The Season 17 episode “The Arizona” stands out because it doesn’t feature the team solving a murder or crime. Instead, the episode follows Joe Smith (Christopher Lloyd), a veteran who says he served on the U.S.S. Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor and thus wants his ashes to be interred there upon his death. The team quickly sets out to confirm the man’s identity, but because he was under 18 at the time and had used his brother’s name to enlist it makes things difficult. Gibbs and the team are unable to confirm Joe was on board before he dies from a heart attack. However, they are eventually able to confirm his story is true based on a scar he sustained during the attack.
One user, realclowntime, cited both “The Call of Silence” and “The Arizona” as being episodes that really moved them, calling both hours “really beautifully done, heartfelt, gut wrenching episodes that even someone who doesn’t entirely agree with the military, like me, can’t help but remember and be deeply moved by.” Meanwhile, wittchimp specifically calls out the end of the episode when Gibbs asks McGee (Sean Murray) to sit down and starts talking about his own military career and his lingering trauma.
If you don’t get misty-eyed at that, we don’t know what will do it. But it is clear there have been several moments during the show’s long run that have made fans cry. No doubt there are still more to come, too.