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.