Season 2 Episode 7

Call of Silence

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 23, 2004 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (45)

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out of 10
428 votes
  • Brilliant

    This is one of the best episodes of television I have ever seen. Tremendously acted and wonderfully written, the episode is enthralling and very moving. Gibbs at his most protective normally involves him firing a gun, but there is much more to him than that; his determination to prove Yost's innocence and the ingenuity with which he accomplished this is a great example of the depth of the NCIS characters. People complaining about recent seasons would do well to have another look at this and other older episodes as a reminder of why NCIS has been so well regarded for over ten years.
  • Outstanding

    This is a real classic, maybe the best episode ever. Charles Durning was such a great actor. The whole episode is acted well by everyone. It's a subtle episode with a lot of respect for the subject it deals with. It's almost like a movie because you even can show it to someone who's not familiar with NCIS at all. If I could I would give 20 points!
  • The Best Episode

    Don't get me wrong, they have done a tremendous job with the episodes of this series.

    This episode is a great tribute to WWII veterans and the conflicts they may have as their memories fade and they still try to keep their personal experiences in perspective. I have had the honor to know many WWII veterans and their "uncommon valor was a common virtue".
  • Over the years, this episode continues to stand out

    NCIS has produced many memorable episodes over its years of production. IMHO though, this episode continues to stand out for a number of reasons. Rather than just chasing bad guys, this episode sees the team trying to prove the innocence of a Medal Of Honor WW-2 hero, magnificently played by real-life WW2 hero Charles Durning. The presentation embraces a large spectrum of human emotions. The "Begin The Beguine" scene, with Charles Durning dancing and singing with a tearful and tender Sasha Alexander as Durning is remembering his long departed bride of that era, is arguably the most powerful and moving scene ever captured in the series history. Artie Shaw (who Durning's character prefers over Benny Goodman), who recorded the most popular version of that song, died only a few weeks after this episode was first aired in November of 2004. If ever NCIS produced an truly unforgettable episode, this is it.
  • a old memory remembered

    I liked this episode which I'm re-watching years later and this time around I saw something I missed before. It was when Yost talks about Wade doing a "Kip or Kip-Up". When he describes this action, I clearly remember my uncle Gene (who was Special Forces in WWII I think) doing that and it was absolutely amazing. He was fully reclined on a lounge about 5" off the ground... the lounge instantly he was standing about a body length's away. The movement was just startling it was so fast. I was about 14 yrs old - 60 some old years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.
  • vive la difference...

    a very unusual "action thriller". this episode gave proof of the fact that NCIS can cover a lot of ground, from humor to sadness, from vengeance to justice. and the PERSON comes first, at least that is the way i feel now, having watched NCIS from thebeginning when it spun off JAG. mark harmon was always superb but over the years the characters have evolved and are so much more believable, especially michael weatherly. in other programs similar in them it is mostly how many bullets fly and how many get killed. the more the better. not with NCIS. there is a lot of humanity and struggles with one's psyche portraited. the human aspect is never neglected and yet there is action enough when about as perfect as it can get. of course there are better and not quite perfect episodes but on average - excellent!!! and durning gave a more than credible and a moving performance in this episode. it could have gotten "schmaltzy" but the writers and actors just hit all the right chords.
  • Once, With Feeling!

    Durning at his finest.
  • Best episode ever!

    In my opinion this is the BEST NCIS ever!
  • This Episode made me easier to watch NCIS.

    I'm Post-war Japanese who have never lived in wartime-country.

    This Episode was aired as first Episode of season 2 here,

    I felt season 1 is made for American,and sometime I felt restless while watching.

    I don't write this kind of review for other Episode,but this was special for me.

    Politically fair and telling "WWII is over,even many people(both side) still have wounds in their body and minds.".

    And unlike them,most of people here don't know WWII in real time.(Unlike my parents who were starving little kids),It's time to give painful memories rest,not to forget.

    By the way,Mark Harmon's Japanese pronunciation was very good and Easy to understand.

