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NCIS Round Table: "Sins of the Father"

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Our NCIS review broke down last week's episode of TV's #1 show 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 "Sins of the Father."

Join in below, as we analyze various aspects of Tony Jr., Tony Sr., and more ...

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Describe this episode in one word.

Steve: Complicated.

Matt: Predictable.

Eric: Different.

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What was your favorite quote or scene?

Steve: Gibbs heating up some milk for his guest. So many of the best scenes seem to take place at his house at odd hours. I love that he always sleeps on the couch, too. In case he has to get up in a hurry?

Matt: Gibbs putting both Junior and Senior in their place when needed, but not overstepping in either case. As Steve said in his review, he handled an extremely difficult situation like the effective leader he is.

Eric: I love watching Tony out of sorts, so his efforts to literally wrestle information out of McGee, bribe Abby with Caf-Pow or talk his way past the poor agent tasked with keeping him away were all classic.

Robert Wagner's guest appearances: Too much of a good thing?

Steve: Wagner and Michael Weatherly, as usual, pulled off their unconventional father-son interplay in a very believable manner. Hopefully their relationship evolves from here and we'll see him again soon, although I'd love for him to make a cameo in an episode that doesn't revolve around him entirely, or require him to be an NCIS suspect.

Matt: Definitely. This is the third time, right? Wagner's great, but how many crimes connecting with NCIS can this guy be connected to? It borders on recycled, no matter how good the acting may be.

Eric: I like Wagner and watching him vulnerable, rather than hiding something and trying to call the shots, for the bulk of this episode was a different twist. Still, I think we all agree that he can only be a suspect and DiNozzo can only be conflicted about how to handle it so many times before the luster begins to wear off a bit.

Will Tony get past his "daddy issues"?

Steve: With a dad like that, it'll be tough! You can't help but feel bad for Junior having that guy raise him ... if you can call it that, then having to deal with his continued shadiness as an adult. In all seriousness, the scene at the end showed he's already come a long way, whether he knows it or not.

Matt: I hope so, if only because episodes like this set him back (see previous answer). I like to see Tony growing as a person, not resenting his father for things that happened decades ago. I know these things stay with us for life, but it's been explored a few times now, and I think he's ready for better things.

Eric: I think he's already past them in that he's acutely aware of Senior's failings, and come to grips with the fact that he can't expect the old man to change, while at the same time still loving him obviously. Even if he's afraid of kids, as we learned the previous week, Tony would be a much better dad someday.

What family member (new or old) would you like to see next?

Steve: I'd like to see McGee's dad, who we learned about this season via Penny. There's clearly a complex dynamic there as well, in keeping with the many father-child relationships on the show.

Matt: I'll go with Gibbs' father after seeing him with Tony's dad this week. Gibbs as the de facto father figure for the team has been a consistent backdrop this season, so further extrapolation of Jackson's relationship with Jethro would cast that in an interesting light. Besides, who doesn't love Mark Harmon and Ralph Waite together.

Eric: Umm, hello. Abby's brother, obviously ... is there any other answer? Failing that, maybe something with Ziva's past, even if it doesn't necessarily involve her father or brother (I know that's not really answering the question, but I feel she's been a bit underutilized this season and could use a big storyline).

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

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I would love to know what is being hid in Vance's real background. So far we know that a lot of his history or background is either fake or been erased. When he was injured it was noted that he had things in his background that he did not want to come to light is the reason he was chosen while still in school for the special ops so I think that would be interesting to find out just exactly who and what Vance is. Also why does he try so hard to either get rid of Gibbs, make him take time off and be so hard on him. Afterall, Gibbs saved his life in the hospital. Even if he could have warded the guy off Gibbs still pulled the morphine drip apart so he was not delivered a fatal overdose. That is what I would love to find out. I, too, agree with everyone that Gibbs cannot force himself to sleep in the marital bed. But the episode that showed the flash back to Gibbs and Shannon in bed together, she sat up and said "You cannot move forward until you let me go. When will you let me go." Then the phone rang and brought him back from the flashback dream. I am hoping by the end of this season he will be ready to move forward with his life and leave Shannon and Kelly where they belong in his past and his memories, and not still ruling his life.

