There's nothing like a sniper to pull another sniper out of his dark thoughts. This was something Dr. Grace knew and Gibbs found out too well on NCIS Season 13 Episode 18.
Below, TV Fanatic panelists Christine Orlando, David Taylor, Kathleen Wiedel and Douglas Wolfe discuss this and the case of the week on this week's Round Table....
How would you describe this episode in a few words or sentence?
Christine: Stepping into the future.
David: Gibbs, unveiled.
Kathleen: Mutual breakthroughs.
Doug: It takes a sniper to know a sniper.
What are your thoughts on the Gibbs reveal, about how he has slept on the couch all these years?
Christine: I was shocked and yet it still made sense. I’d never really thought about the fact that this was the same house he lived in with his wife and daughter. He’s holding so tight to those memories that he hasn’t really moved forward and that’s just so very sad.
David: It wasn't a big revelation to me; many's the time we've seen Gibbs falling asleep or waking up on his couch. However, for him to verbally ADMIT the reason... that was the breakthrough!!!!!
Kathleen: I'm with David. While his sleeping on the couch wasn't a surprise to me, Gibbs admitting the reason out loud to another human being was. Gibbs is an incredibly private person, particularly in regards to his family. So, as David noted, this was a major breakthrough for him.
Doug: I thought it was incredibly sad that he's slept on the couch all that time. Yet it felt entirely plausible.
They say that time heals all wounds. "They" are often well-meaning, but wrong.
What do you think of Dr. Grace’s “shrinking” technique?
Christine: It worked. Snipers are such unique individuals that it makes sense that they would relate to one another the way no one else could and in getting Gibbs to help a fellow soldier move forward, Grace was able to nudge Gibbs in that direction as well.
David: In a word, brilliant! I'm so glad they cast San Giacomo in this role. I've always known her to play sassy characters and Gibbs needs that.
Kathleen: Hah. Gibbs needs someone as mule-headed as he is, you mean. Though, really, she played sniper just as much as he ever did, waiting patiently and taking careful and precise aim. And hitting the target square in the bull's eye.
Her technique was so effective that it resulted in Gibbs being able to sleep in his bed for the first time in decades!
Doug: Kathleen said it so well. Grace is strategic, and knows full well how to approach a virtual clam like Gibbs. She's got the sassiness of Abby (to break through his barriers) and the wisdom of Dr. Taft to understand the problem and how to affect a resolution.
I'm looking forward to seeing what other emotional hangups she can tackle with him.
What’s your favorite scene?
Christine: I really enjoyed the daughter and how incredibly observant and mature she was. She interacted well with the rest of the team.
Also, go McGee! It’s about time he proposed to Delilah.
David: The motorcycle gang was a hoot-and-a-half. Never was there a more eclectic bunch of bikers, even on TV.
Kathleen: I was laughing out loud as the gang set off in their motorcycles, with poor Jimmy stuck in Ducky's sidecar because he's the only one without a motorcycle license! Also, leave it to Ducky to have a cool motorcycle with a sidecar.
Doug: I enjoyed watching Gibbs laugh, despite himself, once he figured out what Dr. Grace had done.
Was there anything that didn’t work?
Christine: Um… if Gibbs got married twice after his wife and daughter died, where did they live? Obviously not that house because if Gibbs can’t sleep in that bed alone I can’t imagine him sleeping in it with someone else. Did he keep the house yet live elsewhere when he got remarried?
It’s just an odd set of circumstances that I felt needed a little more explanation.
David: A research/pleasure trip to Iraq? In 2016? I'm not saying the couple deserved to die, but I don't think Iraq is on many bucket lists these days.
Also, I couldn't help but feel like I was seeing an infomercial for MusiCorps. Yes, it's a very worthwhile organization that is doing some great work, but its inclusion in the story was kind of heavy-handed, particularly the "To find out more..." at the final fade.
Kathleen: I think David summed up my quibbles pretty well. Though I definitely agree that MusiCorps is a great organization. (Their website is musicorps.net, for the record). I hope they get plenty of publicity for their good works out of this episode.
Doug: Near the beginning, Tony asked Gibbs about the extra coffees, and Gibbs replied "if I wanted you to know, DiNozzo, I would have told you." This has become standard fare between them, with Gibbs finding any reason at all to snipe at him.
We've complained about this before. I hope something changes between them (for the good) before the end of the season.
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.