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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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By Tony's "greatest fear" being dying along, I think what Tony meant was that ending up along 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.

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@Michael...since you seem to have so many issues with both NCIS and NCIS: LA...here's a thought. STOP WATCHING THEM!!! First off...Ziva did not assault Tony. She did the same thing that Gibbs does to the members of the team...it's called a wake up call. I don't have a problem with them showing Tony as scared of toddlers. It's actually funny considering Tony is a big kid himself. It never shows Gibbs as having anything other than a friendship with Pvt Matteson. There was friendly competition. She was the one that seemed to be hitting on him. There is a bond that forms between members of the Armed Forces that unless you have ever worn the uniform you could not possibly understand. Those of us who have fought for our country, even if in different branches of the service, have a special bond with each other. So Michael please...stop commenting on something you know nothing about. I don't mean to be rude to you, however, you really seem to have a problem with those of us that have served our country. I'd really like to know why you are so against the military, when it is because of them that you can spout hatred and ignorance.

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what happened to the first comments posted?

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Sigh, I ranted already on the episode review page, but really there was a lot of huge holes, gaps and heavy handed politics in this episode. I have no problem with young Gibbs liking someone besides Shannon, there was no implication that he was dating her or anything, but the parallels to Flores were unnecessary screen time. Tony's silliness this episode was also unpleasant and I love his silliness usually. The home-front terrorist plot was just plain bad, cliched and rushed. Even for fictional TV, the idea that the two little tortured girls could have a pleasant conversation with Ziva whilst they were barely hours away from their abuse was just WRONG! Please writers, when you injure someone show some short-term memory about the injuries and have the following scenes reflect some semblance of reality about it!!!

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hi editor glad you liked it too cant wait for next weeks episode.gigi loved your comment about you know who why couldnt they just leave her dead why do they have to bring her back

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I agree with Eric: The B story and MW's acting made the episode for me. I love this nuanced character, and can't wait to see how his character develops throughout the season. It always makes me sad when fans dismiss Tony as just a clown, when he's so much more. Loved Ziva and the children. I like this Ziva very much. Seems they finally have a balance with the tough ninja and a more sensitive woman. I found the ep a bit heavy-handed in places, and still don't see any reason for the Gibbs' flashbacks, which seemed so extraneous and unneccesary to me,but there was enough to like in this episode, so I'll shut up about my complaints.
Always enjoy reading everyone's POV.

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What a great episode! Mark's son did a wonderful job but coming from his family I wouldn't expect any less.
Loved Ziva's and Gibbs tenderness with the two young school girls.
This continues to be the best show on tv right now. Good scripts and terrific acting.

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So EJ reappears....whoop-dee-freakin'-do (sarcasm intended). Couldn't stand that character and was hoping she was gone for good. Oh well...maybe they'll just tell us what happened to her and be done with it. I really hate to see them waste an episode on this.

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Thank you, Odette. What a pity some people can't figure out what's going on. Berta: Gibbs doesn't quite trust Attorney M. Allison Hart. On the other hand, if we are to believe what Tony described as a perfect woman, he's the one who should be dating Ms. Hart.

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About Matteson vs. Shannon: 1.Gibbs met Shannon in 1976, but we were never told when they married. Young Gibbs has no wedding ring. 2.We don't see a love relationship Gibbs/Matteson. The flashbackstory is meant to tell us that Gibbs appreciates female marines and knows how you feel when they die.

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