    More than a person who acted former Japanese soldier. (I think He is second-generation japanese American,from his pronunciation and age)

    Motto sake kudasai :)
  • A perfect way to honour a hero

    I'm going back through previous seasons of NCIS and came upon this gem of an episode. I think this episode summed up what NCIS is about.

    Corporal Yost would have been suffering survivors guilt for the death of his friend, the NCIS team worked together to prove his innocence, even Coleman was reluctant to prosecute, but had no choice. For anyone to watch this and not get completely involved in the scenario or the story line really shouldn't be watching this in the first place. The ending was pure gold.
  • An amazing bow to America's Greatest Generation...

    I can't watch this episode without bawling. I'm appalled that Charles Durning was denied the Emmy for which he was nominated for his scene-stealing performance in this heartrending episode. Gibbs was awesome -- as always -- in his determination to prove that Yost wasn't a cold-blooded killer. Yost's dance with Kate was a touching combination of sweet and sad. And the final scene was pure gold.
  • An old man is stopped entering NCIS by the metal detector - it truns out he has a gun, and a Medal of Honor. He wants to confess to a murder - but he can't recall all the details.

    brilliant and touching. It demonstrates the respect accorded medal of honor recipients - and with good reason.
    it also delves into the ravages of age and personal loss with intelligence and tenderness. The series in general, and this episode in particular helps to remind the viewers of the sacrifices made, by people we don't even know, to safeguard or freedoms. As for some specifics - there is a scene where Sasha Alexander (who should never have been cut from the series) dances with Charles Durning. One of the most tender moments I've seen in network television. The character played by Michael Weatherly - normally unwatchable - demonstrates an understanding of the importance of the medal of honor - and the reverence due its holder. Once we get past the Golden age of Television, there is so little worth watching, and even less that is worth remembering. Robert Preston's "Rehearsal for Murder", Ed Asner's "The Gathering" - and this episode of NCIS.
  • WOW. This episode brought tears to my eyes. It was a moving and respectful, heartfelt tribute to those who fought in WWII.

    I have really only been watching NCIS since the middle of season three, but I have seen all the first season episodes from the DVDs and many of the second season ones as reruns.

    I guess there are several reasons this is a special episode for me. The first is personal, and that is that my dad served in the army in WWII. But the second has to do with the show. The reverence and deference with which the agents treated the Medal of Honor winner was very special, and in one stroke developed their collective character more than any other episode or plot development I have seen.

    Each of them had an unexpected emotional response to Mr. Yost, and I came away from the episode feeling, \"These are NICE people!\" We got to see a softer side of Kate and Gibbs, and a more serious side of Tony. The scene where Kate dances with Cpl. Yost was perfect. If you were not moved by it, you have a heart of stone. It is not a big surprise that Charles Durning was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of Ernie Yost.

    This was not like any other episode I have seen to date, but it certainly confirmed for me that NCIS has the range and depth to be way more than a formula drama where "good-looking-agents-investigate-the-crime-and-catch-the-bad-guy."

    I am looking forward to seeing the characters unfold in future episodes.
  • This was a beautiful episode, which kept you thinking of all the wonderful people who went off to war.

    This episode wasn't the greatest but was indeed very special. It had great meaning and rose above all the other self absorbed shows. Great job DPB for creating a show to remember and commemerate the people who went to hell and back for us. I could watch this eppy again and again, everytime I do my heart aches for what those people had to go through.
  • Retired Corporal Ernie Yost is caught bringing a gun into NCIS headquarters. He confesses to murder. Turns out he had to hit his seriously injured Marine friend to keep him quiet and save the entire squad from being discovered by Japanese soldiers.

    This is without a doubt the BEST episode of NCIS that I have seen. I read that Charles Durning was nominated for an Emmy for his role as Corporal Ernie Yost. I cannot imagine why he did not win the Emmy. He was absolutely perfect in the role, probably because he used his own experiences during World War II in order to bring his character to life. I cried when he was at his house with Tony and looking at the old pictures. I cried even harder when Gibbs was striking the matches to bring back the sulphur smell and trying to bring back Ernie's memories. And then during his flashback, when he did what I suspected all along he had done, I was crying again. This episode ranks right up there with other great TV series episodes, like the series finale of M*A*S*H.
  • This episode is definitely my favorite episode because it's extremely moving, and it shows another side of Gibbs - willing to do whatever to protect an honorary marine who risked his life in hellish circumstances.

