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NCIS Round Table: "Berlin"

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Our NCIS review broke down "Berlin," this week's episode, in detail.

Now, TV Fanatic staff members Steve Marsi, Douglas Wolfe and Christine Orlando have assembled for our weekly Round Table Q&A discussion of various events and topics from this installment.

Join in as we analyze another entertaining hour of TV's #1 show!

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1. How would you describe this week's episode in one word (or two, or three, or four)?

Doug: Smashing romance.

Christine: More than friends.

Steve: Heartbreak and intrigue.

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2. What was your favorite quote or scene from "Berlin?"

Doug: I really enjoyed the interrogation room scene. The wily Director Elbaz tried to be coy with Vance, and then alternatively tried to bully her way out of the room by discussing the authorization that allowed NCIS to snoop into Mossad's database. She got up and said "I believe we're done" and Vance retorted "I don't think so." The rage and passion he displayed there was mirrored in Gibbs' furious calm. It's not often we get to see Gibbs and Vance so completely on the same page - but lately that's been happening more often than not. It was good to see, and it was great to see Vance not back down from her. He was fed up - and became especially intolerant when she tried to play on the sympathy of his wife's death: My wife is not a tactic. Perfect scene.

Christine: Tony and Ziva talking in bed or Tony and Ziva dancing...or how about Tony and Ziva holding hands in the car. I've been waiting all season for scenes like these and they packed three of them into one episode. Each one was better than the last. 

Steve: "My Ziva. One day you will dance with a man who deserves your love." What an emotionally loaded quote from the Eli flashback, followed by the much-anticipated present-day dance. So good.

3. What, if anything did you find wrong with this installment?

Doug: TV and movie computer scenes leaves me smiling sometimes. The scene in which Tim hacks into Mossad's "database" (as if there is just one file he needs to access) and then immediately pulls up the relevant information on screen was one such time. I tend not to write about it, because the story needs to advance and the writers don't have all day to painfully outline the steps needed to get that information - if it's even possible, in this case, given Israel's superior systems. Given the time factor, I can't think of a better way to make the data available to the story. Still, I think more and more viewers are fairly tech-savvy so maybe it's time for the writers to start thinking more about this.  

Christine: Really, nothing. I thought the story moved along well and I got the Tony and Ziva scenes I was craving. All good. 

Steve: Maybe that Mossad waltzed in and inserted themselves into the case a little too easily? This was ultimately rectified when Gibbs and Vance reasserted themselves, however.

4. If Ziva is "Sweet Cheeks," what should Tony be?

Doug: Thunder-buns? I'm good at coming up with friendly buddy punch names like Tiny, Too-Dense and Snaggletooth. Not so much with the male romantic pet names though. I can't imagine Ziva using a traditional western term of endearment ("pookie" or "snuggle bunny") - but I can see her using a Hebrew term. Something which would be privy only to her and Tony.

Christine: I kind of hated "Sweet Cheeks." Nicknames just don't work well for these two but there were enough 007 references that I wanted Ziva to start calling him Mr. Bond just for kicks.

Steve: Whatever she wants to nickname her overgrown frat boy teddy bear of a very special agent partner, in typical Ziva fashion, it has to be ever-so-slightly off, and endearing.

5. Mossad Director Elbaz: What is her endgame?

Doug: She's one confusing mess isn't she? We know from Ziva that she had a romantic relationship with Eli David - and Ziva seems to think she's out to kill Bodnar because of it. I'm not so sure. There's a sub-story going on here which hasn't been revealed yet. So I don't know if she is perhaps the real culprit responsible for the death of Arash Kazmi and perhaps even Eli. She developed so many misdirections in the show that I'm not sure we can believe her when she says "good morning." Her motives at this point are entirely opaque. She's anything but transparent - always a good quality in a spy, which probably makes her the ideal choice to head Mossad. Maybe that's been her intent from the start? Who knows.

Christine: It's Mossad so who the heck knows. Nothing is ever what it seems but I have to say I enjoyed Marina Sirtis in the role more than I expected. Counselor Deanna Troi was nothing but a faint memory.

Steve: Surely cementing her leadership within Mossad is part of it, but on a personal level, who knows what's driving her. What I do know is that her clashes with Gibbs could become truly legendary.

6. Who was behind the car accident?

Doug: The immediate thought is Bodnar. However that seems too easy, so my guess is that there's an Iranian faction involved and that they are responsible for the crash. Can't quite bring myself to believe that Director Elbaz would do such a thing - even though I know she's now aware that Ziva has connections all over the place which, combined with her tenacity makes her the most likely person to catch Bodnar.

Christine: I agree, if not Bodnar then who? He seems the obvious choice but again, that's what makes me question it. At the same time I can't figure out why Elbaz would want Ziva dead and who else is there?

Steve: Bodnar's cryptic statements that Ziva isn't seeing this in the correct light, and the simple fact that it's NCIS (where things are never quite as they seem and story arcs can be surprisingly complex for a procedural crime drama) make me almost certain he wasn't behind it. We've got rogue Mossad agents, deceptive Mossad directors, Iranians with their own agenda and who knows how many other agencies involved. They've left us with no easy answer, and that's either commendable or frustrating - depending, of course, on the eventual payoff.

