NCIS Dietzen Performance

Performer of the Week: Brian Dietzen

THE PERFORMER | Brian Dietzen

THE SHOW | NCIS

THE EPISODE | “Keep Going” (Jan. 24, 2017)

THE PERFORMANCE | It is as difficult as it is rare to recontextualize a TV character after 200-plus episodes, and yet NCIS this week did just that, by thrusting Dietzen’s mild-mannered Jimmy Palmer out onto a ledge, where the only thing that dropped was a huge truth.

With the camera fixed on him for much of the hour, Dietzen had us rapt, employing any means necessary (beyond firm grips on drainpipe and belt) to keep would-be jumper Ryan (nicely played by Spencer Treat Clark) from ending his life. Never before have we heard such urgency in Palmer’s voice, as he endeavored to relate to Ryan’s frustrations.

There was such an earnestness in Dietzen’s timbre that, while he never turned to tears, many a viewer surely did, whether Jimmy was expressing extremely candid thoughts on his boss’ own lot in life — unaware that Gibbs & Co. were listening in via a hidden mic — revisiting his and Breena’s failed bid at adoption or relaying the chestnut, “When you’re going through hell… keep going.”

All bets were off, though, when Palmer confessed to this stranger something that neither we nor his colleagues knew — that, on his third try, he not only passed but aced the medical examiner test. And yet Doctor Palmer chose to stay put, as an assistant. “We’ve got a special dynamic; I don’t want to mess that up,” he explained, Dietzen’s face lighting up as Jimmy surveyed his good fortune. “I have had so many friends come and go, and live and die, but where I’m at right now… why would I want to leave that? Every day, I opt for happiness.” While we opted for multiple Kleenex, thanks to the NCIS vet’s showcase-worthy performance.

NashvilleHONORABLE MENTION | If the first item on our Nashville thank-you list is that the drama has made Maddie far more palatable this season, the second item is that Lennon Stella has had more of a chance to shine. That certainly was the case this week, as Maddie started to get closer to the enigmatic Clay. Stella kept Maddie stubborn and headstrong as she questioned Clay’s hesitance to be her boyfriend, but tempered it all with the passion that only an adolescent tumbling toward love could exude. We like this new Maddie, and we’re looking forward to watching Stella explore her all season long.

unnamedHONORABLE MENTION | Even if Salem’s series finale hadn’t thrown open the door to hell and killed off half of the main characters in supernatural fashion, we’d still have called it magical, thanks to Janet Montgomery’s last stand as Mary Sibley. Not only did the leading lady play — and play beautifully — everything from revulsion (at the sight of the witch’s stitched-together son, aka the devil) to relief (upon discovering that she’d survived the hour), she also brilliantly channeled occasional co-star Lucy Lawless when her Countess Marburg temporarily took up residence in Mary’s body. Whether Montgomery’s version of the Countess was “mourning” her son’s demise (“Pity”) or realizing too late that she shouldn’t have regretted aloud not drowning her treacherous daughter in her womb, the actress’ performance was, in the most fantastically twisted way, enchanting.

Which performance knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in Comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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36 Comments
  1. Ella says:

    Maddie’s the worst character on television! No offense to Lennon Stella who is talented, but that character couldn’t possibly be any more annoying.

  2. Btm says:

    Yeah. Brian Dietzen took us through an amazing hour. Good choice.

  3. kirads09 says:

    Have to give an Honorable Mention for Cameron Monaghan – Jerome’s return – Gotham. It is as if he has taken the best of all previous Jokers and made them one.

  4. lynn66blog says:

    Brian Dietzen’s performance hands down has been one of the best I have seen in a really long time. Thank you for that.

  5. Joey Padron says:

    Happy Janet got honorable mention, She did great in the series finale of Salem. Hope Cameron will get an honorable mention for Gotham’s winter finale next week, he does a great performance of The Joker.

  6. Suze Howe says:

    So glad to see Brian Dietzen being recognized for an amazing performance this week.

  7. kmw says:

    I give honorable mention to Emily Deschanel on Bones for showing how much Brennan has grown and the lovely scenes where she was talking and comforting Booth over his loss. I am going to miss her on screen

  8. Chibs says:

    Grant and Candice from the Flash. Their conversation when Barry was telling Iris about what he saw in the future was simply beautiful. It was so well acted.