    An ex-marine, whom was awarded a medal of honor, confesses to beating his friend to death with his gun during combat - for reasons unknown (he can't remember why). This episode was fantastic and so was guest star - Charles Durning. It really touched me to see how they treated Yost throughout this episode. It was also moving to see Gibbs do whatever he could to protest Yost and get to the bottom of this so called "murder". This episode was less action and more dialogue, but it was amazing. The part when Tony and Yost were at Yost's house was sad to because it showed more about Yost's past and how his mind was beginning to wither away. As I said before, it was really moving to see how everyone treated this hero, and how everyone honored him when they realized who he was/when he showed them his medal. The scene where Agent Todd and Yost were dancing was another sad scene as well, even Todd cried in it. This episode was absolutely unusual in the sense that it didn't deal with the usual things (intense interrogations, explosions, gunfire, etc~). Definitely a perfect 10 episode, without a doubt.
  • Brilliant and moving.

    I am a big NCIS fan out of all of their fantastic shows I would have to say "call of silence" is definitely my favorite. Its extremely moving and shows another side of the team. It shows what real heroes go through. I think the only other NCIS episode to move me was the one of Kate's funeral. Both episodes show how the team is not only light and funny but very real. Even the team members are emotional in this episode. Kate cries while dancing with Yost, Faith cries after seeing him confess to what happens. And at the end when he and the Japanese man who fought in Guadalcanal shared a toast. My husband just got back form Afghanistan and he sat and watched it with me. He also loved it.
  • A very touching episode.

    This episode was a creative instalment of NCIS. The storyline wasn't the best in my opinion, and neither was the humour, but the episode was still very interesting and very moving.

    I enjoyed the scene where Caitlin and Ernie shared a dance, and Kate was really touched, which was really nice to see.

    The case was not overly good. It was rather average, so if you watch for the great cases, I don't recommend this one to you.

    The humour element was also lacking, so that is why I only rated it a nine.

    All in all, an average episode, that was creative and different. Good job, NCIS!
  • A stunning episode, one of the best of the entire series.

    J.A.G. would be unlikely to prosecute Yost but he would lose his medal and that's not actually the worst: he's 82 and could die anytime so he would die believing he killed his best friend. Whether he killed Wade or not, it doesn't change what he did which got him the medal and it's just not fair for him to die with that guilt. This is one of those cases you wish you'd never heard of, let alone investigated. This is a perfect example of why 'justice is blind' – it has to be.

    Gibbs' re-enactment was pure genius – the smell of sulphur, the video, the supposed Japanese Lieutenant. His memory had failed but sense memory is the one thing that will trigger the real memory. Then Gibbs finds a way to show Yost that he didn't kill Wade over Dorothy.

    A really stunning episode, not just because of the story but the superb acting of the actor who played Yost.
  • Emotional case

    I loved the story on this one. I mean.. the man comes there, says what he did but noone takes him seriously.. and it looks like he is just old and his wife death has traumatised him.. but then comes that woman who is so sure what he did and Gibbs and team start to play hide and seek with that agent in the same time work out what happened so so many years ago.

    I really liked the way that old man communicated with team. There were those lovely moments when Tony was looking pictures with him.. or when Kate danced. It was just a sweet on some level.. and sincere.. Liked that episode.
  • 207

    Excellent episode here that saw Gibbs and the rest of the crew fight to defend the honor of a Medal of Honor recipient from murder charges, despite the fact that he had plead guilty to them. The episode was funny, it was sweet, it was sincere and it was dramatic, just about everything you could have wanted from a pre-Ziva episode of NCIS.

