NCIS Brian Dietzen Says Detours and Bumps Ahead for Jimmy and Jessica

Brian Dietzen.
VALERIE MACON / AFP

As the NCIS franchise nears its 1,000th episode, one of its actors gave some insight into what to expect for the show’s latest romance.

TVLine was on set as NCIS began filming its milestone episode and used the opportunity to catch up with Brian Dietzen, who plays Dr. Jimmy Palmer, and Katrina Law, who portrays Jessica Knight.

The pair finally got together onscreen in the penultimate episode of season 20 last May, when Jimmy unexpectedly blurted out, “I love you, Jess.” NCIS is currently airing its 21st season as fans have dubbed the relationship “Knight in Shining Palmer.”

But it’s only a matter of time before the pair goes through some turmoil, and Dietzen says that may come sooner rather than later.

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“As I’ve said before, love is sometimes not a straight line,” Dietzen told TVLine. “Sometimes it takes a few detours and bumps along the way.”

Those bumps may coincide with the introduction of Russell Wong, who will play Jessica’s father, to the cast. He’s slated to appear in the episode that will air on March 25.

“My father is a big deal in the NCIS world,” Law teased. “And he kind of kicks ass a little.”

NCIS Brian Dietzen Says Detours and Bumps Ahead for Jimmy and Jessica
Robert Voets/CBS

That’s not necessarily a good thing for Knight in Shining Palmer fans. As Dietzen says, Wong’s addition is “not exactly the best introduction that Jimmy could have had to his girlfriend’s father.”

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But what relationship doesn’t endure a detour or two? Fans can reasonably hope that Jimmy and Katrina emerge stronger for it — provided they both emerge at all. With episode 1,000 on the horizon, NCIS isn’t making any promises.

“One of our own beloved characters is going to end up in grave danger, and you’re going to see all of the different franchises brought into this in a little bit of a different way,” showrunner David North teased.

It won’t all be bad, though. Longtime fans can look forward to nods to the past that casual viewers might not pick up on.

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“We’re going to play plenty of homage to the past,” North said.

Co-showrunner Steven D. Binder added: “We’re hoping to put some Easter eggs for longtime fans of the show. If you’re watching it in 4K, you might have to blow some things things up, but they’re going to be there.”

NCIS airs on CBS Mondays at 9 p.m. ET. The much-anticipated 1,000th episode will air on April 15.