‘NCIS’: Here’s What Brian Dietzen Considers His Character’s ‘Superpower’ Is on the Team

by Katie Maloney
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/WireImage)

Who isn’t a fan of medical examiner, Jimmy Palmer, on “NCIS”?

Palmer, played by actor Brian Dietzen, first made an appearance on ‘NCIS” in 2004 during the episode titled “Split Decision.” He spent the next ten years with the show as a recurring guest star. That is, until 2012 when he was officially promoted to series regular. The move came when medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard stepped down. Palmer was officially promoted from his spot as an assistant and became a regular on the show. And in 2017, Dietzen even got to take center stage for an entire episode. During the episode titled “Keep Going” Palmer breaks rank and climbs onto a building ledge to try and convince the son of a murder victim not to commit suicide.

The entire episode is riveting and really allowed more layers of Dietzen’s character to surface. During an interview in 2017, Dietzen talked about the significance of the episode.

“Our writers had wanted to do a Jimmy Palmer episode at some point and Scott Williams, one of our executive producers, said it just kind of hit him when he was in the shower one day to get Jimmy into a kind of life-or-death situation that he’s frankly not trained for.”

Dietzen added that the episode acted as “a vehicle for revealing a lot of great stuff about the character and seeing him go through some trials and tribulations.”

What Is Jimmy Palmer’s Superpower On ‘NCIS’?

He even revealed exactly how the plot of the episode came to be.

“For this episode, the writers pitched basically a one-act play with these two men out on a ledge talking about life, whether it’s living or dying. It’s that black and white. So you get to see Jimmy Palmer’s optimism shine through.”

During the episode, Palmer really has to pull optimism from his own life in hopes of convincing the young man on the ledge to do the same. Dietzen added that staying optimistic is his character’s “superpower.”

“That’s kind of his superpower on the team, if you will, and that is what ends up saving the day.”

Dietzen said that the episode felt more like a play than a major television production.

“It did feel like a play out there. We were on that ledge for five days straight. Spencer Clark, the other actor in those scenes, was just terrific. We got to just do scene after scene after scene.”

And after over ten seasons with the show (at the time) Dietzen said that this episode was his favorite.

“It was probably one of the most fun episodes of “NCIS” I’ve gotten to do.”