    It was a great storyline from top to bottom and I would much rather have this than have some generic murder with a crying family that I could not care less about.

    Very strong NCIS tonight. Glad I caught this during USA's marathon.
  • Charles Durning deserved an Emmy for his performance.

    In an episode that could easily have been turned into a roll-of-the-eyes, humdrum, typical, whodunnit - - very similar to the M*A*S*H episode, "The Billfold Syndrome" - - Charles Durning provided a huge spark by protraying an individual who, at once, could have been either a delusional paranoid or a pathetic liar seeking attention, making the viewer (and the NCIS team!) wonder which until the very end!

    The main characters seemed to take a back seat to the guest stars (Durning and Alicia Coppola's role of JAG officer, Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman), which, in this case, was a good thing, as it gave the guest stars the artistic license to stand out, and make them more pivotal to the story (i.e., Did Yost deserve his medal, or was he a psychopathic, now repentant, killer? Would LC Coleman take the lonely, old man before a naval inquest over an incident from the 1940s?).

    I think the scene where Yost dances with Kate was a bit over the top, especially when she teared-up over the moment, but I understood the reasoning behind it (i.e., give the viewer a bit of a twist in the gut!). But the moment in the Sushi bar was definitely unnecessary and predictable.

    My favorite moment was when LC Coleman and two strapping marines arrived at NCIS to take the elderly Yost away to be formally charged with the alleged murder, but Tony steps between them, and pulls away Yost's shirt, so they could see the Medal of Honor beneath, at which point, the three snap to attention (minor point: Coleman didn't salute; even the President of the United States is required, by tradition (not the law), to salute the Medal (as an aside, it is the medal that is saluted, not its holder!)). Though the medal wouldn't have saved Yost from being taken away, it was a well-played moment (obviously, somebody did their research, despite Coleman not saluting).

    It's sad that not all the episodes could be this driven, but, then again, it's the special episodes that make the rest of the series even more worthwhile!
  • Touching tenderness, moving respect for one Marine still feeling guilt for his actions from 60 years before.

    This episode captures how the horrors of war live on long after our soldiers return from the field. Charles Durning (a real WWII hero) played the fictional Cpl. Earnie Yost as though he were born for the role. The team, at first surprised and confused that they are being asked to investigate a 60 yr. old battlefield incident, quickly warm to the charms of the Medal of Honor recipient. As each new piece of evidence looks more and more incriminating the Team rally's protectively around the aging Marine. Eventually it does appear like a crime was committed all those years before. But the team fights even harder to exonerate the war hero. When the snippy Lt. Commander Coleman of the JAG corps. insists on taking Cpl. Yost into custody she is out maneuvered by the Silver Fox (Gibbs.) Gibbs finds an ally at his favorite Sushi restaurant and recreates for her everything she and Yost need to know. It ends the investigation and any possible Courts Martial charges. The proof comes from Yost himself that he had acted honorably and heroically among the many horrors that made up the battle for Iwo Jima. This episode is one of the all-time best from this series, it shows how we should treat all of our returning veterans. Not just those wearing the fanciest hardware.
  • My favorite episode, but there were some glaring errors.

    At the time of this episode, there were many survivors of Iwo Jima, including about 9 of the 27 Heroes decorated with the MOH at Iwo. There are also a number of Japanese survivors. Otherwise an excellent and moving episode. Most interesting to me is the cloudy memory the subject had and the way in which that memory was clarified. Also I was pleased to see that in the end he accepted the Japanese Lt. as a comrade. It has been my experience that many of our heroes actually became lifelong friends with their adversaries - some, like Greg Boyington, became close friends with those responsible for a near death experience (i.e. Mike Kawato's shooting down Boyington, who became a POW for the remainder of the war. Note: there has always been the question of whether Mike was actually responsible for this victory.

    Also, there is no requirement for superiors to salute a MOH recipient. I have seen this done as a courtesy and out of respect, though.

