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‘NCIS’ Star Brian Dietzen Wanted Palmer to Have Closure in Recent Episode

After a hiatus due to the Olympics, “NCIS” came back for an emotional return for the Season 19 episode titled “The Helpers.”

We have Brian Dietzen, who plays Jimmy Palmer on the show, to thank for all of this.

Here’s a bit of a general summary of what went down in the episode. Both Jimmy and Kasie are exposed to a deadly biotoxin in the lab and end up sprawled out on the lab floor unconscious. It’s a close call that could have left his daughter Victoria without a mother or a father.

So, what made the episode so emotional? The “NCIS” episode opens with Palmer in a gorgeous and peaceful meadow alongside his deceased wife, Breena (played by Michelle Pierce). You watch as she gently urges Palmer to open his eyes. This is when we cut to the terrifying shot of Kasie and Palmer sweaty and close to death.

As it turns out, the liquid happened to enter “NCIS” headquarters in a flask that was found on a body that had been crushed under a truck wheel at Quantico. Knight discovers a half-full container of Russian poison after the team pays a visit to dead man Phillip Hanch’s trailer. They discover he was part of an extremist group trying to get vengeance in the form of a plague. He was discharged from the Army earlier as well.

Agent Knight tries to warn Kasie to not open the flask, but it’s too late.

On top of the emotional reunion between Palmer and his dead wife, the episode stacks another element to this wild rollercoaster of an episode. Palmer decided to take his daughter to work today. So, she is on the other side of the big glass door watching her father go through all of this.

Brian Dietzen Co-Wrote ‘NCIS’ Episode

Brian Dietzen co-wrote this episode and was passionate about getting Michelle Pierce back on the screen. Her character died from COVID last season.

“One of the big reasons why I wanted to put this [scene] in there was because Jimmy never got to say goodbye to his wife on-camera, and the audience never got to see her and say goodbye either. The reasoning behind that is not just to give a cool cinematic opening, [but also because] I wanted to have Michelle back to the set, and she wanted to come as well. The fact that we were able to have Michelle come back was just such a blessing, as she definitely has been one of my favorites to work with on the show,” Palmer said to TVLine.

We watched as Jimmy coped with her death, but we never really got closure until now. It was a clever way to bring her back to life (sans any strange plot twists or supernatural elements). Dietzen was excited to have his whole on-screen family in one episode together. “It also was a way for us to have the three of us — myself, our daughter and Breena — all in one episode, albeit we weren’t together all in the same scene,” Dietzen also said.

Although it was just a dream, this all had a profound impact on Jimmy. He ends up taking his wedding ring off, a clear sign he’s ready to start moving on.