I’M Really Moved By How NCIS Actor Brian Dietzen Wants Jimmy Palmer To Die After 20 Years On The Show


After 20 years on NCIS, the actor who plays Dr. Jimmy Palmer, Brian Dietzen, revealed how he wants his character to die, and I thought it was moving. The actor has been with the show since 2004, when he appeared in a guest role late in season 1. While Palmer was originally featured sporadically as an assistant to Dr. Mallard, his role eventually evolved into a series regular, with Jimmy ultimately becoming the team’s chief medical examiner. Brian Dietzen’s NCIS character plays a crucial role in the series, but the actor has considered how it will end.

As the franchise prepares for NCIS season 22, Brian Dietzen is one of the series’ senior cast members, and I think he’s one of the most important. He and his co-star Sean Murray are the only remaining series regulars featured in NCIS season 1. I’m sad to think about the loss of the Jimmy Palmer character, but I believe that the way Brian Dietzen wants it to happen brings a beautiful sense of purpose to his death. The series has lost many main characters, and I’m always sad to see my favorite ones go. Jimmy Palmer is undoubtedly no exception.

Brian Dietzen Said He Wants NCIS’ Jimmy To Contract ALS

Dietzen Was Part Of A Panel With Wilmer Valderrama, Michael Weatherly, And Cote De Pablo

In June 2024, a group of NCIS actors sat down for a panel discussion at the 2024 Monte-Carlo Television Festival. The panel comprised Wilmer Valderrama and Brian Dietzen from the current cast of NCIS and former cast members Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo of the upcoming spinoff NCIS: Tony & Ziva. During the panel, Wilmer Valderrama suggests he wanted his Nick Torres character to die “in a storm of bullets.” However, Dietzen had a more profound death in mind for his Jimmy Palmer character. Dietzen wants Jimmy to contract ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Dietzen confirmed that he had thought about Jimmy’s death before. I felt that it was moving that Dietzen had considered his character’s death in terms of how it could spread positive awareness for a cause that is bigger than himself and his character. While there have been many moving NCIS deaths over the years as characters depart the show, I think that what Brian Dietzen has laid out for his character is a way to make the show more significant than a police procedural and character drama and that NCIS needs to support the narrative at all costs.

Why Dr. Jimmy Palmer Dying From ALS Would Be So Meaningful In NCIS

Brian Dietzen’s Character Is A Knowledgeable Doctor

Jimmy’s death from ALS would be meaningful because Jimmy is a doctor and scientist, typically in control of human anatomy. Jimmy has dealt with hundreds of dead bodies in NCIS and can solve many world problems through scientific processes. Brian Dietzen mentioned this in the panel discussion, and I think it shows that the actor has invested thought into the final development of his character. It makes sense that after 20 years on the show, Dietzen has a personal investment in the role and wants to give his Jimmy character a meaningful goodbye after two decades on television.

What stuck with me was Dietzen’s vision of his character grappling with the disease over time. The actor suggested that the character may try to cover up his shortcomings at first, and I think it would be deeply moving to watch Jimmy experience that on-screen. If Dietzen can establish an authentic portrayal of the disease, which I think the actor is capable of, it could be one of the most profound deaths the show has ever seen. I believe it’s fitting for Jimmy’s character to struggle with something internal and personal rather than dying in the line of fire.


How Jimmy’s Disease Would Affect His Role In NCIS

Brian Dietzen’s Character Would Become The Source Of Loss

Jimmy’s contracting ALS will profoundly affect his role in NCIS. A central part of Jimmy Palmer’s character development, especially in recent seasons, is that he shoulders a heavy amount of grief. He said goodbye to MCRT members Eleanor Bishop and Gibbs in NCIS seasons 18 and 19. Most significantly, Dr. Palmer also lost his wife, Breena, to COVID-19 in season 18. I think the most significant change to Dietzen’s character is that he will have to stop focusing so much on his loss and shift his perspective to the loss others will experience after his death.

The shift from Jimmy being the victim of loss in his world to the source of it would be a wake-up call.

The shift from Jimmy being the victim of loss in his world to the source of it would be a wake-up call. He would be forced to focus entirely on how grief would affect his daughter Victoria, preparing her to navigate the world after the death of both her parents. Suppose the show did choose to pile on more loss for Dietzen’s character. In that case, I think it would be essential for Jimmy and Victoria to experience a new chapter of happiness in the next few seasons before his character experiences more tragedy.

Brian Dietzen’s Other NCIS Role Can Make Jimmy’s Story Even More Moving

Dietzen Could Co-Write The NCIS Episodes Dealing With Jimmy’s Death

Brian Dietzen writes for NCIS, and he could co-write the episodes that deal with Jimmy Palmer’s disease to make their impact even more profound. I think it would be a natural choice to have Dietzen contribute to the narrative of his character’s death, and it’s clear that the actor has already given it some thought. Considering it was Dietzen’s idea, I believe it’s crucial to consult him on how he envisions the narrative around his character’s death evolving. In my opinion, Brian Dietzen has already proved that he can contribute to developing his character.

Dietzen co-wrote NCIS season 19, episode 13, “The Helpers.” In it, the Jimmy Palmer character converses with his daughter Victoria about his impending death. Jimmy and Kasie were exposed to a fatal bio-toxin in the lab that they thought was liquor but turned out to be a deadly gas. While the team races to find the antidote, Jimmy reveals uncomfortable truths about his death, since Victoria had come to work with him and witnessed his unravel. The main message that Jimmy passed on in “The Helpers” is that what matters is not how they die but how they live.

Jimmy has had a tragic past, but Dietzen deals with it intentionally, and the actor could apply that same care to the character’s death. Brian Dietzen imagined his character departing the series with death rather than a happy ending, which I think Jimmy deserves after all the loss he has experienced. Jimmy’s death, like Breena’s, would result from a condition that was out of his hands, even as a doctor. That said, if Jimmy dies of ALS in NCIS, the actor can expand on the narrative that how a person lives is more important than how they die.