    Finally, apparently a crime by a MOH recipient does not result in the Medal being withdrawn. MOH recipient Dwight Johnson was killed while attempting to rob a business. His MOH was not withdrawn and his gravestone notes he was a MOH recipient.
  • I enjoyed this episode because of the way the Marines acted when they saw the Medal of Honor, I have seen three Star Generals, whole offices, ships jump to attention when a recipient shows up. I often wonder if they were real Marines.

    I enjoyed this episode because of the way the Marines acted when they saw the Medal of Honor, I have seen three Star Generals, whole offices, ships crews jump to attention when a recipient shows up. I often wonder if they were real Marines. This is one of the few authentic shows on TV. What surprise me most is the few character turn overs, with the exception of Sasha Alexander, Lauren Holly, Liza Lapira and Ducky's original assistant they have held on to what/ who makes the show. Sadly I cannot imagine that continuing even in this market. Most of the big stars who came back to TV like Mark Harmon left long ago. May-be he knows what is good for him?
  • Trauma from wars !!!

    Charles Durning really turned in a terrific performance in this episode. Its a very touching story indeed. This episode touches on how wars can be traumatic on someone's psyche and how it blurs reality from imagination. Durning's acting was wonderful and deserves a special mention. It also proves that friendships and bonds forged by soldiers during wars never ever dies. This episode is one of the most poignant episodes in the 6 seasons of NCIS. Its not really a tear-jerker, however, it makes you really feel for the character that Charles Durning plays. It makes you want to reach out to him and comfort him inspite of the fact that he may have unwittingly committed a murder way back during his days of World War 2. A tremendously heart-felt and touching episode.
  • Call of Silence - excellent!

    Ran across this ep again on USA. Still ranks up there as one of my all time favorites. The guest actors were outstanding, and I loved the look on Yost's face in the last scene when the sushi chef told him he was on Guadalcanal. The scene with Kate dancing almost had me in tears, and the salute for the MOH from the two Marines finished it. Also had the usual Tony movie comments, I loved his attempt at the Duke from the Sands Of Iwo Jima. I'm thinking I might have to get that movie and watch it again. Fine example of why I love NCIS!
  • The team have to solve an old case

    As Gibbs enters the building for work, he sees a man trying to bring a gun into the building. The elderly old man tells the security guard that the gun is evidence, and then he tells Gibbs that he murdered a Marine with the gun. The team learn that he had been ringing 911 and writing letters to the marine headquarters to let them know about the death he caused. He also claims to have killed him with the end of the gun, beaten to death and not shot with it. The body of the victim is dug up and it seems to support Ernest's story of events. When Earnests memory's of that night come back with their help of a Japanese marine who was also there, he remembers that his "victim's legs had been blown up and he hit him over the head to keep him quiet whilst they were hiding from the enemy during a battle. Earnests is suffering from delayed stress syndrome and that he won't face prosecution for the murder. Gibbs takes the general, earnest out for a meal at a Japanese restaurant and its there that we see that the Japanese Marine actually works there.
  • Wow, a classic NCIS episode!

    This episode is just great, there are simple no other words for it. This one really had it all. An Old Marine veteran and a Medal of Honor winner: Ernie Yost confesses to the NCIS of killing his best friend quite a few years ago during a war battle. Gibbs thinks there is more to the story than this and is set to uncover the truth to save Ernie. For me this was a very emotional episode, I even cried while watching this episode. In fact every time I watch this episode I cry a little. And I have to confess I don't cry that easy. This really was a very special episode.
  • Deeply moving

    This episode brought tears to my eyes. I thought it was well written and very moving. Mr. Durning's character was developed and grew as the show went on. All the unit was impressed with Yost and obviously came to have respect for him. Gibbs' actions spoke for themselves as a Marine. Everyone who encountered Yost was impressed by him even the JAG officer sent to arrest him, remeber her tears? The scene that triggered my tears was when about to be arrested and the MOH was revealed to the 2 marines about to take Yost into custody they did what they were required to do when confronted with that medal. They snapped to attention and saluted. I am not a Marine I am a retired Army Ranger but I have deep and abiding respect for the Corp. Semper Fi!
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