Our NCIS review broke down "Recovery," Tuesday's episode of TV's #1 show, in detail.
Now, TV Fanatic staff members Steve Marsi, Matt Richenthal and Eric Hochberger have assembled for our weekly Round Table Q&A discussion of events from this week's terrific installment.
Join in below, as we analyze the fallout the team struggled with in the absence of Dearing, the surprising end of this week's case, Abby's reunion with her brother and a whole lot more ...
1. Describe this episode in one word (or two, or three, or four).
Steve: Poignant, Different, but solid.
Matt: Mixed feelings.
2. Best quote or scene from "Recovery"?
Steve: The team's tribal names. Gothic wildflower. Brilliant chatterbox. Spirited warrior. Pensive academic. All appropriate. All that was missing was Gibbs. I kept waiting for Functional Mute!
Matt: Abby, Kyle and Gibbs at the end. That's obvious. As my second choice, Vance opening up to the counselor. Makes you wonder if the others aren't holding up as well as they let on, either.
Eric: "Rent a room." Classic. Do they start with the correct phrase in the script and just have her fudge it ever so slightly? Whoever comes up with them, I always love by Ziva-isms.
3. Biggest gripe with the episode?
Steve: It's not a gripe as much as something that legitimately came out of left field, but the killer's identity was a legitimate surprise to me. It didn't seem to fit her character (or what little we saw of it). Then again, if we could guess the conclusion every time based on more obvious tells, that would be less than ideal as well.
Matt: NCIS is best when its case and character are intertwined, and while that was ostensibly the case here, Abby and Ducky took over most of the story. Not to say their scenes weren't enjoyable, but hopefully future episodes will return to a more traditional balance, as well as a lighter tone as time passes after the bombing.
Eric: I honestly can't think of any. I enjoyed both the character and procedural elements.
4. Were Abby's nightmares resolved too quickly?
Steve: Just right, I thought. Matt's going to disagree with me below, but I see Abby as a perrennial optimist who just needed something good to latch onto, and the resolution to this episode very much in character.
Matt: I think a little bit. I know it's TV, but that was tied up in too pretty a bow (unless she continues to show effects in the coming weeks, in which case I take it back). I thought Ducky's storyline was more realistic (see #6).
Eric: Maybe, but I'm with Steve on this one. Also, remember that a lot of time has passed since the attack and she's had time to process. She just needed that last push. That's what counseling is for, too, to help you get over the hump yourself. Or help Gibbs help Abby in this case. You get my point I think.
5. Will the others (Gibbs, Tony, Ziva, Tim) show signs of PTSD?
Steve: This could've been a two-parter I thought, for this reason. Gibbs probably is fine, for him, considering all he's seen in his life. As for the rest of them, I feel like there is a lot more to explore there.
Matt: Definitely, I can see this permeating throughout the season.
Eric: For Gibbs and possibly Ziva, perhaps not (for the reasons Steve said). For Tony and Tim, there are probably unresolved demons unexplored as of yet. And I know he had some big scenes this week, but something tells me this is going to be the subject of more Vance storylines going forward.
6. NCIS team MVP of the week?
Steve: Gibbs, for bringing Abby and Kyle together, looking out for Ducky, and having his finger on the pulse of his "family" year in and year out. His actions and (relatively few) words speak volumes about his character.
Matt: Ducky. First for being so dedicated that he couldn't stay away, then for realizing he needed to take a step back. What he's going through is such an internal and physical struggle, and well portrayed by David McCallum. Dr. Mallard is always an introspective and thoughtful character, and I hope this extrapolation continues in the coming weeks.
Eric: Gotta go with my girl. Nightmares and insomnia are no joke, and I'm glad Abby turned tragedy into opportunity by reconnecting with Kyle, a storyline I've been waiting for them to resume since last year.
7. Miscellaneous thoughts?
Steve: Loved Tony's line that his head is in the elevator, and the references to the paint colors. Nods to the fans like that are always fun, especially for seemingly irrelevant details such as those orange walls.
Matt: After years of dishing it out, Tony certainly seems to be taking it a lot, doesn't he? Not that he doesn't ask for it at times, but the guy certainly bears the brunt of a lot of jokes / mild public humiliations.
Eric: Two words: McGee. Episode.
What's your take on these issues of the week on NCIS? Discuss below!