When we first conceptualized the TV Underdogs series that we have been doing at CarterMatt throughout the month of January, you can really say that Brian Dietzen’s “NCIS” character of Jimmy Palmer was one of the people we always had in mind for a spotlight article. he’s a guy who has been around since the first season of the show, and over the course of time has been rarely served of the sort of storyline we want for him. Sure, we’ve gotten to see some of Palmer’s love story and hear about him becoming a father, but isn’t there so much more than could be done with someone who is a series regular?
Before we get into our analysis, just a quick reminder that you can see all of our TV Underdogs pieces over here.
Why he’s an underdog – Who better to think of as an underdog on this show than Jimmy Palmer? He doesn’t always get a ton of screen time, he works under Ducky the majority of the time, and it took almost a decade for Dietzen to get the promotion he long deserved. He’s an interesting, fun character who you want to root for, and he’s extremely valuable to the team.
Why we don’t see more of him – In this instance, there are several reasons. For one, “NCIS” focuses more on work out in the field than in the lab, and when they do go there Ducky and Abby are typically the two in the spotlight. This is also a show with a pretty large cast, and due to its procedural nature, there is rarely any time to focus extensively on any one character. Remember that this is season 13, and we only got to meet Abby’s brother Luca earlier this month.
Ways to see more of him – One of our favorite ideas is to come up with an episode that puts Palmer in a dangerous situation, only to use some of the skills he’s picked up over time to save the day. Or, how about coming up with ways to introduce some people from his past, such as seeing what happens if there is a case connected to somebody he cares about? This is something that we have seen with other characters, and it would be nice to see how some of his past choices and people’s been around inform who he is, and why is particularly passionate about this job. Given that Michael Weatherly is departing, we’d certainly also be down for some great DiNozzo – Palmer scenes. Maybe the two get assigned to a mission where they are each needed to complete a specific task.
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