7. How hard will Gibbs and Vance go after Bodnar now?

Doug: Remember Gibbs' rage after the bombing of NCIS? He was worried about his "family" above everything else. He and Vance are on the same page - so I expect some righteous rage and retribution here. Near the end of this episode they seemed to be on the same page as Tom Holland - but we can expect this to go away. Especially given Tom's earlier warning: I'm your friend, Leon. I'd hate to see this blow up in your face.

Christine: This is going to get intense. Vance is still raw from losing his wife and Tony and Ziva are family to Gibbs. There's nothing he wouldn't do to protect them and end this but that may bring about its own set of consequences. I think we're in for an exciting ride.

Steve: They were already sympatico on this case, and given what has now happened to Ziva and Tony, this manhunt could go seriously rogue and out of hand if they're not careful. Then again, that's probably what the show is going for as Season 10 concludes. As we learned from our Gary Glasberg interview, boundaries are pushed, lines are crossed and people are watching. Will this be the time they go too far, and what will the consequences be? I'm curious to read your responses in the comments, and can't wait to find out.

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.

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Tiva needs to occur already! The show won't be on much longer as the actors will want to pursue other opportunities. CdP hasn't signed up for next season (pleazzze don't leave!). Love To hate Trent Cort... Would make things interesting! Tony and Ziva can be a couple w/o destroying the show! They would still have the chemistry... The glances...the unspoken love without it damaging the team! The show needs to get back to focusing more on the characters and their relationships! Seems like Tim and Abbey are more of an afterthought now. Gibbs (the father figure...sniper!), Abbey...the free-spirit, Tim...the computer geek, but big brother to Abbey. Palmer..the love able understudy to Ducky... Ziva... The kick-ass agent that can destroy bigger men, but has a vulnerable side..that only Tony and Gibbs get to see...and Tony needs to grow up and realize women are not objects and Ziva is the only woman he really trusts/loves. The NCIS "Family" is what keeps me coming back for more! And btw...need more head slaps...Lol...it's been too long and I'm having withdrawals :)

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No one's mentioned this car crash and Gibbs thinking about the crash that killed Shannon and Kelly. Some serious issues going to resurface.

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@Doug "THUNDER-BUNS"??!! RRROOOOFL!! Thank you for the belly laugh, I needed that. I would die laughing if Ziva ever called him that. I enjoyed the Tiva scenes very much. I also agree that blaming Bodnar for trying to kill Tony & Ziva would be too easy, but then again, I could see him wanting Ziva dead before she gets to HIM. I think Ilan Bodnar knows by now that his days are numbered, either way. Also, I would like to see the CIA behind this, somehow. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the CIA had a hand in killing Eli David - possibly even bankrolling Bodnar to do it. Orli mentioned a "Coup" behind this. These types of things are NEVER successful without help at the HIGHEST levels of Government. I just think this thing goes all the way up to the top. I'm curious what Colin Hanks' investigation will uncover.

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gatorgal like your thoughts especially the last part about Ziva blaming herself for Tony being hurt. I just read that CdP said the next episode there would be one of the sweetest moments we'll see with them bc then things get messy. I am worried about the messy. Thinking of the finale and different things I have read a thought popped into my mind. Do you think the team could all start to turn against one another. I mean GG did say Gibbs would have to make decisions. And how will the team move forward from this? If they start pitting them against one another I don't know part of me thinks ohh good stuff could make for some good acting and writing but then the other parts says noooo! They are this awesome team that works well with each other and would totally have each others backs. Just some thoughts.

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My take on what happens next: Tony is hurt worse than Ziva since he shielded her; Ziva will go on a rampage and hunt Bodnar down for hurting Tony and kill him. If Bodnar is not responsible for the murder of Eli and Jackie, then she just killed someone in cold blood, but I hope he is responsible if this scenario happens. Also, Ziva may hold Tony at arms length now, feeling blame herself for him getting hurt. Hope that last part doesn't happen, either. Just guessing.

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I think I have to watch this one again. It was too disjointed to follow when there are other people talking around you -- and not about the show. I still don't like the Tony-Ziva connection, but then again, I am not really fond of Tony. As a twelve-year-old, he's cute, but he's not twelve any more; evidently he doesn't realize that. Years ago, when Tony described the "perfect woman," his description actually fit M. Allison Hart. She has never been interested in him, it's always Gibbs. The fact is, really intelligent women aren't interested in Tony, and Ziva is very intelligent.

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I think the guest stars have already been mention in the eps. list "previews", so I don't think any of those guys appear. They are now gone and forgotten by the writers.

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@guest. Ahhh I love the idea of Trent Kort coming in somehow. You are right, he is usually involved. Also how about bringing in Mossad Officer Malachi Ben-Gidon played by TJ Ramini. I loved this character.

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I meant to say Ziva flashback with My Ziva

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the episode was really good, I loved when Ziva My Ziva. One day you will dance with a man who deserves your love, then she looked and was dancing with Tony perfect they way the did that, I don't know what to think of Mossad Director Elbaz Just yet, I think it's someone from the past who's behind the Car crash and it's not Bodnar am thinking Trent Kort hes dirty and would make sense if not him maybe one of Ari friends, and Bodnar and who ever is behind the car crash better watch out Gibbs and Vane are going to work 10 times harder then ever now and it maybe working harding then when Kate was killed because there Tony, Ziva, Jackie and Eli as victims. I loved this episode from begging to end.