NCIS threw fans for a loop on Tuesday night.
NCIS Season 18 Episode Episode 7 finally addressed the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was a tragic installment.
The episode featured a time jump that revealed Jimmy’s wife, Breena, passed away due to complications of the virus.
Brian Dietzen, who plays Jimmy, is opening up about the shock in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“I had been told that this was going to happen, that Jimmy was going to lose his wife before I received this script. The producers let me know that we want the advent of COVID to hit our team,” the actor shared of his response to reading the script.
“And yet, we don’t want to lose a team member. So the prospect of having Jimmy lose his wife, the most optimistic team member lose someone, came to the table and they thought it would be a great storytelling mechanic – albeit very, very sad,” he continued.
“So they went ahead with it. I was notified ahead of time and prepared for it, I suppose, emotionally,” he added, before shedding light on how the death will affect Jimmy.
“I certainly think that it’s more of a processing than anything else. I told the writers and the producers on our show that what I really didn’t want to see with Jimmy Palmer was for him to lose his eternal optimism because of something like this,” he said.
“And I think that all of us were totally on the same page.”
“They said, ‘Oh gosh, yeah, we need to have Jimmy be that light that’s on the team for sure.’ And if there’s ever a test for that light, it’s a loss of this nature.”
“So I think that moving forward, we’re going to definitely see Jimmy Palmer process this more.”
While the development came out of nowhere, it reiterated to the NCIS characters just how unpredictable the virus is.
NCIS is also no stranger to saying goodbye to characters and is actually set to say goodbye to a series regular in the coming episodes.
It was announced last year that Maria Bello was exiting the role of Jack after the close of her three-year deal.
That plot gathered steam on Tuesday’s episode, with Jackie contemplating moving away to take a breather from recent events.
And the logline for NCIS Season 18 Episode 8 certainly hints at her goodbye.
It reads as follows:
“True Believer” – When Sloane’s name is discovered in Afghanistan at the site of an abandoned bus with a dead driver, Gibbs accompanies her on a trip to find a group of girls who were kidnapped from the bus.
Also, McGee, Bishop and Torres track down a hacker who emailed compromising information to the Taliban, on NCIS, Tuesday, March 2 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Bello wrapped filming in December 2020.
“And that’s a wrap for Jack Sloane @ncis_cbs,” she said at the top of her social media statement.
“I’ve learned many things on this journey for the last three and a half years. I learned about commitment and community.”
“I’ve learned that the woman I am enjoys process over product,” Bello said.
“I’ve never worked with a kinder, more generous group of people. I only had the privilege of standing by Dom’s side during cancer because my producers worked so hard to make sure I was there for every treatment.”
“I made a speech today for our crew. Though in our business, like many, there are quite a few assholes – there is not one on the set of NCIS – in front of or behind the camera,” her emotional statement continued.
“Only a profoundly decent group of people who care more about each other and the world in general than what is in it for them.”
What are your thoughts on the emotional development and the fact that the show is losing two stars in the space of a few episodes?
Hit the comments.
Remember, you can watch NCIS online right here via TV Fanatic.
NCIS continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.