NCIS Round Table: "Recovery"

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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.

Eric: Excellent!

NCIS RT - depreciated -

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!

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


Michael, are you sure about none of the actors on the show having twitter accounts when it's been publicized by the official CBS website, and those 5 actors are also verified, and have tweeted pictures of themselves, especially during the season premiere, and let us know when something important is happening, oh, like Mark Harmon's Walk of Fame Star presentation, or Michael headed to Cannes next week? Ummm.....Michael, Pauley, Sean, Brian and Rocky all have a twitter account that's verified. Oh, and Diana Neal is verified on twitter as well. :-)


@Tom Never believe anything you read on twitter None of the actors on the show have a twitter account


I had mixed feelings about this episode as well. After last week's show I was really hoping for a solid 'team' episode, yet again the ep felt a little compartmentalized, probably because of the focus on Abby and Ducky. I must say, I liked Palmer's part though. Personally, I think there was a point to Tony's let-down with whatshername - and his comment about still being in the elevator. I'm wondering if that's going to be picked up on in later episodes? It always bugged me that after Kate died, the writers gave so little screen time to Tony's feelings - it was all about Gibbs dealing with her death. Yet I always felt the Tony/Kate relationship was a much stronger one, as we saw in SWAK. And I don't mean romantic but they were incredibly close, like brother and sister. Again, so far Tony's feelings for what has occurred have been given no screen time. The elevator scene with him and Ziva was played for laughs. I love it when MW gets the chance to show behind Tony's smile is a person with feelings.


I love and appreciate that MW is the most gifted cast member at comedy in the cast. Actually - maybe the most versatile actor in general. I don't mind if someone gets the goods on him every now and then. But now being the joke seems to be his ONLY function, besides admiring or being corrected by Gibbs and Ziva. Tony is also my favorite character and I would like to see him get to be a hero more than once a season. Does Ziva ALWAYS have to get the fight scenes? Do Gibbs and Ziva ALWAYS have to be right with Tony wrong? He's never paired with anyone but Ziva now who is always written to outshine him. It has gotten old. I am kind of wishing that MW would move on too. I'd like to see him play a role that utilizes more than just his talent to be the butt of the joke


Erin, I agree that Tony's character has turned into nothing but the joke on the show. I was actually surprised that Ziva wasn't the one to catch the killer, seeing as, per usual, she tackled the boyfriend. So once again, you see Tony making to chased the guy only to be 'rescued' by Ziva once again. If anyone would leave, I would rather it be de Pablo, but that won't happen, I'm sure Had been hoping Michael wouldn't re-signed so that he could be killed off and go on to bigger and better things. It would also keep Tiva from happening.


I thought that Recovery was better than Extreme Prejudice. This episode featured all of the characters. It was compassionate, exciting and even a little frightening with Abby's nightmares. I'm a Tony fan, and I hope I'm right, but wasn't it Tony who discovered the evidence and collared the killer.
I was so concerned for Abby that everything would be OK. Hope that Ducky can work part time in Autopsy.
Now I would like to make a comment about the fact that a few people are
mentioning that Tony is being put down by the jokes. There would not be jokes without Tony. Whether he is being the source or the object of the joke, he is always in the scene.
I don't know if I should say this but I follow Michael Weatherly on Twitter
as well as a good number of you probably also do. He has stated that humor is very important to him and he wished that there would be more humor in Season X.


I enjoyed the episode and have no complaints. And I agree with someone who said that Tony was always the jokester so it's good to see him the butt of it sometimes. I do hope he doesn't leave as some are implying. It's a great ensemble cast and any one of them would be missed if they left. I even love Duckie's assistant (his name has slipped me). I often guess the killers on most shows, but this one really threw me. Good twist. Good episode.


Thanks Janet for that. I follow all of them who have twitter accounts including Diane Neal (Abigail Borin), and all of them say it is the best atmosphere of any show they have ever worked on. They attribute it to Mark Harmon who apparently is the nicest guy in the entire world to work with. He is the epitome of class.




@Tom D. Michael Weatherly almost quit the show two year ago because of how badly his character was being use same with mcgee and Ducky as well as Abby the only reason you may think that is because the actor are paid to say nice things

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