NCIS Sneak Peeks: Exemplary

NCIS photo s13e15 Loose Cannons

An actor who can play a goofball, a hero, a narcissist, and an insecure, loveable heartbreaker is not easy to find.  NCIS’s Michael Weatherly can do all of those and more, sometimes in the same breath.  It is not easy to deliver spot-on comedic timing accompanied by pathos.

That is why so many people love Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo.  The audience roots for him when he is insecure, and it laughs at his bad jokes and his love of his own reflection.  He takes a headslap with a chipper “Thank you, Boss” and the crowd roars.

For all of his bravado, DiNozzo does not seem to know that he is a hero, despite giving up the woman he loved for team and country.

The great storyline involving Jeanne Benoit (guest star Scottie Thompson) in Season 5 had a brief revisit back in November when DiNozzo risked his life and his heart to save Jeanne’s husband in Sudan.

Jeanne and husband Dr. David Woods (guest star David Chisum) return tonight, and Tony must take Gibbs’s surgeon, Dr. Cyril Taft (guest star Jon Cryer) to interview David about a case.  In just two words, “Hi Jeanne,” Weatherly portrays pain, sadness, regret, resolve and courage.

This should be an exemplary night of acting.  Chisum and Thompson deftly handle the situation of a husband who is aware that his wife still has feelings for her lost love, and Cryer tugs hard at the audience’s heartstrings.

For many years, Cryer pursued NCIS producers to give him a guest shot, and tonight he mines the motherload.

Opening up an emotional vein about his childhood in an attempt to get Gibbs (Mark Harmon) to reciprocate, Cryer’s depth wipes away any remnants of Alan Harper (TWO AND A HALF MEN) and takes the character of Cyril Taft to new heights and depths.

February 28th marks the 30th anniversary of Cryer’s breakout role as “Duckie” in PRETTY IN PINK, and his evolution as an actor continues to make him an audience favorite.

Harmon, who can dominate a scene with an eyebrow raise, truly seems to be enjoying the interchange with Cryer, especially in the reaction shot to the Joe Namath comment.

When Petty Officer First Class Lamar Finn (guest star Walter Fauntleroy) and Petty Officer First Class Janet Shor (Alice Hunter) are shot during the robbery of 15-20 crates of M-16s, Gibbs orders Taft to keep the injured suspect alive.

Finding evidence during surgery that assists the team, Taft becomes a de facto part of NCIS with the rush of becoming a crimesolver. Perhaps the satisfaction will lessen Cyril’s need to discuss Gibbs with his own therapist, Dr. Grace Confalone (guest star Laura San Giacomo), whom Taft urges Gibbs to see.  When Ducky (David McCallum) asks “Duckie” to join in on the autopsy, could anything be more perfect?

NCIS also stars Pauley Perrette, Rocky Carroll, Brian Dietzen and Emily Wickersham.  Guest stars on tonight’s episode, “Loose Cannons,” include Michael Cram, Jodi Harris, Max E. Williams and Catherine Kamei.  “Loose Cannons” was written by Executive Producer, Scott Williams, and directed by Alrick Riley.

NCIS airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS (U.S.) and Global TV (Canada).

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  • Joni

    A little correction. Other than a return visit in Season 5, the Tony/Jeanne season long story arc was in Season 4. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Jeanne for the 2nd time this season and suspect I’ll be broken hearted all over again.

  • Karen Janczy

    Can’t stand they brought her back. Worst story arc of the series.

  • Paige

    I agree, exemplary, all around. Very well written episode by Scott Williams and acting by the team and guest stars. Cryer and Thompson bring a lot of depth and captivating interaction with the NCIS team. I pray we see more of Jon and Scottie in future episodes! Taft has great chemistry with Gibbs and it’s been a journey watching their evolution. Jeanne and Tony… Just wow!! Scottie and MW on-screen chemistry is nuanced and captivating to watch. So happy Scottie is back!

  • Nena

    The best love story for Tony DiNizzo in the history of NCIS is that of Jeanne Binoit. She was his one and only true love….the rest were no more than one night stands or hormonal conquests. He tried with Zoe, but he is never going to get over Jeanne. That’s why this story like is so important…they need to end up TOGETHER. Her husband is sort of whimpy, so I won’t be surprised to see her back again, newly single, before the end of the season.

  • DNAchemLia

    You completely forgot Sean Murray in your cast list.

  • Melissa Smith

    Oh my gosh, you’re right! Apologies to Sean for the oversight. He’s the best! Thanks for pointing it out.