Brian Dietzen is basking in the NCIS glow of a job well done. Now, it’s time for the millions of fans to watch his creation.
Dietzen portrays Dr. Jimmy Palmer, the long-time NCIS medical examiner. But for this episode, called “The Helpers,” Dietzen wasn’t relying on someone to write his lines. He co-wrote the episode.
His fellow castmates have hyped the episode on social media, giving Dietzen, who plays the ultimate nice guy, all the props. TV critics, who have previewed the hour, also have made positive comments.
Dietzen said he’s hearing similar compliments from crew members. He mentioned his co-workers in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“With this family that we built over 19 years,” Dietzen said, “everyone there is there to give you their best. And (they’ll) say, ‘Man, if you are going to write something, we are going to do it to the best of our ability and make it look good.’ And from everyone on our crew to our amazing cast to our writers, everyone did whatever they could to make this show the best it could be, so I was blown away.”
The Dietzen episode represents the first new NCIS offering since Jan. 24. CBS put its major shows on the shelf as NBC broadcast the Winter Olympics from Beijing. A celebrity Big Brother got the time slot last Monday.
Dietzen Wrote What He Knew Best — That’s NCIS and Jimmy
So what’s “The Helpers” about? Let’s check the CBS plot tease: “While investigating the death of an intruder at Quantico, Jimmy and Kasie are exposed to a deadly biotoxin, and the NCIS team calls on Doctor Carol Wilson (Meredith Eaton) for help as they race to find the antidote. Also, Torres tries to distract Jimmy’s daughter, who came to the office to spend the day with her dad.”
So there’s a lot of like about the new NCIS episode. Here’s why:
Meredith Eaton is making her return to NCIS for the first time since 2013. She plays Carol Wilson, a college friend of Abby’s who is an expert on infectious diseases and other nasty viruses and bacteria. This will be Eaton’s fourth appearance on NCIS. She did three from 2009-13. Eaton also played Wilson on an episode of NCIS: New Orleans.
And then the episode also features Victoria, Jimmy’s daughter. Victoria and his wife, Breena, had Victoria in 2015. She’s named to honor Ducky’s mother. But Jimmy’s daughter, although mentioned, hasn’t been seen on screen since the episode in which she was born. Michelle Pierce, who played Breena, is listed in the episode cast. But we’re not clear if it’s old footage. Since we’ve seen preview photos showing Jimmy collapsed on the floor, he might be seeing Breena in a fever dream.
The NCIS episode also will be addressing what’s going on with Torres (Wilmer Valderrama). If you caught the Jan. 24 episode, “Fight or Flight,” you know that Torres is in a funk. He’s depressed and paranoid, likely because he feels abandoned by Gibbs, a mentor/father figure.
If you want to play NCIS catchup, here’s the Outsider recap from the last episode.