NCIS: Christopher Lloyd delivers a heartfelt performance

Christopher Lloyd guest-starred in the NCIS Season 17 finale. This wasn’t a gimmick or a chance for pure humor. He gave a heartfelt performance throughout.

If you expected an episode of NCIS Season 17 to be full of humor because of Christopher Lloyd, you’d be right. However, it wasn’t just about the laughs. The Back to the Future actor delivered a powerful and heartfelt performance from start to finish.

It all started with the theft of a purple heart. It ended with a message of support and thanks. This was an episode to remind us not just of the fallen but of those who continue to fight. NCIS reminded us that surviving a war isn’t the end of the fight.

Throughout the episode, Lloyd’s character, Joe Smith, wants the team to figure out the truth. He has his story but that’s all he’s got. This isn’t a man willing to go into any details; not until he’s pushed to the limit. And when he does finally share the events that happened on the U.S.S. Arizona, he was heartbreaking to picture.

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One thing I do appreciate is that the series told us the story and didn’t show it. Many other TV shows would opt for flashbacks, giving us a look at the events. Lloyd’s performance meant that flashbacks were unnecessary. The beauty was in the storytelling, in the facial reactions and body language, and in the emotion.

We got an episode that reminded us of Lloyd’s humorous talents but also gave us the skill. When you initially think of Lloyd, you will think of Back to the Future and the laughs that came with it. The NCIS Season 17 finale offers one of his best performances in a short space of time. It brings a heartfelt story that you can fully believe.

In the end, the episode was more than just a story. It was a chance to get Gibbs to open up about his own time about war. It was a chance to thank the servicemen and women who are fighting for our continued freedom and for those who have served and died.

While it wasn’t the originally planned season finale, it worked as one. Sure, there are the odd individual storylines still left open but we tend to end seasons like this. The beauty of procedural shows is that we can quickly pick up with personal storylines the next season. This episode came at a time when we’re thanking those on the frontline (and not just the battle frontlines) and brought a wonderful performance to tie up a season.

NCIS Season 17 is available to stream in full on CBS All Access.