  9. Cesar says:

    Where is the love for either Rita Moreno (episode 9 Viva Cuba was greatness) and Justina Camacho for One day at a time?

  10. HAP says:

    I just finished watching the reboot of One Day At A Time and have to say that Justina Machada did Emmy worthy work.

  11. Briean Dietzen was amazing in this hour of television, I have not ever felt so in tune with Jimmy Palmer as I did this episode!

  12. I think that Grant Gustin and Candice Patton deserve a honorable mention. Especially Candice in the time vault she was amazing.

  13. I say the actors who played Malcom and Damien from Legends of Tomorrow for just being so cool and awesome.

  14. Pat says:

    Definitely, yes to Brian Dietzen’s NCIS performance and recognizing him as the performer of the week. The ending itself, brought me to tears with Gibbs hugging him and it was such a touching scene.

  15. maregolden says:

    I totally agree with your choice of Brian Dietzen as performer of the week. I have always enjoyed the character of Jimmy Palmer and was happy he was made a series regular a while back. The hug from Gibbs at the end brought tears to my eyes, because I always got the feeling that Jimmy didn’t know if Gibbs liked him or not.

  16. Steven says:

    Eliza Bennett is doing Emmy worthy work on Sweet/Vicious. If the show doesn’t get renewed she definitely has a bright future ahead of her.

    • PR says:

      I’m so glad you posted this. Eliza Bennett is terrific in S/V. Taylor Dearden’s comic relief is powerful in its own way. It’s a testament to them, the other performers and the creator/s and writers that I find the show really hard to watch. It seems so real. I give them all credit. It was a risky show to put on. I think they’ve done a great job with it and I wish more people were watching/talking about it. I’d love to see some cast/writer/producer panel discussions on it as well.

  17. spindae2 says:

    Peyton List delivered the most memorable performance this week, from the shows I watch.

  18. arial2 says:

    Brian Dietzen’s performance this week was wonderful. So glad he’s getting the recognition for it.

  19. Robin says:

    I agree Brian Dietzen did a great job this week on NCIS —but does anyone have any concern that they showed a little too much attachment and flashback surrounding Jimmy….When other shows do this the character is usually dead by the end of the season?

    • skrable2a says:

      I mentioned in the “Questions” thread that I think what’s happening is that David McCallum is getting ready to step aside, and revealing that Jimmy is now indeed a full-fledged M.E. was just another hint to that end

    • Chloe says:

      The flashbacks had me worried that he was going to fall off the ledge & die right then and there. But I think skrable2a may be right & that Ducky may be retiring soon. I hope not. I’ve been a fan of David since The Man from U.N.C.L.E. but I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted to retire now that he’s 83.

  20. Brent Smith says:

    Mr. Dietzen deserves to be nominated for television’s highest honor, for his performance in this week’s episode.

  21. TDXI says:

    I have to say I thought it was one of the most boring, unrealistic episodes ever. I didn’t even bother to watch it all. NCIS just seems to be getting worsel every week.

    • Jane says:

      Since when has tv ever been realistic? And no one is forcing you to watch if you think it gets worse every week.

      • TDXI says:

        Of course they are made realistic to a point you moron, and I know no one is forcing me to watch it hence I switched off not even half way through. I guess some of us have standards and you don’t.

    • Jerri says:

      You want realism? Turn off your TV and go outside.

  22. This was the first time Palmer seemed like a possible replacement for Ducky. And he has been working long enough to become a doctor. It only makes sense he finally did it.

  23. I was hoping Brian Dietzen would be mentioned. Fantastic performance.

  24. This week’s Nashville reminded me of the caffeine pill episode of Saved By The Bell. It was laughable, at least for me, the way they glossed over and prettied up the issues of teenage homelessness, mental health, racism, violence, etc. I would have been much happier had they chosen one issue and dealt with it with a little more depth and sincerity.

  25. Lyanna says:

    So much feels in Brian Dietzen performance… It was amazing. Also the end of the episode… WOW