‘NCIS’: What Brian Dietzen Says Makes His Character So ‘Memorable’

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Microsoft)

“Even in the darkest hours he’s trying to make something better for himself or for his team,” said Brian Dietzen of his “NCIS” character, Jimmy Palmer. “He’s just always ready to learn and try to put the positive on something.”

In 2017, the actor sat down with Variety magazine for a question and answer session. Part of the discussion centered around the development of Dietzen’s character as the series progressed.

“What has made Jimmy Palmer a memorable character over this past decade is the fact that he is a guy who is looking for the positive and is always learning,” the actor told Variety. Dietzen also noted that some may see his character as naive. However, he doesn’t believe that is the best description of the character. Dietzen sees Jimmy Palmer as being one who sees the best potential outcome and does everything he can to achieve it.

‘NCIS’ Character, Jimmy Palmer, Will Always Do What He Believes Is Best

During the interview, Brian Dietzen discussed one of the very first episodes that centered around his character.

Palmer found himself to be the center of the season 14 episode of “NCIS” entitled “Keep Going.”

In this episode, Jimmy Palmer attempts to stop the son of a murder victim from committing suicide. In order to do this, the character breaks rank. Palmer climbs out on the ledge to talk with the devastated “would-be” jumper.

Brian Dietzen told Variety that the episode was the result of the writer’s desire to push the character. The goal was to get Jimmy into a kind of “life-or-death” situation for which he had not been trained.

The episode ended up being the perfect opportunity to reveal “a lot of great stuff about the character.”

The episode sees Jimmy on the ledge discussing life, and what it means even in the face of trauma.

“You get to see Jimmy Palmer’s optimism shine through,” Dietzen said of the episode.

Palmer’s Optimism Is His ‘Superpower’

That’s kind of his superpower on the team,” the actor noted of his character. Dietzen added that it was that optimistic “superpower” that ultimately saved the day. “It was probably one of the most fun episodes of “NCIS” I’ve gotten to do.”

Dietzen told the outlet during the 2017 interview that he believes the message of the episode perfectly represents the Jimmy Palmer character.

“I think that the message of this episode, specifically, just falls right in line with who Jimmy Palmer is and what he’s done for the team over the past 13 years,” the “NCIS” star explained.

“You just have to keep your head down and just keep going and do what you believe in,” the actor explained of his “NCIS” character. “I think Jimmy Palmer was kind of the perfect vessel to send that message from our team.”