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Monday, June 27, 2022

‘NCIS’: Brian Dietzen Addresses Palmer and Knight’s Romantic Future (Exclusive)

spoiler ALERT! Don’t proceed if you haven’t seen Monday’s episode NCIS,

Are Jimmy Palmer and Jessica Knight Moving in Together? NCIS Romance? As Monday’s action-packed episode revealed, the answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.

For several weeks now, the two have been dancing around a possible budding romance in Season 19. But eventually, an affair brought the pair to territory where they were forced — in dire circumstances, of course — to acknowledge and talk. Their (probably) more-than-favourable feelings for each other. (Being chased and shot by multiple bad guys on a limb would certainly put things in clear perspective.) While the pair were tip-toe around their burgeoning chemistry for the majority of the hour, Knight held Palmer’s side. Cleared up about how she felt about him, admitting that she liked him.

Because she and Palmer work closely together in a professional setting, their close friendship further complicates the idea of ​​searching for a real romance. If things don’t work out romantically, they’ve lost a friend as well. With a new level of understanding established that they are slowly moving towards more than just friendship, the two decide to keep things open for now as they agree to go on another coffee date.

“I think he definitely threw the ball into his court at the end and said by him, ‘Hey, let’s go out for coffee,'” NCIS star Brian Dietzen told ET. “It’s not saying, ‘Let’s get married’ or anything like that. It’s just saying, ‘Maybe. Yeah, give it a try.’ And hopefully, they keep talking. As long as they keep talking, I think it will be good for both of them.”

And, as Dietzen hints at next week’s finale, there may be “more to come” with Palmer and Knight on that front. After Monday’s final episode of the season, the actor breaks down what’s happening next.

ET: Before we get into the episode, how are you feeling about how the season is going creatively? There were some significant changes in the cast at the beginning of the year…

Brian Dietzen: This season has been unlike any other, apparently for the reasons you’re highlighting. We had two cast members move in and two new guys in. So it’s been a lot different than that year, but I have to say it’s been extremely positive. I love telling these new stories. I love the new dynamics to explore. whenever you lose a cast member you have spent, in one case, with the last 19 years [in Mark Harmon]and the second case, for the last eight or nine years [in Emily Wickersham]Well, this is a huge change. This is something the characters grieve at the loss. But by the same token, change is a signature of life, isn’t it? That if it is not changing, it is not alive. So these things are inevitable. It’s about how well you can tell stories and keep moving forward even after that change. I felt really proud of the stories we got to hear this year. There’s a lot to be discovered and a lot of different stories about these two new characters, but also how our team has evolved into a new beast with the new team now.

How’s that dynamic? Has it been a different energy?

For so long, one of the strengths of the show was that it centered around the character of Gibbs, who works. It’s tried and true, and it worked for so long. But in the absence of that character, an emptiness remains because that character is no longer in the center of the room. Because of that power vacuum, the dynamic must change to become more of an ensemble drama. And everyone has to play their respective roles in that. Instead of going to everyone’s centralized power, “What should I do?” People themselves are digging the bull by the horns and that makes for something different. I’ll leave it to others to say whether they like it better this way or the first, but it will definitely have to change. You can’t have a new character named Alden Parker come and recapture the same gravitas that Gibbs earned over the past 19 years. It is an obligation on all of us to work together as a team and create a new kind of harmony. It was very interesting for us to see how these characters grow after such a huge transformation.

As you’re out on the field for this episode, you flex your muscles a bit. What was it like to team up with Katrina Law for Hours?

it was very nice. We had a wonderful time. These two characters from Knight and Palmer have always had a great rapport, and we know they are friends. There have been times during the season where there’s been a question mark like, Can they be more than friends at some point? Whether it’s in the form of his wedding date, or whether Jimmy is shutting down the wonderful Ernie Malik [from NCIS: Hawaii] on his computer screen because he was asking about Jessica. It’s been a fun, playful thing that has come to our show. So he decided to highlight it for one episode. What’s happening in the end Jimmy and Knight find themselves on the run, trying to survive in the woods while keeping a very important organ alive with them. It was a blast for the film. We were at Disney Ranch for several days, and our director Taunia McKiernan was incredible at finding great ways to shoot it. We got to see some great scenes where they not only got to talk about how they are going to survive, but what was going on between the two of them.

You mentioned their mobility. Did you wonder if this was going to be front and center for the entire episode?