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I think we know that there is feeling betweens Tony and Ziva she is always worried about him and he is always kidding her and the one guy said that he was at her apartment every thursday night so lets see more of this it would be fun.

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Less of Tony, lots less, and more on the personal relationships of the rest of the case, including Jimmy and Tim. And always, always, more of Gibbs. And fix his time-line in the show. It's unclear.

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I have to respectfully disagree with what Matt said. I think Tony took a big step forward, not back, in this ep. Of course he ,understandably, has issues with his father, who has always been emotionally distant and more concerned with his next big deal than his own son. But when Tony told Gibbs, at the end, that ,although he may be crazy, he still loved his father and wanted to tell him so, he moved beyond his issues. And I have to say I enjoyed the fact that Tony was much more in control in this ep than the two previous Sr eps, where he followed his father around like a little puppy. There was less intimidation, and I saw Tony as more the mature adult son than the scared little boy we saw in the two previous Sr episodes. Tony's growing up, and I love the journey they have him on this season. He's more reflective, but still funny. Love the balance. I also loved the Tony/McGee and Tony/Abby scenes, and how supportive they were. As always, Tony/Gibbs and Tony/Sr have great chemistry, and make their scenes together a delight to watch. And loved the fact that Gibbs invited Sr so that Tony and his father could spend the holiday together. Gibbs, you old softie, you! I agree that the ep was predictable,and silly that yet another NCIS family member was involved in a case. But the character interactions and top notch acting by the cast, especially Weatherly, Wagner and Harmon, still made it an enjoyable episode for me. And as far as what "we" want, I have to say that I like the mix of team and character-centric eps they've had this season. I always read that people want more "team" eps, but I think we get those, and also feel that if we want to see these characters develop and grow, which I do, you also need to have eps that concentrate a little more on certain characters. It's all about the mix and the balance I guess. I do appreciate the fact that McGee is more featured this season, and think it was a great idea to have more Tony/McGee, as the two have great chemistry, and it gives McGee more air time. And Ziva has been featured in two eps now, although I feel they need to find a better balance with her character and figure out just where they're going with her. We're almost halfway through S9,so hopefully great things lie ahead! JMO.

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I would like to see Ziva have a story soon. Usually Tony or Gibbs have episodes centered on them in the second half of the season and Ziva's in the first half. I'm thinking they may be deciding to flip that this season. I would like to see more team centered episodes too and also some more Ziva/Tony interaction. I'm looking forward to seeing how they all act and react to Palmer's wedding

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"I love that he always sleeps on the couch, too. In case he has to get up in a hurry?" I think that the writers have created an awesome way to slip in a little bit more about Gibb's head space with relationship to the couch. Since we have seen Gibb's place we've always seen pillow/bedding on the end of the couch but it was never referred to. Then in "Rule #51" we saw what looked like the master bedroom of the house but it wasn't lived in. Now to have in the last couple of eps the fact that Gibbs racks out on the couch lends itself to the fact that he is still can't bring himself to get over Shanan by sleeping in the marital bed anymore, but can't bring himself to get rid of it. It was subtle and unexpected and thoroughly well done!

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I believe they have bigger plans for the Ziva character in the second half.
Somehow every character except Gibbs and Tony, steps back this seasons (except in their character episodes). There is even less Abby or McGee in the last few eps.
We need more team-episodes, team dynamic, Tiva, Abby and all of that.
The past 10 episodes have been great, but always followed a certain pattern. It is getting boring now. I hope that's gonna change soon. Loved the episode to death. RJ is always a delight to watch, but it was way too predictable.

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Love all the scenarios mentioned, but what about Ducky and Jimmy? When is Jimmy going to be added to the opening credits, and will we see his wedding and all the turmoil/soul-searching the cast may experience as one of their "team" actually heads to a consistant lovelife outside the office? Just wondering....! Love the round tables!

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Yes, Tania, I also want to see more of Abby's brother. What bothered me about this episode was that it was a little illogical. Of course Tony would be barred from directly investigating a family member. But the investigating agents could have said, "What would you have asked your father, if you could?" No one asked him, so he went and did it himself. I didn't think it added that much to the story. Actually, Tony wasn't as annoying as usual this time. I still say he is the only person who could make me dislike Robert Wagner. I have been a Wagner fan since 1952.

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Love you guy's keep the good work up