‘NCIS’: Could Knight and Palmer be the Show’s Next Great Romance?

by Suzanne Halliburton

Is NCIS dropping a few romantic clues leading us to believe that Jess Knight and Jimmy Palmer may be a future couple?

We know, there were no outward signs of any extra feelings in Monday’s NCIS episode called Pledge of Allegiance. Jimmy (Brian Dietzen) and Jess (Katrina Law) normally are only on screen together when the team is investigating a death. The focus of Monday’s case was whether a Navy pilot stole software for combat and surveillance drones to an American enemy.

But there was a side story. As the episode opened, McGee was on the phone with his bank. Some mystery person deposited $10,000 in his checking account and McGee wanted to give it back. An incredulous Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) was trying to wave him off — why give back money?

McGee (Sean Murray) wasn’t the only one with an extra $10,000. Jimmy received one as well. And he apparently told Jess all about it. No one else in the office knew, save for Vance. At a minimum, Jimmy and Jess are friendly. She thinks he has cute dimples. But a romance? We’ll have to see what NCIS writers have planned for later this season.

But it could happen. Jess is unattached. And Jimmy is a recent widower. He lost his wife to Covid in season 18. The always upbeat Jimmy was bottling up all his grief. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) encouraged him to let his feelings out. (Spoiler alert. Gibbs, who hasn’t been seen on NCIS since October, gifted the college funds of Jimmy and McGee’s kids with the $10,000. Vance (Rocky Carroll) explained that Gibbs did so in the memory of his daughter, Kelly, who died 20 years ago.

Getting back to the romance, would NCIS fans like Jimmy, the wholesome medical examiner, getting together with Jess, the newcomer to the team?

Sonja Flemming/CBS

NCIS plots always have had a dash of romance to them. Remember that season 18 featured a finale featuring Bishop (Emily Wickersham) leaving Torres behind to go deep undercover with the CIA. The two shared a kiss, then Bishop walked away. As we saw in the season 19 premiere, Torres still was gutted by her leaving. Bishop left her apartment keys with Jimmy to allow the ME, not Torres, to tie up her loose ends.

Plus, Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) got together when the two were NCIS partners. De Pablo left the show in 2013. When Weatherly exited in 2016, fans got to hear about Ziva again. She died in an explosion on her father’s farm back in Israel. Tony decided to quit his job and head to Israel to raise Tali, the daughter he and Ziva had together. (Spoiler alert, Ziva wasn’t dead).

Richard Foreman/CBS ©2013

And very early on in NCIS, fans found out that Gibbs and new director Jenny Shepard had a relationship back in the day.

Meanwhile, NCIS fans are pondering whether Torres and Jess should get together. Might there be time for romance when NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i do a crossover? That episode airs on March 28, when Torres and Jess head to Hawaii.

Stay tuned!