NCIS has made it to 10 seasons and it the show has been celebrating the milestone by giving us some amazing episode so far this season. Check out part two of our exclusive interview with Brian Dietzen as he gives us some cool spoilers about the upcoming holiday episode, discusses Palmer and Tony's unique friendship, the possibility of Palmer becoming a daddy, and much more.
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To find out what Dietzen said about how the cast feels after 10 seasons, what it was like to have Palmer be the lead ME for a couple of episodes, and why he thinks Palmer has the most normal family life of the entire team, check out part one of our interview
Are there any hints you can give about what we are going to see in the rest of season 10?
Brian Dietzen: There's some major stuff coming up in January and February that's just massive; that will rock one of our characters to the core. Actually not one, two, of our characters are gonna be really, really affected. I don't know if I'm really allowed to say who it is yet.
But before that we're gonna have the Christmas episode for NCIS, which is always awesome. It's always a fun episode and people generally remember that episode the whole year. What's really cool about that episode is that we have Robert Wagner coming back for it. He's not involved with the case at all, it's just examining and exploring what his relationship, or lack of relationship, with his son is. He and Michael -- watching them work off of one another is just awesome, it's really great. And I believe we get to see Tony's apartment for the first time in that episode, too, so it's pretty cool.
Then for Jimmy Palmer; it's his first Christmas as a married man so he's trying to get out and go home and be with his wife the entire time. It's fun; it's a classic NCIS Christmas show. It's always heartwarming. You realize that this band of government employed misfits really have one another as their family, and so end up spending Christmas together. It's really nice, I really enjoyed shooting it and I loved the script.
Is there any possibility of Jimmy becoming a dad in the future?
Brian Dietzen: I think it's definitely possible. I think that would be a great thing to explore at some point. I've not chatted with the writers at all about it though, but it would be interesting to see how it is handled. A new kid coming into this crazy world of working as much as [Palmer] does, and trying to maintain -- what everyone goes through when you have children -- trying to maintain your marriage and also cater to this little crying thing that you love more than anything. I would love to see that explored as well. I mean we just explored marriage for the first time on the show and to explore a baby coming into the cast would be awesome as well, I think.
A few seasons back, we saw Tony and Palmer had a unique friendship very similar to Ducky and Gibbs. What did you think of playing that?
Brian Dietzen: I thought it was great. There was an episode there where was the team leader after Gibbs had taken a hiatus in Mexico. Steve Binder wrote this scene that I thought was genius; the fact that Tony was going to Palmer for help. Not so much for all the answers but more of as a sounding board; which is what Gibbs has always used Ducky for. Gibbs always uses Ducky for very specific answers when it comes to Ducky's medical expertise in cases, but when it comes to just trying to figure out something, to work through it, he doesn't go to his own team because that would be asking his younger teammates for help with something. I think he would rather go to somebody who is his contemporary or even his senior, to say "here's where I'm at" and be a sounding board. And a lot of times Ducky just says what Gibbs has said back to him and it's great to have someone you can do that with.
To see that Jimmy had become that for Tony in Gibbs' absence, I thought that that was a really cool dynamic shift. And it's not that Jimmy is hiding some sage wisdom from everyone or that he's some crime-solving savant. It's just that you look at the character and say "yeah I could see how that guy would be really good listener" and he would be able to lend advice here and there. It's not as though he has some sage words up his sleeve for every encounter or every case. But he's someone that can help you work through things. I thought that was so cool, and I thought it was great that it was in secret too; that Tony didn't want anyone to know that he was going to the "autopsy gremlin" for advice on anything. But man, I gotta tell you: Out of that whole team, if I wanted advice on certain things I would go to Jimmy because everyone else seems to be pretty messed up when it comes to relationships and their personal life. I'd rather go to Jimmy for marital advice than Gibbs any day.
Do you think that Tony still goes to Jimmy for advice even if we don't see it on screen?
Brian Dietzen: I like to think so, absolutely. Michael and I have talked about it and we both really hope that we can return to that at some point, even if it's a small call back to it here and there. It would be great. That's what so great about this show: it's such a family and it's such a team that they all do communicate together. It's not unusual to see McGee or Jimmy or Ducky or Tony or Ziva independently out in Abby's lab. And then likewise, anyone can be down in autopsy as well and any one of can be out in the field at any given time.
So there's a lot of cross pollination there as far as the knowledge of a case goes so I think it wouldn't be unreasonable to say that: yeah, absolutely Tony has been checking in with Jimmy on certain case stuff, and it may be on the DL a little bit. Jimmy doesn't care about that at all because it's just helping out his friend and helping out the case. I would love to see more of that happen though, to see it come to light a little bit instead of thinking "yeah it might be happening behind closed doors."
I like to think that perhaps Vance is coming to Jimmy often as well, just to say, "what do I do?" That would be probably absurd, but hilarious as a dream sequence maybe.
NCIS airs on Tuesday nights at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)