage of time. Maybe he'll become even more open as the season progresses? Either way I don't see a problem with his performance on the job or a reason for a sabbatical.

Matt: No. His response to Vance said it all - he's not in denial about the stress of the job, he's just committed to it as his life's work. Gibbs has lost a lot of people close to him, but he's also saved countless lives in the process. I don't know that he knows the word "recreate," and NCIS is better off for it.

Eric: I don't know about a vacation, but he could use a fling. There will never be a new Shannon, and I'm not saying he needs to get married right away, or at all. But a relationship would do him good.

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

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In the chapel scene when Tony is talking with God, he speaks of a "bargain" they have. Tony appears to be waiting for something to play out. Evidently his part of the bargain is to become a better person (as best as a Denozzo can). What's the bargain about? Someone not being dead? Ziva in Somalia? E.J.? Any ideas?
Not this episode, but Abby's adoption. Here's my theory. Abby and her biological brother are both caring people, definitely a great combintion of nature and nurture. Their parents died. That's why they were BOTH adopted.

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I thought Tony's fear for children was a bit over the top. I can't think of Tony having this many issues... He's starting to look even more like a kid himself than before. At least, that's how I see it.
I also notice that it's more becoming a show around Gibbs/Tony/Ziva.
Tim's becoming dummer (the writers seem to forget he got a Master's and a Bachelor's!) and less interesting, it almost feels like they're looking for a way to write him off the show. I'd hate that. I'd love to see some real, good action involving Tim! For heaven's sake! He's a Field Agent, too, you know!
In fact, a little more action overall would be sweet. There's a lot more of this in NCIS LA!

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I loved both parts of this episode. I thought the plot was great, featuring gender representation on all fronts. I thought the opening of Part one was espicially moving and where Gibbs is charcter has got to. "How can you get what you need. Jethro if you don't let me go."
The was also some fantastic shots in both parts. Kudos to the cinema photographers.
The only thing that didn't jell with me was Tony's fear of toddlers??? Huh, it was poorly done, the bucket list stuff was fun , but his biggest fear? Not unless it had some childhood phobia... maybe a chucky doll.
Just the same I realy liked the chaplin's charcter, she can come back.

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Does anyone else believe that Vance wants Gibbs to take a vacation b/c it's what Jarvis wants? Vance's request was half-hearted, at best, and he looked like he was thinking, "I tried."

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Back in last season Man Walking Into A Bar Tony said his biggest fear was dying alone just like the marine who killed himself because he was being let go and had no family.

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Why it did have it many issue and pain out insult to long time fans it was way better then what I though it would be

Heather-moyer-gendeloff

I AGREE i THINK TONY'S GREATEST FEAR IS DYING ALONE. I get he may be afraid of kids but its not his greatest fear. I think he is just growing asnd gettinh more nuture. But he still has a bit of his sillyness. he still needs to have that. Gibbs doesnt need a vacation just a bit more time in his basement boar Bourbo.,

Tiva

Like what Editor's Comment I so enjoy you 3 reviews Round table. and your right Tony's I don't wanna Grow being afraid of Kids. I think its more then that it's like what Steve said Tony's fear is dying alone. Janet
your right it was an intense the back story was good as well I just want to know why was so he was thinking on this girl if he was dating or like Shannon at the time because I remember in when He was leaving Still water he met Shannon.

Josie-leeds

Great episode--why is Michael still watching, considering how he loathes the show? I still think Tony's biggest fear is that he will become his father. The kids gave an opening for dialogue with either God or the chaplain about his own childhood. May take a few times, or not, to get him to look inside himself.
Eric--your last comment is what I (and many others) have been saying for awhile--don't mess with the chemistry or the established characters--just give him someone with whom to relax and enjoy life again.

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Corrected for horrid typos (sorry!): By Tony's "greatest fear" being dying alone, I think what Tony meant was that ending up alone was his greatest "worry" and, if it plays out that way, possible "regret." As someone who has dated as much as it's implied he has/does, he has certainly had countless opportunities to, if nothing else, "settle" and raise a family and have all of that lifestyle. He chose not to both to enjoy his current lifestyle and because those he wanted, well, it didn't work out. As he gets older, he's thinking about all of that. I don't think it's a fear, though, like spiders or heights or clowns or, in keeping with the show's comic turn regarding Tony, a roomful of children.