I think they paved a little way for it in the last episode, so it didn’t come as a total surprise. Obviously, I’ve talked with my producers and people on the network asking, “Hey, could something potentially happen between these two characters?” And to that end, an episode I co-wrote with Scott Williams earlier this year where Jimmy nearly died in his lab alongside Cassie, Diana Reasonover’s character. Jimmy gets to the point where he says, “I need to move on for my daughter’s sake.” By the end of the episode, Jimmy hangs up his ring, as do many widowers, at a time that feels right. For Jimmy, it was almost a year after the death of his wife. “It’s time for me to move on and be more present for my daughter,” he said. But I think it also opened doors for them to say, “I can find happiness again.” It is not a once in a lifetime thing that you can find love or happiness, or possibility, or possibility of that. I think it’s good for him to have that attitude and attitude that maybe I can move on and find something different. Obviously he has a fascination with Jessica in this episode. I was excited for it because it means he is still alive.

NCIS
Robert Voates/CBS

Jimmy and Knight have a playfulness when they are in the room together. Was it a natural thing that you guys discovered over time?

Ever since Katrina joined the show, we have really enjoyed the scenes together, be it the evidence conclusion, coming down to the autopsy. We have always found some way to enjoy the view. And he has given us some great scenes together. It was not difficult to find a connection there as Katrina is a great actor and we are lucky to have her. This is special for Jimmy and Knight as there is no chance for Jimmy to romance anyone else on the team. So it was great to be able to do something that has only been explored off-camera for the character of Jimmy in the last 19 years. It was fun to see him showing interest.

Which was your favorite scene of the episode?

My favorite scene was definitely the cabin scene when he had to shoot. The interesting story behind this was that, unsurprisingly here in Southern California, it never rains. But it was going to rain on one of those days when we were about to hang out at Disney Ranch. So they actually ended up building that set of cabin interiors on one of our stages so we could film it there and take our time. I thought there was a dynamic between these two characters [was great] – How humor was infused in it, but at the same time a lot of heart. And there’s pain. There is struggle. There are things that are forbidden to talk about. And the whole time, they are not face-to-face. They both are looking away from each other. I thought it was wonderfully written… and our director, Tauniya, did a wonderful job directing it and taking the difficulty of these conversations completely off of not seeing each other.

Knight admits to Jimmy that she likes him, but because they are close, best friends, she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. What is Jimmy feeling at that time?

I guess that’s the hard part, isn’t it? If you happen to find any of your friends attractive or want to do something similar, then you realize, I’m rolling the dice on losing a friend here. The only way I can really do this is if I do the right steps here. They’re both afraid of making the wrong move, which is why I love what Jimmy says at the end: “If you don’t get on the surfboard, you’ll never catch the wave. Yes, we can play it safe.” And we may never talk about this thing again, we may never talk about that conversation again in the cabin, but we’ll never experience something that could be too cool. But we don’t know Whether it will happen or not, if we don’t try.” I think she definitely threw the ball in his court at the end and was followed by “Hey, let’s go out for coffee,” not saying, “Let’s get married” or anything like that. It’s just saying, “Maybe. Yeah, give it a try.” And hopefully, they keep talking. As long as they keep talking, I think it will be good for both of them.

At the end of the episode, they make another coffee date as they climb into the elevator. Are they in the friend zone or are they a little more than friends? What is their relationship status in the end?

The good part is that in this episode, we can leave it up to people to explain as they watch them get down that elevator and go “You know what? Let’s get together at some point.” In my mind, of course I think, “Well, both of these are leaving open the possibility of something happening.” While it probably doesn’t make sense to commit to saying, “Hey, let’s go on a date exclusively.” There is potential. But with long running shows like NCISYou can’t build, explore, or complete a relationship like that in one episode.

I also loved ribbing other team members.

I like that. Wilmer and Sean, they’re great at that stuff. They are like brothers. And to Jimmy, of course, they’ve been like brothers to him. Whether it’s Torres nodding and saying, “Yeah, I’ll take care of your baby if you die,” that sort of thing. Or Mickey has been there for Jimmy over the past 20 years and they’re raising kids either by or with each other. It’s a good relationship. And I’m excited to see where Group Dynamic takes us next season.

with NCIS Coming back for Season 20, what can you tease about this upcoming finale and where are things headed for next season?

The finale is definitely going to put Gary Cole’s character Alden Parker in the crosshairs. He will find himself in danger and our team will have to come together to help him. I can’t say much about it, but I will definitely say that Jimmy and Knight will talk a little more in the finale. And we’ll see in which direction things are going. It’s not like we’re going to leave the audience sitting in that elevator with Jimmy and Knight wondering what happens next. There will be more to come.

NCIS Airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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